Earth to Congress: It’s a SPENDING Problem
In recent weeks, the debate over the the retention of tax cuts initiated during the George W. Bush administration monopolized the political discussion, aside from a few politicians showing us that they care nothing for the First Amendment as they condemn Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange. What Congress and President Obama seem not to grasp is that regardless of tax policy, the underlying issue for our economic situation is spending, specifically our affinity to borrow money to pay for spending beyond revenue.
No matter what the Presidential Budget Commission recommends with regard to taxation, a value-added tax (VAT), a broader-based income tax with few exemptions, or a switch to a consumption-based tax system, the Federal Government has an addiction. That addiction is to spending taxpayer money.
Whether it is funding for our imperial efforts to expand the American reach across the globe in the name of democracy and fighting terrorism, to continue to fund Medicare, Social Security, and other entitlement programs, or a variety of other government programs, substantial cuts to spending MUST crop up in the debate over how to “right the ship.” The addiction to spend is not a Democrat problem, and it is not a Republican problem; it is a bipartisan problem, and the only answer lies in a nonpartisan solution to break the addiction.
I understand that there are significant obstacles to breaking any addiction, and the Federal Government committed funding to many people and programs. Currently, we are at a point that difficult choices must be made NOW to avoid necessary, drastic, and clumsy choices when the funding is no longer available.
Let’s face it… Trillion dollar deficits are NOT a part of a functional government. Why did we “plan” to spend over $3 trillion in 2009? Why did we “plan” to spend just over $3.55 trillion in 2010? Both years, taxpayers only funded slightly more than $2 trillion of those budgets.
How did the “Bush tax cuts” extend? In a bipartisan deal, where the Republicans continued the tax cut, and the Democrats continued the spending, both “sides” won. Republicans “won” a two-year extension of the cut, while Democrats “won” with a continuing resolution to fund the government at its current spending rate through the end of the fiscal year, an extension of unemployment benefits and several other “goodies.” A list of the proposed provisions can be found here. The loser, who is without an active voice in the debate during a lame duck session of Congress, is the American taxpayer.
The problem is not that the Democrats spend too much. The problem is not that the Republicans spend too much. THE PROBLEM IS THAT NO ONE HAS THE GUTS TO FACE THE ACTUAL PROBLEMS AND SOLVE THEM, MAKING DIFFICULT CHOICES. A true leader CAN do that. A true leader SHOULD do that. A true leader WILL do that.
That raises the question, “Who are those leaders?”