I wonder why no one ever asks the President at what point the country might be considered to have a spending problem. If we don’t have one now, what are the criteria that would persuade him that it had become true? I will concur that the President has no problem spending every penny of revenues and then some, with the assistance of Congress and the continuous spending resolution.
There is a discrepancy between revenues received and money spent or invested. Outgo exceeds income. Either there is a spending problem or there is a revenue problem. I gather the President and his fellow “whales” (in the gambler sense of the term) think there is a revenue problem. This is consistent with his goal to spend even more while claiming it will not add to the discrepancy, because the only ways that can be true is to either decrease current spending on something so the money can be redirected, or to acquire higher revenues. I just don’t think he plans to cut anything, but maybe he’ll fool me and gut the Department of Defense. I’d prefer to see the Departments of Energy and Environment go away, but I don’t expect him to cut anything, except the rate of growth of our GDP. And that will probably be unintentional.
For all that he says he wants a ‘balanced” approach, he cites nothing to support a contention that balance leads to a more effective result to grow the economy or create lots more jobs, or whatever he is after. Is it supposed to be “fair”? I would settle for “effective”.
Then ask yourself why you would vote for a liberal, or a “Democrat-Lite” conservative.
Liberals continue to beat the media drums for how “extremist” the Republican Party is. And surely, from where they sit, conservatives look as extreme as the liberals do to us. But we don’t need a Democrat-Lite Party. We need to offer a genuine alternative.
If we don’t believe in our core principles, why bother to claim to have any? And if we believe in them, why not insist on sticking to them and NEVER compromise? Every compromise is simply touted by liberals as proof we have no more interest in principles than they do. Both parties are currently considered as being committed only to getting elected so they can be the ones running the lives of the voters, while exempting themselves and their favored constituencies from onerous responsibilities.
So the beat goes on, and the beatings for every attempt to appear reasonable. Will we support amnesty of illegally-resident aliens? That’s only because we have no principles and are essentiually Democrat-Lite, in fact if not in name. Liberals re-define words all the time, and now they are re-defining the opposition party. “Republican” has come to mean either some variant of “evil” or, more simply, “ineffective”.
If conservative principles don’t create more prosperity for almost everyone, then let us find some principles that do. I believe that hard work and good character can be the foundations of some level of success, where success is defined as the degree of control you have over your major life decisions. When people make decisions based on their self-interest, even if the decisions turn out poorly, they feel greater capability to cope with setbacks. The government learning curve regarding poor decisions is always much flatter than the individual human one, so it is better to not depend on government.
Few people really want to tell other people how to live, day to day. The ones who do tend to go into government careers. Few people really want to be mega-rich. The ones that do go where the money is, either the government or the financial sector. We can’t guarantee that any particular “public servant” isn’t intending to become a “public overseer”, but reducing the power and money that government has to offer will make it a less attractive career option. Banking will still attract the greedy, though they will be in the minority, and you can change banks easier than you can go live under another government.
The fewer decisions made by government, the more there are to be made at the individual level. Government usurps people’s decision-making by first spreading the financial costs around to the entire society, and then demanding that those who pay for your mistakes should get to make your decisions. Cost-sharing sounds appealing when it is helping the less fortunate, but it requires at a minimum that they give up their options. A simple thing like basing welfare support on the lack of a man in the home has resulted in the breakup of many poor families, to their detriment. And over time, the relevance of men to a family has been so obscured that it is no wonder if men feel they have little place in our society, and care little for whether it or their fellow human beings survive.
Let’s show people a path forward, not through federal job-training programs, but through mentoring anyone who will allow us to. Let us all join “big brother/sister” programs and share our hope and optimism about the possibilities of the free market and small government. The liberals have taken over the schools. We can still reach open minds through volunteer groups. Reach out.
Unless, really, you don’t believe the fight is worth having. It’s the future, and you only have to endure part of it. But there are no other warriors than us.
The President is fond of pointing out that the math doesn’t add up on certain topics, where it serves him to pretend the problem is pure math. After all, math doesn’t lie. But just as guns don’t kill people (people do, and usually without using guns), liars exploit math to support their lies. It works because most people are neither mathematicians, nor interested in politics, They want the nation’s business to be conducted sensibly and honestly, and many have given up on getting that. A symbiotic relationship with government that mildly lined the political pockets is tolerable, though not preferable. Sadly, many politicians have become parasites who kill their host.
So the President claims that taxes have to go up, and that revisions to the tax law will do that. But he wants revisions that extract more money from people who have more money in the first place. These same people have access to a plethora of ways to escape the taxes by investing in government-protected loopholes. “Tax-free bonds”, anyone? They might be poor investments on their own merits, but tax laws make them more appealing. If nothing else, an investor might lose less by such investments than if he selected opportunities that brought in more money.
Since people have some amount of free choice, the government continues to tweak its legal infrastructure to get what it wants. I doubt it really wants money. It puts the money into exercising more control of people and their decisions. If it could have total control without the money, I suspect it would lose interest in the money.
So the fiscal cliff is about how the control is to be exercised. Conservatives, or Republicans, tend to think more revenue will be received from taxes if there are lower tax rates and fewer loopholes. Liberals, etc., tend to think that the majority of people are so selfish that few will care if “rich” people have to part with more money and will be (a) happy it isn’t them, and (b) maybe realize that the very rich are going to legally evade the laws through loopholes anyway.
Either way, government wants to control you. The fiscal cliff is a whole lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. Sure, some people will pay more in taxes, and it won’t be the rich. It will be small businesspeople who can’t afford expensive tax lawyers. It will eventually be the middle class, and even the poor. Sales taxes will increase, and people will buy less. Smaller sales volume leads to smaller production volume, and fewer people needed to support production. Fewer people needed means fewer jobs, and more unemployment, and more people giving up and leaving the workforce through early retirement and disability.
The fiscal cliff can be survived, and we will adjust. We will buy less, and make it last longer. Durability of goods will become important again, perhaps. But the government will not get the revenues it claims the law will bring because people have choices. And government shows no sign of slowing its spending, so its “need” grows.
The entitlement cliff, now, THAT’S a cliff!
The world is irrational, at least based on what we can see. The media shines light and focus on what they want us to look at, and like the audience at a tennis match, our eyes shift from one place to another, trying to follow the action. The more of us that show signs of keeping up, the faster the focus changes.
The media has told us for years that they are unbiased and that they are looking out for our interests. We want to believe that such people exist, so we can just live our private lives and not be burdened with watching out for impending disasters ourselves. For the most part, human beings just want to get along enough to be left alone. Most of us do not want to tell other people how to live, certainly not at weapon-point. On the other hand, we’ll compromise how we live so that others will be less unhappy. These tendencies are being exploited and expanded to our detriment.
Not only is the media now thoroughly infiltrated by people who have morphed from guiding the formation of our opinions by providing additional facts to people who insist on the precise opinions we may be allowed to have, at times going so far as to encourage lethal acts of violence against those whose opinions are different. Additionally, elected officials, even the best of them, think their job is to be a co-ruler of the people. The wranglings in Washington and at lower levels of government are over the details of what we can be told to do. Politicians do not often question whether they have any right or responsibility to issue direction to us. But the idea of America is not that we elect our rulers, but that we elect soldiers in the war to defend us against foreign and domestic government action. It doesn’t really matter that they compromise a little or a lot over the details, when the details are the least of our problems.
A friend told me that her biggest issue with government is that there are so many sources of information and none of them seem to be trustworthy. Who has time to go figure out what is true, and what criteria could they use to do so?
The most reasonable solution I see is to stop the federal government from doing anything that can possibly be done at a lower level. Too many people have asked the government for help and the government has vacuumed up power to be of help, generally without providing much actual help. Your federal representation is far away, but your state representation (i.e. in your state’s legislative body) is probably much closer. The county and city officials are closer still. It is easier to make the time to go down to city hall and complain or picket, than to go to Washington and make your dissatisfaction known. At the state and city levels, you are also more likely to find people who have similar views on what should or should not be enacted by the government.
Smaller government means less power concentrated at each level, thus attracting fewer would-be megalomaniacs who are either convinced they know best or just want the power trip of being in charge. No one knows what is best for everyone because people are not plug-and-play line replaceable units in the societal machine. We all suffer for the bad decisions we make, but if someone else makes the decisions for us, then we suffer also the loss of freedom, regardless of the decision itself.
What do we do? How do we do it?