It’s our money dill-hole.
Remember Peter Orszag? You know…the director of the Obama White House Office of Management and Budget that skipped town after realizing that he was about as useful in fixing the economy as my six year old daughter? Well, he’s now one of the New York Times‘ esteemed Contributing Columnists. In his first Op-Ed, he argues that Congress should extend all of the Bush tax cuts for two years, and then dump them all permanently. In doing so, he presents the liberal position that has been thrown about for so long that it’s simply met with a shrug. In short: at some point, we need to raise taxes because the government needs to buy stuff…because, as we all know, buying stuff is fun; especially when it’s someone else’s money. I continue to find this logic absurd and worthy of endless ridicule.
I have to give Orszag credit on one issue that the “progressives” fail to acknowledge: ending the Bush tax cuts for anyone, even those evil rich people who have stolen all of their money from the rest of us without creating any jobs (that’s sarcasm for those of you who are new to this blog) would actually hurt an already crappy economy. It’s his next points that cause me great consternation.
Many conservatives are even worse: they’d make the tax cuts permanent for the likes of Warren Buffett, even though he’d prefer they didn’t. Making all the tax cuts permanent would expand the deficit by more than $3 trillion over the next decade.
Ah Warren Buffett…how I disdain you. You of statements like (and I’m paraphasing here), “it’s not fair that my secretary pays more in taxes than I do.” Look Warren, I know you like to look at the man in the mirror every morning and wax poetic about how gracious that person is, but you’re the one drinking fifty year old scotch out of a golden goblet. In other words, if your secretary is paying more taxes then you, then stop paying your lawyers and accountants to find ways to shelter your money…or stop paying your secretary so much. Plus, if you really want to pay more in taxes, feel free to write the IRS a check…I’m certain it won’t be sent back.
But I digress. My point is this: the only way tax cuts could increase the deficit is if the government DOESN’T CUT ITS OWN SPENDING. See, the government isn’t entitled to whatever amount of revenue it wants so that it can do rad stuff like give grants to scientists to prove cats hate showering with naked people or to prove global warming exists by cherry picking climate stats.
Let’s look at the facts. The projected deficit for 2015 is 4 percent to 5 percent of G.D.P., depending on whose assumptions you use. A sustainable level is more like 3 percent or lower. So we need deficit reduction of 1 percent to 2 percent of G.D.P., or about $200 billion to $400 billion a year by 2015. These figures are uncertain, but they’re the best we have (and they may well turn out to be too optimistic).
These are only “facts” if you’re Nostradamus. In other words, you need to know what the budget will be in 2015. Since there is no budget for 2015, you’re simply assuming it will be more or less the same as it is now. Why not assume that the government will decrease its spending in 2015?
The federal government, and those employed by it, decided long ago that they were entitled to whatever amount of taxes they decided were appropriate and that they found to be politically palatable. It began with FDR and his New Deal and Social Security and continued largely unabated through Johnson’s Great Society. Each time the American people were told the government needs more money for the betterment of society; except society never asked for it. So now we have Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid…and Obamacare. Liberal entitlement programs forced down America’s collective throat that amount to little more than theft.
Orszag asserts that Social Security needs reform…no kidding. Will it get the reform it needs? Well, being that the reform it needs is to, at the very least, allow Americans the opportunity to opt out of it and invest their money themselves, it’s not likely. How about Medicare and Medicaid? Orszag asserts that Obamacare has resulted in substantial savings to both programs. Considering the net effect of Obamacare will be to increase government spending, simply moving money from column A to column B and calling it savings seems a bit dubious, yes?
Simply put, our government has marched us slowly towards more and more taxes in the name of social progress. Now we’re told we can’t “afford” to keep more of our own money. Well, to that I say: I’m pretty sure we can. Plus, Warren’s willing to pay more.
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