Musings from a lawyer in San Francisco as he tries to start his own practice and prepare for his first Ironman.
Monday, April 12, 2010
We Need People To Make Hard Choices, Not Throw Bread To The Circuses
Well, I suppose it had to happen at some point. After the ridiculous spending sprees of the of the Carter administration and the previous administration, that would be both Presidents Bush and Obama, our economic house seems to be in complete disarray. Thank you a much President Bush and Pres. Obama.
So what are we going to do about this? Are we just going to keep spending incredible sums of money and hope that people are going to keep buying our bonds, even though it appears that our rating is going to go down? Perhaps we'll just end up taxing everybody at higher rates?
Well it looks like the government just wants to increase taxes on everybody.
It seems to be a truism, that once you start spending money in Washington, you can't stop it for some reason. Every time we spend money in Washington DC, it creates an interest group and that interest group wants its money to continue. And whatever program, and I will bet to lunch at in and out that there is a group out there that has lobbyists ready and willing to make sure that that money stream never gets turned off.
I suppose that's part of the problem, but we just don't like to stop spending money. We start a program, thinking it's going to help people and pay off in the end. But then it really doesn't do what we hoped it would. And we start throwing money at it to fix it. But somewhere along the way, we forgot how to say you know what it does not work change our minds. Because somehow in our political landscape changing your mind has become equated with failure and defeat.
Then again, we start some programs purpose of helping people and we don't really take into account how the hell were going to pay for it. Case in point: the new healthcare law. the Democratic Party, in its infinite wisdom, pushed through a healthcare law for which this country cannot afford to pay. They did this because we were so tired of the Republicans running this country that we kicked too many of them out of Congress. So in a sense, we did this to ourselves. We as voters did not really think hard enough about what our votes really are going to result in.
This is really just a long-winded way of getting to what's bothering me today. And that is, the fact that we are faced with a president who's going to want to propose sometime soon, namely a proposal for the enactment of a value-added tax. Now value-added taxes, or VATs, have been around for a while. They're commonly used in a lot of other countries. A VAT as one reporter noted, is a sales tax on steroid. Now, liberals like to tax the rich, right? Well, how not so much the case when it comes to a VAT. A VAT is probably the most regressive tax upon conceive of because it affects everyone and is added on to everything that gets purchased. So that means pretty much everything, from food to clothes to widgets, are going to get hit with an added sales tax.
Think you like paying the 10% sales tax in San Francisco right now? Just wait and see if the added size 10 or 15% sales tax that the federal government is going to add onto the end of that. It's going to be fun.
You can only have guns and butter if you got the money to pay for both guns and butter. Ask the British Empire they manage to do it for about 10 years and then the wheels fell off. There were other solutions available for healthcare. The Democrats chose not. They chose to ignore the evidence. And as a result of this, or we are going to get hit with some taxes. Well, that's not true. A lot of taxes.
And if you think that the VAT is going to be a temporary thing but I suggest you look at your telephone bill sometime. there is an excise tax in in your phone bill that dates back to the Spanish-American war, which ended in a 1898. tax was supposed to be a temporary measure to help fund the war. However, Congress found it to be a nice full cash cow, reauthorizing in reviving the tax until 1947 when they just went ahead and made permanent.
But then again, when you run your administration solely on the basis of doctrine rather than pragmatism in reality, does it really matter that other people suffer so you can have your place in history book? Apparently to Pres. Obama, it doesn't.
We need to overhaul the system. We need to make cuts, because endless taxing and borrowing on credit from other nations is unsustainable at the levels at which we are doing. The systems that we put in place to combat poverty are not having the effect that it was hoped for. However, we cling to the systems as though they are holy cows was from G-d.
If recent history is anything to judge by, taxing and spending our way out of our problems are not working. The stimulus package has failed. The mortgage bailout program has failed. A healthcare plan is going to fail, not because its goals are bad or even unachievable said the money for it is simply not there.
We need to make hard choices. We need people in power or willing to do the right thing, not the doctrinaire thing. Otherwise, we will simply become tax slaves for the government instead of free citizens who are represented by government.