by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny
I am bracing for criticism from the far right as well as from the far left. Of course the criticism will be for different rationale, or reasons. The right will likely view the following as a sell out, a unnecessary compromise. On the other hand the left will no doubt call it hypocritical as they will make the case it strays from Randian objectivist principles of rational self interest. Both will be wrong. What each side fails to recognize is that reality will ultimately exact it's price for bad decisions made as well as for good decisions not made. Reality is blind to ideology.
The "No New Tax Pledge" pushed by Grover Norquist and signed by many republicans is nothing more than taking the reasonable and pushing it off the edge of a cliff to nowhere. Reality will, as it always does exact it's price.
Government, in the case of the USA means a limited constitutional government as defined and devised by the founders of our democratic republic. It is of course the ideal as history has amply demonstrated. At least for those "with eyes to see."
As our nation has grown, expanding in size and depth the infrastructure to support the growth has exceeded anything imaginable in 1787. Therefore, it stands to reason the need for tax revenues to fund the expanded infrastructure has increased exponentially over the past 2.3 centuries.
The difficulty today seems to rest in determining precisely what it is that the government ought to be funding in the 21st century. There are indeed many budget items that can be trimmed, from defense to entitlements to subsidies and really everything else in between. There is little doubt but what opportunities exist for cuts in our federal budget. It is also true there can be little doubt but what people, and this goes for business as well, will need to rethink the proper role of government in their lives. Because folks, sooner or later reality will arrive and exact it's price for all our excesses.
Our government, Leviathan as I like to call it, has no doubt grown too large and therefore excessively intrusive. Shrinking the size of our federal government and returning greater control to the people to run their own lives and businesses, thereby giving them greater liberty, should be the goal. And I believe it is what most people want, on both sides of the aisle.
Our problem is we have done nothing on either side of the aisle to regain some fiscal sanity. Simply put we need to do something, to make some decisions. Decisions that ultimately results in paying down our national debt and balances our budget annually. Failure to do will result in reality exacting a very painful price when it comes calling.
I am a strong proponent of wrapping out minds and arms around our spendthrift nature and propensity for living off the national credit card. Classical liberals, aka conservatives understand that individuals, businesses, and government cannot spend more than they are bringing in indefinitely or sooner or later the bridge that in essence is leading to nowhere will collapse. Reality always catches up to you, that's a fact.
We live in a democratic republic. Our representatives are elected by none other than... We the People. As such our representatives are accountable to us, and ultimately we are accountable for the representatives we elect to represent us. By extension this means we are responsible for the decisions they make, or don't make on our behalf. As provided for my our founders we have the ability, indeed the responsibility to fire the representatives that fail to act in our interest.
For us, (We the People) to effectively manage those we elect to represent our interests requires educating ourselves on the issues, remaining vigilant in holding our representatives feet to the fire, and taking decisive action to replace them every two, four, and six years when they fail to preform.
Now back to my original purpose. Yes, we need to control our profligate national sending and only a fool believes otherwise. We must also decide the priorities we as a people want our government to spend our money on, and at the end of the day if the "things" we want exceed the revenue stream (taxes coming in) we will have no choice but to increase dollars coming in to the federal treasury.
This is why the pledge not to raise taxes is foolish. It is just as foolish as to pledge never to reduce or cut spending when it is obvious reductions in expenditures can be made. The bottom line here folks is we simply cannot continue to live off the Nation's Platinum Card forever. The books must be balanced. If we are not willing to trim the goodies we enjoy, or give up the size of our Military Industrial Complex then we best be ready to cough up the extra dough. If we don't reality will exact a by far more painful and debilitating punishment than cutting spending or raising taxes.
Look at the reality of the past twenty five years and note the lies we have been told by the politicians.