I have been watching the political postering since the November elections, and the scene is becoming hilarious -- as in insanity.
First, there are those who say the message of the November elections was about runaway spending and the size of big government. They propose cutting taxes and slashing government programs to solve the problems. That is like asking a family to stop eating and turn off the heat to pay down the credit card bills. They will starve or freeze, but they will save money to pay the debt. Smart families in this situation know that the answer is more revenue. Reduce spending, yes. But starve and freeze, no. More income, and better financial discipline going forward will get them closer to solving the financial crisis. It doesn't matter how they got there.
Our government has the same problem. We need medical care. We need social security as a safety net for our seniors. We need education, and defense. We are stuck in two wars that our President is trying to end (circumstances don't permit us to simply walk away). And we are spending faster than we are collecting revenue because of the recession.
Second, the loudest voices from the Republican Party keep saying "cut taxes and reduce government spending" to get us out of this mess. That is like our family above saying that they should cut back on the hours they work when they cut of the heat and spend less on food. The answer that everyone is avoiding is that government needs to increase taxes (specifically on the rich who are fattening their wallets as they lead the way out of the 'jobless recovery' by watching their stock portfolios grow). The rich are not creating jobs. They are simply getting richer with tax cuts. Government needs tax revenues to deliver essential services -- police, fire, education, unemployment payments, and health care for the poor and needy.
Hubert humphrey said "...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped."
Guess what America? We are there. This is a crisis of conscious for our government. The massive cuts that are being proposed will only hurt the most vulnerable more than they are already suffering. The current course that the congress and the President are on will place them at the edge of a cliff. Will they throw the vulnerable off the cliff? Or will they stand up to the rich and pwerful and insist that they do what only they can do -- pay their fair share. Because they have unfairly benefitted from the poor decisions that got us into this mess.
In closing, I am glad that I am not an elected politician. The truth is that I don't know how I would handle the complicated negotiations that they must go through. I just know that from the bottom, it is clear that we cannot cut and save our way to prosperity. We have a revenue problem that requires a tax increase -- on those who can afford to pay -- to solve.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS