Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Tax More or Spend Less?

U.S., Wisconsin, Taxes, Economy, Quality of Life, Political

Do we tax too little or do we spend too much?

That is the real question but we seem content to permit our congress to avoid confronting that question in a direct manner.  Instead, our elected representatives pose for ‘holy pictures’ as being for this or against that, and most never really get to the real heart of the matter.

The latest commission has just rendered the results of its several months long process and it has created the firestorm that had been expected.  It would raise taxes by some $1,700 per person.  It would take the ax to defense spending.  It would raise the retirement age to prolong social security.

I have lost track of just how many such ‘commissions’ I have had the opportunity to listen to, but it has occurred quite often as we approach the debate over spending too much or taxing too little.

In thinking about this, I have to bring it back to my personal situation.  If I spend more than I earn, I have a real problem.  I can delay that problem’s actual impact by borrowing money (using credit cards, for example) and mortgaging my future.  I can do that until I have tapped out every possible source of additional money to spend…and then I have to face the music.

I suggest that it is now our time as a country to ‘face the music’.  We can continue the current charade, but we do ourselves a greater disservice by doing that than by facing the realities of today and tomorrow.

Our new government must take some very difficult decisions.  That may shorten the span of government service for some, but, at the least, they could hold their heads high as they left D.C. for their home states.

This is the time when true statesmanship must be on display, and this is the time when we citizens must recognize that we can’t simply continue down the path we’ve been on for decades without paying an ever-increasing price for those transgressions.

Rather than adopt the recommendations of the latest ‘commission’ (and there really isn’t any chance that will occur), I’d much prefer to begin a commonsense dialogue along the lines drawn by our own Paul Ryan.  He has a most thoughtful approach that gets us back to solvency, and does so with as little disruption to status quo as is possible.

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