I can’t think of a better way to describe the federal government than to call it irresponsible. What else can you call it when it is in the condition it is in? In the first two sentences of this post, I have referred to the federal government as it, but that choice of pronoun isn’t really accurate. They, or them would be better choices, as the federal government is made up of individuals from all across our country. Maybe a better way of describing the federal government would be to call the people who comprise it irresponsible. How else can they be described, when those people refuse to take the actions necessary to end the slide we are on?
Take a look at some of the top political stories of the day. The Washington Times and Fox News both have stories about the report issued by the CBO yesterday. That report tells us what some of the consequences of the debate that is being enjoined about taxes, budget deficits, and spending cuts. Positions are being staked out by both sides. Lines are being drawn in the sand. John Boehner announced last week that no increase in the debt ceiling would be allowed, unless it was accompanied matching spending cuts. Harry Reid has had his own “never say never” moment, in which he let it be known that erasing cuts in defense spending would not be allowed, unless the Republicans allowed tax increases for the wealthy and corporations. Same song as last year, and the year before, and the year before, just a different verse.
Remember the great compromise that was reached last year. Actually, it wasn’t as much of a compromise, as it was a fallback position when nothing else would work. The Republicans let themselves be maneuvered into a position that forced their hand on cutting spending. The debt ceiling would be increased in increments, while automatic spending cuts would be put into effect, across the board. These spending cuts included cuts in defense spending. All the while, taxes remained high, with the Democrats wanting to raise them even higher. All the while, the fiscal can was being kicked further down the road, and closer to the fiscal cliff we all know may not be too far around the corner.
Here at Political Realities, I am in favor of lowering taxes. I will always err on the side of allowing Americans, both individuals and corporations, to keep more of their hard-earned money. When Americans have more money to spend, they usually spend, or possibly invest it. The last time I checked, spending money is what drives our economy. It makes the world go round and for that reason, I am in favor of making the Bush tax cuts permanent.
I am also a believer that being fiscally conservative doesn’t mean we need to cut domestic spending, while ignoring the monster in the closet that is defense spending. It certainly isn’t the only culprit, but to claim we shouldn’t be cutting spending in that department is to ignore the obvious. There is a part of our military establishment that doesn’t want this to happen, as it probably benefits some of their friends, but I can see no other way.
The reason we had the compromise of last resort last year is simple. Neither side was willing to budge far from their base positions.
The Democrats want greater spending and will always come down on that side of debate over fiscal policy. To fund that greater spending, they need higher and higher taxes. Even when they say they are willing to cut spending, those cuts never materialize. In the process, they ignore the fact that they are driving business to close, or leave the country, to escape such high taxation. Wealthy individuals or successful corporations need not apply.
The Republicans claim they want to lower spending, although most of them aren’t acting in a fashion that would convince me they are really serious. They also want to lower taxes, which I wholeheartedly agree with, but these lower taxes always seem to turn into an end-of-year political fight. If they are really serious about lowering taxes, why don’t they fight to fundamentally change the tax code and make lower taxes the norm, instead of the exception?
This is just in Congress. Must I go on to mention how President Barack Obama continues to divide our country by sponsoring class warfare? His war on the wealthy is second only to his war on companies who supply us with the energy that drives our country and our economy.
The fiscal condition of our country is not good. For the members of our government to think we can continue our current path is irresponsible and foolish, yet I suspect this can is about to get a few more dents. If the people we elect are acting irresponsible and refuse to do the right thing for our country, what does that tell us about ourselves? After all, we are the people casting the votes. We are the people who keep sending politicians to Washington who only perpetuate the existing irresponsibility. If we expect the members of our government to act in a responsible manner, then we are the people who must make that happen by our votes. To do anything less is the most irresponsible action of all.