Presidential Hopefuls Oblivious to Fiscal Discipline
August 19, 2008
Senators McCain and Obama have been making their rounds lately promising the latest in this and the best in that, all the while talking about how much they promise to spend doing x, y, and z. Unfortunately, their inability (or unwillingness) to explain how to pay for all of their great ideas is numbing.
As the past eight years have shown, you cannot have tax cuts in a time of war and have a solvent budget, nor can you pledge $2 billion for space exploration unless you are willing to raise taxes or cut back spending on something else.
The candidates are playing the typical Washington game of making promises they can't possibly keep in order to gain votes, displaying how, despite their claims to the contrary, they are a continuation of dysfunctional government.
President Bush (41) found the truth in this when he famously backtracked on his campaign pledge of "no new taxes" only to eventually raise them once he realized what many elected officials, Republicans in particular, are oblivious to: things cost money.
It's a simple equation that for some reason very few seem to grasp:
Tax = Amount of $$ you want to spend / Amount of people paying
As the Amount of $$ you want to spend (social programs, wars, tax cuts, space program) increases, then so too does the amount of taxes that need to be raised in order to pay for all of these.
The current and historical model of spending more while taxing less is what has left our country financially broken and owned in part by foreign countries that have bought our debt. The easiest way to cripple our country would be for these foreign countries to sell their debt (think "shares") back to us, which would be the equivalent of a company having all of its stock dumped at one time.
A large portion of fault for this practice is the feeling of entitlement that many in the U.S. have; those that have forgotten what it is to earn and work for their rewards. We as a nation expect the best of everything without having to sacrifice for anything, and elect officials who are willing to tell us they'll give us the world AND not have to pay for it.
We encourage everyone to think of the U.S. budget the same way that they (hopefully) view their own finances – you can't spend more than you bring in and if you do, you are well aware of what happens.
In the meantime, when a politician promises you x, y, and z, make sure to ask them how they really plan to pay for it.