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National Debt

The Trouble With Tax Cuts

  • October 12, 2008

    In election years, the promise of tax cuts are a dime per dozen and made so easily that it seems they will surely be a reality IF ONLY the candidate promising them were elected.

    Cutting taxes is an idea that everyone can get behind and is the easiest way to attract broad support since everyone wants to keep more of their money and owe less to the government, which is historically pretty inept at using it wisely.

    However, with a reduction of taxes comes a reduction in what we as a nation can afford in terms of both materials and personnel. Less taxes equals less money to pay and equip soldiers, fewer agents guarding our porous borders, fewer regulators to monitor banking corporations, and even less money to provide for unseen emergencies from weather related disasters to financial meltdowns to potential terrorist attacks.

    As our national debt surpassed the $10 trillion mark for the first time, our country has become a debtor nation where we as individuals and a nation grossly outspend what we bring in. Through easy credit and lax oversight, everyone from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, DC has lived and spent beyond their means and we are all collectively paying for it now in the form of our national debt and housing, credit, and banking crises.

    The National Debt Clock in New York, in a sign of how in default we are as a nation, ran out of number spaces recently and will be replaced in 2009 with a clock capable of displaying a quadrillion dollars in debt (that's $1,000,000,000,000,000) which, sadly, may need to be updated at some point in the future. Originally installed in 1989, the national debt was $2.7 trillion, and was even turned off during the surplus years of the 1990's.

    With such an astronomical level of debt, it seems ludicrous to talk about tax cuts when in addition to bailing out Wall Street at a cost of $820 billion, we are fighting a two-theatre war that is costing $16 billion per month and dealing with an economy in decline making the tax dollars coming in even more difficult to come by than usual. The state of California recently requested a $7 billion loan from the US Treasury to keep itself solvent as other states, too, find themselves billions of dollars over budget due to this lack of revenue.

    As the first President Bush found to be true, the promise of tax cuts can only be achieved when economic factors permit. While he took the unprecedented RESPONSIBLE measure of raising taxes to pay for the government's expenses (as any fiscal conservative should), such commitment has been sorely lacking during the past eight years, which is largely why we need a bigger debt clock today.

    To solve this imbalance, we need our leaders to re-implement the budget rules that helped bring about the surpluses that required balanced budgets and prohibited the excessive waste brought on by out-of-control government and pork spending (earmarks) that have proliferated in the past decade.

    With only a few weeks left until election day, remember that while most all candidates promise you lower taxes, unless they have a better and stronger plan to reign in spending, they are deluding themselves and the voters and will only lead our nation further into debt.

    Contact your preferred candidates and elected officials at all levels and ask them to prove that they are really ready to lead and outline their plan to balance the budgets they are responsible for and how they will cut the wasteful spending they contribute to.

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