04 January 2011
I don't wish to be a (TEA?-)party pooper, but the arrangement arrived at by Obombast and congressional Republicans can be likened to a winless hockey team: It stinks on ice. Yes, the deal preserves the Bush-era tax rates for all brackets, but that may really be part of the problem. Don't get me wrong: I'm no advocate of high taxation unless it's necessitated by extraordinary circumstances, such as the waging of World War II, but the circumstances are extraordinary, because our elected leaders have been spending non-existent money as if World War II were still going on. I've no doubt that maintaining the current rates will help (or, at least, not hurt) the economy in the immediate future, but Uncle Sam's drunken-sailor impression must be paid for somehow and sometime; rather than reduce our all-time-world-record federal debt, the "compromise" will (officially) add $858 billion to it, and thus nearly equals the cost of the APPA of 2009 (see the list of domanisms), which, at the latest reckoning that I know of, wasted $862 billion that the USA doesn't have. Wasn't this past election all about reining in government spending?
If we're to be prudent, we must begin to fill our ever-deepening cumulative budgetary hole, and that means that taxes must be raised sooner or later. (And when they're raised, they ought, in accordance with the Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution under which our country ostensibly is governed, to be raised openly on everyone. Let's have none of this "tax the rich" demagoguery that leftists always use to bamboozle the public into voting for them.) "Sooner" is preferable to "later," because, among other reasons, the fact that so many of the bonds that we've issued (as a form of deficit spending) are held by the People's Republic of China means that our current situation is a security risk as well as a fiscal fiasco.
It remains to be observed that Obombast might not be so much of a loser, in his negotiations with Republicans of the lame-
duck brained Congress, as his fellow Democrats think. He may have yielded on whether to include those detested upper-income earners in the prolonging of the tax reductions, but the lack of higher taxes in the Oh-God-Not-Another "Stimulus" could turn out to be to his or to other Democrats' political advantage. The current levels of taxation are in place for only another two years, i.e., until after the next presidential-election year; thus, should our emperor be dethroned in 2012, whichever Republican takes his place may have a choice between getting the blame for tax increases and getting the blame for unpaid debt. In my opinion, the Republicans ought to have simply allowed the tax cuts of the Bush years to expire, and Obombast to suffer the consequences.
Having said all the preceding, I have my doubts that the bloated US debt will ever even begin to be paid off, since politicians, fearing for the future of their careers, would rather do what's irresponsible than what's responsible but unpopular with voters. What did you expect from an uncommon commentary: optimism about the future of the USA?