published Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

‘Cut down’ or ‘shutdown’?

For many years, our federal government has been taxing us too much — but spending too much more.

That’s why we have a national debt of more than $14 trillion.

Unfortunately, President Barack Obama and many in Congress are still insisting on spending more.

But on Friday, Congress will run out of borrowed, appropriated money for government functions.

If nothing is done to remedy the situation, there will be a forced government “shutdown” — although essential services will continue.

So, a “cut down” in spending has been proposed.

Under pressure, Obama has agreed with Republicans, in “general” terms, to make some immediate spending reductions to prevent a government shutdown. A Republican bill would cut spending $4 billion but keep the federal government funded through March 18. But Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi is criticizing even that.

There should, of course, not be a “short-term fix” but a “long-term solution” by responsible congressional action to eliminate much of the unnecessary federal spending and reduce some of the rest.

But because Obama and many in Congress refuse to face facts and act responsibly, they will assure us too-high taxes, too much spending, and growing national debt, which we will have to repay “someday,” and on which we will have to pay hundreds of billions of dollars in annual interest in the meantime.

Is this responsible financial “leadership”?

Will we keep re-electing the spenders and let them “keep on keeping on” doing the wrong things, digging us deeper into debt, damaging our economy and dipping eagerly into our pockets?

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nucanuck said...

How could the government be taxing us too much if taxes don't reach expendatures? If Congress agrees to spend,then the taxes should follow. Pretty simple really.

March 2, 2011 at 2:27 a.m.
nucanuck said...

L-4F,

Your elected representatives in Congress spend the money and whether or not you approve of it,you owe it and should be taxed for it.

If you don't like what they spend,elect someone else,but don't act like you shouldn't have to pay for what WE have spent.

The relevence of your blackjack analogy escapes me.

March 2, 2011 at 11:20 a.m.
holdout said...

Taxing too much means taxing to the point of causing the economy to slow. Lower tax rates lead to higher revenue for the government. Or at least it has through recorded history. Higher tax rates bring higher revenue for the short term and then it goes back down. If we could trust our elected leaders to take the short term higher revenue and use it to get out of the deep hole rather than continue spending at the current level it would be fine. The problem is both parties take their promises to stop hacking at us with axes as an excuse to use a chainsaw.

March 2, 2011 at 2:53 p.m.
nucanuck said...

holdout,

Taxing less than we spend creates a stimulus effect,but that must be followed up with enough taxation to create a balance. We have undertaxed the last thirty years arguing that lower taxes will pay for themselves through added revenue. Clearly the theory deserves it's name...voodoo economics. Maybe we should spend less,but we haven't so clearly until we agree on cuts we should pay for our spending.

We should have been taxed for Iraq and Afghanistan. We should be taxed more for medicare/medicaid or cut it back,but letting it fester is burying us in debt that is weakening the underlying strength of the country and is irresponsible.

March 2, 2011 at 3:59 p.m.
rick1 said...

We do not have a tax problem, we have a spending problem. Look at this report that was released by the GAO and what it is costing us. In a report that was issued today GAO found hundreds of potentially duplicative federal programs. Here are some highlights:

  1. Food safety: 15 agencies are involved in implementing numerous federal laws.

  2. Defense: Numerous redundancies in the purchasing of tactical wheeled vehicles, procurement, and medical costs.

  3. Economic development: 80 different programs spread across numerous agencies, often with similar goals.

  4. Surface transportation: More than 100 programs run by five divisions within the Department of Transportation deal with surface transportation.

  5. Energy: Eliminating duplicative federal efforts to increase ethanol production could save $5.7 billion each year.

  6. Government information technology: 24 federal agencies deal with information technology.

  7. Health: The Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs could work together – instead of separately – to modernize their electronic health records systems.

  8. Homelessness: More than 20 federal programs deal with homelessness.

  9. Transportation Security Administration: Assessments of commercial trucking overlap with another federal agency.

  10. Teachers: 82 programs that deal with teacher quality, spread across multiple agencies.

  11. Financial literacy: 56 programs dealing with financial literacy.

  12. Job training: 44 employment and training programs. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/02/28/dept-of-overlap-gao-finds-hundreds-of-duplicative-programs/

"Reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation could potentially save billions of tax dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services," the report said. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703749504576172942399165436.html

March 2, 2011 at 6:29 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rick,do you think these cuts make more than a symbolic difference? There is no hope of enough cuts to avoid tax increases. The job ahead will require lots of both.

March 2, 2011 at 8:42 p.m.
rick1 said...

I feel that potentially saving billions of dollars of year by eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation is more than a symbolic difference. The problem with the government raising our taxes is that they will not use that money to pay down the debt they will just spend it.

March 2, 2011 at 9:43 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rick,you may be right,but there is no solution short of tax increases. The hole is too deep.

March 3, 2011 at 12:09 a.m.
rick1 said...

nucanuck, please read this article and see how other countries corrected their debt problems by imposing strict limits on spending without increasing taxes. http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/564878/201103031851/Real-World-Cases-Prove-Spending-Restraint-Works.htm

March 3, 2011 at 7:52 p.m.
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