by Daniel Gardner
Washington is killing America with unsustainable debt, burdensome regulations that depress business and hiring, and giving more and more tax dollars to wasteful government bureaucrats rather than letting people spend their own hard earned dollars to stimulate the economy.
It's not like we haven't seen this movie before. Economist Bruce Bartlett wrote in a Cato Journal article earlier this year, "The fall of Rome was fundamentally due to economic deterioration resulting from excessive taxation, inflation, and over-regulation. Higher and higher taxes failed to raise additional revenues because wealthier taxpayers could evade such taxes while the middle class - and its taxpaying capacity - were exterminated."
Progressives believe raising taxes will automatically raise revenue. Not so, and not only naïve but also completely ignorant of the history of how raising taxes on "the rich" has always failed to increase revenue proportionately. The saddest part of Mr. Obama's plan to raise taxes on small business owners? Not only will revenue not increase significantly if any at all, but many small businesses will have to layoff workers to compensate for higher taxes. So much for making "jobs" a priority.
Our debt has been steadily growing since the 1930s under both Republican and Democratic administrations and congresses. Washington careerists abandoned the Constitution decades ago in favor of getting reelected by creating and growing government programs not authorized by the Constitution that give money and benefits to constituents.
Washington has to borrow more than 40-cents for every dollar it gives in government checks to constituents. Those checks will have to stop if Washington can't figure out how to stop spending more than taxpayers can pay. Constituents dependent on government checks should realize "free" money is neither a right nor a guarantee under the Constitution.
In his book, "The Debt Bomb," Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) wrote, "The whole point of the Constitution was not to protect any particular branch of government per se, but the rights and liberties of individual Americans. If government grew beyond the scope of the Constitution, freedom would be limited by the burden of debt and regulation, which is exactly what we see today."
A few weeks ago a reader asked me, "Years ago, Rush Limbaugh talked about a law that automatically increased federal budgets by 10% annually and that talk of budget 'cuts' less than 10% were not really a cut. Is that still law?"
I've never heard of such a "law," but I did write to Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker (both Mississippi Republicans) along with Mississippi Congressman Gregg Harper (Republican) and asked them the same question. None of them have replied to me. Frankly, I don't expect any of them to respond because federal spending increases every year whether by law or desire of those who approve the spending.
If America has a debt problem (and we do since our debt now exceeds GDP and is growing at more than $1 Trillion every year) and if this debt is slowing our economic recovery and impeding job growth (last month for every worker who found a job, three workers quit looking for work), then why won't our representatives in Washington at the very least cap spending at last year's level?
I suggest you ask your representatives in Washington why the government increases spending year after year in the face of debilitating deficits and debt that are killing America. Please feel free to let me know whether you receive responses to your inquiries.