The American people have, once again, been screwed by their elected representatives. A concoction of lies, false promises and unrestrained spending passes for a “compromise” solution to a real problem. The government spends and promises too much year after year. The debt ceiling deal continues this tradition unchanged.
So what went wrong this time? Shouldn’t we be happy there were no obvious tax increases in the “compromise”? I don’t think so. In fact, I think the Tea Party and the Republicans blew it this time by not joining the Dems and asking for massive new taxes. Now, just hear me out.
The argument made by Dems is that there would be “massive pain and suffering” if valuable government programs were cut, so just raise taxes on the “rich”. The Reps demanded spending cuts and said the economy would suffer if taxes were raised. So what happened is what always happens. The Dems promised candy and the Reps promised ipecac. Guess what sways voters? Not discipline. Not logic. Avoidance of pain is a more powerful persuader than disciplined reform. So what’s to be done?
What about the Reps one-upping the Dems and demanding tax increases large enough to match the current yearly deficits? If these tax increases were a flat 10% of all economic activity, hitting rich and poor alike, no exceptions, then it would theoretically raise the $1.5 Trillion needed to pay the year’s deficit. The tax should be called the “Political Irresponsibility Tax” or “Obama’s Social Services Tax” or something. And this is important: The tax should be collected in cash, not withheld. Every citizen should be required to cough up the tax each year. Would that be painful? You bet it would. Would citizens question its value and necessity? Of course, that’s what we need and want.
We need citizens to suffer the actual consequences of the out of control spending. Currently nobody can summon up an image of the useless government programs financed by deficit spending. But a $5,000 to $10,000 check written to the IRS each year might focus their attention to reality. Only then will Washington’s drunken binge be brought under control. And, furthermore, we could call this a bi-partisan solution.