Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Let Them Eat Cake Regime

I can’t help it.

I think about taxes all the time. Income, sales, and property taxes. Energy. Excise. And estate. The social security tax, disability insurance tax--an alphabet soup of taxes--FICA, SDA SSI--and somewhere in the mix, a tax for Medicare. Escrow tax when I sell real estate. Food and liquor and cigarette taxes.

A myriad of government fees. The security fee when I fly, the registration fee for my car, license fee for my dog, building permit fee for a remodel, park usage fee when I want to hike, a driver’s license fee; the telephone usage fees for my home and cell phones. Hunting license fees. Fishing, too. Fees to register a new business. Fees for tanning. A permit fee to dig a well in my own backyard.

Not to mention bridge and road tolls. And a whopper of a fee for speeding down a (almost) deserted road.

When I am not thinking about taxes, I am talking about them. To my family, friends, to myself. And when I’ve exhausted my listeners, I write about the evils of, the history of, the effects of. Taxes.

We hear from the ruling aristocracy that we must pay our fair share. We are told there are needs government must meet and to do so government needs more revenue, which means higher taxes. We are asked to suspend our good judgment and believe that government is as good a steward with our money as we are, or at the very least, as good as our favorite charity. And yet...

In the midst of the "worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," Michelle Obama rents 60 rooms at a five star resort in Spain for yet another vacation, at who knows what expense to the American people. Mrs. Obama's office has refused to release the cost of the trip to the media according to the Los Angeles Times, but room rates at the resort range from $400-$6,500 per night and initial estimates (so far) are upwards of $250,000. The good news? CBS assures us that Mrs. Obama's many guests will be picking up their own expenses for incidentals, like "shopping in boutiques." Finally, according to the UK Mail Online the First Lady "will have enjoyed eight holidays by the end of the summer."

(Read the whole article:

And then there is Senator John Kerry, who according to the Boston Herald has "repeatedly voted to increase taxes for Americans," berthed his new 76 foot, New Zealand built $7 million yacht in Newport Rhode Island, effectively avoiding $435,700 in Massachusetts sales tax and $70,000 in annual excise taxes.

There is a pattern here. Do as we say. Not as we do. It is the kind of ruling class, let them eat cake mentality that has sparked revolutions, not to mention good, old-fashioned anger.

Quietly, out of the limelight we learn that it is possible to govern responsibly. We can see from the example set by Republican Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia and Republican Governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey that budget deficits can be eliminated while cutting taxes. But to do may require less spending. I don't know about you, but I am GOOD with that.

From an editorial written by Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal: "Already, the GOP victors in last year's gubernatorial contests are providing powerful contrasts to Mr. Obama's policies. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell erased his state's nearly $2 billion deficit without raising taxes. Facing a $13 billion shortfall, a hostile Democratic legislature and more than $7 million in negative ads launched against him by labor unions, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie nonetheless balanced the budget while cutting taxes."

With courage and determination, responsible leaders can correct the disastrous mistakes facing us. Without reaching further into our pockets with fingers sticky with cake frosting.

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