Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bush Proposes Anarchy in the U.S.

President Bush, speaking at a recent campaign event, said, "There's a fundamental difference in this campaign and campaigns all across the country about who best to spend your money. We believe that the best people to spend your money is you."

Ignoring his disturbingly bad command of the English language, the message itself is flawed. If the government can't be trusted to spend money wisely, the government should be dismantled (or perhaps run by volunteers and donations). In nearly six years in office, Mr. Bush has clearly not shown by example that our government should spend less.

If you believe that a government at some level is necessary, then the real questions become:
  1. What do we think the proper role of government is and what should it be spending money on?

  2. How much does that cost?

  3. What are the sources of revenue to cover these needs?

  4. How much money should be collected from each source and how?

If the government is spending money it shouldn't be, make that argument and convince us (and Congress) to cut that spending. Don't argue that taxes need to be generically cut, which will result in a general failure of the government to be able to perform any of its functions.

And, if the President truly intends to put money back in people's pockets, he needs to consider all of the consequences of his policies:
  • Calling something a fee rather than a tax does not reduce the cost to the taxpayer.

  • Cutting a service that the taxpayer will have to pay for elsewhere is effectively a tax increase.

  • Cutting a federal tax while forcing state and local governments to make up the difference is only shifting the tax burden.

  • Paying for our government with borrowed money does not reduce total taxes, it only reduces them in the short term, while increasing the total amount of tax money required to be collected over time.

Calling something a tax cut does not automatically make it good. Even if reducing government revenue is a goal, there are lots of ways to cut taxes. If one disagrees with a particular tax cut proposal, this does not prove that one is in favor of higher taxes, only that one is not in favor of reducing that particular tax.

So, Mr. Bush (and friends): Please be honest in your arguments and in your characterizations of the opposition. If not, there is a (slight) chance that somebody will actually call you on it.

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