Friday, April 15, 2011

Congress Still Stupid, News At Eleven

I think it's no coincidence that our political masters have moved the tax filing deadline to mid-April--as far away as possible from Election Day. This is because the last thing these jerks want is for us to be thinking about how much their stupid proposals cost us!

Take this almost ten year project in Afghanistan, which has benefitted our taxpayers to the tune of about nothing. Or the "stimulus" plan of 2009, which "stimulated" me into a fiery rage over nearly a trillion dollars spent just so Congressional clods can go back to their districts and brag about the federal largesse they're spreading around. (Even craven Republicans who voted against the damn thing went home to take credit for the money they steered there!) Take unreformed (and unlikely to ever be reformed) entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, which now pay wealthy seniors out of the tax dollars of the working poor (the payroll tax, unlike the income taxes, hits all incomes equally). But of course the cashier at Wal Mart who's trying to decide whether her family gets heat or new sneakers this year should have to continue to subsidize Aunt Franny's trip to Europe! Don't worry about that changing, the Florida delegation will keep that constant, and you can bet a weasel like Obama will never take a stand on that mess.

The fact is, it's a myth that most Americans object to the amount they pay in taxes each year. When questioned, you see that it isn't so much the percentage of their income that they object to, but rather it's the fact that they don't feel the money's being well spent. Liberals will (rightly) complain about overspending on war and defense, and conservatives will (rightly) complain about domestic spending being out of control. Defense, Social Security and Medicare are collectively a majority of the federal budget, and these are also the sacred cows that no snivelling politician will ever touch. Instead, they promise to eliminate "waste", as if "waste" were an actual line item on the budget (making you wonder why previous Congresses kept voting for "waste"!).

There is, actually, "waste" in the aforementioned sacred cows (apologies to any Hindu readers, but it is an apt metaphor). If our military's scope was more carefully defined, if we weren't maintaining operations overseas at the drop of a hat, if Social Security and Medicare were reformed to provide more a safety net with greater incentives towards thrift, much of the waste in the system would be wrung out.

Would taxes have to go up too? Probably, and definitely if the spending could not be brought down to a low enough level to meet our revenues. But Americans could probably stomach a tax increase a lot more if they had more faith in the clowns handling their tax dollars.

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