by Melissa Clouthier | October 1, 2008 11:02 pm
What if Ronald Reagan was wrong? He championed supply-side economics and through his policies created deficit spending. (And yes, I acknowledge the trade-off of bringing down the Soviet Empire was worth it in the near term, but what did that action create in the long-term?)
It seems self-evident that tax and spend is wrong. The Democrats simply want to redistribute wealth, from those who work to those who don’t.
It seem equally evident, now, that tax and borrow is wrong. Which came first? An American culture where people lived beyond their means or a government whose policies encouraged and enabled living beyond one’s means? It doesn’t matter now, because way too many Americans, possibly even a majority, are too used to being a recipient of government largesse. And many expect more–the Baby Boomers face retirement and drawing Social Security, after all.
Perhaps this greedy impulse and irresponsibility indicates a moral shift where people seek to avoid paying their own way. This is profoundly un-American where self-reliance was a founding principle.
Perhaps people raised with a sense of entitlement cannot fathom going back to living with restraint–no one likes being told “no”. The reality is that many things Americans expect as a need, is a want. The “working poor” we hear so much about have their X-Boxes and iPhones and video games and digital cable. These ARE NOT NEEDS. They are wants. Food is a need. Indoor plumbing is a need. Water is a need. A roof over the head is a need. Clothing is a need.
And another thing: Democrats make no secret that they believe big government is the solution. Barack Obama wants more early childhood education. He wants less military spending and more health care spending. He wants the government to regulate and control nearly everything. He believes that government is good. He wants taxes by “the rich” (aka you) to pay for his pie-in-the-sky programs. He dreams big and believes that redistributing money is “fair”.
Republicans, in contrast, say that small government and a strong private sector is the solution while they increase all sorts of gluttonous spending. It is hypocritical and it is what outrages fiscal conservatives. It is what many conservatives consider Democrat-lite.
And this current bill, the one the Senate just passed, feels like enabling this greedy behavior. People who have lived within their means won’t be bailed out. People who bought homes conservatively, who didn’t jump at teaser rates, don’t want their taxes to go to people who felt entitled to live large.
This is harsh, but average Americans who have played by the rules, want some pain. People who have been stupid–those who took more loans than they could afford and the banks who gave it to them and the government who facilitated this nonsense–should pay a price. It’s usually called bankruptcy.
A consequence of this mess is that people who have played by the rules, who do deserve a line of credit can’t get one. Businesses that rotate through a line of credit to maintain stock, for example, can’t get money and can’t do business. Other people can’t get loans now. So a car dealership isn’t selling as many cars because many borderline people can’t get loans. This is going to cause the economy pain.
Pain all around. But should the pain be avoided? If we avoid it now, does it just prolong this indulgent, selfish American behavior? Some people, in fact many people commenting and writing and talking to me, think so. Many believe it’s a time for pain.
And right now, the Democrats are looking more honest. People know what to expect of them–no matter if it’s tax and spend. Republicans preach small government, low taxes but that’s not what they’ve been practicing.
If the House Republicans ignore this swell among the populace, they will pay. Americans, especially fiscal conservatives, are outraged. I have never heard such vitriol and frustration. It seems to be conventional wisdom that businesses start, grow and survive living on credit. Ditto individuals. But is that right?
America has morphed into a debtor nation while still making people pay egregious taxes. It’s the worst of all worlds. Everyone, starting with the government, needs to live within their means.
Cross-posted at MelissaClouthier.com
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