Our government has long made us pay so much in taxes, fees, fines ($300 for walking my dog off-leash in an empty park?), etc for labyrinthine, wildly overlapping and redundant government bureaucracies, billion-dollar non-responses to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, wildly bloated space programs, and boondoggles like bridges to nowhere, $85 hammers, billions in Medicare and other fraud, government "businesses" that despite massive spending, go bankrupt (e.g., Amtrak, the Post Office, Medicare, and Social Security). And don't get me started on the endless pork-barrel spending: for example, The Big Dig, which cost you and me $14.6 billion to move a 3.5-mile road underground. (Tip O' Neill got it funded while he was House Speaker.)
Incomprehensibly, the waste of our money is accelerating, which can only mean higher taxes and/or printing more money, which endangers our future. We're broke and if China calls in our debt, we're finished). Especially at risk will be our children and grandchildren. And lest this sound like catastrophizing, a bond rating agency in China has already lowered the U.S.'s credit rating!
If you had control of your tax dollars, would you spend on these current mammoth-ticket items that the people you've elected are now spending your money on:
- A trillion dollars to invade and try to prop up a developing nation,Iraq.
- Enormous sums to do the same in Afghanistan.
- "Investing" in alternative energy schemes that have been rejected by every energy country in America. If such investments had a reasonable chance of paying off, even if it took a decade, at least one leading company would invest in it. Yet, with our tax dollars, the government chooses to invest in these "sloppy seconds," which the working and middle class, which pays the most painful share of taxes, wonders how they'll find the money to pay the rent. Examples: solar energy, without tax subsidies would die because they're simply never going to be cost effective. Another example: ethanol. The government gives huge taxpayer-paid subsidies to corporations like Archer Daniels Midland to grow more corn for ethanol, which lowers our gas mileage, gums up our engines, and, net, saves no energy. (Not to mention drives up food costs worldwide--which most affects the poor and starving.)
- Extending unemployment checks to 99 weeks, almost two years. Nearly every one of my career counseling clients who are on unemployment admit that each extension demotivates them from looking for work.
- The $814 billion "stimulus" package. President Obama promised that the unemployment rate would not exceed 8 percent. Well, 18 months later, it's 9.5%, and at least double that if you count the people who have become so discouraged that they're not even looking for work. And the percentage of people who are underemployed is additionally enormous. And liberals speak of the need of yet more tax dollars for Son of Stimulus?! That stimulus would, yes, rebuild some roads. But again, with so many people un- and underemployed, worrying about how they'll pay the rent, the government wants to take their money and repave a road, or as one Midwesterner said, "Replace an old traffic light with a new one?"