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December 4, 2012

Neither party has the will to cut spending

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The Daily Star

---- — To Jim Broe and his family: If there is a better man or a better friend, we’ve yet to meet him. You always said more money can be made when a Democrat is in the White House. So, now’s not the time to be ailing. Get well soon, old friend! God bless you and Joyce.

Recently, Dick Rand and his family lost their barn and herd to a fire. It is a terrible tragedy, and you are in our prayers. God bless you in your time of need.

Nationally, we are facing the “fiscal cliff.” America is approaching the abyss! Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? We are staring into a vast financial chasm of immeasurable depth from which there is no return. Another Great Depression is promised, if we refuse to act.

Taxes will be raised on all Americans because, among other reasons, the Bush tax cuts will expire, and it will be the beginning of new taxes thanks in large part to Obamacare. Automatic spending cuts (yes, real spending cuts) will kick in, because of the 2011 debt ceiling deal. More than 1,000 government programs, including Defense and Medicare, will be affected.

Truth be known, the real hub-bub, the bull in the heifer pasture, and the flies in the fries are the true spending cuts that both parties fear more than a Rosie O’Donnell wardrobe malfunction.

As usual, President Obama and the Democrats want to raise taxes on the “wealthy,” who already pay more than their fair share. As William Shakespeare once said, “Much ado about nothing.” The revenue raised by such a gesture will be miniscule to the government coffers, yet very harmful to investment and job growth. 

Investors, aka the wealthy, are not stupid and they will simply hold their capital or invest it elsewhere. Besides, where will this pool of capital be better spent? Will we get more “bang for the buck” by businessmen investing in factories and new products or by some career bureaucrat in Washington perpetuating his job by more wasteful spending and ongoing trillion-dollar deficits?

As usual, Republicans posture themselves as wanting spending cuts, but the best we can hope for will be cuts in the growth of spending. Only in Washington is a spending cut not really a spending cut! It is just a cut in the increase of spending. Unfortunately, that won’t even materialize because money is power, and Washington will not relinquish an ounce of it.

Fear not, the Republicans will cave, as usual. Already, many Republicans who have pledged never to vote for another tax increase are yielding. They call it reaching “across the aisle” and “compromise.” Once, a man’s word was his bond. Sadly, politicians are a bunch of prostitutes, and I apologize for any offense to the “ladies of the evening.” I suspect they are a much more honest and trustworthy group, and more likely to give you your money’s worth.

Look folks, we’ve got a problem, and to kick the can down the road for another year or so is not the answer. We have a $16 trillion debt, and spend “only” $4 billion more per day than we are taking in.

Think about it! Every American born today already owes $225,000, and that debt increases every hour. What’s wrong with us? It used to be that parents would go hungry so their children could eat. Fathers and mothers would go without so their children would prosper, but not anymore! It is spend, spend and spend with no thought of waste or consequence. Is this a legacy to leave our children? We should be ashamed.

If Republicans in Congress had honor, they would stand firm. They were re-elected to hold the line on taxes and spending, and that is exactly what they should do. Give President Obama two choices.

No.1: Continue the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, and get serious about cutting wasteful spending, now! There are hundreds of billions and even a trillion that can be cut. Eliminate all farm subsidies, end ethanol completely, and relax emission standards on cars and trucks.

Stop funding “green” energy technology. If and when it will work, the private sector will do it. End the departments of Energy and Education and Obamacare. Stop regulating the coal industry out of existence. In addition, a simple 1 percent across-the-board spending cut in all government programs and departments would save more than $37 billion. Just 1 percent!

No. 2: Do you want to be the president who sent America over the “fiscal cliff?” You wanted to raise the debt ceiling in 2011. You then created this monster, now you deal with it! Bear in mind history remembers Hoover and Carter, not the speaker of the House and Congress.

CHUCK PINKEY is a retired area businessman. He can be reached at chuck.ontherightside@gmail.com. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board, but the author thinks they ought to.