Fiscal tax cliff? | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Fiscal tax cliff?

Posted: January 18, 2013 - 10:36pm

Whatever kind of agreement the Congress and the President come to regarding the looming “fiscal cliff,” it is guaranteed to be bad for the country. Preliminary reports on the negotiations call for $41 in tax increases in exchange for $1 in spending cuts among other disturbing changes in the tax system. It sounds like business as usual for the nation’s capital.

In the discussions in the last few months leading up to this point most talk centered around taxes and most of that concerned raising the taxes on the “very wealthy.” Even with President Obama’s standard on-going proposals of taxing the rich more, the revenue raised would fund the federal government for seven or eight days. Massive increases in taxes or confiscation of wealth of the “rich,” of which about 80 “Progressive” members of the House and Senate would love to see, would not close the deficit gap in a given year. At that point the country would careen into a depression with massive unemployment. Then what is Washington supposed to do to fund the on-going gravy train for the next year? And the next?

Spending cuts are hardly discussed and then it is related to only cutting the proposed increases slightly. I get tired of listening to “conservatives” and Republicans referring only in general terms about cutting federal spending. “Common sense spending” or “Limited government” are vague terms that one hears about or reads of in regard to fiscal discipline. Thankfully there is a benchmark regarding federal spending and regulation of our lives which most people ignore in this day. And that standard is the United States Constitution.

There are many today, in Congress, in the news gathering business, and otherwise who hold the constitution in contempt, saying it is an outmoded document, very quaint, anachronistic and out of touch with modern society. But I guarantee you if we do not get back to it we are doomed as a nation. I fear it is too late already.

There are too many departments, bureaus and programs emanating from Washington that are far beyond the scope of the authority the constitution gives to the federal government. One can look in the newspapers to see of grants coming into the region from Washington, D.C., for various projects or programs. It is endless. I have several file folders full of examples of Washington largess. How about keeping more of our tax money local so it can be spent locally to begin with without the bureaucracy in Washington getting their take.

So what do we cut or eliminate? We should eliminate departments such as Agriculture, Interior, Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, among others. Let Amtrak be privatized. Stop subsidies to favored businesses. Stop all foreign aid. Sell off federal land all over the country. Quit giving money to Planned Parenthood. Stop sending our military all over the world and involving ourselves in needless no-win wars. Bring tens of thousands of our military personnel home from Japan, Germany, Australia and Korea among other places.

The federal government is spending tens of millions to expand broadband in the country. Shouldn’t this be done by the communication companies themselves? How about at least cutting the budget of the meddlesome Environmental Protection Agency? They are the ones so concerned about the supposed haze problem of the mines. Net interest paid on our federal debt is around $233 billion for 2013 and projected to keep going up. That itself is troubling.

Jerry Shuster

Gheen