Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Our Money

The next time you see a picture in the paper of a Congressman giving local officials a federal government check for a water treatment plant or a new fire truck or a senior center or some such thing, I want you to remember one thing: It’s our money.

A lot of people get the impression that if Washington pays for something, it’s free. Local officials and groups are constantly filling out grant requests or lobbying their congressman to get funds for various local projects. If they are successful and get the funds, it seems as though the money is free since it doesn’t come from local budgets. But it’s not free. This is because the federal government doesn’t have any money of its own; the only money Congress has is money that it has previously taken from us in the form of taxes.

So it’s all our money. We are paying for that water treatment plant, fire truck, etc. even if the check comes from Washington.

We would be a lot better off to stop sending so much of our money to Washington and then having to beg a nameless, faceless bureaucrat up there to give us some of it back again. We would be a lot better off to keep that tax money right here at home and let local officials decide how to best use it.

Similar discernment is appropriate when listening to the discussion on federal tax law come January first. That’s when the so-called Bush tax cuts will expire, unless Congress acts to the contrary. The discussion that we hear in the alphabet networks is cast in the context of tax cuts being enacted by Congress if they extend the Bush era tax policy.

Reality is that if current federal tax policy is maintained in its entirety, i.e. the Bush tax cuts are all extended, the result will be that no one will get a tax cut come January 1. What would happen under that scenario is that everyone’s taxes will remain unchanged. Yet in hidebound left wing ideological minds, when taxes remain the same for everyone, somehow it’s a tax cut for the wealthy.

The current discussion on taxes come January 1 is not about cutting taxes, it’s about whose taxes may be increased! Obama and friends want to increase taxes on those making over $250K per year, that segment of the economy that includes many small businesses. He doesn’t tell you that small businesses create over 70% of all jobs in this country. So in an economy where unemployment is stuck at about 9.5%, Obama and the Democrats want to single out that segment of the economy that creates the bulk of all jobs for punishment via a tax increase! Unbelievable!

Another reality is that the vast majority of economists agree that raising taxes on anyone in the midst of a fragile, slowly recovering economy such as we are now experiencing is a very bad idea. Yet somehow this extremely relevant piece of information doesn’t get into the discussion when liberals talk about taxes. The reason is that it doesn’t fit into the their preconceived template on the topic of taxes, so it is simply ignored.

Left wing liberals think that the government owns all of your earnings, and if the government lets you keep some of what you earn, then they are giving it to you. Once again, it’s very enlightening to remember that it’s our money! We worked for it, we earned it, and it’s ours, including the high income earners. The government has no money of its own; it only has what it takes from us in taxes. When the government takes less of our money in taxes, we are simply keeping our own money.
It’s our money.

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