We have to do better

I wrote this last August. I hope you still find it relevant.


For the last 25 years, we, the American people, have been sold a bill of goods. The pitch, on one level, appeals to our natural sense of right and wrong. We’ve been told that we pay too much in taxes. We get taxed in the morning. We get taxed as we drive to work. We clearly get taxed on the money that we make it work. We come home and we kiss our spouse. We get hit with the marriage tax. As we make our way to the kitchen we trip over toys that we bought for our kids and of course, those toys were taxed. We get taxed morning, noon and night. Finally, when we leave this earth, we get taxed again with the death tax.

We’ve also been told that our government is not to be trusted. If you give money to the government it is almost equivalent to flushing the money down the drain. Some of our elected leaders have gone so far as to say flushing the money down the drain is actually a better use of the money. The take home lesson is our government is wasteful and we get taxed to death. Cool story. Unfortunately, reality is different than this fantasy world. This week, in my opinion, we saw clearly the result of 27 years of cutting government programs and government spending. The evidence has been all around us but we’ve refuse to see it. Our infrastructure is crumbling around us. We’ve invested almost nothing in our schools, roads, government buildings, levees and, of course, bridges.

As I’ve pointed out in my book, A Letter to America, taxes are like membership fees to an exclusive club. The United States of America is the club that we belong to. Our club used to treat us like exclusive members. If you work hard in school you were almost guaranteed a job for which you can be well-paid. You could be secure in the knowledge that you would have this job until you retire. Once we retired we had a generous pension that made all those years of work, pain and suffering, worth it. Well, like any club, when you reduce the membership fees too far, the perks that made that club special are now not affordable. (more…)