The other day, I took a motorcycle ride to my favorite overlook on the Foothills Parkway, which runs along the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near my home in Maryville, TN. As I lay sunbathing, I had a brief but poignant conversation with an older woman who had some troubles she wanted to talk about with a perfect stranger. Not that I’m perfect mind you, but I accomodated her and listened. She then joined in with a political discussion involving her husband, with whom she was traveling, and another couple. The female in the other couple made some kind of comment about waiting for Presdient Obama to solve her problems, and I chimed in “don’t hold your breath.” All laughed, but she made a sharp comeback about the evils of Republican politics. I withdrew and simply listened. That is the point of this piece today.
My conversationalist’s husband made the point that the national debt could be solved if the federal government merely dedicate one penny from every dollar of federal spending to paying it down. The liberal female kept talking over and over about tax hikes on businesses, using the terms “corporate welfare” and “closing loopholes” over and over again. I’ve heard those terms repeatedly and decided to investigate what precisely they refer to. It turns out that most refer to accelerated deductions for expansion and R&D by cutting edge energy and drug companies. This to me is sound tax policy, but that’s not the point today.
The point is that all this woman could talk about was singling out a segment of society — business — and calling for tax hikes. She was simply pounding away at talking points, and not interested in consensus. While my conversationalist’s husband was calling only for spending cuts, the key is that they were across-the-board – a penny from every dollar of federal spending, whether paid to Social Security recipients or defense contractors. Our society is split 50/50 between liberals and convervatives, and we will never agree which element of society should suffer the increases in taxes or cuts in spending to balance the budget and pay down the debt. We can’t even agree on tax reform. Across-the-bopard surtaxes and spending cuts are the only way to go. The debt and deficit are national crises. If we continue to argue who should bear the brunt of the solution, we will go bankrupt before we address the problem. So let’s agree to disagree, and increase taxes and cut spending across-the-board. It’s the only sure cure, and the patient is quickly dying.
SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.
Debt: $17.425 Trillion
Deficit: $638.106 Billion
Interest: $251.319 Billion
Unfunded Entitlements: $128.161 Trillion
THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT. GOD SAVE OUR PRINTING PRESSES.