Fiscal cliff deal: A slap to the face of taxpayers
January 1, 2013 4 Comments
Among those who believe, as I do, that Washington’s problem is excessive spending rather than insufficient revenue, the fiscal cliff deal is the equivalent of a smack in the face. Our position—that government undertakes too much and consequently, spends too much–is premised on the Constitution, and specifically, Article I, Section 8, which details most of the federal government’s responsibilities, and of course, the 10th Amendment, which (theoretically) restricts the feds’ authority.
Unfortunately, the Tenth Amendment has been utterly ignored for decades. If it were to be enforced, as it should be, at least a dozen federal departments would be abolished, saving the taxpayers hundreds of billions –perhaps trillions–of dollars. (Math is not my forte.) Imagine the tumult and mass hysteria that would arise if, starting tomorrow, the authorities decided to scornfully cast aside the First Amendment (freedom of speech and the press), just as they have the 10th. Are we to pick and choose from the Bill of Rights, keeping some amendments while discarding others?
The details of the fiscal cliff agreement are highly distasteful. The payroll tax, for instance, will increase by 2 percent. What does that mean? Well, it means the Davenports will be bringing home about $1,200 less per year. (Many of you will take an even bigger hit.) A $1,200 decline in the Davenports’ income does not mean we will have to apply for food stamps, but it’s the principle of the matter: we are asked to believe the preposterous notion that the federal government needs that $1,200 more than we do (and that the feds will use it more efficiently than we would).
Other aspects of the deal will impact yours truly only indirectly, but they are equally obnoxious. For instance, families making $450,000 and more will see a significant tax increase. I have never made even one fourth of that amount, but I understand economics well enough to know that “sticking it to the rich”—the mantra and lifeblood of the Democratic Party—is precisely the wrong approach for the economy; furthermore, it is morally repugnant. Among liberals, envy is not only commendable; it is also a winning political philosophy.
The deal also extends unemployment benefits for 2 million of our fellow citizens. This, too, is morally repugnant, for reasons that used to be obvious. In the modern era, perhaps it needs to be spelled out: If people are paid to engage in sloth and indolence—to sit at home and watch Family Feud– people will engage in sloth and indolence.
Finally, the estate tax, which should not exist in the first place, increases from 35 percent to 40. Here’s the scenario: Suppose Mr. Smith works hard for decades, and at his death, leaves behind an estate worth $5 million for his sons and daughters. That property rightfully belongs to the Smiths, does it not? Well, no, not according to our elected representatives: the feds will seize 40 percent of Mr. Smith’s estate. In any other context, this would be called “theft.”
The highly-touted “balanced approach” insisted upon by Obama and his acolytes entailed not only “additional revenue” (more money from your pocket), but also spending cuts.
So, what are the cuts? There are none. Oh, but don’t worry! The cuts will come later. (Haven’t we heard this before?)
We would expect such a “deal” from liberals, but the so-called Republicans who support this atrocity should resign in disgrace, to be replaced by men and women of principle.