Sunday, October 22, 2006

Who can spend that $100k best? Me or the government?

I have been thinking about the conservative idea about who could spend $100k better, me or the government. I made fun of the Southern Illinois Conservatives back before anyone read my blog and I don't think I'm going to be far off from that idea when I done with this entry.

I'm proud to pay taxes. The more I make, the more I pay, and the more I keep too. My tax rate, thanks to all you conservatives is way lower than it should be. This isn't 1980 with a maximum tax rate of 70% and long term capital gains at the same level. It looks like the rich through their various tax breaks are paying less than 30% in taxes (Munibonds and long term capital gains are big parts of this). I bet you the super rich are down below 20% tax rate.

The problem we have in the USA is the unlimited spending, borrowing and inefficiencies of the federal government. I'm not going into Illinois here, it is like picking on poor management at SIUC. So throwing more money into a bloated and pork barreled situation doesn't make anyone feel good.

The interesting thing about watching politics is the Republicans are no long conservatives by any measure. Smaller government? Less waste? More privacy? Less nation debt? More living within your means? Bush and the Republican Congress have spent like drunken sailors. Don't tell me this was started under Clinton or anything stupid like that. The children have been running the country without a babysitter.

One of the problems with all this spending is the results are terrible. We have the worst foreign policy in US history, biggest debt, and we haven't address any of the real problems facing us with all that money. Medical costs are a run away horse (but the Republicans gave away the farm to the drug companies), education is going down the tubes, prisons are filling and the baby boomers are passing their peak earning years without saving a dime.

The Democrats in the Clinton years were much better, but the real problem is that it seems this pissing away of the future is what a large number of American's want. Someone needs to reframe the purpose of being an American, what we have now isn't working.

Back to the idea of the $100k. After paying my taxes by the same rules as everyone else should I write a check to the feds for $100k more or give that money to the charity of my choice? Of course, I'm going to give it to the charity I like. What do I look like Mother Teresa?


Jonathan Bean said...


You mistake conservatives for Republicans. Some of us have been very critical of the Republican congresses and Bush for spending wildly on domestic and military spending. Haven't you been reading the WSJ these past years? Their editor, Bartley, just came out with a book blasting Bush and the GOP Congress.

As I show in my course on conservative thought, there are conservatives and then there are libertarian-business-conservatives. The latter have always agreed with your assessment Pogo-like that the enemy is us. We get what we want.

Spending may fuel inflation but the Bush tax cuts are piss in the pot of the revenue stream. Figure it out percentage wise. Of course, debt is another form of deferred taxation but I won't get into the economics of all this, it's too boring.

David Stockman said it best, after the failed Reagan Revolution:

"There are no real [fiscal]conservatives in Congress."

Why do you think they have switched to mushy "values" and social issues? They don't have the guts to cut. Then again, their staffers just paste together the 1,000 pages plus that make up appropriation bills. Do you think anyone reads those things?

Peter in Carbondale said...

Actually, I think that you and I agree pretty exactly on what a conservative is and is not. The problem is that the cut taxes and spend, cut civil liberties, push the 5 commandments (they don't want the other 5, so why push?) crowd thinks they are conservative too. I know they are "just Republicans," but I get tired of writing about people who can't read well enough to respond.

Thanks for clearing that up. It worries me that we might be in complete agreement about this. ;) Does that make me a conservative? I'm certainly more conservative (as you define it here) then any Republican in Washington.