Friday, May 7, 2010

Congress Once Again Out Of Sync With Americans

Heritage reports on the economy:

Last week, the President’s debt commission held its kick-off meeting. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a group of 18 lawmakers and policy experts, has been tasked with proposing a solution to the mounting financial crisis facing the United States government.

As we show in our 2010 Budget Chart Book, federal spending is on track to skyrocket as the population ages and more Americans become eligible for entitlement benefits...

There is a general consensus across party lines that something must be done to reverse this fiscal outlook. The debate lies in what to do. Advocates of big government and increased spending embrace higher taxes, such as a value-added tax, to control federal spending. On the other side are those who think the federal spending has grown too large already, and that spending is currently out of control. Increasing taxes further than their already-high rates would cripple economic growth.

Heritage falls in the second category and according to a recent poll from Rasmussen, so do the American people. Rasmussen reports that 69 percent of Americans oppose higher taxes as a mode to reduce the deficits. And when it comes to how we got into this mess in the first place, 83 percent of Americans say the size of the deficit is due to politicians’ unwillingness to cut spending, not due to a need for more taxes.

None of this is really new. But, what comes next is something I've not heard before that really underscores how vastly out of sync our elected leaders in Washington are with the American people. Check this out (emphasis mine):

In 2009, The Tax Foundation conducted a poll asking whether Americans would be willing to pay their share of the federal deficit, which amounted to $8,798, in order to balance the budget—81 percent said no. This sentiment appears to be enduring, regardless of the sum: in March of 2006 and 2007, the same question was asked using instead $2470 or $1,789, respectively. In March 2006, 79 percent said they would not be willing to do this. In March 2007, 76 percent of respondents answered the same way.

When asked by Harris Interactive in March 2007 if it was necessary to increase taxes in order to decrease the deficit, 71 percent of Americans said that it was not. This is in keeping with what the historical averages of taxation and spending show: as Heritage’s budget expert Brian Riedl explains, “…as deficits expand by 5.9 percent of the economy, nearly 90 percent of the growth will come from higher-than-average spending, and just over 10 percent from lower-than-average revenues.”

The stance of the American people is crystal clear, and as in most cases, they are spot-on. To reduce the deficit, the debt commission should look at ways to reduce spending, not increase taxes.

I will bet you almost any amount of money that Obama's debt commission is going to recommend precisely the opposite: raise taxes and increase spending. He'll hedge and put on a good show like he's really reluctant to do so, but in the end he'll 'cave' and attempt to do exactly that. Then he can attempt to escape responsibility for the ramifications, both political and real-world, by saying they recommended this course of action.

That's where we come in again. We've got to hold him accountable for his actions - just because they recommend it doesn't mean he has to do it. Also, we should frequently remind people around us about the massive budgets, takeovers of private industries left and right, and historically unprecedented overspending that Obama himself has pushed, each time over the clear protest of the American people. It's time he is held accountable for his failures, and for the failures he has thrust upon this nation.

Speaking of which, here's a perfect example:

Yesterday, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) told reporters about his financial regulation bill, “We’ve ended the ‘too big to fail’ debate. So no longer do I expect any argument to be made that this bill exposes the American taxpayer.” Really. Someone might want to tell Sen. Dodd that in other news yesterday, Freddie Mac announced that it lost another $6.7 billion in the first quarter of 2010 and therefore needed another $10.6 billion in cash from U.S. taxpayers. Since formally nationalizing Freddie in 2008, the federal government has already spent $50.7 billion bringing the Freddie bailout total to $61.3 billion so far. Combined with Fannie Mae’s raid on the Treasury, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the American people will spend $389 billion bailing out the two Government Sponsored Entities by 2019. So much for American taxpayers no longer being exposed to “too big to fail.”

But Dodd and the Obama administration would never allow [the failure of Freddie and Fannie]. It would defeat the whole purpose of this financial regulation bill, which is to transfer as much power to the federal government as possible. Never mind that these are the same government regulators who failed to see the last crisis coming.
Remember, Obama and many others in Washington had a direct hand in forming Freddie and Fannie, in feeding the corruption going on there, and in preventing any sort of reform that might have staved off or lessened the financial meltdown two years ago.

Who will hold them all accountable, if the voters of America do not? It starts with us, and it starts this November.

There's my two cents.

Related Reading:
High corporate income tax rate driving jobs overseas

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