Copyright © 2009, Steven E. Houchin
Another April 15th, and another reminder that government is out of control: overregulation, inefficiency, overspending, overtaxation, over-unionization, and crushing debt. We see it in DC with ObamaBush and the Republocrats. We see it in many of our states, where taxes are massively higher, and government pleads such poverty that they’re unable to build roads or fund fire and police.
California is a perfect example. It has an income tax of 9.3% for people making $47,000 and up (i.e. the rich). Its sales tax rate is, at minimum, 8.25%. And … the state is broke, working families are leaving, and illegal immigrants are flooding in to take advantage of the generous welfare benefits. For the first time ever, California may lose a congressional seat after the 2010 census. Tax paying families are leaving faster then illegals can pour in!
Here in Washington State, we do not have an income tax, but businesses pay a tax on their gross income. No, not the net income … they pay even if they’re losing money. Our sales tax was just jacked up, with local additions, to 9.5%. And, of course, the government always insists it is not enough. Never mind that they massively expanded government over the last 10 years. I grew up in this state. In the 1960s and 70s, we built our modern highways, built the new schools for the Baby Boomers, and funded government with a 5.5% sales tax rate. Now, we’re facing an $8 billion budget shortfall in the next two years. Like California, we have become a one-party “D” state; no checks and balances. The ruination of Washington is likely a decade or so behind California, but seems inevitable given the matching political climate.
And then there’s DC (the other Washington, as we say). To the Congress and the Administration, we are simply a credit card they can run up, a flock of sheep to be sheared. [ After all, we keep sending them back after each election. ] Special interest money to fund reelection is paramount. Doing the right thing is rare. Obama lectures us to stop using so much credit to fund our lifestyles, chides Bush for running up deficits, but fails to see that his reckless spending plans are the exact same thing. Actually, he is worse: he’s not on the hook to pay the bill. We are. And this is a credit card we can’t cut up.
A friend sent a few great quotes to me recently:
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself. -- Mark Twain
I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -- Winston Churchill
In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. -- Voltaire
Oh, that’s right. It’s not overspending or reckless debt. It’s “investment”. Is this what they mean by government “going green”?
Never mind. I think I’ll go make myself some tea.