Tax & Spend or Borrow & Spend? Or Reject the Premise?

I am very possibly of the minority when it comes to public opinion, but nonetheless in the mainstream with the opinions of the majority of credible economists. If there are tax reductions by Congress, it will in all probability stimulate the economy at least over the short term. A tax decrease would also be popular because taxes in and of themselves are inherently unpopular. That said, tax decreases will significantly increase the already troubling federal budget deficit.

There is an obvious nuclear military threat by North Korea. There may be a future nuclear military threat from Iran. Neither China nor Russia have ceased to build up their militaries. ISIS will continue to be a terrorist threat even if they lose territory in the Middle East. ISIS is not like Nazi Germany which could surrender. It is an ideology not a place. Terrorism is now a fact of life.

Federal help is needed to help disaster recovery in California, Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. More federal help is still needed here in Minot as a result of the 2011 flood. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are all presently on a fiscally unsustainable course. The nation’s need to upgrade infrastructure such as highways, bridges, railways and airports is obvious. North Korea, Russia and China are outpacing us regarding cyber war.

It is fantasy is believe that all of these important issues can be resolved by lowering our tax revenues. George H. W. Bush called such a plan “Voo Doo Economics” in the 1980s.

A very brilliant entrepreneur once told me there are two political parties in America, the tax and spend Democrats and the borrow and spend Republicans. Having a reasonable amount of debt in not a bad thing in and of itself, but with the exception of the high tech bubble in the 90s, America has been on the wrong track with the federal budget deficit for decades. Shall we blame the Democrats and Republicans for this or shall we blame ourselves for wishful thinking. Personal responsibility is what made this country great. How can our leaders level with us if we are not leveling with ourselves. Unrealistic thinking could eventually pervert the American dream. Daring to dream is very American, but action after a few wake up calls is what gets things done. How much longer will the American public believe in economic fairy tales? Are our leaders lying to us or don’t they know what the hell is going on? And how about us? We will get the government we deserve. The buck stops here.

Cover photo credit: Family Guy.

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Jim Maxson

Mr. Maxson is a retired Minot attorney, former ND State Senator representing Minot's 3rd District from 1986-1994, and former ND Democratic National Committeeman from 2000-2008. He speaks two languages, English and Metaphor, and is cursed by a long memory.

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