Tuesday, June 30, 2009

“Taxation, And Excessive Borrowing, ‘With’ Representation”

With the Fourth of July coming up this week, it seems to be an apt time to take a break and see where we are right now. If you are long-term reader of Telemachus, you know we have covered a lot of territory over the past 4 short months.

Unfortunately, Chicagoan President Obama wasn’t kidding when he said he was going to bring ‘change’ to the way the nation’s capital does its business. With overwhelming majorities in both the House and the Senate, he and the Democrats have been running to daylight through the broken field of the Republican Loyal Opposition faster than Walter Payton or Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bears ever did.

We now have a case of more taxation, more spending and much more borrowing…and our very own elected representatives are doing it to us, not some aloof, effete King George III-type over in England! We elected all of them; no one forced to do so by gunpoint like in Iran; we sent them to Washington to do the ‘people’s business’…and look at what we are getting in return not for just the past 6 months but for the past 8 years.

Truth and facts matter, so since you are not getting it from Washington, the news media or the cable/radio ‘scream’ shows, you are stuck with reading ‘Telemachus’ for the rest of your life it seems.

We have been laying out a series of ideas and actual policy changes that should be made by our elected leaders instead of what we are now getting, all backed up with references and estimates from the CBO, OMB or other reputable sources of budget/tax and health care information. Our very strong belief is that:

  • Our federal spending is completely out-of-control;
  • Our increased reliance on deficit-spending and burgeoning national debt is dangerous and unnecessary;
  • Raising taxes is counter-productive to a growing, healthy economy and will not raise the funds needed to balance the budgets the way we are now going;

  • We need to convert all federal health care resources into a scaled-by-income payment system to help everyone buy the health ‘insurance’ they need to avoid being wiped out by a financial disaster caused by an adverse health outcome for a family member.

“But, hey, Mr. Know-It-All!”, some cynical wags have asked, “it is one thing to point out the speck in the eye of someone else but what about boiling this all down into some sort of political campaign language that can attract some attention?”

Most elected officials will never say what needs to be done for fear of unleashing the sword of Damocles over their necks from the AARP. We submit that we have got to take such radical steps so we can get this country back on track. If you agree with these proposals, tell your friends, neighbors and countrymen. Use them as a platform to run for public office yourself. Send the proposals to your current elected representative and tell them, politely, that you would like them to support these ideas as well….and if they don’t, you will run against them in the primary or general election in 2010, just 6 months away by the way.

If you don’t agree with these proposals, then find some other agenda to support. However, we submit that no other agenda or platform will get to the core of the critical issues facing us today. These ideas have been on the lips of legislators from both sides of the aisle behind closed doors in Washington for the past 25 years as “the things we have to do to get things right again”. (Except the first one…that just came up when the opportunity to present itself was offered by the massive “WPA-like” economic stimulus plan offered by Franklin Delano Obama in January):

1). Eliminate the entire US corporate income tax to free up the dynamism of the American creative genius and capacity for innovating new products and services. (see "No Corporate Tax")

Slogan: “Corporations Don’t Pay Taxes; People Pay Taxes!” (with apologies to the NRA)

2). Convert all existing federal resources in Medicare and Medicaid (and move any tax expenditure costs to the individual side since they will no longer be needed in the corporate sector due to the abolition of the corporate income tax noted above) to an income-based payment plan, scaled-by income and household wealth, to allow every family to purchase true health ‘insurance’ plans for themselves. (see "Jefferson Health Plan")

Slogan: “I would rather do it myself!” (with apologies to Excedrin headache tablets)

3). Raise the full retirement age for Social Security on a much more rapid schedule than current law to age 72 for people now under the age of 66; raise the early retirement age from 62 to 68 on a similar accelerated manner. (see "Social Security")

Slogan: “Your kids and grandkids will be glad you did!” (with apologies to Dial soap commercials)

4).Cut the national debt by half by 2019. (read any previous Telemachus posting, it seems)

Slogan: “Just Do It!” (with apologies to Nike)

We can keep on kidding ourselves and say we don’t need to do any of these things and only wind up in a way worse situation 5, 10, 25 years from now. 30 years ago, people in Washington assumed the American people would have the brains and gumption to force these changes into law long ago. Now, we don’t have any more wiggle room or time to wait to make these critical fundamental changes in policy.

In his Second Inaugural Address, Ronald Reagan had this to say about balancing the budget and bringing down the ominous deficits and national debt: “If not us, who? And if not now, when?”


His words will be as famous as the second inaugural speeches of both Washington and Lincoln when future historians look back and wonder what happened to the United States of America in the 21st century.

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