Mission Statement

Mission Statement: This blog is dedicated to both political philosophy and application to current issues based on the ideas of limited government, free markets, and individual liberty. Additionally, this blog strives to create an atmosphere where intelligent discussions based on the principles of logic, no matter the viewpoints expressed in their conclusions, are not only welcome, but also thrive.

To learn more, feel free to read the introduction and subsequent posts which explain the aforementioned philosophy and purpose of this blog in more detail.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Issues 13: Adult Budget Conversation

     In an article by The Wall Street Journal, they say that an adult conversation is finally getting under way about the deficit and that it happened faster than anyone expected, including me. I think this is wonderful, but the way the article is written brings to mind some issues that that I still have with the process.
     The article suggests that lawmakers are looking at it from both sides, reducing spending in the form of entitlements as well as raising taxes to increase revenue. I applaud this method, but as I mentioned in earlier posts about how to tackle the budget, those entitlements need to eventually disappear entirely. Any plan that does not do this only prolongs the issue and kicks the problem down the road to the next generation of politicians. I realize this is the more politically expedient method, but not by any means the most responsible one.
     Tax increases will almost certainly be a necessary pairing with this. However, I would not support one for an entitlement that is not planned to expire as it is paid off. For example, I would support a temporary tax increase tied to Social Security to help pay the debts we have incurred if and only if that is included with a plan for Social Security to phase out completely and the tax will do so in time with the program. This is the best way to begin a return to fiscal sanity.
     I found another post online comparing the difference between Maine and New Hampshire. One of the great things about our Federal system is that it allows comparison among the states to find a system that works. New Hampshire has lower taxes with similar or better results, but that is not my point. My point is the way that those freedom-loving people approach the issue of budgeting. Having never been blessed to live there, I will trust what the article says: citizens refuse to let their taxes be raised, believing that the money already sacrificed can cover necessary services. In turn, the politicians approach the budget by saying “This is the money we have, what is the best way to spend it?” This is far different from the attitude in Washington that says “This is the program that I want because I think it is good, if I can fund it, great, if not, oh well.” The latter is the foundation of the budget problem while the former is the attitude toward which all Americans should strive in order to have a sound fiscal policy that also delivers the services demanded of a government.

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