Sunday, May 30, 2010

Are we ready to cut the spending?

Are we are ready to cut the benefits we receive from the federal government? On more than one occasion tea partiers, when asked by reporters if their main concern is taxes or spending, replied "spending." Get control of the spending first. Then the taxes. Are they ready to reduce what they receive? Do they know what they receive? It is my order of priorities also. Get spending under control. Our Congress and President are not restrained by income or anything else. Any problem they will throw money at, even when it makes no sense. (Example of that: Social Security recipients get a cost of living adjustment every year. This year the cost of living was lower. So, be happy, things are cheaper. No. They wanted the increase they got every year. If adults had been in charge they would have said "Be satisfied. The cost of living is lower." No. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid got Congress to pass a $250 bonus. It makes no sense at all. If they were spending money they had it might be defendable. But they have to borrow in order to pay this "lower cost of living" bonus. Just recklessly throwing money at every situation.) Emmett Tryrrell of the American Spectator magazine thinks we have arrived at the point where people will start accepting the pain. On the side he has an interesting contrast between us hoi poloi and the intelligentsia. American Spectator WASHINGTON -- Owing to the promotion tour for my new book, After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery, I have been meeting with what the intelligentsia once called "the masses." They read books. They pay taxes. They attend lectures. Oh, and by the way, they are now a lot more prosperous and even more civilized than the intelligentsia, today's version of which are actually anti-intellectual and occasionally only semi-literate. The reason that "the masses" are a lot more prosperous and even civilized is that they have been participating in our free-market economy for years. It has made their lives easier, and they recognize it. As Arthur Brooks, the urbane president of the American Enterprise Institute, demonstrates in his new book, The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America's Future, seventy percent of Americans favor free enterprise, with only a glum thirty percent turning their tremulous palms up to the nanny state. At any rate, after talking with thousands of ordinary Americans on talk radio and at book receptions, I have come to the conclusion that America has arrived at a historic turning point. It is not just that Tea Partiers are revolting against big government. It is something more. Usually a revolt against big government has meant that restive Americans wanted their taxes lowered, but as for cutting government back they were vague. They favored economies but certainly no cutbacks in their entitlements -- a loaded word, that, entitled to whom from what? -- or government subsidies. What makes this a historic moment is that growing numbers of Americans now accept that they too are going to have to forego at least some of their so-called entitlements. ...

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