Do voters take a long enough perspective?"
It seems that 100 percent of our collective attention these days is surrounding a current event that our non-expiring term politicians have selected to label as the fiscal cliff.
It continues to amaze me how we allow others to label the issues of the day, which almost completely miss the pivotal points. Is the question really about spending or tax rates? Does anyone remember our prior presidents telling us we are not the world’s policemen yet we find our federal agencies having offices all over the world and our troops stationed all over the world? Isn't the issue whether it is critical to force politicians to justify their "pork" ideas against an immediate request to finance such "pork?" Why have we as a voting population lost sight of requiring the federal government to operate every year within a budget paid for in that same year? Do we really have a zero-inflation environment? Have you checked the prices for meat lately?
Imagine how much debt Virginia could run up if it built every road we wanted and VDOT paid itself the raises it wants for its employees without having to justify it under the current year tax burden.
My point is not that the federal government shouldn't be able to run up the costs of governing, but rather that it should be forced to do so by funding items in the same year they demand the funding. Of the people, by the people and for the people doesn't include ensuring a politician stays in office for three or more decades pandering to donors to pay for robocalls, etc.
If Loudoun County Public Schools has a series of setbacks requiring emergency classrooms we should meet that requirement and pay for it in the same year. That way the voter knows why they are writing such a large property tax payment. Why shouldn't the federal government stop the BS about tax rates and class differentiation rhetoric and be forced to live within its budget or justify the expansion of that budget? It’s just a question of balance. Do we hear any politician asking why it is fair to tax all gains in a particular year but only allow $3,000 to be tax deductible for losses? Why should the transfer of after-tax savings to a child be taxed but a parent can pay many times that gift tax limit on tuition without tax implications? We hear Mr. Buffett talking about it being appropriate to tax him more, yet nobody seems to notice he has avoided ALL estate tax by his long-term trust deal. Somebody dying with $5 million in after-tax assets will pay more tax than his $50 billion!
A long term perspective means we agree to insure fairness and timely accountability at all levels of government. Would we really agree to be rebuilding Afghanistan if we had to pay 70% of our income this year to do it? Would we really agree to keep 10's of thousands of troops in Germany and South Korea if we had to pay an extra 5% more our income this year to do it? Does anyone realize how conflicted our pro-Taiwan agreement is relative to mainland China and who we "think" we would be borrowing the money from if the current One China policy were to be enforced? Voters need to question the current headlines asking how such self serving rhetoric affects the long term health of the country our forefathers sacrificed for and our children may have to pay for! Happy New Year!