I’ve got this crazy personal philosophy which both Democrats and Republicans dislike. At least, I don’t hear anyone in the political world, of any persuasion, advancing my notions. Which means I must be ignorant, misinformed, out in left field, naive, or some combination of all of the above.
Actually, I possess all of those things in heaping quantities. Yet, I will open my mouth and disgorge my stupidity. Here’s what I believe.
I believe that if you buy something, you pay for it. One of those personal responsibility things. When my parents buy a car, they don’t wait 20 years and then give me the bill.
My crazy notion is this: each generation should pay for what it buys. A “pay as you go” deal. My generation, collectively, through the people we have elected, has racked up trillions of dollars in debt. We “bought” that debt through our want-it-now greed, fiscal lack of discipline, bloated bureaucracies, multitudinous ear-marks and governmental services, and sundry stupid decisions. So we should pay for it.
We bought it, we pay for it. We broke it, we pay for it. Kind of the same thing.
Not pass it on to future generations (the “kick the can down the road” thing). Which is what everyone in Congress and the Administration is proposing with their “raise such and such amount of money over the next 20 years” thinking.
So I oppose tax cuts (on the basis of what would seem to be conservative principles, but apparently aren’t). Which means I disagree with continuing the Bush tax cuts. I agree with the President about ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. I disagree with the President about continuing the Bush tax cuts for people like me, making less than $250,000. We should (brace yourself) basically garnish the waves of my generation to pay for our extravagance. We should not give the bill to the next generation.
The only way my generation can pay for my generation’s bills is by taking it out of our hides. The economy will never grow enough to pay for our high living. Spending cuts alone will never suffice.
Democrats, of course, will object, “I didn’t vote for George Bush and his wars and unfunded drug plan, so don’t make me pay for it.” And Republicans will say, “I didn’t vote for Obama and his healthcare plan and bailouts, so don’t make me pay for that.”
But like I said–we’re in this together. “We the People” got us into this mess. So “We the People” of my generation need to cough up the money.
I know, I know. It won’t work on oh so many levels.
Economists say increasing taxes in a time of recession would seriously hurt the economy. The “fix” is to give people more money to spend–to buy more products, so companies hire more people to produce more products, giving more and more people more money to spend. I get it. “Spending” is the solution to a poor economy, according to The Smart People.
I also realize that if we extracted $15 trillion in taxes from We the People, most of Us the People would need to declare bankruptcy. Because that’s a whole insurmountably gargantuan bunch of money. So I’m a terribly naive and unrealistic idealist. I get it.
Or, by advocating tax increases, maybe I don’t get it. Proof of my don’t-get-it-ness is that nobody, absolutely nobody advocates what I’m suggesting.
But I still say: each generation should pay its own bills.
Is that so unreasonable?