Competing impossibilities: It comes down to which side you’re on

As a veteran of the political arena I always enjoy listening to other veterans tell me what’s not possible. They say it’s not possible to control the growth of government. It’s not possible to return to the founding principle of limited government.

However, I venture to say that it’s not possible to continue to have government grow at its current rate. And it’s not possible to even meet current so-called “obligations.”

The State of Illinois is over a hundred billion in the hole – the federal government is over seventy trillion in the hole. There is a wide cultural divide in America. On one side there are people who understand basic math and economics. On the other side are those who do not. The former are supposed to be Republicans, the latter, Democrats. Unfortunately, too many Republicans can’t even use a calculator to find out what’s mathematically possible.

Long time readers of this column won’t be surprised to hear that I’m actually cheered by the news of late. Why? The headlines are causing more people to wake up and consider getting up off their couches. Consider a few of the following samples.

From the Associated Press: “Federal tax revenues plummeting.”

“Tax receipts are on pace to drop 18 percent this year, the biggest single-year decline since the Great Depression, while the federal deficit balloons to a record $1.8 trillion.”

The Heritage Foundation asks, “How Much More Can We Redistribute?” The IRS released new data – and it showed:

  • “The highest-earning taxpayers shoulder a considerable burden of the federal income tax.
  • The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid over 40 percent of all federal income taxes in 2007. That is a higher share than the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined! They paid just over 39 percent.
  • The top 1 percent, those earning over $410,000, consists of 1.4 million taxpayers, while the bottom 95 percent contains 134 million.”

Heritage says:

“It’s a dangerous situation when a majority of voters can get services and benefits from the government for no cost, because there is no incentive for them to limit the growth of government. President Obama’s and Chairman Rangel’s redistributive tax policies will further push the burden of income tax to high earners while giving more benefits to non-taxpayers. But as the IRS data show, the economy cannot afford anymore spreading the wealth around.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that it’s highly probable that a middle class tax increase is on the way. Why? It’s called mathematics.

“In an editorial on February 26, “The 2% Illusion,” we wrote that the feds could take 100% of the taxable income of everyone in America earning more than $500,000 and still have raised only $1.3 trillion even in the boom year of 2006. The rich are fewer and less rich now, while the Obama budget is nearly $4 trillion.”

I love good summaries, and the Journal doesn’t disappoint:

“The undeniable reality is that you can’t run a European-style welfare-entitlement state without European-style levels of taxation on the middle class (and eventually without low European-style growth and high jobless rates). It’s looking more and more like Mr. Obama’s no-middle-class-tax pledge was one of the greatest confidence tricks in American political history.”

The brilliant economist and columnist Thomas Sowell writes today:

“Let’s go back to square one. The universe was not made to our specifications. Nor were human beings. So there is nothing surprising in the fact that we are dissatisfied with many things at many times. The big question is whether we are prepared to follow any politician who claims to be able to ‘solve’ our ‘problem.’

If we are, then there will be a never ending series of ‘solutions,’ each causing new problems calling for still more ‘solutions.’ That way lies a never-ending quest, costing ever increasing amounts of the taxpayers’ money and – more important – ever greater losses of your freedom to live your own life as you see fit, rather than as presumptuous elites dictate.”

Click here to read Sowell’s entire column.

You either think it’s possible to reach more voters with good information or you don’t. You either think we can elect better people to office or you don’t. If you think both are possible, then you’re a candidate to join in the renaissance.

©2009 John Biver