Friday, November 16, 2012

Sailing Over the Fiscal Cliff

Sailing Over the Fiscal Cliff
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 16, 2012

In what has become an ugly game of chicken between the administration and the Republican-led Congress, it is painfully obvious that neither side is actually concerned about the American people who will fast be headed over the fiscal cliff come January 1st.

Both major political parties are complicit in this crime against the American people and their future generations. With $16 trillion in debt and no end in sight, there is an old adage – in order to get out of a hole, the first rule is to put down the shovel. In this case, the Congress and administration can stop banging each other over the head with that very shovel. As it is, those under age 18 will incur $216,000 individual debt by the time they reach the age of majority.

Allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire would cause an undue burden on the people – more-so than any potential burden on the government. After all, the government works for us, and not the other way around, contrary to Obama’s words in his Wednesday press conference where he referred to the American people as “customers.”

If Obama refers to the American people as customers; customers of what? In this case, customers of government, as though government was a business, and in Obama’s warped belief system, government that is a for-profit entity, instead of a zero-sum-gain proposition. Government is not supposed to be a money-making organization. After all, there is no such thing as government money. ANY money government takes in, it takes from the American people in the form of taxes.

Now, and this is nothing new, Obama seeks to take more money from the American people in the form of tax increases on income, investments, and even death. Obama needs to revisit rule number one – instead of taking more and more from the American people to feed the behemoth that is out of control government, it needs to put down the shovel and stop spending.

This is where the GOP is complicit – all revenue bills are required to begin in the House of Representatives where the Republicans hold the majority. For all the bashing the GOP has taken in recent years as the party of “no,” sometimes no is the right answer.

Should the American people be taxed more? No.

Should government continue deficit spending? No.

Should the Obama administration continue to be allowed to run amok with Executive Orders bypassing Congress? No.

The Founding Fathers installed a system of checks and balances in the Constitution for a reason – so that no one branch has commanding, unchecked, unfettered power over another branch.

Congress also needs to police itself better. Instead of members returning to their home districts bragging to constituents about the pork they have brought them – which of course is paid for by we the people, they should inform the people that money has been saved on their behalf – that is worthy of the reward of reelection.

Raising taxes on the wealthiest two percent provides revenue to the government lasting between a week and a month, depending upon which so-called expert economists are asked. Yet, ultimately, take more from that same group and they will invariably produce less and hire fewer people in an effort to keep their tax bills lower.

Similarly, with the death/estate tax due to be raised, a huge burden will be placed upon farm owners and small business owners for whom the bulk of their estates are in land and merchandise, not cash. The tax increase would move from those whose estates are valued at $5 million and above at a 35 percent rate to a mere $1 million at an astounding 55 percent rate. Such a tax is only designed to prevent families from passing wealth, farms, and/or businesses from one generation to the next, when it should be their legal right to do with their own wealth as they wish.

Additionally unrealized capital gains will be severely taxed as part of the death tax, just more government stripping away a family’s wealth for the purpose of feeding a hungry, out of control entity behaving in an unconstitutional manner spending on programs it shouldn’t.

And on the topic of capital gains, they, along with dividend income will see tax rates double from 15 percent to 30 percent. This will be brutally detrimental to investors and have an adverse effect on Wall Street. There could be a large sell off prior to the end of the year and little purchasing after January 1st. Such a tax increase punishes success and the risks that investors are willing to take in the free market system on the potential growth of business – business that creates jobs and keeps people employed and off the government dole.

But apparently Obama cares more about the redistribution of wealth than the actual creation of wealth. This is nothing new. He told the American people during the 2008 campaign while speaking to Samuel “Joe the plumber” Wurzelbacher in Ohio that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Except that it’s not good for everybody. When wealth is taken from the “haves” and given to the “have nots,” the “haves” have little incentive to continue working hard to create more wealth or hire more people to begin accumulating their own wealth. Productivity wanes, unemployment rises, thus more people reliant upon a government check and government takes in less revenue because the “haves” are earning less.

Once the “have nots” spend what is given them, they are back to square one – having not again. They too become even more dependent upon government for survival and with the “haves” now having and producing less, there is less for the “have nots”. Such shortfalls are rarely recuperated and the economy continues its recessionary slide toward third worldism.

Making matters worse, is Obama-care. From the day after Election Day, scores of companies, large and small began announcing wholesale layoffs in an effort to save money on the Obama-care costs and penalties to be imposed. Companies are shearing staff hours turning full-timers into part-timers for the same reason. These actions will also have adverse effects on the economy. Not to mention the fact that health insurance should be procured across state lines, increasing competition and lowering rates for the American people.

The government doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. One surefire way to cut spending – disincentivize illegals from staying in the United States or even from invading our borders in the first place. Because they – somewhere between 12 and 20 million illegals – are in the country illegally in the first place, they should not be entitled to seats in American classrooms – K-through-12 or college; nor health care and hospitalization; nor food stamps; nor welfare; nor jobs; nor drivers licenses or anything else that would encourage them to remain in this country illegally living under the radar screen.

Part of the problem is not that Obama is stupid – it’s that Obama is not stupid and is calculating in an effort to level the playing field for all Americans regardless of the outcome. This is part of Obama’s socialist, anti-American, lack of American exceptionalism world view.

The time is now for the Congress to take its responsibility seriously, say no to Obama’s cataclysmic economic plan for disaster that will leave the US more than $20 trillion in debt by the time he leaves office. Congress must stop spending and stop it now. Stick to only what the Constitution allows or we the people will replace you with those who will.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

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