I came across a post about an interview that Ben Stein did on the Dennis Miller Show. Five Feet of Fury came to the conclusion that Stein was actually just another liberal because he made the statement that the tax rates on the "rich" will have to be increased in order to deal with our national debt. I don't agree. I think that it is high time we have an honest discussion on what we are facing.
Everyone in this country is going to have to give up something. Nothing can be taking off the table if we are truly going to fix this. There will be some in this country that will not be able to be taken of the public assistance that they are currently on, for a number of different reasons. But there are people on public assistance that can be phased out of the system. We are going to have to start doing means testing for social security and medicare. Give the very wealthy a one time payout and be done with it. They can pay for their own retirement and insurance. There are people in this country that can afford it on their own, Gates and Jobs as an example.
Corporate welfare has to stop. We are giving farming subsidies to very large companies such as Dole. They are a very successful and don't need government handouts. If we still need to help out the small family farmer we can do that in a different way. We may find that this is no longer necessary, or if it is necessary it can be done on a much smaller scale than what we are currently doing. The tax system MUST be simplified so that companies like GE are not paying anything.
The people on the left must realize that we cannot keep up the spending we are doing at the current levels and the right must realize that taxes will need to be increased in order to deal with the debt. It really is that simple. If we keep pretending otherwise the problem will never be solved. I honestly believe that people would be willing to pay slightly more in taxes IF the money is being used to pay down the debt. The problem becomes that the government ends up wasting it. So the spending must be curtailed.
Sadly, the polls are showing that we, as a country, are still not ready to deal with this problem. People are unwilling to give up the entitlements such as medicare and social security. Bring up cuts to military pensions and many on the right go crazy, just ask Michele Bachmann. She had to remove that off her website due to the backlash she faced when she brought up that topic. People have become dependant upon them. Social security was originally set up to be voluntary, and we are forced into this system and the American public just goes along with it without putting any thought into the fact that this system is actually damaging our way of life in this country. The lock box became too much temptation for the federal government and they have spent the money in ways it was never intended to be spent. Which, in part, has led to the debt that we are currently facing in this country.
The price of oil will continue to go up as long as the dollar continues to stagnate. Too many people in government are refusing to deal with the fact that since commodities are traded in U.S. dollars, our debt and interest is in part causing the inflation we are seeing on the world market. Of course it isn't the only reason, but to ignore this component is being dishonest.
So, is it that Ben Stein was being a typical liberal or was he only stating the obvious? Like it or not, we are all in this together and virtually every last one of us has to give up something. Until we admit this to ourselves we cannot have a rational discussion on how to fix these very real and very damaging problems.