Thursday, April 8, 2010

don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the fellow behind the tree

That was the principle that Senator Russell Long [D-La] thought the voters wanted his Senate Finance Committee to use in its decisions on raising revenue.

I guess I'm a budget hawk, or maybe an eagle, who watches for weak prey to devour in order to sustain the monetary ecosystem. While I recognize that Congress doesn't like to raise taxes or cut programs, I also know that it can be responsible --as I observed during the deliberations leading up to the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, which for the first time set real limits on federal spending.

Nevertheless, I was dismayed but not surprised by a new Economist/YouGov poll which showed the inconsistent views of American respondents. They are concerned about federal deficits. They do support some tax increases, at least on the rich. But when it comes to cutting federal programs, only our meager expenditures on foreign aid [1% of the total] generates much enthusiasm. That has been the case for decades, and it shows the challenge lawmakers face in trying to balance budgets and reduce federal deficits.

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