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W. James Antle III & Richard B. Spencer may have had their tongues planted deeply in their cheeks when they suggest that the American tax payer let their congressmen pork the American tax payer royally. And if they are serious, allow for pork but very little funding otherwise, they offer a pragmatic solution but abandon principle. Bottom line, the money Congress spends does neither originate with nor belong to Congress; the money they so profligately spend is yours and mine. Mr. Congressman, hands off my stack!
Taxation for anything other than for services rendered is thievery. The services the federal government need provide (i.e., that cannot be met by anyone organization or agency) are clearly spelled out in the Preamble to the Constitution: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Taxing and spending wildly does nothing to secure the blessings of liberty, promote our national defense, and is directly contrary to our general welfare and of our posterity. If I need a plumber and carpenter to fix my house, I don’t sell a bond so that my grandchildren can pay for housing they have never known, let alone enjoyed.
Allowing the wild dogs to eat pork may satisfy them, temporarily, but in time, they will hunger for more. They will not learn to be satisfied with scraps; they will raid the cupboards; ultimately, they will even consume their benefactors. Starving them out may seem cruel, but teaching them that they need not live within their means was the original sin. Domesticating them, teaching them discipline, is the only possible moral act of contrition.p>Congress must be taught what anyone who has ventured out of the protection of their parents’ munificence has learned: to survive on what one has, not what one wishes he had. br> — Ira M. Kessel br> Rochester, New York /p> p> I thank W. James Antle III for his perspective on pork. Put the way he did, I agree. The trouble is that we have both hugely destructive entitlement spending and pork, and it is surely a pipe dream that we could ever negotiate the kind of trade-off he describes. Both entitlement spending and pork are deeply entrenched for the same reasons. Politicians use both to keep themselves in office because the American people are strongly addicted to them. If ever we are cured of it, then entitlements will vanish and my guess is that the same sense of self-reliance which led to their curtailment will also produce a strong distaste for pork (though diminished, it will probably always be with us). I’m sure Mr. Antle knows this, but I think he misses an important point. The purpose of browbeating politicians over pork is not about petty and possibly useful projects, but to make the cower; to let them know they’re being watched. Personally, I want every politician to feel like a misbehaving boy under the jaundiced eye of a stern schoolmarm, who has a paddle behind her back. The last thing we want is proud “public servants.” br> — Douglas Skinner /p>
During the 1980s, despite seven major tax increases, the Federal deficit skyrocketed to an unheard of 5.9% of the GDP (today the deficit is 1.6% of GDP and well below the 40 year average) and conservatives essentially acquiesced, because Ronald Reagan was President. Reacting to Democrat campaign propaganda about out of control spending in 2006 conservatives decided to punish Republicans and hand control of Congress over to Democrats who make “big spending” Republicans look miserly (see James Antle III’s “A Trillion Here, a Trillion There” TAS 2/15/2008). Now reversing course, Antle Spencer suggest rewarding Democrats with more pork spending and earmarks in hopes that they will agree to reform entitlements. They might want to ask George H. W. Bush if Democrats can be trusted to cut government spending. Antle and Spencer’s suggestion is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter telling Bill Clinton to trust North Korea and give them the means to build nuclear weapons or Zbigniew Brzezinski proclaiming extremist Muslim theology was not the future of Islam after creating the dictatorial Iranian theocracy (the latter is one of Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisers and Carter is an undeclared supporter of his political heir Obama).
Rather than trusting Democrats and rewarding them with more pork we should take them at their word that they want to appease terrorists, increase taxes and spend more on pork and entitlements. They have been very forthright with their plans and agenda to reverse the quarter century of Reagan’s dominance of politics and take us back to the disastrous Carter policies that produced double digit inflation, interest rates and unemployment coupled with a foreign policy that subverted our allies, rewarded our enemies and humiliated the U.S. Why is it so hard for some conservatives to believe Democrats? Even the heralded “conservative” (gag) blue dogs are terrorist appeasing big spending liberals as illustrated by Jim Webb of Virginia and his peer Mark Warner.
Conservatives need to think outside the box. To get control of entitlements like Social Security why not suggest means testing, removing the caps on the amount of income subject to the payroll tax, cutting Reagan’s tax increase on the self-employed (he doubled it) and then cutting the tax in half for the majority of working Americans who aren’t rich like Democrat politicians and their real base? Why should rich liberal Democrats refuse to pay their fair share and benefit from this Federal program when they don’t need or “want” the money? Might rich Democrats actually consider reforming the system like President Bush proposed if they have to pay more out of their pockets for it? If not then those who proclaim the benefit of higher taxes can lead the way by paying more for Social Security…
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?