American Elephants


Why Do We Have Taxes, And What are They For? by The Elephant's Child

Dan Henninger had an important column in the Wall Street Journal today.   He asked “What exactly do you think taxes are for?”

Should the primary purpose of taxation be to support the government and its growing functions; or is the primary purpose of government to support the private sector which creates economic growth?

Why do we, and why should we pay taxes?  “What  balance between the private and public economies will best allow the U.S. to remain the world’s pre-eminent economic (and military) power for the next generation?”

These questions are worthwhile thinking about when we are faced with Democrats, who have been fired,  using the Lame Duck session to attempt to pass something they just couldn’t get around to during the months before the election.  The government has been running on a continuing resolution rather than what is one of their primary duties — a budget for the 2011 fiscal year.

Instead we have  the Omnibus Spending Bill.  In private industry, when someone is fired, they are given minutes to gather up their things and leave the premises.  Businesses  do not leave angry, discharged people around to do damage or create havoc. We shouldn’t be doing it with Congress people that the public has fired. The Omnibus Spending Bill weighs in at 1,924 pages.  Its spending comes in at $575.13 million PER PAGE. totaling $1.1 trillion.  The total adds up to $1.1 trillion, including $1 billion for pre-funding of Obama care.  It is laden with earmarks, as every departing Democrat wants to take some final goodies home to the district that rejected them.  There are 6,488 pork barrel earmarks that have been identified so far and the earmarks come in at $8.1 billion.

The later John Murtha is still getting pork from his grave — $10 million for the Murtha Foundation. The bill makes a special effort to pre-fund any programs that might be targeted for cuts by the Republicans next year — $36 million for public broadcasting, $1.5 billion for high-speed rail projects that nobody wants, and $3 billion for green energy pork.

Republicans threatened to have the whole 2,000 pages read before it could be voted on.  Harry Reid pulled it from consideration, when the smattering of Republicans who had said maybe they’d vote for it balked.   Reid said he will work on another continuing resolution, to fund the government  into the first part of the next year. (Which means he didn’t have the votes).

The 2010 budget was an inflated budget with a $1.3 trillion deficit.  We have an economy in recession, we’re involved in two wars.  Defense spending increased by 11 percent, but nondefense discretionary spending increased 24 percent.  Nondefense and stimulus spending increased  by 84 percent, and studies have established that the stimulus simply did not work.  Keynesian economics has a long record of failing to work.

Dan Henninger is right.  There are some very serious differences between the parties on just what taxes are for, and what the balance between the private and public economies should be.  Liberals want to grow the edifice of the government ever larger and more powerful. Republicans want a government that supports the private sector, not the other way around.



Old Toy Trains by American Elephant
December 16, 2010, 7:31 am
Filed under: Music, Politics | Tags: ,

Like I said, my tastes in Christmas music are all over the map. First choral, then jazz, now country — and who knows what next. I like an eclectic mix. Now, I’m generally not very big on much country music — nothing wrong with it, it just isn’t usually my thing — but that means when I DO like a country song, you know it’s gotta be a good one. And so this is.

Old Toy Trains was, I believe, first introduced by Roger Miller back sometime in the late 1960’s and has since become a standard covered by many — but my favorite by far is this deep, cozy version by Toby Keith from the compilation CD, A Country Christmas. All the nostalgia of childhood Christmas wrapped up in one comfortable old song.

I liked it so much the first year I heard it, that I dragged out the old HO and set it up around the Christmas tree. *I* thought it was charming and watched it circle underneath the twinkling lights for hours; no one else seemed to even notice.

Then again, mine was no where near as cool as this guy’s. Now, THAT’s cool!




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