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Not Your Money
by Lionel E. Deimel

Money funneled to CongressModern Republicans never seem to have met a tax cut they didnít like, and I am growing tired of having President Bush justify tax cuts, no matter how irresponsible, with the argument that ďitís your moneyĒ and the contention that tax reductions simply return wealth to those who have earned and deserve it.

This is a relatively new attitude among Republicans, who used to advocate limited and fiscally responsible government. Frustrated with liberal spending, however, Republicans began to advocate tax cuts as a way of inhibiting government spending. (This strategy still presupposed a responsible Congress.) Republicans then discovered supply-side economics and began to justify tax cuts for their potential to grow government revenue. Finally, the GOP reached its current understanding, which jettisons all pretence of responsibility and substitutes a cavalier faith that deficits donít matter and the notion that ďitís your money.Ē

Well, fellow Americans, itís not your money. Government spending is not always efficient or wise, but it is sanctioned by democratically elected representatives and intended to benefit citizens of the nation. Do we want a means of national defense, a system of courts, national parks, inspection of meat, certification of pharmaceuticals, schools and universities, or Interstate highways? We have bought these products and services, and we have an obligation to pay for them. The necessary funds to do so are no more ours than is the price of the car we drive out of the showroom.

When the Federal Government has a balanced budget and systematically is paying down the national debt, perhaps a modest tax cut can be said to be returning our money. Until then, we are merely transferring our financial obligations to our children.

ó LED, 7/7/2004

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