Why are we not asking the central question in the money debate?

Published 9:50 pm Thursday, September 23, 2010

How badly have this Congress and this president mangled the nation’s financial picture?

It’s so bad that the Democrats in charge of Congress didn’t even attempt to write a budget this year.

One gets the impression they didn’t want the bad press before the election. For that, anyway.

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You have to wonder, though: If the federal government can’t balance the budget – and it can’t – what is to blame? Is the government not taking in enough money? Or is it spending too much?

President Barack Obama and his friends in Congress won’t even consider the second possibility. All they want to do is take more of our money.

The big issue right now is whether to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year.

For months and months, Democrats have resisted the notion of extending the tax cuts, which actually affect most families. The Associated Press reported … that a family of four earning $50,000 a year will pay $2,900 more in taxes next year if the Bush tax cuts expire. A similar family earning $100,000 would be forced to cough up another $4,500.

Unless something changes, that’s a done deal. …

It’s nice that Democrats and the mainstream media are finally beginning to question the wisdom of sucking $4 trillion in taxes out of the economy in the midst of the worst economic times since the Great Depression; better late than never. Yet, where were these people the past two years, as the economy continued to sputter and shed jobs? Now, just before the election, they’re worried about raising taxes?

And what about the threshold question they never seem to get to: Is the federal government not getting enough revenues, or is it just spending too much? We think most Americans know the answer. But why is that not the central question of the debate?

Answer: Because it’s largely someone else’s money they’re playing with.

Well, the owners of that money are watching – perhaps more closely than they ever have.

– Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle