Bernie Quigley, columnist for "The Hill's Pundits Blog", also has his own blog (where some of his posts are cross posted, and which is listed on our Blog roll). We're honored to have him pop by our place from time to time, and occasionally we’ll even have a little “conversation.”
His most recent conversation with us, in response to one of Georg’s posts late last week, seems to have dovetailed with some other work he was doing. The essence of his piece goes along with much of our conversation: that the country is regionalizing economic well-being, that the “red states” are making it better than the “blue states”, and that the agricultural Midwest is going to emerge as a new economic center of the country. Living in one of those states, I can’t help but like that prospect.
My favorite part of the piece, though, goes back to what is underlying so much of the current “tea party” movement—the unholy worship of politicians at the altar of “pork.” Everyone wants to bring back the bacon so that they can get re-elected; no one wants to go back home and say “I’m not bringing home the bacon because I know that it’s fiscally irresponsible to keep spending like this”…because they know that their constituents have been paying taxes just like the constituents in every district in the union, and they want to get some of those taxes back—in some form.
The pig is dead. For decades now each political party has run a deficit so deep that when the opposition came to power any new deficit spending would break the bank. The only variation of this theme was when the most naïve of presidents, Bill Clinton, inexplicably hired the primo Republican trickster, who advised him to kill the deficit, so the Republican who followed could spend again, which they indeed did. Today, neither party can bring home the pork, The pig is butchered, baked, barbecued and eaten and there is no pork left.
In my view, the deficit is both a taxing and a spending problem. As long as there are Americans who feel they are being taxed and someone else is reaping the rewards of their effort, there will be a demand for more spending, more pork, more subsidies, and more guaranteed loans. Spending and taxes both need to be cut drastically—not one or the other, but both. Cut government to its bare bones—to doing only those things which they must do (which is probably very little, but all things which would truly be considered a “public service” or “public good” for all, and current obligations). And then cut taxes to cover those thing and nothing more.