Archives for posts with tag: balanced budget

When Mr. Blunt and Cranky was Young Blunt (and not quite as cranky), he wasn’t making much money and had trouble coughing up the security deposit on an apartment. After crunching the numbers, a solution was arrived at – he would eat almost nothing for a couple of weeks. After that, he’d be able to afford groceries and the apartment.

Man, those were tough days to get through: one week, the entirety of each day’s calories came from 1” thick, 4” x 4” slices of old (and nasty) fruitcake from the previous year’s holidays. Two of those slices per day.  Your humble correspondent lost a bit of weight and felt pretty crap the while, but since it was temporary and he was young and healthy, he got through it. No way he would have done it if he had had to do it for a longer period of time: he could have gotten really sick or even starved to death.

As a short-term fix, cuts can be effective, if properly used. In the long term, cuts by themselves only work if you have lots of stuff to cut out, and it is a mistake to assume that there’s always lots to cut.  We have been busily cutting away for several decades, like hyperactive beavers in a forest of balsa wood, and there aren’t many easy things remaining to cut out of the governmental  budget. So when politicians start talking about cutting even more and foregoing revenue, one would be well advised to ask some more questions about those cuts, such as why, what, for how long, and so forth.

The “what” depends on party ideology, pretty much, so there’s not a lot of new data to be gotten within that question.  The “why” and “for how long” are where we find what will be done unto us by our “representatives”.

Dems want to cut handouts to certain types of industries and rich folks, and use the savings to finance other governmental activities that they like. They don’t want to starve the government to death, they want it healthy over the long haul; so they’ll cut in one place and add to another place as they deem fit.

Repubs actually want to get rid of government (Post-1976 Rs, anyway), so they have no objection to starving it to death (unlike this blogger’s younger self): in fact, one of the leaders of the Republican party has said he wants to starve the gummint until it is so weak that he can “drown it in a bathtub”. 

This writer doesn’t like everything that is done by the Feds, Staties or Local Yokels; but he likes the idea of police, firefighters, running water, freedom from being invaded by foreign powers, paved roads and other governmentally-derived goodies. Indeed, he likes them so much that, like most valuable commodities, he is willing to pay for them. So, he favors a balanced approach to taxing/spending.

As with our own bodies, we can only cut so many “calories” from the government for so long before we wind up starving it to death.

Mr.  & C

Most days of the week, your humble correspondent crankily arises and goes off to earn his keep. He goes to The Place At Which He Shall Be Paid If He Does What He Has Agreed To Do, and does what he has agreed to do. After having done so, he gets paid. Pretty normal, you’ll agree. Very few of get paid for doing nothing all day (Randy Bachman’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics notwithstanding); in fact, we often mock those who think they should get paid for doing nothing.

For well over thirty years, though, our government has paid people in the hopes that they might do something someday: the current name for these peeps is “Job Creators”. The Supply-Side idea says that if we give them a break on taxes, they will create jobs and all of us will benefit. A fair notion, and one that seems reasonable, at first glance anyway.

However, no one actually required that the payees ever provide proof to the payor that they had done what they had paid to do. Nor do the current proposals to increase the amount that we pay to these folks (in additional tax cuts and such) require any proof of job creation in order to get the green and folding. In short, these people are being paid whether they deliver the goods or not. Put another way, some of the recipients may very well be getting paid for doing nothing.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky proposes that Washington do what most local governments already do: require proof that the tax benefits provided to Job Creators led to the actual creation of jobs. And if no jobs were created, take the money back and give it to someone else who WILL do something useful with it.

Mr. B & C