Friday, July 15, 2011

Why can't Congress cut spending?

Other than Calvin Coolidge, not one President of the United States has ever succeeded at cutting government spending.  A few others have promised to do so -- or were promised by Congress -- yet Congress reneged on that promise each time.

In 1982 Ronald Reagan signed the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982.  As a prelude to this act President Reagan was promised that for every dollar he raised taxes three dollars would be cut from spending.  Reagan followed through on his promise, yet Congress did not.

In fact, Ronald Reagan later wrote, "Despite the 'assurances,' 'promises,' 'pledges,' and 'commitments' you are given, the spending cuts have a way of being forgotten or quietly lobbied out of future budgets.  But the tax increases are as certain to come as, well, death and taxes."

This showed that sometimes -- rather, often -- politicians tell us what we want to hear and then renege on those promises.  The reason is one of the following:
  1. They don't want to anger voters
  2. They don't want to anger special interest groups
  3. They don't want to anger the media
  4. They want to help the poor
  5. They want America to collapse 
Over the years many politicians tried to fix social security, Medicare, Medicaid and eliminate some failing programs, yet most efforts have failed.  No one wants to be seen as the bad guy.  

This attitude has to change if the United States is to be saved; if freedom is to be saved.  As Ronald Reagan once chimed, "We don't have a trillion dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion dollar debt because we spend too much."

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