Friday, April 11, 2008

Money matters

A pair of op-eds today, one ironically hilarious and the other infuriating. Emphasis mine except where noted. Excerpts from the first:
We recently suggested that if Bill and Hillary Clinton are eager to pay more taxes, they should write a personal check to the U.S. Treasury to compensate for the lower tax rates they so frequently decry. And lo, here comes legislation to make it easier for the former first lady and other pseudo-populists to do just that.
Well, whaddaya know? We won't need those rose-colored glasses in a few years!

California Republican John Campbell yesterday introduced in the House his "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Act," which would amend the tax code to allow individuals to make voluntary donations to the federal government above their normal tax liability....

Mr. Campbell says he has heard the "cries" of those wealthy Americans – Mrs. Clinton, Warren Buffett, Barbra Streisand – who reject the lower tax rates passed in 2001 and 2003 and complain that they and their fellow rich don't pay enough....His bill would give liberals a chance to salve their consciences without having to raise taxes on millions of Americans who already feel overtaxed as it is.

This does sound almost too good to be true...it has to be April 1 somewhere. However,

...last year [the government] received all of $2.6 million [from those donations]. Apparently even most liberals would rather keep their money, or bequeath their estates to charity rather than to the IRS.

Oh well. Here are bits from the second:

The unstated premise is that, with better government oversight, we would not be suffering today's bear market and financial chaos. Of course, during the previous outsized boom, no one was calling up his congressman to complain that home values were appreciating too quickly. Meanwhile, they drained that appreciation regularly through refinancings to pay for vacations, new cars and other pleasantries, all of which created the prosperity for which politicians were pleased to take credit.

(Insert a scream of rage here from me.)
Consequences not suffered from bad decisions lead to lessons not learned, which leads to bigger failings down the road. [emphasis in original]
How many times do we have to say that before people start learning it?
In one of this year's primary debates, Ron Paul said it is not the president's job to run the economy. I'd add that it is not the government's job either. It is each and every citizen's job to manage our own affairs, make our own decisions, bear the fruits or painful consequences and learn our lessons.
Ethan Penner (author of the second article) is a genius.

1 comment:

MK said...

"It is each and every citizen's job to manage our own affairs..."

Well said Hannah. Just on the taxes thing, when we fill out our tax return, we get asked for the income and at the bottom, there's a section for other, like interest other things. I don't see why angry liberals can't put a few extra hundred dollars in there. I really don't think the taxman will come knocking on your door and break your legs for pay too much tax.