Monday, June 27, 2011

Get the Red Out

I'm not kidding, what in heaven's name is wrong with Ben Stein?

I've asked this before, but it came up again this weekend as I watched him perform as a talking head on one of those "money" shows.  Ben is worried, very worried, about the fiscal state of the US government and, with deep regret to be sure, he now sees no other way out save through the measure of raising taxes.

OK, let's forget about what ails Ben Stein for just a moment.  Let's also forswear any and all arguments about whether or not raising taxes will help or hurt the economy, or even about whether or not raising tax rates will result in more or less revenue to the treasury.  Let's assume that raising taxes, however much and however accomplished, will in fact deliver at least one more dollar than otherwise to the hands of our elected representatives.  What will then happen?

As we know, and are reminded endlessly anyway, the appropriate image to describe the fiscal position our elected officials have brought us to is one of a steep cliff.  Those officials currently stand on the edge of that cliff, toes over the edge even, swaying vertiginously as they argue with each other and with us about how best to avoid the disastrous fall that awaits.  Now ask yourself what would happen if the dollar raised by whichever tax plan is placed in their hands.

If long and bitter experience has taught us anything it has taught us that that dollar absolutely will not be used by any politician of either party or ideology to buy even one inch of real estate away from the cliff's edge.  Instead, dollar in hand they will reason that since nothing catastrophic had to this point happened before they held the money, it must still then not be too late.  Therefore, rather than using it to purchase real estate as they should, they will without doubt start figuring out yet another way to buy a vote.

Can I get an "Amen"?

But enough about this, seriously, what's wrong with Ben Stein? 

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