Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Rather than arguing about tax rates or the debt ceiling, we should ask ourselves the question: "What is required for a healthy economy?"
A healthy economy needs reasonable rules enforced by the rule of law, a sound money supply, protection of private property and confidence in government so that people can go about their daily lives and make sound decisions, take risks on commercial ventures and plan for their futures.
I submit that on these questions the Washington establishment has not only failed miserably, but has done everything in its power to make matters worse. Our government is dysfunctional!
When the government supervised the bankruptcy of General Motors, it discarded 200 years of bankruptcy law to pay off the United Auto Workers for its campaign contributions. That is hardly rule by law.
The Federal Reserve's "quantitative easing" is nothing more than "monetizing debt" -- creating money and inflation to buy government bonds that the market does not want to buy. That is hardly maintaining a sound money supply.
When government has the right to confiscate anyone's property by "eminent domain" for just about any reason, that is hardly protecting private property.
When the law allows "special interests" to corrupt the political system for their own profit rather than competing in free economic exchanges, that is hardly establishing confidence in the system.
Our president struts around oblivious to his responsibilities. The bureaucrats are driving around in newly purchased limousines as if they were Soviet commissars. Our Federal Reserve chairman appears clueless.
It is time to throw the rascals out, rein in the size and power of government, and pass a balanced budget amendment.
Here's a recipe for Congress to get past its current fiscal "crisis." The real problem with balancing the budget is that the U.S. has chosen constant warfare as the primary means of statecraft since 2001.
Unlike wars of the past, Congress and presidents both Republican and Democratic have chosen to take no steps to raise revenue specifically to fund ongoing wars.
Let Congress resolve to limit the Pentagon budget to the level of early September 2001. Take those unfunded missions away and money for America's needs will materialize.
Debate and attempt to pass higher taxes for any military combat missions that politiicans believe deserve taxpayer support. If these "little wars" are not worthy of direct support from taxpayers, stop them now!
If they aren't worth funding from taxes, than bring home our personnel and equipment. And I don't mean only troops, but everything that costs money: naval fleets, missiles, drones, contractors, CIA, Special Forces, etc.
We cannot afford all this and, more importantly, we have no articulated reason to continue fighting. Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden are long gone. Are we foolish not to declare victory and get out?
This is a nonpartisan approach that will provide real relief to American citizens suffering in this extended recession.
I would hope that both parties in the present deadlock over federal debt limit would take a page from Maine history.
Twenty years ago, Maine state representatives and the governor went toe-to-toe over the state budget. That dangerous game of chicken went over the brink and left both sides smoldering wrecks.
What remained was a besmirched administration and term limits for state lawmakers. A disgusted public thought it served both sides right!
A much-deserved story about Bangor Savings
I would like to compliment Jonathan Hemmerdinger and your staff for profiling Bangor Savings Bank and its CEO, James Conlon, in the Maine Sunday Telegram. How refreshing it was to see a bank noted for sound judgment and a caring approach.
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