It’s easiest to spend someone else’s dollarPublished 9:54am Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Column: My Point of View, by Al Arends
Who was the famous robber when asked “Why do you always rob banks?” said, “That’s where the money is!”
Was it Machine Gun Kelly, Bonnie & Clyde, Willie Sutton or Jesse James?
What president said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Was it Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, Winston Churchill or Bill Clinton?
What famous man said, “In the time of our darkest hour, never have so few given so much for their Country,” Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, George Bush or Winston Churchill?
What president said, “It’s time that the wealthy give their fair share,” Obama, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan?
If you listen to the quotes, there is a definite different tone to what is being said. The first one is a true statement, the next two statements are uniting their countries and the last one is definitely dividing this country.
What is meant by their fair share? Today, 2 percent of the citizens of our country are paying 40 percent of the federal income taxes, 20 percent are paying 31 percent and 47 percent are paying no income taxes, at all. Our country is in a very dark time in its history where our debt is more than $16 trillion. It takes in $2 1/2 trillion a year and spends $3 1/2 trillion.
The interest payments are nearly $400 billion and in five years, they are projected to be more than $800 trillion. The interest payments will eventually destroy us because the federal government will have to pay Social Security and Medicare, but have nothing for roads, education, defense, agriculture and many other things like national parks.
Historically, our country has been taking 18 percent of our gross national product to meet its expenses. Today, they are taking 24 percent of GDP to operate. That means that they are taking out about $780 billion more out of the economy that cannot be used for creating jobs.
There is no doubt that our country’s finances are in a horrible mess and it looks like they are going to get much worse. Raising taxes by 4 percent on those making over $250,000 only runs the government eight days and it will probably create more unemployment. The day isn’t that far off where the government won’t be able to meet its obligation for Medicare and Social Security.
It’s a pretty dismal situation. We probably need to send Willie Sutton after the wealthy and take a little more from them and have him give it to the government. We definitely need to follow John Kennedy’s advice and all of us need to ask, what we can do for our country and not what our country can do for us. And Obama and other Democrats should quit asking the wealthy to pay their fair share, but instead they should be like Winston Churchill and tell them how good a job they are doing, but ask them to do a little bit more. Most of us want to pay our fair share, but it is so easy to spend someone else’s dollar.
Great leaders do not try to pull their team apart, but always try to get them to work together. They usually don’t criticize their team or opponent in front of the camera. Because our president is constantly criticizing the wealthy and insulting his opposition, it brings nothing but discord and stubbornness.
Great leaders bring teams together. Will he go down as a great leader if we go over the fiscal cliff or if we continue to pile on more debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay?
I ant sure there are Democrats who will say that the Republicans won’t compromise their position. All I ask is who is trying to bring down the debt? Did the president appoint an independent committee called the Bowles-Simpson Commission to recommend how to reduce the debt? What happened to their recommendations? Who is pulling this wagon and can they pull a little bit more?
There is no doubt that we can all do more and we will if we have good leadership. We all love this country, and let’s pray that our leaders will find the solution to bring us together.
Albert Lea resident Al Arends is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.