I agree with one half of Congress — we should not raise taxes on the rich. I have not yet decided if I think we should raise taxes on the poor. I am still mulling that over. But definitely don’t raise taxes on the rich. How could the top executives at big companies afford to pay more taxes? In 2010, according to Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, company CEOs received, on average, 11.4 million. How awful. They are barely making ends meet.
I also agree with the other half of Congress — they should not cut spending. They need to keep spending because they want to get re-elected. If they cut spending, some of the poor people won’t get medical care, food stamps, and other social services they need to survive. Many of us would not continue to receive other services to which we have grown accustomed. Some public places we all enjoy would likely close. If Congress cuts spending, we won’t be happy and we won’t vote for them in the next election. There is too much apathy here — but then, who cares?
I don’t think we should eliminate the tax breaks and deductions the big oil companies enjoy. Exxon Mobile Corp. reported their first quarter earnings increased 69 percent. By the way, my first quarter earnings also increased. For every thousand dollars in my savings account, my earnings increased $2.50. At the same time, Exxon Mobile’s first quarter earnings jumped to $10.65 billion. Occidental Petroleum Corp said their profits jumped to $1.55 billion, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC posted a $6.29 billion profit. But don’t eliminate their tax breaks.
We could do what Minnesota did. They did not raise taxes on the rich, and they did not cut services to the poor. Oh — they didn’t borrow more money either. Right before a holiday weekend (July 4), they shut everything down. The closed the public parks, highway rest areas, zoo. They closed state offices and put 20,000 state employees out of work. But hey, they don’t need to work. They don’t need a paycheck. After all, they can draw unemployment, food stamps, cut back to two meals per day, not get sick, not pay bills, etc. Brilliant!
We are now in a debt-ceiling standoff. We cannot pay our bills after Aug. 2 unless we borrow more money. Now there is an idea. Don’t raise taxes on the rich and don’t cut spending. Just borrow more money. Raise the debt limit. After all, isn’t that the prudent thing to do? Everybody is happy, everyone gets re-elected, and life goes on.
I don’t think Congress should work together to reduce the debt. They should not do what is best for the country. They should not take a responsible approach. They should not do what they are paid to do. They should certainly not do what our founding fathers would expect them to do. They should not focus on the future. They should focus on the “now.” So what if we can’t pay our bills after Aug. 2? So what if our debt rating is lowered? So what if our credibility is ruined. So what if the value of the dollar drastically drops? So what if interest rates skyrocket? So what if we go into a deep recession?
So what if the ship sinks? After all, “it’s not my fault.”
Erwin Wolfe, Ringgold