Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Does It Matter?

Four years ago, I spent election night in a fit of depression. I had been forced to vote for McCain/Palin because I believed (and still do) that Barack Obama was a statist. He believes that it is the government's role and responsibility to make things "fair" for everyone. The idea of fairness is a funny concept. Thomas Sowell, one of the great thinkers of our era, has written extensively on the concept of fairness and what it really means. I believe exactly as Andrew Klaven writes about the concept:

Free people can treat each other justly, but they can't make life fair. To get rid of the unfairness among individuals, you have to exercise power over them. The more fairness you want, the more power you need. Thus, all dreams of fairness become dreams of tyranny in the end.
I have said all of that to say this. The outcome of the election does not matter in the lives of people who do not put their hope in government or Presidents. If we are honest with ourselves, a whole truckload of money was spent to bring back the status quo. These things are true on January 1 regardless of the winner.
  • EVERY worker (notice I did not say every American) will have their taxes goes up by 2%.
    • The payroll (FICA) tax rises from 4.2% to 6.2%.
    • There is no thought by either party to prevent this.
    • If you make $50,000/year, your take home pay WILL BE reduced by $1,000 (~$85/month).
  • EVERY taxpayer (notice I did not say every American) will have their rates return to the pre-Bush tax cut rates.
    • In terms of dollars, the higher earners did receive larger dollar amounts in cuts. I never argued otherwise. However, the overall percentage of total tax bill paid by high earners INCREASED - stick that in your pipe and smoke it (but only in Washington and Colorado).
    • In terms of effect, the lower brackets will be impacted in a more significant way - particularly because Bush brought in a 10% bracket (going away) and also removed many families from the income tax rolls by raising personal exceptions and increasing the child tax credit.
    • I don't think there is the will to roll this back. There has been no movement on this in 4 years AND the players (Obama, Boehner, and Reid) will be the same.
  • We still have a $16 trillion debt and a $1 trillion+ budget deficit. We have not passed a budget in the Senate in over 3 years.
    • The current Administration is responsible for 1/3 of the debt during a relative time of peace.
    • This is a significant problem and the can is getting too big to kick down the road.
    • While I did not support the sequester (and still don't), I will not get bunched up if it happens. The pain is spread evenly.
    • Mandatory cuts may be the only way to get cuts. However, I don't think that cutting across the board (without looking at the individual program) is a good idea. I say that, but I know that every government program has waste, so maybe across the board cuts may begin to pare some of that back.
A few final thoughts and then I will leave you to your celebration or mourning. First, I feel really sorry for those that voted for Obama in the hopes that he will bring something to your life that is missing. You are likely to disappointed 4 years from now. Don't depend on Obama or anyone to do something to change your situation - do something for yourself. Second, we will now see what would have happened to our economy without Ronald Reagan 32 years ago. I am absolutely certain that we will find out that he wasn't just the beneficiary of fluctuations in natural economic cycles. Third, after the loss of a son, the struggles with keeping Sophie healthy, and Kristy's ongoing health issues, I have more important things to worry about than money or freedom. My hope is in a risen Christ - NOT men and political parties. I have not been guaranteed an easy life or freedom from struggles, but I have been promised things that men cannot take away. Finally, although he was not my choice, I will be praying regularly for President Obama - for wisdom, humility, and his ultimate salvation. It is my prayer that he finds a true redemption rather than his concept of collective redemption.

Now, let's move on to more important things like the Texas A&M game against Alabama, and the second season in Texas - football recruiting.

1 comment:

tahir sumar said...
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