Please turn on JavaScript

Brooks Wilson's Economics Blog: Cruseturner on Washington and the Nation Debt

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cruseturner on Washington and the Nation Debt

A good article published by MCC's own Ashley Wayne Cruseturner relates George Washington's timeless wisdom to today's problems with public sector debt.  The article is titled "Why It's Time to Face the Hard Truths Embraced by George Washington," and is published in the History News Network.  Cruseturner observes
In his celebrated Farewell Address, George Washington bequeathed to us a series of shrewd observations. Reflecting the vast experience of an extremely practical national leader, as well as the prevailing philosophy of the American Revolution, his valedictory instructions include a common sense economic roadmap for long-term national strength and security.

“Cherish public credit,” Washington counseled. Employ it sparingly. Spend public money frugally. Avoid costly and unnecessary wars. Judicious spending on defense is wiser than inviting aggression through weakness, and sometimes exigencies necessitate appropriating public money, but do not mortgage the future. Always pay your own way.
If you have a complaint about the public debt, don't blame your elected representatives, blame yourself.
Equally important, Washington asserted, good government is responsible government. Government must be worthy of our taxes. Our elected officials are ultimately responsible for holding down spending, but, in truth, public officials are hostages to public opinion. Expenditures will reflect the popular will. We the people must demand responsible government.
Taxing all citizens would help tame the deficit beast.
In regard to changing long-term patterns of national behavior, perhaps the only answer lies in taxing ourselves so that we ALL feel the pain of taxation. By “all” I mean every single American—no matter his or her socioeconomic rank. For those who pay no taxes, every government program is a good one. On the other hand, if we all pay taxes, we are all invested in good stewardship and a more responsible government.

We must summon the discipline to rebuke politicians who pledge lower taxes for 95 percent of us while promising more government services for all. We must transcend the tantalizing sophistry that the masses will benefit from a tax structure that only "inconveniences" the fortunate few. It is time to face reality. Those numbers do not add up.
Charles Murray also called for widening the income tax base.  I posted and linked to his article here.  I also made more radical and much less realistic suggestions from improving incentives for both citizens and our elected officials to related spending to taxation here

No comments:

Post a Comment