Listen to America’s heartbeat. It’s running ever-faster and coupled with rising blood pressure. Why? The push for more regulations – at any cost – by the “House of Obama” has even cab drivers worried these days.
While the lack fiscal responsibility on the part of environmentalists is understandable, the culpability of elected and selected federal leaders is simply mind-boggling. And the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy (put loosely) is the U.S. government.
As noted in American Agriculturist’s July “Food for Thought” editorial, the takers of taxpayer dollars are coming close to outnumbering tax dollar generators. Uncle Sam is on a spending spree that already has America’s economy over-the-nose deep in financial trouble.
We are long past the point of humor raised by Will Rogers: “Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.”
The more we allow government to take in taxes, the more emboldened they are to want more. Many of America’s past leaders warned of it. Yet, this is exactly where America is at today.
Most of us outside of government (in private industry and business) understand you can’t spend what you don’t have. In government, however, respect for “other people’s money” seems difficult for elected leaders, far more difficult for bureaucrats and incomprehensible for lobbying activists. This is why taxpayers are losing control.
Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, contends we’re in a culture war between a socialist redistributionist minority (30% coalition) and a free-enterprise, work-ethic, opportunity-oriented (70%) majority. My fear is that we’ve slipped much farther than that.
Where your money goes
Consider the ever-changing balance of today’s 142 million tax payers versus tax takers:
- Federal civil service employees and retirees: 4.6 million and rising.
- State and local government employees and retirees: 22.2 million and rising
- Unemployment benefits recipients: 15.3 million
- Supplemental nutrition assistance (food stamps): 40.2 million and rising
- Social Security: 51 million and rising
That’s 142 million tax payers versus 133 million tax takers. And that’s why Brooks argues that this fundamental conflict has reached a tipping point.
Unless Americans supporting the tenants of free enterprise assert their power, this country will become a European-style socialist society. The rise of the Tea Partiers is only the first volley of this war.
With this momentous societal shift, where will America’s farmers be on the policy priority ladder? Until food becomes a scarcity, I think you know. Strive to make your business as impervious as possible to policy-maker whims.
Be mindful of what the environmental community has already learned. The only way to get meaningful tax reductions out of Uncle Sam is sic lawyers on him [file lawsuits].
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