The Free Press, Mankato, MN

August 10, 2013

Prioritize existing revenues before tax shakedown


---- — The balance of opinions by locals in The Free Press opinion pages seems to be getting closer to the political demographics of the area. There is more activity from fiscal conservatives to counter what I consider a few local tax-and-spend academics, and a sycophant retired federal bureaucrat.

During much of their monopoly the class warfare plea of the “few” has been to increase taxes — but of course only on the “rich.” If someone was so bold as to disagree, out come arrogant accusations of ignorance, greed and selfishness. Maybe sometimes it’s better to be ignorant than mis-educated. Maybe greed includes demanding a greater share of what someone else earns. Maybe selfishness includes being true to ones self, without trampling on others.

If increasing taxes on the “rich” i.e. the top 2 percent, does not satisfy the insatiable appetite for more government spending and I predict it will not, expect the bar to be lowered. Who knows how low. The top 10 percent of wage earners includes an adjusted gross income of about $112,000. Comfortable maybe, but hardly what most would consider “rich.”

To recapitulate a July 25 remark by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.: The government doesn’t have enough of your money.

I disagree. The problem with the tax and spend approach is that, in an attempt to control people, spending itself becomes the priority. Soon there are no other priorities.

Spending gets out of hand, adversely effecting our individual liberty. A better approach might be to find ways to spend existing revenues in more productive ways.

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand”. (Milton Friedman)

Bob Jentges

North Mankato