Bad things in the budget, as outlined by Citizens Against Government Waste, include the failure to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Congress designed this monster to get at the super-rich who often managed to avoid paying any taxes, but the AMT hits a larger share of the middle class every year. The proposed one-year "fix" of the AMT does not solve the problem it has inflicted on many middle-class taxpayers.
There is another ridiculous proposal for $9 billion in loan guarantees for alternative energy sources and $2.7 billion for advanced technologies. Haven't we been spending and pursuing such things for 30 years? This proposal will not bring us closer to energy independence, but it could raise prices and increase dependency on government handouts. Why not let the market and a political leadership that mobilizes the country to change its behavior decide such things?
The war aside (granted it's a pretty big aside), there is still too much in the budget that is designed to meet public expectations. There are still too many people who believe they are owed something from the sweat of another's brow. These are people who are told from the earliest stages in life that they cannot make it without the help and money of others. Instead of being taught the life principles of those who have made it, they are taught the envy principles of those who have not.
That government has become a first resource for such people, instead of a last resort, grows the budget and expands the horizons of those who believe it is more blessed to receive than it is to give. Conservatives now praise a slowing in the rate of growth as sound fiscal disciple, while liberals lament the "cuts in needed domestic programs."
Why can't government live within OUR means, instead of us always having to live up to government's wants?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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