In response to:

“The Unanswered Question”—On Taxes and Spending

gungy Wrote: Nov 28, 2012 2:44 PM
Michael, please tell me you're not inflicting Charlie Ives on your family at Thanksgiving! At least not the atonal stuff. Are you a sadist? But you got to hand it to Charlie. He wrote avant garde music a hundred years ago nobody wanted to hear but did he go on wlefare or demand government grants to support him? No. He went into business, built an insurance agency from the ground up (yes, he built that, not the government) and became legendary in the insurance industry and wrote his music on the side.

Editor's note: A version of this column appeared originally in THE DAILY BEAST.

In the debate on our fiscal crisis, one crucial question is never answered or even asked: if we’re supposed to go back to Clinton-era tax rates because they were good for America, why don’t we simultaneously return to that era’s spending rates?

In other words, what is government doing so much better today than it was then to justify vastly increased expenditures, totaling more than $1 trillion a year in inflation-adjusted dollars?

The question came up during our Thanksgiving holiday, when I honored my personal tradition—which reliably annoys...