On Sunday, The Hill reported that Representative James Clyburn (S.C.) is vowing to use his position on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to tackle the nation’s enormous wealth gap.
The article reports:
Clyburn said he’ll be pushing for revenue raisers – not just cuts – in the next round in order to “secure our nation’s financial future in a fair and balanced way that requires shared sacrifice and creates opportunity for all Americans.”
There is a basic problem with this statement. We will never be able to eliminate poverty. We can try to make poverty more comfortable–food stamps, housing, etc., but we will never eliminate it. Jesus, who seemed to have a pretty good idea of what human nature was like, stated in Mark 14:7, “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good.” Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty more than forty years ago. We lost. What we have done has not worked, what is Representative Clyburn planning to do that is different?
What is responsible for the nation’s wealth gap? Part of it may be due to educational opportunities, but more of it is due to work ethic, ambition, attitude, values, etc. Unless you are willing to work on some of those areas, you will not change the wealth gap.
The article further reports:
While Democrats are insisting on tax-revenue increases as part of the package, Republicans are equally as adamant that they be excluded.
“We were not elected to raise taxes or take more money out of the pockets of hardworking families and business people,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) wrote Monday in a memo to fellow Republicans.
There is a basic philosophic difference between the statements of James Clyburn and Eric Cantor. Eric Cantor understands that people who have wealth have generally worked hard to obtain it. Taking it away from those people will not make the poor any richer–it will make everyone poorer. Shared sacrifice does not work–it is not good for anyone.
Raising taxes in a recession is not a good idea. The Democrats stated in January when they extended the Bush tax cuts that raising taxes in a fragile economy was not a good idea. What has changed? The supercommittee is political theater. The problem is that when they fail, our defense budget will be stripped and we will pay a heavy price for that in national security. The defense budget is not our problem and low taxes are not our problem–it’s the spending, stupid!
If you truly want to tackle the wealth gap, lower everyone’s taxes, cut regulations, and tell everyone on welfare that the payments will stop in three months. At that point, the economy will grow!