February 26, 2011

The Rubicon is a River in Wisconsin

Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post:

The magnificent turmoil now gripping statehouses in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and soon others marks an epic political moment. The nation faces a fiscal crisis of historic proportions and, remarkably, our muddled, gridlocked, allegedly broken politics have yielded singular clarity.
We have heard everyone - from Obama's own debt commission to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - call the looming debt a mortal threat to the nation. We have watched Greece self-immolate. We can see the future. The only question has been: When will the country finally rouse itself?
Amazingly, the answer is: now. Led by famously progressive Wisconsin - Scott Walker at the state level and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan at the congressional level - a new generation of Republicans has looked at the debt and is crossing the Rubicon. Recklessly principled, they are putting the question to the nation: Are we a serious people?


  1. Why does change have to take place on the backs of the middle class and the blue collar workers? The system is broken because of the greed at the top. Instead of asking the masses to bleed a little more, why don't the state legislators ask the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes?

  2. @Diana, how much more should the rich pay? The top 1% of earners pay about 38% of the taxes. Top 5% about 60% of the taxes. Top 10% about 70%. Top 50% of earners pay about 97% of the taxes. 47% of the people in the US pay no taxes, but live off the money the 50% that are producing. They have no skin in the game. If you don't contribute to something, they you don't appreciate it. When Reagan took office in the early 1980's the top marginal tax rate was about 70%. Would anyone agree to have the gov't take 70% of their earnings? When John Kennedy took office he too faced a high top tax margin. Both presidents reduced tax rates and revenue to the government went up. The reason the "Roaring 20's" were roaring is because tax rates were reduced. Eisenhower faced the same problem when he was elected. He cut rates, and revenue to the government went up. Conversely, every time tax rates go up, revenues to the government go down. The problem isn't tax revenue, it's government spending, printing and borrowing money and spending yet more. Our national debt is $14 trillion. Legislators, both State and Federal are always asking the wealthy to pay more. In never works. Those same legislators spend it before they get it. The Robber Barons get rich by producing products and services. Politicians are Robber Barons that produce nothing but laws that benefit their benefactors. Bottom line. The more the people keep their money to spend in their communities for their friends and families, the more business there are to sell those products and services. The more businesses there are, the more people are employed. Those people are paying taxes, and the more taxes there are, the more revenue to the gov't. Government just needs to quit spending.

  3. @MP, the statistics you mention are terrifying! I didn't know things were that bad in the States.