The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pain Now

I’ve watched in amazement as the same politicians who were profligate spenders not more than 3 months ago have now become self-proclaimed budget hawks. They loudly complain about the “cost” of not raising income taxes on the “rich” and castigate the President and more rational members of congress for their “budget-busting” tax compromise.

The last time I checked, costs are incurred when any entity spends money, does things that require the expenditure of money, or makes promises that lead to the future expenditure of money. Most entities—individuals, small business, and even the large corporations—recognize that income and expenditures must balance or a deficit results. But only those who worship at the alter of social justice seem to believe that government expenditures can continue without bound to achieve social justice while income (taxes) can be raised without bound to make up the difference.

Our budgetary crisis—make no mistake, it is a crisis—will be solved when the congress finally decides to reduce expenditures and pair down entitlements. That’s what is happening right now in Europe. After years of irresponsible spending and ballooning entitlements, the leaders of the U.K., France, Ireland, Greece, Spain, and Portugal have finally decided that pain now will avoid much more pain later.

We’ll see whether our leaders have as much courage as their counterparts across the Atlantic.