Let’s clear up a few economic items first thing in order to get on with our day.
I’ll break out the Mikeronomics and Mikemathics to get to the point without boring you to death.
We don’t hear a whole lot about balancing the budget these days with the exception of George Bush saying that his plan will do the balancing act in 2012. That would conveniently be four years after he leaves office, which will gives him the patented departed presidential phrase of, “I don’t know what happened, it was alright when I left.”
Bill Clinton said as much when he claimed a balanced budget. And, for the untrained eye and for those who have not studied government math (not to be confused with 1+1=2), he did. But how he did so is important; the devil’s in the details.
Mr. Clinton’s administration actually raised spending…a lot. He consequently raised taxes…a lot more. A huge tobacco settlement was received, the dot-com scam was still working, entitlement funds were used to pay down the debt, and life was good long enough for Mr. Clinton to say, “I don’t know what happened, it was alright when I left.”
This isn’t pick on Bill Clinton day, just an example that lucky is better than good. And also to demonstrate that each time an administration raises taxes, they get closer to the line in the sand that represents, “We ain’t payin’ any more taxes!” But more importantly, “We aren’t electing anyone who suggests more taxes.” It’s the latter that gives politicians horrendous nightmares. .
Ya see the good citizenry is nicer during good economic times, and meaner than a two headed snake during mean economic times. For those who haven’t been out of the house in the last couple of years, we are currently living in the meaner times.
Here is where we need to look at this thing with Mikeronomics. The government is so concerned about the economy that they are sending checks out to the good taxpayers for a little spending boost. Several million Americans are losing their homes in foreclosure. Jobs are leaving the U.S. faster than you can kiss a duck and the FED is dropping interest rates at, and between meetings regardless of the inflation consequences. Not good.
Now say you are a politician running for office and the above economic conditions exist. You really want to promise a balanced budget and need to raise taxes considerably to accomplish that campaign promise. You also want to provide universal heath care, free childcare, 16 years of government paid education, free job training for all displaced workers, a huge government public works program to improve the U.S. infrastructure, and hold down the number of immigrants entering the country.