Wednesday, October 8, 2008

America desperately needs leaders with courage to face reality

The $700 billion bailout is apparently not having the desired affect to assuage the American public that everything is going to be all right.

Not only has the U.S. stock market continue to head south but now the Europeans and Asian are joining the panic parade. They are losing confidence in America's ability to get out of this mess.

Small wonder. So far neither of the major candidates running to succeed the Bush administration has explained what measures they will take to reverse the economic freefall.

Before the freefall, McCain and Obama saw cutting taxes as the solution to America's economic malaise. After the freefall, both saw cutting taxes as the solution to America's economic malaise.

Pardon me for pointing out the inconvenient truth, but cutting taxes is not a magic bullet or miraculous cure to overspending--just as there is no free lunch.

How will cutting taxes fund education and really (and actually) leave no child behind?

How will cutting taxes continue to finance the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?

How will cutting taxes pay for the increase in defense spending that the Pentagon is hankering for?

How will cutting taxes balance our budget, reducing rather than adding to our budget deficit?

How will cutting taxes convince other nations that the U.S. is finally behaving responsibly about protecting the value of the dollar?

America owes trillions of dollars to the rest of the world. What would happen to the American economy if foreigners decide that American IOU's (and American dollars) are not worth the paper they are printed on?

What America needs right now is a leader with the backbone to look at the American people in the eye and say, "There is no free lunch, afterall. Until we pay the tab for all the past 'free' lunches, we can't continue to blabber of cutting taxes."

It will take someone with integrity and statesmanship to do that. So who is it going to be?

(Though ostensibly a discussion on Sarah Palin, Tom Friedman has done an excellent job of explaining the necessity of taxes.)

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