Thursday, May 26 , 2016, 8:40 pm | Fair 62º

Henry Schulte: Where Has All the Common Sense Gone?

By Henry Schulte |

For four years in a row, our national debt has grown by $1 trillion a year (35 percent of all our national debt has accrued in those last four years), and by all accounts it looks to continue. So last year’s fiasco fiscal cliff debate was nothing more than a media-driven joke.

President Barack Obama’s tax increase on the rich (the hardworking successful) will raise $600 billion over the next 10 years, while almost on the same day Medicare announced it was $800 billion short. We’re in the hole before a new dime was even collected.

There had been such a fight to stop America from falling off the ledge, and yet in the deal $248 million was handed over to Hollywood to help make movies, Jamaica was given $222 million to make rum just so it can ship it back to us, and the idiotic spending list continues. What the heck is Washington doing to our country?

Responsible Americans, when faced with an income shortage and realizing that they’re spending more than they’re taking in, will address this problem in a couple of ways. Since in the short term they don’t see any way to bring in more dollars, they need to cut down on expenses to balance things out. It may not be fun. They may have to give up a gym membership, enjoy fewer dinners out and watch a pay-per-view instead of the theater, but to financially survive you have to make sacrifices. Or, the other choice is to continue down the road of higher debt and then at some point collapse from too much of it and go bankrupt. Corporations in order to survive also follow this simple rule.

Then why does the government see no need to make an attempt to stay solvent? The answer is simple in one respect: It’s not their money. And as deep in the hole as we are now, borrowing on the credit card and making minimum payments is easy to shrug off because they figure at least they’re keeping up and the government is OK with that. But it’s wrong, and now this administration wants to continue to spend even more. Don’t even start on California.

With fraud so huge and rampant in government and the amount of waste so high, most of us can’t even wrap our brains around it much less expect anyone to do anything to fix it. With public employees having no real oversight working in overstaffed departments thanks to the unions, riding out their jobs and waiting to collect huge pensions, where’s the incentive?

We all know the game being played about the need to tax the rich to save America is just that — a game. When 47 percent of this country pays nothing, we’re taxing the wrong the people. It’s time we tax those who are getting the free ride on the backs of those who are carrying them. Just like the government, it’s easy to spend other people’s money. Granted, a lot of people live in poverty, but then there are millions more who could, but why give up the free ride? This dirty underbelly of America was exposed after Hurricane Katrina hit, and like everything else, over time it becomes “out of sight out of mind.” But it doesn’t mean the problem is solved.

What I’m getting at here is the demand by the left for those who worked hard to make something of themselves to demand it be shared with those who don’t give a whit about where it comes from as long as it keeps coming. I deeply resent when someone is called un-American because they’re not paying their “fair share,” which as we all know is again nothing more than a verbal tool of blackmail.

Why anyone in this financially bloated country wants to pay more taxes so the government can spend it before they even get it makes zero logical sense. You could give the government every penny, people, and the vacuum of Washington would still find a way to suck it all up.

The day of reckoning is here. The government gets no more money until there’s a balanced budget, and the way to achieve that is to have a major overhaul and carve out huge chunks on spending. Sounds good, and as we all know it will never happen. No one is going to give up free money — whether it’s a politician doling it out for votes, or the person on the other end demanding their check.

If I were a conspiracy-minded person, I’d almost think there’s a hidden agenda to drive the country so deep in debt from which we can never recover. To what purpose, I don’t know. Maybe weaken America to such a degree that we lose that superpower status? There are “Americans” who hate this country and really do want us to become subservient to the rest of the world.

When it comes to tax increases for the rich, are not those $40 million-a-movie Hollywood actors and those uber-wealthy producers not part of the so-called 1%? The ideological-minded sheep funneled millions of dollars to their chosen one, who now wants to bury his hands deep in their pockets to pay for his mistakes. I can’t believe they truly like the idea, but they’re blinded by their beliefs and don’t know what else to do.

With a tax code made up of 4 million words and those who actually pay taxes spending more than 6 billion hours to prepare returns, there is something terribly wrong in that.

I love this country, but it’s in dire need of a major tuneup.

— Henry Schulte of Santa Barbara owns and operates Dos Pueblos Ranch. He has been politically active in the community for years. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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