The president and Congress need an intervention

When some people appear beyond help because of addiction or other circumstances they can’t control, family members have been known to stage an intervention. Congress and President Biden need an intervention as their addiction to spending exceeds anything seen in history.

In his State of the Union address last week, the president invoked one of his party’s favorite lines about corporations and the rich not paying their “fair share” in taxes. Notice they never say what they consider fair and when Democrats manage to hike the tax rate it’s never enough.

The president claimed he has reduced the “deficit” (as opposed to the debt, which continues to grow). He takes credit for the reduction in spending following the COVID-19 pandemic, but that produced a decrease in the increase of spending, not an actual reduction. In the way the government mis-figures things, if you spent $500 on a credit card one month and $400 the following month, you would have decreased your spending, but still added $900 to what you owe. See how this works?

The top 1% of taxpayers — those who earn $561,351 or more — paid 42.3% of the total tax revenue collected in 2020, according to the latest figures from the IRS. In fact, the top 1% of taxpayers paid more income taxes than the bottom 90% combined. And yet the president wants to squeeze more blood from these successful “turnips.” Notice Democrats never suggest cutting a single dollar in spending, or eliminating programs that don’t work, or have exceeded their “sell-by” date. Instead, they demand more from the successful to subsidize and buy votes from people who pay no taxes, many of whom receive government checks.

Basic economics appears among the casualties of what is not taught in today’s public schools and universities. Let me help the uninformed and misinformed. Too much debt is a dead weight on the economy and on individuals.

From America’s beginning, there have been warnings of the threat to the nation of large debt.

As this is the 100th anniversary of Calvin Coolidge’s presidency, let’s begin with a few of his thoughts on debt: “Public debt is a burden on all the people.” Under Coolidge the debt fell. About taxes, he said:
The collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. Under this Republic the rewards of industry belong to those who earn them.”

What has changed in one century? Again, it is the transition from self-reliance to an over reliance on government.

George Washington warned the new nation to avoid “the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts.” Washington also believed it wrong to place “upon posterity the burden which ourselves ought to bear.” As with many of the other Founders, Washington would likely be appalled that moderns are ignoring his sage advice.

Why don’t more of us pay attention to the wise words of men like these and to what history teaches about nations that fall too deep into debt? Again, the answer is that so many people have been misled to rely on government first and themselves last that they have become addicted to government and the borrowed money that keeps those checks coming. As with other addictions from which the addicted cannot free themselves, an intervention is much needed. One can happen in November if enough non-addicts vote for candidates who are committed to putting our financial house back in order. First, they have to change their thinking about what was supposed to be a limited government so that “we the people” might be unlimited in our pursuit of happiness.

Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.