Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Public Swindlers (originally posted 3/10/13)

Originally posted March 10, 2013 (changed web hosts and back ups only through 2/28 were transferred)

With midterms coming up next year, and the general election two years later, the timing couldn’t be better for the politicians who've been blessed to find themselves at the forefront of the tax-reform effort.  Per this morning’s Washington Post article, As momentum builds toward tax reform, lobbyists prepare for a fight, we’re talking the granddaddy of all opportunities to raise campaign funds and buy votes en masse.  Just ask Dave Camp (R-Mich), Max Baucus (D-Mont), the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee — who have vowed to pursue a tax code rewrite this year — and ranking members of their posse, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sander Levin (D-Mich); the four of them have raked in some $5.6 million recently from corporations looking for a little love when it’s time to redistribute the goodies.  Although their aides did say “the political contributions do not affect policy decisions and don’t make an ounce of difference” and said the lawmakers’ decisions are influenced only by “the interests of their constituents.”  OOOOOOkay…

It’s also a boon to “retired” politicians like Rudy Giuliani (R), Trent Lott (R) and John Breaux (D), who left public service to become public swindlers.  Or, more accurately, remained public swindlers but now get to do their thing in more straight-forward fashion and get paid big bucks in the process.

Folks, I could spend the day writing on the ills of lobbying, on how politicians take us for utter fools—they would truly have us believe that “political contributions do not affect policy decisions”.  But I’ll simply cut to the chase: The more government grows, the more influence it has over the economy—over our lives—the more it pays corporations to allocate their resources toward competing for the affections of the politician and away from competing for our business in the marketplace.

True tax simplification would indeed, after the dust settles, benefit our nation in ways you can’t imagine. Or maybe I should say in ways you shouldn't waste your time imagining.  For the elimination of all (yes all) subsidies, corporate and consumer, and going with a simple flat tax would dramatically shrink the influence of government and, consequently, kill the coffers of campaigns.  And, please, if you happen to pledge allegiance to either of the two major parties, don’t think for a minute that yours is out to promote limited government and competitive markets—notice the Rs and the Ds following the names of the players.  And, ah shoot, I better stop here or I will spend the day on this topic….


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