In one corner, the Republicans want to “cut taxes, spend less” . Is anybody even paying attention anymore? In order for the government to cut taxes, they have to spend more. It doesn’t matter who the hell is getting the damned tax cut: you, me, Richy McMoneybags, big businesses, small businesses….. the who is absolutely irrelevant from the standpoint of the dollars themselves. Every dollar in tax cuts is a dollar that the government would no longer have, and to make up that loss, they borrow. It’s no different than me taking a cash advance on my credit card and calling it a pay raise. It’s not. It’s a lie, even if you choose not to believe it.
It was my understanding that the government got its money from us, through taxes. I know now that that is a gross simplicity meant to distract us. The government borrows the money it doesn’t have. When it can’t get it through taxes, or “gives it back” (read: doesn’t take it in the first place) though tax cuts, it simply goes to the FED and borrows it.
Spending is spending. Plain and simple. If I hand over $500 cash for a television, or write a check, or swipe the plastic – it’s all spending. You’re either spending money you have or money you borrow. It’s no different when the government does it. They would have you believe differently. They would have you believe it “more complicated than that”.
No. No it really fucking isn’t.
So when someone tells you that their grand plan to get our economy going again is to cut taxes and spend less, and you take a break from your beer long enough to give a “Damned Right!”, why don’t you go out and try it yourself first? Sure. Tell your employer that you’re giving them a payroll cut – they no longer have to pay you as much. Then just go out and pay for everything else you need, or made promises to, or owe, or want – with credit. I’ll come find you in a few months and ask how much healthier your personal economy is doing.
In the other corner are the Democrats. The president wants a tax cut for the middle class. Brilliant! I’m the working class. That sounds like sunshine and lollipops. I haven’t heard them say anything about how much I might be getting (correction: keeping), but that doesn’t really matter, does it? Just as long as I spend it!
That’s right. Spend it. I need to spend it. I, and the rest of the middle class, are “the folks most likely to spend this tax relief”. Oh, oh thank you so much for letting me keep even more of what I make that barely gets us by so that I can go out and SPEND it. You will never hear anyone suggest that I save that money.
Again, there’s the ridiculous notion that if we spend, things will get better. Sure, things will get better for some people – namely those who own or hold large stakes in the companies with which we’re spending. All that spending we do will transfer directly to their profits. You know who won’t benefit? Almost every single person who works for any of those companies (and I mean real work. and you know exactly what I mean by real work.) Companies are not going to hire more workers because we spend more, not when they know that the money we’re spending isn’t real, or permanent. They’re going to continue to squeeze more work from the employees they have, and will probably cut benefits along the way. And for your belief that spending more will help make our situation better, you’ll be left with less, and no one will care.
Every single member of the working middle class should spend every last dollar of their tax relief on paying down their own personal debt. Granted, it’s really the government paying down that debt with the money they borrowed to allow you to keep your money – and that debt will come back to haunt us all soon enough. The best you can hope for right now is to have yourself in as secure a position as possible when that does happen. If you don’t have debt, (Ha! Right.) put that money in savings. Real savings. Not just in another checking account that you’ll use next month.
In the end, this is all about responsibility. Personal responsibility. Who the hell should be responsible for making things better? Are you going to lay that responsibility on your elected officials, or are you going to fucking OWN IT yourself? Are you going to believe the things they’re telling you, that you know don’t make sense, or are you going to use you own damned head and your own reason and do what you know will work? Are you going cry about the situation, or are you going to fight it?
Save more. Spend less. Live below your means. The way I see it, you can start now and do it on your own terms….
….or you can be forced to do it later on someone else’s.