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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Number, please!

I'm not a numbers person.  I hate math.  Give me big long words to spell over a math problem any day.  If I have to do anything beyond basic addition, subtraction or multiplication, there had better be a calculator nearby.  Otherwise my eyes will glaze over and my neck begins to twitch.  I really wish it would come easier for me, but sometime shortly after my last math exam , it seems everything I learned about math theories and algebraic formulas just disappeared - poof - out of my brain.  

If you assume, then, that I also suck at economics, you would be correct.  Normally I'm not bothered by this fact.  I usually don't blog about financial issues.  

Today finds me somewhat regretting my lack of attention in Mr. Summerour's 11th grade economics class.  Perhaps the current crisis facing our nation would be a bit easier to understand if I had listened more closely.  Tonight I find myself with my eyes glazed over and my neck beginning to twitch.  This national debt crisis thing is pretty big stuff, and I'm irritated at myself for not understanding things.  Oh, I get the basic concept:  We're in debt.  More going out than coming in.  That's not so hard to understand.  

I watched the President's speech, and the Speaker's response.  I hope you're sitting down when you read this, because I'm about to say something you won't often hear me say.  I agree with President Obama.  However- I realize that I say that as one who hates anything to do with numbers, and with only a barely-passing grade in economics.  I surely must have misunderstood something he said tonight. 

I know there are those who are blaming the Republicans for stonewalling and refusing to pass a bill that the Democrats want.  While I don't really like either party at this point, given the choice of only these two, I pretty much am NOT a Democrat.  

But could someone tell me what is wrong with the plan that the Democrats have proposed?  Yeah, I know it's all probably based on cheating, lying, and covering their own butts.  It's the stuff that I don't hear that frightens me.  

Absolutely, spending should be cut.  Fraud should be identified and eradicated.  But what I really like is that the rich people and huge corporations should not be privy to all the tax cuts and loopholes, while the little folks carry the financial burden by paying higher taxes.  IMO, he was very effective when he asked (loosely paraphrased) would we rather the budget issues be solved by expecting an elderly person to forfeit Medicare benefits before asking a corporate jet owner or oil tycoon to give up a tax break.  That sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

Maybe we need to look closer at the Fair Tax proposals that some have suggested. 

In the meantime, I'd really love to hear from both sides.  What do you think?

(On the flip side, if you enjoy irony, check out this article that shows how then-Senator Obama reacted when President Bush wanted to raise the debt limit...)

1 comment:

  1. I hope others react to last night's speeches the same way you did. Let me say upfront I voted for President Obama and would do so again. The Bush tax cuts and GOP war-mongering are largely responsible for the boat we're in. Spending is a problem, but a balanced budget amendment would devastate the economy. Families and business need to spend less than they earn. Governments have a different function. Deficit spending (which we wouldn't have without wars and the Bush tax cuts) are sometimes necessary. Our current tax rates are the lowest in decades. Is it a coincidence that we're also facing the biggest economic crisis since the depression? I think not. The only way out of the debt crisis is to reduce spending AND increase taxes. I think most of the GOP rhetoric comes down to one agenda, stated shortly after President Obama was elected. They want him to fail--and are apparently willing to sink our country to get what they want.