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Huntington POV: Actions Have Consequences

Ben Franklin and 100 reasons to get tax policy right

There is an old saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Fiscal conservatives, I among them, seek to limit the severity of the latter as to enhance the legacy of the former. Lower individual and corporate tax-rates, long the bête noire of the American left, would provide the populace with an engine for growth and a tool for economic recovery. The Obama policies of massive spending and excessive regulation have merely served to inflate the national debt, to weaken the U.S. dollar, and to considerably increase unemployment. If we seek a rebirth of prosperity, tax-cuts, free-trade and spending cuts would be the logical measures to implement. President Obama and Congressional Democrats, however, are incapable of conceding this point. Having created the laws that have led to this mayhem, they now blame others for its consequences.

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases. If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Ronald Reagan’s pithy analysis is as true today as ever, the difference now being that America’s present leadership has effectively implemented this agenda. The goal of President Reagan, and of Reagan-Republicans today, encompasses limiting the role of government in American private enterprise. To this end, the U.S. Constitution grants the federal Congress limited and enumerated powers, thereby ensuring that government tendencies to consolidate power are perpetually checked by lawful rights to property.

Presidents Reagan and Obama, both entering office during times of economic hardship, enacted fiscal policies that were consistent with their respective views as to the proper role of government. Whereas Reagan cut taxes, decreased regulations, encouraged open markets and reduced non-military spending, Obama has increased taxes and regulations, initiated trade-wars with Mexico and China, neglected trade-agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea and administered over the greatest expansion of government debt in the history of the United States. Whereas Reagan’s policies served to transfer power from the government to the people, Obama’s policies can fairly be judged as Reagan’s in reverse. President Reagan’s policies resulted in a thirty year period of economic stability and growth, while stagnant markets and increased unemployment have defined the present administration.

Defenders of the Obama Administration have rationalized these results by claiming extraordinary circumstances and by transferring blame to a litany of conservative ‘villains’, including George W. Bush, Fox News, the Tea Party movement and syndicated talk-radio. In the end, however, these tactics are self-defeating. Perhaps this defense can best be summarized by another Benjamin Franklin quote: “I didn’t fail the test; I just found 100 ways to get it wrong.”

The American people are not as easily manipulated as the progressive-left may think. Actions have consequences, and in the case of politics, they can make or break a party.

Jeremy Pitcoff

Mr. Pitcoff is a freelance columnist and a committeeman for the Smithtown Republican Party.  The VT welcomes perspectives from all Huntington residents. Click here for more about the rules and process for submitting an article or other media for publication.

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6 comments to Huntington POV: Actions Have Consequences

  • Johnny Reb

    Great POV but you do have a cure on the Democratic brainwashing the lemmings in this country are afflicted with?

  • Anonymous

    Great piece! I wish all voters would read it!

  • Douglas

    Yet another example of revisionist history by the RepubliCons… Did you notice that we went from a country with a surplus under Clinton to a huge deficit under Bush? All you want to do is provide bigger tax cuts for the wealthy in hopes that they will actually create jobs with it. In fact, most who end up with that extra money (a pittance to them) don’t spend it…they save it. I don’t hold either party totally blameless for the straits we are in, but it’s this MY PARTY HAS ALL THE ANSWERS crap that has led us to the point where realistic compromise is considered giving in to the enemy. Can we PLEASE have a part in the middle??

    And, by the way, quoting Franklin on taxes is as absurd as demanding slavish adherence to every letter of the Constitution. Its framers were men, not gods, and they could not have foreseen half of the complex issues we face today. Stick to the ideals, yes, but understand that the Constitution is meant to be interpreted, not blindly followed like some religious extremist who says that adulterers should be stoned because the Bible says it’s okay.

    • My party has all the answers

      You are right when you say that a statement like that is crap. I would take it a step further and say that no party these days has the answer. There is a complete lack of statesmanship on both sides of the aisle. Agendas seem to be developed to enhance the probability of getting re-elected and not solving real problems. Eventually the piper has to be paid and the longer you wait, the more it costs. Whether you cut taxes or not, no real dent will be made in the deficit until spending is curtailed. The sooner we take our medicine as an economy the quicker we can come out on the other side. Otherwise we are doomed to repeat what Japan has gone through for the last 15 years and what Europe is beginning to endure now. Term limits for everyone. Make politics about public service and not about lifelong careers.

  • Where are the facts!

    Usually when you have a POV you have some facts to back it up or you just make things up.

    I guess you have chosen to just make stuff up.

    I wish republicans would stop talking about Reagan. He could not even get nominated to run for president by the current republican party. I have some facts to back this up.

    As governor, Reagan was the biggest California spender of the last half century. Under him, state spending leaped 177%. And as president, he spent like the proverbial drunken sailor to expand the Navy and the nuclear missile arsenal while winning the Cold War. He left Washington with a then-record national debt.

    His first year as governor, Reagan raised taxes equal to 30% of the state general fund, still a modern record. And as president, he increased taxes several times, although conservatives pretend to remember only the one big tax cut.

    As governor, Reagan protected the spectacular John Muir Trail in the Sierra from highway builders and Central Valley business interests. He blocked dam building on the Eel and Feather rivers. He and Republican Gov. Paul Laxalt of Nevada set aside their aversion to centralized, intrusive government and created a bi-state agency to control growth at Lake Tahoe.

    Reagan signed legislation creating the California Air Resources Board, leading to the nation’s first tailpipe emissions standards.

    Reagan wanted to abolish all nuclear weapons.

    Reagan negotiated with terrorists (Iran-Contra).

    In 1986 Ronald Reagan give amnesty to 7 million illegal immigrants.

    In 1981 Reagan selected the first Liberal woman to the Supreme Court.

    1.Sandra O’Connor voted for affirmative action.

    2.Sandra O’Connor voted to keep Abortion legal.

    3.Sandra O’Connor voted against gun rights.

    Over Reagan’s 8 years in office Government expansion rose higher than any president ever at that time.

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