Saturday, November 22, 2008

Anyone left standing will pay for the Republican debacle

By Steven G. Leibfried,
Published Saturday, November 22, 2008

When running a government, someone has to pay for it. So why are people who support Democratic policies and platforms so often referred to as “tax-and-spend liberals,” socialists, etc? The Republican Party, including its past two-year election campaign, has represented itself as the “tax-break option” for voters:

“We won’t raise your taxes, the Democrats will. Barack Obama is a socialist; he wants to redistribute your money, while we want you to keep your money.” Sound familiar to anyone?

Look at what has happened over the past eight years, six of which included Republican control of all three branches of government: We have literally been spent into oblivion, and often for things such as the Iraq “war” that have done absolutely nothing for this country and its economic well-being.

Factor in ruthless finance, stock brokerage and mortgage moguls who knew they were taking John Q. Public to the cleaners, while the Republican majority sat back and watched, and, well, you know the rest.

So now, we can all pony up literally trillions of dollars to “bail out” liars, cheaters and thieves, under the duress of being bankrupt and homeless ourselves if we don’t. And by the way, some of the aforementioned crooks will still walk away as millionaires, not felons.

A country needs a governing body, and the cost of government, like anything else, has escalated dramatically over the years. We all know there are really only two ways to manage that: control costs by giving up or reducing programs people have become used to having, or increase our tax load.

The difficult choices are what to cut and whom to tax. Anyone left standing out there, now and when this is all over, had better become used to living in smaller spaces, using less energy, having to work later in life, and not counting on any government entity for one’s sole survival. It’s as simple as that.

And government employees, even the military, are going to have to learn to tighten their bloated belts, too, or none of these recovery attempts are going to work.

Invariably, the Republicans will be back in 2012, complaining about how the Democrats “screwed everything up” and how much money “they spent” trying to fix it. How I wish we could have a country that doesn’t pit one political party against another, white against black, male against female, old against young, but that doesn’t exist anywhere on Earth, does it?

Leibfried lives in Fargo

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