Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fair Share, Fiscal Cliff, Debt Ceiling

Fair share.  Fiscal cliff.  Debt ceiling.  What do these words mean to you?  Have you ever heard them before?  I hadn't until about three years ago.  Let's tackle these one at a time in no particular order.

Fair share.  These words are often very ambiguous, as blog author Nathan Wilkinson points out here in his blog What Does Obama Mean by "Fair Share?"  I would tend to agree with his blog.  Mind you, this was written back in July, 2011, but I think it definitely still applies.  Here is a quote from his blog that I found interesting:

"This phrase, "fair share" is being used and accepted as a fact, but no one has looked into what does those words mean to him and to everyone else. In fact, the phase itself implies that there should be an even-handedness between the rich and the taxes they pay. The phrase is also ambiguous because no one knows if the rich are taking more then their "fair share" or taking less."  

"No one has looked into what those words mean to him" (Obama).  I am a small business owner, or the spouse of one.  So I guess that makes me a partial small business owner.  Rest assured, we are paying our 'fair share'.  In fact, if we didn't have to pay such a large share, we might have a little more to throw into the economy and buy a few extra things that we would normally have to pay in taxes; thus stimulating the economy.  Wow, what a concept!  The American worker, gets to keep more of what they earn and they can buy more things and create more jobs for the industry that they are purchasing from.  Kind of reminds me of that PSA in the 1980's, when there was a 'war on drugs'.  The guy was pacing in a circle, repeating the same thing, "So I can work more, so I can earn more, so I can do more coke."  So....I'm not trying to do more 'coke', but you get the idea. 

Fiscal cliff.  We've been hearing a lot about that since before Obama's unfortunate reelection and since then as well.  Call me crazy, but I don't think that going off any kind of a cliff is a good thing.   What lawmakers are referring to is the upcoming tax hike slated for January 2013 to affect the top earners; you know all of those evil rich people who make over $250K per year?  Yeah, them.  Again, I look at this through the eyes of a small business owner.  What happens when you make less money as a business owner, large or small?  You tend to cut back a bit on hiring and wage increases.  Makes sense, right?  You have to, at some point, start looking out for your family because no one else will.  What's the affect of less hiring?  Not as many employed people.  Less people paying taxes and I'm sorry folks, a country cannot tax or spend itself into prosperity.  It's a vicious cycle.  "So I can work more, so I can earn more, so I can do more coke." 

Last but not least, is the infamous debt ceiling.  Remember fighting this during the summer of 2011?  I do.  The debt ceiling is referring to the country's credit limit or its spending limit.  Yes, it's like the credit card for the USA.  What happens when you as a consumer 'max' out your credit card? You can't spend any more money!  What happens when the United States 'maxes' out OUR credit card?  They just print more money!  Yahoo!  *note the sarcasm.  Anyway, it happened again in 2011, Congress agreed to raise the debt ceiling to $16.394 trillion.  Guess what?  We are fast approaching that limit, too.  I can just hear the arguments from 2011 haunting these upcoming 'talks' as well.  The Dems will accuse the Republicans of wanting America to default, and the Republicans will likely give in and raise it again with some wimpy 'demand' that the spending increase not exceed the spending cuts.  Cuts to be made over the next thirty years or something ridiculous.  Then we start all over again.  "So I can work more, so I can earn more, so I can do more coke."

Are we ever going to learn our lesson? 

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