You don’t have to ask why you hear remarks like “Same old, same old.” And “There’s nuthin’ new under the sun.” And – as Harry Truman said – “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”
Those thoughts come about because human beings keep doing the same things over and again. This is especially true when they come to running countries.
Here is the cycle. The politicians tax the people. The money arrives at government. The politicians steal some. They use the rest to run things. And to give to the people. In the form of benefits and services of some sort. The people take what they can, and ask for more.
The result is that the politicians steal and spend more than what comes into the coffers. So they have to borrow. They stick the debt on the people. They raise taxes to pay the debt. And to pay for the stealing. And to pay for the benefits the people ask for. Hell, for what they demand, after a while.
So the politicians are faced with tough decisions. They can cut the spending. Or they can raise taxes. Or they can do some of both. So they take the easy route. They raise the taxes.
When people squawk, the politicians look for villains to blame the mess on. They blame the rich. The rich are not paying their fair share.
Now, the rich did not cause all the overspending that got the country into the mess. But they make good targets. So the politicians blame them for the mess. The rich know the politicians don’t mean this. They know the pols are whispering behind their hands “We have to do this to get back into office. It’s mostly for show.”
Sometimes the pols do mean it. They do raise taxes a lot on the rich. So the rich leave town. They go offshore. They go underground. They hire lawyers and accountants to find the loopholes. In one way or another they avoid paying much in extra taxes. And they cut back on their investing.
When the investing slows down, the economy slows down. So the politicians lower the taxes. And the investing comes back. And the economy does all right. Because it grows, it throws off more and more money in the form of taxes.
And the cycle is complete. The politicians see the extra money come to government. They steal some of the extra money. They use the rest to run things. And to give the people more benefits of some sort. The people take what they can, and ask for more. After a while they regard the new benefits as entitlements.
Pretty soon the government runs short of money. The politicians face the tough decisions. They can cut the spending. Or they can raise taxes.
You know the rest of the story. Or you should. If you are older than 45 and you have been paying attention you should.
At just about any time in our history you could say “Here we go again.” and you’d be right.
From Tom ... as in Morgan.
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