Today is the day that a number of folks, angered by the nation’s taxing problems, will hold “tea parties” to protest rising spending, increasing debt and high taxes.
They are holding these parties on tax-built public buildings and lawns, getting to them on tax-funded public streets, using tax-supported mass-transit or tax-subsidized gasoline in their motor vehicles.
Tax subsidized gasoline? How much do you think gasoline would cost if we weren’t spending a hundred billion or so a year in the middle east? Even before the war we were spending more there to defend access to the oil than we were spending on the actual oil.
And so on.
It is funny to see the story about these tea parties in this morning’s Standard-Examiner right under a story about the F-35 fighter plane, an $83 million per unit upgrade for the Air Force. The story is about how ATK in Northern Utah is making parts for it.
Note, just parts — and our Congresspeople pictured with the story are proud of that. People who build airplanes for the Air Force try to make sure as many congressional districts as possible have a piece of the fighter plane pie so that their congresspeople will all have to vote for them so they can tell the folks back home how they’re bringing home the bacon.
Federal bacon, of course. Tax funded bacon.
So Rep. Bishop and Sen. Hatch did vote for the F-35, and will continue to do so, and then they’ll both go to these rallies on their tax-funded highways, writing the cost of their own travel off to the taxpayers as official business, and rail against increased spending by the government because, good lord, can’t we do something about all this wasteful spending?
What really fascinates me is all these people want to cut taxes. Apparently that is the solution to our troubles. Oh, yes, and eliminate wasteful spending. George W. Bush doubled the national debt by cutting taxes, among other things. He fought two wars and said the way to pay for them was to cut taxes, an interesting financial theory at best.
What I don’t hear from any of these people is where to cut spending to balance the budget. Eliminate waste? If you can find a trillion dollars of waste in the government, send me the list.
But, I insist, it HAS to add up to $1 trillion. I want names and programs, too. Don’t just say “Hey, I knew a guy at Hill Air Force Base once who didn’t do squat. Fire him.”
I want his name, his work location, his salary, and you’ll need 16.6 million people like him, each earning $60,000 in wages and benefits, so it adds up to a trillion.
Good luck. The total federal work force, excluding the military, is less than 3 million.
Speaking of cutting programs: Good luck on that as well.
Defense spending — dare one mention the F-35? — is sacrosanct, not only because all the flag wavers will fight any defense cut, but because defense spending is spread so far and wide, like the F-35, that it is impossible to get congresspeople to vote to cut it.
Cut out those disgusting entitlements? I am still waiting for someone, anyone, who feels this is the solution to go to their mother or father, take away their Social Security check, tear it up, and then have mom and dad move in with them.
We could cut federal spending on roads. Let those leeches in the big states, the ones with cities far apart that require expensive highways to connect them, build their own roads or learn to live closer together.
Wait a sec. Is’t Utah one of those big states? OK, never mind.
Here’s an idea: Let’s slap a user fee on people trampling the grass in front of our public buildings. It costs money to grow and tend that grass. Let everyone who walks on it pay a dime first so the struggling taxpayers aren’t saddled with yet another burdon.
We can start by collecting from the people who go to one of these tea parties. If they’re serious about cutting government spending, they should be proud to pony up.