Thursday, April 16, 2009

Don't Bite the Hand that Feeds You

This post was written on April 16th and I thought deserved to be posted despite it's antiquities.

Yesterday, tax day was met with "Tea Parties" across the U.S. to protest paying taxes, and government spending in general. The Governor of Utah was booed for accepting stimulus funds, and Texas Governor Rick Perry hinted at seceding from the Union. News stories abounded about the parties, and ironically the idea apparently stemmed in part from CNBC's commentator Rick Santelli urging angry taxpayers to host tea parties. Isn't this the same CNBC who was recently in big trouble as being a "faux" news source? Jim Cramer, CNBC's money guru, was recently hammered by Jon Stewart and others for his comments about the strength of the stock market. I wonder how many of those people who took the day off from work (or presumably didn't have work yesterday) make more than $250,000. For all of those individuals who fall into that category I say please feel free to protest away. But I would hedge a bet that the majority of those individuals make far less than that figure and have no real idea about what they're protesting. Some state the President's budget currently in front of Congress, others talk about the bailout and yet others cite the blooming deficit as reasons to be out on the street and angry.

But if that's really the case, maybe some of these protesters should consider what this government/country would look like without the budget/bailout/deficit. First, the budget addresses several of the shortfalls that are occurring everywhere at the state and local levels. Without the stimulus package 2,000 more teachers would have lost their jobs at LAUSD. Countless other government services people rely on such as unemployment insurance, MediCaid, children's health care programs would go unfunded. Who would pick up the slack? Certainly not private industry and non-profits are under an even bigger burden to generate revenue.

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