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Monday, July 17, 2006

Check Card or Credit Card?

I heard an interesting thing on the radio the other day, George Pataki in Iowa stumping for a mayoral candidate. Nothing is too unusual about that, he is a potential candidate for President in 2008 and has to be seen around the primary states. What I found interesting was one of him comments about the difference between Democrats and Republicans. He said that Democrats think they can spend a person’s money better than the person can while Republicans think people know how to spend their money best. This is not a new concept and certainly something I have heard before, but for some reason (probably my impending 4 hour drive) I actually thought about it a bit more beyond the usual dismissive Republican propaganda.

It is true. There are Democrats who think they know how to spend someone’s money better than they do, but there are also Republicans who feel the same way. There are also Democrats and Republicans who know most people know how to spend their money best.

It is not that all Democrats feel they know best about spending money. Democrats believe in a safety net. Democrats believe in a government that is there when no one else is. When a disastrous hurricane hits, a rogue nation decides to attack us, or the stock market crashes, the government should be there. The insurance policy you purchased is likely not going to cover the damage, if at all. The government is the insurance company that will (hopefully) always be there. It is the private security force that defends our borders. They are the children or the 401k that provide for us in our old age.

Key word in the name of country, “United.” Democrats want to provide for the entire population of the United States of America not just some.

Neither side is spectacular with spending money, just look at deficit since 2000. Democrats like to spend money we have which means higher taxes now. Republicans like to spend on credit which means higher taxes later. Neither of those is necessary, just what we end up with the modern political climate. The answer is some modification to the tax code. Our tax system is very regressive and is in need of a considerable overhaul, but I will leave that to the economists.