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Tiny Light at Tunnel's End - Tampa Bay Magazine (Vol. 130)

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

This article was first posted in the November/December 2023 edition of the Tampa Bay Magazine. See our article below.

A Light at Tunnel's End

If you have read my past columns in Tampa Bay Magazine, or get my weekly “Facts, No Spin” emails, you might just call me the Prophet of Doom. There is a reason for that – I have read the tea leaves objectively and concluded, with good cause, that our Ship of State is headed directly at the proverbial iceberg. But recently I saw a tiny glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t a train speeding at us this time. 




There are a few folks in Congress who seem to get it. They have looked objectively at the facts and reached the same conclusion I have – and proposed a real solution. House Budget Chair Jodey Arrington has laid out a gutsy plan to balance the budget in 10 years. And he does it without one penny of tax increases and even makes the 2017 Trump tax cuts permanent. It’s not that hard. Cut useless and wasteful spending. Get rid of the Green New Deal $300 billion slush fund. Constrain runaway Medicare and Medicaid spending. Have work requirements for all welfare programs. Eliminate hundreds of redundant low-priority programs. Grow the economy at 3% to get more revenues (which would happen if we left more capital in the private, productive sector). 




The projected deficit declines every year starting in 2025 and reaches a surplus in 2033. Amazing, some great work is coming from our representative. Yay! Common sense is at last prevailing.




However, lest you be filled with hope, Charlie Brown, I am now going to pull away the football. The chances today of getting this through the House, Senate, and a Presidential signature are slim to none, and, unfortunately, slim died. The professional politicians in D.C. will never let this pass; it will diminish the power of the “ruling” class. But there is no ruling class you say, the people are the masters, and Congress is there to carry out our will. We elected them, didn’t we? Yes we did, but they have become so adept at giving away goodies to get reelected – they are now entrenched as the permanent ruling class – professional politicians, many of whom have never signed the front of a paycheck. They do not even profess spending discipline as both Republicans and Democrats line up the earmarks for their districts. Alas, that is the sad state of affairs today. They keep giving away the farm, and we keep electing them. Shame on us for being so shallow and watching as we cruise on mindlessly into the iceberg.




Wake up America, before before we crash and burn. Enter Main Steet Economics, a public service, nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization I started to address this sad state of affairs. The goal is to educate about economics, and alert the good folks on Main, the voting public, to what is happening and the potentially catastrophic consequences of what our elected representatives are doing to us. It is our job to be informed and elect representatives who will steer the country in the right direction. If this is all a shock to you, take 10 minutes and go to our website, mainstreeteconomics.org, and get the facts. Then you will be as alarmed as I am about the future of this country.


 


Then, don’t just fret about it, send a message to Congress that you want the fiscal mess fixed. Do it any way you can, one easy way – go to our website where there is a Contact Congress button. In less than a minute you can send our message, or write your own.




Our Founding Fathers would be appalled at the irresponsible fiscal mess we have made and the usurpation of power D.C. has grabbed. They warned us about debt, and the toxic nature of too much power at the federal level which will rob us of our liberty. And make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening in D.C. today. That is why they so wisely designed a federal/state partnership with limited federal power. It worked well for 200 years, but, alas, we have lost our way. 




The fuse on the debt bomb is lit; do not let it blow on our watch. Our kids and grandkids and all future generations deserve better than that.




It is up to us to fix it.





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