Liberals like to knock conservatives as being “unreasonable” because conservatives want to reduce government deficits and debt yet they don’t want to raise taxes. Politicians like President Obama claim they want a “balanced approach” to debt reduction, which means using both spending cuts and tax increases to shore up the federal budget.
This proposal sounds so ridiculously common sense orientated and reasonable that a large majority of Americans probably support it, and for good reason. It makes a ton of sense as a form of compromise between Democrats and Republicans. Even myself, as a staunch small government guy, think that this is a reasonable compromise to address one of our nation’s biggest issues. But as someone who does not like to be made a fool, I would never trust politicians to actually implement this compromise in an honest way.
The problem, as Charlie Brown noted above, is that politicians never ACTUALLY cut spending because that would allow them to buy fewer votes by bringing money back to their districts. They quickly accept tax increases as a new way to fund more cronyism and vote buying, but fiscal restraint is just too much to ask from the average politician, Republican or Democrat. If they cut spending to their districts that may cause them to lose re-election within two years, whereas the debt bomb may not explode for a long time. This means that politicians have a lot of incentive to spend, and not a lot of incentive to be fiscally responsible unless their constituents demand it.
America used to have an idea of moral hazard when it came to public debt, which meant that politicians and citizens saw it as immoral to spend today and make the grandkids pick up the bill. Unfortunately this concept seems to be yet another moral that has been destroyed in America.