Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Stupidity of Our Political Debate

From the WSJ:

But the governor said the cuts proposed Tuesday—along with the bill restricting bargaining rights—are necessary to address a $137 million shortfall for the fiscal year ending June 30 and a projected $3.6 billion deficit for the following two fiscal years. He opposes raising taxes.

Mr. Walker recommended cutting total state spending over two years by $4.2 billion, or 6.7%. He's also seeking to limit the ability of local governments to offset state cuts by raising property taxes.

Once again, we're caught in the "free lunch" mentality in our political debate. Here is a news flash; it costs money to run a country. Roads need to be built, courts need to function, schools need to pay teachers ... you get the idea. And yet, once again, we're hearing a political debate based only on the idea that government is too large, taxes are sky high and we need to get rid of the public bloat.

The reality is we're now at the point where we are cutting our long-term potential nose to spite our face. At a time when the workforce needs increased educational spending to train people for the "jobs of tomorrow" we're cutting educational spending. At a time when out national infrastructure gets a near failing grade from civil engineers, we're saying infrastructure spending is too high and doesn't need to increase. At a time when our tax burden is at a 60 year low, we're saying its too high.

This entire "up is down" mentality in our political dialog is, at times, mind numbing.