Tag Archives: economics

Noblesse You?

16 Apr

I know that there are a lot of people out there who are in favor of less government or like Grover Norquist and his followers, no government at all.

But I never hear them explain or diagram what it is that they propose as an alternative.

I will grant you that government is wasteful and has been spending an awful lot of money on that which does not seem to benefit the governed very much. And it needs to be more responsible to the needs of the people it serves as opposed to the needs of lobbyists and corporations and special interest groups…at least that is what I think.

But those who oppose government or what they call “Big Government” as in “Big Brother” or someone or something that is watching us and means to do us harm… or take away our rights, seem to wish to govern by doing nothing at all. At least that is what the 236 Congressmen who have signed Mr. Norquist’s pledge do.

They obfuscate, block, filibuster, delay, and do everything they can to avoid governing. So what kind of government do they and their supporters want should they someday find themselves in the majority of both the House and Senate? Will they govern then? Or quit and leave us without a government at all?

From their proposals so far and from what I have read by others who support them, they are against social programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid any form of Universal Healthcare, Welfare in the form of housing, food assistance or unemployment insurance, and any form of government regulation on anything.

They appear to be for increased spending on the military, defense systems, and  homeland security  and for the  privatization of large government entities or bureaucracies like the post office etc.

But they are never really specific about what they would cut and what they would leave and how much that would save us all on government expenses and what the future American society would then look like. Why is that?

Is it because they know that what they want would not be very appealing to what most Americans expect from a government? As far as I have been able to determine their answer seems to be one of Noblesse Oblige.

Noblesse oblige” is generally used to imply that with wealth and power, come responsibilities and in American English especially, the term is sometimes applied more broadly to suggest a general obligation for the more fortunate to help the less fortunate

The Oxford English Dictionary says that the term “suggests noble ancestry constrains to honorable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility.” Being a noble meant that one had responsibilities to lead, manage and so on. One was not to simply spend one’s time in idle pursuits.

Is this what “Small Government” proponents want? Government entities for military, and defense purposes and the wealthy and powerful citizens and corporations will provide for everything else through their charity and kindness where and when they see fit?… Like most European governments in the pre-Revolutionary War days did?

I’m just asking because I seriously do not know what the alternative is that they propose? How do they picture the future of American society? Can someone out there enlighten me please? Nicely I hope and without and noble condescension? Thanks.

Trickle Down Downer?

4 Jan

Legislation passed by the Senate on Tuesday night as part of the effort to avoid the dreaded “fiscal cliff” will limit the amount wealthy people can claim for charitable deductions on their taxes. The cap will apply only to individuals who make 250 thousand dollars or more and married couples making $300,000 or more, and It could save the government up to 50 billion dollars in tax breaks.

And now in response rich folks are apparently up in arms claiming that if they can’t deduct all of their charitable gifts they may not be so charitable in the future. Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, tweeted: “This deal limits my deductions so I, & many others, will likely donate less in 2013.”

So why give if the giving can’t get you something good? That’s the exact opposite of what it means to be charitable isn’t it?

And According to Philanthropy News Digest, the new cap on tax deductions could potentially deter giving by anywhere from 0.4 percent to 2.3 percent –- up to $7 billion a year.

So 2013 may finally see revealed the answer to whether or not the trickle down theory of economics really is just economic theory or indeed economic fact.

Will the rich be truly generous enough to keep trickling on the poor…or will it all Depend?

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