- The Washington Times - Monday, February 15, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Inaccurate terms such as “$3.8-trillion plan” and “$1.3-trillion deficit” are thrown around as if they were pennies. I don’t know whether politicians, the media and the general public are inept or intellectually lazy, but I would almost guarantee that very few have any real idea what all the missing numbers that follow those terms mean relative to what “We, the people,” will receive for those dollars.

No wonder we aretold to expect deficit spending to accumulate over the next decade or so. But even if we could borrow the amount of the “deficit” at 3 percent interest, we still would be responsible for about $390 billion. Taxpayers will receive absolutely no benefits in the form of jobs, goods or services from that.

I think the government should be as economically sound as I am expected to be. If I run up a credit card bill, borrow from a bank or overdraw an account, I must settle those accounts. Not so the elected officials of any administration. If I buy a house or a car, I can consider their value as an asset on my books. But those of government literally do not know their assets from a hole in the ground. They buy a new jet for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to fly around the world, but instead of showing it as an asset, the books simply consider its cost to be a deficit.

This nation has assets in land, buildings, military and other supplies belonging to “We, the people” that could erase all our debt if we were smart enough to create a bookkeeping method that included those assets and allowed the books to be balanced. A double-entry accounting system would make sense. In fact, if all of the durable goods purchased were listed as assets, the only taxes needed would be for nondurable goods such as wages. But I know we will not even try because I have written to my representatives and the media about it time and again and have yet even to a receive a response.

Of course, that would mean we also would have to stop doing such stupid things as building stadiums for the benefit of wealthy team owners, a move that simply stuffs those owners’ wallets with taxpayer money. We also need to stop the executive bonuses for the proven losers who put AIG, big banks, etc. in hock. That greed, combined with another form of greed by labor, which demanded and received more “benefits” in the form of early retirement, more vacation time, coffee breaks and sick leave, is part of the reason we are in such trouble economically.

It is time for so many people to stop acting as though there is a magic lamp we can just rub and have our wishes granted.

FORREST L. MILLER

Rockville, Md.

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