YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Since Goverment Keeps Wasting My Money, Why Should I Want to Fork Over Any More?

October 28, 1990

I found the "Times Board of Economists" column written by Laura Tyson, "Ultimately, Ostrich Voting Gave Us the Budget Crisis" (Oct. 14), insulting and irritating.

I disagree adamantly with the "harsh economic realities" we have to face. Saying we are not overtaxed may be statistically true. So what? What I see is 30% of my gross income disappearing into programs I get no benefit from, regulatory commissions I don't need, and wars on crime, drugs, poverty, illiteracy, etc. (pick your favorite) that are not working. That's 10 grand a year doing a lot of nothing. What I see is over-taxation relative to the return on services. I'm not getting what I pay for.

Tyson attacks the wealthy for being undeserved recipients of the benefits of the '80s and proposes taxes to correct this error. Why is Congress and the media preoccupied with soaking the wealthy to fund our federal government? Since when has it been a crime to be wealthy?

The Founding Fathers of this nation were all wealthy landowners who resented the taxes of an unresponsive government. Nothing in the Constitution guarantees fiscal equality and it is not our mandate to create such equality. It is the opportunity to gain wealth that continues to attract people to this country. It drives the very foundations on which capitalism is based. And now we want the reward for success to be hideously huge taxes? A great way to continue to build a nation.

"Most Americans will have to accept sacrifices in the form of higher taxes or cuts in popular spending programs," Tyson says. The federal budget is more than a trillion dollars. What Tyson implies is that all of this money is spent on necessary, beneficial programs and a failure to raise taxes will result in painful losses of these great programs. Would it be a loss?

Do we really want to spend several billion dollars on a drug war when juries refuse to enforce drug laws, fund bombers designed to fight a war that no longer threatens us, provide welfare benefits that are more lucrative than earned wages and subsidize tobacco products while we also fund a campaign against them?

We need to do some serious housecleaning to eliminate such counterproductive programs and concisely define the limits and goals of others. Until we do, no meaningful work can be done on the budget and any tax increases will only result in more programs that I do not need, want or like.


Moreno Valley

Los Angeles Times Articles