Friday, January 14, 2011

Painful Choices

The body politic suffers from split personality.
We want our governments to do more
To solve physical and social problems,
While taxing us less to do so.

It does not compute, therefore we ignore
The fiscal consequences of our demands;
We spend, tax, borrow to meet
What we see are pressing needs.

That will bankrupt us, if it
Has not done so already.
We must decide first the tax burden
That we can live with.

Then governments can allocate
Their resources in priority of need,
Just as any prudent householder
Would budget his expenditures.

If that sounds simplistic, it is;
Yet those are the goals of
The only successful populist
Movement since women's suffrage.

What then, are we willing to give up?
What must we pay for that
Government now gives to us in
One form or another?

Example:  A business student of mine
Once related to us that her mother
Was on kidney dialysis, paid for then
By a special act of Congress.

Without it, she said, her mother
Would die within a few months.
What would you say to this young woman,
If you were an able politician?

You might say, if you were
Willing to risk reelection
That shouldering difficult burdens
Is required of all of us in a free country.

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