By Pat Vaughn
Everywhere people think they pay too much to the federal government in taxes. That government is too big, too far reaching and definitely too wasteful. This is not always true and in many circumstances, government’s reach is not large or powerful enough! In this country of nearly 313 million, an effective and strong government is sometimes needed!
Our Tennessee qualifies for “Federal Aid” each year and receives back $1.27 from Washington for every $1 paid in taxes. That, folks, is “welfare”! How many of you who detest “welfare” and disrespect those receiving it realize that Tennessee is a “welfare state”? This means other American taxpayers provide us welfare! In fact, ten of the top receivers are Southern “non-union, right to work” states! Tennessee has a low cost of living because few workers here make a true “livable” wage. Some with college degrees qualify for food stamps! Poverty levels are very high. We have high illiteracy rates, too many school dropouts, a high rate of teen pregnancies, etc. As a result, the rest of America needs to bail us out.
Too many Southern workers are undereducated and considered difficult to train. Few “high tech” corporations who offer decent pay move here. Instead, we attract those who take advantage of the low taxes and cheap labor, using Tennessee and all of its people! Most of the country, though, sees improving education and poverty in the South as worthwhile. They consider it an investment in our country’s future.
On the other hand, government money is truly wasted by the lack of oversight and regulations on corporate managements who lack self control and discipline. Few punishments are enforced for CEOs who allow their personal greed to overrule their obligations! Many in our Congress find ways to enrich themselves financially, abusing their fiduciary responsibilities to the United States they supposedly represent. Pentagon funding is our largest expense and the greatest “waste” year after year. The U.S. spends as much as the next 17 countries combined, including China and Russia. While most of the money flowing through our economy is “recycled” throughout America (Social Security, Medicare and welfare funding), military spending is pretty much an expensive single shot! Congressional decision makers, who personally “invest” in Pentagon contractors, should be indicted and jailed. How can we stop votes for “profitable” (for some) wars with the few regulations we now have?
Most of our existing financial problems are still the results of the wasteful Bush Administration’s intentional re-distribution of the surplus, paid by the tax payers during the Clinton years. Many of you are “tired” of hearing how everything wrong today is still “Bush’s fault.” But, until the $10,600,000,000,000 debt he left is repaid, it IS still the Bush Administration’s fault! Particularly, the huge amounts wasted (and “lost”) during the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions.
President Lincoln (Republican) stated government should be “of the people, by the people and FOR the people”! Health care, education and economic support FOR the people is money well spent! Wars that financially profit only a few at the top are not!
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This column represents alternative thoughts to other published columns in the Crossville Chronicle. “We the People” is published each Wednesday. Opinions expressed in “We the People” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact John Wund, editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.