We'll have to learn to live with less

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"Don't tax you; don't tax me. Tax the man behind the tree." That's a famous quip of the late Sen. Russell Long of Louisiana. And he would go on to say, "Yes, tax the man behind the tree."

And we don't want to run behind the tree. And we don't want budget cuts or services and entitlements eliminated or reduced. It is OK to reduce or cut them for the man behind the tree, but not me.

Presently, we are in a Great Recession, and the boom times have gone and won't return for quite a while.

History tells us that we had our golden era. The past 60 years had been probably the greatest period for production and consumption; advances in education and medical research; new discoveries and inventions; creativity; and the creation of the middle class that improved living conditions for most Americans.

Although we had several mild recessions in-between, we knew everything would get better. We defeated our enemies in World War II and took leadership of the world. We helped redevelop destroyed countries in Europe and invested heavily domestically in ourselves. We took off and became the world's superior.

Then one day we looked back and some of the countries we had helped were becoming our competitors. People in these countries saw how we had advanced and began to use our model. Then we started buying their products because they were making them more cheaply. Then our factories closed at home and moved to those countries where labor cost less.

In the 1990s, the dot-com boom came and the stock market soared. We made tons of money and governments and consumers went on another spending spree. Later, the boom burst.

Then someone thought of derivatives, and bundled and sold them to the world. Then we found out that many of the derivatives were poor risks. Then we began to have a financial crisis.

Meantime, we consumed and thought the good times would last forever. We didn't save too much because we have had a good time spending. Politicians promised us everything and lowered taxes.

The national debt grew and grew until it reached double digits in 2008; it's still growing. Now we holler "Cut spending!" and "Don't raise taxes!" Cuts will be made and some of us will be affected.

So, let us learn to live with less if we don't want to be the man behind the tree.

Tracy E. Williams Jr.

Augusta

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Chillen
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Chillen 03/15/10 - 09:08 pm
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Excellent points Tracy, thank

Excellent points Tracy, thank you. Many of us have mentally made the shift and are ready for the changes. Many have buried their heads in the sand and demand more and more from a broken system. They are the very ones screaming the loudest about cuts.

We have to find a way to wean everyone from the government's grip but that is difficult because they are scared, many are lazy, the government knows it and they are are capitalizing it by making unbelievable power grabs.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010. The day we return to capitalism and common sense. Followed by a new inaguration in January 2013.

robaroo
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robaroo 03/16/10 - 06:53 am
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Exactly right, Mr. Williams.

Exactly right, Mr. Williams. Unfortunately, few people understand what is happening. When we get to the same point where Ireland and Greece are now, it will be like having a baseball bat hitting us on the head.

I wish the Republicans and Democrats would do something about the deficits before then, but it doesn't look likely.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 03/16/10 - 05:25 am
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The people who keep demanding

The people who keep demanding more from the government, more healthcare, more money for education, more social welfare programs, are too stupid to realize that they are the only source for more government money. They cannot comprehend the fact that if you took all of the annual income from the "rich" it would not make a dent in our annual national deficit. The three middle classes, upper middle, middle, and lower middle, are the only source of annual income for the government. Those who think they may benefit from more government spending will soon realize that they will be the ones hurt the most. They think the check is in the mail but it is really the the overdue bill notice.

carcraft
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carcraft 03/16/10 - 06:03 am
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Don't tax you, don't tax me,

Don't tax you, don't tax me, and add a trillion to the deficit and make health care "free"....Our unions, tax structure, and environmental laws are what pushed jobs and manufacturing over seas...

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 03/16/10 - 06:29 am
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Presently we're in a great

Presently we're in a great depression? More jobs were lost in the 2000-2001 recession. The timely tax cuts increased reinvestment in the economy and the recession ended for a 5 year run of 4.5% unemployment and the Dow hovering around 14,000.(then Dems got control of congress) The past 60 years saw a series of ups and down in the economy. Not surprisingly, when taxes went up, the economy went down and when taxes went down, the economy went up. The economy was growing in the nineties, so Clinton decided on the largest tax increase of peacetime. The bubble burst. (no surprise, history) The "derivatives" turned out to be a redistribution scam promoted by the left wing of the government (see Barney Frank and Chris Dodd). The sub prime scam was secretly "guaranteed" by taxpayer money. Thanks for the recession. Tracey Williams, your "facts" are skewed and your deductions are based on actions after they happened, and then your statements are far from true. This horribly researched and written LTE could have come from the desk of Dan Rather. Send it to MSNBC, it'll make the "news".

HTN007
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HTN007 03/16/10 - 08:32 am
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All good points but you

All good points but you forgot to list the costs of waging war against the jihadists and the drag it has had on the economy since 9/11. It has finally filtered down to the local level. Until we recognize this they will continue winning this war.

soldout
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soldout 03/16/10 - 08:54 am
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We are certainly following

We are certainly following the market pattern of the depression. Biblical principles and being a giver can save our personal finances but the country will have a harder time turning around. Folks using some kind of trend following market timing can hold on to their recent gains in their 401Ks when the market realizes there is nothing left to hold it up and it falls again.

GAterp
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GAterp 03/16/10 - 09:14 am
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Well if the average citizen

Well if the average citizen is hopefully pulling back then maybe the government should do the same. Leave Japan, Korea, and Germany. We do not need bases there. Bring the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq. Quit sending the state of Israel billions every year. Start building roads, bridges, water supplies and sewer systems that don't break every other month. Tell the rest of the world what that brilliant statesman Dick Cheney told Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. And for God's sake start taxing these churches that are growing like the 7-11 convenience store chain. And then legalize drugs so that you will put the majority of these drug thug gangs out of business.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 03/16/10 - 09:40 am
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Living with less? Great
Unpublished

Living with less? Great idea...let's start with our congress. Put an across the board paycut, and an end to Nancy Pelosi's use of government aircraft to transport her children wherever she wants. Let her pay her own way. Cut back on the millions spent on these "factfinding" and "goodwill" tours overseas the members rack up each year. And, while we're at it, why not pass a balanced budget amendment, with a clear timeline when our congress will get our national debt under control and put us on a stable financial platform. Of course, these suggestions will never happen. No matter which party is in power, every congress seems to be of the mindset, "Let the guy coming after me deal with this."

GAterp
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GAterp 03/16/10 - 11:37 am
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And don't forget the Line

And don't forget the Line Item Veto. The best tool yet to get rid of the porky earmarks.

libertarianvoter
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libertarianvoter 03/16/10 - 01:40 pm
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GAterp those are some solid

GAterp those are some solid ideas for cutting back. At the same time, we shouldn't rush into new programs that will continue to spend more of our money such as the health care program.

Chillen
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Chillen 03/16/10 - 02:25 pm
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GAterp and Southern guy.

GAterp and Southern guy. Definitely good suggestions for cuts. Can't say that I disagree with most of them. Add in a cessation of all foreign aid (until we have our own back yard in order) and a massive revamping of entitlement programs and we may have just solved our debt and deficit problems. Now if we could just get someone in Washington DC to listen.....

wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/16/10 - 03:25 pm
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good job tracy--chinese

good job tracy--chinese imports, loss of our manufacturing base, will surely be the end of america #1. we need immediate increases in tariffs on all imported products, not just china either.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 03/16/10 - 03:38 pm
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chuck, I don't totally

chuck, I don't totally disagree, but remember, every action has a reaction. other countries will follow suit on American goods making it difficult for our folks to compete. Also, all prices on many things people buy will immediately increase. This will decrease sales and could deepen the recession. But, once again, as long as China continues to devalue their currency, you make a valid argument.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 03/16/10 - 11:00 pm
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Ok, good input, but since

Ok, good input, but since entitlements comprise over 56% of our nations total expenditures, how do we deal with these? Cut you say? Which ones? Social Security? Welfare? Medicare/Medicaid? How about the defense budget that totals another 23%? There are hard decisions that must be made in the future, and so far, our elected representatives have lacked the political will to do so. Instead they continue to spend even more on even more expensive entitlement programs. Heathcare, Cap & Trade, Bailouts, Student Loan Takeover, etc. The issue then is the political will of the politicians in this country to stop the financial bleeding and restore financial solvencey, and I just don't see it happening, unless there is a popular uprising next election. We need to keep throwing them out until we get some that actually listen to us, and then keep the heat on until our country is financially sound again. Term limits, balanced budget admendment to the Constitution, Line item veto, etc are all excellent things to work towards as well. Together, imho, we can eventually get them working for us again, but it will be a painful process, and not accomplished easily.

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