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Bailout Today, Tax Hike Tomorrow


Location: Washington, DC

Over the past few months, a vast majority of Americans have watched in disbelief and anger as the Federal government has burned through hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to bailout private companies for their mistakes. I imagine many Americans have wondered what happened to the free market, the principle that one should pay for one's own mistakes and only benefit from hard work and wise decisions.

The Administration's move to bailout the struggling auto industry with mostly Democratic Congressional support is a very slippery slope on which we find ourselves where the federal government picks winners and losers—forgiving the consequences of failure by giving away hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

For far too long, Washington has thought the only way to solve a problem is to write a check first and then ask questions later—if at all. We need look no further than how the Treasury has managed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) with little to no disclosure and in a manner inconsistent with the intent of the legislation passed by Congress to free up credit markets.

Those on the left say that it is the failure of the free market that has brought us to this economic crisis that some claim has us on the brink of economic collapse. Their argument is that government intervention is the only answer. The truth is that the economic crisis we face now is more the product of decades of trampling on the free market. The bad loans that clogged our credit markets are the product of government mandates on lending institutions to put people into homes they could not afford. Really, it is in many ways government intervention that has put us where we are now.

Washington cannot continue to act as if it has all the answers. We have bankruptcy courts and judges with decades of experience for a reason, and that is to help companies move from insolvency to solvency in accordance with the law. It worked for Georgia's own Delta airlines, why should Chapter 11 bankruptcy not be an answer for the auto manufacturers.

Rest assured more companies will come hat-in-hand, looking for their bailout. Why would they not—when the Federal government has essentially hung a "Free Money" sign over the doors of the Treasury. The angst most Americans now feel from seeing headline after headline about the latest bailout will soon give way to something much worse.

When all is said and done, there will be one more big bailout—the biggest bailout of them all—one that will be proposed by the Obama Administration and supported by the Democratically controlled Congress—the bailout of the Federal government in the form of a massive tax increase on American taxpayers and their businesses. Especially considering that for all the campaign promises of scalpels and line by line reviews, President-Elect Obama seems more likely to need a shovel so that he can pile on more spending.

This money will have to come from somewhere and have no doubt about from where—from you and the pockets of every other taxpayer. We all recognize the truth in Benjamin Franklin's aphorism about "death and taxes," but it is difficult for hardworking Americans to accept tax increases when Washington demonstrates no inclination to cut wasteful spending.

In fact, it seems that the only place many on the left will even consider cutting back is defense spending. Democrat leaders such as Congressman Barney Frank, a leading proponent of bailout after bailout, has also proposed a 25% cut to the defense budget to help fund more government spending while our adversaries are increasing research into developing the next generation of military technology. This is highly irresponsible. We must ensure that as our brave men and women in uniform defend our nation, they are not only the best soldiers but also equipped with the best and most advanced technology to ensure their safety and success.

As 2009 approaches, Americans will be faced with two choices—more government control over their lives or less. But with Democrats firmly in control of Congress and the White House, Americans need to keep in mind that with talk of more government intervention and billions maybe trillions in stimulus and bailouts on the horizon, the bill to the taxpayer for all this spending is not yet "in the mail," but it will be—sooner rather than later.

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