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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Government's Money...

I don't know if you've heard any of the rumblings lately, but there has been a considerable amount of talk (compared to the amount of coverage) about the 401(k). There has been a lot of conversation about how "The 401(k) was not meant to be the ONLY investment for retirees, it was meant to supplement pensions," and "the 401(k) costs the government too much money," "The average person is not able to save enough to survive on."

I'm pretty sick of these two arguments (the third comment is merely a continuation of the first), but I am willing to ignore the first to cover the second (and most important) comment, that "the 401(k) costs the government too much money."

This is ridiculous. Not the amount of money the government doesn't receive because of this program, but the fact that people believe it "costs" the government money. Despite what many politicians will tell you, the government does not have "first dibs" on your income. The 46 Billion in revenue it misses out on is not a "cost" to the government, it's simply lower receipts than it desires.

I am tired of politicians telling me that the government doesn't have the money to run this program or that program - that taxes have to go up to help pay for everything. This is gloriously ignorant. There is fat in every department; in every program. Trim some of the fat, and then we'll start talking about how much the government "needs."

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. "The Congress shall have Power To lay and and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and General Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

There can be some debate as to what "common Defence and General Welfare" means. But, for me, "General Welfare" is completely different than "Specific Welfare." Programs should provide for the General Population, not Specific People. Additionally, I do believe that the government 1) has more than covered the "General Welfare" aspect of that conversation, and 2) collects more than enough revenue to deal with any additional programs they feel are necessary.

2,400,000,000,000 - the amount of tax receipts that were collected in 2007.
6,575,342,465.75 - The amount of taxes collected PER DAY.

On average, every single person (including those born today, and those that will die today), will pay $21.50 to the government every single day of the year. Isn't it about time that big brother stopped spending our money?

Isn't it scary that, in order to pay off the debts we've accumulated (because apparently 2.4 Trillion isn't enough), we'd have to give the government an additional 98.93 per day?

Is it worse to know that number is increasing by the minute?


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