Musings on Death and Taxes

Last night my family enjoyed our blended holiday celebration. We shared gifts, laughter and hugs and kisses just days after an entire community was devastated by the horrific act of a madman and less than two months after Superstorm Sandy cut a path of devastation through much of the New York/New Jersey area. There are 27 families in Newton, CT who will not be celebrating the holidays this year as they mourn the loss of their children or siblings or parents. And there are likely hundreds of additional families still homeless or trying to piece their shattered lives back together. It truly makes you appreciate life’s blessings and reminds you to never take them, or your loved ones, for granted.

This random act of senseless violence in the Newton massacre once again brings the issue of gun control front and center. It’s hard to understand how any logical, sane person can oppose the idea of keeping automatic and semi-automatic weapons of mass destruction out of private hands. The Founding Fathers, when they crafted the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, never envisioned weapons such as these. There is simply no place for them in civilized society. Period. I challenge any gun advocate to reply with a cogent reason why those types of weapons should not be banned. It’s time for our politicians to stand up to the NRA, and the rest of the gun lobby, and loudly proclaim that enough is enough; that they will not be bullied any longer and that’s it’s time for a national debate on what weapons can and cannot be owned by private citizens. President Obama, if you’re reading this, since you are not up for re-election, it’s your job to take a stand and get something done.

And Mr. President, while I have your attention, it’s time to get a deal done on the Fiscal Cliff. Enough is enough. Both sides MUST stop the posturing, eliminate all the partisan BS and craft a compromise that the entire country can live with. It shouldn’t be that difficult. You all have to agree that taxes will go up on many, if not all Americans. And those tax increases will likely be tilted towards those Americans who make the most money. Republicans, just accept it and move on. And at the same time, the government must spend less. There is simply no alternative. Democrats, deal with it and move on. So lock yourselves in a room until an agreement is reached. Because if you can’t get this deal done, then as a nation we are truly screwed because the bigger debate is forthcoming.

What nobody is talking about is that the Cliff negotiations are just the first act in what will be a much more contentious debate over the big issues of what to do with Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security. Those expenditures represent about 41% of the entire federal budget. Throw in another 15% or so for the military and you see that those three programs account for a staggering 56% of the entire $3.5 trillion spent by our government. Cutting a billion here or a billion there is simply noise. We, as a nation, must accept that we have been living well beyond our means for far too long. That unless we want to leave our massive debts for our children and grandchildren to deal with, leaving them with far diminished prospects and lives to that which we’ve enjoyed for so long, we must all make sacrifices for the common good. As a society, are we ready to do that? We’ll find out. And in the meantime, let’s talk about it. Write to me and let me know what you think.

 

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4 thoughts on “Musings on Death and Taxes

  1. Well said, and yes the Republican need to accept taxes will increase for those who make a higher living… I hope that the Democrats are prepared to cut some of the fat and waste in our Government run programs… 1 Trillion in new taxes and 2 trillion in cuts should be a good start… stop the bleeding…
    In regards to the gun control, I couldn’t agree with you more… I don’t want anyone law abiding or not using these assault weapons…. But I for one would feel better if there were more armed guards in places where there are unprotected people… They should be properly trained of course!
    In regards to schools, if we entrust teachers with our children already, why would it be so terrible if some of them were armed and trained to protect them in a case like the tragedy in Newton… Our children are our most precious asset, and we should protect them at all cost!
    Of course there are those who believe if there were no guns at all, America would be a safer place, that’s totally irresponsible and foolish…Perhaps at one point long ago that could have been instituted, but not in this day and age.. Our Culture is so violent and our citizens are so divided on so many issues now that that to take the guns away from the law-abiding citizens would be like bringing Sheep to a Slaughter House!….
    I hope these problems can be worked out, I hope that the Greatest Republic, America, doesn’t fall like many before it…
    That will be in the hands of our Leaders, I didn’t vote for Barack Obama, why would I, as I don’t agree with him on many issues, but I am praying for him. Praying that he will become a great leader and find a way to compromise with the House, and get us back on the road to recovery…. He alone has the power to do that… He alone is in charge…. So I pray he will lead, and not destroy in the name of Ideology!
    His supporters play a role in this too, they also have to learn to compromise….. and not destroy anyone else who a different point of view….
    2013, will be an interesting year in our history…. I hope we get to look back with a smile, and not a tear like the old Indian in that pollution commercial!

  2. Thank you very much for your thoughts Perry. People on both sides of the fiscal issues and gun argument must discover a way to work together for the common good. There are no easy answers to any of this.

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