Are voters responsible for the government they elect?
That’s the question inherent in a novel proposal billionaire Dallas investor Mark Cuban briefly detailed during an online discussion in December. In answering a question on business taxes, Cuban said:
I believe in taking responsibility for the circumstances we find ourselves in. As a citizen I voted for a bunch of the idiots in office. When they were doing stupid shit, I stood by quietly. Even when I spoke up, it didn’t impact anything. So while I believe that lower taxes are good. I recognize that I was part of the problem … What matters now is fixing the problem. Unfortunately the way to fix the problem is to have those who can pay more to pay more.
Mr. Cuban has a point. It’s one I’ve mentioned a few times, though in a slightly different vein – namely, that Americans are slowly getting the government they want … and that’s exactly the problem.
It’s why Mr. Cuban’s tax-the-wealthy strategy – any tax-the-wealthy strategy, really – is ultimately doomed.
The “problem” that Mr. Cuban refers to is, of course, America’s mountainous debt.
Many people want to blame Obama for our country’s fiscal incontinence. Others still scream at Baby Bush. Both clearly are culpable in ruining America’s finances. But the reasons behind our national debt are so much bigger than a single person or a political party.
Our debt has accumulated under successive presidents and Congresses dating to the 1930s. It’s only now, when we’re fast-approaching a tipping point into a permanent financial decline, that the motor-mouths want to assign blame.