Yea, we're all fools. Government has perfected the three card monte scam. It's called 'matching funds' and this whole fiasco of a debt crisis is just a show. Taxes always go up, because they all keep creating new programs that need funds. It's all just a show of them deciding from which vehicle do they get their loot, but it still comes from your pockets. Just take a look at how states abuse the matching funds of the Medicaid program. That's only the tip of the iceberg as there are literally hundreds of matching funds projects going on.
It's not rocket science. We hear about it all the time with things like this article, "The Effect of Federal Budget Cuts on States and Localities", yet no one seems to grasp the concept. It's a pretty good illustration of the dilemma, but there is one minor thing in the article disturbs me. He wrote:
Finally, there are indirect cost-cutting or tax-increasing measures. Under federal tax laws, homeowners now write off their mortgage interest costs. Over the years, this favoritism has driven up housing prices. Real estate values, now in very bad shape, serve as the foundation for local property taxes. But the feds lose $100 billion or so from the interest deduction. That makes it an attractive target for reducing the federal deficit. But such a step might permanently bend down future growth in housing prices and accordingly, the property tax base.
They don't give a rat's patootey about how much your home is 'worth' on the market. Market value has absolutely nothing to do with tax assessments and their property tax base. All they care about is how much of your money they need to extract to enact their delusions of grandeur. The tax 'base' is simply the total number of taxable properties located within their jurisdiction from which they can plunder the loot. For example, I used to live in a town with a considerable number of government facilities, courthouses, and religious exempted properties for it was the county seat. Anyone who owned a similar property in a town without all those exempted properties paid much, much less in taxes. Two similar properties on the same road could have vastly different tax levies simply depending on a township property line being between them. Nothing drives away homeowners of average means more than unbalanced giveaways in tax-exempt properties. They have their operating budget full of promises to people to vote for them, and they will extract it from you one way or another. The rich tend to settle in those locations, for it's another giveaway they use to simply write off the taxes.
We all know this. Your real estate agent will tell you when you're looking at houses on the market and if they don't, it's usually the first question we ask, "What are the taxes?" We all tend to make the decision with the local tax structure as part of the equation. So why do we lose our sense of reality when watching them go through deliberations on capitol hill in discussing their plans on how to best rape us?
Bush gave you a 'tax break' so the federal government has less money to match funds for schools and other public works projects concocted by our geniuses in state governments. So it's practically guaranteed they will raise your taxes somehow, somewhere locally. During the Bush years, my property taxes doubled over the time he was in office. My salary didn't double, the schools didn't magically have 2x as many kids to buy that many more teachers for. Bush gave us back a little on the income tax, and the state took it away and then some. But no one ever, ever, and I mean ever talks about that. Well, my dad used to talk about it in the 60's. He'd say, "Whenever the government gives you a dollar, they reach around into your other pocket to take out two to give the one to you and keep one for themselves for the trouble." You can bet on it.
I remember perusing through the grants once on the National Endowment for the Arts website some years ago. I was horrified to see them handing out $5000 grants to hosts for a monthly literary club reading session to buy refreshments! It wasn't even to buy the actual books, it was for boosting their energy with some fat pills during their exhausting sessions, probably for them to maintain enough stamina to break out the poker chips after they were done reading. If that doesn't disgust you or you start asking yourself how you can get your hands on some of that loot, then it's too late for America. Just turn out the lights. And it's not only there. That crap is throughout the federal budget, as the TV commercial guy says, "free money from the government". Why do we continue to let them do this? The problem is, the government gets it from us, it's a multi-pronged attack between the federal, state, and local governments and this is why we're broke.
Maria Bartiromo was right when she blew off steam during her recent interview of Senator Cardin (D) from Maryland. Unless they get rid of all the loopholes and deductions and make the tax codes transparent and fair, the scammers can always hide where they're stealing from you and how much. This will only happen if we all collectively stop chasing the 'free' money and force them. Yea, she was a wee bit over the top, but I loved it for he had it coming. When he said he wouldn't "vote today on changing a tax code provision without knowing the impact of it", he was lying through his teeth. They know full well all the impacts over every tax provision, for each and every one was enacted for two things, steal your money and influence your behavior.
There is no fiscal cliff. It's simply a fiction created to allow them to raise taxes and take more from you so they can keep doing things that they are not specifically authorized under the enumerated powers of the Constitution in order to grow their power.
As with three card monte, the only way to truly win is not to play.