Nickel, dime: Look closely at president's budget. You know Congress won't.
Remember the debacle that surrounded President Barack Obama's health care bill?
Remember the thousands of pages full of twists and turns and promises?
Remember how many of those who voted for the plan said they did not even read it?
That memory alone should make you cautious about any analysis by most members of Congress about the recently proposed budget.
On the surface it seems like a classic sheet out of the old class warfare playbook -- "we need more money so the wealthy should pay more."
And if you are a member of the middle class -- one of the groups the president has vowed to protect from the evils of money-grubbing rich people, you probably think that means you will escape unscathed.
But just like the health care law and its promises that cannot possibly materialize without tax increases and its hidden costs that actually will force the average American to pay more for less, the budget plan has its dark side, too.
It is in the fees and other "gotchas" that this budget gets you.
From an increase in cigarette taxes (and not a small one either) to taxes and fees on medical devices and other items, there are plenty of places where just about everybody will pay.
"So what's wrong with that?" you might ask. The country is swimming in debt and everyone will have to sacrifice to save it from bankruptcy. We need revenue.
Awww, and there it is -- the Catch 22.
Truth is, this nation has a spending problem and an entitlement problem.
More people on food stamps. Record numbers applying for disability and many more underemployed or simply out of options in the job market. Those are the realities in 2013.
What does that translate to? More need for bureaucrats to run entitlement programs. More people dependent on those programs and fewer and fewer people to pay the bills.
How long do you realistically think it will be until the need for more money to support more programs and "administrators" ends up increasing everyone's taxes and fees?
But that is in the future. Let's just look at the here and now.
The president is hiding behind the claim that the current tax rate will not go up for those in the middle class.
What he is not telling you is that there are a multitude of other ways he can get your money -- through fees and through hidden costs and regulations that are passed along to consumers.
Sad to say, it is time to decide: More government and less personal money and choice, or an economic plan that makes entitlement programs obsolete and allows you to decide where to put your hard-earned dollars?
Really, in the end, it will be up to you -- in 2014 and 2016.
Until then, keep a close eye on the negotiations and read the budget plan yourself.
Don't just accept the glossed over, rosy scenario descriptions offered by the pundits and some members of the press.
And if you just don't think you have the time to read up on this subject, remember, that is how we ended up with Obamacare.
Published in Editorials on April 13, 2013 10:21 PM