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Austin American-Statesman - - VIEWPOINTS - Chris Keller Austin Mike Looby sky­looby@ya­ Round Rock Jim San­ders San Mar­cos Mike Lon­don Austin Rod Brick rw­brick1@ver­i­ Drip­ping Springs share your Hol­i­day Wishes Con­tact us

Change debt ceil­ing law

The con­cept of the debt ceil­ing is schiz­o­phrenic be­cause it in­volves debt in­curred for spend­ing al­ready ap­proved by Congress, not fu­ture spend­ing. Un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion, all tax­ing and spend­ing must be ap­proved by Congress. If Congress fails to raise suf­fi­cient taxes to pay for spend­ing it has ap­proved, the ex­ec­u­tive (trea­sury) must bor­row. Oth­er­wise, the government must de­crease op­er­a­tions or de­fault on ex­ist­ing obli­ga­tions.

The debt ceil­ing law im­prop­erly puts the bur­den to ob­tain an in­crease on those who wish to avoid government shut­down or de­fault. They must get a ma­jor­ity vote in both houses of Congress to ap­prove the in­crease. The rule should be changed so that the pres­i­dent can in­cur debt as nec­es­sary to pay for spend­ing Congress has ap­proved, un­less Congress votes to stop it. This lim­its the abil­ity of one side or the other to threaten U.S. Government de­fault ev­ery few months, with­out lim­it­ing con­gres­sional pre­rog­a­tives.

Board backs ig­no­rance

Iron­i­cally, Lt. Gov. David De­whurst laments the lack of ‘job-ready’ grad­u­ates in a state that has a school sys­tem in­clud­ing a Board of Ed­u­ca­tion that pro­motes ig­no­rance. This should, how­ever, lower the cost of text­books, as ge­ol­ogy, pa­le­on­tol­ogy and arche­ol­ogy books will only need to cover the past 6,000 years and the bi­ol­ogy books will be the size of The Watch­tower. You reap what you sow.

Spend­ing is the prob­lem

Why is Pres­i­dent Barack Obama so ob­sessed with rais­ing taxes on our job cre­ators (“the wealthy”)? By harp­ing on that one is­sue, he can avoid dis­cussing spend­ing re­duc­tions. But de­pend­ing upon who is crunch­ing the num­bers the ad­di­tional rev­enue gen­er­ated by his rate in­crease would fund the government for any­where from five to eight days. Not months, not weeks. But days. Not enough to put a tiny dent in our huge deficit.

Tax rates are not the prob­lem — spend­ing is. So how will pun­ish­ing the suc­cess­ful and the high achiev­ers some­how make them work harder, ex­pand their busi­nesses, and hire more em­ploy­ees? Rais­ing taxes on job cre­ators is coun­ter­pro­duc­tive. More ex­penses equal lay­offs, stag­na­tion and no ex­pan­sion. No na­tion at any time any­where on this planet has ever been able to tax its way to pros­per­ity. And killing the goose that lays the golden egg will surely not do it.

Qual­ity of life ig­nored

Re: Dec. 4 com­men­tary, “Get more from Visa in­cen­tives.”

Why does the Austin City Coun­cil think it’s de­sir­able to pay Visa, or any com­pany, to move to Austin to cre­ate jobs? We do not have the in­fra­struc­ture to sup­port more jobs. The city is over­crowded, with traf­fic jams a con­stant fea­ture of life. Pro­duc­tiv­ity of many Austin busi­nesses and their abil­ity to cre­ate jobs lo­cally is re­strained by the con­ges­tion. More jobs will make mat­ters worse. Be­fore vot­ing in fa­vor of paying any more busi­nesses to move to Austin, each coun­cil per­son should spend at least two hours a day for a week driv­ing around Austin dur­ing rush hour or any other time. We do not need more jobs. Qual­ity of life is the is­sue, not jobs. We need more in­fra­struc­ture so that lo­cal busi­nesses can func­tion ef­fi­ciently and we need coun­cil mem­bers with some com­mon sense.

Obama plan black­mail

Re: Dec. 5 com­men­tary, “GOP out­cast to his party: Where’s your courage?”

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama says he’ll let us go over the fis­cal cliff un­less he gets his wealth re­dis­tri­bu­tion plan. This is ex­tor­tion and black­mail. Dana Milbank be­lieves it is “morally in­de­fen­si­ble” to use black­mail and ex­tor­tion but some­how turns the ta­bles and blames the Repub­li­cans for hold­ing 98 per­cent of Amer­i­cans hostage. Really? Be­cause they won’t pay the de­manded ran­som?

Milbank thinks Tom Cole should call Obama’s bluff, oddly be­liev­ing that Obama has any in­ten­tion to cut spend­ing (ex­cept mil­i­tary) or re­duce deficits and debt. His cur­rent of­fer is to con­sider it later but in the mean­time get $50 bil­lion for more “stim­uli” spend­ing in 2013 — more than half what the tax-the-rich plan would bring in. He’s as sub­tle as a train wreck. He claims a man­date be­cause a lot peo­ple say he should tax some­one else be­sides them. Duh! Un­like most hol­i­day sea­son of­fer­ings, wishes don’t cost any­thing. Do you have a wish for some­thing that would make this year spe­cial? Why don’t you share it with the rest of our read­ers? We’re so­lic­it­ing your hol­i­day wishes for this year for publi­ca­tion on Dec. 25. Please limit your sub­mis­sions to 150 words. Send your sub­mis­sions by Dec. 14 to let­ters@ states­ or to: Let­ters to the Ed­i­tor PO Box 670 Austin, Texas 78768 Please put “Christ­mas let­ters”in sub­ject line of emails or on the en­ve­lope. The Austin Amer­i­can-States­man en­cour­ages email and faxes from read­ers. Please in­clude a full name, ad­dress and day­time and evening phone num­bers.We edit let­ters for brevity, gram­mar, style and clar­ity. Edited let­ters ad­dress a sin­gle idea and do not ex­ceed 150 words.Anony­mous let­ters will not be pub­lished. Let­ters be­come prop­erty of the Austin Amer­i­canS­tates­man. Send emails to let­ters@ states­ Mail to: Let­ters to the Ed­i­tor, P.O. Box 670,Austin,TX 78767.

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