editorial—August 3, 1997
Screw the Single Guy
How 'bout that 1997 tax cut? The president and congress have stitched together a series of breaks for almost everyone out there: students, parents, big-time investors, and the working poor. That covers just about everybody— except me. The big secret of the budget deal is the huge shift in tax burden onto the backs of working singles from just about everybody else in the country. Some argue that this is fair because single professionals have fewer expenses and can afford to pay a higher share to fund the government. How does that Marxist dogma go again? "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." Spare me.
The policy is less about egalitarianism and more about generational income transfer. It's apparently not enough that the World War II generation and the older baby boomers are sucking our social security funds dry, ensuring that Generation X won't see a dime of government funds for retirement. Younger boomers, who had been left out of this scam, now have found a way to get their hands into the intergenerational kitty. They'll get their $500 per child tax credits, their capital gains cuts, and stuff the extra money into newly-protected private retirement accounts. Meanwhile, they'll continue to reap the benefits of government services. Who will pay for it? Me.
The simple truth is that most working singles don't really need the federal government. They're healthy, economically secure, and have no children who require big brother's protection. If government is to be run like a business— as was supposed to be the goal of Al Gore's re-inventing government initiative— perhaps there should be a remote link between a taxpayer's bill and the number of services he receives from the government. If this is offensive to the aging egalitarian crowd, then it's time for them to check their calendars. While they're at it, they can check their Marxist dogma at the door to the new millennium.