Today I strike against common sense. Common sense in that this idea is common to most Americans and, at face value, it seems to make sense.
What is it? The idea that if our governments (any level, take your pick) are showing a surplus at any given time, it should be given back to the tax payers immediately.
Seven years ago, when Clinton left office, our federal government was showing a financial surplus on its annual budget. It was a surplus that, I my opinion, should have gone to paying off some of our national debt.
Instead, the republicans swiftly realigned our budget to put us back on course for national bankruptcy in the near future. The surplus that should have paid off some of our national debt was instead given away as a tax cut that only helped the richest members of our society.
Why is this a problem, you ask? Simple. When our nation goes bankrupt in the next few years, the richest members of our society will simply hide in their gated- and armed guard-protected communities to ride out its aftermath. This leaves, guess who, outside to clean up the mess they have caused by their profiteering and outright greed.
The rich try to make it look like they are concerned for the welfare of the homeless, disabled, etc, etc. Yet percentage-wise, they give the least amount of income to programs to address the social needs of these populations. The same can be said for the government itself, which spends most of its money to guarantee that you and I will remain loyal little wage slaves, oblivious to the impending disaster, until it is too late.
This is the same thing that the Roman empire did during its last days. Back then they held daily circuses and gave away bread in a bid to convince the people that nothing was wrong. It worked. At least it did until Rome was burned by barbarian hordes. By then, of course, it was too late.
Is it too late for the United States? Only time will tell for certain, but I don't think we should wait to find out.