Blaise Pascal, Penseé 347: “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this. All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavor, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.”

Friday, November 9, 2012

Shields and Brooks This Week: Fiscal Cliff

(Interesting exchange on "fiscal cliff" and raising taxes)

Shields fails to acknowledge that one of the big reasons why we had "fiscal sanity" during the Clinton years was that a Newt Gingrich led Republican House blocked a lot of federal spending. This, in addition to deficit reducing taxes, laid the foundation for the prosperity of the Bush II years.

What the United States needs to do is very simple. We need a small tax increase, but not so much to interfere with economic growth. We need to cut discretionary spending. We need big "entitlement" reforms in Social Security and Medicare / Medicaid. (We await the full financial impact of Obamacare.)

Result of last fiscal cliff deal: NY Times

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