How Can You Lose Something You Never Had To Begin With?

Published: October 29, 2010

How can you lose something you never had to begin with?

That’s the question that comes to mind when I read the Administrations continuing attack on housing. In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, another front page article states ‘Key Tax Breaks At Risk As Panel Looks At Cuts’. First sentence ‘Sacrosanct tax breaks, including deductions on mortgage interest, remain on the table…’ The article goes on to say ‘…these and other breaks cost the government about $1 trillion a year’. (emphasis mine).

But if the government never had these revenues to begin with, at least in the case of the MID, how can they claim it as a cost? It doesn’t cost them a dime. Wikipedia defines cost thusly: In business, retail, and accounting, a cost is the value of money that has been used up to produce something, and hence is not available for use anymore. Obviously that doesn’t apply here. The government hasn’t ‘produced’ anything of value and has not spent money on it therefore it is not a ‘cost’ to the government.

So the Government chooses to define costs as an economic model (unrelated to actual business, retail or accounting reality) and for their purposes they define it differently: Opportunity cost, also referred to as economic cost is the value of the best alternative that was not chosen in order to pursue the current endeavor—i.e., what could have been accomplished with the resources expended in the undertaking. In theoretical economics, cost used without qualification often means opportunity cost.

So apparently our government functions best in the world of theoretical economics where you can attribute something as a cost even if you produce nothing or spend any actual money on it. It’s not a real cost, it’s a theoretical cost. They could be making more money off us if we would just pay more taxes – so that lost opportunity becomes a cost in their eyes.

California has employed similar theoretical economics for years now – if we don’t increase a department’s budget as much as they requested, it’s called a cut even if they get more than they got last year. And you see where it got California.

The article went on to describe how the President’s Deficit Commission was looking at these ‘opportunities for revenue enhancement’ along with potential cuts in defense spending and a potential freeze on domestic discretionary spending. Hmmm, cut defense but just freeze spending at the current rate? How about this instead? How about making some REAL cuts to the massive spending and stimulus programs that aren’t working for sh**? How about that?  How about cutting the pork & earmarks like you campaignedyou would?

How about getting government out of the housing business and every other business which they are trying to regulate into insolvency and actually let businesses grow again and start creating real jobs instead of government jobs? When it has been proven time and again that a government run ‘business’ i.e. Postal Service, Welfare, Social Security, Fannie & Freddie, are not productive, are not competitive and constantly run at deficits in spite of massive infusions of our money, why would you continue to add more of these albatrosses – like healthcare, the financial regulatory agency, etc? Why is it that the only sector of our economy that has enjoyed robust job growth the past few years has been federal and state government jobs?

I was somewhat mollified to read an AP article a couple days later about the agenda Republicans are devolving, assuming they deliver the sound spanking on Tuesday anticipated by anybody this side of Mars (or Obama).  It involves $100 billion in spending cuts, tax reductions for individuals and businesses to stimulate real growth, and undoing elements of the healthcare program and the overreaching financial regulatory program. I hope they mean it. The attacks on housing have to stop.

Government, which has bloated up beyond all reasonable measure in this country, has exploded the past couple years and now encroaches into every aspect of our personal and business lives. It was  not meant to be so. If we don’t start reducing the role of government soon, we will either lose our Republic and the few remaining freedoms we take for granted today, or at some point we will face a much more volatile upheaval.

Well, Thomas Jefferson said it best when he said that every generation needs a new revolution. Hope and change wasn’t a revolution and has proven to be just more of the same – assuming you define ‘same’ as Chicago ward politics. Maybe this generation will finally stand up for something. You think?

Of course that’s just my opinion – I could be wrong.

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The opinions in this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich’s personal opinions. While any reasonable and/or rational indivdual should agree wholeheartedly,
the opinons reflected herein may not necessarily be those of the Southwest Riverside County AOR,  or any local or state government or other mental institution.

Last modified: October 29, 2010 at 11:11 am | Originally published: October 29, 2010 at 11:11 am
Printed: September 28, 2020