Open letter to President Obama (Part 550)
(Emailed to White House on 6-10-13.)
President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.
The federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation. We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding principles that made our country great. We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruption. The recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes you made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.
Will Rogers has a great quote that I love. He noted, “Lord, the money we do spend on Government and it’s not one bit better than the government we got for one-third the money twenty years ago”(Paula McSpadden Love, The Will Rogers Book, (1972) p. 20.) Dan Mitchell praises Calvin Coolidge for keeping the federal government small.
Last month, Amity Shlaes came to Cato to discuss her superb new book about Calvin Coolidge.
I heard her discuss the book back in January while participating in Hillsdale College’s conference on the 100th anniversary of the income tax, but the book is so rich with information that I was glad for the opportunity to listen to her provide additional insights on a great President.
I also got to provide some commentary on the book and the lessons that we can learn from the Coolidge era.
I managed to talk for more than 15 minutes, but I could have boiled my remarks down to these two points.
- Small government is the best way to achieve competent and effective government. Coolidge and his team were able to monitor government and run it efficiently because the federal budget consumed only about 5 percent of GDP. But when the federal budget is 23 percent of GDP, by contrast, it’s much more difficult to keep tabs on what’s happening – particularly when the federal government operates more than 1,000 programs. Even well-intentioned bureaucrats and politicians are unlikely to do a good job, as illustrated by this Eric Allie cartoon.
- Higher tax rates don’t automatically lead to more tax revenue. Coolidge and his Treasury Secretary practiced something called “scientific taxation,” but it’s easier just to call it common sense. Since Amity’s book covered the data from the 1920s, I shared with the audience some amazing data from the 1980s showing that lower tax rates on the “rich” led to big revenue increases.
But if you don’t believe me, listen to these powerful remarks from “Silent Cal.”
After the poll I shared the other day, this cartoon seems appropriate.
Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.
Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, email@example.com