By COLONEL DONALD J. MYERS USMC (Ret)
The federal government has implemented numerous programs with the best intentions in mind and it continues to talk about those intentions even when the results are dismal. We continue to suffer today from one of the most recent programs when the government required banks to forgo their normal requirements for home loans and demanded that people who normally would not be qualified for a home loan be given one. The intention was for more people to become home owners. That was a great intention, but it contributed to the demise of the housing market and our current financial troubles. Look at all the foreclosures throughout the country. The collapse of the housing market has also caused home values to plummet resulting in saving of a lifetime to evaporate.
In 1991, congress implemented a higher tax on yachts, furs, and jewelry that nearly put the boating business out of business. The purpose was to increase tax revenues by causing the rich to pay higher taxes. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? The opposite occurred. The rich sat on their money and less money came into the government and many people in the boating industry lost their jobs. Two years later, the bill was repealed.
The Great Society was implemented by President Johnson and the intent was to eliminate poverty. That was nearly fifty years ago and the percentage of people in poverty has not been reduced, but trillions of dollars have been transferred from producers to non-producers. The black family has been nearly destroyed and most children are raised without a father in the home. In black families, the illegitimacy rate in 1940 was 10%. In 1960, it was 22% and today it is over 70%. Many single mothers do a fantastic job raising their families, but statistics continue to show that children raised in a two parent environment perform better in every measurable area.
Several states to include New York and Maryland implemented a special tax on millionaires during the recent past. Each state received less revenue for its effort, because those individuals moved to another state. Government refuses to appreciate the fact that when taxes are raised, people change their behavior
The most recent example of the government having good intentions and poor results affects me personally. Congress passed a bill to change pay days for the military. Paydays are normally on the 30th of each month. Congress changed it so if the 30th fell on a holiday or weekend, the checks were issued the first business day before that. This year, it means that the January check will be sent on 30 December and that will result in thirteen pay days for 2011. Guess what that means. For the sake of having the pay two days early, taxes will incur for one whole month of pay which amounts to about an additional 8%.
Gee ain’t it grand.
I just wish that the government would keep its good intentions to itself.