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Sheila Stutler: The president just keeps killing the engine

I am still in disbelief over the November election. It is said that if we do not learn from past mistakes, history has a way of repeating itself.

We can draw a real parallel from past history to our present situation. After the market crash in 1929 and the ensuing Depression, Americans were fed up with Wall Street and the wealthy.

They elected Franklin D. Roosevelt as president. He was their "man of the people." He proceeded to initiate many social programs and used government projects to stimulate the economy and get us out of the depression.

Many were good programs, but he then raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans to as high as 90 percent to help fund the programs for less fortunate Americans.

The tax hike did not fuel the economy, nor did the short-term government projects or stimulus money. The unemployment rate, which was 17 percent when he took office, was still that high in his third term.

The onset of World War II was what put Americans back to work again, not the "New Deals" of FDR.

He believed, like our current president, that our economy is driven by government - and that mistake is repeating itself today.

Let us think of our economy like it was a train. You have the engine and all the cars of all shapes and sizes (us) being pulled along behind.

So where does the fuel for the engine come from?

Our current government has been using borrowed funds (stimulus money) to dump into the fuel tank to keep the engine running.

These funds do not replenish themselves, so more and more money is dumped into the bottomless hole - each time with the thought that this time it will work.

This is the mistake: The engine is not driven by government.

We buy our goods and services from businesses, small to large, and they are the economic engine.

They invest their own money to expand and build their businesses in the hopes of making - yes, more profit.

This fuel actually replenishes itself by increasing the number of workers paying taxes into the system and businesses making profits that increase tax revenue.

So where are we now? Those who wanted to stick it to the rich have succeeded in raising their taxes. What do you think they will do now?

Well, they did not get rich by being stupid, and as a result of the last legislation, they will probably not use the funds they have been sitting on to expand.

They may be paying higher taxes, but I will be willing to bet that it will be on less income.

Besides, even if they paid 90 percent, it would not fund the government's runaway spending.

There is no way that less than 2 percent of Americans can pay the bills for the other 90 percent. Sounds good, but it is impossible.

Better call your senators and representatives and tell them since they got this wrong.

They had better cut government spending or the result may be that your car is left at the station.

Stutler, who lives in St. Albans, has been a tax preparer for 40 years.



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