I got a letter from the Make-a-Wish foundation today. It's basically a newsletter. My wife and I contribute regularly as part of our tithe. In this letter they talk about some of the things they've accomplished this year. And then something stands out. They've received a record amount in donations this year.
I think that says a lot about capitalism and the tax system. Right now, taxes are lower (I won't say low because I still think they are obscenely high), the DOW is breaking records every day and has reached the 12,000 mark. Home ownership is up, especially among minorities. Corporate taxes are down and government revenue is climbing - which is starting to drive the deficit down. And in all this, what has happened to charitable contributions? Well, I don't know about charity in general, but one of the most well-known has had a banner year. Take that Karl Marx (or should I say, Howard Dean?).
While listening to the radio this weekend, I hear two pretty interesting stats. First, the defense budget. It's somewhere around 600 billion. Sounds like a lot, but put it in perspective. When looking at it in regards to the GNP, it's actually lower than average. The other thing, spending on social programs is about 1.9 TRILLION. We're spending outrageous amounts of money on social programs (and that's just this year) in an attempt heal our social "ills". Yet, teenage pregnancy is up, so are fatherless households. Divorce rates are up. The crystal meth epidemic is crippling the midwest. The poverty rate hasn't changed all that much since the 60s. Obesity has become epidemic. Our kids have become more violent. Our prisons have developed revolving doors. And we pay 1.9 Trillion a year for this? When do we start questionning the efficacy of these social programs?
Finally, it occus to me that the Dems have a good shot at winning the House, maybe even the Senate. Perhaps the scariest thing about this is the thought of Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House. This woman is San Francisco politics, that is pro-gay marriage, anti-military, anti-traditional values, pro-income redistribution. Basically, she is a socialist, an extremist, an ultra-progressive. This is a political point of view that only about 10% of the US population shares, yet she could become the Speaker of the House. As if Washington isn't gridlocked enough, if she gets this position NOTHING will happen in Washington for 2 years. And the border situation (the most important social issue facing Washington)? Forget anything being done about it. For 2 more years the border will remain open and our security will remain threatened. Hopefully that won't happen, but we'll see.