And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Before we take money away from our schools, or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break.
--President Obama, SOTU 2011
Let's say you have been borrowing money from a friend to pay rent or better yet, say a friend has simply been generously giving you money, and this has been going on for a long time. Finally, your friend says, "dude, I can't give you any more money." Would your response ever be: "I can't afford to allow you to stop giving me money"? In fact, isn't it the case that you can't afford to pay your own rent? Would you be mad at your friend for not giving you more money? And, if you were mad, rather than grateful for the past and eager to pay your own way, shouldn't you be considered a scoundrel at best?
How is it different ethically when we apply this principle to the government?
--Doug Reich, The Rational Capitalist