In his pungent article titled: "The Politics of Stupidity Strike Again", E.J. Dionne, Jr., apparently in desperation about the indescribably moronic path of our (as well as other nations' governments), can a nation remain a "superpower", if its internal politics are incorrigibly stupid? Before I began my dismal career as an advisory team leader in Vietnam, I had asked the same question, and, as the author of today's lesson in democracy points out today, we - the intelligent people of my adopted nation - certainly agree with my analysis: Start with taxes. In every serious democracy, conservative political parties feel at least some obligation to match their tax politics with their spending plans. As Mr. Dionne points out, David Cameron, the new Conservative prime minister in Britain, is a leading example, recently offering a rather brutal budget that includes severe cutbacks. Though Mr. Dionne has some doubts about some of them, at least Mr. Cameron cared enough about reducing his country's deficit that he matched these expenditures with an increase in the value-added tax from 17.5 percent to 20 percent. Here is a fiscal conservative who really is a fiscal conservative.
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