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Our heroes in Washington are going to tax us more. They didn't collect as much as they expected with the taxes they now charge us, so they'll zap us harder. Even George the Lip says they have no choice.

There is a choice, of course. When less comes in, spend less. That's what you and I do. First we see how much money we have. Then we trim our spending to fit.Politicians do it backwards, deciding how much they want to spend, then telling us to cough up.

I believe a tax hike would be easier to take if we felt it was part of a fair and effective correction of the crazy way Washington handles our money. We all know we're in trouble, and we'd welcome genuine reform, even if it pinched.

But this tax hike isn't that. What our heroes are cooking up is a stop-gap to get around the Gramm-Rudman Act one more year. Last year they just lied. They said they had narrowed the deficit enough to meet Gramm-Rudman requirements when they hadn't. This year the gap is so wide the Big Lie won't work again.

Their excuse is the S&L debt. That pill would be easier to swallow if the scoundrels responsible were being properly punished. They aren't.

While such things are tolerated, George the Lip has a lot of nerve raising taxes to pay the S&L debt. So do the clowns in Congress who have big-spender compulsions of their own.

One simple reform would help the medicine go down. Hereafter when anyone in Congress proposes a new program he should be required to propose a specific tax to pay for it, all in the same bill.

The way it is now, spending bills and taxing bills are treated as totally separate actions, as if there were no connection. This allows the grandstanders to take bows for do-good legislation but hide in the crowd at tax time.

We've seen what happened in the Soviet bloc nations. They subsidized everything from food to rent to keep prices down, and the result was scarcity and stagnation. What our government does is similar but different. It uses massive borrowing as a disguised subsidy to pay for all sorts of things it can't afford. The result is a high standard of living, but it's built on air.

A few weeks ago, when Washington floated new bonds, there was a quiet panic that the Japanese might not buy any. They did; but if they hadn't, we'd have had a treasury crisis. That's how close we are to losing control of our own destiny.

If the federal government were a private business, it would have been in receivership long ago. But instead of facing up to the need for corrective surgery, our heroes are applying Band-Aids. They are less worried about national solvency than about whether the tax hike will harm their re-election chances this fall.

It hurts to say: You can't trust Washington with your money.