VOLTAIRE WARNED US in 1764 when he said “In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.”

We will be heading to the polls in about five months to cast ballots for a few thousand state and federal government leaders. The wisdom of Maxine, of Shoebox Greetings fame, has never been more true when she said “Voting is like choosing your favorite mosquito out of a swarm.”

The men and women we elect will be faced with balancing budgets and collecting enough tax revenue to pay for a myriad of public programs that more than 70% of America’s citizens have come to depend on to survive. Recent events have conspired to change everything and give us a new normal.

A number of public opinion polls have shown that a majority of Americans have lost confidence in our government and question the competence of the senior leadership in most government agencies.

We all know the world has gotten a lot more complicated in the past decade or two. People have chosen sides, and have looked to our state and federal leaders for the answers. Frankly, they have let us down. The problems facing us today don’t have easy, simple answers.

The annual federal budget deficit is running more than $3 trillion. The national debt is approaching $30 trillion. Candidates of both parties warn of growing deficits, but they propose spending unfunded trillions to finance new and expanded programs to solve problems and prevent another Great Depression.

Keep in mind, 80% of tax revenue comes from income and payroll taxes. As robots and other forms of automation take a bigger share of jobs in the transportation, manufacturing, wholesale and retail industries, how do governments replace the lost tax revenue that they count on to cover public spending?

Some promise us that the new jobs being created will be enough. It’s happened before, it will happen again, they say. The experts said 47% of total jobs are at risk over the next decade or two. Artificial intelligence is coming so fast, some contend that society needs more time to adjust.

Politicians at all levels are proposing a Robot Tax to replace the lost tax revenues. Where does it start and stop? The devil is always in the details. If governments try to punish businesses with a tax on robots, many of those companies will move their manufacturing elsewhere.

Along the same lines, electric vehicles will soon be everywhere and will soon replace a vast majority of fuel-powered vehicles. When drivers no longer purchase gasoline for their vehicles, they will drastically reduce the government revenue they depend on from gasoline taxes.

States are dealing with these issues already. They are taking in less money for road building and infrastructure construction and repair. They must find ways to make electric vehicle owners pay for the road maintenance and repair that they cause. Electric vehicle owners say they should get credit for the reduction in pollution that their vehicles are responsible for.

In any case, here are five statements we need to remember as we decide who we elect as our next representatives to state and federal office.

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my friends is the end of any nation.

5. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.