It is long past the time to inject some common sense and reason into the highly flammable and partisan controversy over the U.S. Federal Government’s budget, budget deficit, and our convoluted, unethical, inequitable, and unconstitutional income tax code.
Most politicians pushing for big government want individual taxation in excess of 20% in addition to a complex system of corporate and investment taxes. Others like conservatively liberal Herman Cain hawking the “999” plan, advocate 9% business tax, 9% individual income tax, and a 9% national sales tax confuse the field with more controversy. My contention is that Americans are severely over-taxed. Moreover, the tax revenue is egregiously subject to bureaucrats that have no clue how to allocate those funds wisely and efficiently.
I fervently advocate a simple, reasonable, and fair 5% flat income tax for everyone earning in excess of $40,000 per year with no special business or investment taxes and no confusing maze of tax laws favoring those who can afford the process to avoid as much tax as possible. Those who earn less than 40K annually cannot afford to pay tax in this expensive society. However, after examining the actual budget verses the revenue numbers, even a 20% individual income tax does not come close to adequacy. Cain’s “999” probably would make up the deficit, but overall it would be an excessive burden on most Americans, especially the regressive national sales tax.
For possibly 40 years, our elected officials have violated the public trust and have concentrated their disingenuous efforts on buying votes with outlandish spending beyond our means to build a socialist welfare state. So, guess what people? America is now so deep in debt that to implement a reasonable and equitable tax rate is impossible without draconian spending cuts which congress appears unable to do. Moreover, because of the swamp mud-like financial quagmire, it is unlikely at any time in the near future. The federal government now earns 899 billion dollars from income tax. That works out to an approximate tax rate of 13.5 %, if one estimates according to a median income scenario. How much extra tax would need to be collected to pay the $ 1.3 trillion federal budget deficit? The rate would have to increase to 33% or in other words, a family earning the median income of $ 44,389 would pay $ 14,648 income tax. That is an outrageously inequitable bite out of a family budget for that income level in view of the current high costs of living.
There is no way we could sustain extorting that much tax from our citizens let alone even pass a tax that high to begin with. Therefore, if 33% is an impossibility, what else can be done except for necessary, but ignored drastic spending cuts? For some reason our Congressmen blindly believe we can survive perpetually building a predatory debt ready to eat us alive at any moment. The 2010 budget included $197 billion in interest payments. Yes, this appears manageable compared to defense spending of $689 billion and $701 billion for social security, but that is a monumental deception and a dangerous attitude to take. $197 Billion in interest is 6% of the total expenditures of $3.5 trillion. The average American pays approximately 15% in annual interest, and 40% of our citizens spend more than they earn annually. So overall, at least the Feds pay less than “Joe Average”, but that is misleading. No matter how much deceptive dismissal of the critical state of debt is committed, it is always unwise to spend 50% more than one earns annually.
In conclusion, I wish that, as I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, I could propose a common sense and reasoned solution to this seemingly intractable dilemma; however, a definitive answer is far beyond my expertise to provide, I suppose my only duty the is continual social advocacy to instigate a revolution, I only know by instinct and basic business experience that when so many people exceed their income in spending and the government cannot control its own run-away expenditures as well, we are headed for a cataclysmic crash at some future crossroads.
On-line budget and tax research:
Jerry Clifford, the Word Guru
I need and desire constructive comments of any kind, for they are a necessary educational and enlightenment process. Please visit the comment section at the bottom of this page and follow the guidelines for legitimate response.