Relieve the debt burden now
To the Editor:
The Honourable Paul Broun, I would like to take a moment to respond to your question “Do you want tax reform?” The simple answer to that is “Yes, I would like tax reform.” However, I am afraid, as is usually the case, the question of tax reform is much more complex than do you want reform. As you stated the tax code needs to be simpler. I have read about the Fair Tax and I do not believe it will function in practice the way that it is said to function in theory, but that really isn’t pertinent to this letter. Because when it comes right down to it, it does not matter how simple the tax code is if the government is going to continue to take more and more.
Given the current spending levels of Washington, it will not be long before our country needs every penny of GDP to pay off our debt, and that is assuming that America can still find someone to buy our debt. There is little doubt in my mind that China is on the brink of ceasing its purchasing of our debt.
On that day, America will cease to exist as we know it because America will not have the money to maintain operations. I realize there are many in the country today who do not see China as an enemy. They believe China, Japan, and the Middle East will now be our friends, but I cannot help but feel that these countries are playing coy and waiting for the right moment to destroy us. Proverbs 22:7 says “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.” You see, we are already a slave to them.
As your quotes from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison indicate, our Federal government has grown much too large for its own good and much larger than our Founding Fathers had anticipated. But is there any hope that government will be made smaller and spend less.
I hope you will understand and forgive my skepticism in a Republican Party who is largely responsible for getting us into this position. I know that it took both parties to get us into this mess, but it is undeniable that Republicans in Congress over the last eight years were in a good position to do the right thing for the future generations of this country.
Instead, they continued to spend, increase government spending and entitlement programs, and cut taxes. I can only imagine that the tax cuts were used as political bait for constituents. This has left us in a position where tax cuts are probably the worst course of action for our long term well-being that we could take.
Given the current economy, the instability of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, and Congress’ insistence to provide wealth to the American people, it is virtually impossible to raise enough revenue without raising taxes on all Americans, not just the rich. Now if Congress could cut government spending, then tax cuts might be possible, but there is little doubt in my mind that Congress will not spend any political capital to reduce the size of government. It seems our government is populated with politicians worried about losing their jobs instead of statesmen interested in solving the problems that face us.
While President Obama, and pretty much the entire political establishment, call for change, they have no idea what kind of change really needs to take place. It will no longer be enough to change administrations or the tax code or the way Social Security and Medicare are run. The change we need is to return to the outlook that our Founding Fathers established. We need to return to the idea of personal responsibility. We need to return to the idea that government is not to provide wealth, but to promote wealth. We need for our Federal government to lose the mindset that this country revolves around its decisions and realize that this country functions, was founded, was made great, and prospered because of the citizens of this country. I know that protectionism is frowned upon in this day and age of “global” economy, but we need to concentrate on our needs for a while.
What sense does it make to send (and have jobs go) overseas? Shouldn’t our desire be to see our own citizens working and being productive? Shouldn’t we be making it possible for them to contribute to the GDP of this country, instead of taking away from the GDP by having to support them in their poverty? Perhaps we should return to the frame of mind evidenced in the following quote.
"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
While I would love to see my taxes decrease this coming year, it is evidently clear to me that the lessening of my taxes will only result in a greater tax burden on my children. I have no desire to make life any more difficult for my children than it already is. I would much rather see this country make the necessary changes to begin relieving this debt burden now. It can only make us stronger in the future.
Printed in the April 30, 2009 edition.