How Much Should We Be Taxed?

The current Presidential debate is looking closely at Mr. Obama’s stated intent to raise taxes on “the rich” to fund new and better programs (see http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/taxes/Factsheet_Tax_Plan_FINAL.pdf ) and Mr. McCain’s position that we should cut taxes, especially for businesses (see http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/1a8640f0-b2e3-4edb-b2a9-236df79d2579.htm )

Unfortunately, both candidates have it wrong. The question is not how much to raise or lower taxes so much as it should be, “How Much Should We Cut Expenditures?”

In the past few months as our economy has slowed and many of us have faced the economic reality of higher prices (gas, food, etc.) most of us have looked first at where we can save money. Where can we cut our expenditures? Since none of us has access to the Treasury’s printing presses, we rarely think first, “How can I increase revenue?” Congress needs to act the same way: Cut expenditures first, then look at revenues.

We have created a Congress that now has no incentive to cut costs anywhere but with huge incentives to increase programs everywhere. This needs to Change.

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: ‘From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.'” Alexander Fraser Tytler Lord Woodhouselee (1748-1813)

Please send me your suggestions as to how to give incentives to Congress to reduce government spending.

For example:

All Congressmen and women and all Senators will be bound to the same rules they make for the Military. That means they will have the same medical benefits, the same retirement program, the same drug testing, the same security clearances, etc. Only the laws under which they would perform their duties would be different. I would make them subject to the laws they create for all of us, not to the military justice system. I would also pay them five times the pay of a Colonel in the Army, Navy (Captain) or Air Force with time in grade allowances. If we don’t pay them enough, they may resort to taking money from those who would influence their votes (parish the thought).

Okay. That’s a start. Got any thoughts?

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