Imagine your husband charged up half a dozen credit cards, took out lines of credit, and racked up numerous loans while you were at work. He emptied your retirement funds and replaced them with a hand written IOU. He then took out more loans just to pay the interest on the other loans. Credit agencies noticed that your family spending exceeded your income and your assets and downgraded your credit score. When you brought the situation to your spouse’s attention, he demanded you get a second job and then left for the shopping mall with a new credit card. What would you do?
Politically speaking, we taxpayers are likewise wedded to the irresponsible who insist we work harder to pay for their spendthrift ways. Politicians have been overspending for years but in the last four years, deficits have exceeded $1 trillion a year. That means that politicians have spent in excess of $1 trillion more than the government collected in taxes each year. They’re borrowing just to pay the interest on the money they already borrowed. Today, the nation owes more in debt—$16 trillion—than the nation generates in economic output (Gross National Product). That’s $142,607 of debt per taxpayer! To make matters worse, this debt figure does not include the trillions the nation has in unfunded liabilities for Social Security and other entitlements. All that sits in the nation’s retirement fund is an IOU. Even credit rating agencies have noticed how irresponsible Washington DC has become, and they downgraded the nation’s credit rating.
When citizens brought the issue to the attention of politicians, some politicians have the audacity to say it is the taxpayers’ fault. They say some Americans are not paying their fair share. The politicians neglect to mention that wealthier Americans already pay more than their share. In fact, the top 5% of income earners pay nearly 60% of the incomes taxes collected by the federal government and the top 1% carry well over a third of the income tax burden. Meanwhile the bottom half of earners pay 3% of all federal income taxes. Is it fair to make some Americans pay more than their fair share while requiring others to pay nothing at all?
Most Americans believe it is unfair to take what one person has earned to give it to someone who has not earned it. In fact, inciting Americans to envy other Americans is really un-American when you get down to it. Furthermore, increasing taxes on this relatively small group of high-earning Americans will do little to the deficit. It will not touch the debt or replace the IOU in the Social Security Trust Fund. American taxpayers will shoulder more taxes and more debt because politicians can’t stop over-spending. We need to tell politicians that it is time to reduce spending, reform entitlements, and respect the people who work and pay taxes. It’s time to cut up the credit cards, honey.