Write of Center - 01 April 2023
Both sets of my grandparents were married in September of 1923. One hundred years ago this year! It was the “Roaring Twenties”. In August of 1923, President Harding died in office and President Coolidge was sworn in as America’s 30th president.
Coolidge, a Republican, was a thrifty man, who didn’t believe in spending other people’s money. He set about reducing taxes and federal government spending. With a Republican Congress, he signed tax reduction bills in 1924, 1926, and 1928.
All the while, he paid down the federal debt. Yes, it is true! Not only did he balance the budget, but he actually paid off 25 percent of the federal debt while in office. After being re-elected in a landslide, and serving six years in the White House, he retired because he thought no person should be president for ten years. A principled man, indeed.
Fast forward to the last few years of the 1990s. A Republican House passed balanced budgets in four consecutive years, from 1998 to 2001. Near the end of that streak, Fed Chairman Greenspan formed a committee to determine how the federal government could completely pay off all its debt! Once again, a national crisis emerged; it was the September 11 attacks and the war on terror. There have not been any balanced federal budgets since.
My point is balanced budgets can be achieved. Yes, it can be done. But constantly raising taxes is not the way. It requires principled leaders who treat tax money like it is their own. It requires tough spending decisions. It requires straight talk to the American people.
By contrast, we see trillions upon trillions of tax dollars wasted on huge federal government spending programs. Many current politicians fly around America boasting of all the spending. They even provide billions of dollars to the most profitable companies in the world. We the people wonder what is happening; it doesn’t make any sense.
And the answer is not raising more taxes. Amazingly, the federal government has set a new record for collecting taxes for the past nine years in a row! Even after the Republican tax cuts of 2017, tax collections kept climbing.
Despite these facts, these stubborn facts, the White House’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 contains $4.7 trillion in tax increases. More of the same, tired old stuff. It will never make it through our Republican House, thank goodness.
We hear cries from the left, about “paying fair share” and “soak the rich”. Again, facts get in the way of those fantasies. You see, per IRS data, the top 5 percent of income earners in America pay 60 percent of the total income tax, while earning 37 percent of total income. The other 95 percent of Americans are paying the other 40 percent of total taxes.
So the next time you hear a liberal politician say that “everyone has to pay their fair share”, ask them to explain exactly what they mean by fair share. And also ask if it is fair that only 5 percent of Americans pay 60 percent of the taxes. Ask them if they think that is fair, and how it is fair. Rather, I think we should thank those fortunate 5 percent of Americans for paying so much of the government burden for the rest of us.
If the liberal politicians need some ideas for spending cuts, I have some. How about the $500 million to implement “implicit bias training for health care providers”? Huh?
Or how about the $495 million earmarked for programs in Africa that advance “inclusive and responsible technology development, which also supports the ability of women, the Lesbian, Queer, and Intersex community.” Those words in quotes are verbatim from the law, with no further details on how our tax money is to be spent.
Or how about the pay raise for TSA. The law says that the folks yelling at us to remove our shoes at the airport are receiving a pay bump, all in the name of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” TSA is slated to receive $1.1 billion in increased funding as part of the White House’s “pay equity initiative.”
In an era where 60 percent of Americans think their children will be worse off than themselves, politicians in Washington better take notice. More tax and spend policies are not what Americans want. Americans want a government that serves us, not oppresses us. But we know that a reckoning is near. The next federal election is barely 19 months away. There, the government will face the judgment of the American people, through the ballot box.