Reforming Our Tax System and Attitudes and Having a Balanced Budget

We need a change of attitude about taxes.  Our taxes are not what some king or dictator takes from us to support his or her reign.  They are what we, through our representatives, decide to spend on the welfare of ourselves and all other citizens (like roads, our military, our elections, grants for cancer research, etc.).  We should be proud to pay our taxes and critical of those who try to get away with not paying as much as they owe!

If there is a problem about our taxes, it’s the inability of Congress to limit its spending.  They wish to spend on things for their home districts so that you, the people who elect them, will elect them again, but they don’t want you to know about the rest of government spending, since much of it would look foolish to you.

My proposal is to set our taxes every to cover the amount that Congress approved to spend the previous year.  That way you will know every year what your representatives are spending, and if you think it is too much you can elect someone else in the next election.  The way we do things now, we have wars, but taxpayers hardly feel it since war costs are all done through borrowing, so taxpayers feel like they don’t have to pay anything for wars, but these payments are simply being put off for later (when your children will have to pay for your wars).  Citizens should pay right now for added spending, like a war, so that they have a say in whether they want that war or not.

Paying for last year’s Congressional budget each year would eliminate the need for government borrowing, once we get in the rhythm of paying for expenditures every year.  This will reduce the amount we taxpayers pay for interest on the national debt, which will lower your taxes gradually as we pay off the accumulated current national debt.  We will have very close to a constantly balanced budget, and I won’t support raising the national debt ceiling again unless there is an emergency that requires it in the current tax year.

The disadvantage of doing it this way will be that you won’t know for sure what your taxes will be year to year, since the amount will be constantly changing, but assuming you want to limit your taxes and will elect representatives who limit spending appropriately, the variation in your taxes from year to year will probably be quite small.  Congress can also save each year toward an emergency budget when that is needed.

I plan to make an understandable explanation of the national budget available to citizens every year so you know what is going on and can ask questions of your representatives.

I also believe that everyone should pay something toward our national spending, instead of having a significant percentage of citizens (40%?!) paying nothing because of their low incomes, as we do now.  We are all responsible for what Congress spends, and that should include at least small amounts from every citizen.

I also plan to explore a flat tax system, in which everyone pays the same percentage while eliminating most current deductions (which will make computing your taxes so much easier).  We should not use reductions of taxes to encourage citizens to do things the government wishes (e.g., tax deductions for solar panels or electric cars), because that means that other citizens (you) have to make up the difference.  Getting these “breaks” makes it look like you are paying less taxes than your neighbors pay, which supports the notion that not paying our fair share is a good thing.  If we wish to reward citizens for putting in solar panels, we should send them a check for it, not make them feel good for getting a tax reduction.  Handling these things through the tax system is convenient, but it gives the wrong message about taxes in general.

Be proud of paying your taxes honestly.

Make Congress gather taxes next year to pay for everything it spends this year.

We should have a balanced budget every year and end all government borrowing (except for emergencies).

You don’t get something for nothing. Your taxes pay for everything you want from the government.

Your taxes are all the income your government has.






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