Dear Senator Kyl:
Congratulations (or condolences) for being appointed to the Super Committee of 12 to resolve our debt and deficit crisis.
Here are some thoughts from an old cowboy:
Come up with a plan to eliminate the $14 trillion in federal debt over a 20 or less year period.
If we are taking in $1.6 trillion in tax revenues and spending $3 trillion like we did this year, the hole just gets deeper. It is like us spending $30,000 a year when our income is only $16,000 a year…pretty soon we’re busted.
You know that better than most folks and have stood firm on cutting federal spending.
Like they say about getting out of a hole…first thing you gotta do is quit digging. Keep up the good fight to stop the hole digging.
Obviously we got to eliminate the adding of a trillion dollars a year to the debt that we’ve been doing the last 3 years. Sure that is going to hurt….but spread the pain around fairly and we’ll all grump and moan but get up in the morning and feed our horses and go to work like we did yesterday and the day before.
Maybe it is like the old Cowboy Way…you know it is fdair when everyone is mad.
The Democrat argument seems to be we still have to spend $3 trillion a year so we need a tax increase to make up the difference.
Raising taxes to make up the difference is hugely problematic because I think the feds waste a lot of the money they collect and we don’t get our money’s worth giving it to Washington to manage. And I can cite examples like everyone else who has ever dealt with fed projects. I’m still peeved over US Fish and Wildlife extorting $50 million from Department of Homeland Security over the Border Patrol’s activities on federal land near the border.
The federal government has had decades to prove they can wisely spend our money and they’ve failed spectacularly.
As they say out here, arguing to get more taxes in light of the history of waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer money is like beating a dead horse.
But….in spite of hating taxes I can see justification for a tax increase that is linked exclusively to paying off the debt…with whatever tax increase used to do that expiring the minute the federal debt is paid off.
Thus if taxes are raised to generate $1 trillion of additional revenue…that $1 trillion pays off debt, and is not available to Congress or the White House to buy votes from various constituencies.
I will pay my share to get out of the hole as long as everyone else does, too.
I’ll give up my mortgage interest deduction if all the other gimmicks are gone, too.
The debt crisis is also a wonderful opportunity to really fundamentally change the US tax code.
Get rid of all the deductions and gimmicks and set a flat rate for everyone.
Congress and the White House needs to quit trying to engineer social policy with the tax code.
Sure everyone of the tax gimmicks has a good purpose….but collectively this has created an “us versus them” political system based on who can hire the best lobbyists.
The flat rate could be set to increase the revenue stream…with that increased revenue over 2011 levels being exclusively allocated to debt reduction as noted previously. Then the rate drops after the debt is paid.
If the economy improves…the debt will get paid off faster.
I don’t buy the argument of taxing the rich at higher rates than other people because they are rich. That is social policy. That just keeps the old divisive argument going between the “rich” and the “poor”.
If the tax rate were…for discussion purposes…10% …here’s what happens…I make $14,000 a year and I pay $1,400 in taxes. Someone else makes $ 1 million a year and they pay $100,000. The rich pay more obviously because they make more. Simple. And fair.
I would hope you all calculate how much revenue would be generated from a flat income tax with no deductions or credits or gimmicks….at various percentages…starting with 10% and working up. The rate should be set to generate $1.6 trillion… then a surcharge for debt retirement. I’ll bet the end result is around 15% for current pay-as-you-go and another 5% for debt reduction putting to the total rate at 20%.
I would support a tax increase based on tax reform provided the increased revenues are used to pay off the debt and for no other reason.
As many forget, tax revenues are taxpayer money. My money. And I’ll bet a whole lot of people would support a tax reform, together with a revenue increase if and only if we use that extra cash flow to pay off the darned debt and get us back on an honest path of balanced budgets.
And that’s exactly when the balanced budget amendment to the Constitution ought to kick in…..when we’ve bitten the bullet, cleaned up our house…and now we are not going to let future politicians use the government as a giant credit card to bankrupt the country.
Senator Kyl…you are in a unique position.
You already decided you are moving on to a better life come 2012.
You have a unique opportunity to provide a little Arizona common sense to the debate about getting the country out of the hole it is in. And Grover can’t hurt you.