Now that we have new representatives, it’s time to advance immediately on them and address the issue that can both rebuild our economy and relieve us of government oppression: tax reform.
As I began to point out in last week’s column, Congress’ plan to subsidize all its outrageous borrowing and spending will demand far more than the tax man just collecting on expired Bush tax cuts. There is a host of other levies coming down the turnpike from Washington as well.
Who isn’t already completely fed up with the feds’ utter waste of our tax monies? Just a week ago, war analysts and government auditors reported that only 10 percent of U.S. taxpayers’ money being poured into Afghanistan is actually being used to stabilize the country, with as much as $1 billion in aid ending up in the hands of the Taliban and other insurgency groups!
And how about that all the frivolous spending like the incredible $192 million splurge fest in taxpayer money to plaster every possible highway with signs (covert election propaganda) touting how stimulus cash is “Putting America to Work” with infrastructure projects?
And, when a nation is in economic peril, who in their right mind spends tens of millions in taxpayers monies to fund the president’s present 10-day Asian tour to India, Indonesia, China and Korea? Could we send any other ambassador who doesn’t require the accompaniment of such a massive security, political, corporate and media entourage? Is there really no other way to boost economic trade without spending all that money? Has the president ever heard of conference calls or Skype?
So, first, there’s all that federal waste happening that already cost taxpayers enormously exorbitant amounts. It has been estimated by watchdog organizations that the feds waste nearly $1 trillion dollars every year.
Second, as I itemized in my last article, there are the expiring Bush tax cuts on the imminent horizon, which will cost Americans a minimal of $3.8 trillion over the next 10 years.
And then there are the inevitable taxes that are coming due to the feds’ massive and compounding deficits and debts. Even if all the Bush tax cuts were repealed, the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, concludes that the deficit will still be nearly $1.1 trillion in 2011. The cumulative deficit from 2010 to 2019 under President Obama’s proposals will total $9.3 trillion. And the 2020 end-of-decade national debt will top $24.5 trillion, even exceeding the Gross Domestic Product projection for 2019 of $22.8 trillion. And here’s the kicker! By 2020, half of all income tax revenues will go toward paying interest on that $24 trillion national debt.
That is why Washington is considering charging Americans an additional European-style value-added tax, VAT, above and beyond sales tax, which is a form of consumption tax at each stage of an item’s manufacturing or distribution, ultimately passed on to the consumer. (And even though Ernst and Young and the economic research firm Tax Policy Advisers just released a study that a VAT “would result in the loss of 850,000 jobs in its first year, reduce the U.S. gross domestic product for three years, and cut retail spending by $2.5 billion over its first decade.”)
And anyone remember how Washington is paying for Obamacare? You guessed it – your upcoming taxes.
Though the majority of Americans want it repealed and think that’s an easy fix to do so with a new House Republican majority, such an act will definitely be a major uphill battle – on and off Capitol Hill. Most politicians primed the pump on the campaign trail for its repeal, but fulfilling that promise will be a long, arduous battle with a Democrat majority remaining in the Senate, a president with the power to veto and a court system that sways to progressives.
If Obamacare is not repealed, a host of other taxes are coming to front door. Let me summarize some. Actually, Americans for Tax Reform has pulled from Obamacare legislation almost 20 taxes coming down the pike (with references to the location in the law and the dates the taxes begin –some in 2011) that will result in working families paying more than $500 billion in additional taxes.
- individual mandate excise tax (Page 324/Sec. 1501/January 2014)
- employer mandate tax (Page 348/Sec. 1513/January 2014)
- excise tax on comprehensive health insurance plans (Page 1,979/Sec. 9001/$149.1 billion/January 2013)
- hike in Medicare payroll tax (Page 2,040/Sec. 9015/$86.8 billion/January 2013)
- medicine cabinet tax (Page 1,997/Sec. 9003/$5 billion/January 2011)
- HSA withdrawal tax hike (Page 1,998/Sec. 9004/$1.3 billion/January 2011)
- Flexible Spending Account cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” (Page 1,999/Sec. 9005/$14 billion/January 2011)
- tax on medical device manufacturers (Page 2,020/Sec. 9009/$19.2 billion/January 2010)
- raise “haircut” for medical itemized deduction from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of AGI (Page 2,034/Sec. 9013/$15.2 billion/January 2013)
- tax on indoor tanning services (Page 373 of manager’s amendment/$2.7 billion/July 1, 2010)
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield tax hike (Page 2,044/Sec. 9016/$0.4 billion/January 2010)
- excise tax on charitable hospitals (Page 2,001/Sec. 9007/Min$/immediate)
- tax on innovator drug companies (Page 2010/Sec. 9008/ $22.2 billion/January 2010)
- tax on health insurers (Page 2,026/Sec. 9010/$59.6 billion/January 2011)
- elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D (Page 2,034/Sec. 9012/$5.4 billion/January 2011)
- $500,000 annual executive compensation limit for health insurance executives (Page 2,035/Sec. 9014/$0.6 billion/January 2013)
- employer reporting of insurance on W-2 (Page 1,996/Sec. 9002/Min$/January 2011)
- corporate 1099-MISC information reporting (Page 1,999/Sec. 9006/$17.1 billion/January 2012)
Are you kidding me?!
To add insult to injury, the CBO also reported that the exact number of new IRS employees needed to implement and manage America’s new socialized health program is undetermined, though estimates range from thousands of employees on a low end to 16,500 employees on a high end. Or do the feds think the 93,000 present IRS employees can handle the additional workload?
Not surprising, the CBO concludes:
CBO has not completed an estimate of all of the discretionary costs that would be associated with H.R. 3590. (Those costs would depend on future appropriations and are not included in the tables accompanying this letter.) As indicated in CBO’s earlier
estimate, such costs would probably include an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion over
10 years for administrative costs of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and at least a
similar amount for expenses of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Was the White House or Congress covering those additional costs themselves?
And with estimates that 32 million more people will have health insurance by 2019, to what clinic or hospital or to which doctor will they go? Even before health-reform legislation passed, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the U.S. faced a shortage of doctors that is expected to grow to 40,000 by 2020. And who will pay for these new needed physicians, assistant medical personnel, hospitals and clinics? Our local communities? States? The federal government? No, none of the above. The answer is you!
And don’t forget that entitlement spending is already growing at an alarming rate. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs alone comprise 56 percent of all federal expenditures. And even CBS recently admitted that by 2020 roughly 93 cents of every dollar of federal revenue will be eaten up by major entitlement programs and payments on the national debt. And we are going to pay for Obamacare how?
And should we feel any more confident that Washington bureaucrats are handling our tax monies when the Wall Street Journal recently reported that, as of the end of last year, federal workers nationwide owed $1 billion in overdue taxes, with Capitol Hill employees owing $9.3 million of that total – an average of $15,498 among those working in the House and $12,787 among those working in the Senate. They’re like tax junkies on steroids!
America’s founders would have been horrified at the bloated federal bureaucracy we have now and the maze of taxes we have to navigate: sales taxes, income taxes, school taxes, fuel taxes, capital gains taxes, estate taxes, bridge and road usage taxes (tolls), corporate taxes, property taxes, Social Security taxes, utility taxes and even death taxes!
It was excessive taxation like this that drove the founders to rebel in the first place. That is why I said in a recent patriot PSA, “We’re being taxed to death [literally!]. [Washington is] taxing us so much it is going to destroy our country. That’s the reason we left England to begin with, because we were being taxed so much. … But now it’s going back to the system in England 200 years ago, and we’ve got to turn that around.” What we need now more than ever is smaller government and lower taxes.
The debt and taxation frenzy we face today was among the great concerns to our founders at the dawn of our republic. Thomas Jefferson said it best: “Considering the general tendency [of the federal government] to multiply offices and dependencies and to increase expense to the ultimate term of burden which the citizen can bear, it behooves us to avail ourselves of every occasion which presents itself for taking off the surcharge; that it may never be seen here that, after leaving to labor the smallest portion of its earnings on which it can subsist, government shall itself consume the residue of what it was instituted to guard.”
I’ll say it again: Now that we have new representatives, it’s time to advance immediately on them and address the issue that can both rebuild our economy and relieve us of government oppression: tax reform.
(In my next article, I will show how the U.S. can do away with the IRS and replace it with a far more inexpensive taxation system that is equitable for all.)