letter to the editor

Our money, our debt, our taxes and our country

Posted:  Monday, January 15, 2018 - 4:00pm

Dear Editor:

Taxation history sheds a light on why, our taxation rights were accepted as a right to exercise on behalf of and for the benefit of citizens of our country. The basic principles of taxation go back thousands of years. It was levied onto citizens in order to pay for military expenses and other public services. It was not intended to enhance the wealth of politicians. Democracy has built-in policies that prevent use of tax funds for specific benefit of any elected official. Yet 2018 tax loopholes fully reimburse wealthy donors to private school scholarship funds from our public taxes when no public service benefits.

State and local taxes have been deductible since the inception of the federal income tax in 1913. On what basis would the government have the right to increase, possibly even double our taxation? If 80 percent of corporations pay no taxes, due to business tax deductions, what is the benefit of a lower corporate tax rate being proposed? Ask Walmart, who is closing 154 stores, causing job loss for thousands.

Balancing the budget begins with knowing the $20 trillion debt has multiple owners. A portion of the federal debt is owed to 230 other federal agencies. It totals $5.6 trillion, almost 30 percent of the debt. For example, the Social Security Trust Fund takes in more tax revenues than needed that year, hence the extra funds are used to invest in treasury bills currently valued at $2.8 trillion owed to Social Security. Foreign governments and investors hold $6.0 trillion of our debt. If the United States defaults on its debt, foreign investors would be angry, but current and future retirees would be egregiously harmed by our own country.

Balancing the budget should begin with debt payments not tax reduction that adds $1.5 trillion more to our debt. The bill that passed did not list its plan to provide the revenue that not only covered this unnecessary debt, but contained payments for the older debt. The Pay-as-You-Go Act of 2010 mandates spending cuts if legislation increases the deficit irrespective of increased revenues.

Jarryl Larson