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Do We Have the Backbone for Tough Love?

Do We Have the Backbone for Tough Love?

The GOP-controlled House has issued their Spending Reduction Act of 2011, reducing federal spending by $2.5 trillion dollars over the next ten years. Rand Paul has proposed $500 billion in federal budget cuts just for 2011 alone, targeting numerous federal programs (including the food stamps program) in an effort to rein in the national debt. That there is plenty of pork that can be trimmed is not in question.

The question is, do the American people have the will to not only enforce these slashes in federal programs, but to readjust their cherished beliefs in the sacred cows of government assistance (in one form or another) that has been part and parcel of our country for decades? Are we willing to do the hard work and make the sacrifice so that we can get our fiscal house in order?

The authors of the Spending Reduction Act of 2011 were a caucus of 175 conservative House Republicans (of which over 70 were part of the 87 new freshmen who came to Congress on the wave of the Tea Party momentum), who have recognized that just “freezing” spending is not going to get our national debt under control. After President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday evening, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, Representative Jim Jordan, said that the president still didn’t understand the extent of the seriousness of the nation’s economic and financial problems.
Analysis of the president’s speech shows that he spoke about the areas he wanted to increase spending far more than the areas that needed budget cuts. Jordan remarked: “Again, I don’t think he understands how serious the situation is. I don’t think he understands what took place on November 2 …. if we don’t start dealing with [the deficit] now, the window of opportunity to put the country back on the right path is closing rapidly.”

While the Republican House is immediately looking at reverting to 2008 levels of discretionary spending, according to Jordan, that’s just the first step. They intend to look at entitlement programs and the Pentagon’s budget as well. No area is sacrosanct.

One of the areas where the Republicans and Democrats disagree is tax cuts. Republicans want to make the Bush-era tax cuts permanent, while Democrats insist that move will increase the deficit. (Of course, the Democrats’ money-saving strategies have been such stellar successes since 2008!) Jordan says it comes down to an ideological difference.

“The left thinks all money belongs to them, except what they let people keep,” he explains. “We happen to think no, that money and wealth and resources belong to families and individual taxpayers. It’s their money, so it doesn’t add to the deficit if we let them keep it.”

While the GOP is to be applauded for this first step, there’s a bit of the pot calling the kettle black in Jordan’s last remark. “…if we let them keep it.” America was founded on the principle that the government’s only rights were enumerated in the Constitution. Up until 1913, and the ratification of the 16th amendment, the government didn’t have the right to tax as it does today.

Would it interest you to know that the Socialist Labor Party was the first to petition for a graduated income tax in 1887? And since 1913, when the government secured for itself an endless supply of tax dollars, it has ballooned the debt to 211 times greater than it was in 1913, as measured in 2010 dollars.

What is also astounding is the exemption from tax ratio in 1913 compared to today. If you were a single filer in 1913, your first $3,000 was tax exempt. In today’s dollars, that would equate to the first $66,100 of income being exempt from taxes. If you were married, your personal exemption in 1913 was $4,000 dollars, or equal to $88,100 today.

And in 1913, the top marginal rate was 8%.

That’s not to say we should revert back to 1913 figures. A graduated tax is socialist and unfair. It takes from one group of people and gives it to another. We need a fair tax, where everyone pays something into the system and as such, has a vested interest in keeping that system as small and fiscally sound as possible.

We’re going to have to hold our congressmen’s and senators’ feet to the fire and make them accept cuts across the board in their pay and benefits. We’re going to have to tell every group in America that feeds at the government trough (whether through individual entitlement programs or corporate welfare) that the free lunch is over with. We’re going to have to tell universities and special groups that they’ll have to figure out a way to fund their own research into the spotted salamander or paper wasps or whatever imaginative causes they come up with because the taxpayer isn’t doling it out anymore. We’re going to have to tell all those countries that hate us that they’ll have to get their financial aid from somewhere else.

And maybe we need to tell the United Nations (the organization that collects 25% of its operating capital from the United States taxpayers) that it needs to find real estate elsewhere – Egypt perhaps.
The process is not going to be without pain or hardship. Everyone is going to suffer. But the fact is that the American taxpayer now works between three to four months (depending on the state in which you live) to pay all his federal, state, and local tax obligations. We cannot afford to sustain that level of government spending.

The American taxpayer is broke and jobless.

I hope that we find that indomitable American spirit one more time to get us through this storm. We are fast approaching the tipping point where there can be no return to fiscal sanity. I hope Rep. Jordan is correct in his assessment that Americans are willing and able to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and make the hard decisions. And I hope that they will continue electing men and women of character and fiscal restraint to not just our federal legislature, but to state and local legislatures all around the country.

We have the ability and we have the means to make this happen.
We just need the backbone to go with it.

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  1. The government still does not have the right to tax like they do. Neither morally nor legally because the 13th Amendment was never ratified and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that even if ratified, it gave Congress no new taxing authority. The IRS is not a part of our government. It is a private corporation outside of the states. What we’re dealing with is extortion behind the full force and weight of the federal government.

  2. I very much enjoy your site and the things it discusses and make us awear of. I love this country and what our founding fathers did to set it up. I want to live up to what our constitution is and stands for. We have had some problems before , nothing quite this bad, but we can save our country. We must tighten our belts and stop looking for a free lunch around every corner and remember how to work hard again. Take care of each other and our fellow man and believe in God. We have looked for the Gov. to take care of us to long, we must stand up for our rights and get rid of the freeloaders. Big and small alike. WB

  3. I do not believe we have to stoop to robbing our seniors of their money that they set aside all of their lives to
    help themselves when they are no longer able to work. This is their social security and medicare. I resent
    hearing any of you accuse Seniors of living on welfare. That is our money and no thief is going to be able to take it away.We gave no one permission to take away our funds and it must be returned along with the money that
    investment would have brought in. I do not advise any of you to go around calling us freeloaders. ALLSENIORS,
    should be looking at income tax. It has been going to the FED for years and has never helped our country. I suggest that be one of the first changes to be made. That will bring in a lot of money.

  4. An American Woman

    Yes the 16 amendment is all about taxation.

    “The congress shall have power to lay & collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

    Now the part about “collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived” that means rich/legal/illegal… Right? So now CAN we Tax EVERYBODY??? Not just the (poor) working schmucks…??? But the everybody working schmucks…??? And NO MORE Tax (loopholes) for the uber rich!!! If I pay have to pay 30% of my meager paycheck EVERYONE should be FORCED to do it! Fair is fair! A “FAIR FLAT TAX” would be best… Easy to understand & Straight across the board. Then we can get rid of 75% of the IRS… 🙂 An added bonus… We would save this country billions each year. 🙂

  5. Prepare, pray, prepare and pray some more.

  6. I am sick of the people raving about WHY we need to stop spending, “git r done”. I would suggest all people under 65 who are on SS because of being overweight, depressed or having a designer diease be kicked off.

    • Jay: Your Peace On Earth report is the most itonrmapt piece I’ve read all year. Powerful, honest and no bull. The only problem is the amount of suppressed emotions it brings up. Ooooops, that’s not a problem, but, in your brilliant style, a solution. The supplements are great too, providing deeper understanding. There is a line from the television series Touched By An Angel where Della says I can’t wait to see how God is going to fix this mess.’ Your report (and the supplements) explains clearly how this mess can be fixed.Still reading the supplements but I nominate you for a Nobel Peace Prize. Looking forward to implementing this, the ultimate peaceful solution.Much gratitude to you and Liz too. Reply:November 18th, 2010 at 3:12 pmNayer, thank you very much, I feel you as a true partner in peace.I certainly agree that an aspect of my report allows for attention to personal development and further believe that personal development makes significant progress towards peace in the interim. Education as an Enlightened Witness or in non-violent communication has immediate positive effects, for example. I will be discussing this more in the newsletter.There are also significant dietary aspects that can immediately impact some forms of violent behavior. I felt it distracted from the essential message of the report and I will be discussing that in the newsletter as well.I also left out any detailed information on specific mental disorders and I will be discussing that, too.As you can see, the report only opens the conversation.

  7. OOOOH, I know I am going to get some heat for what I am about to say, but Effie Powers, what is our end game? We both know that the gov can’t be trusted with our savings and yet you want to perpetuate this fraud on the American people called social security? The money that you and your peers paid into the system has been long spent and the money you get is taken directly out of my pay check all the while I am being promised that SS is bankrupted and there is no way I will see all my money when it is time to collect. Considering that SS payment increase with respect to government stats on inflation which are bogus (no account for food or energy) then it’s safe to say that you are not receiving your just payment either. I don’t claim to have the answers, nor do I think hacking anything but the fraudulent interest on our money supply first is going to be of use to the common man. But at sometime we need to realize, self reliance starts with everything, finances included. I’ve only paid into the SS system for 10 years, half of that as a part time worker. I don’t have as much invested in the fraud but I would be still willing to walk away from the system. I am not ‘pot committed’ (for you poker players out there, not pot heads). But I find that anytime you lock yourself into a deal and refuses to change your mind no matter how bad things get, your in for a loss.

    SS is not welfare but it is a ponzi scam none the less.

  8. It is a common misconception of people on Social Security that the checks they receive are “their” money since they paid a lot in during their working life. The problem is that Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme and all the money is gone. Seniors get paid only by robbing the young. It is the same as if your car was stolen and your are old so the police went and confiscated the car of some innocent young person to replace it. It is unfortunate, but, if you are receiving Social Security you are not receiving your money any more than those that received checks from Bernie Madoff were receiving the profits of their investments from him.

    • Ira,
      you have bought into the misinformed . low information and uninformed. … I will spell this slowly. The Social security system is a trust account. It is not part of the federal budget, it is not part of the deficit. it is a trust account that is fully funded until 2037 at the current rate of disbursement. meaning. R. Regan established and protected funds for the SSI account as needed.. They are protected till 2037 as they stand now. If you do not belong to AARP or others please go buy a history book, before you go on a rant.

  9. In the IRS 1040 booklet it has a chart for government income and outlay for 2009. It shows that 34% went out for social security and Medicare while they took in 25% on social security, Medicare and unemployment taxes. Personal income taxes brought in another 26% while corporate taxes only brought in 4%. They BORROW 40% of what they are spending. Social security, Medicare and social programs are taking 55% of the budget while national defense and aid to foreign countries is taking another 22%. Interest on the debt was costing 5%. When your outlay exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.

    The point this article makes is valid. They need to cut the budget in half to eliminate the deficit AND bring down the debt. Since the entitlement programs are taking 55% of the budget — they need to go. Medicare and Medicaid could stay but billions could be saved by eliminating fraud! Billions could also be saved by stopping aid to foreign countries. Welfare and social security could be phased out over time so that people wouldn’t be devastated all at once.

    One point they didn’t cover is that to eliminate the social programs would mean that there would have to be enough jobs for people to support themselves and save for their own retirement. The ONLY way that could happen is if the government got out of the way with all their regulations and taxes. The best way to accomplish that would be to put the power back with the states and let the people decide for themselves what is best for their state. That is how it is written in the Constitution and the way it SHOULD be now!

    • please see note to Ira. you can check it out. you have bad information. check with AARP or buy a history book.

  10. There would be plenty for Social Security if the stinking government kept their hands off, just like they promised to. It was to go in a lock box got social security only, but the government couldn’t stand seeing all that money, making money and them not be able to use it in the general fund. So they started putting IOU’s in the box and taking out the money. IOU’s don’t make investment money!!! As a former accountant, I can tell you that you can slant the numbers on a report any way you want. A little change here, a litle lefe off there or what ever you want the report to say. The government should have to show us a plain balance sheet with nothing left off or slanted.

    • Now this I find interesting. Social security is fully paid till 2037…………. by any chance do you watch FOX news ( owned by an Arab and an Austrailian by the by.. The money is there and will be. unless the frauds allow it to be privitized.. I wish I could educate you all to look at what Ronald Regan did for social security rather than believe the crap that you have been spoon fed by the Australian and the Arab!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. I do love the manner in which you have fmeard this particular situation and it does indeed provide me personally a lot of fodder for thought. However, from everything that I have personally seen, I simply trust when the remarks pack on that individuals stay on issue and don’t get started on a soap box of some other news of the day. All the same, thank you for this superb point and even though I can not really concur with the idea in totality, I respect the point of view.

    • Healthy is equal to a balance of food type, food amonut, and intervals when eaten. Combined that with some exercise and just general awareness of how you feel, and you should be alright!

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