Income taxes are the dues we pay to be a U.S. citizen. Many things we require are best provided by our government. Examples are national defense, roads, Social Security and Medicare. These are benefits we enjoy and must pay for.

Our government can get into situations (wars) that temporarily bust our budget, causing a temporary increase in our national debt. So it’s OK for us to temporarily fail to pay our way, the idea being that in the long run we can make up the loss. Unfortunately, we have let this free ride get out of hand. Currently, our national debt is $20 trillion or about $167,000 per taxpayer.

With your average household income of about $56,000, do you feel comfortable with your share — $167,000? We got a little behind on our dues didn’t we? Basically, we are not paying our way.

So why do politicians tell us they are going to lower our taxes and it will make us all better? They tell this lie to make us feel good and to get elected. They tell us that if we pay less tax we’ll have more jobs and more people will spend more. This extra activity will bring in more tax dollars. Historically, this has not happened and it’s this thinking that got our debt out of hand. Actually we may need to raise our taxes.

The interest on our debt is about $256 billion per year at the lowest interest rates we have seen in years. Consider what can happen with inflation and interest rates tripling — going from a mere 2 percent to a still low 6 percent. We already have a deficit of $590 billion so this already high deficit could then rise to about $1.4 trillion; more than one third of our national income of $3.3 trillion.

One dollar out of three may be required to just pay our debt interest; a catastrophe for the USA. Folks we have got to stop listening to the lying politicians and get serious about paying down our debt. Inflation and higher interest rates are just around the corner. Next time vote for a candidate that wants to lower our cost, deficit and debt, not our taxes.

Lowering corporate taxes actually makes sense and works. It would in fact make our corporations more competitive worldwide and help keep jobs and businesses here.

Understand this; corporations don’t pay taxes; they just collect them from us. If, today, we raise the taxes by $1 on each hamburger made in the USA, guess what? Tomorrow the price of a hamburger will go up $1. They simply will collect from us that dollar to pay their taxes.

Remember a dollar represents a quantity of labor from a human being. Corporations are not humans and do no labor. Ultimately, humans pay all taxes so let’s take the “collection burden” off our corporations so they can compete worldwide and stay here; makes good sense to me.

Harvey Cappel

lives in Texas City.

Locations

(32) comments

Carlos Ponce

The high deficit is more a result of the lack of fiscal restraint. When taxes are lowered the revenues actually go up.
"JFK, Reagan, and George W. Bush understood, reducing taxes has a stimulative effect on economic activity which leads to an increase in government reciepts. You can't argue with history!"
https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2012/10/15/do-tax-cuts-increase-government-revenue/#68e710aa4bf2
"There is a distinct pattern throughout American history: When tax rates are reduced, the economy's growth rate improves and living standards increase."
http://www.heritage.org/taxes/report/the-historical-lessons-lower-tax-rates
The problem was that spending also went up. Reagan only got increased military spending in return for increased domestic spending. The same thing is happening today. Where the military is a Constitutional provision, much domestic spending is not.

Jim Forsythe

"military is a Constitutional provision" does not mean , we have to spend, at the level we are
How much can we afford?
"military is a Constitutional provision" In fiscal year 2015, military spending is projected to account for 54 percent of all federal discretionary spending,
Instead of decreasing the spending on the military, we are increasing it. "The proposal is to increase military spending  by $54 billion "
We are in places we do not need to be ,spending money we do not have!
"  U.S. military spending easily dwarfed the rest of the world. With a defense budget of around $597 billion, it was almost as much as the next 14 countries put together and far larger than the rest of the world. China, a rising military power and the world's most populous country, is perhaps the only country that can hold a candle to America's military budget. However, its own budget of $145.8 billion is less than a third of the U.S. budget  "

Carlos Ponce

When you say "military spending" , Obama spending was politically correct but more expensive.
Conventional jet fuel = $2.88 per gallon
Under Obama "The Department of Defense (DOD) paid $150 per gallon for alternative jet fuel made from algae, more than 64 times the current market price for standard carbon-based fuels."
"Army Maj. Gen. Robert Dees said the Obama administration is using the U.S. military for 'social engineering' and the end result is damaging the nation’s ability to defend itself', according to CNS News."
"In his final months in office, Mr. Obama is leaving a legacy of a more politically correct armed forces."
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/24/president-obama-leaving-liberal-blueprint-on-armed/
It will take billions to undo the mess Obama did to the military.
How much can we afford? We can't afford not to. To do so is spelled "D-O-O-M".

Jim Forsythe

"Obama spending was politically correct but more expensive."
Obama is gone , so cost should drop.

Why did it cost  "The Department of Defense" $150 per gallon for 1,500 gallons of algae-oil derived fuel using the HEFA process
When running test on small batches as this, the cost is high.
"The report recognizes that the dollar amounts reported reflect purchases of small quantities of fuel for testing and approval activities, and that government officials and a fuel producer GAO interviewed said that the prices are higher than what they would be if the quantities were produced at commercial scale."

Test were being conducted to see if would make for a match with the aviation needs of the USA. Part of the cost is to make sure it matches with conventional jet fuel.
"After blending with conventional jet fuel, new lubricity, distillation and composition requirements in D7566 must also be met. As a result, the blended jet fuel used in airplanes is essentially identical to conventional jet fuel and doesn’t differ in performance or operability, "

We can reduce up to 50% the amount of oil used for jet fuel
"Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons”, which now allows up to a 50/50 blend of biobased components with conventional Jet-A fuel"
“but there are reasons to expect up to one billion gallons of biofuel to be in annual production by 2020,”

Limits were put in place , to help keep spending under control.
"While the defense budget has dropped in recent years, the cuts were approved by Republicans as well as Democrats in Congress, then signed into law by Obama. But even with the reductions, the size of the special operations forces, which include Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, has grown.
For 2016, the current budget year, the Defense Department’s budget is roughly $581 billion. That includes $59 billion for fighting IS, operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and other missions. There’s $111 billion for new equipment and upgrades, ranging from jet fighters, helicopters, ships and submarines. Another $70 billion is for the research and development of new technologies.
The Budget Control Act set limits on how much could be spent on defense through 2021. Between 2011 and 2014, the Pentagon’s budget fell by more than $100 billion. And in 2013 automatic budget cuts known as sequestration kicked in ."


."


Carlos Ponce

"Obama is gone , so cost should drop." But only if you fight against the CONTRACT the Obama administration made with that company.

Jim Forsythe

"CONTRACT the Obama administration made with that company" What company?
 Remember, the President said he is the best at Negotiation. If that is so , the cost will be a lot less, for all the hardware and such.

Carlos Ponce

San Francisco-based Solazyme Inc. for one. Problem is that too many Congressmen and Senators are heavily vested in biofuels. You know the type - the ones highly touting "Man - made global warming".
"EXCLUSIVE … FRANKEN CoS JUMPS TO SOLAZYME: Washington vet Drew Littman is leaving Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), where he’s been since 2009, to open the Washington operation for renewable oil and bioproducts company Solazyme."
http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/politico-influence/2011/09/franken-cos-jumps-to-solazyme-national-retail-federation-readies-big-campaign-breaking-marlowe-to-stay-on-at-lobbyist-league-ubs-scandal-to-touch-us-banks-009030

Jim Forsythe

I guess the Congressmen and Senators are heavily vested in cooking oil, protein powders and face lotion.
"Solazyme (szym), now renamed as TerraVia, says it will no longer focus on its fuels and its industrial businesses, and instead will double down on selling its algae oil to the food and personal care industries, for use in products like cooking oil, protein powders and face lotion.
Solazyme's long term plan has always been to make the higher margin products, like food and face lotions"


Jarvis Buckley

We've gone from asking for a hand up to shaming society into giving handouts. We have become a panhandling society.

Doyle Beard

right Jarvis today people want to live at the expense of the goverment not realizing the government lives at the expense of the people. Why not follow the JFK lie ask not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your country?

Doyle Beard

JFK line not lie

Jim Forsythe

Did not see your post.

Jim Forsythe

Doyle, which part of  JFK's speech is a  lie. He was trying to get  Americans to think of country. The following is a part of his speech.

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility–I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it–and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own

Doyle Beard

I corrected the word

Doyle Beard

I would think anyone could figure I was was not posting for someone to follow a lie. the post wast pretty clear although one word was mispelled. Looks like nitpicking.

Norman Pappous

Great column!

Carlos Ponce

Norman, do you think we are not taxed enough, that taxes should go up?

Jack Cross

While the column makes some good points and I generally agree with it. Trump's economic policies are the right ones, but the article is correct, Tax cuts are just one important part of the solution. Congress created the problem and it will take congress to quit lying to the people, playing politics for a political gain and drafting policies and making statements, not for the good of the country but to benefit their next election.
People often think of tax revenue as a function of tax rates. If you want to raise more tax revenue, raise tax rates. If you don’t want to lose revenue, don’t cut tax rates.
Reality isn’t so simple. Instead, economic growth is a major driver of tax revenues.
In the times when tax revenues are up, the economy is doing well. When tax revenues are down, it’s because the economy is doing poorly.
Stats show that when poor people get to keep more of their money they spend it and this boosts the economy, When the rich receive a tax cut it does not impact the economy very much. Trumps tax cut will lower taxes for the middle class and the poor bit I don't think much for the rich because so many exemptions and loop holes will be eliminated.
Personal income tax and payroll tax plus excise tax which amounts to a federal sales tax amounts to almost 90 percent on all federal revenue, that only leaves a little over 10 percent for big business, while it is correct that taxed business pays is passed on to buyers, lowering personal income tax, puts more money in the economy, lowering business tax, reducing regulations and making it easier to do business, brings back money from overseas.
We can do this by limiting taxes on economic factors that drive economic growth, namely investment. This means reducing tax rates on businesses, limiting the double taxation of investment created by taxing corporate income at both the entity level (corporate tax) and the shareholder level (capitals gains and dividend taxes), and moving toward full expensing (which would allow businesses to account for all their costs). Bottom line: cutting the corporate tax rate and moving to full expensing would lead to increased total federal tax revenue in the long term due to more jobs, higher wages, and more economic activity. Cutting federal expenses is a budget and separate issue.
We see similar tax issues playing out on a local issue where Central Appraisal Districts are the whipping boy for those who benefit from high appraisals. The state created CADs and the state audits and forces CADs to appraise at 100 percent of market value. The state has a vested interest in keeping appraisal high because the higher appraisal, the less money the state sends to school districts and the more money the state recaptures from Robin hood. CAD boards are governed by trustees who are elected by the cities, school, colleges, county and mud districts who benifit from high appraisals, because they can keep the tax rate the same, while receiving more revenue and it is the CAD who gets the blame and homeowners never consider that the CAD can't raise you taxes and they never show up to protest the tax rate. While these elected officials are only doing their job and meeting taxpayers service demands, never the less it is like the fox guarding the chicken pen.

Jim Forsythe

"supply-side or trickle-down economics" can we afford it?
"Size of national debt when Reagan took office:$1 trillion. Size after six years:$2.3 trillion (130 percent increase). Size at the end of his presidency:$2.9 trillion (190 percent increase"
If we follow the example of Reagan and hope for the same results, we have a lot to look forward to. Plug in the our debt of  $19.9 trillion . Then multiply it by the same amount of increase that Reagan had ,190 percent increase, is this what  we as USA citizens want ?

Carlos Ponce

Should we follow the example of Reagan? Yes. Speaker Tip O'Neil? No. As I stated earlier, Reagan increased military spending. USSR trying to keep up dissolved. That's a GOOD thing. The military falls under the Constitution. Tip in return asked for increases in domestic spending including Congressional salaries.

Mike Zeller

In the last 50 years we have had five budget surpluses, all five were under Democratic Presidents: 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. That speaks volumes.

Carlos Ponce

1998-1999 Speaker of the House was Newt Gingrich. 1999-2001 Speaker was Denny Hastert, both Republican. Since budgets begin in the House, that speaks louder. But if you are going to assign bragging rights to who was president, Richard M. Nixon was President in 1969. Check out the Chicago Tribune Page 10 Editorial page. But the Tribune calls Nixon's surplus a "gimmick" due to inflation.
http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1969/07/05/page/10/article/a-budget-surplus

Mike Zeller

The Budget Process begins and ends with the President.The President submits a budget request to Congress. Then the President signs each appropriations bill and the budget becomes law. So in my opinion when the President signs his John Hancock on the Budget, he owns it.

Carlos Ponce

"The figure shows that the actual cumulative budget deficit from 1994 to 1998 was almost $600 billion below the Clintonomics baseline. Part of the explanation for the balanced budget is that Republicans in Congress had the common sense to reject the most reckless features of Clintonomics. Just this year, Bill Clinton’s budget proposed more than $100 billion in new social spending — proposals that were mostly tossed overboard."
https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/no-bill-clinton-didnt-balance-budget
"Particularly when Congress is controlled by the other party, any President's budget should be read less as a policy blueprint than as a series of bargaining positions, many of which will be abandoned or modified. Republicans were quick to stake out their own ground today, criticizing the President as returning to liberal, spendthrift ways.
'We can't go back to the days of skyrocketing Government spending,'' said Representative Dick Armey of Texas, the House majority leader. ''But that's exactly what the President has proposed.'Republicans accused Mr. Clinton of calling for more spending than was permitted by the budget agreement of 1997, which envisioned a balanced budget by 2002."
http://www.nytimes.com/1998/02/03/us/clinton-budget-overview-president-offers-first-budget-balance-nearly-30-years.html
In other words, Bill Clinton proposed a budget and the Republican Congress cut out the fat and a lot of his proposals.

Doyle Beard

Is Harvey saying only citizens should pay taxes. Many citizens dont pay taxes along with many non citizens.

Jim Forsythe

Doyle, did you know that " A little more than 43% of U.S. households -- or 70 million homes  ended up owing no federal income taxes for 2013".

Doyle , which of the following groups should pay taxes?
The households with zero income tax liability are not evenly distributed across income groups. The majority this year -- nearly 67% -- have incomes below $30,000.
"Many people who pay no income tax simply have too little income to owe tax. The rest benefit from the tax code's many preferences -- exclusions, deductions, exemptions, and credits -- that zero out the tax they would otherwise pay," said Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center.
But that doesn't mean there aren't any nonpayers among high-income folks. The Tax Policy Center estimates that a little more than 1% of nonpayers have six-figure incomes or more.

High income , non payers! You pay your taxes, and they pay none! Should we go after them , or leave them alone?
Specifically, an estimated 798,000 households in the nonpayer group make between $100,000 and $200,000 a year; 48,000 have incomes between $200,000 and $500,000; 3,000 make between $500,000 and $1 million; and 1,000 households bring in more than $1 million.

Doyle, maybe you were thinking of, "Donald Trump, he paid no taxes for at least two years in the 1970s" remember, he is  the one that said  : 'I'm smart' for not paying taxes.

Jack Cross

Mike in your earlier posts about democrats and balanced budgets, I'll give you that but you failed to say that Democrat Obama when 8 years without submitting a budget, Yet his spending amounted to $10 trillion dollars, more that all presidents combined going back to George Washington. He sucked up all the gain that those 5 democrat presidents you mentioned leaving Trump with a $20 trillion dollar debt. Thrum is making gains bringing the economy back, the fed is even starting to raise interest rates. However the democrats can not stand good news. I am sure you are familiar with RESIST, some really good Americans organized to undermine a duly elected president, did graceful and hypocrites.

Mike Zeller

I'm sorry that you fell for the myth that President Obama never submitted a Budget, but that is exactly what it is, a myth. He submitted them late, but he did submit them. Many of President Obama's budget priorities were caught up in partisan gridlock, giving the impression that he never even submitted any requests. I'll admit his spending got a little out of hand, but he left most of us better off than we were 8 years ago, with a booming Stock Market, cheap gas and low unemployment. I hope Trump is around in 4 years to keep up the good work, that President Obama accomplished.

Carlos Ponce

Sorry you fell for the myth: Obama "left most of us better off than we were 8 years ago, with a booming Stock Market, cheap gas and low unemployment." Was Obama responsible for ANY of that? Only the lower unemployment. Because of Obamacare, jobs were subdivided into lower hourly jobs so that companies didn't have to provide insurance. The jobs "created" were low pay, low hour jobs. Were workers better off? NO! The cheaper gas was due to fracking which Obama fought against. The Stock Market is doing BETTER under Trump.

Doyle Beard

evidentley I knew many citizens did not pa taxes or cant you read and understand. Making insinuations a usual. FYI I had no reference to Trump. Yo seem to think you are mind reader.

Jack Cross

Good try Mike but sorry, your guys operated without a budget while you piled up the country in debt.
Obama submitted his fiscal year 2013 budget. House Republicans put it up for a floor vote. The result: 414-0 against.

The same thing happened a year earlier in the Senate. That vote: 97-0 against. Republican leaders demanded a vote on Obama’s budget to show that Democrats don’t support any detailed budget blueprint, according to the Hill.
The 1974 Budget Act requires Congress to pass a budget each year by April 15.
In an unprecedented budget failure, House Democrats not only failed to pass a budget – they opted to not even propose a budget.
The OMB announced last week that the Obama administration would once again fail to comply with budgetary laws.
Obama’s White House seems to have a serious problem complying with budgetary deadlines set by Congress. In fact, as noted by Sessions’ staff, the Obama administration has missed every deadline to submit a budget since he first took office in 2009.
And finally. The GOP-led Congress passed a full budget for the first time in years, If enacted, the cuts, combined with an improving economy, could produce a balanced budget within a decade.
The budget cleared the Senate on a 51-48 vote Tuesday afternoon, after passing in the House last week.
No Democrats supported the plan,
Bottom line the press gave Obama a pass not Trump is met with RESIST as he tries to pull us
out of the mess - unbelievable . The Russians, Russians, investigate, investigate trying to prove a negative, while we have crisis's at home and abroad. With Obama and Hillary pledged to undermine the president. That not the America I grew up in, sad.

Jim Forsythe

Jack , on the bottom of the below link, is a chart that shows when all Presidents budget were summited. Obama was late sometimes.
It show the dates up to 2013
http://budget.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=276880 


Obama’s Last Budget,
President Obama on Tuesday sent his final annual budget proposal  Congress  FEB. 9, 2016.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/10/us/politics/obama-budget-cybersecurity-congress.html

"your guys operated without a budget"  The President had taken care of his part, as it comes to what a Presidents has to do . It up to the House and Senate, after he gives it to them.
 The last  he has  to do was put his John Hancock on it.
The part  he did not do, was be on time.

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