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President's Ponderings: Paying For Tax Cuts

By Edward Luttrell - President's Ponderings Blog (9/15/10)

  SEPTEMBER 17, 2010 --

It has always irritated me when a news reporter or politician talks about paying for tax cuts and today I read an article where once again they were talking about the taxpayer paying for a federal tax cut.

Last time I checked, when you balance a budget, you adjust your spending to fit the income you have. From my point of view, the same principle would seem to apply to the government. If they raise your taxes they don’t credit anything in the budget, so why if they were to lower, or in this case not raise, your taxes where would anyone be paying for them? 

For most of us, we don’t set our wages and we do not set the amount that will be taken in taxes, but we do choose how, and on what, we will spend our money. When income goes down, we stop spending on certain items or reduce spending on several. When income goes up, we choose to either spend a bit more or maybe even save a little for the future.

However, the Federal Government sets the tax rates on income and they set the deductions and credits, which means they choose how much to collect from each of us for earning each of our respective livings. They control the income side provided that they keep a balance between people being able to invest and make a dollar and trying to keep it safe from taxes by not investing it. So the income side of this equation is that it is our money that the government uses.

Yet the Federal Government is also in charge of spending all of our tax dollars. A balanced budget would be one that didn’t spend more than it took in, and think about that last time that happened in Washington, D.C. The answer to that question will date you if you remember being there. 

The current situation where we are spending far more than we take in (deficit), means that our children and grandchildren are going to have to pay back sometime in the future the money we’ve borrowed and spent (debt). 

I remember when President Bush proposed tax cuts and after Congress passed them and the President signed it into law, I had a decrease in the taxes I paid. And just for the record, I’ve never been rich in my life, at least as far as money goes. Now some of these reporters and politicians are saying if they don’t take more of my money we’ll have to pay for it. Did I miss something or are we trying to spin math now?

Now I do believe that all Americans should help contribute financially to support our country. An open debate on how much we should pay through our taxes is proper. From my perspective our government has a spending problem and the only way it is an income problem is if we are determined to spend freely and then try to raise taxes to match. 

It is time to call things what they are and quit trying to spin words and facts to confuse people or to further muddy the issue. It is our money that our government takes through taxes and it is our money that they spend to operate our nation. At the moment it is also the money that is being spent that our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are going to be earning in the future. 

Regardless of whether the politicians want to raise, lower, or keep taxes at the current level, at least don’t tell us that we have to pay for a tax cut.


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