Public Policy: Reforming Taxes, Debts and Deficits


Today’s article will focus on my message, if I were the President of the United States, to Congress about our taxes, debts and deficits.  Unfortunately today, people on both sides of the aisle are playing political chicken about the reforms that must be made to make the United States government solvent and be able to pay its bills.  Here would be a rough transcript of my speech to Congress and the U.S. regarding these topics.

My fellow Americans it is time that we face the problem of our generation, debts, deficits and taxes.  I am going to take the lead and, as our Constitution states, “recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient,” and make no mistake about it our need is necessary and expedient.  What I am suggesting today will be my attempt to address the budget deficits that have grown so large in the last few years, the national debt that we have ballooned out of proportion to our economy, and a tax system that is made to take advantage and benefit many people instead of collecting revenue for the essential job of government.  I would like to start with the tax code.

The tax code is over 80,000 pages long with numerous tax breaks, tax credits, deductions and other tax tricks that allow people to get out of paying their fair share to the government.  Everyone expects money back from the government every year and that is not how our tax system should be run.  It is time to overhaul our entire tax code.  While I may not agree with the income tax in principle, since it was strictly forbidden in the unamended U.S. Constitution, we can use this system to ensure everyone pays their share for the protections they receive from the federal government.  I would like to see on my desk in the next six months a reformed tax code by the U.S. Congress, that would be implemented at the start of the next calender year.  I am looking for a few basic things in this tax code.

First, a flat simple tax rate that everyone is pays into regardless of income level.  I would be open to having a few different levels of tax rates, at the most three, but no individual tax rate should be exorbitantly or unreasonably high.  We need to get rid of the pages and pages of documents printed each year for taxes and simplify it to a single page return.

Second, no deductions, subsidies, or tax credits.  It is not the job of the single, renter with no kids to subsidize the married, homeowner with 19 kids.  It is not the job of the government to subsidize or encourage any economic behavior.  Let the tax we pay be the tax we pay.

Thirdly, all federal, state and local welfare benefits that provide direct monetary assistance will be counted as income and counted towards their income taxes.  The state, local and all federal agencies that provide such assistance from tax payer dollars must provide each recipient with a valid tax documents stating the money the received from the program and how much of it was taken out via taxes like in your pay checks.  Also, every single company must have every single employee on the books for tax purposes.  If any company is paying anyone under the table we will come after you.

Fourthly, to protect the weakest among us.  No taxes will be paid until a person’s income is above the locally determined poverty level.  Employers and government agencies may still withdraw from a person’s paycheck or benefits, a specific percentage each paycheck to send to the government in taxes.  They will still provide W2s and other documentation to prove wages earned and taxes paid, and if a person paid more than was required above the poverty level that will be returned to the person as a tax refund.

Another problem we have is with how much we spend each year in the federal government.  I am submitting a budget to Congress in the next few weeks that asks each individual department, agency and part of the executive branch and the federal bureaucracy to cut at a minimum of 10% from their budgets.  I will submit this to Congress when it is prepared.  Also, over the next year I will be talking to each and every executive department and federal agency to discuss what it does for the people of this nation.  The substance of those discussions is to submit to Congress at the start of the next year a plan to drastically reorganize and to make the executive branch more efficient and less wasteful.  This will include the elimination or consolidation of many departments, and federal agencies.  I encourage Congress to also, look it its own budget and structure to submit to me a change in how they could be more efficient and cost effective for the American people.  I have several ideas, but will only push them on this if they cannot make the changes themselves in the next 18 months.

The major last problem we have in facing our debts and deficits is from our mandatory spending in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid , and other entitlement programs.  It is time for reform on this issue.  These programs were meant to only be safety net programs, not programs everyone can draw upon.  I strongly urge Congress to make the requirements for all of these programs stricter for those who will draw upon them in the future.  They should be designed only to help the weakest among us and only when absolutely necessary.  It is not the Constitutional duty to provide for the citizens retirement pensions, or old age health insurance.  The free market will do it cheaper and more efficiently.  Also it is the job of the people through local charity to help out their neighbors; we need to get back to that mentality.  But also we must consider that only the taxes taken out of the paychecks for that purpose is the only money we can use to pay for those programs.  And everyone should help bear the cost of these programs.

One more thing, a smaller reasons why our government costs so much is all the laws that Congress decides to pass.  All these laws must be enforced by me, which cost the tax payers a lot of money.  I will not sign any law that I feel does not meet the standard of the expressed powers of the U.S. Constitution.  I will also sign no laws until these measure, as I directed above are passed. 

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