Reader's Digest had a poll some time ago. What was truly amazing was that the rich and the poor agreed that no one should have to pay more than one-fourth of their earnings in taxes. The following proposal does not quite get us down to that level, but it would be a good start for our country. It would be especially good for implementing personal and private health care.
The financial crisis in this country is causing local and state governments to scale back. Only the federal government is spending more money because they have the ability to print money, which unfortunately then loses value every time they roll the printing presses. The root cause of the crises is the graduated income tax authorized by the 16th Amendment, which has no limits on taxes. So Congress has the SPEND MORE and then TAX MORE philosophy!
What this country needs before we can have any control of our finances, whether it's our healthcare or welfare costs, is a tax limitation amendment. The previous 16th Income Tax Amendment was passed in the days when people understood one could not spend more than one makes. This unlimited income tax on individuals and a duplicate tax on corporations, also owned by individuals, place no limits on Congress. Not only do they feel free to spend our money, but also the money of our children and grandchildren, because of the ease in raising the income and other innovative taxes. All of these come out of one pocket - the taxpaying citizens.
A sailor’s letter to the editor summed it up rather succinctly. I object and take exception to every saying that Obama and the Congress are spending money like a drunken sailor. As a former drunken sailor, I quit when I ran out of money.
It should be apparent that in these times of reduced income, the government should have reduced its outlays. The social security tax should have been indexed since inception in the 1930s when America's average life expectancy was 62, rising to the current life expectancy of 75. Our country cannot afford to have individuals live on Social Security benefits an extra 10 to 15 years when most of us are capable of working and earning our own keep. Most physicians now work past age 75 and some into their 80s and 90s. If you check the obituary columns, one finds a high percentage of people who lived into their ninth and tenth decade of life and worked into their eighth decade, some into their ninth. An initial attempt to index Social Security increased the Social Security retirement age to 67. It should have included a proposal to index the benefits gradually to the present average life expectance of 75.
Medicare is in a negative cash flow and is scheduled to go broke in the next decade. The Medicare age should also be immediately indexed to age 67 and gradually further indexed to match the Social Security indexing schedule. Only someone with a paretic brain could even think of lowering the Social Security and Medicare ages to 55. That would be total fiscal irresponsibility, meaning economic collapse for the United States, with possible loss of the world's highest credit rating.
By Constitutional Amendment, the 16th Amendment should be revised to limit all taxes. The three levels of government, federal, state and local or county, should each be limited in the number and the size of the taxes they can implement. The federal government should be limited to the following two taxes: a maximum income tax of 15 percent on the citizens and an excise tax limited to 10 percent on interstate commerce and imports. The state government should be limited to a 5 percent income tax on its residents and a 5 percent sales tax on items purchased in the state. The local government should be limited to a one percent tax on property held within the state and a one percent sales tax on items purchased in the county. No other taxes would be allowed. The property assessment should not increase more than two percent maximum for inflation per year to prevent citizens from losing their homes as they get older due to increasing property values and diminishing incomes. There should not be a corporate income tax since corporations are owned by the citizens and double taxation should not be allowed. There should never be a tax or surtax on any tax.
The citizens of our country could then manage their own health care with stability and protection from the government, which has confiscated their income in increasing fashion from year to year.They could manage their own retirement also. But that is a subject for another day.