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Taxes Donít Cover Americaís Expenses: Entitlement reform the only solution to ballooning debt.
National Review ^ | 04/17/2018 | Michael Tanner

Posted on 04/18/2018 9:25:19 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Yesterday, as most Americans are painfully aware, was “Tax Day,” the last day for filing individual income taxes this year. When the smoke clears, Americans will have paid $1.6 trillion in individual income taxes. And contrary to the populist rhetoric of both the Left and the Right, the vast majority of those taxes will have been paid by the rich. The wealthiest 1 percent of Americans, who earn 16 percent of U.S. income, will pay roughly 43 percent of federal income taxes this year.

Of course, income taxes are only one component of federal taxes, and for most Americans, it’s not even the biggest part of their taxes. All in, Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes this year. On top of that, they will pay $1.8 trillion in local and state taxes, for a total burden (local, state, and federal) of $5.2 trillion, roughly 30 percent of GDP. Americans will pay more in taxes this year than they will for food, clothing, and shelter combined.

Despite record tax revenue, the federal government will still run an $800 billion budget deficit this year. That’s because it will spend roughly $4.1 trillion this year, while taking in the aforementioned $3.3 trillion. This is not rocket science: If you spend more than you take in, you have a problem. Progressives will blame low taxes generally, and the recent GOP tax reform in particular. But the Congressional Budget Office says that tax revenues as a percent of GDP will decline by just 0.7 percent this year. Spending, on the other hand, will increase by 3 percent of GDP, more than four times as much.

Over the long term, the tax cuts will probably mean larger deficits. CBO estimates that forgone tax revenue will add about $1.85 trillion to the debt over a decade. Not good. On the other hand, increased spending will add around $12 trillion to the debt over ten years. Spending is expected to grow by 70 percent, meaning that even without the tax cuts, we would be drowning in red ink. Houston, we have a spending problem.

Where does that spending go? Despite complaints from conservatives, domestic discretionary spending (everything from the FBI to the FDA, the Department of Commerce to the Department of Education) accounts for just 16 percent of federal spending. Traditional subjects of conservative ire, such as foreign aid, amount to less than 1 percent of spending. At the same time, despite criticism from liberals, and even after the increases that Congress just approved, defense spending will be just 15 percent of federal spending. Obviously, every dollar counts, and the $143 billion in increased domestic and defense spending that Congress just passed is not going to be helpful.

Still, the big driver of federal spending remains entitlements, specifically Social Security (24 percent of federal spending), Medicare (17 percent), and Medicaid (9 percent). That’s half of all federal spending for just three programs. And the cost of all three programs is accelerating. A combination of an aging population and rising health-care costs means that Medicare is expected to grow by as much as 7 percent per year, while Medicaid increases at a rate of 5.5 percent annually. Meanwhile, Social Security is expected to increase from 4.9 percent of GDP to 6 percent within a decade. The long-term unfunded liabilities of these programs approach $80 trillion or more.

Quite simply, there is no way to balance the budget or seriously reduce spending without reforming these programs. Yet entitlements remain off-limits on a bipartisan basis.

Congress’s answer to all this was to rush to the floor last week with a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Predictably, the measure failed, but it did highlight the hypocrisy of a Congress that seems to embody St. Augustine’s prayer, “Oh Lord, make me chaste — but not yet.”

In the aftermath of Tax Day, millions of Americans are having to tighten their belts and realizing that they now have less money than they had before the government took its bite. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if Congress did a little more belt-tightening, and the American people had to do a little less?


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2018election; 2020election; debt; election2018; election2020; entitlement; incometaxes; taxcutsandjobsact; taxes; taxreform; tcja; welfare
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1 posted on 04/18/2018 9:25:20 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind; ransomnote; Whenifhow; null and void; aragorn; EnigmaticAnomaly; kalee; Kale; ...

p

(don’t try to save money through stopping fraud and abuse and funds to illegal immigrants, oh no...)


2 posted on 04/18/2018 9:28:27 AM PDT by bitt (We do not need the electric chair - we need electric bleachers!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Nothing changes till the money runs out.

Repeat LOUD and OFTEN..................


3 posted on 04/18/2018 9:30:31 AM PDT by PeterPrinciple (Thinking Caps are no longer being issued but there must be a warehouse full of them somewhere.)
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To: SeekAndFind

And with an aging population and smaller working age people it will only get worse.

In the United States specifically, it is expected that the Social Security trust fund will run out by 2034. At that point, there will only be enough revenue coming in to pay out approximately 77% of benefits.

The Pension Time Bomb, $400 Trillion by 2050.
Link: http://www.visualcapitalist.com/pension-time-bomb-400-trillion-2050/


4 posted on 04/18/2018 9:33:46 AM PDT by CharlesMartelsGhost
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To: SeekAndFind

Stop giving checks to foreigners who never paid into the system.


5 posted on 04/18/2018 9:35:59 AM PDT by Lurkinanloomin (Natural Born Citizen Means Born Here of Citizen Parents__Know Islam, No Peace-No Islam, Know Peace)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well. Duh.


6 posted on 04/18/2018 9:36:08 AM PDT by Sequoyah101 (It feels like we have exchanged our dreams for survival. We just have a few days that don't suck.)
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To: Lurkinanloomin

Or anybody else who didn’t pay into the system.


7 posted on 04/18/2018 9:37:39 AM PDT by Sequoyah101 (It feels like we have exchanged our dreams for survival. We just have a few days that don't suck.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Oh, no!
We’re not going to balance the budget on the backs of the poor!
/sarc

The very concept of “entitlements” is evil.


8 posted on 04/18/2018 9:40:10 AM PDT by Little Ray (Freedom Before Security!)
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: SeekAndFind

> “Taxes Don’t Cover America’s Expenses: Entitlement reform the only solution to ballooning debt.”

I disagree.

Working people paid taxes into those entitlement funds.

Democrats and some Republicans MISMANAGED the trust funds egregiously, even criminally.

Where did the corrupt crats in Congress ever get the idea they could buy votes using the trust fund?

They ‘borrow’ against the trust funds and dump the proceeds into the general fund. Then they proceed to buy votes.

Michael Tanner is a moron for not calling this out. But then the outfit he writes for is a NeverTrump cluster of a-holes.

The Fed is the broker for this asininity. The President should tell the Fed to shove it, delete the debt that was wrongfully created and then loaned to the criminals in Congress. Then place the Trust Fund into management by several independent money managers and actuarial firms who agree to faithfully and legally manage the wealth under penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole.


10 posted on 04/18/2018 9:40:45 AM PDT by Hostage (Article V)
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To: SeekAndFind

[[Taxes Don’t Cover America’s Expenses]]

That is why they are going for climate change ‘carbon taxes’


11 posted on 04/18/2018 9:41:30 AM PDT by Bob434
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To: Sequoyah101

At my local SS office, it is full of Indians (dot, not feather) who brought their parents over to get on SS.


12 posted on 04/18/2018 9:41:45 AM PDT by Lurkinanloomin (Natural Born Citizen Means Born Here of Citizen Parents__Know Islam, No Peace-No Islam, Know Peace)
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To: SeekAndFind

Doesn’t matter who is in office the spending continues to increase exponentially and will keep doing so until the bottom falls out.


13 posted on 04/18/2018 9:42:24 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: SeekAndFind

More stuck on stupid.


14 posted on 04/18/2018 9:48:11 AM PDT by Parmy
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To: CharlesMartelsGhost
In the United States specifically, it is expected that the Social Security trust fund will run out by 2034

Just as I turn 62!

But by then the retirement age will be 107.
15 posted on 04/18/2018 9:49:45 AM PDT by LostInBayport (When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving...)
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To: PeterPrinciple
Nothing changes till the money runs out. Repeat LOUD and OFTEN..................

I'm afraid that won't happen. At least not in my lifetime. At $21 trillion in debt I would have expected the wheels to come off by now. Apparently they can keep running those printing presses as far into the future as the eye can see. And the rest of the world will be okay with that. Either because it is actually benefiting them, or they fear the consequences of not liking it.


16 posted on 04/18/2018 10:05:10 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: LostInBayport
In the United States specifically, it is expected that the Social Security trust fund will run out by 2034

That won't happen either. They will extend payroll taxes to every last penny of income, and impose a per-transaction Tobin Tax on Wall Street to cover the shortfall.

Both of those are crappy economics. But they will be politically popular. And frankly the only politically viable option.


17 posted on 04/18/2018 10:07:06 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind; All
Thank you for referencing that article SeekAndFind. Please note that the following critique is directed at the article and not at you.

"Entitlement reform the only solution to ballooning debt."

FR: Never Accept the Premise of Your Opponent’s Argument

The congressional record shows that Rep. John Bingham, a constitutional lawmaker, had clarified that the Founding States had left the care of the people uniquely to the states, not the feds.

”... the care of the property, the liberty, and the life of the citizen, under the solemn sanction of an oath imposed by your Federal Constitution, is in the States, and not in the Federal Government [emphases added].” —Rep. John Bingham, Congressional Globe, 1866. (See about middle of 3rd column.)


In other words, so-called federal entitlements are based on state powers and uniquely associated state revenues that the corrupt, post-17th Amendment ratification Congress has been stealing from the states for the last 100+ years, particularly since the time of the state sovereignty-ignoring FDR Administration.

Patriots need to put the republic back on its constitutional foundations by putting a stop to unconstitutional federal taxes by repealing the 16th and 17th Amendments.

18 posted on 04/18/2018 10:13:44 AM PDT by Amendment10
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To: Amendment10

17th Amendment had nothing to do w income taxes. But I agree to repealing per original Constitution.

17th Amendment

Proposed 1912;Ratified 1913

1. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.


19 posted on 04/18/2018 10:24:38 AM PDT by DownInFlames
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To: DownInFlames; All
"17th Amendment had nothing to do w income taxes."

I respectfully disagree.

One of the reasons that the Founding States established the Senate was so that the Senate could protect the states from the feds by killing unconstitutional House appropriations bills, bills that not only steal state powers, but also steal state revenues uniquely associated with those powers.

This is evidenced by the following clarifications of the fed’s constitutionally limited powers by previous generations of state sovereignty-respecting Supreme Court justices.

But federal lawmakers now regularly use the 17th Amendment to exploit low-information voters. Career lawmakers do this by promising such voters every entitlement program under the sun in order to get elected and reelected.

The problem is that low-information voters evidently do not understand that the states have never expressly constitutionally delegated to the feds the specific power to establish entitlement programs. This gets us back to Bingham’s clarification that the Founding States uniquely trusted the care of the people to the states, not the feds.

”... the care of the property, the liberty, and the life of the citizen, under the solemn sanction of an oath imposed by your Federal Constitution, is in the States, and not in the Federal Government [emphases added].” —Rep. John Bingham, Congressional Globe, 1866. (See about middle of 3rd column.)


In other words, misguided ordinary voters unthinkingly use their 17th Amendment voting power to elect corrupt senators who approve unconstitutional taxes, arguably stolen state revenues, that the feds collect through the 16th Amendment to establish and run unconstitutional entitlement programs.

This is why patriots need to work with their state lawmakers to support Pres. Trump in leading the states to repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments so that Trump's vision for MAGA lasts for many generations.

20 posted on 04/18/2018 11:10:14 AM PDT by Amendment10
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