Thoughts on a Free Market Economy…
By Phyllis Hunsinger
January 1, 2017

Christmas has come and gone, leaving fun memories, and perhaps the bills and the returns. The New Year brings a promise of hope, renewed spirit, and sometimes resolutions. The New Year also signals the close of the previous year and the need to organize financial records because taxes will soon be due.

Taxes are a means by which governments finance their expenditure by imposing charges on citizens and corporate entities. The Constitution gives “the Congress the power to levy taxes, duties, imposts, and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” Congress passes the laws that spend taxpayer funds and then must alter the tax collection in order to pay for the expenditures. Obviously over the years Congress has failed to limit its spending to tax revenue because the national debt is now approaching twenty trillion dollars.

Much controversy exists because Congress has steadily added to the tax burden of its citizens by trying to correct or eliminate real or perceived societal ills and buying friendship or currying favors from foreign countries. Another problem with government is its use of taxation to encourage or discourage certain economic decisions and behaviors.

Kyle Pomerleau of the non-partisan Tax Foundation found that in 2015 Americans paid approximately $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.5 trillion in state and local taxes, which amounted to 31.5% of the nation’s income. He reported that Americans spent collectively more on taxes in 2015 than they did on food, clothing, and housing combined.

There are many famous quotes about taxation. When Jean-Baptiste Colbert was the finance minister for Louis XIV in 1665-1683, he is said to have remarked: “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.” James Otis in 1761 reflected the resentment the colonists had with the British Parliament when he said, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” Benjamin Franklin in a letter in 1789 wrote, “Our new Constitution is now established and has an appearance that promises permanency; but, in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”

The tax burden is significant; and, each political season candidates offer ideas of tax reformation. To date verbiage is all that the American citizens have received: no tax simplification or tax relief. Do you suppose this will be the year when action will follow talk?

https://www.free-dom.co.us, Phyllis Hunsinger © 2013 All Rights Reserved

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