As many of the online comments on the David Leonhardt commentary about how taxes have come down illustrates, we have become a nation of freeloaders.
No, I am not talking about poor people who work two or three jobs and are still eligible for food stamps. I mean the rest of us, especially the wealthy.
Pandering politicians tell us our taxes are too high. The facts are our total tax bill, income, property, sales, etc., are the lowest they have been since before World War II. Don’t believe me? Look it up.
The reason we have an enormous national debt is not because of “out of control spending.” It’s because of irresponsible tax cuts. During the 1950s and ’60s, a period of very strong economic growth, the top tax rate was 70%. We need to go back to that rate. But the rest of us, except the poor need to pay more, too. Just going back to the rate we were paying at the end of the Clinton administration, when we were actually running a budget surplus, would do it. You would hardly notice the difference in your taxes.
But it won’t happen. A politician who told the truth would be run out of town on a rail. People who proudly proclaim themselves patriots are willing to wave the flag, but do something concrete to support their country, like pay taxes? No way.
So I guess we will go on spending more then we make until the weight of the debt crashes the economy.
Clark McCune, Salt Lake City