Skip to content

Words from the founding fathers 4.22.10

Words from the founding fathers 4.22.10

Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010 9:57 pm
By: Nathan Castleman, Guest Columnist

“I hope a tax will be preferred [to a loan which threatens to saddle us with a perpetual debt], because it will awaken the attention of the people and make reformation and economy the principle of the next election.
“The frequent recurrence of this chastening operation can alone restrain the propensity of governments to enlarge expense beyond income.” – Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1820
Unfortunately, we have too much of both taxes and loans. Between income tax (which almost 50 percent of the people wind up not paying due to a large part to tax exemptions for almost everything imaginable), property taxes, sales taxes, gas tax, hidden taxes and too many others to list, we are taxed too much.
Then they are talking about a Value Added Tax (VAT). This might not be too bad or maybe the Fair or Flat Tax.
Something needs to be done to our complicated tax monstrosity. But we can’t keep the income tax and pile the VAT on top of what we already have.
What would the rate be?
According to the Washington Post, 10 – 25 percent has been discussed.
And in a paper published in the Virginia Tax Review, Leonard Burman suggests that a 25 percent VAT could do it all, “Pay for health-care reform, balance the federal budget and exempt millions of families from the income tax while slashing the top rate to 25 percent.”
A gallon of milk would jump from $3.69 to $4.61, and a $5,000 bathroom renovation would suddenly cost $6,250, but the nation’s debt would stabilize and everybody could see a doctor. No thanks!
Then there are the loans. Do you realize that our national debt is $12,864,002,273,677.27?
That’s larger than the economies of China, the United Kingdom and Australia combined. The Treasury Department estimates that our debt to China is approximately $889 billion.
About $4.4 trillion of the total debt is money that the government has borrowed from itself, by writing IOUs for huge sums taken from Social Security and Medicare surpluses.
In July of 2009, the United States paid more than $19 billion in interest on the public debt. That’s right just interest.
According to the Department of the Treasury, foreign holders of our national debt are owed a combined total of about $3.7 trillion.
This includes Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Oil Exporters, Caribbean Banking Centers, Brazil, Hong Kong, Russia, Luxembourg, and Taiwan. These are just the top 10. Figures taken from
I agree with Thomas Jefferson in the fact that I’d rather pay a tax than have this huge debt hanging over our heads and owing so many foreign countries.
As I said last week, I don’t mind paying my share, as long as everyone else does theirs as well. I’d rather pay my part in whatever fair way that everyone has a stake in for providing our country’s welfare.
I’d like not to fill out tax forms and try to figure a way to keep from paying more than was taken out of my check (while claiming married at a higher single rate).
The only thing about Jefferson’s quote is that during his time elected officials feared the voters. He said that by taking up these issues in the next election.
“The frequent recurrence of this chastening operation can alone restrain the propensity of governments to enlarge expense beyond income.”
Well, that doesn’t seem to work today. Those in power think that they can push through whatever they want. They seem to not be afraid of the voters and election day.
It doesn’t for one second give them pause to think about restraining the “propensity of governments to enlarge expense beyond income.”
It seems to be that somebody has a rude awakening come November.
I sure hate to wish my summer away.
Send you comments to
WCP 4.22.10


Leave a Comment