10/26/05 — Look out! 'Revising tax code' means one thing

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Look out! 'Revising tax code' means one thing

Within a few days, a bipartisan panel is expected to present President Bush recommendations on revising the nation’s tax code.

Ostensibly, it will offer guidelines to assure fairness in taxation. We often hear claims of the wealthiest people and corporate America not paying their fair share of the cost of government.

During every election campaign, candidates cry out for re-ducing taxes on “the middle class” or the “working people” and providing money to those not making enough to pay taxes.

Let’s face it. During times of deficit spending and mounting national indebtedness, tax “revision” can mean only one thing: Extracting more — not less — from the people. And it is the people who ultimately pay the taxes.

Businesses and corporations pay enormous amounts in taxes, but in the final analysis, they are dependent for their revenues on the people who buy their products or services. And the government, likewise, in the end, has but one ultimate source of revenue — the people.

Among ideas reportedly becoming part of the advisory panel’s consideration are eliminating deductions for state and local taxes from taxable income. Some health care benefits also could be taxed as income. And there are others, including limiting mortgage interest deductions.

Obviously, these are ways to make people pay more in federal taxes.

Perhaps the president and Congress need to seriously explore another approach — reducing spending.

That suggestion also receives predictable applause. Which ends instantly when members of Congress and the public realize the impact it can have on projects in their districts or their self-interests.

Several years ago, then-Sen. Jesse Helms once advocated a 10-percent across-the-board cut in federal spending. It was met by gasps of incredulity. And one pundit challenged: “Including the military?”

To which Helms responded: “Across the board!”

His was a voice in the wilderness, of course.

In times of financial crisis, the “solution” of choice continues to be raise more taxes — not reduce spending.

Published in Editorials on October 26, 2005 11:13 AM