The Coming Nightmare?

By The Reader's Turn
The Reader's Turn
The Reader's Turn
October 21, 2021 Updated: October 21, 2021

Numerous times, before and during his presidency, Mr. Biden said he was going to raise the rate of income taxes on only those earning more than $400,000 to pay for his proposed social and entitlement programs.

Working its way through Congress is a $1 trillion so-called “infrastructure bill,” which includes about 15 percent for roads, bridges, and other typical infrastructure items, with the balance earmarked for “Green New Deal” programs.

Also in the works is a massive $3.5 trillion, the 10,000-page budget resolution, which few in Congress will fully read, that is intended to serve as a blueprint for the country’s annual budget to be passed later this year. It is loaded with proposals for many social and entitlement programs. Some of those are for expansions of current programs and others are for entirely new entitlements.

Also included are some 30 new and increased taxes, which are intended to pay for the new and expanded programs. Collectively, they will touch virtually everyone in the country. However, no organization that has analyzed the resolution agrees that the revenue produced by those taxes will fully cover the expenses.

Therefore, the shortfall will have to be covered by additions to the national debt, which now exceeds $28 trillion. That debt represents the accumulation over many years of living beyond the government’s collective revenue and leaving that legacy to our children, grandchildren, et al. to pay off.

Last year, 61 percent of wage earners paid no federal income tax; 39 percent of the wealthiest carried the entire income tax burden for the United States. The mantra “The rich should pay their fair share” sounds ever more hollow.

As deceased economist Milton Friedman said, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” If the huge budget resolution gets through Congress, everyone will pay for it by giving more money to the government and keeping less money for themselves.

Already, what money we do have won’t buy as much as it did last year due to steadily rising inflation since the first of the year. The core inflation rate now exceeds 5 percent, more than doubling the less than 2 percent for the Trump years. That doesn’t include food and fuel. Gas at the pump is up 50 percent from last year and food costs are soaring ever higher.

The passage of those pieces of legislation would be like pouring gas on the inflation fire. Those who suffer the most from inflation are the ones who can least afford it—people on the lowest rungs of the income scale.

Inflation is like a tax on all consumers.

A call to your congressman to say “No to both the infrastructure bill and budget resolution” would be a good start to head off this nightmare.

 

Daniel Uffner

Florida