Column: We must stop this out-of-control spendingThe millions of Americans who filed their income taxes prior to the April 15 deadline were confronted with a stark reminder of how our national tax structure discourages hard work.
By: John Kline, Lakeville, Minn., The Republican Eagle
The millions of Americans who filed their income taxes prior to the April 15 deadline were confronted with a stark reminder of how our national tax structure discourages hard work.
Sadly, as Minnesota’s unemployment rate rose to 7.4 percent in March — and 15 million Americans remain unemployed — Washington continues to advocate policies that increase taxes and add to already out-of-control government spending.
Like most Minnesotans, I believe hard-working folks should be able to keep more of the money they earn. With record levels of government spending, federal debt, and foreign borrowing, the leadership in Washington is forcing our children and grandchildren to foot the tab for its out-of-control spending spree.
This year, federal, state, and local taxes claim nearly 27 percent of the average American’s income. Calculated by the independent Tax Foundation, the average American worked from Jan. 1-April 9 just to pay their 2010 taxes.
Since January of last year, the president and congressional Democrats have enacted into law gross tax increases totaling more than $679 billion, which includes $569 for a health care bill marked by accounting tricks, legislative gimmicks, and backroom deals. The tax increases imposed on you by Washington amount to more than $2,100 for every man, woman, and child in the United States and include at least 14 violations of the president’s pledge not to raise taxes on middle-class families.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. Unfortunately, there is more bad news.
The tax relief from which people in every tax bracket have benefited over the past several years is set to expire at the end of 2010. This includes current provisions such as the child tax credit and deductions for married couples and charitable giving, to name a few.
Unless the majority party in Congress decides to extend these provisions, we will lose the few remaining tax incentives we enjoy.
The path we are on is simply unsustainable. While Minnesota families and small businesses are tightening their belts and making tough sacrifices, Congress - in conjunction with the White House - continues to spend money at an unprecedented rate.
In an effort to stop this runaway spending train, I will continue to support legislation that will provide tax relief and simplify our current, convoluted tax system. Additionally, I will continue to fight for cutting the fat out of the federal budget - especially with regard to budget earmarks.
For four years, I have refused to participate in the earmarking process and instead advocated that federal funding decisions be based on merit, rather than a member’s seniority, party affiliation, or the committee on which he or she serves. I called repeatedly for an earmark moratorium that would enable us to step away from the corrupt process and implement real reform.
I am pleased to report that last month House Republicans voted to ban all earmarks for one year - a good first step toward reining in wasteful spending and eliminating corruption and backroom deals. This earmark moratorium sends a clear message that the days of out-of-control government spending, taxing, and borrowing are numbered.
Republican John Kline can be reached at (952) 808-1213 or http://kline.house.gov