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Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
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Go ahead, tax me (with caveats)

Mr. President, I'm responsible — tax me. OK, I'm a Republican and a supporter of the tea party movement, and I'll be the first to publicly declare I'm responsible for our current $15 trillion debt and willing to pay more in taxes right now. I ask our leaders to immediately impose a 10 percent surtax on my federal income tax until the debt is completely paid off. Oh, there is one condition: I'll accept this severe punishment only if everyone who's responsible does the same. First, if you are one of the 535 members of any party who have been in the House or Senate since our budget surplus in the late 1990s turned into a deficit, you're responsible.
If you voted for any incumbent of any party in either the House or the Senate, as I did, since our budget surplus turned into a deficit, you're responsible. If you supported President Bush's call for a Department of Homeland Security, as I did, which simply turned into a giant money-sucking new bureaucracy that hasn't improved our "homeland" security one iota and instead has "federalized" thousands of employees who were previously part of the private sector and now can't be fired for being incompetent, you're responsible. If you supported the concept of war with Iraq to remove a dictator without insisting on a repayment plan by the oil-rich nation to reimburse us for the $1 trillion cost of this ongoing nightmare, as I did, you're responsible. If you support the prohibition of drilling for oil in our country's vast resource-rich reserves so we keep importing billions of barrels from nations out to destroy us, you're responsible. If you supported the abject failure of a concept of introducing "democracy" to Iraq and Afghanistan so they would emulate the freedoms exercised in this nation, as I did, you're responsible. If you supported any of President's George Bush's appointments of Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernake or Henry Paulson — the trifecta largely responsible for the nation's housing bubble, banking crisis and TARP bailout — as I did, you're responsible. If you didn't vociferously object to Bush's expansion of the Medicare program, as I didn't, an expansion now costing more than $55 billion per year, without any concept of negotiations for drug pricing or means-testing, you're responsible. If you supported the expansion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan guarantees through a legislative process largely sponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank, you're responsible. If you're a supporter of ACORN, which was the principal entity involved in the lobbying and pressuring of elected officials to pass legislation allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to basically allow "liar-loans" to proliferate, leading to the nation's current economic crisis, you're responsible. If you applied for a home loan during the "bubble years" and lied on your application about anything related to income, use or employment, you're responsible. If you voted for the re-election of Rep. Charlie Rangel, the former chief overseer of our government's taxing authority, after it was revealed he failed to disclose income and thus failed to pay a significant amount of personal income taxes, you're responsible. If you benefited from any congressional earmarks used in your district, whether it's driving over a bridge, going to a clinic, playing in a park or simply sitting on a bench, you're responsible. If you pay no federal income tax and receive public support of any kind, you're responsible. Finally, if you're not registered to vote, or simply failed to vote, in any election, you're responsible. If you fall in any of these categories, you have to take your punishment by accepting an immediate 10 percent surtax on your federal income tax. If you pay none, you have to take a 10 percent cut in your public-support funds — whether Medicaid, welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit or any other item. You're exempt if you currently serve, or have previously served, in the military, since we already owe you a debt that cannot ever be paid. I only ask our president to negotiate this deal with the House and the Senate with three caveats. First, every dollar taken in surtax is used to pay off the debt and for no other purpose. Second, impose real cuts to federal expenditures, including entitlement growth, to bring our fiscal house in order over the next 20 years. And support the passage of a balanced budget amendment that will secure the fiscal greatness of our nation for the next 250 years or more. Agree to these three things, Mr. President, and you're welcome to increase my tax payment by 10 percent right now. Oh, and one more thing: You too have to take personal responsibility for our current deficit and this debt.

Sam Rashid is a Valrico businessman and Republican activist.
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