Higher taxes are not the answer, Mr. President

Zachry Floro, Wag of the Finger

President Obama unveiled his budget for 2013 on Monday, and his message was clear: higher taxes on the rich – nearly 1.5 trillion dollars higher. Obama says he hopes this plan will ultimately lead to deficit reductions over the next 10 years, but increasing taxes is not a long-term solution to our economic woes. Instead, we need to focus on reducing spending, which is more likely to yield a stronger and more sustainable economy.

I am not surprised at all by the President’s budget proposal; it plays to the tune of his party’s rhetoric perfectly. That is, the plan implies that the wealthier part of the country should shoulder even more of the financial burden. However, contrary to popular belief, the upper 1 percent of the population (in terms of yearly income) pay on average 24.01 percent in taxes per year, compared to the bottom 50 percent, who pay just 1.85 percent on average. I cannot say whether the financial elite can afford the increase in taxes Obama is suggesting, but I am sure Obama cannot speak for everyone who would be affected by this tax increase either. I’m speaking purely from an outsider’s perspective, but it seems clear to me that the rich already pay more than their fair share in taxes.

If Obama was serious about solving the deficit problem in this country, he would have spent more time considering how to decrease the amount the federal government spends every year. It is obvious from our current predicament that the government has gotten into the habit of spending more than it brings in, no matter how much it actually brings in. If Obama has his way and taxes on the rich increase, don’t be surprised if the government finds an opportunity to spend 1.5 times the increase on something “we desperately need.” It is like a child who is given a weekly allowance of spending money – inevitably he or she always needs two dollars more than what was given. Eventually the parents just increase the allowance by two dollars, but that doesn’t fix the problem; it just costs the parents two more dollars. That is exactly what Obama’s plan will be: nothing but an increased burden on the American people.

Instead of raising taxes, Obama needs to realize that America cannot just buy anything it wants anymore. That includes universal healthcare, inefficient “green” energy sources, and anything else that has just become political rhetoric used by politicians to pretend they are doing what is best for the country. As hard as it is to say no to projects that could potentially have a huge impact on future generations, it is not worth it if those future generations won’t be able to enjoy it because there will be no credit left to continue our false reality.