Pella Chronicle

October 3, 2011

Writer has concerns about debt

The Chronicle

Pella — To the editor,

I moved from concerned citizen to presidential candidate when the share of the national debt owed by my five grandchildren reached a quarter million dollars. To pay their share of the interest, at today’s low rates, would require twenty plus dollars a week from each of them-forever. The debt ceiling debacle reinforced my decision. Obama received permission to borrow another $2500 billion in exchange for the promise of some marginal spending cuts; my grandchildren had another $40,000 added to their debt. That is not the legacy I wish to leave them. The current focus on creating jobs and stimulating business are, I believe, well intended but misguided. It fails to deal with the real problem, a government that has lost control of its finances. Controlling spending is imperative but we can not get our fiscal house in order by tweaking our dysfunctional income tax system. The primary function of that system is no longer raising funds for government operations but as a tool for class warfare, wealth redistribution, paying off friends and punishing enemies. In addition, it has become so poisoned as to make it impossible to carry on a civilized debate. What I propose is simple. However, don’t mistake simple for easy. It will require cuts from every area of the budget and it will require sacrifice from every citizen. I call it “A Plan for US - the blue-collar solution”.

First, I will push for a constitutional amendment that will, over a period of four years (25% per year), phase out the personal and corporate income tax and replace it with a national sales tax. This tax will apply to all finished goods and services except food, rent, and exports. The exports are exempted to keep our goods competitive in the world marketplace, food and rent because they are the necessities of life. I will include three exceptions: taxes on real estate will be paid in equal amounts over twenty years, vehicles over five years and capital equipment over ten years.

Nearly every state has a sales tax in place, so we know it works and it will be reasonably easy and inexpensive to implement. The benefits are numerous. It is fairer than the current system, where nearly half of the citizens no longer pay any income tax. Everyone fortunate enough to live in this great country should help pay the bills. Those with more, pay more, those with less, pay less and those who are subsisting on food and rent will be exempted until their situation improves. It would collect taxes from illegal activities and “old wealth”. A tax cut will mean a tax cut for everyone. An individual can decide when and how much tax he will pay by adjusting his purchasing patterns and, as a bonus, it will eliminate the IRS.

Second, I will combine that with a simple balanced budget amendment. It will permit the government to spend only what it takes in and will require that all spending bills be prioritized, such that, should there be insufficient revenues, the lower priority items will be partially funded or not funded at all.

Gaining control of our finances alone will unleash our businesses but we can do even more. I’ll work to ensure reliable sources of energy by expanding oil and gas drilling, improving clean coal technology, and building new nuclear power plants. I support research funding but not subsidies and I’d rescind Obamacare, Frank-Dodd and Sarbanes-Oxley along with all EPA and OSHA regulations enacted since 2000.

We can move the SS and Medicare retirement dates back 6 months immediately.

We can move many of our lowest paid workers back to work by enforcing border security, upgrading our green card system and penalizing employers who hire illegals. I am a small business owner who has had enough. This problem could have been solved thirty years ago with minimal pain. Not so now.

I am convinced that a majority of the American people of both parties are beginning to understand the magnitude of the problem and have the fortitude to bear the hardships and make the sacrifices required to fix it. Why? Because we’re Americans and that’s what we do.

Jerry Lanser

Longmont, CO