Letters to the Editor

Bastian letter: Taxes and debt

We pay a lot of taxes. I pay a federal income tax, a state income tax, Ada County taxes, city of Boise taxes, an Idaho state sales tax, plus property and a number of excise taxes. In fact, the average American works from Jan. 1 to April 24 just to pay their taxes.

Americans work 43 days (from Jan. 1 to April 24) just to pay their assessed obligations. That day, April 24, is called Tax Freedom Day. We celebrate this day because the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay all its federal, state and local taxes.

However, our nation has not paid all its debts and obligations with that tax money. It has spent all our assessed tax money and borrowed and spent even more. Currently, our government is $20 trillion in debt, not counting the local debts accumulated by cities, states and municipalities.

There are strong arguments suggesting that heavy and increased taxes actually reduce economic efficiency and stymie economic growth. One economist observed: “Should we sacrifice $10 billion in output through inefficient programs like Obamacare to redistribute $5 billion to the poor and the needy?”

Morris Bastian, Boise