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Bill Sargent, Mark Mansius and John Gay are writing columns on important issues for today.

The Question is,
Who Got us
into this Mess?

February 24, 2014

It used to be that people would save their money until they had enough to make a purchase for cash. They avoided debt.  The Bible warns us against being debtors.  It says if we are in debt we are enslaved.  

Scripture tells us of a famine predicted in Egypt and that Pharaoh started collecting and storing (saving) grain so that his people would survive the subsequent seven years of famine.  But Pharaoh didn’t just give out the grain during the years of famine – he sold it to the people!  The people of Egypt sold their property, their livestock, and eventually themselves to Pharaoh (the state) in order to get the grain they needed to survive.  Pharaoh may have saved his nation but history tells us he became richer and he enslaved his people in the process.

Our tax system is used for “social engineering,” encouraging us to act in certain ways.  For example, when we donate to tax exempt organizations we can write off a portion of the amount donated from our income taxes, this encourages us to give.  Our corporate tax rate -- one of the highest in the world – does the same thing but has a negative impact.  This tax makes overseas investment more attractive and results in many U.S. companies moving overseas with a commensurate loss of U.S. jobs.

The lack of self financial control on a personal level our legislators seem to take to Washington with them.  Recently Congress voted to completely eliminate -- for a period of 13 months -- the statutory limit on Federal Government borrowing.  Twenty-eight House Republicans joined the Democrats in allowing this to happen.  In the Senate even Republican Senator Cornyn cast a procedural vote to let the measure go forward.  So, for the next 13 months, there will be no restraint on government borrowing.  The estimates are this will increase (add to) our current national debt more than a trillion dollars.  Our voracious spending and commensurate borrowing further expands the enslavement of our nation. 

How do we pay for these spending habits?  You guessed it, taxes!  The more spending, the more taxes are needed to pay for it.  The more we pay in interest on our national debt, the less productive are the funds we pay to Washington, D.C.   The more we owe, the more enslaved we become.  We fought a civil war to end slavery.  What will it take to rid ourselves of this, yet another form of enslavement?  Who got us into this mess?  Would it be appropriate to say that all of us did because we allow out of control spending?

We would suggest that the way we are taxed might also be a form of enslavement. Consider this, with a sales tax the consumer can decide whether making a purchase is in his/her best interest given the price and the cost including the taxes (e.g. they have the freedom to make choices).  With an income tax that choice is eliminated.  If you earn the money you pay the tax, regardless of how you may spend what the government allows you to keep.   The three of us are very much in favor of maximizing our freedom(s) and eliminating any attempts to enslave us.

Bill, Mark and John