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Forum Post: Does the USA have a Spending Problem or Tax Problem

Posted 12 years ago on Nov. 23, 2011, 4:04 p.m. EST by USCitizenVoter (720)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Should Americans force a balancing of our budget that would begin

with a Constitutional amendment which requires approval by two-

thirds of the House and Senate and ratification by three-fourths of

the states?

The idea of adding an amendment to the Constitution requiring that

the federal budget be balanced has come up regularly through the

years, generally pushed by conservatives. One version of a balanced

budget amendment almost passed in 1995, gaining the required two-

thirds vote in the House and falling one vote short in the Senate.

If an amendment were to pass Congress, it would bypass the

president and go straight to the states, where it would require

approval by three-quarters of state legislatures for ratification; in

2011, 26 statehouses were in Republican hands.



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[-] 3 points by erma7242 (5) 12 years ago

We have both a spending and a revenue problem. I think the fact that we are not able to raise any revenue, we are forced to spend money we don't have. As long as the Republicans are forbidden by Grover Norquist to do anything in the way of taxes to help this country, we can expect things to get worse.

If the President allows the Bush area tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013, that will add approximatel 3 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. The tax cuts were one of many things the Bush administration did without figuring out how to pay for it. (Business Week) Extending all the Bush tax cuts, including provisions to spare millions of middle-class families from paying the alternative minimum tax, would add $3.9 trillion to the budget deficit over the next decade, according to projections by the nonpartisan ...

[-] 3 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

here's a tax rate by nation chart from http://en.wikipedia.org


Germany's rate is surprisingly high

[-] 2 points by Sinaminn (104) from Sarasota, FL 12 years ago

The problem with charts like that is that they are solely based on income. We have three; sometimes four layers of taxing authorities we pay into. Income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, fuel taxes, communication taxes, licenses, permits, documents, hidden taxes, aviation fees, waste disposal etc...

My vote is both. We the average citizens are overtaxed and the government spends too much. Corporations and high earners using loopholes to avoid taxes are also a big part of the problem.

[-] 4 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.


[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 12 years ago

So, how about this?

"Topic 556 - Alternative Minimum Tax

The tax laws provide tax benefits for certain kinds of income and allow special deductions and credits for certain kinds of expenses. The alternative minimum tax (AMT) attempts to ensure that anyone who benefits from these tax advantages pays at least a minimum amount of tax.

The AMT is a separately figured tax that eliminates many deductions and credits, thus increasing tax liability for an individual who would otherwise pay less tax. The tentative minimum tax rates on ordinary income are percentages set by law."

Isn't this what we need for corporations? Where is their AMT?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

alternative minimum tax sounds good

but it depends on that minimum

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

parking tickets and misdemeanors

overcosted healthcare


loan interest

[-] 0 points by USCitizenVoter (720) 12 years ago

I like your points, makes me think about some advice I received when I was younger.

"a penny saved is a penny earned".

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 12 years ago

a penny invested.....

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 12 years ago

Rates are interesting BUT what are the rates they actually pay? We know that many, many corporations don't pay those rates in the US, and some actually receive corporate welfare. Our actual personal rates are also much lower than shown. And then there are the capital gains rates. Where are they?

So, the rates that our corporations don't pay and the rates that individuals don't pay are relatively low compared to what corporations and individuals don't pay in other countries. Have I got that right?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

certainly not a full picture of the taxes by that chart

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 12 years ago

I can fix the spending side. Take the Defense budget back to 2000 levels, which is still too high. It is 50% higher than it was then. How many times the spending of China is enough? Russia? Iran?

So, from $700+ billion to $300. $200 for stopping 2 useless wars, Then $200 more off the top, bringing home about 1/3 of those stationed in some 70 locations around the globe and cut a few cold war weapon systems, F35 fighter (notice how Lybia was successful against the obsolete NATO planes?), swimming (drowning) tanks etc.

And, you have the $4 trillion over the next decade without cutting SS, Medicare and Medicaid.

I can fix those too, but I am afraid they would make me president. And that ranks right up there with waterboarding, pepper spray AND torture.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

don't forget drones

one of m first super villains in my champions universe used drones

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 12 years ago

I have a family member who is an expert on them.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 12 years ago

We have a tax problem (I addressed the cutting side of the spending problem below.) It prevents us from fixing the investment problem. First we tax the wrong ways. We use it as a policy to incentivise the wrong things.

We want people to save for rainy days and old age. We want people to conserve resources. We don't want to people to discard what they don't want in ways that destroy the environment. We want them to own houses and take care of them but they don't all need to be mansions. We want them to have transportation but they don't all need to have cars. We want them to be well fed but not gluttonous. We would like them to be universally healthy with good care and educated without indoctrination.

I could give you a bunch of examples of how laws and public policy acting through taxation provides incentives that are the opposite of what they should be. But you probably know a lot of them.

There is also the investment that government should make for the common good. Some of them are truly strategic and will affect the country for decades or even centuries to come. Education, pure research, communication and transportation infrastructure and manufacturing infrastructure are examples. In each of these we are chronically and severely under-investing which will make our people and our country uncompetitive. We are in a competitive world and investment is leverage. It is multiplied. The more you put in the more you get out times X (some factor based on how cleaver or even how lucky you are in picking the right targets to invest in.

So assuming you are reasonably good at picking areas to invest in, the question is how much you invest. How much you have to invest is how much you tax minus how much you spend on other stuff. Efficient, effective spending on the other stuff that government should spend on preserves money to be invested. Taxing takes money from people, or businesses, so the investment will reduce today's consumption, saving for rainy days and investments made by people or companies.

But if you are average in picking investment targets, you should invest as much on a per capita basis as your competitors. We aren't doing it. And the private sector isn't doing it. So, we had better get more efficient. And, we had better tax more because our competitors are.

Trading investment in military power, which is truly excessive, for investment in economic power is a must and it can't happen soon enough.

So, we don't tax enough and we spend on the wrong things. And we encourage our citizens and our companies to spend and invest in the wrong things. You want a simple answer, ask a simpler question.

OK tax at 23% of GDP and invest until we have caught up on infrastructure, education and research. Then you can drop back to 20%

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Mostly, it has a republican problem. 11 years and running.

[-] 0 points by USCitizenVoter (720) 12 years ago

more 90 years in the making

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

You got that right!

Maybe worse. I've linked off to places from here that want to blame it on Lincoln..............(sigh)

[-] 2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

This is a right wing, fringe, repelican policy talking point designed to reduce the ability of those regulatory authorities that do exist to function and perform their duties - duties like consumer protection.

No, there should be no Constitutional Amendment regarding budget.

repelicans should simply leave the public stage, and take their nonsense with them. I'm sure that once they do, we'll be perfectly able to balance the budget. Part of that solution will be to remove bushite tax cuts.

and I would be remiss if I did not point out that Congress currently has lower approval than the President himself.

byby repelicans . . .

[-] 0 points by USCitizenVoter (720) 12 years ago

ZenDog, nice of you to visit my post .Thank you for you encouraging wisdom. Sincerely, USCitizenVoter

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

It is my sincere pleasure to do what I can . . .

[-] 1 points by ithink (761) from York, PA 12 years ago

Tax reform. Let Bush tax cuts expire, then work to simplify. Spending cuts. Get rid of what is not necessary and what is not working!

[-] 1 points by rulesdontapply (27) 12 years ago


[-] 1 points by magget (1) 12 years ago

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"it cant rain all the time"

[-] 1 points by Totems (14) 12 years ago

Both OBV

[-] 0 points by USCitizenVoter (720) 12 years ago

obvious signs of a disease

[-] 1 points by pickone (3) 12 years ago

Yes. But mostly we have a corruption problem that the existing system only continues to feed. What needs to happen is the complete shattering of congresses little world view and the best way I can see to do that right now is to adopt the Buffet Amendment, (Proposed 28th amendment) that says:

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

  1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

  2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

  3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

  4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

  5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

  6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

  7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work."

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 12 years ago

Neither. It has a banking problem.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

NO chance of balance. Deficit plus appropriations equals 75% of GDP. Thats not going to reverse, no matter how much you tax.

Only way is to end wars and eliminate medicare, neither of which will ever happen.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 12 years ago

You want to fix medicare? No problem. Adopt one of the four best programs (based on outcomes and cost) in a referendum. The cost will drop from almost 20% of GDP to 12% or less (some of them are 8% of the host GDP.)

Six to eight percent of GDP will reduce the debt (not deficit) pretty fast. Now all we have to do is implement it. See how easy that was?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

Thats bullshit. Tech is increasing expo, and the revenue for the country is going down due to globalization.

Keep living the dream...

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

Doestn matter, theres no way outta this

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

Oh yes there is - we can focus on the myriad repelican lies and get them tossed out on their ears . . . .

No more Norquist Tax Pledge.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

Sorry bro, cant tax your way out of this either. Even if you eliminate SS and raise taxes to 50%, wont cover it.

Buckle up.

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

Ah well. Then I guess the economic system will simply collapse, resulting in no goods or services being shipped anywhere in the world. Mass starvation.

The anarchists around here are really tame by comparison to what is obviously ahead - if you happen to be correct.

I don't care.

I've plenty of ammo.

; P

and I can't help reminding you who created this mess - two unfunded wars, one of which was preemptive, and bankers infected with greed . . .

[-] 1 points by Rooster8 (49) 12 years ago

Many people here do not love the poor, just hate the rich. Equally poor is better than the current system. Misery loves company.

Example: Labor unions are merging with politicians to go after the corporations and also to rig the system. Here's a recent story in Michigan of a union (SEIU) forcing people, who get disability from the state, to join their union and pay union dues. Corruption is corruption. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4g9ILNUr_8

Meet the your orchestrator, Stephen Lerner, Former SEIU Exec. Here the plan in his own words in March of theis year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQQiFW2YDLM&feature=related

According to White House visitor logs, “Stephen Lerner” has visited the White House four times over the past two years. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/uncovered-did-the-leftist-encouraging-economic-terrorism-have-access-to-obamas-white-house/

"A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage -- the political paradise of communism." Saul Alinsky, "Rules for Radicals" President Obama recommends Sal Alinsky's book "Rules For Radicals" for all colleges and high schools, and Hillary Clinton did her thesis on this book. I'm sure many organizers here know it well. The Bushes, the Clintons, Obama and many other neo-artistocrats have America's future all planned out. Global communism, under the guise of the global government, is their goal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us8Yv4YLz9k&feature=related


United Nations Millennium Declaration:

"22. We reaffirm our support for the principles of sustainable development, including those set out in Agenda 21, agreed upon at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development."

http://www.un.org/millennium/declaration/ares552e.htm KNOW YOUR ENEMY

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

HA, me too bro. I dont see how it doesnt collapse, no worth their weight in silver sees anything but collapse coming soon. Just a matter of when, not if (probably).

I think our current selection of politicians shows that no one wants the upcoming job.

[-] 0 points by USCitizenVoter (720) 12 years ago

Grover Norquist the Lobbyist is a leach.

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

He was only one small mistake among many the repelican party has made.

[-] 1 points by SupremeOccupyLeader (17) 12 years ago

A corruption problem.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 12 years ago

Nope. Right problem, wrong solution. If Congress were representing the people rather than special interests they probably could balance the budget.

I went through the exercise of balancing the budget when Simpson-Boles was in process. It took a little work and some serious thought but I found it was quite doable. But I didn't have to raise millions for my reelection.

I'll bet you could do it too. I'll also bet that 533 of our close friends could do it together and without campaign corruption we might get the chance. We balance budgets in states, counties, homeowners associations, school districts even our own homes.

If you want to add an amendment it would be more constructive to get the money out of elections, federal state and local, out of lobbying, out of the Supreme Court (Thomas, Scalia), out of picking professors in universities, out of picking regulators from the industries they regulate. Yes, there are a lot of things that you could fix in an amendment. But there are a lot of well educated (and smart) people who agree that a constitutional amendment that requires legislators to do the job that they would do, if people weren't bribing them not to do, is not wise.

Besides, if we weren't deluged with propaganda 24/7 every election, we could notice the ones who were trying to unbalance the budget and replace them. We aren't that lazy are we? If we are, we probably wouldn't notice them passing unbalanced budgets anyway.

[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 12 years ago

All taxes should be corporate. Taxing people is a losing game. People already don't make enough to tax and there are no longer enough workers too tax.

It really isn't even debatable. The current system does not work and can not be tweaked. Corporation's own the only wealth that can be taxed sufficiently to run a super-power and not have to borrow.

Bad schools, over crowded prisons and faith-based EPA are the symptoms of poor money management and of taxes being to low.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 12 years ago

I think you may be onto something re taxing only corporations (businesses).

Anyone know of any studies or analyses of this?

[-] 1 points by fjolsvit (957) from Washington, DC 12 years ago

The root of the problem is how money is defined. If you look deeply into what money actually is, it is an illusion. All US paper currency is symbolic debt.


[-] 1 points by owsrulez (75) 12 years ago

A quote from RonPaul...........“Federal revenue likely will be about $2.3 trillion in fiscal 2012. The 2004 federal budget was about $2.3 trillion. So Congress simply needs to adopt the 2004 budget next year and the federal government will balance outlays and revenue. That’s all it would take to produce a balanced budget right now. Was the federal government really too small just 7 years ago, in 2004? Of course not. Only Washington hysteria would have us believe otherwise"

[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago

Another deluded fanboy for the corproate financial complex.

RonPaul on the Issues:

Total free market capitalism.

Free market health care.

Repeal Roe v. Wade.

Eliminate capital gains and estate taxes.

Eliminate the EPA.

Repeal ban on assault weapons.

Undermine UN arms control efforts.

Go to his website and read it for yourself.

[-] 3 points by owsrulez (75) 12 years ago

^another deluded fanboy of "We need Big Brother to hold our hand through life lest we shall perish"^

[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago

We need government to protect us from those who bought our government and sold us out.

[-] 3 points by EXPOSED (222) 12 years ago

"We need government to protect us from those who bought our government and sold us out."

Haha, exercise in futility...

[-] 0 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago

Not anymore. OWS is not an encampment at Liberty Square. It is a global movement in cities, towns and college campuses across the country and around the world that is growing daily.

[-] 1 points by EXPOSED (222) 12 years ago

That's not my point, my point is: "government is corrupted by Wall Street, therefore we need more government protection from Wall Street"


[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago

Which is not at all what you said.

The insult backfired.

[-] 1 points by EXPOSED (222) 12 years ago

LMAO what insult? WTF

"We need government to protect us from those who bought our government and sold us out."

You don't see how that solution is just idiotic (notice how the word idiotic relates to the solution and not you...)

[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago


[-] 1 points by EXPOSED (222) 12 years ago


derpa herpa derp? Oh NO! not DERP

[-] 2 points by owsrulez (75) 12 years ago

Shrink the Federal Govt and watch the lobbyists and campaign contributions disappear. If you cant stop those from feeding the dragon, turn the dragon into a tiny lizard and no one will feed it. Read the Constitution. It was written to protect the people from this monster.

[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago

How would shrinking government eliminate lobbyists and campaign contributions? It wouldn't. All it would do is further reduce the ability of government to regulate the corporations that routinely crash the economy.

If the SEC had any teeth, the crash of 2007 would never have happened. But it came about largely in part because Wall Street was (and still is!) self-regulating.

[-] 4 points by owsrulez (75) 12 years ago

I know it sounds odd, but shrinking the Federal Govt would absolutely reduce lobbyists and campaign contributions. It is the centralization of power that is making this so easy for big money. Big money can easily manipulate us by buying a few key representatives and the president. Allow the states and local governments to have more power and you spread Big money thin. Why would you send big money to DC if the states were making most of the decisions? This is what the framers of the Constitution were worried about. The more centralized decisions are, the easier it is to influence.

[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago

"Exactly. That's why I am amazed that you favor a big Govt."

Nowhere did I say I favor a big government. Size is actually irrelevant, as it should be whatever size is necessary to fulfill its responsibility to the people.

The "big government" argument is simply ploy to reduce / eliminate corporate regulation and defeat its true purpose: representation of the people.

[-] 1 points by owsrulez (75) 12 years ago

Not necessarily. We as a people can decide what we want a smaller Govt to focus on.

[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago

We need government to protect our constitutional rights and the interest of the people. Function is critical, size is irrelevant.

[-] 0 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago

You still haven't explained how reducing the size of government eliminates influence. All it does is eliminate regulation, and the purpose of regulation is to protect citizens. Corporations are not people.

As to state and local governments, they are even MORE corrupt and are far easier to corrupt.

[-] 3 points by owsrulez (75) 12 years ago

You are never going to "eliminate" influence. The best we can do is reduce influence by making more difficult and expensive. Let's take Alcohol sales as an example. The ability to sell alcohol is decided locally. Is Miller Brewing Company lobbying all of the cities and counties? Are they financing local candidates across the country? Of course not, it would be too time consuming and expensive. What if that changed and the Federal Govt was responsible for deciding whether or not alcohol should be sold or not for the ENTIRE country? Big money would lobby and buy the votes because it would be much easier.

[-] 0 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago

Your argument fails simply because all alcohol producers will band together (as they already as under various trade organizations and lobbies) and peddle their influence wherever they want. Do you really think there aren't any lobbyists in state or local government?

Here is a chart from 2006 that shows the extent of state lobbying: State Lobbying Totals, 2004-2006

It hasn't gotten any better since then.

[-] 1 points by owsrulez (75) 12 years ago

Ok, as the authority on the subject, what is your solution?

[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago

I'm no expert. What is clear is that money in politics is a disaster for people. We need to take back government. Our representatives need to represent us, not the highest bidder, at all levels of government.

There is no magic wand that is going make this happen. It is going to be long hard fight, and we need to work together. We also need to agree to continue to work together even though there are things we will disagree on.

The 99% Declaration looks like a good place to start.

[-] 1 points by owsrulez (75) 12 years ago

We can agree on those statements. Keep an open mind to shifting decisions locally, though. As an example, think about Govt compared to the structure of OWS. Would you want centralization of OWS decisions?

[-] 1 points by nucleus (3291) 12 years ago

Absolutely not. Decisions belong to the people. Representative democracy has failed because the people are not represented.

[-] 0 points by owsrulez (75) 12 years ago

Exactly. That's why I am amazed that you favor a big Govt.


[-] 0 points by HarryPairatestes2 (380) from Barrow, AK 12 years ago

I think the U.S. has a spending of taxes problem.

[-] 0 points by USCitizenVoter (720) 12 years ago

Maybe we Americans that have jobs are working to many hours. Work less hours pay less taxes. Gives other Americans job so they can pay taxes. The 35-hour working week was adopted in February 2000 by the French government of Socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin under the then employment minister Martine Aubry. The main objectives were to reduce unemployment by forcing employers to take on more staff, and to enable workers more personal time to enhance the quality of life.

Workers who work more than 35 hours have the right to extra time off to compensate or overtime paid at a higher rate.

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 12 years ago


[-] 0 points by Danimal98367 (188) from Port Orchard, WA 12 years ago

Both. We tax too much and spend WAY too much.

[-] 0 points by ScrewyL (809) 12 years ago

Or a printing problem?

[-] -1 points by raines (699) 12 years ago

Spending Problem.


[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

Actually, that number came from a prediction that turned out to be incorrect. Second, the correct and lower number applies only to federal income tax.

Taxes paid by everyone: sale tax, property tax (directly or via rent), payroll taxes that are not called that (like Social Security), fees that are really taxes like driver licenses and car registration, taxes on electricity, gas, phones....not a complete list.


[-] 0 points by USCitizenVoter (720) 12 years ago

Charge the 1% some more taxes and let us see for ourselves if it helps stop the spending. Bet it does. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.