Monday, March 26, 2012

The Power to Tax

Chuck Morse Speaks 


August 25, 2003
Columnist Chuck MorseThe U.S.Constitution grants to Congress the sole authority to levy federal income taxes and this is indeed an awesome power. After having fought a revolution against a British tyrant who had taxed the colonists capriciously and arbitrarily, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, meeting a mere 6 years after Washington's victory at Yorktown, realized that the power to tax aught to reside with elected representatives assembled in Congress. The rallying cry of the American Revolution had been "Taxation without representation is tyranny."

Many members of Congress today, including members in both parties, have lost sight of the purpose behind the congressional power to tax. Congressmen, as elected representatives of the people, are supposed to insure that tax money is properly allocated and not squandered. Taxpayers have a right to expect that they are getting their money's worth.

Congressman Barney Frank has often spoken eloquently about the New Deal programs of FDR and the importance of insuring that these programs be maintained and continue to grow. While many of these programs have been successful and have become fixtures in the firmament of government, nevertheless, it should be admitted that after over 70 years many of these government monopolies ought to be reviewed, streamlined, modernized, and in some cases reduced and even eliminated. Many government agencies today have strayed far from their original mission and many government grants to agencies, both public and private are excessive, should be audited, and in some cases should be eliminated.

Unlike private business, where a product or service is subject to the vicissitudes of the public and where bankruptcies can and should result from mis-management, corruption, or simply an inability to keep up with the times, government agencies are backed by the force of law and are accountable to Congress. This is the very reason why Congress, exercising the power to tax and allocate funds, is charged with a moral and practical responsibility to insure that these funds are well spent.

Congress has the power to reduce the size and cost of government agencies but presently lacks the political will due to the influence that government funds buy. Rather than representing the interests of the taxpayer, too many congressmen are representing special interests and the government itself. If corruption, waste, and duplication were routed out, most government agencies, with their billion dollar budgets, tens of thousands of employees, and billions in assets, would actually operate better and more efficiently.
Congress must take the moral high ground and reduce the size of government. While a lost job for a government employee is tragic, private sector employees lose their jobs all the time and no job is sacrosanct. In the wake of the terror assault of 9/11 and the ongoing terror threat against America, the one area that should be exempted from cutbacks is defense and homeland security. National security must be funded and maintained at a high level in order to deal with the present emergency. 

Tax cuts contribute to long-term economic growth and job creation, as occurred in the years following the tax cuts of Presidents Kennedy and Reagan. However, in order to achieve a more permanent and genuine economic growth, more capital accumulation, a stronger dollar, and a genuine reduction in poverty, the size of government must be simultaneously reduced. Additionally, Social Security and Medicare should be gradually privatized over the next several decades so as to create genuine wealth while not adversely affecting the benefits of those who have paid into the system their entire working lives. The old and antiquated ways of big spending and big taxing government should be rejected before the effects implode on all of our heads. ***
Chuck Morse is a talk show host on Salem Radio/WROL in Boston and his web site can be found HERE. His radio show is on hiatus while he explores a congressional campaign in the 4th District of Massachusetts against incumbent Democrat Barney F

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