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home : opinion : columnists January 24, 2017

10/31/2012 1:07:00 PM
Your financial position
Dear Editor,

Today, a newborn child in America comes into this world owing $51,517 dollars; I call it the original financial sin. Each taxpayer owes over $141,000 dollars of our nations debt of $16.2 trillion dollars, and each taxpayer's liability for unfunded liabilities like Social Security and Medicare is $1,057,601 dollars. Can you write the checks? 

Under the current administration each day our government spends $3.1 billion dollars more than it collects in revenues. Is it moral to dump these obligations on our children and grandchildren? We ate the meal and they get the check.

The Democrats controlled both the House and Senate early on; they could have eliminated any tax loophole that they now complain about. After all, they rammed through "Obama Care" (Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act) without one single vote for the measure from the Republicans in the House or Senate - so much for achieving consensus. Will "Obama Care" lower medical costs in America? Delos Cosgrove M.D., CEO of the Cleveland Clinic says no; costs will go up because of new technology and the aging of the American population. It's also worth noting that since the introduction of Medicare in America in 1965,the actual costs of the program has exceeded original projections by 700 percent. 

But not to worry, the Democrats will try the French approach to balance the budget. As you know the French recently elected Francois Hollande, a Socialist, as it's 24th President and he has moved to increase taxes on the wealthy and redistribute the proceeds. In America, the top 10 percent of taxpayers pay over 70 percent of all income taxes collected and over 47 percent of taxpayers pay no income tax. So what's fair? My sense is that the wealthy are willing to pay higher rates on ordinary income but will fight hard to block the 189 percent tax increase on dividends and the 59 percent increase in the capital gains tax that will become effective on 1/1/13.

It's a fight worth having, as dividends are already double taxed and capital gains are not indexed for inflation. Doesn't this country want to encourage savings and investment anymore? Remember, there is a new unprecedented 3.8 percent tax on investment income to help pay for Obama Care starting in 2013.

Look, the Republicans are all wet on many social issues and the Republican primary was a joke; if they leaned any more to the right they would fall off a cliff. But, Mitt Romney is a true moderate that will achieve consensus with the Democrats and America will be better off for it. This country is drowning in debt (; the other issues, although important, pale in significance when compared with the dangers of our escalating debt burden.

The Federal Reserve Bank continues to print fiat money at an unprecedented rate creating the strong probability of significant negative "unintended consequences" in the future. Since 1965 the U.S. dollar has already lost 85 percent of it's purchasing power - and that was before QE3. Today savers have to live with negative inflation adjusted returns, and unfortunately the "Fed" has stated that interest rates will remain low into 2014-15. Senator Tom Coburn M.D. suggests in his recent book "The Debt Bomb" that by 2014 foreign nations may be less likely to buy and hold our debt which will lead to rapidly rising interest rates and a European type debt crisis. Yet instead of curbing our unsustainable debt, this administration gives us palliatives; have we learned nothing from the financial crisis in Europe?

Both political parties have been disingenuous and are guilty of gross obfuscation; they all remember the quote from T.S. Elliot "mankind can't take too much reality." The solutions for America's financial dilemma will be painful for everyone. While the Republicans need to be more specific regarding the elimination of future deductions for the wealthy, the Democrats continue to pander to the masses by suggesting that we can solve our financial mess if the top 1 percent of taxpayers would just pay a little more ... ah, if it was only that simple.

In conclusion, President Obama failed to eliminate tax loopholes when he had a chance; he failed to gain consensus on health care; he failed to adopt the recommendations of his own National Commission of Fiscal Responsibility & Reform (Simpson/Bowles); he failed to produce a budget in three years and he greatly increased the external debt of our nation. I voted for President Obama in the last election; I will not do so again. I want a businessman and a moderate as the 45th President of the United States; I will vote for Mitt Romney and I hope that your readers will too.

Gerry M. Salkowski

Bellevue, WA.

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