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home : opinion : columnists February 19, 2017

11/21/2012 2:54:00 PM
Time to admit when you're wrong

Bill Forhan

The election's over and the Democrats won.

It's remarkable to me that the majority of this country is willing to trade personal freedom for the promise of personal security. It is amazing to me that the majority of this country now sees private enterprise and individual achievement as a problem that must be controlled and regulated by an omniscient government. It's remarkable to me that the majority of this country believes that fairness is taking money from the producers to give to those who cannot or will not be responsible for themselves.

But, that is where we are in 2012. The voters have spoken and they have chosen to continue down the path of a European Socialist system of government entitlements that are bankrupting the countries that the majority of Americans want us to emulate.

Given the choice of the voters, we must now address the fact that just taxing the rich will not pay for the benefits voters have decided the government must provide. As a result, all taxes will need to increase. And they will need to increase significantly. Consider that the current tax rates consist of 6 brackets - 10%, 15%, 25%, 28% 33% and 35%. If nothing is done then in 2013 the new rates will be 15%, 28%, 31%, 36% 39.6%. Yes, that's right the lowest bracket will see a 50 percent increase in their tax rate, while the tax rate on those greedy rich people will only increase by 13 percent. To be truly fair, all brackets should increase by 50 percent. That would make the new rates as follows - 15%, 37.5%, 42%, 49.5% and 59.4%. These rates would be much closer to the European model.

Additionally since about 50 percent of households in this country pay no income tax, we should institute a minimum tax rate of 5%. After all, the poorest households are most likely the biggest beneficiaries of the social safety net.

Many of my regular readers are probably gasping for air or assuming that I am being sarcastic here. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is morally irresponsible to pass the bill for these programs on to our children and grandchildren. If the majority of voters truly want them and believe only government can provide them, then we must be honest and responsible and find a way to pay for them.

Many disappointed conservatives are calling on Republicans to let the Democrats have whatever they want and let the country collapse under the weight of its own debt. That would be truly irresponsible and contrary to those conservative principles that call for individual responsibility and integrity.

Republicans and their independent conservative supporters have not been able to sell the American people on what it means to build our future on sound economic principles. So it's time to get to work and address what needs to be done to really make these social programs work. That means revenue. And not just a little revenue, it means trying to raise an additional 1 trillion per year.

Republicans need to come to Congress in January with their own revenue plan to raise the money needed to save social security, fund Obamacare and begin to address the unfunded pension liabilities that already exist for government workers.

There are still opportunities to cut costs. The biggest one is our military. In order to make that happen we need to bring our troops home from across the globe. We can no longer afford to be the policeman for the world. And putting our troops in harms way without the financial and political support they need is irresponsible. We should also eliminate all foreign aid, especially to countries that continue to attack us and our allies.

The American people have spoken. They are calling for compromise in Congress and more social programs. It's time to get to work to give Americans what they want.

Bill Forhan can be reached at 509-548-5286 or

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