Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
Some may view the recent reports of increased tax revenue being paid into the U.S. Treasury as a sign that our economy is picking back up. However, federal spending remains so excessive that our nation has a dangerously high deficit despite the influx in revenue from increased taxes. This further confirms that the federal government cannot spend its way out of the problem. We must enact comprehensive fiscal reform that grows our economy by reducing spending, reforming our tax code, stabilizing entitlement programs and strengthening spending controls.
Federal taxes are at an all-time high due in large part to the increased taxes on Americans that were enacted over the past few years. Obamacare raised taxes by more than $1 trillion over the 2013-2022 period. Many of these tax increases hit the middle class Americans the President had pledged to protect from any tax increase. In addition, the law enacted to avoid the "Fiscal Cliff" in January 2013 raised taxes by another $620 billion over 10 years.
It makes sense that revenues to the U.S. Treasury are soaring as a result of President Obama succeeding in raising our taxes so high. The Treasury Department recently reported that the federal government has taken in a record $1.935 trillion in receipts so far this fiscal year. Although the federal government is pocketing record revenue, it has a deficit of $436 billion so far this fiscal year. In February alone, the federal government spent $193.5 billion more than it received. Further, the Treasury Department's projections indicate that this pattern of federal spending exceeding revenue is not expected to change. Rather, it will worsen. The report shows that the deficit will be nearly $648 billion for this full fiscal year.
Federal deficits remain excessive since President Obama has refused to support comprehensive fiscal reform, instead continuing the pattern of the federal government spending more than it has. The President seems to be pushing increased tax revenues as the solution to the problem, even though Americans are already being taxed aggressively, by an increasingly aggressive IRS. Yet, we are still seeing unacceptable and dangerous levels of deficits. Additionally, our massive national debt now exceeds $17.5 trillion.
We must enact comprehensive fiscal reform that includes fixing our broken tax code by simplifying the code and lowering rates for all individuals, families and businesses; reducing federal spending; stabilizing entitlement programs; and enforcing budget controls to stop Congress and the President from spending beyond our means. These improvements will result in economic and job growth, thus more competitive American businesses and increased revenue. These are the reforms our nation needs.
Continued overtaxing and overspending is not fixing problem. The recent report is further proof of that. Record revenue is not eliminating our nation's enormous deficit. A true solution requires broad fiscal policy reform. We must control the growth of government and federal spending and reform our tax code to reduce tax rates and strengthen our nation's competitiveness, which will then generate greater revenue through greater economic activity.
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