Archive for Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Letter to the editor: Government should supply answers

January 28, 2009

To the editor:

Listening to all the talk about President Obama’s coming stimulus plan, another idea occurred to me. At the moment, his plan will cost something on the order of $800 billion in borrowed money.

The congressional budget office says the federal government collects about $100 billion in income taxes every month, plus another $60 billion in Social Security and Medicare taxes. This adds up to about $160

billion a month. Now if you divide $800 billion by $160 billion, you’ll come up with five. This means that our government will collect $800 billion in income and payroll taxes in five months.

What if the government simply declared a five-month tax holiday and allowed us working taxpayers to simply keep $800 billion worth of what we earned? From February through June everybody would keep 100 percent of their paycheck.

I suppose an idea like this comes down to who do you think can make better decisions about how to spend the money you earn — you or the federal government? No politician in his/her right mind would ever want to be put in a position to answer that question, so what I want to know is why it’s vital to the recovery of our domestic economy that the federal government be the one who spends this $800 billion?

Just exactly what is that special, unique characteristic that is peculiar only to the government spending our money — which our ailing economy simply must have that ordinary people spending their own money simply cannot duplicate? What vital financial interest will get their desperately needed share of the $800 billion only if it is spent by the government and not by us? I’m not holding my breath for an answer, but those of us who work and pay taxes still deserve one.

Tony Baker,



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