Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 10, 2013

Take action before America implodes

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— Like many Americans, I was glad to see our U.S. Congress take belated action to avoid the largest tax increase in our history. People need to know, though, that this deal will have a negative effect, both on federal revenue and on the overall economy. Tax rates have been raised on families earning more than $450,000 a year.

As a result, the wealthy will find ways to avoid paying the higher rates, or they will spend less, or they will invest less. All of these results will further hamper our weak economy and will inhibit job creation.

Fewer jobs equals fewer taxpayers equals less revenue to the ravenous federal beast. I hope that President Obama is happy with his “fairness” slogan, because the burden of this new policy will fall on the middle and lower class, not on him and his ruling class.

Hopefully, now Washington can start to confront the real fiscal problem, namely entitlement spending (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security). The pending need to raise the nation’s debt ceiling will provide a vehicle for this debate. Personally, I say that if the president and his party do not agree to some meaningful adjustments to entitlement spending (raising the eligibility age is the simplest step), the Republicans should shut the  government down, regardless of the public reaction. It will be better to take an unpopular action now than to watch our nation implode as a result of massive debt.

Richard Haggerty