Congressman Gingrey on Tax Day
Tea Parties give Tax Day new meaning
As I’m sure you are painfully aware, today, April 15th, is Tax Day. Every year, I am troubled by the sheer amount of money that hard-working American families have to hand over to the government. In fact, in 2009, Americans will spend more on taxes than on food, clothing and housing combined. However, April 15th has taken on a whole new meaning this year, as individuals are gathering all across America to voice outrage about how out-of-control spending in Washington is harming the future of this country.
These modern-day, Tax Payer Tea Parties echo the spirit of our nation’s founding fathers who stood up against tyrannical taxation. On December 16, 1773, a group of American colonists called the Sons of Liberty boarded a ship docked in Boston harbor – called the Dartmouth – which was filled with boxes of tea from the East India Company. They boarded the ship and tossed the tea into the harbor, in protest of the Tea Act, which had recently been enacted by the British government.
We refer to those individuals of the Boston Tea Party as patriots. Like them, everyone attending a Tea Party today is a patriot for expressing their opinion regarding our government’s spending. The Boston Tea Party was a protest of the overly burdensome taxes levied by the British Government on the colonies. But today’s Tea Parties are occurring for a different reason. The American people now are subject to a massive budget deficit and debt that is being thrust upon not only us, but also upon our children and grandchildren.
As a fiscal conservative, I have opposed all of these “bailouts,” the $787 billion “stimulus” bill, and the $3.6 trillion Obama budget that will increase our deficit to $9.3 trillion by spending too much, taxing too much, and borrowing too much. Instead of bailing out Wall Street and the Big Three automobile manufacturers, we should be enacting policies in Washington that bail out future generations of Americans by lowering taxes and reducing federal spending. I will continue fighting in Washington for these very principles.
Another fact that cannot be ignored is that our current tax code is broken, giving Washington too much power to tax – and spend – our hard-earned dollars. Simply put, we need to throw the current tax code out and institute the Fair Tax as proposed by my friend and colleague from Northeast Georgia, John Linder.
The Fair Tax does away with the IRS altogether by replacing it with a national retail sales tax. This would drastically reduce taxes on lower and middle-income families and encourage innovation and economic growth. Under our current system, the harder you work, the more you’re taxed. We actually penalize success. Conversely, under the Fair Tax, the items you purchase – not the income you make – determine your tax bill each year.
Here’s how it works: You would no longer pay income taxes on your paycheck, pension, and Social Security payments. Instead, you would pay a retail tax on all new goods and services – 23 cents on every dollar. There would be a rebate for taxes paid on items like groceries and prescription drugs so that no one would be penalized for purchasing “life necessities.” The retail tax would be levied only at the final point of purchase, excluding production costs and used items from taxation.
The Fair Tax would create jobs and make America a welcoming place to do business. Lower and middle-class families would have more money to spend on housing, health care, education, and retirement. And best of all, April 15th would become just another day – we would close the doors on the IRS forever. The 1773 Spirit of Independence is alive and well today—but it’s the IRS, not the British Crown from whom the American people need to gain their independence.