Curb spending to tackle soaring national debt

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to The Wilson Times.

Today the United States is about $20 trillion in debt. Why?

Many want to blame the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those wars may very well be part of the debt. What about the war in Kuwait? That may very well be part of it.

The debt problem for the United States started long before the past few administrations. From my viewpoint, it started with our first progressive president, Theodore Roosevelt. Our national debt has grown since our nation’s founding but appears to have sped up with his term in office.

There were no income taxes until President Teddy Roosevelt and his successor, President Woodrow Wilson, another progressive. The advent of income tax gave the government a method to extract funds in excess of its needs for operations from the citizenry of the United States. Our income tax system is called a progressive system not because it is progressive, but because it was implemented at the behest of two progressive presidents.

With the ability to collect funds beyond the government’s needs, our elected officials began to grant favors to their constituents. These favors are called entitlements. It is these entitlements that have contributed the most to the national debt. Ridding the nation of unconstitutional spending on entitlements would greatly affect our nation’s ability to reduce our greatest security problem, that of our national debt.

In addition to eliminating entitlements, Congress needs to eliminate all subsidies and tax credits. There are numerous tax credits that are wasteful and many that are abused. The child tax credit alone has more than $5.9 billion each year in improper payments. If the child tax credit was eliminated, that money could be used to lower our national debt and help to get us out of the danger zone.

Many wish to include Social Security, Social Security Disability and Medicare in the entitlements bundle. They seem to have forgotten these programs are paid for by special tax deductions from employees’ paycheck and taxes paid by the self-employed. They are not part of unconstitutional favors granted by our lawmakers.

Ray Shamlin
Rocky Mount