Representative Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ 4th)
19th-term Republican from New Jersey.
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Sen. Robert Menendez
Rep. Christopher Smith

March 14, 2013

  I am tired of the dueling ideologies in my government. Ideologies are subjective; math is not. If you are serious about balancing the budget, you need to do the simple math. “We have to stop spending more than we take in,” is just another way of saying, “We have to stop taking in less than we spend.” We had a balanced budget before the Bush tax cuts.
Another simple fact of math is that any spending cut will take money out of someone’s pocket. Any increase in taxes will take money out of someone’s pocket. The most immediately noticeable difference is they take money out of different pockets. There is another, more important difference. Spending cuts are much more difficult to agree on, and cuts in benefits will be harder to undo at a later date. Also, the people on welfare/food stamps SPEND their benefits. Taking food/money out of these people takes the money out of circulation, and that is bad for the economy.
The simplest, fastest way to balance our budget is to simply raise taxes enough to meet our current commitments, and not just on the wealthy. Start at $30k of income and increase taxes by ½ of 1%. That would be relatively painless. At $50k, raise them 2%, and progressively on up. Don’t feel sorry for the very wealthy if you need to raise rates for over $1 million to 50%. That’s a lot less than the top rate was in the “good old” 1950’s, and those with incomes at that level have done very well in this country and are the best able to pay more. How many made a lot of money from the invasion of Iraq?
Let us not forget: simply balancing the budget only means zeroing out the deficit. It does not pay down the debt. I was among those who, when we were spending borrowed money and driving the debt up under Reagan, complained. I was told, “Deficits don’t matter.” Many of the people who said that then now hold the position that our debt and deficit are the biggest problem we faced. Their words lack sincerity, as they seem more based on the party of the president than on any set of principles. When Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr. were in the White House the kept voting for the very legislation that has driven our debt up. That, combined with the theater we see today further erodes their credibility.
Once the tax revenue meets our expenditures, and the deficit is gone, you can look for cuts that maybe can be agreed on. When you find them you can use the savings to cut taxes or pay down the debt. If you’re serious about the debt, you’ll choose to pay it down.

PS I’m also tired of the concept that more people on food stamps or welfare is a failure of government. It is actually a failure of capitalism that so many people are in such need. The fact these people have help is a sign of a successful government

Hamilton , NJ