Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk - A weekly Column

September 20, 1999

'Say no to high taxes and spending'
Arrogance kills modest tax cuts for farmers, all taxpayers

Apparently the president believes the American people do not pay enough in taxes. This, of course, is contrary to what I hear from my constituents.
The president would have us believe the small businessman in Victoria is simply a statistical aberration, that his daily worries about paying ever-increasing taxes is a sign of his greed. The single mom in Hays County may have trouble making ends meet, but the president assures us it is not related to the large chunk of her paycheck gobbled up by withholding taxes.
The young couple in Aransas County, according to the president, must have been mistaken when they told me they were paying more in taxes as married people, than when single. Meanwhile, the president ignores the farmer in Waller County who is worried that when he dies his family will have to sell off most of their land to pay the death taxes.
In fact, my constituents are over-taxed, as is every American taxpayer. Half the income of every American goes to pay the cost of government, yet the president does not wish to permit taxpayers keep just slightly more to help make ends meet.
It is ironic that the administration and their many parrots around the nation claim to support the family farm. Yet in their assault on tax cuts in general, and this measure in specific, they have done great harm to the small, family farms which are hallmarks of my rural district. In vetoing this tax cut, the president and his allies have done irreparable harm to the cause of family farms.
Not only would this package have taken a step toward ridding our nation of the immoral death taxes, but also provided major reforms farmers especially needed. Those reforms included the creation of Farm and Ranch Risk Management (FARRM) Accounts, which would have allowed farmers to set aside pre-tax dollars to save for a bad year. Apparently this administration wants America's farmers to remain dependent on politicians, rather than be able to provide for themselves.
While death taxes hit farmers perhaps the hardest of anyone, every American should be upset that this president wants to keep these in place. The death tax assumes everything you have belongs to the government. When you die, supporters of the death-tax claim, those things you have built with after-tax income, belong to the government rather than your heirs.
Of course, the president has not been coy about his position on tax cuts. Just a couple months ago he said the federal government could give a tax cut and "trust that you spend it correctly," but he trusts the politicians in DC to be wiser with your money.
Often, the opponents of tax cuts hide their agenda by creating the false dichotomy of pitting tax cuts against Social Security. Social Security is in trouble not because of tax cuts, but because politicians have raided the fund to pay for their big spending programs.
No word better describes the problem in getting even a modest tax cut in place for taxpayers across the land than the five-letter, one-syllable word "spend." Whether itís congressmen or presidents, bureaucrats or special interests, everyone with a hand in crafting the federal budget is committed to spending as much of your money as they can to fund pet projects and secure power bases.
They will continue to get away with it until Americans say they have had enough. While the process is illogical, the taxes we pay are a direct reflection of the spending priorities in Washington. The budget drafters determine what they want to spend, then tax you accordingly, suggesting that you are getting some benefit from their wisdom.
The only way we will have our tax burden significantly reduced is for federal spending to be decreased. This president and his cronies -- regardless of party affiliation -- are committed to spending as much of your money as they can.
"Just say no to high taxes and high spending," that's what my constituents tell me when I go home every weekend. It's time the White House and all of Congress got that message loud and clear.