Congress Should Make Tax Day A Little Less Painful
As millions of Louisianans file their income taxes this month they are no doubt reminded how they labor under a national tax regime that discourages hard work and remains fundamentally unfair. Federal, state and local taxes claim almost 27 percent of the average American's income. This means the average taxpayer worked until April 9th this year just to make enough money to pay their taxes. And if liberals in Congress have their way, that burden will increase dramatically.
As any economist would tell you, small businesses are the backbone of our economy, particularly in Louisiana, where over 54% of our residents are employed by small enterprises. Yet, over the past year the Democrat leadership has insisted on strong-arming through Congress bill after bill of job-killing, deficit expanding, tax-and-spend policies that promise to cripple our nation's small businesses and farmers with new taxes and cumbersome regulations.
After a year of unprecedented job loss, there are those in Congress who still refuse to acknowledge that one of the surest ways to facilitate an economic turnaround and create jobs is to ensure that our families and small businesses face a lower tax burden. Instead, the Majority party continues to blindly throw billions of dollars in deficit spending towards our problems, in hopes that we can somehow spend our way out of the recession.
Federal government spending has plunged this country into a record deficit of $1.5 trillion dollars. Unfortunately, the burden to pay for it will be heaped on the backs of future generations of American families, small businesses and family farms.
The income taxes that Americans are paying today are only part of the exploding cost of government. Recently, President Obama's economic advisor Paul Voelker admitted that a new value added tax (VAT) may be needed to deal with out-of-control spending and a growing deficit. And just this week the Joint Committee on Taxation reported that the recently passed health care bill violates the President's pledge by raising billions of dollars taxes on those earning less than $200,000 a year.
That is only the start. Employer mandates penalize business owners. Medical device taxes will hurt the companies that make them and the people who need them. The new health care law will even take away the tax-free benefit for buying basic medicine cabinet products through a Health Savings Account.
As a physician and small businessman, I know that the solution is not taking more taxes from the American people. The solution is fiscal discipline in Washington, DC, and tax relief for working Americans.
The American people already know that we can't spend and tax our way back to a growing economy. It's time for Congress to put the American people first and take steps that begin to take the pain out of April 15th.
John Fleming is a physician and small business owner and represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana. He is a member of the House Armed Services and Natural Resources Committees.