Perry B. Newman’s column “The farcical debt debate” was most enlightening. The government spends money by actually spending money, and “by foregoing revenue the government would otherwise collect through taxes, absent a policy decision such as a tax break, not to do so”? That is Orwellian language at it finest.
According to Newman, it is only the government’s largess that keeps it from taking more or most of our income through taxes or deduction eliminations. This generosity causes them to “spend” huge amounts of money that they would otherwise deserve. Newman seems to believe all income is really the government’s, and how much they choose to take from taxpayers depends upon how much they want to “spend” by not taking it.
If the current income tax rates are raised, if more deductions are eliminated, and if the estate tax increases, these will be huge “spending cuts” for the federal government. These cuts will enable the politicians to spend real money on even more programs. Debt reduction will be the least of anyone’s worries, because there will always be even more “spending cuts” the government can make by increasing taxes.
As of March 2012, the national debt was $15.6 trillion, or roughly 100 percent of gross domestic product (Wikipedia). According to CNN Money, interest on the national debt in the next decade will be $5.5 trillion if interest rates rise gradually and $6.8 trillion if they rise l percent more than expected each year.
Not addressing the national debt of this size is the real farce.