The Corner

Today’s Questions for the President

Last night, when you announced a tentative debt-ceiling deal among congressional leadership, you once again insisted on a “balanced approach” to the debt problem that includes “revenues,” especially revenues from the “rich” (those making more than $250,000 per year), who you maintain need to pay their “fair share” in income taxes.

The “rich,” as you define them, currently pay approximately 70 percent of all income taxes. At the same time, nearly 50 percent of American tax filers pay no federal  income taxes whatsoever.  

U.S. government spending rose from $2,900,000,000,000 to $3,600,000,000,000 per year during your tenure in office. The U.S. debt jumped from $10,100,000,000,000 to $14,400,000,000,000 during the same period. 

Further, the U.S. government spends $850,000,000,000 on Medicare and Medicaid, $700,000,000,000 on Social Security, and $215,000,000,000 on interest on the debt.

Why, then, isn’t the federal debt chiefly a function of out-of-control spending and failure to reform entitlements?

Why isn’t a “balanced approach” one that significantly reduces spending and seriously reforms entitlements?

If you continue to insist that “revenues” be part of a “balanced approach,” why shouldn’t revenues come from some of the half of Americans who pay no income taxes to the federal government? Precisely what is “fair” about exempting half of Americans from your insistence on “shared sacrifice?”

Once again, where is your plan?

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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