Watching America's Decline
Why have so many Americans traded liberty for government control?
The federal tax code is 17,000 pages and involves more than 700 different forms. According to the IRS, Americans spend something like 5.1 billion hours each year preparing their taxes, and tax preparation drains an estimated $194 billion annually from the U.S. economy, according to the Tax Foundation.
The Code of Federal Regulations, the codification of the general and permanent rules created by Congress and the executive departments and agencies of the federal government, comprises a mind-blowing 163,000 pages, weighs more than 1,600 pounds, and stands 54 feet high.
Should government decide the kind of light bulbs we can use, or the kind of toilets we can own, or the kind of sheets hotels put on their beds, or be able to tell us we have to buy a particular item? Now that the feds have taken over General Motors, is it okay that they require us to buy a Chevy instead of a Ford or a Dodge or a VW or a Subaru? (Chevy dealers may not participate in this poll.)
The answers to those questions are: “No, no, no, no, and absolutely not.”
Why have so many Americans traded self-sufficiency for dependency?
In 2009 there were 37.2 million food stamp recipients, 4.1 million on welfare and 9.1 million receiving unemployment support. In 2010 Medicaid had 58 million participants. Allowing for duplications of aid for some Americans, it is likely that more than one-fourth of the people living in the U.S. receive one or more forms of financial assistance from the federal government, not including Medicare.
And, 51 percent of the households in the country paid no income taxes to support their federal government in 2010. The Atlantic magazine reports in its online edition that “about fifteen million American households, or 10 percent of all taxpayers, receive more cash from the IRS than they contribute in federal income taxes and payroll taxes. That's thanks to ‘refundable credits,’ tax credits that can bring your tax bill into negative territory.”
Since President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty in 1964, welfare spending increased 13 times by FY 2008, rising from $50 billion to over $700 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars.
Despite having spent trillions of dollars on the War on Poverty, record numbers of Americans get federal assistance today. Obviously, some of these folks genuinely need help, but some of them are taking advantage of the situation, and are taking advantage of their tax-paying fellow Americans. We’ve made it attractive for people to become dependent.Continued on the next page