Monday, November 23, 2009

States must prohibit taxation of children

By Bernie Quigley

- for The Hill on 11/23/09

Once was we might have called upon Congress when reason and responsibility demanded initiative. But the feckless Pelosi and Reid have expressed such vast irresponsibility in their short tenure that we must look now to the legislative bodies of last resort: The states. First item: The states should prohibit the taxation of children. Centuries ago, as we rose to self governance, a division occurred between feudal countries which placed economic burdens on children by demanding that they pay the debts of their parents or grandparents. In free countries, a child is born free of such onerous debt. It is the hallmark of a free country. But it is no longer the hallmark of our country.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office recently testified before Congress that our fiscal situation has deteriorated rapidly in just the past few years. The federal government ran a 2009 deficit of $1.4 trillion—the highest since World War II—as spending reached nearly 25% of GDP and total revenues fell below 15% of GDP. Shortfalls like these have not been seen in more than 50 years.

Going forward,he wrote in the Wall Street Journal, there is no relief in sight, as spending far outpaces revenues and the federal budget is projected to be in enormous deficit every year. Our national debt is projected to stand at $17.1 trillion 10 years from now, or over $50,000 per American.

“The planned deficits will have destructive consequences for both fairness and economic growth,” he writes. “They will force upon our children and grandchildren the bill for our overconsumption.

But it’s not going to happen. In czarist Russia perhaps. Or Cromwell’s Ireland. But not here.