Only a few moments ago I read an Associated Press article by Stephen Ohlemacher titled Obama picks fight on taxes, big or just symbolic. Actually, I only read until this paragraph:
"If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars," Obama said this week, "then that means we've got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship, that means we've got to stop funding certain grants for medical research, that means that food safety may be compromised, that means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden."
Set aside the partisan political rhetoric for a moment. Reread that paragraph, particularly the statement following then.
Do you see it? It should jump off the page at you.
If not, allow me paraphrase what the President of the United States is saying here: If you don't do things the way I want them done, American citizens will have to suffer.
Extort: to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power. (www.m-w.com. Underscore mine.)
Keep something in mind: the US government is "non-productive", meaning it does not produce or sell a product in order to gain revenue; it must raise funds by either borrowing it or by levying taxes upon its citizens, directly or indirectly. Roughly 75% of the $4.5 trillion in revenue raised by the federal government of the United States is through taxes.
$4.5 trillion. Let that number sink in. $4,500,000,000,000. That's a lot of zeroes, eh?
Let this number sink in as well: $3.75 trillion. That's how much the federal government collects in taxes. That's right, $3.75 TRILLION. If this amount were divided equally among the citizens of the US, we're talking roughly $12,000 per citizen, per year. Of course this is not how it really works, as many Americans pay far more than this; but the general principals I'm illustrating here would still apply, so just humor me for the sake of the exercise.
Think about what you could do with $12,000 per year. Catch up on your mortgage payment? Pay for your child's college tuition? Pay off a loan?
Donate it to charity? Feed the hungry, maybe?
Now think about this: this president just threatened to basically extort his nation's citizens, those same citizens that hand over their homes, their children's futures, their good credit, and so many other things that they're forced to sacrifice, because the federal government can't seem to make it on $4.5 TRILLION.
I urge everyone to take a look at these two websites:
Federal State Local Government Revenue
It will give you some perspective as to how the government obtains money and how that money is being used.
I also urge everyone this Independence Day weekend to pray for our president, for our elected officials, and for our country. Pray hard. They-we-all need it very, very badly.