November 7, 2011

How to fix Congress

According to a recent Rasmussen survey, just 9% of likely voters rate the job being done by Congress as good or excellent.

I have struggled to understand how we got so many inept people running our Government. I think I finally have it figured out.

In the early 1900's, taxable income over $500,000 was taxed at 7%. By the 1920's, incomes over $1 million were taxed at 73%.

The tax rate rose and fell over the intervening decades and rose to 94% for incomes over $200,000 during the post-WWII years. In the 1950's, the tax rate was 91% for incomes over $400,000.

So what is the likely result of having such a punishing tax rate? People in the highest income brackets are presented with two options; pay the exorbitant tax, or spend some of that money to get people elected who will change the tax code so they won't have to pay so much.

A quick cost-benefit analysis would reveal that getting advocates elected to change the tax code is much more cost-effective than paying high tax rates.

So decade after decade of this situation has resulted in a Congress where the overwhelming majority of members pander to their sponsors rather than serve the interests of their constituents. The result — an untrustworthy Congress, and a 16,845 page tax code full of rewards for high-income sponsors.

And once these easily-purchased people were in Congress, their sponsors found they could also get money through additional legislative manipulations called "ear marks", to the point where our Government now accounts for more than a third of our country's total spending.

A flat tax with no exemptions and a stop of all earmarks would remove the incentive for the richest to fund the election of their puppets and make it easier for us regular folks to elect people who will represent "we the people". A drastic change to be sure, but the only way we can ever restore integrity to the form of government bequeathed to us by its founders.

So in November 2012, let's elect people who support a flat tax on all income without any exemptions and the elimination of all earmarks. We can and must fix our Congress by removing the consequence of all those bribes disguised as political contributions.

Rex A. Hoover