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The Tax Era Has Dawned
Commentary on the News
Monday, August 23, 2010
Ed DeShields

The deficits we face over the next decade represent a basic imbalance between spending and revenue and one that goes far beyond entitlements.

The CBO says that even if the economy returns to full employment by 2014 (questionable) and stays there for the rest of the decade (more questionable), the continuation of current fiscal policies will lead to a national debt in the range of 90 percent of GDP by 2020.  That's the highest rate since just after World War II -- and Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security aren't expected to hit their steepest spending increases until after 2020.

According to these same projections, the yearly deficit would rise to 6 to 7 percent of GDP by 2020.

Compounding the problem of course is that as the government's debt increases, the tax cuts will lead to higher interest payments on that debt. So even if all of the cuts expire on Dec. 31, we will still be paying for them for years to come.

And, so will you. 

If the Bush-era tax cuts are allowed to expire your taxes will double.  That’s right, double.  If they are extended they will add 2% to the deficit per year.  Not pretty picture. 

Say you’re the  head of household for a family of four.  Mom and Dad both work and earn $30,000 each for a family income of $60,000.  Not bad, except for the tax bill.   Mom and Dad will pay $2,188 this year but next year they’ll fork over a whopping $4,325.   Folks that’s about double the money out of your pocket.

The same married couple with no children will pay $6,435 in 2011, up by $1,200.   And, if you’re single and earn $70,000, you’ll pay $9,650.

It seems married couples with children will take the biggest hit to their paychecks. 

A one-year extension of the Bush tax cuts would cost the government at least $115 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, at a time when the nation is spending far more money than it is bringing in.  However, adding taxes to consumers in this financial environment will surely stall our growth and threathen to make our economic problems worse. 

The Obama admininstration is considering postponing a repeal of the tax for taxpapers making under $250,000 per year in household income.  They intend to raise the marginal tax rate, for the top bracket, from 35% to 39.5%.  Taxing so-called rich people is a political game.  The majority of small business owners that fuel the growth in jobs are these people.   So taxing them isn’t that good of an idea either. 

We’ve officially entered the Tax Era and there is little to nothing we can do about it – except pay up.

About Ed DeShields

Last week: Yanking the Life Support from Frannie and Freddie



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