Fairness. Itâ€™s a theme that President Obama seems to visit frequently as the election season approaches.
During the recent State of the Union speech, he spoke about the â€œBuffett Rule,â€ explaining his philosophy of how the rich should be taxed more than the rest of the country in order to â€œpay their fair share.â€ Overlooking the fact that he inaccurately compares Mr. Buffettâ€™s secretaryâ€™s tax rate with Mr. Buffettâ€™s total tax burden, that the top 1 percent of earners pay nearly 37 percent of the total income taxes, and that raising taxes stifles economic growth, I wanted to dive a bit deeper into the economic sense of investing in the federal government versus investing in private enterprise.
Being a business student, I couldnâ€™t help but look at this potential change from an investment perspective. For our federal government, the plan seems great. They intend to increase one of their significant cash flows by increasing the tax burden on the nationâ€™s wealthiest. In 2010, the Congressional Budget Office showed that the federal government derived 41.6 percent of its income from individual income tax.
However, would this change be in the best interests of our country and not just of the federal government? Is it fair for the wealthy to be denied the opportunity to invest their untaxed money in developing American businesses, and instead forcibly have to invest in what has become one of the most inefficient operations in our country today: our federal government?
Anyone who is even slightly informed on our federal government is aware of its financial inefficiency due to the massive bureaucracy it has become. Just last year, the Government Accountability Office issued a report in March outlining significant government waste and inefficiency. If they were forced to compete like most economic entities in our current business landscape, our government would be held accountable for these problems and tough decision to avoid losing investor money.
Our government has one unique advantage to every American business; however, they can simply raise taxes when they need more money. So while we have successfully established a system to hold American businesses accountable through the capitalistic system, we seem to have turned a blind eye to our governmentâ€™s responsibility to its funders, the very people from which it derives its power: the American people.
I canâ€™t propose a tax system that would fix all of the governmentâ€™s accountability issues immediately, but I can recognize when theyâ€™re making this system worse, and that is exactly what they would be doing by increasing the tax burden on the countryâ€™s wealthiest citizens. We cannot increasingly rely upon the wealth of a few to support the many. Not only will the philosophy behind this system eventually lead to further inefficiencies, but raising the income tax rates on the wealthiest provides more incentive for the wealthy to engage in careful tax planning to avoid actually having to pay such astronomical rates.
It may be unrealistic to expect the government to operate in the same competitive environment that all American businesses do, but itâ€™s necessary that the same accountability and transparency be demanded of our federal government. Every year we are investing in this failing, bankrupt entity, and itâ€™s time we remind them who their shareholders are.
As college students, we should not be distant from these issues. The political environment in which we will find ourselves for the years to come is paramount to our future. We need to act. We need to show we have a voice, because these political decisions will either make our lives easier or more difficult as we move into the workforce of our struggling economy after graduation.
So Iâ€™ll ask you one question: Would you rather our countryâ€™s most successful individuals have the opportunity to invest their money in a promising American company, or should they be denied the opportunity to help turn this economy around, forced to continue funding Americaâ€™s most inefficient entity, our government? The choice is ours. Letâ€™s do something about it.
The College Republicans at CSU will be holding an informational meeting on Feb. 15 in Room 234 in the Lory Student Center from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
College Republicans Executive Board can be reached at collegerepublicans.csu.gmail.com or on Twitter @csucollegegop.