America’s Debt Problem
by chris_sanchez
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December 03, 2012 03:08 PM | 1789 views | 6 6 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

As the end of the year fast approaches politicians in our nation’s capital are occupied by a single issue: the so-called fiscal cliff.  Under current law, a combination of tax increases and spending cuts totaling about $500 billion will take effect and the Democrats and Republicans are trying to find a way to prevent that from happening.  Never mind that even with these changes the federal budget will still be $600 - $700 billion in the red.  Simple kitchen table economics escapes our nation’s leadership.

Here are a few things to consider: if Mr. Obama’s desired tax increases on the “rich” manage to pass both chambers of Congress and become law they would raise less than $100 billion a year.  With the federal budget currently over $1 trillion in deficit spending annually, such an increase would hardly make a dent.  Whether or not one believes the “rich” pay their “fair share” or not, such an increase does little to help the current fiscal situation the country faces.  If the assets of the 500 wealthiest in the nation were confiscated, that would take care of the bloated federal deficit spending in Washington D.C. for about a year.  Then what?  Warren Buffet may be in favor of having his taxes raised but I doubt he is prepared to have everything he owns confiscated by Uncle Sam.

The unfunded entitlement liability issue is finally beginning to draw the attention it deserves.  The fact is the federal government has over $80 trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities that are not on the books.  That represents promises that have been made to the American people that simply cannot and will not ever be paid to them in full.  Rather than being honest with the American people, especially seniors about Social Security, Medicare, etc., politicians of all stripes kick the can down the road all while doing everything in their power to continue to be re-elected.  Sooner or later economics catches up with politics and when that harsh reality comes to bear all income classes in the United States will be impacted and it will be a hardship on the entire nation.

Deuteronomy 28:43-44 warns Christians about the dangers of borrowing money.  The lender will rise above the borrower becoming the head while the debtor becomes the tail.   The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 13:8 that we are to owe nothing to anyone except love for one another.  Sadly, as Christmas approaches, far too many Christians will be focused on spending money instead of celebrating the real reason for the season forgetting or ignoring Matthew 6:24 and the warning about our inability to serve two masters.   The wisdom of 1 Corinthians 7:23 is as powerful today as it was when Paul included those words in his epistle to the Romans.  The debt problem in America is not limited to the federal government.  Christians, too, have their own issues to address.

Christopher is a recent graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary of Liberty University where he earned the Master of Religious Education. He also holds MBA Finance and BS Management degrees. A former resident of Powder Springs, Christopher and his family now reside in Woodstock. Having enthusiastically embraced social media in 2007, he blogs regularly at www.chris-sanchez.com and is very active on both Facebook and Twitter.

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LibinCobb
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December 09, 2012
Charities which have very high admin costs should be reeled in via tax reform. When any charity has a small % of it's donations getting into the hands of the intended receipients there is a problem.

Churches should also face the taxman since the majority of their time in not spent in charitable

efforts. Preaching to the loyal followers about sin and damnation is not charity.

I am opposed to a flat tax, deductions should be evaluated, then change the codes so that the very wealthy pay a higher rate.

I am not opposed to the very wealthy, I do want a higher tax rate paid by people like Buffett and Romney on their income derived from investments. I find it obscene when anyone can deduct $77k for a horse.

Lib in Cobb
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December 06, 2012
Chris: The more one makes the more they should pay, no matter how the income is derived. I have no problem with the wealthy among us, I would like to see them pay their fair share. Deductions such as the $77k which Mittens took for his dressage horse may be legal, but I find it unethical.

If a church is taxed as a business then they can deduct their charitable work or the cost of that work. I don't believe that every minute of every day is spent in charitable work by a church, especially when I see lavish life styles being enjoyed by people like Eddie Long. I also think that organizations who claim to be charities and only a small percentage of the funds raised end up in the hands of the needy should be closely examined. It is offensive when I read of 7 figure salaries being paid to a CEO of a charity, then learning that only 6% of the funds are received by the needy.

I am more than in favor of having the tax codes re-designed. Romney and Buffett paying 14% is unacceptable, churches getting a free ride is also unacceptable, there are charities which need to be closely audited. You are right, I don't trust any of the churches and only some of the charities.
Christopher Sanchez
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December 06, 2012
Lib:

So no deductions for charities, or just houses of worship? How about eliminating ALL deductions and then lowering the rates that all Americans pay? And why not be in favor of a flat tax? The fairest approach we could possibly take would be to tax all citizens at exactly the same rate.

If the number is 15% then EVERYONE would pay 15%. Or is there more to your position? Perhaps I infer too much but it seems to me you have something against those wealthy individuals among us.
Lib in Cobb
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December 05, 2012
Chris: I am well aware that changing the tax codes as they apply to Mittens would change the way capital gains are taxed. I am not in favor of a flat tax. Few retirees I know earn millions and millions from their capital gains as does Romney and Warren Buffet. A graduated tax on capital gain income would be more to my liking as would eliminating the tax free ride to churches, synagogues and other houses of worship. These mega churches which require millions of dollars per year just to keep their doors open are the most offensive.
Christopher Sanchez
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December 05, 2012
LIB:

You can certainly advocate changing the tax code but understand that what you are talking about is changing the way capital gains are taxed. People like Mitt Romney and Warren Buffet derive their income from capital gains and not wages so mentioning percentages is an apples to oranges comparison. Changing the way capital gains are taxed also impacts retirees who depend on the earnings from their retirement accounts.

I am in favor of overhauling the entire tax code and would not be opposed to some sort of a "flat tax/fair tax" approach. However, liberals like yourself are not interested in changing the tax code to insure that everyone pays the same percentage now are you?
Lib in Cobb
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December 04, 2012
It is time to change the tax codes that the wealthiest among us such as Mitt Romney pay more than 14%, while teachers, police officers, machinists, sales people, pay a much higher percentage. Churches and all other houses of worship should be viewed as a business and taxed accordingly, especially those who have been preaching politics from the pulpit. If any house of worship can prove that the majority of their time is spent in charitable efforts, then those efforts should be deductible. Preaching is not a charitable effort, telling the loyal congregation that "you are going to burn" if you don't accept the word, is not a charitable effort. Giving any house of worship a complete tax free ride is an antiquated policy which should be changed.
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