It finally appears that the honeymoon is over, and the proverbial chickens have come home to roost.
The Indiana Department of Transportation is looking for revenue to repair the infrastructure and recommending some sort of tax. Allen County schools are complaining that there is not enough money to maintain the levels of education we expect for our children and they need more tax dollars. The fiscal cliff looms, and it appears that Republican Norquisters are ready to talk taxes as revenue to repair the deficit.
It was inevitable. Like any financial entity, from the family to the federal government, spending without income is mathematically impossible, or at the very least unwise.
Increased taxes appear to be a done deal. What is still to be seen is just who will pay and how much they will be paying. As much as we would like to see the super-rich pay higher taxes, the burden is too large to be meaningfully reduced by increasing their share of the tax load.
Congress is getting ready to go after the elimination of some deductions as a source of revenue. If the mortgage interest or charitable donation deductions are eliminated for the middle class, it’s almost certain that the housing industry will suffer and some charities might just dry up and blow away.
Then there is the tinkering with Medicare and Social Security. Far too many Americans rely on these programs for any large-scale reductions. Instead, pushing the retirement age off a few years and increasing the size of the payroll deduction caps look like some sort of fix, albeit temporary.
Obamacare has promised some increased efficiencies in Medicare, but those are being debated every day and appear to be a little nebulous.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to do away with the health care provided to congressmen and instead enroll them in Medicare when they reach the proper age, and of course have them provide their own insurance until they are so qualified.
Additionally, it might help if the outlandish retirement benefits provided for congressmen who eventually leave office were replaced with the same Social Security payouts ordinary citizens receive. After all, we hired them. Why shouldn’t they be treated as they are planning to treat us?
EDWARD J. FRANK Fort Wayne