All the revenue in the world won’t fix Washington’s spending problems

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Since Tea Party Patriots’ inception, there’s been a nationwide debate over how to fix how Washington spends (and wastes) your money.   We believe that in order to “right the ship,” so to speak, our elected officials need to make tough choices and cut spending.  Others, however, like to argue it’s a revenue problem that will be solved by raising taxes on the rich and corporations.

 

But new numbers from the Treasury Department show that simply sending more of your money to Washington doesn’t do a whole lot of anything. [1] Each month, Treasury publishes “total receipts” for the federal government, which includes revenue from individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, social insurance, unemployment insurance, gift taxes, and more.  For the first five months of fiscal year 2014 – so, from October 2013 to February 2014 – inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues hit a record $1,104,947,000,000; money you sent to Washington. Despite that record revenue, the U.S. federal government still ran a deficit of $377,379,000,000. Before now, the last revenue record was set in the first five months of FY2007 – right before the recession hit.

 

During closed-door budget negotiating meetings in late 2012, President Obama famously told Speaker John Boehner that “We don’t have a spending problem.” Liberals in Washington (and many Republicans too, for that matter) are in denial over the fact that too much spending contributed to the recession or the sluggish economic recovery. Many like to blame the Bush tax cuts for today’s deficits. Yet time and time again, data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) proves otherwise. [2]

 

Between 2001 and 2010, Washington’s total spending more than doubled, without any concern given to limiting the growth of government or protecting your money. In 2001, the CBO predicted that 2011 would see a surplus of $889 billion. Instead, in 2011 we got a deficit of about $1.4 trillion. Yet during that period, the U.S. saw the biggest four-year jump in history in terms of tax revenue, from 2003-2007.

 

Clearly, increased revenue, in and of itself, does nothing when it comes to cutting the deficit. The stimulus, interest payments on national debt, domestic spending, military spending, Medicare – all these things add up and the costs are proving too much.

 

It’s not ideology; it’s math.  It’s time for Washington to put the focus back on protecting your money instead of spending and wasting it.  It’s time for President Obama to realize that it’s not a revenue problem, it‘s a spending problem.