What we have in the Internal Revenue Code is a "grotesque monster" that needs to be gutted -- with a new fresh start. I have been beating this drum for decades, including providing for an amnesty period because we have a so-called annual federal income "tax gap" that is estimated to be between $385 to $500 billion (with a B), with the compliance rate of about 83 percent. Wow -- 17 percent of our fellow businesses and citizens are not paying their fair share every year.
In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal about 30th President Calvin Coolidge, Amity Shlaes stated in her biography of him: "There have been times when debt pinned down the United States ..."
In this same article by Robert Merry, he writes:
"Calvin Coolidge lived in such a time -- as do we. At the end of the World War I, the national debt stood at $27 billion, nine times its level before the war. But Coolidge, and (29th President Warren) Harding as well, slashed the country's credit obligation to just $17.65 billion. They did it by cutting taxes, generating economic growth and, in the process, flooding federal coffers with surplus dollars. This accomplishment merits attention today, with the national debt exceeding $16 trillion -- more than 70 percent of gross domestic product. If that number hits 90 percent, some economists warn, it will squeeze the nation economy inexorably."
I keep asking my family, friends and colleagues: We got into recession trouble with too much debt, so how can we get out of financial trouble with ever increasing debt? Greece, Spain, Italy, you and I can't do it, so where does that leave the good ol' USA? Again, how can the good ol' USA continue to borrow $40 for every $100 we spend?
Yes, there is certainly talk from all sides about reforming the Code and our debt. What we need is for all of you reading this article to contact your congressional representatives and business organizations to ask for comprehensive tax justice and debt constraints. This burden needs to be -- must be -- lifted from us, and our children. I hope I can count on you to carry this message!
Grigoraci is a certified public accountant in Charleston.