The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

November 5, 2012

Charles Buchanan, guest columnist: Romney's plan filled with false promises

JOPLIN, Mo. — Your editorial page has frequently expressed the idea that we must demand honest answers from our leaders and not accept slogans as answers to complex problems.

Your endorsement of Gov. Mitt Romney for president ignores this principle. Your editorial board seems to buy the idea that a 20-percent tax cut is the solution to our budget deficit: “Romney’s plan is to roll back individual tax rates for all groups by 20 percent ... while at the same time reducing ... deductions. This gets us to the kind of overhaul that is needed.”

The 20-percent tax cut will reduce tax revenues by $5 trillion over 10 years.

In the last debate Gov. Romney told us not to worry, because he would reduce spending and close loopholes to make his tax cuts revenue neutral. So, Romney begins his assault on the deficit by digging the hole $5 trillion deeper. Through closing loopholes and deepening painful cuts in government spending, he fills that hole. Where does that leave us? The same place we are now — with an annual deficit for 2012 of $1.1 trillion.

And to remove any suggestion that this illusory plan to solve the deficit might involve any sacrifice you cite, with apparent approval, “Romney won’t raise any new taxes to reduce the deficit.”

This fantasy that we can solve our deficit woes with more tax cuts is dangerous and ignores important facts.

First, consider the size of the deficit: $1.1 trillion in 2012 — 42 cents of every dollar the U.S. government spends is borrowed. Nobody thinks this can be sustained. That’s why slogans masquerading as real plans are dangerous.

Second, according to the Tax Policy Center, in 2010 the share of our gross national product that went to individual federal income taxes was the lowest it has been since 1950, when Harry Truman was president. In 2011, the last reported year, federal income taxes were again near all-time lows. Unless we are willing to accept dramatic cuts in government services, we need more tax dollars.

What is the solution to our dangerous deficit? I wish I could point to a courageous national leader who had an honest plan. The truth is that we have elected politicians who have told us what we wanted to hear — that we can have it all — increased government benefits and more tax cuts.

The good news is that we are a great and wealthy nation, and our problems can be solved if we demand honesty from our leaders. The Bowles-Simpson Commission proposed a combination of tax increases and entitlement cuts that was widely praised by economists. But it required shared sacrifices and was largely ignored by our political leaders.

As an opinion leader in our community, I believe The Joplin Globe has let us down. Whether you endorse Romney or President Obama is not the point. Take a stand — that is what newspapers do. Use your paper to enlighten, educate, explain and call out politicians of both parties who do not tell the truth.

You let your readers down by encouraging the belief that slogans and false promises can solve serious and complex problems.

Charles Buchanan is a Joplin attorney.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Lone holdout

    Missouri continues to be the only state in the United States that won’t allow a prescription drug database to be established.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anson Burlingame, guest columnist: Much has changed in U.S. over 14 years

    Does anyone recall the major economic argument during the 2000 presidential campaign between George Bush and Al Gore?

    July 22, 2014

  • Our View: Vote no on Amendment 1

    Proponents of Amendment 1 — the Right to Farm Act — have not made their case. We’ve met with advocates of this amendment to the Missouri constitution and listened to their arguments, but we don’t believe they have adequately answered the central question: Who is it protecting, and from what?

    July 13, 2014

  • Your View: Amendment 5 is deception of the highest order

    Amendment 5, sponsored by Missouri Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, “relating to the right of Missouri citizens to keep and bear arms” provides that “any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

    July 21, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: No time to turn away

    With the shooting down of a commercial airliner over Ukraine and fighting that has now escalated to a ground war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, it would be easy for most U.S. citizens to throw up their hands and turn their backs.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Power to defend

    The Globe’s editorial ‘More guns not the answer’ (July 15) was saturated with classic progressive blather.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: Thanks for the generosity

    Generally, all we hear about is the bad news, and obviously, there is plenty available. Our church felt this event worthy of public knowledge.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: How to upgrade your business

    Let’s see now. When some folks wish to improve the exterior of their properties and have other taxpayers pay for the improvements, they create a community improvement district.

    July 21, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our view: Street smarts

    If your daily commute has been shortened because you no longer have to wait at 26th Street and Connecticut Avenue for a train to pass, thank your own tax dollars.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Decision fails test

    With the announcement that the State Board of Education has decided not to release individual school test results because of cyberattacks and other problems this spring, educators are scratching their heads, as are taxpayers who footed the bill.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Sports