Stop the madness and HR 4646

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We’re less than a week away from All Saints Eve (better known as Halloween), but that hasn’t stopped Obama, Pelosi and Reid from wearing Grim Reaper costumes.

From all accounts I’ve read, it appears that a new way for the government to raid our pockets is on the horizon.

Political watchdog groups are predicting that the “Debt Free America Act” – currently buried in a Congressional study committee – will conveniently surface shortly after the Nov. 2 election. Its projected passage – if the Democrats remain in power in the House and Senate – will result in more money being taken from the pockets of Americans.

Gee, whatever happened to our president’s campaign promise of no new taxes for Americans making less than $250,000 annually?

After an Internet search, this is what I found out about the “Debt Free American Act” (House Resolution 4646 introduced Feb. 23 by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon; and US Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.   The following summary was written by the Congressional Research Service, a well-respected nonpartisan arm of the Library of Congress:

Debt Free America Act – States as purposes of this Act the raising of sufficient revenue from a fee on transactions to eliminate the national debt within seven years and the phasing out of the individual income tax. Amends the IRS code to impose a 1% fee, offset by a corresponding nonrefundable income tax credit, on transactions that use a payment instrument, including any check, cash, credit card, transfer of stock, bonds, or other financial instrument. Defines “transaction” to include retail and wholesale sales, purchases of intermediate goods, and financial and intangible transactions.

What this really means is that, in theory, everyone would pay one cent on the dollar for every such transaction in America every day. Example, withdrawing $500, by check or ATM transaction, from your checking or savings account will cost you $5, which will be sent to DC to pay down the national debt. If you close a deal on a new $30,000 vehicle, expect to pay $300 to Uncle Sam in addition to the other state and federal taxes due on such a transaction.

Pay close attention to the wording…“ financial and intangible transactions.” I interpret that to mean any type of transaction between an individual and his or her financial institution. That would mean 1% of your paycheck, whether it’s a direct deposit or by a traditional hand-written check, will be deducted and sent to Washington.

Why isn’t this called what it really is….a national extortion tax, one coming in the midst of a recession. Its immediate impact will lower the spending power of low to medium income individuals and families, thus deepening the financial strain that small businesses are experiencing during this recession.

The long term goal is for this new stream of tax money to be used, once the national debt is under control, to replace the current individual income tax we pay annually. However, at the current rate of uncontrolled spending by the Obama and cronies administration ($1.573 trillion increase to the national debt in his first year of office alone), the national debt will never be under control. Thusly, be prepared to continue to pay both…the new proposed tax and your personal federal income tax.

In comparison to Obama’s record-shattering spending levels, in Ronald Reagan’s first term in office (4-year total) there was $656 billion added to the national debt; a $1.587 trillion increase during George H.W. Bush’s first term; $1.122 trillion hike over Bill Clinton’s first four years and a $1.885 trillion increase during George W. Bush’s first term.

I would suggest contacting our federal representatives (for the R-C area they would be Congressman G.K. Butterfield and U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan) and let them know how you feel about this proposal. Either that or let your vote on Nov. 2 address that issue.

Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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