President Trump, much like most other multi-millionaires and billionaires, has paid little or no income tax many different years. These billionaires extensively use our government services and infrastructure. They, along with their thousands of employees, dominate our interstates and airports as they generate income. They hire legal and illegal immigrants and make money off of them. They enjoy the fact that the U.S. military protects their trillions of dollars of assets here and abroad.
These Americans have income tax withheld from each check and go to jail if they con’t comply with all tax laws. The average worker doesn’t use interstates, national parks, U.S. embassies abroad, or airports much because they can’t afford to go anywhere. These workers don’t need the SEC because they don’t own stock and ICE is no good for them because it doesn’t keep “a problem illegal immigrant” from living next door to them.
We don’t need the wealthy to pay more taxes, we need them to pay for the government services they dominate the use of. We need the wealthy to pay their proportionate share of the government services and infrastructure they use through the payment of “user fees.” Here are six steps that summarize this concept:
Step 1) Require the average yearly net worth and/or net value of each individual and corporation be included on their income tax return. Then charge a quarter of 1% yearly military protection fee to everyone with a net worth of $1 million or more and the same quarter of 1% of a company’s net value. This would be applied to offset some of the $600 billion military budget. This would also serve the purpose of reducing or eliminating people and corporations from overstating the value of their assets to get bank loans.
Step 2) Take the total cost of running the securities and exchange commission and charge that amount proportionally across the value of all publicly held securities as a yearly fee. This would amount to a very small percentage and would make the SEC self-funded.
Step 3) Total the cost of providing our U.S. embassies around the world and divide it proportionately between the U.S. employees that have employees living, working and traveling abroad, based on their time in each country as a fee. Also assess the same proportionate fee to visa travelers. This would make a big part of the State Department self-funding.
Steph 4) Total the entire amount the federal government spends to operate our airports like TSA and air traffic controllers and divide that by the number of flyers and charge it as an airport fee at the time of travel. Other countries do this.
Step 5) Eliminate the use of the IRS by the employee that has taxes withheld by estimating them more accurately. Other countries do this. They charge a fee for the use of the IRS. The more complicated and nontransparent a taxpayer wants to be, the higher fee they pay for the IRS to investigate, evaluate and make a ruling on their scheme.
Step 6) For funding federal interstates, a fee should be charged proportionately to each business for each business mile or business expense for roadway travel that is used as a business deduction on a tax return. This would cause companies such as Amazon, Fed-Ex, Walmart and the like to pay for some of their massive use of our roads.
In conclusion, our current legal immigration system is completely self-funded and uses no taxpayer funds. When the costs go up, the fees go up. There is a fee every step of the way. We can make some of our other government departments self-funding and can supplement others with reasonable and fair fees that are based on usage and benefit. By doing this, we can balance our budget and stop running up debt that we are passing on to our children and grandchildren.
Matt Mays is a Sebring resident. Guest columns are the opinion of the writer, not necessarily that of the Highlands News-Sun.