US Debt Forum Articles

Government spending and the fight to lower taxes

For many of us, filing our taxes this year has felt like adding insult to injury. Government spending has created an inflation crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen in forty years.

Americans are paying more for just about everything. Gas prices at some stations in Minnesota are now topping $4 a gallon. Essential groceries like beef have gone up 20% in the last year. Recently, at a grocery store in the Sixth District, I saw a gallon of milk for $5.49. These costs have added up to an insurmountable burden for families trying to save, invest, or simply pay the bills.

We can draw a straight line between federal spending and the skyrocketing costs we’re now experiencing. But there’s another side to these spending sprees. The more programs the government funds, the more taxpayer dollars it will chase to play catch-up on our national debt, which now tops more than $242,000 per taxpayer.

It seems that my Democrat colleagues’ plan to pay off this debt is by nickel-and-diming working Americans. Last year, the Biden Administration offered a proposal which would require financial institutions to report data to the IRS on bank accounts with inflows and outflows totaling more than $600 per month.

To put that amount into perspective: if your monthly rent or mortgage payment is more than $600, your bank would be forced to report transaction-level data for IRS scrutiny. The administration tried to sell this proposal on tax enforcement, but we know better. This was an attempt to spy on Americans’ private financial data to squeeze every possible tax dollar out of our bank accounts. I led an effort in the House—which was joined by over 200 of my colleagues—expressing our dismay at this surveillance attempt. I’m proud that the administration has since moved this proposal to the back burner.

We must also be vigilant to ensure Americans are not punished for inflation on their tax bill. Our tax system inadvertently punishes retiring Americans when they cash in their hard-earned savings. Since capital gains taxes are not indexed for inflation, retirees could be hit with a major tax bill at the very time they are relying on their investments for their financial security. I introduced the Retirement Inflation Protection Act to close this loophole and ensure that Americans are not penalized for preparing well for retirement.

The more we allow government spending to spiral out of control, the steeper the bill that will be inevitably passed on to taxpayers. We cannot allow Americans to pay the price for their lawmaker’s spending sprees, and I’ll continue my fight to bring down your tax bill.

Emmer column logo MT
Monticello Times