Mr. Williamson, Your calm and thotful “Young Guns at NR”...
...NationalReviewOnline CornerPost and its 'More thoughts here' link of Tuesday evening 14 September were refreshingly reassuring after a month of O'Donnell controversy.
But for all of Mssrs Ryan, Cantor, and McCarthy's determination, and your wise statement about “no magic-bullet solutions” there is still a strong, decisive ally yet unused in the budget/deficit battle: the American voter/taxpayer.
The 2010 Statistical Abstract of United States, table #468, page 311 shows in 2008, 62% of the total federal government receipts of $2.745 trillion was withheld from wages. So nearly 2/3 of all the actual dollars that came into the US general fund were from employer bank accounts, not employee's . Because all employers are forced to make these payments, there is no competitive advantage for any employer not to pass all this on to customers in price increases, resulting in the federal government being nearly 2/3 funded by a silent national sales tax. Because of a regularly expanding national economy, it's all but painless to voters.
This could be fixed by changing paragraph 3402 of USC Title 26 — 'Internal Revenue Code' Subtitle C 'Employment taxes' Chapter 24 'Collection Of Income Tax At Source On Wages'... from "every employer making payment of wages shall deduct and withhold upon such wages a tax..." to "every employer making payment of wages shall pay all of those wages to the employee...." The employer would still calculate the tax, replacing the reassuring (but thoroly misleading) note "you earned and your employer paid" with "here is how much the feds are expecting you personally to send in within 30 days"
Would this be inefficient? Certainly for an insatiable federal bureaucracy. But after a few months writing checks to the Federal Government for 20% of their take-home pay, American voter/tax payers would take quick care of the Republicans' doing their perennial “dumb thing” of uncontrolled spending, leaving our elected officials to do their number one job of economy-driving by cutting taxes.
I've lived in Detroit, St Louis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh PA, Marblehead MA. Worked as tech rep in Southern CA, Bay area, NYC, I've been to Europe a dozen times (Ireland, UK, Scotland, Sweden, Finland, Belgium.
Favorite restaurants are Gene & Georgetti's in Chicago, Roma Cafe in Detroit, Frankie and Johnie's in NYC, Rigazzi's on the hill in St. Louis (Also Charlie Gitto's, was Angelo's when I went there.)
For about a year I had small offices in Clayton MO, in the Country Club Plaza in KC. I rode a ten-speed bike around Lake Michigan (The bottom half in one week in June 1978, another week for the top half in 1980, used the Badger both times.
Don't get to travel much anymore, but still try to rent a car and go around the Lake in March every year. Sure, there's still snow, and it's not warm, OTOH there are no bugs and no toursts. Greatest little tavern in the world is Sherry's Port Bar in Garden UP MI