Letters to the Editor

Tax to balance budget would more than double

An editorial May 15 rightly stated that "for practical political reasons as well as sound economic ones, the nation won't be able to tax itself out of the budget hole it is entering."

It further stated that individual income taxes would have to increase 25 percent in order to balance the budget and that "federal spending is now a staggering 24 percent of the gross domestic product."

I agree, but it should also be pointed out that spending has increased from roughly 20 percent of GDP in 2006 to 24 percent of GDP in 2010.

In 2010, tax revenues were roughly $2.15 trillion; expenses were roughly $3.69 trillion, leaving us with a $1.54 trillion deficit. Of the revenues, $920 billion came from individual taxes, $894 billion from Social Security taxes, $163 billion from corporate taxes and $173 billion from customs duties, estate and excise taxes. By the way, 71 percent of the $920 billion came from the top 10 percent of wage earners.

It looks to me like it would require a tax increase of well more than 25 percent to make up the $1.54 trillion deficit and balance the budget with individual taxes. To add $1.54 trillion on top of the $920 billion we're already paying, the individual tax would have to increase more than two and a half times to bring in a total of $2.46 trillion.

Stephen Bassett

Hilton Head Island