Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.


Senator Doug Whitsett
R- Klamath Falls, District 28

Phone: 503-986-1728 900 Court St. NE, S-303, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: sen.dougwhitsett@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/whitsett
State Seal
E-Newsletter 8/19/11

Each year, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation calculates the number of days that the average American must work just to pay their taxes. The Foundation divides the sum of federal, state and local taxes by the total national income, to determine the “tax freedom day”.

This year, the average American had to pay every dollar earned through April 12th just to satisfy their tax obligations.

That news is bad enough, but it is only the beginning of the story being told by the Foundation.

When they added the costs of this year’s federal deficits and the cost of the regulatory burdens imposed by governments, that tax freedom day became August 12th. According to the Foundation, the average American worker would have to pay every penny they earn through the 12th day of the 8th month of the year in order to pay for the true cost of their government!

However, even that absurd figure is significantly understated because the Foundation’s calculation does not include any principle payment on our nation’s more than $14 trillion sovereign debt. In the event that our Congress truly developed some monetary responsibility, and actually created a plan to repay our sovereign debt over the next fifteen years, it would add nearly another trillion dollars per year to the cost of government.

Our projected federal budget for this year, without any provision to pay down debt, stands at $3.8 trillion. That represents a 31% increase since the 2008 budget year. Forty percent of that astounding spending figure, or $1.5 trillion, will be derived from borrowed money and added to our national debt this year.

The total cost to taxpayers for the combined spending by all state and local governments is expected to exceed $1.6 trillion this year. The Foundation estimates that the total cost for businesses and individuals to comply with government regulations will be an additional $1.8 trillion. They calculate the sum of all the taxes, deficit spending, and regulatory compliance to be $7.4 trillion for this fiscal year.

To attempt to put that amount of money into perspective, it can be restated as seven million four hundred thousand times a million dollars.


It computes to an annual cost of government of more than $2,000 per month for every American man, women, and child. Once again, that incredible figure does not include any provision to pay down our sovereign debt.

The rating agency, Standard and Poor’s, has been much maligned for downgrading the quality of the U.S debt. The Obama administration has labeled the downgrade irresponsible. Moreover, it has been reported that the United States Department of Justice has recently initiated an investigation of the company. From my perspective, attempts to blame the messenger are ludicrous. The credit rating downgrade was a long past due “wake up call” for Americans, and for our political leaders.

Our nation’s spending path is obviously unsustainable. A recent report by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform states that by the year 2025 government revenue will only be able to finance Medicare, Social Security and the interest payments on our sovereign debt. Every other federal government activity will have to be either discontinued or financed with borrowed money. No money will be available for national defense, education, transportation, Medicaid, prescription drugs, entitlements or any other federal program.

Moreover, a substantial portion of the nation’s more than $14 trillion sovereign debt is financed with low interest short term bonds. Downgrades of the quality of the debt will likely result in the requirement to pay higher rates of interest to refinance that debt. The cost for each one percent increase in interest is $10 billion for each trillion dollars owed. Therefore, a one percent interest rate increase on our $14.6 trillion debt would cost an additional $146 billion per year!

The federal government provides the money for about 25% of Oregon’s total budget expenditures. The current budgets depend on more than $14 billion of federal revenue to support our state spending on education, public safety, human services and transportation. We may expect that source of funding to be significantly reduced as the federal government becomes progressively more financially strapped. The fact of the matter is that Oregon would currently be receiving as much as $5 billion less per budget cycle if our federal government was not borrowing forty cents of every dollar that it spends.

Obviously, we must put our fiscal house in order if this great nation is to survive as we know it today. It is time to return to a government whose activities are limited by the tenants of our Constitution. It is time to limit government spending to what our people can afford to pay. It is time to stop adding to our incomprehensible debt, and to begin to pay down this monstrous mortgage on our children’s future.

Moreover, it is time for everyone to stop blaming the messengers and to start taking action to live within our means.

Home Contact


              Page Updated: Saturday September 17, 2011 03:25 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2001 - 2011, All Rights Reserved