Former US Rep. Bob Beauprez discusses tax reform at Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots forum
April 16, 2013
Craig — This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 16th Amendment, which was ratified Feb. 3, 1913, and allows Congress to levy an income tax on American citizens.
Tax Day on Monday marked the Internal Revenue Service's deadline for filing 2012 taxes. It's a bizarre annual ritual considering the conflicts between the American colonies and England that ultimately ignited the Revolutionary War, former U.S. Rop. Bob Beauprez said.
The strange centennial only was compounded by reports of bombings at the Boston Marathon, which is held every year on Patriots Day in Massachusetts.
Beauprez was invited to Craig on Monday by the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots to serve as the keynote speaker during a forum that capped a full schedule of Tax Day events.
Although Beauprez was invited to discuss his views about how taxes can help grow or stifle the economy, he couldn't shake the events in Boston.
Beauprez said the two bombs that were detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon reminded him first of 9/11, but it also reminded him of visits to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and accompanying veterans to France during a recent trip to Normandy.
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"That's really what built America," Beauprez said. "They did their part, didn't they? I'm worried we've lost some of that."
Since the end of World War II, Beauprez said, there's been a cultural shift in the way Congress conducts business where lawmakers focus more on winning elections than contributing to responsible government.
President Barack Obama has taken that culture to the next level, Beauprez said. Since taking office, the Obama administration has not only raised taxes but also added more pages to the tax code.
Beauprez cited the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in calling for systemic tax reform.
The Dodd-Frank bill essentially provided the federal government with control of Wall Street banks, Beauprez said. But the former congressman argued it was a saturation of interest-only and adjustable rate mortgages that were defaulted on that started the economic downturn.
Even so, neither the Dodd-Frank bill nor the Obama administration has addressed the relaxation in oversight of home loan applications, Beauprez said.
"When you look at Dodd-Frank, you'll notice they didn't touch that," Beauprez said. "In fact, Obama, through one of his orders, has directed the banks to begin issuing loans to people who would not otherwise be approved. Now, that's just dumb on top of stupid folks."
In addition to systemic tax reform, Beauprez outlined five principles he thinks would rejuvenate the economy:
• Do not raise taxes.
• Reform entitlements, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
• Adopt strict limits.
• Put the brakes on regulations.
• Do all of this without sacrificing national security.
Not raising taxes is one of the key pieces, Beauprez said.
"Obama has said he needs 22.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product to come from income taxes to begin to pay down the debt and balance the budget," Beauprez said. "During the 60 years after World War II, when our economy exploded faster than any other in the history of the planet, we were operating on an average income tax contribution of 18 percent.
"When you put more money in people's pockets, the economy explodes beyond comprehension, and what needs to happen in America has been done before."
Joe Moylan can be reached at 970-875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.