We are speeding toward an economic cliff because our government can't practice restraint.
We spend so much more than we take in because politicians at every level use the public treasury to win elections. The public mostly accepts lavish promises of more and more federal spending because the cost of government has been so effectively divorced from what actually comes out of our paychecks.
Ask almost anyone how they did on their taxes and you're likely to hear a happy exclamation that the taxpayer got a little money back! But ask the same person how much they paid the government over the year in withheld income and payroll taxes and you'll often see a blank look.
When the money that government spends seems so unconnected to the money we earn it is easy for many to see government expenditures as "free money." It's not, but the engineered divorce in perception between the fruits of our labors and spending by elected officials has resulted in a national debt that equals more than $500,000 per American household. If not for accounting sleights-of-hand the national debt would be seen as much higher than even the shocking figure of more than $12 trillion.
As my father, Ronald Reagan, once said, "Our federal tax system is, in short, utterly impossible, utterly unjust and completely counterproductive, it reeks with injustice and is fundamentally un-American... it has earned a rebellion and it's time we rebelled."
I agree and that's why I am enthusiastically now helping FairTax.org with pending legislation to replace the income tax entirely with a fair, progressive and honest national consumption tax aptly called the FairTax. It ends all federal taxes on income and earnings and replaces every penny now raised with a 23% tax on personal consumption at the point of final retail sale.
In conducting research on the FairTax, I have become convinced of two things: the FairTax is the best way to create a new era of healthy American economic growth, and that my father would have been a strong proponent of the FairTax as a tax reform/replacement model had it existed during his time in government.