Historical records of the debt show that the U.S. debt increases more when Democrats are in charge of the House and Senate. While the debt has increased, rather than decreased, since Ronald Reagan was president, it increases less when Republicans control both houses or when there is a mixture of control.
This disconnect over who is responsible for the actual spending seems to apply to our current President, Barack Obama, as well. But with him, it's even worse.
In reviewing some other items, I came across this quote of his from the 2011 State of the Union address:
"Over the years, a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries."
Is it true that lobbyists have 'lobbied' for changes in the tax code to benefit the industries they represent? Absolutely - that's what they get paid for.
But the lobbyists have not 'rigged the tax code.' They may ask for changes in the code. They may suggest changes in the code. They may even propose language for changes in the code.
But the people who actually make the code and turn it into law are the members of Congress. They are the only ones who have the authority - which they exercise freely - to create so-called loopholes and 'rig' the code to benefit anyone or anything.
The rest of the quote is:
"Those with accountants or lawyers to work the system can end up paying no taxes at all. But all the rest are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and it has to change."
But even this is a warped and inaccurate view of what is actually happening.
As soon as Congress writes an exception, exemption, special provision, etc...other companies will ask their accountants and lawyers to figure out what it means to them and how they comply. It would be foolish of a company to ignore a deduction or credit they are 'entitled' to take by virtue of a law or provision Congress has created.
Just look at how so many elected officials encourage families to take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Here in Lucas County, the Democrat Commissioners and several other Democrat elected officials formed task forces to go around and inform people of this tax loophole, saying that families needed to ensure they were getting all the credit due to them. Why is a company getting a credit due to them under the same tax code any different?
Is Pres. Obama correct that it needs to change? Probably. I'm certainly not a fan of the complicated and overly-burdensome tax code as it exists today. I spend a small fortune having an accountant do our taxes so we can make sure we're in compliance for our businesses.
But the change needed isn't to cherry-pick provisions and eliminate them because the government wants more money and wants to be sure that only one entity responsible for paying taxes pays the most it possibly can. The solution would be to eliminate the current tax code and go with something more simple and easier for everyone to comply with.
I'm not advocating a specific plan (flat tax, fair tax, national sales tax or VAT), but I know that we won't come up with a viable solution if we're starting from a bad premise - and promoting the idea that lobbyists - rather than politicians catering to special interests and donors - 'rig' the tax code is certainly the wrong premise.