“Supercommittee” not so super

America is in a state of financial crisis. Unemployment rates are hitting an all-time high. Meanwhile, prices are going up across the board and the national debt increases by the minute.

And our elected officials are unable to meet in the middle and come up with a viable solution to any one of these problems.

The issues are gigantic, so it is understandable that the answer is difficult to find. But to not come up with anything is indicative of a government that is failing, at least on some level.

Democrats and Republicans are pointing the blame at each other for unwillingness to compromise. Democrats hold tightly on to the simple notion of increasing taxes in order to cover the government deficits, that the government programs are too important to cut. Republicans argue that government spending needs to decrease dramatically and the revenue needs to come from somewhere else.

The debate is classic and the results are tragic. Big government versus small government. This decision could quite possibly be the most important financial decision of the decade, yet both sides of the argument are so ideologically stuck in their ways that they cannot reach a compromise.

Clearly the solution lies in the ways in which our government collects money from its citizens. Government officials need to strike a balance between taxing individual citizens, taxing what individual citizens buy, and taxing businesses. A tax increase to the individual citizen puts more of a burden on an already stressed situation for American citizens and a tax on business will only push more businesses ( and more jobs) overseas.

So that leaves sales tax. Why hasn’t this been part of the discussion?

A flat national sales tax has the potential to provide a great deal of revenue for the government while taking away the burden of the individual and the business. It does not exclude anyone; even illegal immigrants and government officials would pay a tax. And if you don’t have the money, you don’t make the purchase. Both businesses and the poor would get by unscathed.

So why has a national sales tax been voted down every time? Some say that there are serious flaws with such a system, that it would hurt spending and couldn’t raise enough money. Others say that legislators will not vote for a bill that would rid them of their tax exemption.

There doesn’t have to be one answer, but the officials we have elected should feel pressured put aside differences and do their jobs.The supercommittee was created because people on all sides of this debate can agree that the automatic tax increases that are coming may not necessarily be the best thing for a struggling economy. There simply isn’t room for biased opinions and party loyalties in this discussion.

If the tax cuts are allowed to expire in 2013, America could be facing another big blow. At the same time, the money needs to come from somewhere. The average American citizen has kicked into survival mode, perhaps it is time that government officials do the same. This is too important to push off until tomorrow.

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