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Your Opinion: Government-mandated income redistribution

Your Opinion: Government-mandated income redistribution

February 13th, 2018 by Bert Dirschell, Centertown in Opinion

Dear Editor:

Gov. Greitens recently said that increased health care costs are requiring budget cuts in other areas. How much more government mandated "income redistribution" can we stand?

Forty-seven percent ($13.0 billion) of Missouri's $27.6 billion FY2018 budget is allocated for "Human Services." For FY2018 Missouri's total estimated income from both state individual income taxes and sales and use taxes is only $10.0 billion. In order to fund all the "free stuff," the federal government is projected to give Missouri $9.4 billion. Most of the $9.4 billion will come from more debt piled on our children and all future generations. ($13 billion equals $5,400 for every household in Missouri.)

In December 2017 Missouri's unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, with 105,000 unemployed. In December 2006, well before the start of the recession, unemployment was 4.9 percent with 150,000 unemployed. December 2007 unemployment was 5.4 percent with 165,000 unemployed.

In Missouri's $21.4 billion FY2008 budget, 39.7 percent ($8.5 billion) was allocated for Human Services.

How, with a lower unemployment rate and with substantially fewer unemployed, can a 53 percent increase in the Human Services allocation be justified? Very few taxpayers have seen our incomes increase 50 percent during the last 10 years.

Taking out a $250 million "line of credit," thus incurring interest charges on the borrowed money, was also mentioned. Why doesn't the state try the novel approach of managing its cash flow so that it has enough cash for income tax refunds. Income tax refunds are not some once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. They are necessary because people have overpaid their taxes, making an interest free "loan" to the state. It would seem logical that a competent person could evaluate the typical level of overpayment and set this amount of money aside for refunds. Setting up a "line of credit" wastes tax dollars and rewards the incompetence of inadequate planning.

PS. I am very tired of hearing about the Governor's "affair." It happened, he admitted it, all in Missouri are now aware of it. Why is an immoral (not illegal) act, committed by consenting adults worthy of this level of attention? Do the media and Democrats have nothing more substantive to discuss? Unless criminal charges are filed I've already heard far to much.