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As I See It

Record tax collections, record spending

Scott Robert Shaw



When politicians run for office, they often tell us they plan to cut spending, to cut taxes and to reduce the deficit. The reality is much different than the rhetoric. The figures are in, and they show the federal government set a number of records in 2019. The amount of money the federal government collected in income taxes and the total amount of money the federal government spent in 2019 both set records. So much for cutting taxes and reducing spending. The United States government collected more than $1.7 trillion in individual income taxes. That beats the previous record, set just last year. Government spending totaled $4.4 trillion, eclipsing the previous record for government spending set in 2009. Where is the money going? The Department of Health and Human Services spends the most of any federal department or agency, followed by The Social Security Administration and the Department of Defense. But here is the kicker. Even while setting records for individual income taxes collected, the federal government still ran a deficit of more than $984 billion. Clearly they are doing it wrong. They take more of our money than ever before, and that still isn’t enough. Spending in Washington is out of control, with spending on interest, $572 billion, now ranking as the fourth largest category of federal spending. This is unsustainable. It seems we could give Washington all of our money, and it still wouldn’t be enough for them to pay all the bills. No matter what they tell us on the campaign trail, history tells us that taxes and spending will only continue to rise.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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