To The Daily Sun,
Let's take a peek at the might-makes-right culture at the core of the federal government today. A week ago Monday the Treasury Department released sweeping new regulations. They have effectively rewritten the tax code to make it even more difficult for U.S. companies to escape the double taxation on overseas earnings.
Tax law should come from Congress not an Executive Branch agency. America already has the highest business tax rate in the industrialized world, nearly double that of Europe. One would think if growing the economy were a valued goal the action indicated would be to lower the U.S. corporate tax rate. That is the opposite of what the administration has done.
It appears the administration wants to make it even more costly to do business in America. I'm not seeing how this in line with the best interests of the people of America. You cannot make businesses want to stay in America by raising taxes... duh. And what happens to our economy and our tax base when they are gone? There are reasons why Congress debates policy and law.
Not to be outdone, the bureaucrats at the Department of Labor (DOL) published 1,000 pages of new regulations, collectively called "the fiduciary rule," targeting the investment industry, making it more expensive and less likely Americans will save for their future. Working Americans already have enough obstacles preventing them from saving for retirement or accumulating a nest egg against unexpected financial hardships. These new regulations only further discourage private savings. Don't we want people to be more self-reliant? Why is keeping everyone hand-to-mouth a good thing?
As harmful as these policies are for American families and businesses that are treading water in the long stagnant economy, the more important issue they raise is the abuse of power that created them. In 2014, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said, "We do not believe we have the authority to address this inversion question through administrative action... That's why legislation is needed."
This was not a groundbreaking statement: Everyone in the District of Columbia knows that the Secretary of the Treasury does not have the authority to unilaterally change the tax laws. And yet that's exactly what he did this week. He abandoned his scruples, betrayed his respect for the U.S. Constitution and usurped Congress' rightful role in writing tax policy in order to score political points.
The Secretary of Labor has no legitimate authority to regulate the transactions between brokers and their retail clients as it does with its new fiduciary rule. The Dodd-Frank financial reform law of 2010 explicitly authorized the Securities and Exchange Commission to perform the function. Yet, the DOL stepped in to fill what it saw as a regulatory void. Say what? No authority but they do it anyway? When did we forget about the rule of law and start operating with a pen and a phone?
This is not how government is supposed to work. The rules and regulations governing American society and most especially those that have a major impact on our economy must be debated and passed by elected members of Congress, not negotiated by industry insiders and unelected regulators behind closed doors. You have congressmen and senators. It is campaign season. Have you talked with your representatives about why they are allowing this kind of behavior? If not, why not?
- Category: Letters
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