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senate Bill S. 1552

Letting Taxpayers Put Up to 10% of Their Federal Income Taxes to Paying Down the National Debt & Cutting Spending by an Equal Amount

Argument in favor

With the national debt at nearly $20 trillion, taxpayers should be able to have 10 percent of their federal income taxes go toward paying down the national debt. That ensures their tax dollars still fund other priorities while they choose to focus on helping to lighten the burden of the national debt for future generations.

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08/01/2017
Under normal circumstances I would say no, but the circumstances are DIRE. Our representatives have balanced the budget only twice in my lifetime (I am 50). Our national Debt is 100% of GDP (counting public and private), we have robbed social security to prop up or debt, we teeter on insolvency annually, and congress (republicans and democrats) have 0% interest in fixing the problem. I would prefer a balanced budget amendment, and term limits, but this is better than nothing.
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Frodo's Opinion
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08/01/2017
I don't think people realize just how massive our debt is. And for the first time in years, we actually have a plan to lower it.
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08/01/2017
If you're going to force me to give you money, and you're going to decide yourselves how much I "owe" you, the least (the ABSOLUTE least) you can do is give me a small choice in how some of it gets spent. This increases freedom. I don't even mind that people can choose not to - I believe the national debt is a pressing fiscal issue and it must be paid down, but I will not force others to act on that. I'll respect the freedom of people who choose to continue to fund the programs with all their tax dollars. Will you respect MY freedom to let me designate MY tax dollars in the way I deem most appropriate?
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Argument opposed

Taxpayers can’t be able to pick and choose what their tax dollars go toward for even a portion of the tax burden. Paying down the national debt is less important than other priorities in the federal budget, and forcing Congress to cut spending through sequestration is never a good idea.

Ian's Opinion
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08/01/2017
So the budget cuts billions from education and other departments we want to see receive money and now you want to redirect our taxes to the national debt? Last I looked that doesn't help our country at all. I want my tax dollars to work for me, not to make Trump look good when his term is over. You want to know how I want my tax money spent? Give us single payer healthcare and fund the education of our children. If you want the national debt to stop exploding maybe you shouldn't have 16 year wars or drop every bomb in our arsenal. It's not helping me when my tax dollars help pay for our government to kill civilians in other countries.
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Christa's Opinion
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08/01/2017
If I have the choice to give tax dollars to the national debt, then I want the freedom to choose where the rest of my tax dollars go. I'd like to give less to the military and more to education, infrastructure, environmental protection measures, and social programs. The national debt is less important than taking care of this country's citizens.
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Mark's Opinion
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08/01/2017
Hell no! Here's an idea how about getting US corporations who are hoarding trillions in cash overseas to repatriate those funds back to their home country and into the federal government to pay down the debt. Then have those corporations start paying their fair share in taxes that they've been avoiding. Then also get the 1% to pay their fair share in taxes instead of continually burdening the lower and middle classes with bailing the government out of debt!
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
    IntroducedJuly 13th, 2017

What is Senate Bill S. 1552?

This bill — known as the Debt Buy-Down Act — would allow taxpayers to designate up to 10 percent of their federal income taxes to pay down the national debt. In addition, mandatory spending cuts (aka sequestration) in an amount matching the estimated designations for the previous tax year would take effect 15 days after Congress concludes its annual session unless it enacts spending cuts equal to that amount. Like other sequestration spending cuts, those mandated by this bill would be across-the-board except for Social Security benefits, benefits for uniformed services, and interest payments on the national debt.

This legislation would sunset after the first fiscal year in which there is no public debt.

Impact

Taxpayers; the Treasury Dept.; federal programs subject to sequestration; and Congress.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1552

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced this bill to empower individual taxpayers to put up to 10 percent of their federal income taxes to paying down the national debt and requiring Congress to cut spending by an equal amount:

“With the national debt hurtling toward an unprecedented $20 trillion, it’s time taxpayers had real power to reign in Washington’s big spenders. At any rate, I hope this commonsense solution makes like the national debt and grows a lot of interest.”

This bill currently has one cosponsor, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).


Of NoteIn its most recent budget and economic outlook, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the national debt is going to continue to grow at an accelerating pace in years to come. Among its findings were that in three decades the amount of debt held by the public will be nearly twice as high, relative to GDP, as it is today (75.4 percent). That means the debt held by the public would be approximately 1.5 times the size of the U.S. economy, a level that the CBO explains would have the following “serious negative consequences for the budget and the nation:”

  • “Federal spending on interest payments would increase substantially as a result of the increases in interest rates, such as those projected to occur over the next few years.

  • “Because federal borrowing reduce total saving in the economy over time, the nation’s capital stock would ultimately be smaller, and productivity and total wages would be lower.”

  • “Lawmakers would have less flexibility to use tax and spending policies to respond to unexpected challenges.”

  • “The likelihood of a fiscal crisis in the United States would increase. There would be a greater risk that investors would become unwilling to finance the government’s borrowing unless they were compensated with very high interest rates; if that happened, interest rates on federal debt would rise suddenly and sharply.”



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: SColombo / Creative Commons)

AKA

Debt Buy-Down Act

Official Title

A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals to designate that up to 10 percent of their income tax liability be used to reduce the national debt, and to require spending reductions equal to the amounts so designated.

    Under normal circumstances I would say no, but the circumstances are DIRE. Our representatives have balanced the budget only twice in my lifetime (I am 50). Our national Debt is 100% of GDP (counting public and private), we have robbed social security to prop up or debt, we teeter on insolvency annually, and congress (republicans and democrats) have 0% interest in fixing the problem. I would prefer a balanced budget amendment, and term limits, but this is better than nothing.
    Like (34)
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    So the budget cuts billions from education and other departments we want to see receive money and now you want to redirect our taxes to the national debt? Last I looked that doesn't help our country at all. I want my tax dollars to work for me, not to make Trump look good when his term is over. You want to know how I want my tax money spent? Give us single payer healthcare and fund the education of our children. If you want the national debt to stop exploding maybe you shouldn't have 16 year wars or drop every bomb in our arsenal. It's not helping me when my tax dollars help pay for our government to kill civilians in other countries.
    Like (395)
    Follow
    Share
    If I have the choice to give tax dollars to the national debt, then I want the freedom to choose where the rest of my tax dollars go. I'd like to give less to the military and more to education, infrastructure, environmental protection measures, and social programs. The national debt is less important than taking care of this country's citizens.
    Like (281)
    Follow
    Share
    Hell no! Here's an idea how about getting US corporations who are hoarding trillions in cash overseas to repatriate those funds back to their home country and into the federal government to pay down the debt. Then have those corporations start paying their fair share in taxes that they've been avoiding. Then also get the 1% to pay their fair share in taxes instead of continually burdening the lower and middle classes with bailing the government out of debt!
    Like (229)
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    My choices for spending my tax money are broader: e.g., more to education and healthcare, less to military
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    You mean pay the government's debt to the federal reserve? Yeah, no.
    Like (103)
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    If you want to give me a say in what my taxes are spent for, then get the lobbyists and bribe money out of government and reinstate our republic. If the government needs money, then Congressmen should be approaching those whose pockets they've lined with billions (soon trillions).
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    The GOP wants to cut spending on the social safety net and blame the poor and the non-rich for deficits. Oh come on! You give tax cuts to the rich, throw money at the military when we spend more than the next six nations put together. And we are no safer than before. The GOP wants us to stay scared. Meanwhile, the Democrats won't do a damned thing about putting muscle back into antitrust law. But make no mistake about it: the Repubicans are hear to concentrate power in as few hands as possible, all the while screaming about elites, immigrants, and the poor.
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    Why do I feel a hand reaching into my pocket. Loopholes? This looks like Swiss cheese and smells like Limburger. UpDate: I would support this bill if the 10% came out of each Congressional member and their staff.
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    No thanks. I'd rather see my tax dollars go towards Medicare for all and public education if I have a choice.
    Like (50)
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    This is not going to solve the debt crisis. Congress needs to tax the rich a fair share, close tax loopholes, and stop pouring money into military spending (one of the biggest contributors to the budget). Vote No
    Like (43)
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    I'm in favor of increasing the marginal tax on the top 20% of earners explicitly to pay down the national debt, BUT I'm not in favor of decreasing spending by the same amount. The class wealth disparity is already too large!
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    How about Congress and the president put 10% of THEIR salary to the national debt?
    Like (38)
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    Nope. i want my $ for Education, FREE HEALTHCARE, Veteran Care and defense.
    Like (30)
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    I don't think people realize just how massive our debt is. And for the first time in years, we actually have a plan to lower it.
    Like (26)
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    I would like to say this as respectful as possible HELL NO. Jeff Flake need to let the door hit him in the butt on the way out. Congress has been robbing Social Security for years weakening it. Now this jackass would really write a bill asking taxes payers to help pay down the deficit, really. Why don't Jeff Flake give up his Senator salary to help pay down the deficit?
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    If you're going to force me to give you money, and you're going to decide yourselves how much I "owe" you, the least (the ABSOLUTE least) you can do is give me a small choice in how some of it gets spent. This increases freedom. I don't even mind that people can choose not to - I believe the national debt is a pressing fiscal issue and it must be paid down, but I will not force others to act on that. I'll respect the freedom of people who choose to continue to fund the programs with all their tax dollars. Will you respect MY freedom to let me designate MY tax dollars in the way I deem most appropriate?
    Like (22)
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    This is another incredibly stupid idea. Please vote no. I don't want no bloody wall!!!!!! As I've said before, cut 45s family off, raise taxes on the wealthy, and stop paying the 45 cabinet. Those need to be all unpaid positions as they are all nonproductive.
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    All of the federal tax cuts are going to increase state taxes or add more cuts at the state level. In the end, the middle class will end up paying even more while the rich and large corporations continue to benefit. Middle class is already struggling to keep debt in check, we don't need to make it worse.
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    Taxpayers don't know all the details of the budget. Congress should create a balanced budget which covers paying down debt without crippling other areas of the budget. In other words budget responsibly
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