Please Consider This Before Voting

In the October issue of The AMAC (The Association of Mature American Citizens) Magazine included an article titled, “The Accomplishments of President Donald J. Trump.” The list is too long to include in this article, but I would encourage you to follow the link for the entire list. It is an impressive list.

Here are a few highlights:

Building Economic Prosperity

    • Created an historic economic expansion that benefitted all Americans and will do so again following the interruption caused by coronavirus
    • Passed historic tax cuts, providing much-needed relief for American families and putting American businesses on a level playing field.
    • Created Opportunity Zones to spur investment and job creation in forgotten communities.
    • Restored American manufacturing, putting in place policies to bring supply chains back from overseas.
    • Preserving and Protecting social security for seniors.

Historic Deregulation

    • Cut regulations at a historic pace to free up American businesses— meeting and far exceeding the promise to cut two regulations for every new one.
    • Ended the Obama Administration’s war on coal as promised, rolling back the so-called Clean Power Plan, WOTUS (waters of the United States), stream protection rule, and other overregulations.
    • Replaced the Obama Administration’s disastrous CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards and rolled back burden- some Dodd-Frank provisions, as promised.
    • Regulatory relief will save Americans $377 billion per year, or $3100 per households.

Lifting Up American Workers and Families

    • Put in place policies to lift up working families, including releasing the first presidential budget in history to include a national paid family leave plan.
    • Invested in workforce development to ensure American workers are prepared to gain high-paying, family-supporting jobs.
    • Promoted school choice to ensure all families have access to quality education for their children.

Achieving Fair and Balanced Trade

    • Withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership to protect American jobs.
    • Negotiated monumental new or revised deals with Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, and other countries to put American workers first.
    • Confronted China’s decades of trade abuses, placing tariffs of hundreds of billions of dollars on Chinese goods.
    • Put in place tariffs on foreign steel that was undermining critical American industries.

Unleashing American Energy

    • Freed American energy producers to conduct their business, leading to record oil and natural gas production and expanded energy exports.
    • Followed through on his promise to approve new pipelines, including the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.
    • Withdrew from the job-killing Paris Agreement.
    • The typical American family now saves an average of $2500/year on their energy bills.

Protecting Our Nation

    • Rebuilt our military with historic investments in our defense and provided our troops the largest military pay raise in a decade.
    • Defeated ISIS’s territorial caliphate and brought terrorist leaders to justice, including ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
    • Restored American leadership in space and established the Space Force.
    • Took action to ensure America leads the way on the technologies of the future, like AI and 5G.

Restoring American Leadership on the World Stage

    • Ended the disastrous Iran deal and reimposed strong sanctions on the regime.
    • Stood up for our ally Israel and followed through on the pledge to move the American embassy to Jerusalem.
    • Released a vision for peace and prosperity in the Middle East.
    • Successfully urged our NATO allies to increase their defense spending to meet their obligations.
    • Reversed the Obama Administration’s disastrous Cuba appeasement policy.

Even this small portion of the article highlights some awesome achievements. Before you vote, consider the contrast of the impact of eight years of Obama-Biden versus almost four years of President Trump.

How The Tax Code Impacts Senior Citizens

After everything we hear about income inequality and tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, it is rather amazing that no one has pointed out the higher rate of taxes paid by senior citizens. This is particularly amazing because senior citizens vote in large numbers. There is an organization called AMAC (Association for Mature American Citizens) which is basically AARP for conservatives that has looked at the tax code in relation to senior citizens and posted an article. At this point I need to mention that I am a member of both AMAC and the AARP. One of those memberships is free to me, one I pay for.

The article reports:

The top 1% of income earners nationally (millionaires & billionaires) pay on average a federal tax rate of 22% yearly. Compare that with the rate paid by most seniors receiving Social Security benefits and currently earning over $32,000.00 each year who are forced to pay a tax rate of up to 28%. At the $42,000.00 yearly income level (hardly considered wealthy,) 85% of Social Security Benefits become taxable up to a 28% rate. Seriously, a higher tax rate (28%) for a $42,000 yearly income compared to a 22% average rate for million dollar wage earners? “This “age penalty” is blatantly unfair, confiscatory, and betrays those who are self-reliant, did the right thing, and saved for their future retirement.

The arbitrary mandatory minimum distribution (forced withdrawal up to 4% of all savings, IRA’s and annuities) every year after the age of 70.5 is clearly and simply unfair age discrimination on the part of the IRS and Congress. Forcing seniors to withdraw up to 4% of their savings each year (also taxed at a higher rate and increasing their total income) is punitive and creates a “double jeopardy” tax penalty not faced by younger tax payers.

Another, even more egregious, travesty cooked into the IRS tax code allows the federal government to pilfer the financial assets of seniors upon the death of their spouse. The surviving spouse must deal, not only, with the emotional loss but also must surrender most or all of the Social Security benefits of their deceased husband or wife. To add further injury, standard deduction and personal exemptions ($10,300) of their spouse are also lost, resulting in a higher income tax rate on less income.

The result of all of this is that seniors are financing a disproportionate amount of federal spending. The current presidential campaign provides seniors with the opportunity to demand that those seeking the office explain how they will remedy this government sanctioned “senior abuse.” It’s time to lift the heavy hand of government, reform this unfair depletion of senior American’s assets, allow them to reap the benefits of their retirement planning, give seniors a fair shake, and revitalize the American dream.

It might also be relevant to mention that the majority of senior citizens’ income (with the exception of IRA’s) has already been taxed at least once. Stock dividends, for instance, have been taxed at least once before people receive them (through corporate taxes). Also, just for the record, I am not in favor of raising taxes on the wealthy–they already pay more than their fair share. (In 2013, CNBC reported “the top 40 percent of wage earners in America pay 106 percent of the taxes. The bottom 40 percent…pay negative 9 percent.”)  I am, however, in favor of raising taxes on lower income people so that they begin to take an interest in changing the tax code. The American tax code is a tribute to special interests–it is time to change that.

The AMAC article was written by State Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson, a veterinarian,  who has represented  District 56 (Waco and McLennan County) in the Texas House of Representatives since 2005.