Column: Bail out taxpayers

As this past week ended, again we heard about politicians and CEOs working together to spend more of our tax dollars to save failing corporations. That's right, folks. It's time for another bailout.

We last talked about the bailout three weeks ago. Since that time, CEOs from the Big Three American auto companies have visited Washington to beg for money — twice. This week, executives from Ford, Chrysler and General Motors requested $34 billion in bailout money. CEOs from GM and Chrysler assured the Senate Banking Committee that their companies would not survive the year without taxpayer funding.

In this country, success and failure go hand in hand. Just as I have the freedom to succeed in my classes, I also have the freedom to fail. We all have to accept the fruits of our labor, good or bad. In life, we've all made mistakes, just like bankers and automakers. I don't ask to be rewarded for my shortcomings, just given a chance to redeem myself. These companies will only become successful and profitable when they learn to solve their own problems and stop seeking solutions from the government. These guys must have forgotten what economist Milton Friedman said: "The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem."

Today, as I did a few weeks ago, I urge Congress to not spend my money subsidizing the failure of private corporations. It seems like every week another well-paid and well-dressed CEO visits Congress to beg for a slice of the $700 billion bailout package. To date, Congress has spent $300 billion of the allocated $700 billion bailout. It'd be easy for members to drop the rest of this cash into more failing companies, but one member of Congress has a better solution.

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, advocates using the remaining $400 billion of bailout cash to provide Americans with a two-month tax holiday. Later this week, the good man will introduce legislation to this accord. In 2009, Americans will pay $1.2 trillion dollars to the federal government through income and payroll taxes — this works out to about $200 billion each month. Congressman Gohmert's plan calls for the federal government to let Americans keep their entire income for the first two months of 2009.

One in 10 Americans are behind on their mortgage payments. At a time of year when budgets always run tight, we need all the help we can get. During an economic crisis that's left all of us a little strapped, we need a helping hand.

This plan helps everyone, regardless of income; we all have taxes taken out of our checks. Relief from the burden of income and payroll taxes will help businesses and citizens start their financial year out on the right footing. So many taxpayers in this country are fighting just to keep their heads above water. It's time for some help.

Every year, folks make Christmas wish lists, but this year I have a unique item at the top of my list: my own money!

This is my Christmas wish: no more bailouts, no more handouts, no more rewards for corporate greed. Give us some glee. All I want for Christmas is two months tax-free.


Marcus Bowen is a former vice president of the MU College Republicans and serves with the Jackson County Republican Party. He can be reached at

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