Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

January 6, 2013

VIEWPOINT: The fiscal cliff from a rancher’s perspective

By JOE PARKER JR.

Like many of you I learned the importance of financial responsibility at an early age. You simply don’t spend money you don’t have. The money you do have you work for. And if you’re lucky, you might save some of that money for a rainy day or leave it for your kids once you’re gone.

The lessons I was taught at home, at school and at church were all the same. Be good stewards of what God gave you, whether it’s your land, your home or your finances.

These lessons of self responsibility and good stewardship weren’t invented by our elders. They were passed down through generations of hardworking Americans since our founding. It was, in fact, Thomas Jefferson himself that said, “Never spend your money before you have it.”

I guess some Washington politicians have forgotten these lessons, or perhaps they were never taught them in the first place.

Let’s take, for example, the recent fiscal cliff debate.

As you well know, Congress voted to avert the “fiscal cliff.” They did this by shielding 99 percent of taxpayers from a scheduled tax increase, while raising taxes on higher earners making more than $450,000.

The tax package stopped incredibly high tax increases for most Americans.

It also included new permanent amounts for the death tax. Estates worth $5 million or less per person ($10 million per couple) will be exempt from the death tax. Estates worth more than that will pay a 40 percent tax on anything over the exemption level. As an added benefit, these levels are indexed for inflation and also include a stepped-up basis.

This isn’t perfect. We would have liked to see the death tax go away forever. But it is better than the alternative, which would have been a 55 percent tax on anything over a $1 million per person ($2 million per couple) exemption level. These levels would have crushed small ranching families.

Text Only
Viewpoints
  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    Not much is known about this Joseph’s life. The one thing I know for sure is that he was a very brave man.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hamilton, Lee.jpg HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet!

    Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it’s down to $134 billion.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Showing respect

    My sister Robbie Benton’s funeral was Friday afternoon at White’s Funeral Home. The gravesite was outside of Mineral Wells. The respect shown by the good folks of Parker County and the surrounding area was overwhelming.

    April 17, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Going on a wild goose chase

    In recent years I’ve written quite a bit about the introduction and negative consequences of non-native or invasive species. Fire ants, killer bees, English sparrows, Asian carp, feral hogs and others too numerous to list have forever changed our local ecosystem.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: TV offers

    Have you seen those TV offers where they give a price for one product and then offer a second like items for-free? All you have to do is pay a separate shipping and handling charge for the “free” items.

    April 13, 2014

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s in a name?

    Names are important. When my son, Rush, (who’s named after my father) and his wife, Vanessa, were expecting their third daughter, I gave up on having a male namesake and suggested, in jest, they call her “Johnnie Pauline.”

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: The Christian and the government

    The church in the Old Testament lived under a theocracy. That is, both the church and state were one. God anointed kings. Civil laws and religious laws were one and the same.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Getting in the chicken business

    Anyone who is my age or older has heard the famous quote, “A chicken in every pot.” It is normally attributed to Herbert Hoover during his 1928 presidential bid.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIEWPOINT: Obsessed with sports

    I remember reading a synopsis of the five reasons for the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” by Edward Gibbon in which he listed the Romans’ obsession with sports at the coliseum as a cause of the fall of the empire.

    April 6, 2014

  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    On March 21, this paper published an article about a six-month drug trafficking investigation involving 12 people. On the front page was a photo of the 12 people involved. The use of drugs had made them a sorry-looking bunch. The look in their eyes was particularly disturbing.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case