Congressman Jared Polis, D-Col., says Washington should focus on raising revenues instead of taxes, and offers four immediately effective ways to do so.
"One way would be to require the 10 million immigrants living in America illegally to get right with the law and pay back-taxes and fees, which would generate as much as $5.4 billion in new revenue, according to the Center for American Progress," Polis writes in The Wall Street Journal.
"New revenues can also be found by changing the way we treat Internet gaming, which is currently both underground and offshore."
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Polis explains, currently spends millions of dollars trying to shut down and prosecute Internet gaming sites, but those sites remain a click away for any interested gambler.
"Legalizing and regulating online gaming ... would generate $42 billion in additional revenue over the next decade, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have increased local revenues by millions of dollars since lawmakers decided to legalize and regulate medical marijuana.
"By reducing the current 100 percent confiscatory tax on marijuana to more reasonable levels, we can make revenues increase," says Polis. "If we were to nationally legalize, regulate and reduce federal taxes on marijuana, we could receive as much as $2.4 billion in additional revenue annually, according to a 2005 study conducted by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron."
Polis says that instituting a one-year amnesty program for federal taxpayers can quickly raise substantial revenues, boost the economy, and "provide a broader tax base as former tax cheaters come out of the shadows and file returns."
"According to economist Arthur Laffer, a one-year amnesty program could provide $800 billion to $1 trillion in additional revenues over 10 years," Polis says.
"To reduce the fiscal burden on states, we could implement state tax amnesty programs alongside any federal one."
The Colorado Independent reports that the most recent report from The Global Commission on Drug Policy says drug use of all kinds is up sharply over the last decade, even as governments spend billions to stop it.
When one supply chain is interrupted, another fills the gap, seemingly within minutes.
© 2013 Moneynews. All rights reserved.