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Letters to the Editor

Anti-tax GOP

July 7, 2011

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To the editor:

Republicans are rapidly becoming solely anti-tax, anti-spending and socially conservative. The first position is being forced on them by Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, which pressures Republicans to veto any tax initiative. The second is the Tea Party’s support for Rep. Ryan’s “Roadmap to Prosperity.” The last is currently promoted by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Reed, do recall, was partnered with Abramoff (serving time) in bilking six Indian tribes out of millions.

Reed’s faith is apparently that of the Old Testament: retributive justice and betrayal with an overwhelming self-righteousness. His social agenda, which includes the surprising declaration that Israel belongs only to the Jews and includes Samaria and Judea (Palestine), is like those who believe that the stars in their courses fight for their personal agendas. They are to the rest of us a nuisance at best and a menace at worst.

The more troubling declarations about taking away funding reduces our representatives of every vestige of real power. Representatives will lose their social roles, competence and political consequence. What will remain will be the new PACs, holders of political franchises and owners of vast corporations. Removing funding for social programs (Social Security, Medicare, health care), firing government workers (reducing jobs) and cutting taxes (multimillionaires and corporations benefiting the most) will make the deficit far worse. These same programs made Calvin Coolidge’s era collapse economically.

Have Tea Party Republicans lost faith in charity toward their fellows? Norquist gives us one answer when he reportedly declared at Reed’s recent F&FC conference, “We don’t need a president with ideas.”

Comments

labmonkey 3 years, 5 months ago

Charity is when one chooses to give, not forced to give via force (and that is not hyperbole... try not paying your taxes and see where you end up).

I realize that taxes must be raised at some point, but I will not support one penny until we see substantial, permanent spending cuts across the board.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 5 months ago

Life, feeds on life, feeds on life, feeds on life, feeds on life.... That's just the way it is.

vlivs 3 years, 5 months ago

Just quit using the streets, the police dept., the library and other evil socialist products. You are obviously a self-sustaining organism.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 5 months ago

Hear, hear!

Let's start by cutting the defense budget in half. Next step, end the failed War on Drugs and empty our prisons of non-violent criminals. Those two moves alone will pull us through this depression within 10 years.

The next step will be to mandate a 95% tax rate on everyone making $250,000/year whenever the country is at war. I bet we stop going to war shortly there after. What say you?

jayhawxrok 3 years, 5 months ago

The Democrats have capitulated to the Reps time and time again and the Reps have yet to step up and do their part. The hypocrisy of the right wing is astounding. They raised the debt ceiling every year Bush was in office, twice in one year....they watched him bail out companies without demanding accounting of the expenditures or our repayment....they whine about spending but even the Tea Party reps are asking for big federal dollars for pet projects in their districts......they whined and moaned about Bush nominees not getting up or down votes, but there are hundreds of Obama nominees they now won't give an up or down vote - many with bipartisan support....when Libya started to unravel the Reps whined that Obama should at least do air strikes or somehow support the rebels in an internationa capacity - then Obama did just that and they all faked indignation that he would do such a thing.

The idea that tax cuts create jobs is absurd. We had eight years of Bush tax cuts and bled jobs. The idea that rolling back the tax cuts to rates the rich had in the 1990's when they prospered is somehow the same as a tax hike, is dishonest. Oil companies don't need or want subsidies, but right wing Reps won't discuss ending them....while we citizens are paying $3.50 a gallon for gas. Closing loopholes that reward companies for taking jobs overseas is opposed by the Reps, calling that also a tax hike.

Let's face it, the Republican party has been hijacked once again. Previously the far right Christian conservatives took it over and made social issues their litmus tests for candidates and all the good little goose stepping Republicans lined up to bash their fellow citizens if they coud gain political favor with the checkbooks of the far right. Now the tea party insanity, started not as grass roots but as a planned opposition to Obama, has sucked in a lot of people too busy or too lazy to read anything for themselves...they are the party of NO when a Democrat is in charge but the party of Blank Checks when a Republican is in a similar position.

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

Really?

How disappointing from you.

I would have expected better - I guess that was my mistake.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 5 months ago

Traditional America? Which tradition? The tradition we have of stealing the natives land, committing genocide upon them, and coralling the remainder in reservations? The traditional America that belives in non-stop war and violence? Which traditional America are we talking about now?

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

Or the one that doesn't permit a President like we have now? Or one that doesn't permit gays in the military?
Or women in the workplace? Or dictates that women be paid less? Or the one that allows redlining? Or the one that permits "No Irish Need Apply?"

Which great traditions, BAA, are you pining for?

beatrice 3 years, 5 months ago

So which party is this of Atheists? That sounds great. Too bad they aren't the Democrats, because I would love to see us led by people who don't profess to believe in magical, non-existent beings. Alas, Obama calls himself a Christian. (sigh)

Imagine no religion, its easy if you try.

To ask as others are asking, how far back do we go to find this "traditional America"? Pre-Civil Rights? Pre Women's Rights (even those that allow women the right to vote)? Pre-abolishing of slavery? Or are we talking about the Leave it to Beaver, never actually existed era except on television type of traditional America? (By the way, were there ever any people of color on Leave it to Beaver? Just wondering.)

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 5 months ago

I believe BAA (perfect for a sheeple, isn't it? baa, baa, baaaa) is referring to the traditional America whereby people were treated as chattle and women had no right to vote. That American tradition that allowed only white land owning males to vote. Yeah, that's the traditional America BAA, BAA, BAAA the sheeple is pining for.

ScottyMac 3 years, 5 months ago

The Party of Atheists? You mean the Tea Party, whose simplistic worldviews are shaped by Ayn Rand's childish books? Yup, they're trying to destroy America, alright.

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

What a compelling argument you make!

Let us know when you have something more to offer than a five year old's foolishness.

Is your behavior part of the "traditional" America you seek to drag us back to?

Fred Mertz 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes Republicans may have raised the debt ceiling before, but this is a new group of Republicans who are listening to their constituents. And, just because mistakes have been made in the past doesn't mean they should contintue to be made.

So the fact that the debt ceiling has been raised before is no reason to raise it again.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 5 months ago

Two questions:

What about "The validity of the public debt of the United States ... shall not be questioned." 14th Amendment, Section 4

Why do you think the Republicans are listening to their constituents?

lunacydetector 3 years, 5 months ago

'you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.'

if you don't understand the phrase 'you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it,' i'll be back later to explain its meaning. it's okay...it won't be a problem at all. just let me know if any of you don't understand its meaning.

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

Skill as shown by the folks who almost drove the country into a depression?

They're still doing remarkably well, by the way, while the rest of us are struggling.

Hmm.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 5 months ago

Hear, hear! George Bush lied the country into war, nearly doubled this country's debt while he was in office, and the icing on the cake was $800-billion dollar bailout to his Wall Street owners right before he left office...leaving the next (democratic) president with a huge economic mess to deal with.

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

Unless one has an army at one's disposal, it also requires a society and system of government under which to aquire the wealth. Funny how the "It's mine, it's mine!, it's mine!!!" three year olds of our society always neglect to acknowledge that. Where would these captains of society be without government police and fire protection, public roads and education systems, government courts to enforce their contracts and protect their property rights, and all the other benefits of our collective government efforts? They want to enjoy the benefits and shirk the responsibility.

Bratty, self-centered, mean kids grow up to be right wingers. Sickening.

nativeson 3 years, 5 months ago

Both parties are so far off the mark that the discussion is moot. Republicans are clinging to the concept that economic growth with lower taxes will increase government revenues to a point of surplus. This is folly.

Democrats make those who propose changes to entitlement programs the villian such as the one made by Representative Ryan. Yet these programs represent the largest proportion of the federal budget. Entitlement programs will be reduces regardless of whether Congress does it or they simple run out of funding. The trajectory of costs is unsustainable.

The answers are all unacceptable to the public. Revenue enhancements and less benefits. So, we can point to politicians and blame them for our plight. However, in the end our society in general will not support the changes required to balance the budget. They will vote those who propose real change out of office. The threat of default will likely be the only reality that will force a political compromise with limited choices.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 5 months ago

Which programs do you consider entitlements? Hopefully, not Social Security, because it has its own trust funds financed by our contributions from our incomes.

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

Except that, unfortunately, politicians have been taking the money from the trust fund and spending it on other things.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes. Do you think they will fail to pay off the SS loan?

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 5 months ago

Uh, hate to break it to ya, but this country's been divided since the year 2000 when G. W. Bush was selected as president.

beatrice 3 years, 5 months ago

I know what you mean, what with his inventing the national debt and all. It was real wise of him to also make sure the economy completely crashed just before he took office, just so he could make sure everyone was left fighting over the scraps. Shame on him for doing that.

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

One of these things is not like the other.

Your comment is demonstrably true, while the other is but the ravings of a mind addled by too much Faux "News" propaganda.

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

I guess the use of the public airwaves and the government regulation that allows Fox to enjoy their broadcasting license happens magically without any government intervention.

And court system that enforces things like advertising contracts and interstate commerce.......

Etc...

What a wonderful world of make believe you have been sold by the very people who profit from stupid people believing in such delusions.

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

Class warfare has been going on for some time, and those at the top are winning, if they haven't already won.

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

I am not at the top and I am tired of my taxes going up and up while theirs do not

No one has every answered me as to why when the Democrats had complete control of the Congress they did not raise taxes on the rich. My suspicion is that they did not have the votes. Too many Democrats are beholding to special interests (read rich) just as the Republicans. The only taxes that will go up are those on the middle.

This whole rich thing is a canard by the Democrats to conceal their power grab in order to rearrange society in their desired manner with no compromise in sight! They want to destroy the middle and makes us all equal (except for the elites)

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

Actually that is not true.

Federal tax intake is at the lowest in 60 years because

  1. Incomes are declining
  2. The rich are getting away with murder
  3. Increasing numbers of people are nor subject to any federal income tax.

Federal Income Taxes for those in the middle paying taxes are incraesing with income.

State and local taxes are going up selectively - here they have gone up a lot.

People paying taxes on salary are paying more all around

Come back with parsed data that identifies who is getting away with paying less and less.

Katara 3 years, 5 months ago

Kansas exempts military pensions from state taxes. So for some, state taxes are not increasing as much (or at all) as it is for the others, even if they don't qualify as the "rich".

Katara 3 years, 5 months ago

The maximum amount of social security benefits one receives that are taxable is 85%. This means that no one that receives social security income pay taxes on the full amount. An individual has to have $34,000/yr income for that to happen & a married couple has to have a $44,000/yr income to reach that threshold.

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/paying-taxes-on-social-security-benefits/

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 5 months ago

Hate to break it to ya, but the Democans and Republicrats are on the same team. We the People are the suckers who've been duped into believing in a two-party system.

Frightwig 3 years, 5 months ago

Forty-seven percent of Americans pay zero federal income tax. That might be part of the problem.

Frightwig 3 years, 5 months ago

Amen!! Bush's child tax credit should be repealed. Also, clamp down on off-shore money loopholes (as Crazy Larry mentioned below) and hold every income demographic accountable for their fair share of federal taxes. No more free rides just because you're richer or poorer than average. Everyone must pull their weight.

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

Lets institute a uniformly progressive systemn where all pay some and some pay more.

Tax the poor!!!.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 5 months ago

You're right. Close the loop-holes and bring that off-shore money home!

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

But President bush and the republicons told us tax cuts produce jobs. What happened?

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

Do tell. Specific offsetting tax increases please.

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

And by the republicon's argument, all that extra profit that the oil companies have been enjoying (with good old US taxpayer subsidy to boot - subsidies the republicon's refuse to eliminate, by the way) should mean scads and scads of additional jobs as the truly worthy job creating capitalists trickle down upon we lowly masses.

Again, what happened?!

Where are all the promised jobs from ten years of tax cuts for the wealthy?

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

Well Scott we do have a problem

  1. What is a tax? When the governor moves us toward the social goal of more renewable energy and Westar raises our rates to finance it by at last count about 50% is that not a tax?? There are more examples.

  2. With the Bush tax cuts our personal federal income taxes declined modestly. However, our property taxes and sales taxes increased more than what the tax cut granted. Do we only count federal taxes or do we take cognizant that social costs are being pushed down – maybe like NCLB for example.

  3. We might mention that our income increased after the Bush tax cuts and so did our taxes so that by year two we were paying more than before the cuts in absolute numbers. How much was the result of our great skills and how much was the result of an expanding economy.

  4. And yes, the tax rate reductions for the rich under the Reagan and Bush tax cuts were much larger than the tax rate cuts on the middle. It is harder to quantify the bottom because more and more people are now not paying taxes. Many are getting money back they did not pay (EIC)

This tax thing is most disingenuous as each poster selectively quotes numbers on only part of the burden. How about some of you zealots looking at the total package. If this mess is not corrected the middle may well exact revenge.

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

I am looking at ten horrible years with zero net job growth to show for the wealthy sucking up more and more of the wealth of this country via bush and the right wingers erroneous tax cuts and current policy of doing all they can to bring down the economy in order to diminish President Obama's reelection.

Yes, state and local taxes and fees went up at the same time, the result mostly of the same republicon tax cutting sickness.

I agree the middle class will exact revenge. If it is not exacted soon, I fear how radical and severe it will be. It is a fine line and only a bit of luck in choice of leadership between the German and US response the last time we went through this in the 1930s. Current "leadership" of both parties in our country does not lend confidence that we would survive a second time.

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

By the by, you left out the middle seeing little or no increase in income during thiose ten years. The top 10-15 % saw almost all the income increases.

Just to get your attention, KU professors have seen income increases above the average so they fit in the "rich" catagory

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you, George. The middle class is being destroyed by the policies of the last 30 years.

tbaker 3 years, 5 months ago

"...and socially conservative."

Hummmm...not sure you can back that one up Stu. Anti tax and anti spending - you've nailed those two points for sure but to claim "republicans" are falling in line with Ralph Reed? I don't see the evidence. The smart conservatives know pounding the drum for conservative social issues is a losing proposition in a presidential campaign.

As far as taxing people goes, we have finallyt reached a point in this country where raising taxes on anyone or everyone, rich or poor, truely will have very little effect. Take for example that group of folks the president loves to pick on, the ones making over $250,000 a year. Ignore for the moment that most of them are running small businesses who drive most of the hiring and employment in the country. Instead of just raising this groups taxes, lets assume the IRS confiscates EVERYTHING they make, 100% of all the income earned by those making over $250K a year.

The amount collected would cover slightly more than HALF of the $1.6 trillion in deficit spending the will happen in just this year, to say nothing of the out years. Beside radical reforms and steep reductions in marginal rates, there is no tax component to the solution for the mess we're in. We've finally reached a point where huge cuts in spending are needed that will require entire cabinet-level agencies to be shut down. But then people like you come along and carp about the GOP being anti-tax. Most thinking people realize, as I have just pointed out, we are way, way past the point where raising taxes could have helped solve the problems our country faces.

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

Most reasonable people understand that we need to both raise revenue and cut spending to fix our financial troubles.

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

Well,

Some revenue adjustments to reestablish tax equity seem appropriate. Broad tax increases on everyone on top of income cuts that are sure to materialize as the budget cuts work through the economy seem very inappropriate.

tbaker 3 years, 5 months ago

You are living in the past Jafs. Like I said: We are way past the point of raising additional revenue through tax increases. WAY PAST. All raising taxes will do at this point is make an already horrible economy even worse.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 5 months ago

i doubt that owners of small businesses are paying themselves $250,000 a year.

tbaker 3 years, 5 months ago

You're right. The vast majority are most certainly not paying themselves that much - they are plowing that money back into their business. Trouble is, the "raise taxes" crowd (aka jafs) thinks these people are just walking around with an extra $250K burning a hole in their wallet. It always comes back to the old argument about where that money can do the most good (and by "good" I mean for the entire economy) Letting the people who worked for and earned it in the first place keep it, or let the government take it. No one can give me a single example of how government spending is more effective at improving the economy than is private sector spending.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 5 months ago

Putting money back into the business does not have to be claimed as personal income. Are you talking about business taxes or personal taxes?

verity 3 years, 5 months ago

From NYT April 13, 2010 "Yes, 47% of Households Owe No Taxes. Look Closer." http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/business/economy/14leonhardt.html

"That’s the portion of American households that owe no income tax for 2009. The number is up from 38 percent in 2007, and it has become a popular talking point on cable television and talk radio. With Tax Day coming on Thursday, 47 percent has become shorthand for the notion that the wealthy face a much higher tax burden than they once did while growing numbers of Americans are effectively on the dole.

Neither one of those ideas is true. They rely on a cleverly selective reading of the facts. So does the 47 percent number. . . .

"If anything, the government numbers I’m using here exaggerate how much of the tax burden falls on the wealthy. These numbers fail to account for the income that is hidden from tax collectors — a practice, research shows, that is more common among affluent families. “Because higher-income people are understating their income,” Joel Slemrod, a tax scholar at the University of Michigan, says, "We’ve been overstating their average tax rates."

State and local taxes, meanwhile, may actually be regressive. That is, middle-class and poor families may face higher tax rates than the wealthy. As Kim Rueben of the Tax Policy Center notes, state and local income taxes and property taxes are less progressive than federal taxes, while sales taxes end up being regressive. The typical family pays a lot of state and local taxes, too — almost half as much as in federal taxes.

There is no question that the wealthy pay a higher overall tax rate than any other group. That is an American tradition. But there is also no question that their tax rates have fallen more than any other group’s over the last three decades. The only reason they are paying more taxes than in the past is that their pretax incomes have risen so rapidly — which hardly seems a great rationale for a further tax cut."

This is just a part of the article which includes a lot of other fun facts and figures.

Katara 3 years, 5 months ago

Yup. The 47% also includes dependents, such as your newborn baby or perhaps Grandma that you've taken into your home because she can no longer care for herself.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months ago

Repub Ryan's budget adds $ 6 trillion to the deficit.

The People's Budget ( Obama and democrats are aware of this)

This is the only budget that does everything this country needs:

* Creates good-paying jobs
* Fully maintains our social safety net
* Invests in education
* Ends our costly wars
* Closes the tax loopholes that have made offshoring jobs profitable
* Ends oil and gas subsidies that pollute our country at taxpayer expense
* Creates a national infrastructure investment bank to help us make intelligent investments for the future

This budget represents the future we believe in as American

This is one of those occasions we all hope we'll live to see: We really can make a difference right now if we speak up loudly with one voice.

The People's Budget represents not just common sense; it represents the will of the American people.

The People's Budget is getting mainstream attention, but it won't hold that attention unless we speak up about how important our values really are. These aren't just words on a page or numbers in a table—these dollars and cents mean lives helped or hurt, people succeeding or falling by the wayside, and families lifted up or dragged down. This is about America.

http://www.pdamerica.org/get-informed/view/critical-vote-on-the-peoples-budget-scheduled-for-9-am-tomorrow/

What the Peoples Budget does very specifically:

http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=70&sectiontree=5,70

http://www.npr.org/2011/04/15/135435883/the-nation-obama-should-fight-for-peoples-budget

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/4/14/while_obama_touts_compromise_with_gop

http://www.thenation.com/blog/159939/fighting-peoples-budget

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

While I agree with your points on the rich, I am not quite sure how you meant the points on the non-tax payers. They are certainly not all on the dole. Some non-tax payers have a net worth that would make Mr. Gates blush but because of careful planning pay no taxes. Some even qualify for programs for the poor, as they seemingly have no income.

But - big but - there are still a lot of people – between a third and a half - who have no stake in our arguments as they do not pay to support our government. For those receiving public assistance there is a natural tendency to want to increase their take, as there is no tax impact on them if that happens. Not good. Everyone should pay something so the cost of government is imprinted.

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

The same can be said for the corporate leeches that have not a care about our country or citizens and will simply move when they suck all the wealth they can from us.

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

sURE. I think you agreed on taxing many of thos ewho pay no tax now- some of who have little income

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

By the by, what has that got to do with the many of us that pay no federal income tax? Should none of us pay taxes or should we tax those leeches.

Are you hearing about a lot of rich Americans giving up their citizenship when they retire?

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

Of course, if you include payroll taxes more people pay - in fact most. But - big but - payroll taxes pay for your own social security and your Medicare. The only operating expense they pay is Medicaid (about 2-3%). For those not paying income taxes there is a good chance they are on Medicaid so again they are paying for their own consumption.

It remains factual that upwards of a third to a half of federal taxpayers pay little or no federal income tax and contribute little or nothing to the operation of the federal government.

And yes, that number includes children as it is based on family statistics. Of course, the numbers for the middle and top include children. Probably more in the latter since poor families tend to be smaller or in fact in many cases a one person family. Why does the inclusion of children obviate the data?? Another canard?

jayhawxrok 3 years, 5 months ago

Tha't s a misleading statistic - people may not owe additional tax at the end of the year in April, but they paid income tax through payroll deduction all year long. Yes, unemployment benefits are taxable also.

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

No, they paid no federal income taxes - period. Given the way our wold works they probably paid Kansas income tax and sales taxes. They may have also paid for thier own SS and Medicare. But they paid nothing toward the opertaion of the federal government - nothing!!

Somewhere about 5 to 10 % got money back they did not send in. The program is called earned income credit and it goes to mostly single mons/dads.

jayhawxrok 3 years, 5 months ago

No, you're wrong on that point. Federal income tax was withheld, along with SS and medicare....might get a chunk or all of it back but you can't work and have no federal tax withheld.

The real number is more like 10%

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/business/economy/14leonhardt.html

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

Well actually I am right. In some cases where income was low when I prepared monthly checks there was no federal income tax due - period. You are also correct that for some people who break the column on the tax tables, tax is withheld but at the end of the year they get it all back. I know about EIC because I helped someone with their tax forms and they were eligible for it. Got back a not insignificant piece of change.

See the IRS tables to acquaint yourself with how many peopele pay no federal income tax.

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

vertigo (Jesse Crittenden) replies… It's not just intake, it's federal tax rates that are lowest in 60 years.

Congress has no control over your state, local and personal property taxes.

Well, my friend just 30 years ago we had a marginal rate of 45% - before the Reagan tax cut. Do not know where you are getting your information but it is not accurate.

All taxes count toward the total you take from me. Arguing for a general federal tax increase and not taking into account increases in other taxes is despicable.

You also forget that most of the middle

1 Has seen little income increase in two decades 2. Has seen what investments they had decimated in the great financial debacle caused in no small part by the federal government 3. Has seen the value of their home decline by 20% through no fault of their own.

You have no right to more tax income. Learn to live with what you have like the rest of us do!

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

So, let's do what President Obama argued last year. Raise taxes only on those who make more than $250K per year.

labmonkey 3 years, 5 months ago

Before we go too far... I want to see Obama put his money where his mout is. He used every deduction he could that basically kept $600K of his income from being taxed. He could have just claimed the standard deduction and paid much more as well as having the Nobel committee directly donate his $1.4 million dollar prize to charity so he wouldn't have to count it as income... but I guess what is good for the goose isn't good for the gander.

labmonkey 3 years, 5 months ago

I mixed a couple sentances up there... but you get my point.

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

Well I gummed this one up. Sorry. Pulled a merrill but did not get all the pasting right.

What the body meant to say is that taxes are composed of more than rates. When Mr. Reagan did his federal tax cut thing rates were reduced but so were deductions. When we paid the 45% marginal federal rate, we could deduct quite a lot. The next year we were looking at a reduced rate but we could not deduct near as much. The net was that we paid only slightly less tax – no big windfall. If your argument is that we are under taxed by historical standards so you want to return my federal tax to the pre-Reagan rates then I want my deductions back. I also want all the other taxes that have gone up significantly reduced to those pre-Reagan times.

I am going to look at federal tax rates over time. My suspicion is that the rates just before the Reagan cut were at historical highs absent a nation threatening war. That would undercut the argument of being at historical lows now.

labmonkey 3 years, 5 months ago

Americans have stopped buying American made goods. It is cheaper to produce stuff overseas, but supply goes where demand goes. If we do not demand American made goods, we do not get them. With high unemployment, revenue intake is decreased. Increase employment, increase tax revenue (that is if increased employment comes from the private sector and not government jobs).

If you increase corporate taxes, you are more likely to send more private jobs overseas. Businesses already have the new health care law, possible cap and trade, and other unecessary regulations that is scaring them from hiring. Add to that corporate taxes?

Possible solution...

1) Take cap and trade off the table... period. Also, neuter the EPA's regulatory power.

2) No corporate income tax on businesses who hire 100% of their employees in the United States.

3) Cut Medicare and SS. It will be done, whether by choice or not. Lets start to stem the bleeding now and make the cuts a little less painful. By that token, raise the full payout retirement age to 70. Also go after SS fraud (it isn't welfare that the scum live off of folks... it is SS disability fraud).

4) Bring our troops home and put them on the Mexican border. New illegal border crossings and drug flow brought to a trickle. We also save billions and infuse millions in economic activity in some of our poorest areas.

5) Decriminalize marijuana. Why are we tieing up the court systems and jails with a drug that is less harmful than alcohol?

6) Instead of incarcerating non-violent criminals, make them pay heavy fines and perform community service. That way, they do not cost the tax-payer money to house them.

7) No sales tax on anything produced 100% in the United States, and a 1% national sales tax on anything produced in China.

I know most of these are political suicide... but they are ideas...

Carol Bowen 3 years, 5 months ago

Savings from Social Security would not affect the federal deficit. It would only be savings for the Social Security trust funds.

Neutering the EPA Is short-sighted.

I like #'s 5 and 7.

jayhawxrok 3 years, 5 months ago

We need the EPA, if anything they need more enforcement power and not less. I'd favor a sensible immigration policy but not storm stroopers lining the border, the latter is a bit hollywood.

usnsnp 3 years, 5 months ago

As said before, it is a crock of S that 47% of the workers do not pay federal taxes. Everyone that works has Federal taxes taken out of their wages, a large number of them get a portion of it back, the reason they get money back is because their wages are low. Most of theis people only have a few basic decuctions. So if 47% of workers that are getting some or most of their Federal taxes payed back, with only have a few basic decuctions, it means that there is something wrong with what people are being payed.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 5 months ago

"Everyone that works has Federal taxes taken out of their wages" Not if they are working for cash paid under the table......

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

Vertigo says “Even if the discussion is restricted to federal taxes (for which the statistics are better), a vast majority of households end up paying federal taxes. Congressional Budget Office data suggests that, at most, about 10 percent of all households pay no net federal taxes. The number 10 is obviously a lot smaller than 47.”

Of course, if you include payroll taxes more people pay - in fact most. But - big but - payroll taxes pay for your own social security and your Medicare. The only operating expense they pay is Medicaid (about 2-3%). For those not paying income taxes there is a good chance they are on Medicaid so again they are paying for their own consumption.

Excise and investment taxes throw me. Normally excise taxes are collected on things like yachts. Exactly what are people not paying federal income tax doing paying excise taxes? There must be a problem there somewhere.

I do not know what you mean by investment taxes unless you are talking taxes on dividends, capital gains and the like. Those are normally included in regular income and taxed as such. I could find no explanation in your references.

Perhaps we are capturing data on some rich people who pay no federal income taxes because they have taken all the loopholes our federal leaders have given them. By all means, close those loopholes. People with high net worth should not be able to escape taxes. I do, however, expect this set is small. If not we should collectively hang our elected leaders - all of them!!

Therefore, IMHO your reduction from 47 to 10 % is based primarily if not exclusively on payroll taxes - taxes paid for ones own enhancement. And oh by the way low income earners get considerably more back in Social Security and Medicare Payments then they ever pay in (on average). Sounds like a tax and spend canard to conceal the facts.

Point remains that somewhere between a third and a half of taxpayers pay no federal income taxes toward the operation of the federal government. That is a travesty. Everyone should have his or her mite in the public purse if only to feel the pinch of the federal purse.

George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

Hey vertigo, I did my due diligence on tax rates and it does not support the general argument you made. It does support it at the high end. See:

http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/loyal-opposition/2011/jul/8/the-truth-about-tax-rates/

Carol Bowen 3 years, 5 months ago

Could the number of non-taxpayers be increasing because of job loss?

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

There's a sensible thought.

If we want people to work and be productive members of our society, then businesses have to hire them.

As businesses routinely lay off large numbers of people in order to maintain their profits, we have more unemployed people.

As they outsource labor in order to keep costs down, ...

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