I remember back in the old war movies where that line was frequently used just before a character sacrificed himself for the survival of the group. You do not hear it much today.
Elsewhere on here I have posted a series of opinions as to just how we are all sharing in supporting the future of our nation. The wealthiest among us have an effective tax rate lower than that levied on the middle class. Almost half of us draw or anticipate drawing federal benefits but pay no federal income tax. The investment of public funds for personal aggrandizement is rampant and growing. The clamor in this space and the national media is focused on more- much more - for me or for my friends. The collusion between elected officials and the overwhelming numbers of “rent” seekers is flaunted – whether it be the enacting of selected tax breaks, the provision of unsustainable public pensions or other costly largess (like maybe a new recreation center).
We seem to have lost focus. However we may perceive the need for some public service somebody has to pay for it. There are few volunteers. Can we really expect that those who our involuntarily anointed to pay will not reciprocate by finding their own way to avoid paying? After all, is that not what is happening. To quote Mrs. Helmsley “only the little people pay taxes”. It has become everyman for himself and somebody else can take the consequences.
I wonder just how long this can continue before we are once again confronted with a scene where somebody must “take one for the gipper”. Will there be a volunteer? I am beginning to think not.
Whoa Toto, there they go again. We all know that certain posters on here argue for an ending to the so called “Bush Tax Cuts”. They make it sound as if only the rich would be impacted. They are lying! Many of you already pay more tax today then you would have pre the “Bush Tax Cuts”! They would increase that further!
A quick look at the income tax rate tables (IRS source) and one finds that today the upper half of the middle class has an income tax rate of 25 % (or greater) for income greater than $69K. In 1965 (pre-Reagan) the 25% rate started at inflation adjusted $85 K. Looks to me as if today the middle class is already paying more in taxes than they were pre the “Bush Tax” cut.
How could any intelligent person call the current tax system a tax cut when the middle class is already paying more than they were at one of the high points in our taxation history?
Now in 1965 the 36% marginal tax rate began at in inflation adjusted income of $170K while today the 35% bracket starts at an income level of $379K. This is clearly the reverse of the way we have come to tax the middle class. The rich (greater than $250K or so) have made out like bandits – they and they alone received a big tax cut.
The Republicans have tax proposals that would seemingly reduce taxes for all but (absent real detail) appear to raise taxes on the middle by reducing deductions used primarily by the middle. The President proposes a modest tax increase on the rich (nowhere near 1965 levels) while his surrogates propose substantial tax increases on the middle to address a budget imbalance that the President refuses to address through cuts or meaningful tax increases on the rich.
The guy in the green coat and the fire and brimstone machine has gotten loose again. Neither party proposes to help the middle income taxpayer but both work to focus the middle on marginal issues to protect the elites. Isn’t that what it is all about – protecting the elites.
Don’t let that man in a green suit confuse you. Unfortunately, I think Toto retired. If you don’t want a substantial federal tax increase you better pull back the curtain yourself!
As I have repeatedly opined in this space, the current level of federal expenditures coupled with the added costs of new programs such as Obama Care can not be sustained by our current tax income supplemented by any rational increase on the rich. For my efforts I have been accused of fuzzy math.
Now the Washington Post weighs in on my side of the argument. Whether or not we raise taxes on the middle class is certainly open to discussion. Lying about the true intentions of the Democratic Party is not! Mr. Obama come clean and explain your party’s real program. Continuing to argue that it will be painless to all but the rich will only further destroy whatever credibility you have left. We deserve to know your intentions if you are re-elected
We want a new police facility and a larger police force
We want a new regional sports complex
We want a new business center where the old fertilizer plant was located
We want a bunch of new buildings with associated tax breaks in downtown
We want to expand the art center
We want to provide tax breaks to new development in North Lawrence
We have used tax breaks for a number of economic development activities around town
We want to expand our trash collection at an unknown cost to rate payers (taxpayers)
We intend to increase our water costs by 4%
We already have a mil rate increase for the library to fund
Is there more??
We have among the highest sales tax in the state
We have the third highest property tax/per income rate in the state
We are at our self-imposed limit on borrowing
The county has not been heard from other then the normal leak to suggest a mil rate increase after a 20% mil rate increase a year ago.
We have yet to hear from the school district but the teachers want a big increase that we do not have.
We are advocating replacing any future cuts to state funding with property tax increases.
Most of all of this is not sold as somebody hurting – it is mostly sold as new good things w can have. Is this a race to somewhere other than bankruptcy? Do our lawgivers plan to fleece us and then move on?
Are we paying too much to the government engines that dominate our economy so that tax increases are without pain for a slim majority?
Could the slowdown in our economic growth relate to being more expensive than other areas of Kansas? Are our amenities sufficient to overcome the higher costs?
Does anybody care?
I read the city budget study agenda and I note our city priorities are public safety, infrastructure and economic development. I note our shortages are in police resources and infrastructure.
If we are serious, staff should offer alternatives where those shortfalls are funded while economic development is not. Of course I note that social services are not even in the priority scheme and are untouched. I also note that apparently everything else we do is of higher priority than our stated priorities as none of it is sourced. Perhaps these elements of our city expenditures should be appropriately prioritized and sourced as appropriate
As posted (see: http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/loyal-opposition/2012/jun/14/winners-and-losers/) the middle 60% of us(home owners) have lost 40% of their net worth and have seen no real income increase in two decades. Perhaps it is time for our lawgivers to recognize that. Not everyone here works for KU or the school district where expected income increases will offset the proposed mil levy increase.
Is this a game to argue for a revenue increase or a serious attempt to budget?
A recent NYT published article reported that median family income today is the same in real terms as median family income in the early 1990s. The median family’s net worth has declined by 40% from $125K to less than $80K over the same period. The gains of a generation have been lost. What is also noteworthy is that the article goes on to report that it is the middle 60% of us that are feeling that pain (Income between $20K and $100K per household). Apparently, according to the article, the top 20% and the bottom 20% have seen gains in income. Yes, that is right, the bottom 20% have gained.
Perhaps it may be time for the very focal advocates on here to actually focus where the pain is – the middle 60% of us. That is the group with jobs and responsibilities. These are the people who already pay a goodly portion of the taxes. Maybe a tax increase on them to benefit the poor is not really warranted. Maybe the end of the Bush tax cuts for these people would be unjust considering what has already been lost. Perhaps a tax increase on the top 20% would be more appropriate. The proposed “Buffet” tax hardly touches these letter people. Just maybe the Democratic Party is not helping the middle class as they claim to be. They certainly are not asking much from the really wealthy.
There is a response in the “Sound Off section of the LJW this AM that occasions a comment
If it is accurate the city wants me to not bag my grass clippings but will issue me a citation if the clippings from mowing the city owned utility right of way in front of my home fall into the gutter. CATCH 22!!!
The problem with regulations is that they frequently lead to unintended consequences. Unintended consequences create an opportunity for selective justice. If trouble maker Moderate creates clippings we can pursue him but if city supporter Ales does so we are tolerant as it is quite impossible to not have clippings fall into the gutter if you do not bag the grass.
Now extend this to all the other thousands of regulations and a glimpse as to why so many of us are anti-Obama administration surfaces. Certainly there are good regulations but the shear volume coming from this administration is costing us all a lot of money, is not confined only to important issues (farm dust) and creates every increasing opportunities for selective enforcement based on politics.
Now I am left to mow the cities grass this afternoon depositing clippings, albeit small in number, into the gutter and ultimately the storm water system. I wonder if the run off from my property which undoubtedly caries small traces of pesticides, fertilizer and animal waste (rabbits) is also going to get me – and potentially the rest of you a citation??
Yes, I do not want my storm water run-off to become a dumping ground for major and deliberate pollution but that is what qualifiers are about. There is just way too much catering to noisy advocacy groups and way too little constructive governance going on.
In a recent thread on the Republican tax cut proposal for Kansas some confusion seems to have arisen as to my position as reflected in my many blog posts on taxes. I will attempt to clarify.
For the record, I do not support what Mr. Brownback is doing and I actually testified in opposition a few years ago. This approach is a continuing Republican canard. That said, I automatically attack what I consider hyperbole. The Kansas budget just passed actually contains increases for social services (see Ms Francisco report to her constituents). The problem is in the out years. A rational response is to make sure there are no out years for this tax profile. Yelping about devastating consequences before they come to pass or are unavoidable just aggravates me - personal belief. Since there is little likelihood the composition of the legislature will change significantly in the next year it would seem prudent to not unduly disparage those whose help we will need to fix it all next session.
I have been a strong proponent of a progressive tax system in this forum. I have been critical of a distorted tax system where about half the people pay the vast majority of the federal bill. The inexcusable tax policy for the really rich that leads to a lower proportional tax then people earning one tenth their income sickens me. I believe all should pay something based on ability to pay. I am a student of human nature. People like pleasure and avoid pain. Taxes for most people are pain. If too many people can have pleasure without pain (more government support while paying no taxes) they will do so until the fewer and fewer people paying for all of this revolt or leave.
I am completely floored by recent attacks singling out seniors as receiving inappropriate tax credits/deduction. The data in the recently referenced study: http://www.urban.org/uploadedpdf/1001... clearly reflects that the credit/deductions causing so many to owe no federal income tax overwhelming go to the poor and near poor (to include seniors). The issue is income not age. Now I am on record as favoring the elimination of all deductions and credits so that the tax system is used only to obtain revenue. If we want to provide assistance to seniors, parents, single moms or for that matter cows the expense should be on budget. So I agree with the urban institute’s study ideas of ending these credits/deductions – all of them.
Now as for Social Security it is clear that some of you apparently have a fundamental disagreement with me as to what it is. I believe it is a well intentioned government program that forces people to save money in return for a retirement annuity. The government treats the return from that annuity differently depending on whether it is derived from money paid into the program or from an implied return on that money. The latter is taxed while the former was taxed before it was taken. Some of you seem to be advocating taxing the former twice (as the urban institute study seems to do) while redefining social security as government largess and all payments made into the program as simply another form of income tax??
Over the past couple of days the wife and I noted a lone Canada goose along the road through the southern swamp. It patrolled one side over several days as we passed. We pondered if it had lost its mate and how long it might grieve that loss? Does anybody know much about these critters?
A NYT article appropriate to my many blogs on the subject of economic sharing has been published. Note that the reference at the end is to Sarah Palin. Conservatives may understand the problem better than some think! Interesting! See: