Attention all US citizens: I am a taxpayer too! I’m not taking “your” money by lawfully requesting government assistance. But since I’m nice, I’ll make you deal. I’ll stop taking “your” money when you stop funding wars with mine.
During a Feb. 14, 2011, interview with Fox Business News, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told anchor Andrew Napolitano that balancing the budget cannot be done without touching sacrosanct areas such as the military.
A new International Monetary Fund working paper finds that the United States “gets, by far, the lowest percentage of revenue from environmental taxation of any OECD country,” less than 3 percent of total revenues, well below the industrialized-country average of six percent.
Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half our 401Ks, took trillions in taxpayer-funded bailouts, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither…
In fact, as Center for American Progress Director of Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden found, “in the past 60 years, job growth has actually been greater in years when the top income tax rate was much higher than it is now”: if you ranked each year since 1950 by overall job growth, the top five years would all boast marginal tax rates at 70 percent or higher. The top 10 years would share marginal tax rates at 50 percent or higher. The two worst years, on the other hand, were 2008 and 2009, when the top marginal tax rate was 35 percent. In the 13 years that the top marginal tax rate has been at its current level or lower, only one year even cracks the top 20 in overall job creation.
Dan: Uh, I’m going to need a couple more weeks on that loan payment… (Roseanne opens door) Mike Summers: Hi, I’m Mike Summers, your state representative. How ya doin’? Roseanne:(unenthusiastically) Great. Mike: Good, I’m going door-to-door, trying to get to know my constituents. Roseanne: Oh, door-to-door, huh? That takes a lot of time. Why don’t you just go down to the unemployment office and see everybody at once? Mike: I hear ya. And you’re right.We can’t let this area’s work-force lay idle. That’s why bringing in new business is my number-one priority. Roseanne: How? Mike: Through tax incentives. See, we’re gonna make it cheaper for out-of-state businesses to set up shop right here in Lanford. Roseanne: So they get a tax break? Mike: Yeah, that’s why they come here. Roseanne: Well, who’s gonna pay the taxes that they ain’t paying? Mike: Well, you… you will. But you’ll be working. Good, steady employment. Roseanne: Union wages? Mike: Well, now, part of the reason these companies are finding it so expensive to operate in other locations is— Roseanne:(cuts him off) Soooo, they’re gonna dump the union, so they can come here and hire us at scab wages, and then for that privilege…we get to pay their taxes? Mike: Is your husband home? Roseanne: Well, he’s on the phone tryin’ to keep us from losing our house. Hey…let’s talk about that. See, we’re broke. I can’t even afford to buy groceries unless it’s double-coupon day. Mike: Mm-hm. You know, we should talk about that. Oh! But, I have several houses I have to get to before I quit go— Roseanne:(cuts him off, grabs coat) Oh, hey, great! I’ll come with ya. Boy, it’s gettin’ rough out here Mike. It’s getting so my son’s gonna have to wear my daughter’s hand-me-downs; for real this time, not just for fun.
The way some people talk, you’d think that a flat tax system — in which everyone pays at the same rate regardless of income — would make citizens feel better than more progressive taxation, where wealthier people are taxed at higher rates. Indeed, the United States has been diminishing progressivity of its tax structure for decades. But a new study comparing 54 nations found that flattening the tax risks flattening social wellbeing as well.
“Can we just accept that fact that being poor, and being on public assistance, means you aren’t eating well right now? That the steak-and-lobster-buying food stamp recipient is a straw person? That people on public assistance are not living high on the hog? And that it’s a crying shame that the assistance people get is not enough? You know, call me a communist, but I would love it if people on public assistance could afford to buy the occasional skirt steak, salmon, pork tenderloin or package of dried mushrooms along with their regular food purchases if they wanted to. I think people should be able to feed themselves and their kids consistently throughout the month. I have a problem with the idea that we seem to require poor people to eat gruel and wear rags. If my tax dollars are going to help people, goddammit, I want them to be able to get enough help to eat well. It beats the hell out of what my tax dollars usually go to.”
It’s kind of sad that wanting people, regardless of their financial situation, to be able to enjoy life in some small way opens yourself up to being called a communist. Not that it is really an insult, it’s just sad that being decent is such an anomaly.