Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's a Fair Tax?

I had a note the other day from a friend who watches network news. She said she was confused by the tea parties. Didn't they (participants) understand they were getting a tax cut?

1) Yes, they did. 2) The tea parties weren't about taxes. They were about spending.

I tried to point out how I feel about taxes, and why it doesn't matter that I'm not among the wealthy paying the US tax bill, that I still don't think the system we have is "fair." Everyone talks about how unfair it is for the wealthy to have all that money. Really? They either inherited it, at a horrendous tax rate, or they earned it, also a horrendous tax rate. Why is it unfair that they have it? I thought that was the beauty of America ~ that anyone could be born anywhere and work their way up to millionaire.

But what about all those big corporations earning all that money? Way too much money? Folks, corporations are people. Corporations don't pay taxes, people do. A few months back, there was a loud cry against Exxon Mobil for "excessive" profits. Who defines excessive, by the way? You know who benefits from those profits? Thousands of retired people whose pensions are invested in those stocks. Do I want them to continue posting those excessive profits? You bet I do! Do I want them to continue to hire the hundreds or thousands of people who work in drilling, retail sales, refineries, credit offices and other businesses connected to the company, and others like them? You bet I do! When they prosper, so do the rest of us.

Here's the truth you won't read in The New York Times. The rich are *already* carrying our country! This is a perfect analogy that anyone can understand, put together by Glenn Beck's team:

"Imagine 24 eggs, each representing about 5.5 million American tax filers.

Six of those two dozen eggs pay 99 percent of all U.S. income taxes. (N.B. That means that 18 eggs, or 99,000,000 tax payers pay 1% - hmmmm, how is that fair?)

Four of those six eggs pay 91 percent of all U.S. income taxes.

And one egg — just one — pays 65 percent of all U.S. income taxes."

Do the math. Of 132,000,000 tax payers, 5,500,000 of the wealthiest are paying 65% of all income taxes. That's after all the deductions, loopholes and whatever else the tax preparers and lawyers can figure out. They are still carrying that burden, and it is a burden.

Or look at it this way, to make life even easier. And this is super simplified, and proportions may not be right, but just looking at it from a very simple point of view. Let's say that $100 is going to be paid in taxes in our village. Let's say 24 people are going to pay it.

In the example above. 1 person would pay $65 of the taxes. Three people would pay $8.67 each. Two people would pay $4 each. The other 18 people would owe a total, combined of $1. That means each of them would pay, about 5.5 cents.

Maybe you can look at that and think it is fair, because, after all, the person paying $65 makes a lot more than the people paying a nickel+. I look at it and wonder why the person paying $65 is hanging around the village. What does he need the other 23 people for? They are living off his production, his work and his ingenuity. We didn't even address the 24 people living in the village who pay no taxes whatsoever, but enjoy the benefit of the taxes others are paying.

Back to real life. I don't think it's fair that the extra $66 taxes I paid this year, over and above what was deducted from my income each month, goes right into the pocket of someone who pays no taxes whatsoever. They get something called a refund, based on tax credits. My question is how they can get a refund on $0 paid? The only way is by dipping into my pocket and stealing my production. That's either theft or welfare, whichever you choose to see.

I don't think it's fair that someone who has the ability to make millions and millions of dollars has 70% of their income taken away from them because someone else "needs" it. Because they make more and have more, what right do I have to dip into their pocket and take it?

To me, that's socialism, progressivism, maybe even communism. It sounds suspiciously like, "From each according to his ability and to each according to his need." Sorry, I don't go for that. You earn it, you have a right to keep it.

There's no "social conscience" about it. It's yours. What I can make is mine. *I* get to choose which social institutions to help, whether it's battered women's shelters or saving the spotted owl.
The government's purpose is not to provide me with "services" -- free health care, for instance; government owned banks and auto manufacturers, for instance.

The purpose of government is to protect citizens from foreign threats and to provide those things needed by all states, such as interstate highways. Its purpose is to provide a simple system of laws by which we all can live, laws we can trust not to change with every change of the wind. Laws based on principles and basic common sense values, such as honesty.

Take a lesson from history. Look what happened to Rome when it taxed everyone to provide bread and circuses for the masses. Look what happened when the military was devalued and mercenaries were hired. Okay, we didn't get to mercenaries yet, but you can't think that saying our returning veterans are a hot bed of terrorist possibilities isn't devaluing, so we are on the road going in that direction.

What happened? The guy with the big elephants came over the mountains and took away everything! Taxes, bread and circuses, homes and safety, all of everything the Romans had. So who is waiting over the mountains with elephants to come take away ours?

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