Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Tax Myth


I'm at a loss on this one. It is beyond my comprehension how or why we have put ourselves in this position but here we are; on top of all the previous off the charts government spending of the past few weeks, now we are looking at this new budget proposal.

Consider the Wall Street Journal. After noting that Obama said he isn't going to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250K:

Even the most basic inspection of the IRS income tax statistics shows that raising taxes on the salaries, dividends and capital gains of those making more than $250,000 can't possibly raise enough revenue to fund Mr. Obama's new spending ambitions.

Consider the IRS data for 2006, the most recent year that such tax data are available and a good year for the economy and "the wealthiest 2%." Roughly 3.8 million filers had adjusted gross incomes above $200,000 in 2006. (That's about 7% of all returns; the data aren't broken down at the $250,000 point.) These people paid about $522 billion in income taxes, or roughly 62% of all federal individual income receipts. The richest 1% -- about 1.65 million filers making above $388,806 -- paid some $408 billion, or 39.9% of all income tax revenues, while earning about 22% of all reported U.S. income.

This figure is not even close to what he's planning on spending. There is no way. So what happens? Considering that the economy is tanking and that the number of people even making $250K may not be what it was two years ago, basically Obama is gambling.

And as I suggested last night, he's absolutely going to raise all our taxes, despite what he says. We'll all be donating 60 percent of our income to the federal government at this rate. We're creeping closer and closer with each new bailout, each new stimulus, each new health care plan, each new job-killing tactic or proposal that comes down.

WSJ goes on to say that "the bottom line is that Mr. Obama is selling the country on a 2% illusion. Unwinding the U.S. commitment in Iraq and allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire can't possibly pay for his agenda. Taxes on the not-so-rich will need to rise as well. "

John Boehner said "it is a “job killer” and that “small businesses, family farms, middle-class families, retirees, charities, everyone with a 401(k), and anyone who flips on a light switch is going to pay higher taxes under this plan.”

Some will tell me that it's my duty to pay these taxes, that it's patriotic, that it is for the greater good of society. I should not resent having to pay for removal of a gang-banger's tattoos, I should applaud the effort to pay for somebody who bought a house above their means.

Hogwash.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an amazing confusion of the issue. Somehow paying for tattoos is lumped together with stabilizing credit markets? Somehow attempting to stabilize the banks which supply our private companies is nothing more than paying for the mortgages of irresponsible homeowners? Somehow all of our taxes are going to be raised to subsidize ex-gangbangers and deadbeats homeowners? Seriously?

The budget has nothing to do with patriotism and the greater good. We're simply paying for all the crap we haven't paid for in the past several years.

Just to clarify, we ALREADY have a huge deficit, we're ALREADY in 2 wars, and we've ALREADY been in an economic meltdown for over a year. All of these things cost money, and unfortunately, our last administration refused to pay for any of it, so this isn't Obama finally getting his wish to raise taxes, this is the chickens coming home to roost and we now have a president who finally admits that its time to pay the bills. Its called responsibility, and no, its not fun, but we'd be alot better off today if yesterday we had paid for these wars, maintained our surpluses, and regulated our markets.

Again, conservatives should find a new platform, because their fiscal responsibility stances come off as comical hypocrisy.

Pat said...

Oh well since we already have a huge deficit let's just triple it and it'll all be okay.

Dude - you think you're in an economic meltdown NOW?

Hold on.

Anonymous said...

Again, great ability to avoid and confuse the argument. Who's suggesting that increasing the debt is desireable, or that all will be OK if we just spend and tax? The stimulus, and various bailouts are detestable, but they are almost unanimously considered a requirement to fix our economy and various other issues. Now we can argue line items, but that's REALLY missing the point.

Just be clear: Conservatives (this blog included) rant and rant about small spending, low taxation, fiscal responsibility, and moral hazard. You don't have to look far to see how we got into this budgetary mess.

2000 (Clinton's last year in office) = + 236 Billion (surplus). Projected over the next 10 yrs, the Congressional Budget Office estimated a ten year surplus of 5.6 Trillion....well on our way to paying off debt incurred during the 80's. All Bush had to do was maintain the established taxation and budget spending.

By the end of 2004 (Bush's 1st term) = -415 Billion (deficit). That's 2004 alone, and yet conservatives rant about bailouts. This administration spent, and spent, and spent, and lowered txes on everyone, ESPECIALLY the top earners (Bush's base). He ran deficits every year, and the Congressional Budget Office conservatively (not accounting for the bankrupting of Social Security) estimated that Bush's CUMULATIVE DEFICIT for his 2 terms was 2.3 Trillion.

2.3 TRILLION! Your upset with Obama's budget because he's SPENDING and TAXING (in other words, attempting to pay for the proposed spending and inherited debt). As a conservative, shouldn't you be more upset that we've been SPENDING and NOT PAYING for years now? Or does the fact that taxes have been low for eight years make it acceptable? I don't get it.

To put it simply, we've been subsidizing half-trillion dollar tax cuts (bailouts) to the wealthiest americans for 8 years now. And NOW conservatives are upset about spending because it might include pork! Add up the bank baliout, stimulus, and proposed future funds for banks (700 B + 800 B + 650B) and you get approx. 2.15 Trillion.....down the drain, to fix a mess, and they still don't equal to the money Bush wasted away! So feel free to "blame" this on Obama, but i want to hear your rant about the Bush deficits. Try to step back for a second and see the whole picture.

I'm not arguing that Bush held any kind of malicious intent, but i am arguing that his administration, considering all of their choices for taxation and spending, has driven us close to bankruptcy through their gross mismanagement. This has nothing to do with partisanship, this is simply pointing out that his administration was very poor at their job. I'm not a conservative, but i sure as hell wish that the conservative that's been in office for the past 8 years would've been successful at managing our money and our economy. He wasn't. Now we're ALL paying the price.

Pat said...

"I'm not a conservative"

Thanks for clearing that up.

Seriously, I'm not trying to be rude, and I know we all like a debate, but why do you even read my blog? You hate everything I say. You don't debate me, you just criticize and insult me.

I know Bush was not perfect. I know Bush was not as conservative as we all wanted him to be. I HATE the bailouts - and certainly not to defend Bush's bailouts but at least his were clearly intended to be temporary. The BHO spending is permanent. It's dangerous. It will NOT help the economy grow which is what he SAID he wanted to do.

Do not try to excuse his current misjudgments by blaming them on Bush.

We have a fundamental disagreement on policy - have you noticed?

Anonymous said...

I read lots of blogs, mostly conservative, because i do like debate, and believe that opinions are more reasonable when you have to defend them.

And i don't "hate" everything you say, i just think you're points can quickly devolve into liberal-hating and selective memory. So when i see that happening, i can't help but point it out.

As in your last comment. There were no "temporary" Bush bailouts. Bush's bailout isn't confined to the $700B TARP he approved....which, by the way, is reasonable money spent in my estimation. We're paying RIGHT NOW for his tax cuts over 8 years. The deficits accumulated during his terms don't equal $700B, its in the Trillions. And please explain the "permanent and dangerous" Obama spending plans.(?)

The Bush approved TARP was $700B. The Obama approved stimulus was about $800B. Go ahead and pick apart line items if you like, but you're missing the point. We already know that at least $200B is in tax cuts, another $200-300B goes directly to states, education/student financial aid, and direct infrastructure projects. So, for arguments sake, lets save the time of going through line items and arguing about the legitimacy of tattoo removal. I'll be generous and suggest ALL of the remaining money is wasted; that half of the stimulus is all pork and earmarks and will prove ineffective. How is that conservative estimate of $400B ineffective money spent sooo despicable when we've been running $400B-$500B deficits, yearly, during years of economic growth?! It sounds to me like, a conservative spends $700B, you don't like it, but you write-it-off. A liberal approves a similar amount for the same purpose, and you hail it as the onset of socialism.

And i'm certainly not defending any Obama misjudgements by blaming Bush. (btw- "misjudgements" is a pretty presumptuous term considering the stimulus money hasn't even been printed yet). I'm pointing out that spending and taxation must be viewed in context. Bush's tax cuts were fine with me when we had a surplus, but once you start wars and start spending, you've got to pay for it. Obama inherits a mess, so he's attempting to clean it up and pay for it. THAT'S called fiscal responsibility, THAT'S attempting to pay OUR bills. Conservative fiscal policy tells us that much. Unfortunately, cleaning up this mess requires us to PAY hundreds of billions to unclog credit markets and stabilize banks. So, yes, we should all EXPECT to pay for this, be it through income tax, gasoline tax, dividend tax, whatever. If you thought that the solution to paying off Trillions in debt could be done without any pain or financial contribution from the tax base, you're not being realistic. And if you think we can solve this problem by simply cutting out pork and lowering taxes, you're probably being delusional.

It's simply a matter of consistency. Bush spends 8 years running up trillions in debt, and you say, "he kept us safe". Obama's been in office for less than 2 months and you claim that he's on a spending spree, he's doing everything wrong, he's running us into Socialism. Where's the consistency in your principle? So if you're still wondering why i read your blog and comment, i'm still wishing for you or any other in the conservative masses to set aside their Obama anger just long enough to really explain what they believe in. A principled argument. I just don't get it, because the contradictions seem so apparent.

I could buy into the fundamental disagreement on policy argument, IF there was consistency in your argument. I don't know what your fundamental belief is, because it just sounds like Obama bashing. That's what i'm trying to point out.

Pat said...

"I could buy into the fundamental disagreement on policy argument, IF there was consistency in your argument. I don't know what your fundamental belief is, because it just sounds like Obama bashing. That's what i'm trying to point out."

I rest my case. You're wearin' me out, Anon!.

It may have escaped your notice but I'm not Obama bashing. I'm bashing his policies. There is a difference.

I'm not "hailing the onset of socialism" because it's Obama - it's because IT IS SOCIALISM. Please don't make me define that for you.

"Bush spends 8 years running up trillions in debt, and you say, "he kept us safe". Obama's been in office for less than 2 months and you claim that he's on a spending spree, he's doing everything wrong, he's running us into Socialism. Where's the consistency in your principle?"

BHO IS spending more than stimulating. No question. Just because I don't like his policies and you do does not mean that isn't true.

I'm not contradicting myself at ALL. I'm really consistent, actually. And I explain myself every single day on this blog.

But I'll try once more for you.
I'm a conservative. I believe in fiscally conservative values. I don't believe in big government or government controlling every facet of people's lives. I don't belive in massive social programs. I belive in strong national security. I belive in the Constitution and the right to bear arms and the right to free speech. If I disagree with your liberal, socialistic president, that's my right.

I guess there is a good reason why you hide behind "Anonymous", but I hope we aren't related.

Pat said...

I know - I typo'd on believe - TWICE even. I swear I know how to spell. Really.

Anonymous said...

if i'm anonymous or not, what does that have to do with the validity of my argument? Nobody's hiding. We're debating. So please, debate me.

It may have escaped your notice but I'm not Obama bashing. I'm bashing his policies. There is a difference. No it hasn't escaped my notice. The whole point of my previous posts has been to point out the contradictions in your criticisms of BHO. "Policy Bashing" is when you criticize ANY politician, regardless of party, for policies which don't align with your principles. As in my previous posts, you seem to only take offense to spending when it comes from a "liberal". You criticize BHO, but not George W. Who has, without dispute, run up the most debt upon taxpayers? Yes, George W, but you criticize BHO?!?!?!

"BHO IS spending more than stimulating. No question." As in my previous comment, what gives you the confidence to say this? Please Explain. I think its pretty presumptuous to say that the stimulus plan is "spending, not stimulating", before the plan has even taken effect. Can't we even agree on that? You quote people like Boehner, who ABSOLUTELY supported the same taxation and regulation policies which have landed us into our current predicament, and i'm supposed to respect his opinion for anything other than partisan rhetoric? In previous posts, you've given George W the right to years of consideration before we judge his decisions, but you judge BHO before his FIRST plan has even been implemented? THAT hardly seems like "policy bashing".

"I'm not contradicting myself at ALL. I'm really consistent, actually. And I explain myself every single day on this blog.

But I'll try once more for you.
I'm a conservative. I believe in fiscally conservative values. I don't believe in big government or government controlling every facet of people's lives. I don't belive in massive social programs. I belive in strong national security. I belive in the Constitution and the right to bear arms and the right to free speech. If I disagree with your liberal, socialistic president, that's my right."
Yes, in fact, you do contradict yourself (continually) when you DON'T point out a Republican's 8 years of violation of "fiscally conservative values", big government, or the continual violation of our constitution! He ran up immense debt (dwarfing anything your complaining about from BHO), expanded government, decreased our worldwide standing, and violated every part of due-process in our constitution.

So, yes, it is in fact you're "right" to disagree with BHO for ANY reason, but you seem to turn a blind eye to the "misjudgements" of those in your party while you are INCREDIBLY critical of BHO before he's even had a chance to prove you right or wrong. He's been in office for less than 2 months, yet you refuse to pass judgement on Geroge W after 8 years!?!? Like you've said before, we're still figuring our Truman, but it seems like you've already figured out BHO.