30 September 2004

Congress swerves from duty

(and they ain't swerving left, either)
Upper Left points out the following facts about the latest Congress (some of which come originally from Steny Hoyer, MD):

  • This fiscal year will be the most fiscally irresponsible year in our history - a year in which we will run a record budget deficit of $422 billion.
  • At the same time, the Congress has enacted just one of the 13 bills to keep the federal government operating.
  • And yet the Second Session of the 108th Congress is on course to work fewer days - 94, as of today - than any single Session of Congress since 1948.
  • And yet the Congress has somehow found time to take on a number of important issues such as:
    - The proposal and subsequent defeat of a gay-marriage ban.
    - Putting Saturday-night specials back on the street.
    - Swerving around constitutional restrictions to keep the Christian God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

In spite of this huge red hole in the U.S. budget, many of the right-wing sites I visit insist that we need less property taxes or perhaps a flat-tax. Perhaps some leftward defective gene in my chromosomes prevents me from seeing how adding minuses together creates a plus. Who's knows? It might just work. Perhaps we could follow the North Korean example and leave our roads unpaved and we can hammer out spoons from our old railway ties and take all the excess labor and metal and use it too build tanks. This would seem to be the logical conclusion of right-wing proposals. The shrublings of the world all want to dramatically reduce taxes while increasing military spending, after all.


Magda said...


Que bonita sorpresa!! Un bseo

Karlo said...

De nada, Magda.

delftsman3 said...

Karlo, I'm in favor of dropping property taxes and going to the Fair Tax. It would actually generate more revenue than the current system.

Even failing that, every time a major tax cut was enacted, revenues to the government went UP. The problem is that when revenues rose by $10;the Congress spent $18.

The left constantly makes the mistake of thinking taxes are a zero sum game; they AREN'T...human nature dictates that if you will be able to keep more of your earned income; you will endevour to earn more,invest more,and risk more of your capital;and the more you earn, the more the total amount the govenment will receive in taxes. President Kennedy understood this, President Reagan understood this, and George Bush understands this.

The higher the marginal tax rate, the less willing you are to risk capital, and there is a reality of "If I earn much more; I'll lose more than I earned in taxes, so why do it?" Loss of investment capital=lowered production=loss of jobs=loss of tax revenue to the government. It really is a shame they don't teach basic economics in school as a matter of course any more. An economically ignorant electorate is vunerable to the class envy politics of the Left.
AND higher taxes always hit the middle class earners the hardest; there is a reason the rich hire accountants, it's to save tax expenditures..they can only save tiny percentages on a given tax year, but the higher the income, the higher the amount of that same percentage will amount to, thus making it worth it to do so, the same percentage of a lower amount costs more to pay the accountant than the savings are worth.

Look at it this way:
According to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee (JEC),the wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers pay 33.89 percent of all federal income taxes paid; the top 5 percent pay 53.25 percent; the top 10 percent pay 64.89; the top 25 percent pay 82.90 percent; and the top 50 percent of income earners pay 96.03 percent.
Everyone else in the bottom half, people making $28,528 a year or less, pay 3.97 percent of all federal income taxes paid. Those in the bottom 15% pay nothing!

IF we taxed the top 5% of earners 100% of their income, it would generate enough revenue to run the Federal government for a period of 3 WEEKS at current expenditure rates. So the "tax the rich" meme just doesn't hold water.

Karlo said...

Instead of looking at the current situation in terms of how much money the different quintiles pay in taxes, I like to look at it in terms of profits. The U.S. economy has grown significantly in the last 30 years. I assume that all Americans who work probably contributed to that increase (albeit some slightly more than others). Yet the benefits of the larger economy have gone almost completely to the wealthiest quintile, with the middle quintile receiving a very modest share (around 10% when I last checked) and the lowest quintile receiving nothing or a few percent. I just don't buy the argument that those doing blue-collar jobs have contributed NOTHING to growth in the last 3 decades while those who own profit-making capital have somehow produced virtually all the growth. I realize that the windfalls received by the wealthiest reflect how our current economy operates (i.e., according to the way things are structured now, they "earned" it). I'm simply arguing that the current system can't possibly reflect the true value of labor.