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Wealth

Why do people hate wealth?  The rich CEO.  The wealthy oil companies.  When did producing wealth and making a lot of money become a bad thing in this country?  Why are we so covetous of everyone else’s good fortune and effort?  Why do we think every person driving a BMW must be an arrogant jerk or someone who’s showing off?  Personally, I would not have a job, were it not for an ambitious CEO.  We are all free to attain the highest level of wealth and success we would like.  For now, there’s no law against that.  It’s called free market capitalism.

The double standard is when Beyonce or Brad Pitt show up at a ritzy club or hot spot, we all can’t wait to hear or read about it in People Magazine.  Who’s more pious than Hollywood?  But they are really cool and interesting?  What do they produce of value for society?  The damn oil companies just provide the fuel that keeps the semis moving down the road and all of our cars with gas to get to work each day.  And all the stinking rich CEO’s do is provide jobs and benefits for you and your family.  Would you all listen to yourselves?  Stop and think about it. You have been programmed by Washington and the media to think rich people in business are evil.  It just isn’t so.

Raise taxes on the rich.  Raise taxes on corporations.  Great idea.  Any idea how much businesses pay in taxes?  It’s a big fat ZERO.  They either raise the cost of their goods and services or fire employees.  They cannot stay in business if they don’t make a profit.  Don’t believe the hype.  Wealth and the freedom to create it, has made this the greatest country in the free world!  If you keep supporting the politicians who want to continue putting the squeeze on the productive members of this country, those productive members will stop being productive and we will all suffer in the end.

who-pays-taxes

Check out the progressive nature of taxes in our current system in the above table.  You have the top 10% of wage earners paying over 70% of the taxes!  Is that not amazing?  The bottom 50% of the population doesn’t even break 3%.  Can you say WELFARE STATE?  The harder you work, the more you get to shoulder the load for those that sit on their collective butts and do nothing.  Our tax system is a mess.  Everyone needs to pay their fair share.  A consumption tax would be a great idea, I think.  It’s out of control.  Enough said.

Peace.

Pink

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Categories: Opinion, Politics
  1. Mark
    April 14, 2009 at 15:17

    Pink,

    Do you have a chart that shows the % of the wages earned vs. the % of income tax paid? Ie, if the top 10% of the population is paying 70% of the income tax, what is the percentage of the overall individual earnings that they are receiving?

    So, here’s a thought. Corporate taxes may be more efficient than personal income tax. Yes, I know the cost of the tax will be passed through to the consumer. However, the corporations are very efficient at that. They already have the models (cost of goods) that can be used as the vehicle to pass it through. It’s kind of like a consumption tax, but via a different vehicle.

    Just a thought.

    Me

    • lloyd69
      April 16, 2009 at 16:51

      Corporate taxes are more efficient? I don’t care how efficient they are…it’s still a tax. And when you tax something, anything, it produces less. And it all ends up in government hands and that is very INEFFICIENT. ALWAYS. The government does not produce wealth or create anything. And it’s not their job to. But who’s the biggest employer in most decent sized cities? Government jobs pay better and have better benefits and vacation plans. All at the expense of the taxpayer. It’s just another way to get we, the people, on the government dole. We are slowly being bought out…Our cycle of prosperity is coming to an end unless people wake up. And even then, I’m not so sure we will be able to avoid it.

  2. Wally
    April 15, 2009 at 02:10

    See table 1 on the link: Tax Foundation

  3. Mark
    April 16, 2009 at 21:04

    I guess I didn’t make it clear. The “corporate taxes are more efficient” was just an idea, not a stance I was trying to take. And I’m not sure it’s wrong.

    Keep in mind, I believe you MUST have taxes. How else will you have a Department of Defense? How else will you provide electricity and phone services to rural America? Actually, I’m very curious on your answer to that. How would we have been provided phone services growing up without government intervention in the form of RUS Funding and/or a Universal Services Tax on the phone services of city dwellers, where it is profitable for a phone company to provide service?

    Now I am NOT saying we need taxes in the range of 90%. Far from it. I’m really working on thinking this through.

    I haven’t read the full disucssion yet, but there’s a good discussion at http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/293

    ME

  4. April 16, 2009 at 22:36

    In a capitalist society you get your phones when you’re ready to pay for what it costs to bring them to you. If the technology is actually valuable, it will spread itself. Nobody subsidized bringing cable TV to the poor country folk but that lead to the development of satellite TV. Now everyone has it everywhere. (Of course it was developed by Hughes which is basically a government subsidized corporation via defense contracts)

    Those kinds of things are definitely the best use of tax money but it would be better not to take the tax money at all. Then someone might have invested in research for wireless phones long before they did.

    Defense is the ONLY thing taxes should be used for besides a legal system (free from activism). Capitalism can and will make sure all of our other needs and wants are fulfilled.

    I can supply you with anything you want as long as you’ll pay and if you want it bad enough, you will. If I charge you too much, someone else will do it cheaper. Automatically. Not magically or without the occasional pain but it will get done.

  5. lloyd69
    April 17, 2009 at 02:25

    It’s funny you mention taxes as being necessary for defense as the current regime is getting ready to ‘gut’ the pentagon of it’s over-sized budget. I see major irony in that. Of all the places that the government needs to cut waste, they start with the ONE legitimate function they have according to the constitution; our defense.

    We are obviously wired differently. You seem to think phones would have never made it to ma and pa Kettle without a government tax. You cannot deny that the government doesn’t do very much of anything efficiently except maybe collect taxes. Even there, look at the tax code. I think we can survive much better by keeping our own money and deciding where to invest it as opposed to letting a bunch of career politicians in DC decide where to spend it; you’ve heard of pork barrel spending (www.cagw.org)? Something like 10,000 earmarks in the current budget year. I could not keep a straight face and say, we MUST have taxes.

    I just realized what ME really stands for. HAHA.

    PINK

    • Mark
      April 17, 2009 at 03:06

      From my understanding of the government “gut” of the Pentagon budget, it’s actually cutting the unnecessary programs that the Pentagon has been saying “no” to for years, and directing some of that money towards boots on the ground and electronic defenses. Considering the number of electronic attacks we get from China, Russia, and Korea, that sounds like a good strategy to me. the F-22? the President’s helicopter? both were listed as “not needed” by generals who were asked, but still pushed through by the previous administration. They were kept on the books because they were providing jobs in certain districts. Hence, they are unneeded pork barrel, and not really producing anything but jobs.

      So, about phones to ma and pa Kettle. What company would have put the wires in the ground to deliver service out in the hills for a single subscriber using the technology of the time? None that wanted to make money. Yet that was what the Universal Services Fund helped do.

      So, I ask the questions. How would rural America gotten phone service relying solely on private industry? Electric service without a Rural Electric Cooperative system? I guess we are wired differently, because i think that without the gov’t programs, we would not have had the access we did.

      And I agree that the government does most things inefficiently. But we differ on how much the government should be expected to do. I guess I just don’t understand how many of the things we take for granted would get done solely by the private sector (bank regulation, “big project research,” diplomacy, roads). And yes, I think we need bank regulation. The robber barons of the late 1900’s, the Depression, and the recent issues we’ve had support my argument.

      And finally, remember that this is still the greatest country. Why? because we can have this discussion.

      Thanks,

      ME would be my initials, not my attitude 🙂

  6. Mark
    April 17, 2009 at 02:32

    Defense is the ONLY thing that taxes should be used for? I disagree with that. You sound like an Objectivist.

    Roads? A sanitary system? Schools?
    A fire department? All provided 100% by private companies with no government regulation or oversight?

    I’m very skeptical that that would actually work. For example, a completely private school system with absolutely no public funding of any sort whatsoever would not provide the level of across-the-board education that is required for a country to remain competitive intellectually. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not thinking of some country where this is working.

    I guess that I’m a firm believer that private industry will go after the place with the most economic opportunity. Unless there is an incentive to go after the rural areas, private industry will serve easily accessible places. Rural America would have been left behind if there had not been an incentive to serve it.

    Just my opinion.

    ME

  7. Wally
    April 17, 2009 at 03:21

    Also a legal system to protect us from each other.

    I have a sanitary system that wasn’t subsidized by the government. I pay to have it serviced on my own.

    Roads may be a reasonable argument from a make it easier standpoint. It would be difficult to coordinate it all. However, if there was a real need, it would get done. People have an extraordinary ability to do what needs to be done. Surprisingly they generally will get it done without some government doing it for them.

    Public schools? Ask someone from India which schools were the best. The people I know say it was the generally the Christian schools not public schools. I’m lucky to live in one of the last bastions of a good public school but even it isn’t good enough that I don’t give my kids extra education on my own. They won’t succeed if I don’t.

    There is no way that you can make the argument that public schools are providing an “across the board” education that keeps us “intellectually competitive”. Just look around you and see. The poor are left behind even though it’s provided to them. Hell, I’ve worked with plenty of college graduates that don’t really have an education. (note: I highly recommend the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell)

    What we forget in America is that if you have food in your belly on regular basis and someplace to keep reasonably warm you’re technically not left behind. Everything else you get beyond that is gravy. Travel the world a little and you’ll see immediately what I mean.

    Now you know I feel strongly about rural America for the same reasons you do but one of the reasons the Midwest is still a good place to live is because that “isolation” built a work ethic and character that truly embodies what we as Americans should be about. Work hard and do what needs to be done. You don’t need a government to take care of you. I also know that you know this personally as well as anyone.

    If we took away the safety net and all the false protection (that goes for big corporations too) it would be a little more even playing field and more people would succeed as a whole. As it stands now, we’re creating a bunch of lifelong delinquent teens who will never be able to take care of themselves.

    We’ve let ourselves as a society go soft and we’re constantly afraid. Afraid that the economy will go bad, that we won’t be able to have whatever we want, that terrorists will end our country as we know it.

    It’s utter crap. Cowboy up and take care of yourself. If you truly can’t get your poop together, come to church, we’ll take care of you there…..

    • Mark
      April 20, 2009 at 03:17

      So, I”m responding to a couple of posts here.

      First, I’m not “carrying a torch” or arguing for a bigger government. I think this discussion thread really got going because I was reacting to the statement that government’s sole responsibility is to provide for defense.

      I believe that the government’s role is to provide for a number of things, beyond just defense. I also believe that people forget what the government provides, and focus solely on the fact that the programs are not fully and 100% perfect. I think it’s our role as the citizens to understand what’s going on, and have discussions like this with each other and our officials. If we really don’t like it, we can elect them out of office. It can happen, if the people are motivated. Oh wait, that’s why we have pork barrel politics…. crap….

      So, let’s take the schools. You are correct, while there are some stellar public school systems, (Fairfax County, VA, for one), private schools are typically better. I’m not arguing that point. I’m saying that everyone should have access to an education, and they can do with it what they wish. Some will do well, some will spend the rest of their lives flipping burgers, their choice. I will say that some of the best engineers I’ve met started off in the public school system. In fact, one that I went to college with started off in the public schools of South Central, and last I knew was making more of a capitalistic contribution than I am.

      Are you saying that we should do away with the public school system and only have private schools, and therefore have a large percentage of the population uneducated because they can’t afford an education? Or how would that work? Better yet, where would that have left us? I’m pretty sure that without a public school, I would be trying to make a living as a farmer, and honestly, i wasn’t that good at it. How many of our families, or our churches, could have afforded to keep working and send kids to school? Home schooling? Many of the home school parents I’ve met are very smart, and I trust are giving their kids great educations. Many other parents, not so much.

      Now, about self reliance, social security, and whether welfare has eliminated the problem of poverty. No. It hasn’t, but it’s helped quite a bit. Could it be better. Yes. Do we have a lot to fix. Yes, we do, and we’d better do it soon. Have we gone soft as a nation. Hell yes. How do we fix it? I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure eliminating everything in the government except defense is not the way to go.

      Bottom line, after this rambling set of comments. We have work to do as a country. Part of that work is having discussions like this. Part of it is working hard. Part of it is thinking about the source of the problem, and not just throwing money at it, OR saying cut all taxes. I’m not convinced that either side works, but i’m all ears to hear how it could work.

      Ok, thanks for reading the ramblings. Believe it or not, I’ve erased a lot of it.

      ME

  8. lloyd69
    April 17, 2009 at 03:48

    Self reliance. Taking care of yourself and your own. If we did not have so many ineffective welfare, gov’t programs to make us weak and dependent, we’d be taking care of ourselves and our own. The government bleeds us dry through taxes and funds welfare and does a less than stellar job administrating it. Don’t you think a program that’s been around for 30+ years and has not eliminated the problem, might not be such a good program after all? Old folks that did not save for the future and are forced to live on social security and medicare have no one to blame but themselves. And if their families could keep more of their money then they might be better able to help mom or dad. But the ultimate responsibility lies with the individual. We all have a right under the constitution to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness. That’s it. There are those that won’t aim any higher than minimum wage and that’s their decision. No one else is holding them back. And someone taking my tax dollars to lift them up because they choose not to aim higher is not my idea of a good plan. It’s called theft.

    And how in the heck did rural folks survive before the phone?? Haha, I just find that funny. I don’t know how anyone can carry a torch for this government of ours that has grown so out of control and is so reckless and so doesn’t care what they are sewing that our children will reap.

  9. lloyd69
    April 17, 2009 at 03:58

    I don’t mean to make this partisan but cutting defense first is totally the liberal thing to do. Clinton did it. I say we got 9/11 for it. I’m not saying there’s nothing to cut in the military but come on, Mark! Where’s the scrutiny in all the other agencies? Why cut military first when we are obviously fighting terrorism on a global scale. Why show a weakness when we have enemies looking for the next way to hit us? It’s retarded.

    I can’t even go in to education and specifically colleges, universities right now. I won’t be able to sleep tonight.

    Believe it or not, we educated ourselves just fine before Public Screwls showed up to do it for us…and the private catholic school I pay extra for my kids to attend, does it better with less money. No, we don’t get public dollars even though I still pay the taxes for that the public schools waste. That’s proof enough for me.

    Enough for tonight. Thanks for the banter.

    CL

    • Mark
      April 20, 2009 at 02:23

      Hmm…., Clinton was the one cutting defense? I seem to remember that the military was cutting a lot of people during Bush Sr.’s years. Most of the guys in my year who had pilot slots (or lowly Nav slots, like me) lost them due to the cutbacks after the first Gulf War. And that was under Bush, not Clinton.
      I’m not saying Clinton didn’t do cuts also. I’m just pointing out that it wasn’t just him. I’m also not faulting Bush Sr. for what he did either during the war or after. I thought he did a great job leading, and then getting out when he did. (that’s a long debate I’ve had with many).
      Also, many of the cuts that I saw during Bush Sr’s time were in personnel, including Human Intelligence (forgive me if my acronyms are wrong, but I believe that was the term for Human Intelligence, ie, feet on the street). I personally believe that the cutbacks in Human Intelligence led to us missing many of the signals we should have seen during the 90s.
      Now, a question. When were the Remote Operated Vehicles (drones, etc.) developed? I don’t recall them being in use in the early 90s, but they were used in 2003. Were those developed during the Clinton years?

      ME.

  10. doyle turner
    December 2, 2010 at 06:08

    Chad, If what you say is true, then our corporations have the most idiotic CEO’s, why are they spending billions of dollars on lobbyists who obviously are completely unsuccessful if they are paying all the taxes and not getting anything in return. If that is truely the case then our corporations are even more inefficient then our government. The thing that you leave out is the fact that we don’t have a welfare problem in this country anymore, we have a wealthfare problem in this country, the vast amount of welfare is going to the richest people who hire the lobbyists to get the money. The most subsidized industry in this country was the Bison industry, Ted Turner just happened to own 85% of the American Bison Herd.
    Wally, really midwesterners have this great independent work ethic. If a farmer owns any ground at all he’s a millionaire, yet they continue to take huge subsidies to the tune of $250,000per year, so a large farmer doesn’t have to be one bit profitable in order to make a nice living (the bank can’t take a lien on this subsidy check either), this doesn’t count the $1.50 per bushel ethanol subsidy which they just lowered from $3.00 per bushel. 40% of the 12 billion bushel corn crop goes to ethenol.
    I agree with both of you guys that we need a smaller government and that the larger our government is the less competitive we will be in a global economy, but there is a place for government beyond the military, the thing is most all of those things are done by state and local governments not the Fed (never seen a federal worker on the interstate highways yet). Mark is right, without government subsidy slash blackmail, the midwest still wouldn’t have phone service, and in the beginning cable television was subsidized and blackmailed to entice and force them to come to the rural regions.
    I think the railroads are the best example of the need for public assistance with private initiative. Even with all of the corruption at the time, most of the track never would have been laid without the government giving the land for the rail to be on and every odd section in certain townships for the railroads to sell to raise the capital to build the railroad. The railroads were able to sell this land for relatively large sums of money because there wasn’t the red tape that there was with the land that was being homesteaded at the same time for much less initial cost.

  11. doyle turner
    December 2, 2010 at 06:14

    On the military, this is my take on what happened, Reagan continually increased the budget, Carter decreased the increase, Clinton both raised and lowered it. The real crime was done by people like Cheney and Rumsfeld who met during the Nixon years in public life and in private life acted as agents for large defense contractors to constantly push for more money while constantly pushing for less troops, which left large sums of money for the contractors to steal. This continued even after 911, the Air Force was early retiring everyone they could even though their budget was exponencially being expanded and we were involved in two wars.

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