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Funny, a century later and it’s the same game plan…

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News roundup:

England wins by razor thin margin at the Ashes. I wish this was offered on American TV, should be a good tournament this year.

Gerry Daly has a good post reacting to the recent congressional race in Ohio, Bill Gilles also has a good post on the subject.

For the Dan Rather lovers out there.

Yahoo has a bigger search engine than Google. By a factor of 2.

New words in the Oxford English Dictionary. Personally, the older archaic words are a lot funner to use, especially for all you clashamaclabbers out there.

100 documents you should take a peek at.

NCAA Stupidity. More on this in a later post. Gov Bush chimes in.

Random Link o’ the Day:

http://maps.google.com

Taxes Redux

This is your Captain speaking…

OK, I guess we’ll have to start at the beginning. The government has expenses. The government has no money, and for the most part, has no profitable enterprises that make money. Therefore we have taxes. Since everyone who lives in the country benefits from our government, everyone ought to pay a fair share of the cost of the government. Everyone.

Some people have no income and have no money. Nothing to get from these people. Until they get off drugs and get a job we’ll give them a pass on taxes. (See, I’m nice.)

Some people make a small income. Making a slightly deceptive move, the government says that these people don’t have to pay income taxes. No matter. Social Security taxes start on the first nickel you make as long as you make at least $400 a year, so those who make a very small amount of money pay over 15% of their income to our national treasury even if they do not have to pay income taxes. Earmarked though it is for our retirement, this money is nothing other than regular income for the treasurer. With a quick flick of his or her magic wand, Social Security money is laundered by buying government bonds and is ready for the highway bill, building bridges you will never use.

Other people make a little more money. Income taxes. ‘Nuff said.

Other people make a lot more money. More, higher, alternative minimum income taxes and the slow closing of loopholes kick in as the income increases. That’s ok. If you’re paying taxes you’re making money, and even if it seems unfair as the marginal tax bill soars near 40%, plus the state tax, making half the new dollars you make go directly to some form of government, you grit your teeth and pay it.

As the income goes up, people naturally try to minimize their tax burden.
That’s ok, people who take advantage of tax loopholes pay a vast majority of the income taxes. They’re paying their share, and more.

Then we come to the people who do not have to make money to live comfortably.
They live off their trust funds, or whatever daddy left them. Easily available methods of acquiring income and gathering property enable these members of the lucky sperm club to have all the advantages of living here with a very comfortable life style without being forced to pay any federal taxes at all. Paying taxes is completely voluntary for the extremely wealthy in America. Congress depends on these people for their campaign funds, so the loopholes may never be closed. The only window available to the government to get these very rich to have to pay is when the fortune moves from one generation to another. The guy or gal who earned the fortune in the first place had to overcome the unfairness of the graduated (progressive) income tax as they were building their fortune. They paid their fair share, and far, far more. Their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters etc.,are not forced to pay any taxes at all, however. The only way that they are forced to pay their fair share (of the legitimate needs of our government, remember,) is some type of tax levied as the fortune changes hands.

Right now that tax seems to target people with modestly large nest eggs, and leave the vast fortunes undisturbed. Land-rich, cash-poor farmers and small businessmen are now hit the hardest. Normally they do not leave enough in their estate for their heirs to live on the sparse returns of the tax free income sources. They should not be targeted; the vast fortunes, excessive enough so that municipal bonds can provide a life of Rodeo Drive shopping and worldwide jet set vacations, however, do need to be attenuated. That way the Kennedy’s and Hilton’s are levied before their tax advisors can work their magic.

Three legs to the government income stool: FICA, income taxes, and taxes on the passing of fortunes from one generation to another. No one exempted. Many hands make for light work, so let’s keep the burden shared among all classes.