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Fall 2011

Fair Share Tax

Twitter Point: I believe that everyone should pay their fair share of taxes. If some politicians tell you something different, then you have to ask who is paying for their elections and who is going to benefit from their elections.   

   Fair Share Tax is what the words mean. Everyone in this county, whether rich or poor should pay their fair share of the taxes, we need to run this country. This means that all the many exemptions the rich have garnered through smart lobbying efforts would be gone. This also means that all the various middle class exemptions would also be gone. And finally, giving the poor money from tax funds for not paying taxes would also be gone. I believe fairness is the key way to lower tax rates because the money to run our government has to come from somewhere. If specific groups of people get special tax breaks, the great majority of people who don't get tax breaks always pay more. If they don't pay more a lot of good government programs that people depend on will be cut. This is what the 2012 elections are going to be about.

   If the government decides that some groups or people need extra help, then create some programs to help them. And don't create these programs in secret, let the American people see what you are doing.   

   A fair tax needs to be bolstered by a general federal sales tax on all items deemed non-essential. If you want that big-screen TV, then you are going to have to pay some extra tax on it. If you want plenty of beer, wine and fatty potato chips, then you are going to have to pay extra tax for it. If granny needs a walker than she shouldn't have to pay extra tax for it. I realize that what is considered essential or non-essential leaves plenty of room for argument. Eventually, if enough discussion takes place, I believe the American people will come up with something that most people consider fair.

   I remembered years ago, and maybe today, there were many levels of tax on income in this country. I believe they called that the progressive tax system. I even heard on TV that the highest tax bracket in 1953 was 92% of their income in taxes during the Eisenhower administration. Today, the highest tax bracket is 35%. Sounds like Eisenhower was a socialist, wow, talk about real re-distribution of wealth. Maybe that is a stretch, but he did spend a lot of money building the national highway system in this country. Hard to believe he was a Republican.

   Of course the rich and even the semi-rich don't pay 35% of their income for taxes. That's why they hire smart tax lawyers and sneaky lobbyists to find loopholes in the law and when they can't they persuade lawmakers to create new laws with plenty of loopholes.


One of our leading presidential contenders that likes to tout his business experience paid less than 15% on his 2011 taxes.  During his time running a vulture capitalist investment firm his firm was able to lobby certain members of Congress to get rid of the onerous provisions that would have made him and his corporation pay their fair share of taxes. His 2011 tax form was 500 pages long. The question is should he become president will he try to change the constitution so that rich corporations always pay much lower taxes. After all rich corporations and rich people are people too. Already as of Super Tuesday this candidate has racked up double digit wins in most of the previous primary races among voters making $200,000 and over. He has found his base and they are voting for him as if their life depended on him making it to the White House.

   Thanks to the media everyday you get to find out that I am not telling you anything new. Companies like General Electric and the various energy companies not only don't pay their fair share, they want subsidies also. Big companies lay off their workers and move their operations overseas and expect and get tax breaks for increasing our unemployment rate. It doesn't matter if Democrats or Republicans are in control, money runs our tax system.  If they don't get their money, they hint that economic Armageddon is coming. Even those guys on wall street who made billions and helped cause the economic collapse in this country, not only didn't pay their fair share of taxes, didn't get arrested, and had the nerve to complain that they were do obscene bonuses for what they had done to this country.  

   We still have the progressive tax system in this country, but it has been so distorted by special interests, that the people who created this system would have to rethink ever creating this system in the first place.  I propose that we need to cut down the number of income tax brackets we have. Especially at the higher ends. Charging the very rich an income tax of 35% of their income is a good starting point for a debate. The important point is that they pay every cent of what they owe. Every American should pay their fair share of what they owe the government. For too long the rich have been the model for getting over on the government. Once the rich get straitened out the rest of us will have to get with the program. Our government does a lot of things for a lot of people. If you want that to continue, then you have to pay up.

   What should the very rich pay in income tax? I haven't the slightest idea. The answer is far beyond my ability to find out. I will say that we need to know how much it will cost to run this country each year, have an emergency fund and pay off our dept's each year and most importantly end having to extend our dept limit over and over again. What combination of income, business and sales tax will give us what we need. As I said before every citizen has to pay their fair share. I say let us find out how much we are going to pay in taxes as opposed to how much we pay now. If It shouldn't be that hard to get some estimates based on the aggravate of what people make(yes, bond, stock holders, hedge fund managers, we want you to) and an estimate of the amount of non-essential items people may buy in a year.

   One problem is that my idea is going to cause a loss of jobs in certain industries. For example, the IRS is going to need a lot less people in processing tax returns and looking for tax cheats. However, now that they don't have to worry about taxpayers who cheat they can spend their time going after people who never pay taxes. You know who these people are. They are always bragging how they beat the system every year. Also this country is filled with illegal aliens who don't pay taxes. The government can deport them, but get the taxes before you let them go. Of course, there is a huge private industry built on our tax system. A simple tax system would mean that most of these people will be out of a job. If I had to decide  about some people being out of a job against a faulty tax system that rewards the few against the many.  I'm going for change and hoping for the best.

   Will the average citizen pay the same or less taxes? Will the average business pay the same or less taxes, but do better because their big boy competitors aren't getting more breaks in taxes and the little businesses don't have to spend a lot of money for people to handle their taxes? I don't know the answer to those questions. But I believe that if is important for this country to find out?

   Everyone knows our entitlement programs are going to bankrupt this country. Medicare, Medicaid takes a lot of money. So far, neither side of the political parties has enacted legislation designed to make these programs more efficient and accountable. Why did both parties vote for legislation that would reward drug companies for overcharging by subsidizing Medicare drug payments? Why do we pay more for drugs than other countries like Canada? Especially since most of the drugs patients take are developed and manufactured in this country.

    The point is that we must make these programs run more efficient, make sure everyone pays their fair share of taxes before we start to take away the benefits people have spent a life time paying for. Maybe the government should have taken a bigger chunk out of my social security and Medicare payments. Once someone figured out we were going to have a lot of baby boomers  someone should have asked the question - how are we going to pay for that at the current rate?  Republicans are committed to their pledge to a lobbyist for the rich(Grover Norquest) that they are never going to raise taxes. Well what about my entitlements?  If I started receiving less social security money and Medicare benefits, each year because of your cuts, what is the difference between that and a tax increase? The only difference that I can see is that a small group of rich people will benefits from my misfortune. Some politicians think that is the way the world should work. Those pol' s will never get my vote - how about you?

 Please let your elected officials know how you feel. Copy and paste your Comments on to their web pages.




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Time for a payback

Elizabeth Warren helped create a consumer protection agency to help protect us from banks and wall street. President Obama nominated her to run this agency but her appointment was blocked by some Republicans. So Warren decided to run against a Republican incumbent for a Senate seat in Massachuest. What she said in a campaign speech is worth thinking about.

"...nobody in this country got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there.
But...You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces the rest of us paid for. You don't have to worry that marauding bands...(destroying the) factory because of the work the rest of us did.
Now look. You built a factory and turned it into something...God bless! Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid that comes along." 

I might add that the rich made their money off of a lot of little people who either bought their goods or worked for them and now it is time to give some of that money back.