Federal Budget: Transfers + Taxes + Fees = Headbanging

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For those who are still awake despite the extreme cold in the globally warmed United States and pampered bodies going into involuntary hibernation, there is actual news out there other than Barack Obama and his consort embarrassing the hell out of us at Nelson Mandella’s, uh, canonization, I mean memorial.

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office disclosed that the “Top 40% Paid 106.2% of Income Taxes; Bottom 40% Paid -9.1%, Got Average of $18,950 in ‘Transfers’”.  (Headline from CNSNews)

That’s quite a difference.  And that’s 80% of the total tax pool in the US.  (No mention of how the middle 20% are faring in all this.)

It seems that the people toward the bottom are reaping the payments of the people of the top, at least that is the implication from the headline.  A closer look, and all may not be as it seems:

  1. Social security payments to those who worked for decades, paying into the system, and now are retired and getting that back, (like it or love it) are included.  There is no reason for this provision to be in the general budget, as it SHOULD be a private ponzi scheme if it’s going to exist, not one to be bankrupted by politicians looking for an easy pot of cash as it has been.
  2. There is an entire explanation on how taxpayers are taking full advantage of available tax credits, i.e., child tax credits and earned income tax credit, as if any sensible person wouldn’t do this to lessen their tax burden even if that means the credits add up to more what a household owes in the first place.

Imagine that?!

What these points amount to isn’t simply horror at “government cash transfers” but credible arguments for making social security some actual form of retirement system administered privately and separated from the general federal ledger, and moving to a flat tax for income rather than the “steeply progressive” system chock full of exemptions we have now, so that there is not this “net credits worth more than liabilities.”

Don’t you just love having to have a dictionary to read government reports.

Doubtful that the Congressional Budget Office thought of it that way, or CNSNews for that matter, but their report is a stark display of what progressive income taxes do: take from “the rich” and give to “the poor.”  With a simple percentage flat tax, say somewhere between 7-15% with no deductions or credits (easy, right?), “the rich” would STILL end up paying a lot more than “the poor,” but at least it would be a fair percentage of income confiscated for everyone.

Liberals never like to hear that when, they claim, the poor “can’t afford it.”  Given that we are paying out benefits for unemployment, SNAP, medicaid, blah, blah….

And then today we hear that there is a new budget deal in the House of Representatives done expressly to avoid another government shutdown (and Valerie Jarrett still has a Secret Service detail).  No details yet, but voices are already starting to form on either side of some line in the sand.

We are assured that there are “no new taxes” in the deal.  Just fees.  We’ll still pay, but it will be fees, not taxes.  The budget still isn’t balanced and we are still going to have to borrow money to make ends meet – in fees, but not taxes.

Is this plan perfect?  Wouldn’t know since so one has read it yet.  But, hey, with all luck there won’t be a government shutdown.

Fabulous.

How’s that Article V Convention idea coming?

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Categories: Politics, Taxes

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