10 Things We Get For Our Tax Dollars - Cynical Version

In my political science class we were discussing the issue of taxation. In order to better understand the issue and to balance out a lot of the negativity we inherently have towards taxation (which isn’t a bad thing) we discussed what we (personally and as a society) actually get in return for our taxes.

I decided to make a “cynical” version of the list we thought up in class. So here are ten things we get from taxes:

1 ) Drug Prohibition - Billions spent each year on making sure no one uses drugs that are “too dangerous” for us. Thank you nanny state! Except for the fatal flaw in this argument: marijuana is illegal yet more harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco are legal. Not to mention the war on drugs is a complete and utter failure.

2 ) Overpaid Government Officials - It’s a well-known fact that city planners, parks and recreation directors, and many others in government are paid “comfortable” salaries sometimes even more than $100,000. Not only that, but many government officials have guaranteed pensions backed by the state. While people work long hours in the private (productive) sector who have to deal with 401K’s and actually saving and investing for retirement, these government officials have it made!

3 ) The Federal Reserve - Ah yes, the Federal Reserve who claims their existence is necessary to “maintain a strong currency,” have been doing just the opposite. As the dollar loses its value slowly but surely and bubbles have rocked our economy into deep recessions many times since its inception, it’s unfortunate this entity receives tax dollars from the private sector.

4 ) Foreign Aid - None of that money goes to waste, right? It all goes directly to the needy in the most efficient manner, no corruption involved! Right…

Tax What We Burn, Not What We Earn

I am generally against most all government activities in the marketplace, especially those that involve social micromanagement; however, there is one idea that started on the left and has been making its way through the libertarian sphere that has some good potential. I am talking about a revenue neutral carbon tax, one which reduces or completely replaces other taxes such as payroll, income, capital gains/dividends, etc.

Rand Paul is Right: Excessive taxation and enforcement leads to government violence

Eric Garner

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

— George Washington

The words of the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army of the Revolutionary War and the first President of the Untied States ring true in the New York City borough of Staten Island this week, as a grand jury decided not to indict the officer who killed Eric Garner during an altercation in July stemming from the illegal sale of loose cigarettes. The medical examiner who performed the autopsy ruled Garner’s death a homicide as a direct result of the officer’s action. That is the official report.

One of the striking differences between the killing of Eric Garner and the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson — both by law enforcement officials — is that the entire altercation in New York was caught on camera.

But why did it happen? Why were police dispatched in the first place?

Senator Rand Paul, in an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, hit the nail on the head:

Taxman Obama Green Lights Interstate Tolls

Obama Toll Roads

Politifact long ago debunked President Obama’s lie:

“No family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

But a proposal slipped into a $302 billion transportation bill “would reverse a long-standing federal prohibition on most interstate tolling,” according to a Washington Post report.

Family vacations and weekend road trips would cost more under President Obama’s plan, affecting much of America’s middle class. The WaPo story continues:

Though some older segments of the network — notably the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes and Interstate 95 in Maryland and Interstate 495 in Virginia — are toll roads, most of the 46,876-mile system has been toll-free.

“We believe that this is an area where the states have to make their own decisions,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We want to open the aperture, if you will, to allow more states to choose to make broader use of tolling, to have that option available.”

Reason TV on Tea Party IRS Protests

Reason TV coverage of IRS protest

Members of the Tea Party, a movement that was discriminated against by the Internal Revenue Service, protested at the agency’s Washington, DC office this week. Kennedy from Reason TV was there to get reaction to the scandal from protesters engaging in peaceful dissent against their government”

Marco Rubio’s underwhelming response to the State of the Union

Marco Rubio delivers the GOP response

You’ve no doubt heard about Sen. Marco Rubio’s stopping his speech for a few seconds to take a couple swigs of water — now known as “Rubio-ing,” because what the world needs is yet another meme. However, the substance of Sen. Rubio’s speech, in which he tried to present a distinction between the Republican Party and the vision of President Barack Obama, is vastly more important.

After the pleasantries and offering giving his extraordinary background, Sen. Rubio went right after President Obama’s economic agenda.

“Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity,” Sen. Rubio explained. “But President Obama? He believes it’s the cause of our problems. That the economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend enough and control enough.”

Sen. Rubio added that President Obama’s “solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.”

He went right after the heart of President Obama’s proposed solutions to economic problems facing the country, explaining that more government isn’t going to get Americans ahead nor will it create more opportunities or inspire new ideas.

Earth to Congress: It’s a SPENDING Problem

In recent weeks, the debate over the the retention of tax cuts initiated during the George W. Bush administration monopolized the political discussion, aside from a few politicians showing us that they care nothing for the First Amendment as they condemn Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange. What Congress and President Obama seem not to grasp is that regardless of tax policy, the underlying issue for our economic situation is spending, specifically our affinity to borrow money to pay for spending beyond revenue.

No matter what the Presidential Budget Commission recommends with regard to taxation, a value-added tax (VAT), a broader-based income tax with few exemptions, or a switch to a consumption-based tax system, the Federal Government has an addiction. That addiction is to spending taxpayer money.

Whether it is funding for our imperial efforts to expand the American reach across the globe in the name of democracy and fighting terrorism, to continue to fund Medicare, Social Security, and other entitlement programs, or a variety of other government programs, substantial cuts to spending MUST crop up in the debate over how to “right the ship.” The addiction to spend is not a Democrat problem, and it is not a Republican problem; it is a bipartisan problem, and the only answer lies in a nonpartisan solution to break the addiction.

I understand that there are significant obstacles to breaking any addiction, and the Federal Government committed funding to many people and programs. Currently, we are at a point that difficult choices must be made NOW to avoid necessary, drastic, and clumsy choices when the funding is no longer available.

Taxes and LeBron James

Were taxes a factor in LeBron James picking the Miami Heat over other teams, such as the New York Knicks, the New Jersey Nets or even his former employer, the Cleveland Cavaliers? It’s a question worth looking at:

In a July 1 blog post, the New York Post warned that “dysfunctional lawmakers in Albany” could cost the state a chance to bring the coveted athlete to New York.

“If LeBron James goes to the Miami Heat instead of the [New York] Knicks, blame our dysfunctional lawmakers in Albany, who have saddled top-earning New Yorkers with the highest state and city income taxes in the nation, soon to be 12.85 percent on top of the IRS bite,” the Post said.

The tax savings for James in Miami over New York City would be staggering, according to the Post’s analysis.

“On a five-year contract worth $96 million — what he’d get from the Knicks or the Heat — LeBron would pay $12.34 million in New York taxes.” Florida has no state income tax.

New Jersey and Ohio, the other reported frontrunners to attract James, also have state income taxes, but they are not as high as in New York. Based on a $96 million contract, James would pay $5.69 million in state taxes if he re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. If he signed with the New Jersey Nets, James would pay $10.32 million in state taxes.

Obama: Value Added Tax A “Novel” Idea For The United States

See Video

Chart of the Day: The rich are paying more than their fair share

This graph from Tax Foundation shows that the evil and hated rich, who are often maligned for daring to be successful, are paying more than their “fair share” of taxes.

In fact, the most recent data shows that the that the top 10% of income earners pay 71% of all income taxes.

the rich

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