Taxes

The frustration of tax season

I admit it.  I’m one of those guys who waits until the last minute to file my taxes.  I knew I was going to owe, so I saw little need to rush it.  However, one of the more frustrating things about the season was using part of the tax preparation software I was using.  It broke down where my tax dollars were going in an exact amount.

What really annoyed me was that what I owed was less than the amount of money going towards things I’m morally against.  Everything from wealth redistribution programs to our two three wars was sucking more of my tax dollars than I had already paid in.

I accept that not everyone has the same priorities for government as I do.  I may think you’re wrong, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect your opinion.  However, Thomas Jefferson once said, “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” And yet, that’s exactly what we do today.

There’s been much ado about Planned Parenthood and their receiving of tax money, but this falls back on that Jefferson quote.  However, there’s something in the budget that just about everyone will have some problem with their tax dollars funding.  This is the frustration of tax season.

Invariably, someone will mention that taxation is theft.  Just as invariably, someone will deny it is.  They’re right, it’s not.  This is more like extortion when you think about it, rather than outright theft.  After all, you can minimize what they take, at least out of your paycheck.  But then you’re forced with either paying it to them, or they do something bad to you.  That’s extortion.

You’d expect millionaires to know better

A group calling itself “Patriotic Millionaires” is formally asking for taxes to be raised on incomes over $1,000,000.  The group seems to believe that “soaking the rich” is the only way to pay down the national debt, despite ample evidence that even seizing the entire net worth of every billionaire in the nation would only fund the United States for a brief period of time.

Over at Hot Air though, Allahpundit is starting to come around to the idea of taxing the hell out of the rich, but for a different reason:

Like Ace, I’m increasingly open to this idea. Not because I think it’s sound economics to drop a tax bomb on part of the population during a moment of sluggish economic growth, but because I think nothing will convince Americans that there’s no magic-bullet “kill the rich” solution to the country’s debt catastrophe unless we prove it by letting it happen. So let’s get on with it: Hike those top brackets up to 100 percent — not 39.6 or even 50 — and let’s watch those tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities disappear. Start seizing yachts if you have to. Let the left, the “ideas” movement, have its moment of unbridled resentment-driven class-warfare joy, and then they can explain to the rest of the public why the books still aren’t balanced. Good news, millionaires (and non-millionaires making $250,000 a year or more): You now qualify as super patriots.

I can’t say that I blame the guy.

Can We Balance The Budget By Raising Taxes?

See Video

In the President’s address with regard to deficit reduction earlier this week, he mentioned maintaining and increasing “investment” in certain programs, as well as “asking” our biggest income earners to “pay a little more.”

With that in mind, this video from Learn Liberty, shows that tax revenues remain a fairly constant percentage of Gross Domestic Product, regardless of rate.

To see the chart in the video up close, click here.

The not-so-plentiful “national resource”

Michael Moore has argued that wealth is a national resource that should be taken back to foot the bill for all the programs and ideas that he and his ilk believe will make America better.  But will it really?

This video points out how difficult it will be to actually do like Moore suggest:

It definitely brings up some valid points about how difficult it would be to fund everything this nation seems intent on paying for.

H/T: The Liberty Papers.

Senate conservatives push Balanced Budget Amendment

While House Republicans pushing another Continuing Resolution, their counterparts in the Senate are laying the groundwork for a vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment, likely to coincide with a vote on the debt ceiling - likely in mid-May.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) has been one of the louder voices on this amendment, writing op-eds and taking about it on any show that will have him. Over at RedState, Toomey offers details on the amendment:

The path toward a balanced budget amendment started with two excellent pieces of legislation, one by Senators Mike Lee and Jon Kyl and another by Senators Orrin Hatch and John Cornyn. Over several weeks and many conversations with my colleagues, we discussed ways to merge these two bills into a compromise measure that the entire conference could embrace. We drafted a balanced budget amendment that sets firm restrictions on government spending and insures that future Congresses will not be able to waive these restrictions at their whim. And thanks to the leadership and support of Senator Mitch McConnell, a united Republican conference has thrown its unanimous support behind this measure.

Under our new balanced budget amendment:

Illinois increases taxes, Caterpillar may take 23,000 jobs to another state

As you may remember, Illinois recently increased taxes in order to close a massive budget deficit, which included a corporate income taxes that ranks among the highest in the nation. It was noted at the time that that job creators in the state would be less competitive:

The new corporate tax rate would bring the total percentage Illinois corporations pay on income, including a separate personal property replacement tax, to 9.5%, one of the highest in the nation.

That would make the corporate income-tax rate in Illinois the third-highest in the country when combined with an assumed 35% federal corporate income tax, following Pennsylvania and Minnesota, said Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation, a conservative-leaning Washington research outfit. Illinois currently ranks 21.

As other states cut taxes and Illinois raises them, the state “will be even more of an eyesore by comparison,” Mr. Hodge said.

A spokesman for Caterpillar Inc., one of the largest manufacturers in Illinois with 23,000 employees in the state, said in a statement that “such a tax increase will make it more difficult for Caterpillar to compete in today’s global economy from our operations in Illinois.”

Caterpillar looks like they are seriously considering leaving the Land of Lincoln because of the desire for more revenues instead of spending cuts:

In a letter sent March 21 to Gov. Pat Quinn, Caterpillar chief executive officer Doug Oberhelman said officials in at least four other states have approached the company about relocating since Illinois raised its income tax in January.

Teachers unions explained

Here is an incredibly biased, though hilarious discussion on teachers unions. While it is biased, the arguments of the union supporter sound so familiar:

H/T: Outside the Beltway

Mary Katharine Ham destroys the Socialist Weasel

During the protests over Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to scale back public-sector unions in Wisconsin, Michael Moore - ever the socialist weasel - proclaimed that both the state of Wisconsin and the United States are not broke and that there was plenty of money to plug budget holes. Of course, his way of doing this is confiscation of wealth, something he calls a “natural resource.”

Mary Katharine Ham sets Moore straight by noting that confiscating the wealth of the 400 billionaires in the United States still wouldn’t close the budget deficit for this year and wouldn’t even touch the $14 trillion national debt:

The grand total of the combined net worth of every single one of America’s billionaires is roughly $1.3 trillion. It does indeed sound like a “ton of cash” until one considers that the 2011 deficit alone is $1.6 trillion. So, if the government were to simply confiscate the entire net worth of all of America’s billionaires, we’d still be $300 billion short of making up this year’s deficit.

That’s before we even get to dealing with the long-term debt of $14 trillion, which if you’re keeping score at home, is between 10 to 14 times the entire net worth of all of the country’s billionaires, combined. That includes the all-powerful Koch brothers ($40 billion between them), the all-powerful George Soros ($14.5 billion), all the Walton family (of the Wal-Mart fortune), Steve Jobs, Oprah (at a paltry $2.7 billion), the Google Founders, Michael Bloomberg, and the Mars family (of the candy bar empire).

Entitlements Will Be the Death of Our Economy

President Obama recently released his proposed budget, a $3.73 trillion monstrosity that is a monument to his own arrogance and complete inability or refusal to understand the concerns of the American people. After a historic tail-whipping of his party in November, Obama decided to engage in a little rhetorical compromise, and then turned around and doubled down on the disastrous policies that have kept this country in a long recession followed by a jobless recovery.

Simply put, even if we tax the “millionaires and billionaires” at 100% of earnings, it still won’t put much more than a dent in our $14+ trillion national debt. Within a decade we’ll be spending more than $800 billion (conservatively) for interest payments on the debt, and even more if interest rates rise, which they surely will. The fact is that our road to economic recovery lies down the path to drastically reduced spending.

The problem we have as a nation is that Democrats embrace fiscal irresponsibility; a policy of tax, borrow and spend (as if we can keep borrowing to pay for lavish welfare and entitlement programs and the bill will never come due) and Republicans claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility, but engage in a policy of borrow and spend. Yes, cutting tax rates stimulates the economy, but even with increased gross revenues, spending more than you raise still leads to deficits. Republicans are half right, refusing to raise taxes, but drop the ball by not making the case for spending cuts. Republicans, fearing Democrats will demagogue them as heartless to the plight of the poor, back off of spending cuts at the first sign of trouble.

Obama fails to “win the future” with budget proposal

Over at Downsizing Government, Chris Edwards shows how President Barack Obama’s budget proposal does little to change the course the nation is on. In fact, his deficits are higher than pre-recession level run up by George W. Bush, who was certainly no penny pincher.

Edwards notes:

While the numbers drop from their stimulus- and recession-induced highs, it is not because the president has suddenly decided that he desires a less active government. Rather, optimistic economic assumptions largely account for the slight retrenchment.

Tax increases and optimistic economic assumptions explain the projected rise in revenue as a share of the economy. While the president would like the country to believe he’s found religion on spending cuts, he’s actually relying on a rosy economic forecast and sucking more money out of the private sector to reduce annual deficits.

The Wall Street Journal is calling Obama’s budget the “Cee Lo Green Budget” because it is a “F**k You” to voters. And believe it or not, we will have a cabinet level agency that will have a budget of over a trillion dollars…and it’s not the Department of Defense.

Obama spends too much, taxes too much. His budget doesn’t “win the future,” it keeps us stuck in the past.


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.