Friday, April 22, 2011

Tax Equity

Death and taxes.  Those are the things we are told are a certainty in life.  At some point we are all going to die - it is inevitable.  Taxes, however, seem to be a bit more questionable depending on who you are. 

I know that with my small pay I pay about 25 - 28% of taxes - I'm looking at my paycheck overall.  I claim zero on my W4s because I don't want to have to pay in for taxes.  I'd rather get something back.  Depending on the tax laws we skirt the breaking even line for tax refunds.  We do things like contribute to an IRA and paying on my student loans to get a break.  However, now the girls are no longer our dependents we have to hold our breaths every tax season. 

I don't think we are any different than most people.  Tax time is stressful for all.  Here's the thing though.  I don't want my taxes to go to multi-billion dollar corporations or people who are so wealthy they can afford to pay their own way in life.  I want my taxes to go to things like Social Security, Medicare, Planned Parenthood (even the small 3% that goes for abortions), NPR, PBS.  These are the things I think are worthwhile.

I also don't want anyone to pay more than their fair share.  On the flip side of that coin, I don't think people should get out of paying their fair share.  I remember back in the 80s I watched a movie about a couple that was divorcing.  The husband had money, the wife had been a stay at home mom.  She went out and found a job.  Like most women who had been stay at home moms it didn't pay all that much.  The husband kept trying to tell the courts that he didn't have that much money.  As soon as the divorce was settled he suddenly had a jump in lifestyle.  Thereby cheating his wife out of part of their assets etc.  This is how I feel the rich and the corporations are treating us.  (See there was a point embedded in that round about story)

They are saying oh 250 thousand isn't that much and it isn't really "rich" especially if you have kids.  I wonder if they have any clue how that sounds to someone who makes less than 50 or 30 thousand?  The question becomes are you paying your taxes on your income.  Why should someone who makes more money get a loop hole that allows them to get out of paying the same taxes that I pay?  Why should corporations who benefit from doing business in the US and make BILLIONS of dollars on the consumers here, not pay taxes here?

Equity.  It is an interesting concept that apparently most of the Republicans don't get.  Here is a link to a site that shows the deficit by president since WWII http://cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/USDebt.png  If you think the republicans are doing us any favors I think you need to take a serious look at things. 

Carter had the deficit going up at a slight rate.  Reagan, however, had it jumping up by leaps and bounds - jumping from around 1 Trillion to about 3 Trillion by the time he was done.  Bush the first had it jumping up to just over 4 Trillion in the short time he was in there.  Clinton's budget jumped to just under 6 Trillion but the spending was starting to level out.  In the last couple years he was in, the deficit wasn't increasing at such a high rate of things.  Bush II though now he gave the rich and business a LOT of tax breaks.  The deficit went from just under 6 Trillion to around 11 Trillion in eight years. 

What the hell!!!!  Obviously whatever Bush II was doing wasn't good for the country.  It was like giving your teenager a credit card and saying have at it.  Federal income went down because he gave the corporations and the wealthy tax breaks that allowed them to not pay their fair share.  If income goes down then obviously debt goes up. 

I don't want the upper class to pay more than their fair share.  I want them to pay their fair share.  I think that the middle class needs to open their eyes, read some history and think about what is important in life.  Do we really want our seniors to not have Social Security or health care?  Do we really want women to not have access to cancer screenings?  Do we want organizations like PBS and NPR to shut their doors or cut their services because a section of our population is whining that they can't afford to pay their taxes? 

I say - try living on what I make.  Instead of having your 250,000 try living on 30,000.  Put away the fancy cars, private schools, and all the luxury items - if they lived on NEED items only like the majority of the people, they would have a lot more money available to them. 

I've heard the argument "why are we penalizing those who have worked hard to make more money".  I've worked hard to make more money too.  I just haven't broken that 6 figure mark yet.  I'm betting most middle and low income people will say the same thing.  Again I say to the people making more and taking advantage of the loopholes, the free ride needs to stop and you need to pay your fair share.

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