Taxes Bad....But Good
But here's the deal. If government is serious about rebooting the economy, reforming healthcare and improving public education, everybody's going to pay for it -- just like we're paying for this brilliant, trillion-dollar adventure in Iraq (which, by the way, Boehner thinks was a swell idea.)
The difference is that much of the money spent here at home will have a measurable impact on American children, college students, seniors, veterans, working families and small businesses.
As a taxpayer, I've got no problem with that. It makes more sense than starting a faraway war on a whim.
Under Obama's plan, the Bush tax cuts that benefited the wealthy would be allowed to expire in a year or so, while couples earning less than $250,000 annually would receive an immediate reduction in their tax rates.
That means the vast majority of Americans would actually see their income taxes go down. My mother, for example, would pay less than she does now, which would be a good thing.
Under another of the president's proposals, some of the itemized deductions that I take on my tax returns would be pared in order to raise revenues for healthcare, and also to make the law more equitable.
The way it stands now is stacked in my favor. If Mom and I each donated $100 to the United Way, I'd get a better tax break for the contribution just because I'm in a higher bracket. The same is true for mortgage-interest deductions.
If Obama's revisions should pass, it won't mean that every tax dollar raised will be spent carefully and efficiently. Our government is too sprawling and clunky. Waste, ineptitude and corruption have been a plague since the founding of the republic.
Yet what good things the government can and must try to do require lots of money, and it has to come from somewhere. For those of us who are in better shape to take a hit than our parents or our kids, this is a no-brainer.
Hiaasen seems to be saying: government wastes and wastes, but it's OK...let the rich give even more to feed the corruption machine. Because they can. Despite the fact that more money for schools doesn't necessarily lead to better results. Talk about medicine that makes the patient even sicker...
Funny to see someone who's made his journalistic living cracking down on politicians and government actually stick up for more government. Perhaps he sees it as fodder for future scathing columns that paint him as the voice and hero of the common man.
So that's what it's come down to these days. The rich will give more. Because they can. It's that simple (BTW, if you think that only "the rich" will pay more taxes and that the rest of us will end up with a tax cut...well I think you're going to be in for a big surprise in the not-too-distant future).
Hey Carl...how about giving the private sector a shot? Or is that being too nice to "the rich"?