[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Taxes Bad....But Good

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Taxes Bad....But Good

At least Carl Hiaasen lays it all out in his column today, even if he contradicts himself left and right:

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"?


Blogger Rick said...

Actually what he's saying, Robert, is that Government always has been and always will be "sprawling and clunky." Taking into account that reality and discounting the idealistic hope of a slim and efficient bureaucracy, which Republicans love to use as an excuse to justify their stingy ideology, Hiaasen and many other Americans would rather have their tax monies be spent on Americans rather that Iraqi and Afghanis, even if it means paying a bit more.

It's interesting to note that when our taxes were being literally crated overseas to hand out to foreigners, Republicans said nothing. It's only when the talk switches to helping out Americans, and fellow neighbors and citizens that Republicans get upset with sharing their taxes on big social projects.

12:50 PM, March 29, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

So I guess the alternative to "handing out money to foreigners" via protecting ourselves and our interests is to allow for our avowed enemies to attack us and threaten our very existence. We can justly argue about the methods and effectiveness (or lack thereof) of those strategies, but national defense is one of those things worth investing. On the other hand, taking money from the wealthy to pay for expensive domestic programs that are far from proven to be truly effective, while creating a certain type of class warfare, is wrong every day of the week. Americans have always stepped up and helped their neighbors without the government sticking their grubby hands in the pot. That was then...this is now.

1:17 PM, March 29, 2009  
Blogger La Ventanita said...

Anyone who thinks that households under $250K are safe from Tax increases is really smoking some bad shit.

Even more so if Congress approves Obama's budget and he fulfills his promise to cut the deficit in half - never mind that means leaving the deficit the same way he found it basically. Between Bush's deficit, whether appropriate or not, and Obama's deficit, again whether appropriate or not, there is no way in hell our taxes will not be increased across the board.

I don't subscribe to national programs, and one of Bush's and his Congress (bipartisan for the first 2 and the last 2 of his eight years) biggest mistake was the spending spree they went on - and I don't refer only to Iraq.

Obama ran on a fiscally responsible and efficient spending platform. His budget is anything but, in particular at the present moment.

If he was attempting to pass this budget once the economy was in an upswing that would be a different story.

3:17 PM, March 29, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

Robert: YOU guys are the ones creating the class warfare with your tea parties and the incessant drumbeat that the only ones who are going to benefit from Obama's tax cuts are the poor.

Now I know you guys know better after 8 years of success so I guess we should all listen to you and other Republicans when you climb to the top of the mountain and between sobs of hysteria (I swear if one more wimp at babalu says "God help us," I'm going tell him or her to grow some nuts) proclaim that nothing Obama is going to do will work.

Guess what? I'm not listening. You guys had your podium for eight years. Get used to being tuned out.

We did.


8:44 PM, March 30, 2009  
Blogger La Ventanita said...

Guess what? I'm not listening. You guys had your podium for eight years. Get used to being tuned out.

We did.

You do realize Rick, that "if you guys" had been tuned out, Obama would not be in office right now.

As for you, or you guys not listening, with all due respect, you never did. From what I've read in your blog through the years you are too partisan to listen to another side. In particular, you as many others, suffered of the knee jerk reaction to anything Bush or Republicans offered during the 8 years.

I'm not saying there were no mistakes, but even good ideas would get lost and drowned in the no message of the Dems.

Guess what? You guys just spent 8 years being the party of NO and saying that anything the Republicans came up with would not work. Get used to listening to us now.

We did.

10:07 PM, March 30, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

Rick, do you realize how your last comment sounded like a seven-year old bragging that he finally got something he wanted and he's not sharing with anyone? Trust me, I have a seven-year old daughter. I should know.

Nice comeback, LV. Too bad Rick's too stubborn and proud to ever debate the other side without trying to put them down in the process.

10:44 PM, March 30, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

Takes one to know one, Robert.

And LV, you're right. It's the Republican's turn to be the Party of No. In exchange we will try not to call you traitors or un-American because of it.


10:48 AM, March 31, 2009  
Blogger La Ventanita said...

Hey what's good for the goose is good for the gander......

.....As long as you keep believing and allow us to say that Dissent is Patriotic.

4:43 PM, March 31, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

LV: Deal.

"Dissent is patriotic" for the Republican Party now?

Go figure.


7:32 PM, March 31, 2009  
Blogger La Ventanita said...

I'm just saying, you got to say it for 8 years we get to say it now, and you get to listen to it.

If it was patriotic for you, it's patriotic for us.

I'm sure soon enough we'll be reversed again. Nature of the beast.

10:01 PM, March 31, 2009  

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