Taxes Taxes Taxes

"'Practical' politics, it is held, calls for policies that appeal to the fortunate. The poor do not vote; the alert politician bids for the comfortable and the rich. This would be politically foolish for the Democratic Party; those whose primary concern is to protect their income, their capital and their business interest will always vote for the party that most strongly affirms its service to their pecuniary well-being. This is and has always been the Republicans. The Democrats have no future as a low grade substitute." John Kenneth Galbraith 'The Good Society'

Federal taxes have been reduced under Kennedy, Carter, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush Jr, but you would think it was only the republicans who lowered taxes. State taxes are another issue and often dependent on property value and class. Class gets little press in America and anyone who mentions class is marginalized, after all this is the land of the free and you picked your class. Didn't you.

"There is no historical evidence that tax cuts spur economic growth. The highest period of growth in U.S. history (1933-1973) also saw its highest tax rates on the rich: 70 to 91 percent. During this period, the general tax rate climbed as well, but it reached a plateau in 1969, and growth slowed down five years later. Almost all rich nations have higher general taxes than the U.S., and they are growing faster as well."(1)

If the above statement is true then why are taxes always mentioned as the panacea for economic woes. The reasons are quite simple, on occasion reduced taxes have stimulated jobs or so it seems, but more important is the propaganda that ties taxes to waste and corruption. It isn't really the taxes, it is the other part of the equation: government waste, handouts, pork. Add to that normal human greed, 'it's mine,' and you have the greatest con ever imagined and still perpetrated every election cycle as if voters were born again yesterday, literally.

Consider that our best years for all America were the times when taxes were highest. Consider too that the consequences of tax reduction starting with Carter, Reagan, and Bush Jr has not done any appreciable good for the nation. Reagan/Bush had a major collapse of Real Estate and Savings and Loan requiring bailouts, and George W. Bush almost brought us the Great Depression II with massive tax cuts and low interest rates. Again bailouts were required. Pattern here? Ask yourself why are taxes still the number one political beating stick? No need you should know by now, it's all they have, as the Bible clearly states, you know the root of all evil. By the way the 'evil' ain't helping your nation prosper, it's called helping yourself - the golden rule disregarded. The Nation's health disregarded.

But why believe me lots of information below for those born awhile ago.

"I’m fully aware that I risk excommunication from the Church of Economic Science when I argue exactly the opposite: Tax cuts actually hurt the economy. It isn’t just that they don’t help, or that they’re ineffective—THEY REALLY HURT!"Read article here.

"Von Hayek was wrong. In strong and vibrant democracies, a generous social-welfare state is not a road to serfdom but rather to fairness, economic equality and international competitiveness." Read article here.

Tax Facts: "Surprisingly, many huge American companies pay no taxes to the U.S. government. In 2008, General Electric (NYSE: GE) owed no U.S. taxes, despite ringing up $10.3 billion in pre-tax income. (The complicated explanation involves the huge losses its GE Capital division posted in the U.S., which offset the gobs of money the company made elsewhere.)" Read article here.

"In 'America: Who Really Pays The Taxes?', two investigative reporters with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Donald Barlett and James Steele, traced the path by which tax rates for the very rich got lower and lower. It was not the Republicans but the Democrats-the Kennedy-Johnson administrations-who, under the guise of "tax reform," first lowered the World War II-era rate of 91 percent on incomes over $400,000 a year to 70 percent. During the Carter Administration (though over his objections) Democrats and Republicans in Congress joined to give even more tax breaks to the rich.

"The Reagan administration, with the help of Democrats in Congress, lowered the tax rate on the very rich to 50 percent and in 1986 a coalition of Republicans and Democrats sponsored another "tax reform" bill that lowered the top rate to 28 percent. Barlett and Steele noted that a schoolteacher, a factory worker, and a billionaire could all pay 28 percent. The idea of a "progressive" income in which the rich paid at higher rates than everyone else was now almost dead." Above from Howard Zinn, 'A People's History of the United States'

"The conclusion is that, if anything, tax increases on higher-income families are the least damaging mechanism for closing state fiscal deficits in the short run. Reductions in government spending on goods and services, or reductions in transfer payments to lower-income families, are likely to be more damaging to the economy in the short run than tax increases focused on higher-income families. In any case, in terms of how counter-productive they are, there is no automatic preference for spending reductions rather than tax increases." Read article here.

"Should progressives embrace entitlement reform? Or look elsewhere to narrow the gap? An exchange between two leading fiscal experts."
by Isabel Sawhill and Greg Anrig Read article here.

"How large are these externalities, which must be regarded as owned jointly by members of the whole society? When we compare the poorest with the richest nations, it is hard to conclude that social capital can produce less than about 90 percent of income in wealthy societies like those of the United States or Northwestern Europe. On moral grounds, then, we could argue for a flat income tax of 90 percent to return that wealth to its real owners. In the United States, even a flat tax of 70 percent would support all governmental programs (about half the total tax) and allow payment, with the remainder, of a patrimony of about $8,000 per annum per inhabitant, or $25,000 for a family of three. This would generously leave with the original recipients of the income about three times what, according to my rough guess, they had earned." Read article here.

(1) Quote Source

"In the political turnover in the United States in the autumn of 1994, as previously indicated, those opposing aid to the poor in its several forms won their stunning victory with the support of less than one quarter all eligible voters, fewer than half of whom had gone to the polls. The popular and media response was that those who had prevailed represented the view and voice of the public. Had there been a full turnout at the election, both the result and the reaction would have been decidedly different. The sense of social responsibility for the poor would have been greatly enhanced." John Kenneth Galbraith 'The Good Society'


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