Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Tag: taxes (page 2 of 4)

A few thoughts…

  • Fact: Lower taxes do not cause more jobs.
  • Fact: Only twice did lowering the tax rate cause revenues to go up – 1964 and 1981.
  • As long as they’re peaceful, the Occupy protesters have the right to protest.  It is part of the First Amendment of the Constitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
  • Herman Cain’s tax plan will be bad for the economy.  It will encourage saving, but our economy is based on consumption.  If too many people save or just buy use, our economy will sink further.
  • President Bush didn’t cause the economic and financial crisis and neither did President Obama.
  • Despite what Alan Greenspan might think, liquidity isn’t the same as capital and just because a company has access to money doesn’t mean that they’re on good footing.
  • Easy credit (with the lowering of interest rates) contributed to the financial crisis.
  • Too little regulation and, in some cases, no regulation was one of the causes of the financial crisis.
  • The Republicans running for President do not understand that last statement.
  • Shortsightedness in reaching for short term profits is one of the factors that caused the financial crisis.

Republican Jobs Plan

Is it me?  Because I just don’t get it.  I don’t understand how the Republicans can keep coming back to the same old / same old and think that it will work.  Yes, Ronald Reagan cut taxes in 1981, but he raised government spending (and I’m really simplifying because monetary policy had a lot to do with the recovery).  The idea that the country can get our citizens back to work via lower tax rates and the reduction of government regulations is a one that is not based on any facts.

Here’s what drives companies to hire people – it’s simple, but true:  DEMAND.  That’s it, demand for a company’s good has to be high enough for the company to hire more people.  PERIOD.  If we’re not out purchasing Ding Dongs, the Ding Dong factory up the road is not going to hire more people.  It doesn’t matter how low a company’s taxes go, they’re NOT going to hire anyone they don’t actually need.

I don’t understand why it is that the Republicans in the Senate (led by John McCain) and the majority of the Republican Candidates for President do not understand the basics of economics.  And, actually, I do understand why Michele Bachmann doesn’t – the woman doesn’t know that Abraham Lincoln wasn’t a founding father and that Elvis is dead.  I understand why Rick Perry doesn’t get it – he’s a politician. But, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are businessmen – Romney hasn’t been one for quite a while, but Cain did an impressive job turning around the Godfather’s Pizza business.

How can either one of them say, in all honesty, that they would hire someone they don’t need in a company just because taxes are low?

Why would anyone?

The truth is that consumers are tapped out.  I’m tapped out, you’re tapped out.  We’ve pretty much purchased everything we wanted in the last, say, twenty years.  I have a house.  I purchased two cars – one new, one used – within the past two years.  Other than buying some Christmas presents and a new cell phone, quite honestly, I’m done.  Finished.  There’s no more spending coming from my house.  It is time – and this is probably anti-Patriotic of me – to do some saving.

There’s a lot of people out there who are just like me.

So, how does the economy improve?

By the government spending, spending and spending some more.  I don’t like the concept, I don’t like the idea, but that’s what has to happen.  We can’t lay off 15,000 government workers in one state and expect that state’s economy to make any improvements.

We have been neglecting our infrastructure in this country for years.  Now is the time to fix the bridges, the roadways, the levees, our schools and whatever else needs fixing.  Now is the time for the government to spend.

There’s a balance that has to be met.  We can’t have too much government money pumped into the economy or it will push out private investment.  We need to find that balance.

But, we are not going to improve the economy by cutting more taxes and reducing even more regulations.  The Republicans need to start singing a new tune, because the economy can’t march to the one they’ve been singing.

Warren Buffet’s Tax Rate…

Warren Buffet released his 2010 taxes for Congress’s review.  He wanted to prove his point that the rich do not pay their fair share in taxes and that they can afford to pay more.  After comparing his tax return to my tax return, I so agree with him.  I earned .10% of what Mr. Buffet earned last year.  That means, for those of you who are math challenged, he earned 1,000 times as much as I did.

Now, if all is fair, then he should’ve paid 1,000 times more than I did in taxes.

Except, he didn’t.  Everything being equal, he should’ve paid $8 million in taxes.  He didn’t, he paid just under $7 million.  I can hear the argument now, that’s more than you paid.  If you don’t like it, why don’t you go get rich.  (Usually, these arguments come from people who make half as much as I do.)

How can a man who make 1,000 times more than me pay a tax rate that is only 2% higher than mine?  How is that fair?

Well, I have to go to work, where 1/3 of my paycheck goes to taxes and insurance before I even come home.

373 – 1

373 – 1 => that’s the difference between your salary and the salary of the guy on top.  For every dollar you earn, a CEO is earning 373 dollars.  And, what do you get for that huge difference?

You get a boss who thinks you’re paid too much.

You get a boss who wants to raise profit margins and he does this by laying off your co-workers or even you.

You get a boss who is more than willing to move a factory overseas to save money, so he can make even more.

You get bad health insurance – if you have any health insurance at all.

You get to save for your own retirement out of the little bit of money that you have – and you get politicians that want to take away your safety net.

You get the feeling that you are expendable.

We could blame the government for our nation’s economic woes.  However; it isn’t entirely the government’s fault.  Greed is good, so the saying goes.  Except, greed is only good for those on top and it harms those of us on the bottom rung (and, even those of us a couple of rungs higher).

Perhaps, the government should take some, but not all, the blame.  It was the government that removed the financial regulations that had prevented a financial collapse for sixty years.  The free market system would work if only greed and the ever desire for higher and higher profit margins wasn’t part of the deal.  When men (and women) only concern themselves with profit and not sound business decisions, economic collapse ensues.

I’m not entirely sure what can completely fix our economy, but I can tell you what won’t and what hasn’t.  Lowering taxes even farther and ending financial (and other business) regulations are not going to put this great nation back on solid financial footing.  We need to put the Glass-Seagull act back into place to protect our financial markets.  And, we need to raise taxes on the upper classes.  The top limit needs to be moved back to 39%.

Ronald Reagan was correct to lower taxes in the eighties.  It was a good thing and it started economy recovery.  However; too much of a good thing can do us harm.  Our current economic status is proving just that.

The GOP Way: Cutting Taxes on the Rich, Raising Taxes on the Middle Class

According to Huffington Post, the Republican Party is all for raising taxes on you and me.  Actually, I didn’t need to read the article to know that, they’ve been saying it all along.  Paul Ryan – who is unfortunately, my representative in Congress – called the other night with one of them recorded messages.  He stated, “I work for you.”  Really?  Because your roadmap for America plan makes it seem like you’re only working for the rich.

Pay attention, here’s where I’m going to do math.

Current Ryan’s Plan
Salary $1,250.00 $1,250.00
Medical $63.36 $63.36
Taxable Income $1,186.64 $1,250.00
Federal Income Tax $212.04 $312.50
% 17.87% 25.00%

Under Paul Ryan’s plan, health insurance would no longer be pre-taxed. Under his plan, any single making more that $50,000 per year would pay 25% in Federal Income tax. The tax rate for corporate America? 8%.

So, basically, Ryan and his Republican cronies will be financing this country on the backs of the single people.  A family of four can earn $39,000 without paying one penny in taxes, while us single people will only be able to earn $16,000 without paying taxes.  That means that I will end up paying more in taxes – a lot more.  Under Ryan’s plan, I will pay $12,250.00 in taxes.  Under our current tax structure (and using the standard deduction and personal excemption), I only pay $9,917.85.  That’s a difference of $2,332.15.

Anyone who is single, shouldn’t vote Republican.  It’ll cost you in the long run.

You have been fooled…

If you’re even thinking for a second about voting for a Republican, then you are a fool.  You’ve been hoodwinked and you don’t even know it.  You don’t know enough about the history of this country to make a proper decision.  You don’t understand enough about economics, moral hazards and deregulation to make the right decision.

It’s not your fault.

For the last thirty + years in this country, we have been told over and over again that what is good for business is good for America.  You know, I feel sorry for Ronald Reagan.  By all accounts, he was a nice man.  Tip O’Neil and him would have beers in the White House after a hard day debating.  He was easy going, soft-spoken and he believed what he said.

But, he was wrong.

Let me explain business to you.  Business isn’t a game, Businesses are not people and they don’t give a damn about you, the environment or your children.  The men and women who run businesses could give a rat’s ass about you.  Sure, there are some few and far between exceptions, but they’re, well, few and far between.

People go into business for one reason: to make money.

That’s it – nothing more.

I love my job, but quite frankly, I am there for a paycheck and health benefits.  If I could support my family by not working, I would.  Don’t get me wrong, I really love what I do and I’m good at it – so I’m lucky, I work a job I actually love, but love doesn’t make the world go around – money does.

Continuing on, what caused the economic crisis cannot be summed up in just one sentence.  There are many factors – predatory lenders, housing bubble, too much credit to the wrong people, deregulation and the list goes on.  But, the jobless recovery?  That’s easy: Companies are making huge profits because they aren’t hiring you.  And, the companies that are hiring, are paying the lowest wages possible.

Because?

Well, it’s easy…Businesses want profits, the higher the profits; the better the business.  The stock market rewards the businesses with the highest profits, by keeping their stock prices high.

Somebody’s getting rich – it’s just not you.

The GOP wants to dismantle the rest of the regulations that keep us safe at work, that help the environment and keep our food safe.  The GOP wants to dismantle the safety nets for the people who do the real work – you and me.  They want to lower taxes on businesses, because they say that will cause businesses to start hiring.

It’s not true.

The GOP wants to continue their destruction of America.

Don’t let them.

The Republican Plan

Rush Limbaugh – that moronic flab of hot air – says that the Republicans can’t compromise. Well, that’s just great. The Republicans should play to their fringe and not to common sense. Around half of our deficit problem is because of the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. A quarter is because of two wars that we cannot afford. The government, despite my own comparison, cannot run like our household budgets. The government’s job to to provide for the general welfare of its people (see US Constitution) and if people aren’t going to eat because there aren’t any jobs, let the government spend the money.

Yes, we need to cut spending, but we need to raise taxes on the upper echelon of this country. If tax cuts create jobs, like the right wing keeps claiming, then where are they? The US Corporations are paying less in taxes now then since the 50’s (which, by the way, have a great economy). So, where are the jobs?

Limbaugh claims that the GOP won’t have a backbone if they compromise, well, Limbaugh wouldn’t know a backbone if it hit him in the face. None of these guys would. Having a backbone, manning up, this takes courage and it is easy for them not to compromise if that’s what the tea party wants. They’re bending to someone else’s will.

What shows a backbone is standing up for that which is right against those who disagree. If the Republicans said, look Obama has compromised on spending, so we’re going to give a little revenue – that would show some courage. Right now, they’re just thinking about their jobs and not the country.

Debt Ceiling

I could go over Obama’s talk from last night and cover the whiner, Boehner’s dismal response, but I won’t.  I was going to post my own economic research, but I found an article on The Coffee Party website.  I think it is a pretty level headed response to what is going on in this country.

So, please go over there and read it.

The graph regarding the comparison between individual and corporate taxes is enough to make you sick.  It is, also, one of the reasons that the middle class’s wages have been stagnate.  I’m going to blame the lack of hiring in this jobless recovery on it as well.  If there is no incentive to hire someone, corporations aren’t going to do it.

We’ve been here before

It is amazing to me how history continues to repeat.  We – the collective we – fail to learn from the past.  Here we are, on the brink of defaulting on our loans, and the Republicans on standing on ideology instead of doing what is right for the country.  We may not be able to spend our way out of debt and we cannot tax cut our way out of debt.  However; the Republicans are too scared of making Obama look good and going against the Tea Partiers to do what is the right thing to do.

When we default next week, because the Republicans cannot and would not accept a very reasonable offer, don’t come crying to me.

Ironically, these “Republicans” claim to revere Ronald Reagan, yet Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times.  Despite the spin the right-wing talking heads want to put on it, he still – while saying he didn’t want to do so – raised taxes.

Bumper Sticker Politics

On my drive home from work yesterday, I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Cut taxes, secure our borders” and went on to mention other right-wing propaganda.  I had to laugh.  We cannot cut our taxes anymore.  We are at the lowest point since the 1950’s.  Taxes are lower now than they were during Ronald Reagan and still, the right carries on with their bumper sticker politics.  Part of our debt comes because we cut taxes in 2001 and 2003 and never made spending cuts to offset it.  The only thing the Republicans, Tea Partiers and the right-wing are good at is spending misleading and sometimes outright lies about our economy.  Apparently, not enough of us took enough economics classes to understand the problem in order to find a solution.

If Obama signs off on a plan that makes huge cuts to Social Security and Medicare and does not include a tax raise, it will be a huge mistake.  Pay attention.  The “Taxed Enough Already” Partiers do not know what trouble they’re causing.  Paying taxes is how we maintain our schools, our secure borders.  We pay taxes to pay our military.  If the tax revenue does not go up – our military cannot get a raise, did you think of that?

Tax breaks handed over to the rich, who benefit most from our capitalistic society, does NOT create jobs.  Jobs are created by consumption – no consumption = no jobs.

Corporations are making their highest profits in years and they aren’t hiring because they are not compelled to do so.

Let’s start finding some real solutions to our nation’s problems and leave the half-baked signs and bumper stickers at home.

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