Wednesday, April 07, 2010

50% of Americans Get Something for Nothing; Income Taxes Are Somebody Else's Problem

WASHINGTON (AP) -- "Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions, but for nearly half of U.S. households it's simply somebody else's problem. About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009 (see chart above, data here). Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That's according to projections by the Tax Policy Center.

In recent years, credits for low- and middle-income families have grown so much that a family of four making as much as $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009, as long as there are two children younger than 17.

Tax cuts enacted in the past decade have been generous to wealthy taxpayers, too, making them a target for President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. Less noticed were tax cuts for low- and middle-income families, which were expanded when Obama signed the massive economic recovery package last year. The result is a tax system that exempts almost half the country from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It is a system in which the top 10 percent of earners -- households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 -- paid about 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government.

The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment. "We have 50 percent of people who are getting something for nothing," said Curtis Dubay, senior tax policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation."

156 Comments:

At 4/07/2010 7:24 PM, Anonymous Alan Gunn said...

It's worse than that. Although many of these people pay no income tax, most of them face, in effect, marginal tax rates approaching or even exceeding 100%, because as their incomes increase they lose benefits. So we have a system that encourages a "someone else will pay for it" mindset combined with the bad incentives created by high marginal rates. Well done Congress.

 
At 4/07/2010 7:29 PM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...

Well, not quite. People pay payroll taxes, on first $100k or so of wages.

There are also excise taxes of various kinds, federal gasoline taxes, and alcohol and tobacco taxes.

Our great national parks, that used to be free (and were meant to be free), now charge to enter.

It maybe a while before I cry myself to sleep over these perceived inquities in the tax cose--rich people paying too much.

I am not toally heartless--I will toss Dr. Perry a hanky.

 
At 4/07/2010 7:45 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Benny I have receipts (like $2.00 for a car) for entrance fees my parents and grandparents paid to enter Yosemite and Yellowstone in 1948. So they were not free even then, possibly in 1900 but then getting to them was a chore. Actually the various passes for National parks are a good deal, and in particular if you are over 62 a lifetime pass for $10.00 is a steal.
For the younger $80 per year for all parks and the like is also not a bad deal.

 
At 4/07/2010 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, not quite. People pay payroll taxes, on first $100k or so of wages.

Typical leftist bullshit. First, payroll taxes are expected to be returned in the form of Social Security and Medicare. I suppose that, having paid for everything else, you would like the "rich" to pay for your retirement too. Second, the "rich" pay all of these other taxes as well and they get little or nothing back in the form of government programs. And let's not forget that they create most of the jobs.

What a twisted, greedy little bastard you are.

 
At 4/07/2010 7:56 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji always spouts Leftist bullshit, but has the nerve to call himself a "true conservative" while claiming the right-wing is the problem, ....even though he voted for the idiot President speedily bankrupting the country.

 
At 4/07/2010 8:42 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Given federal, state, and local governments are in poor financial conditions, they'll find many ways to get money out of the American people.

The new health care law seems to be a huge tax hike, because the poor already receive free health care.

 
At 4/07/2010 10:00 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Are we at the tipping point yet?

If not, when do we become such a sniveling, whiny bunch of greedy, narcissistic douchebags that we can't even make the the most basic tough choice?

A tough choice like, say, not spending twice what we collect in taxes?

 
At 4/07/2010 10:41 PM, Blogger moneybagzz said...

Socialism polls incredibly well with people who want nice things but don't really bother with the earnings part of the equation. They likely think that rich people have too much money....or some such nonsense.

I guess that your average tax-and-spend, welfare-statist liberal's greatest dream would be to marry (if it were possible to do so) the Government of France.

Someone has GOT to have a 'Treasury Market Implosion Countdown Timer' somewhere...

 
At 4/07/2010 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really want to know how 9% manage to pay no taxes whatsoever on income >100,000k

 
At 4/07/2010 11:13 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, why do you want to know?

 
At 4/07/2010 11:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"Our great national parks, that used to be free (and were meant to be free), now charge to enter."

Benny, I'm sure you are aware that there are costs to maintaining and administering our national parks, so they cannot actually be "free". Someone must pay these costs. Who do you think it should be? Those who actually use and enjoy the parks, or all of us?

Keep in mind that if you answer "all of us", you are suggesting that some people should be forced to pay, even though they might never want to use the parks. Does that seem fair to you?

 
At 4/07/2010 11:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 10:46

I would be more interested in knowing how .2% of people making less than $10k manage to pay income tax.

 
At 4/07/2010 11:41 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Ron H I think the answer is likely children who have investments. You can't claim an exemption or a standard deduction if claimed on a parents return, getting the equivalent of a 970 exemption. Beyond that you pay tax some at a low rate and after some point at the parents tax rate. Earned income is treated differently than investment income to avoid parents giving investments to their children to beat the taxes

 
At 4/07/2010 11:52 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Lyle, I hadn't thought of that situation, thanks.

 
At 4/08/2010 12:01 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Obama proposes end to Bush-era tax breaks for wealthy
Feb. 1, 2010

Obama said Monday at the White House, "we will not continue costly tax cuts for oil companies, investment fund managers, and those making over $250,000 a year. We just can't afford it."

Well, Obama should've thought of that before he went on a multi-trillion dollar spending spree and signed into law policies that slowed government revenue growth.

There's a billboard in Minnesota with a huge photo of Bush and this question: "Miss Me Yet?"

"The Bush Miss Me Yet? billboard was paid for by a group of small business owners who feel like Washington is against them.

 
At 4/08/2010 12:57 AM, Anonymous Stephen said...

This line of argumentation is just stupid. The logic of these people is perfectly reasonable, it follows the following pattern of logic: If A then B. If not A than not B

If people like me are required to pay higher taxes, than I'm perfectly willing to pay higher taxes.

If no one else like me is required to pay higher taxes, than I am not willing to pay higher taxes.

What is wrong with these two positions?

 
At 4/08/2010 1:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia: Denying the antecedent, sometimes also called inverse error, is a formal fallacy, committed by reasoning in the form:
If P, then Q. Not P. Therefore, not Q.
Arguments of this form are invalid, even if their premises are true.

And back to the issue of who pays taxes . . . Wait til the consumption taxes begin. Roth IRA holders especially, and savers in general, will be angry. Incentives to save will be extinguished.

 
At 4/08/2010 3:33 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Second, the "rich" pay all of these other taxes as well and they get little or nothing back in the form of government programs. And let's not forget that they create most of the jobs.

That does not give them the ability to have overly large amounts of influence over people. Just because they are a job creator does not mean they get to be able to act as a divine creator.

The amount of money someone has is immaterial compared to the amount of influence they have over others(and how they wield such influence).


"The Bush Miss Me Yet? billboard was paid for by a group of small business owners who feel like Washington is against them.

Indeed, but they shouldn't be taking it out on the people by purposefully withholding work for a politically favorable outcome.

Either step up and be part of the recovery in the US, or don't get in the way of one. Otherwise you're creating and/or maintaining a crisis for the sake of having one.

 
At 4/08/2010 5:03 AM, Blogger W.E. Heasley said...

The vast majority of the 50% who remain paying federal income tax are likely “The Forgotten Man” as described by William Graham Sumner’s in his 1883 essay.

The vast majority of the 50% who do not pay federal income tax are likely, to one degree or another, a legacy of New Deal programs and Great Society programs.

Progressives taught FDR all about social engineering programs. FDR taught the progressives how to use social engineering programs for “constituency building”.

We can clearly state that New Deal and Great Society programs have had very poor results that have come with a mighty price tag. However, no such poor result occurred in the area of “constituency building”. The constituency built upon the social welfare state was successful.

The question then becomes: has the anointed/intelligentsia view (progressives) produced social engineering schemes painted in their own self image for their own self gratification, regardless of the outcome of the countless schemes, and not for altruistic purposes, but as a grand scheme for the purpose of constituency building?

 
At 4/08/2010 6:14 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Sethstorm,

"Either step up and be part of the recovery in the US, or don't get in the way of one.."

Uh huh, and how exactly are you "stepping up?" When are the doors to your new enterprise, the one with generous benefits and only sells products made in America?

 
At 4/08/2010 6:27 AM, Anonymous gih said...

Well, that's a worst thing I ever heard.

 
At 4/08/2010 7:11 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Why the soicalist 'progressive income tax' in the first place?

Why should someone making $200K per year pay one more penny in any kind of taxes than someone making $20K per year?

 
At 4/08/2010 8:20 AM, Anonymous Stan Greer said...

Many comments here, but no one has made one obvious and important point.

A large chunk of the people who don't pay any federal income taxes don't do so because they have three or more children as dependents.

Such people often work pretty hard, have good job skills, and earn an income well above average, but don't owe any income taxes mostly because of the child tax credit.

And, in the long run, it's hard to say that people with 0-2 kids who earn the same incomes, and do have to pay income taxes, are subsidizing the people with three or more kids who don't pay them, because today's kids are the future earners who will pay for today's earners' Social Security and Medicare, however generous or paltry those benefits turn out to be.

The idea that childless federal income tax payers are paying their freight, and that hardworking people with an above average number of kids, who consequently don't pay income taxes, aren't paying their freight, is simplistic and foolish. Both are paying their freight in different ways.

Conservatives and libertarians who cling to the idea that all non-federal income taxpayers are freeloaders need to think things through.

 
At 4/08/2010 8:29 AM, Blogger Marko said...

The tax rate on the upper 50% is actually higher than indicated. Don't forget that your employer pays a tax to employ you. Also, if your employer probably pays taxes too. As a result, your wages have already been taxed twice before you even get to pay taxes on it.

Maybe we really should repeal the sixteenth amendment and have a consumption tax instead - seems much fairer to me. Just need a way to ensure that people don't start carving out exemptions for favored consumption. Without a repeal, we are likely to get a luxury consumption task on top of the ridiculous progressive income tax. Elections have consequences, as people are finally learning . . .

 
At 4/08/2010 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, not quite. People pay payroll taxes, on first $100k or so of wages.

Typical leftist bullshit. First, payroll taxes are expected to be returned in the form of Social Security and Medicare.

================================

OK, now you have lost me. Are you claiming that we should pay MORE taxes? How right wing of you.

Don't we expect ALL of our taxes to be returned to us in the form of goods or services? Since when is the idea you might get something for your taxes an excuse for not paying them?

Hydra

 
At 4/08/2010 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...the "rich" pay all of these other taxes as well and they get little or nothing back in the form of government programs. "

Oh, give me a break. They get the same standard deduction as anyone else, what isn't egalitarian about that?

But how many of them use it? The rich wind up getting far more tax deductions than the poor, but it isn't enough to make up for the even greater disparity in their ability to pay.

I've been poor and I've been rich. Rich is better, even after taxes.

 
At 4/08/2010 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...before he went on a multi-trillion dollar spending spree

So we should stop/decrease spending so we can afford costly tax breaks for the oil companies, investment managers and those earning over $250,000?

And the argument is that this will allow business to increase, creating more jobs and bringing more revenue.

What do we spend that revenue on?

OH, that's right, that higher revenue will allow us to cut taxes again, which will lead to even more revenue.

And when we get to zero taxes we will have infinite revenue.

 
At 4/08/2010 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should someone making $200K per year pay one more penny in any kind of taxes than someone making $20K per year? .

Every person is entitled to equal protection of their person and their property. Those with more property have a lot more to protect, and they should pay accordingly. Some of them still don;t think they are getting enough protection, so they band together and pay ADDITIONAL private taxes so they can live in protected, gated communities.


Juandos, if you are not earning over $200k why does this bother you?

If you ARE earning over $200k, then what are you worried about?

 
At 4/08/2010 9:16 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, Obama said "we will not continue costly tax cuts..."

They're costly to government, not individuals, households, and firms.

Anon: "Don't we expect ALL of our taxes to be returned to us in the form of goods or services?"

No, we get unproductive work and immorality from our taxes.

Obama went on a huge spending spree and promoted slow economic growth policies simultaneously.

Instead, he should've cut taxes to promote economic growth to raise tax revenues.

 
At 4/08/2010 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Joint returns with more than $250,000 adjusted gross income and single returns with more than $125,000 adjusted gross income together are estimated to make up 3.1 percent of households next year. That group is projected to earn 27 percent of all personal income and pay 47.9 percent of all personal federal income taxes in 2009."

OK, now tell me, what is the percentage of all federal tax deductions taken by these folks?

 
At 4/08/2010 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Instead, he should've cut taxes to promote economic growth to raise tax revenues."

And what would he spend those revenues on, that you would approve of?

Do you suppose that expenditures you approve of are immune from unproductive work or unexpected moral consequences?

 
At 4/08/2010 9:19 AM, Blogger Anon A. Mus said...

The real question is where are these people who pay no taxes and how did they do it? My family, friends, co-workers and all the people they know cover an income range of $15,000 to $200,000. All of these complain about paying incomes taxes in some amount. At least, none have admitted to having a net tax bill of $0. Maybe someone could enlighten me. Now, that would be a post!!!!

 
At 4/08/2010 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They're costly to government, not individuals, households, and firms."

So it is a zero sum game?

 
At 4/08/2010 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know some people who (I suspect) pay no taxes. They have all cash black market businesses.

 
At 4/08/2010 9:28 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, government destroys capital. It takes $1 in taxes and gives maybe $0.80 back to society, because of inefficiencies. The private sector creates the capital, through efficiencies, the government destroys.

 
At 4/08/2010 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon: "Don't we expect ALL of our taxes to be returned to us in the form of goods or services?"

No, we get unproductive work and immorality from our taxes.

===============================

Like I said, we
EXPECT all of our taxes to be returned in goods and services. We KNOW that no one is perfect, even the one third of us who make our living off the government.

Yeah, we get unproductive work and other mistakes.

I suppose you are going to tell me you ALWAYS trade at the peak and never screw up.

You ever trade in government securities? Foreign securities?

 
At 4/08/2010 9:32 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, government should "spend" those revenues on paying down the national debt.

Fiscal policy should help monetary policy smooth-out business cycles, i.e. raise taxes in an expansion and cut taxes in a contraction.

 
At 4/08/2010 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, government destroys capital. It takes $1 in taxes and gives maybe $0.80 back to society, because of inefficiencies.

==============================

20% Overhead. My company is 18.5.

What do you claim your own efficiency is? Even yeast can't make alcohol at 100% efficiency.

Suppose you start working at age 21. How long will it take you to pay back what government has already spent on you?

 
At 4/08/2010 9:37 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, the government not only destroys capital, it destroys assets and goods, through inefficiencies.

The government doesn't understand how the economy works. It has no business micromanaging something it doesn't understand.

 
At 4/08/2010 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, government should "spend" those revenues on paying down the national debt.

You mean all those revenues we are going to raise by cutting taxes?

Gee, I think I'll go start selling my product for less, that way I'll get more revenue.

 
At 4/08/2010 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The government" is run by people just like you and I. What makes us think that we are smarter than thousands of others? If we are that smart and if it will save THAT much, why aren't we running for office?

Because government doesn't pay enough.

Gee, if government can raise revenue by cutting taxes, maybe it can save money and get smarter people by lowering government pay.

 
At 4/08/2010 9:54 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The government may spend $1 for something that's worth $0.80, while the private sector may spend $1 for something that's worth $1.20.

Also, recently, the government squandered trillions of dollars to achieve slow economic growth and massive idle resources.

Anon, sometimes a lower price increases quantity enough to increase revenues and profits.

 
At 4/08/2010 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my business I know that if I do not borrow SOME money I can't grow the busness as fast as otherwise. Too much debt and I put the business at risk.

How much money should the government borrow, or do you beliove it should have no debt?

 
At 4/08/2010 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@PeakTrader

I want to know how 9% of the people paying *no* income tax on incomes >100k manage that because I want to learn how to reduce my own tax load. Simple self-interest.

Aside from that - the tables here explain the reason for this unequal taxation.

More than 90% of all the money in the US in in the hands of the 20% richest people. More than 30% of *all* money is in the hands of the 1% richest people. Clearly, if you want money, there's no point in going after people who don't have it... simple market logic.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:09 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, the U.S. had excess capital, assets, and goods. The government has been squandering those excesses over the past year (e.g. through capital destruction and idle resources). So, good luck getting a loan.

Budget deficits shouldn't grow more than 3% of GDP, because that's the real long-run growth rate of the U.S. economy.

However, that percentage should be smaller in an economic expansion and larger in an economic contraction, to help smooth-out business cycles.

Anyway, the future has been spent. All that's left is to collect the bill.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes.

The problem with the conservative argument is that sometimes is always. If you believe private enterprise is 40% more efficient than governnment then there is never a time for more spending.

Since Private enterprise is so much more efficient, how about we just subcontract more out. We know how efficient those government contractors are, right?

There is never a time for more government spending except after the fact: to pay down the debt. That would be to pay for all the stuff we already got.

Except, as you point out, we never got 20% of it due to waste.

How about this, since the debt is owed mostly to ourselves, we only pay back 80% of it? We already sucked up the cash flow that represented the other 20%, so there is no loss to us and government could save a bundle.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, the U.S. had excess capital, assets, and goods.

When was that?

When I have excess stuff, I get rid of it.

Whats the problem?

 
At 4/08/2010 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and larger in an economic contraction, to help smooth-out business cycles.

This is one of our larger economic contractions and we have larger deficit spending than normal.

Isn't the administration doing just as you suggest?

 
At 4/08/2010 10:19 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, "More than 90% of all the money in the US in in the hands of the 20% richest people."

What does that statement have to do with reducing your tax load? (of over $100,000 a year)

Do you believe destroying wealth will raise everyone's living standard?

If you believe rich people make too much money, why not ship them to another country?

 
At 4/08/2010 10:21 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"Clearly, if you want money, there's no point in going after people who don't have it... simple market logic."

Clearly, if you want money just sit on your ass and wait for Obama to plunder someone else's assets for you.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes a lower price increases quantity enough to increase revenues and profits.

Sometimes a lower price increases quantity enough that you run out of stock, too.

Then you have to borrow, to get more production equipment. Someday you will have to pay the bill on that equipment. Fortuanately, "the government" will give you a huge tax write-off on the purchase.

Instead of paying debt on your own equipment, you pay government debt.

Zero sum game. Exclusively played by the rich.

Oh, that's right, I'm sure you can borrow money 40% cheaper than the government can.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:31 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, government cut and raised taxes at the same time, while spending trillions of dollars.

Rather than government helping households reduce their mountain of debt (which would also strengthen banks and spur economic growth), it created another mountain of government debt.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:36 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

anonymous: "If you believe private enterprise is 40% more efficient than governnment then there is never a time for more spending."

I disagree with that. A private justice system might be more efficient, but there is no guarantee it would honor minority rights. A private defense system might be more efficient, but I want decision making about use of nuclear subramines to be in hands of those accountable to voters.

Due to eminent domain powers available to government, I'm not sure a private highway system would be more efficient than a public one. However, a hybrid government-private system might be.

On the other hand, I am confident that private charity would be more efficient than the goverment forced transfer systems we now have. Such private charity would also preserve private property rights.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:40 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, you will pay the bill, one way or another, e.g. through higher prices, interest rates, taxes, etc. Everyone will pay. A zero sum game is an illusion, because losses will exceed gains.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly, if you want money just sit on your ass and wait for Obama to plunder someone else's assets for you.

Or I could wait for a conservative government to plunder asssets from someone who has none.

Which way will I get more plunder?
Which way will I get it sooner?

Which efficient enterprise should I plunder first? Global Crossing, Enron, Adelphia, Worldcom, General Motors, Hummer, Madoff Investments, Countrywide, Lehaman Brothers, GM Rover, Arthur Anderson?

 
At 4/08/2010 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about this, since the debt is owed mostly to ourselves, we only pay back 80% of it?

What do you mean we lefty?

The problem with the leftist argument is that sometimes is always. You always believe that more goverment spending and more centeralized power is the answer, even when it doesn't result in better outcomes. You always covet other peoples money, vilifying them as being somehow unworthy of the fruits of their own labor, so as to justify your theft. You always claim to be acting out of altruism instead of simply lusting for power. You always claim that you should be judged by your self-declared noble intentions, even if your policies result in ignorance, poverty, violence and despair. And this just the short list.

When you take another man's money, you seek to make him your slave. The real problem with the left's argument is that it is pro-slavery.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:45 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

anonymous: "We know how efficient those government contractors are, right?"

Actually, we do. One example: Fedex now moves USPS priority mail and packages across the country on its planes at a far lower cost than USPS ever achieved. The Fedex efficiencies were only possible when USPS stopped dictating to the nth degree how those mail and package items were to be moved, and allowed Fedex engineers to do what they do best.

The problem with the federal government's relationship with private outsourcing partners has long been that the former usually refuses to all the latter to implement efficiencies. Political considerations always trumps efficiency.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A zero sum game is an illusion, because losses will exceed gains.

Well, there you have it then, we may as well give up and not play, or we can invest in the mythical perpetual motion machine, that is perfectly efficient and always produces profits.

What do you suppose such a machine would sell for on the open market?

Oops, there you go again, zero sum game.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:49 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

anonymous: " since the debt is owed mostly to ourselves, we only pay back 80% of it?"

All taxpayers are on the hook for government borrowing. But the government did not borrow from all taxpayers. So the debt is not "owed mostly to ourselves". Rather, all taxpayers owe the debt to a much smaller group of lenders.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fedex efficiencies are also possible because they cherry pick their markets.

If FEDEX is that good, why aren't they selling health insurance, or delivering first class mail?

 
At 4/08/2010 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the government did not borrow from all taxpayers.

No, it borrowed on behalf of all taxpayers.

Anyway, a huge chunk of what is owed is owed to us, in the form of SS, no?

 
At 4/08/2010 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which efficient enterprise should I plunder first? Global Crossing, Enron, Adelphia, Worldcom, General Motors, Hummer, Madoff Investments, Countrywide, Lehaman Brothers, GM Rover, Arthur Anderson?

Hey, genius, Global Crossing, Enron, Worldcom, Countrywide, Arthur Anderson are no longer in business and whatever they managed to "plunder" they did so with the help of Democrats.

Bernie Madoff was a big donor to the Democrats and other lefty organizations. And, as a lefty, isn't it a little disingenuous for you to bad mouth Bernie when he was only running a Ponzi scheme, the same as Democrats are still doing with Social Security and Medicare?

As for GM, the bailout was done for the UAW's benefit. Funny, how they didn't make your list.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All taxpayers are on the hook for government borrowing.

Not really. You could always emigrate.

To Greece maybe. Or Norway.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:56 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, I agree, the government plays too many games, and working Americans are forced to play them rather than create real value. Society loses more than government gains.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Genius, none of them are in business, except maybe a little piece of Arthur Anderson.

The list could be a lot longer. I supose the Democrats cause all business failures.

How about Japan Air Lines?

 
At 4/08/2010 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Society loses more than government gains.

Always?

There are a lot more poor people in society than rich ones, so I suppose they must lose the most.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:05 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

It seems, the goal of the anti-business Anon is more government rather than more assets, goods, and capital for the masses.

The anti-business Anon ignores there were excess houses, autos, imports, etc., and those excesses are being destroyed by a big Marxist government.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie was as efficient at running his Ponzi scheme as the government was in catching him.

Wasn't the Enron CEO close to Bush?

How about Massey coal? Do you suppose the CEO is Democratic or Republican?

How about the miners?

 
At 4/08/2010 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyway, a huge chunk of what is owed is owed to us, in the form of SS, no?

I love how the left has two sets of standards - one for the government, and one for the private sector. If a private investment firm had squandered the life savings of every American the way that the government has, the left would demand public executions. But if the people's savings are blown on dubious extra-constitutional socialist bullshit, hey, no problem.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems, the goal of the anti-business Anon is more government rather than more assets, goods, and capital for the masses.

Actually, I have several profitable but small businesses of my own. Why would I be against business?

Being a capitalist, why would I care about the masses?

Government is screwed up, but I recognize it does a lot for me.
Regulations that represent a barrier to new entry, etc. I'm more interested in making it better than I am in making it bigger.

And I'm not crazy enough to think I can do without it, or that budeget cuts are always the answer.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't the Enron CEO close to Bush?

No, he was close to Clinton, who ferried Enron representatives around the world, at public expense, twisting arms to get them contracts. Ron Brown, Clinton's Secrertary of Commerce , died on such a mission.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a private investment firm had squandered the life savings ...

What do you mean IF?

What do you suppose the odds are that I will get SOME social security check from govenment?

What do you suppose the odds are that I will get SOME check from Enron?

And what makes you think I'm on the left? Left of Attilla the Hun, maybe.....

Just because I think your arguments are weak, doesn't mean I like government or taxes.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I supose the Democrats cause all business failures.

"I can't save every undercapitalized entrepreneur in America"

- Hillary Clinton, defending the impact of her proposed health care plan on American small businesses.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I supose the Democrats cause all business failures.

"I can't save every undercapitalized entrepreneur in America"

- Hillary Clinton, defending the impact of her proposed health care plan on American small businesses.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you suppose the odds are that I will get SOME check from Enron?

Enron doesn't owe you money. The victims of Enron were their stockholders and employees. Funny, how leftists always believe that corporations owe them money.

And what makes you think I'm on the left?

Well, if it walks like a duck ...

 
At 4/08/2010 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for clarifying that for me. But didn't he get his start in Houston? And wasn't he a federal energy regulator under Nixon or Ford?

 
At 4/08/2010 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Democrats and Enron

Two government agencies that promote American business interests abroad gave the Enron Corporation hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and other assistance over the last decade, the agencies and Congressional investigators said today.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which helps American companies win business against foreign competitors in developing nations, gave Enron $544 million in loans for five projects, starting in 1993. It also provided $204 million in political risk insurance for 10 Enron projects, starting in 1992.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States, a government agency that makes loans to foreign companies to help them buy goods and services from American companies, lent $675 million to companies affiliated with Enron, starting in 1993.

Republicans said the figures showed that Enron had sought and received help from Washington long before President Bush took office and that the Clinton administration had enthusiastically helped Enron as the company undertook an ambitious global expansion in the 1990's.

Enron sought to cultivate ties to the Clinton administration in other ways ...

The New York Times

 
At 4/08/2010 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie Madoff De-funds the Left

Through his Social Security-like Ponzi scheme that paid older investors with incoming funds from newer investors, Madoff, a heavy donor to Democratic candidates, also did irreparable harm to the liberal and far-left causes he loves.

At least two major left-leaning charities are closing their doors as a direct consequence of the record-breaking fraud.

Spectator

 
At 4/08/2010 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enron doesn't owe you money.

Not now. Enron got bankruptcy protection from the government.

How do you know I did not have Enron stocks or Bonds?

How does this answer the question of relative security of govt debt vs private debt?

The beauty of even a duck is in the eye of the beholder. A sumo wrestler walks like a duck, but it doesn't make him a duck.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Massey coal? Do you suppose the CEO is Democratic or Republican?

Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Benito Mussolini, Fidel Castro. Do you suppose they had more in common with the Democrats or the Republicans?

How about the miners?

Democrat or Republican, they were counting on the Obama administration to enforce the safety laws and, as usual, he failed miserably.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least two major left-leaning charities are closing their doors as a direct consequence of the record-breaking fraud.

So, Madoff was actually a conservative Kim Philby, working underground to weaken the left?

I love a good conspiracy.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enron got bankruptcy protection from the government.

The government wrote special bankruptcy protection laws for Ken Lay? Who knew. How about a link to that story.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, Madoff was actually a conservative Kim Philby, working underground to weaken the left? I love a good conspiracy.

It really doesn't take long to reduce you lefties to gibberish.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true that Massey Coal got more citations this year than last year, under the previous administration?

California had a big earthquake this year. Is that the fault of Obama?

The question was, who is more likely to be Republican, the CEO or the miners?

It's a free country, no one forced them to work there.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:53 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"Or I could wait for a conservative government to plunder asssets from someone who has none."

Uh, that would be impossible to do. Only an Obama voter could formulate such a nonsense sentence.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true that Massey Coal got more citations this year than last year, under the previous administration?

Too lazy to find out for yourself. Why doesn't that surprise me?

California had a big earthquake this year. Is that the fault of Obama?

Why not, you lefty assholes blamed Bush for Katrina.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who said anything about special bankruptcy protection, the regular laws worked just fine.

Didn't his family get to keep alotof stuff after his conviction was vaqcated by his death?

The question was, given that I am owed money, am I more likely to collect it from government or a private firm?

(Hint) When I loan money to a private company I want collateral AND a higher interest rate.

How leftist of me.

 
At 4/08/2010 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some lefty assholes may have done that.

Mine is pretty well centered.

Anyway, he got blamed for bad response. You should have picked up on that: Even Walmart got there sooner than FEMA.

 
At 4/08/2010 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, that would be impossible to do. Only an Obama voter could formulate such a nonsense sentence.

Precisely.

And isn't that why all the whining over Obama taxing the rich?

I concede. The RIGHT has won this argument by virtue of circular reasoning and name calling.

 
At 4/08/2010 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question was, given that I am owed money, am I more likely to collect it from government or a private firm?

Let's see, if the government forces me to subsidize private mortgages, am I more likely to get paid back by a Republican small business owner or a semi-literate, welfare sponging leftist? Hmmm.

 
At 4/08/2010 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why doesn't that surprise me?

Point is, the mine safety system failed. Administration aside, would you say that is an argument for less regulation and inspection?

Should Toyota be left alone to manage their own recalls?

 
At 4/08/2010 12:10 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

anonymous at 10:50 am: "Fedex efficiencies are also possible because they cherry pick their markets."

How so? Like its private competitor UPS, Fedex has for decades picked up and delivered packages in every zip code in the lower 48 states and Hawaii. I was one of the FedEx industrial engineers who, together with operations managers, implemented such coverage two decades ago.

anonymous at 10:50 am: "why aren't they selling health insurance, or delivering first class mail?"

Those are pretty simple questions to answer.

FedEx is not an insurance company. They are experts in transportation and logistics.

FedEx is prohibited by law from delivering first class mail. That's the monopoly granted to USPS by an act of Congress.

 
At 4/08/2010 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The question was, given that I am owed money, am I more likely to collect it from government or a private firm?"

Thanks for answering the question.

I take it you are a renter, since you think you are subsidizing private mortgages.


Do you suppose the corprate landlord of your 500 apartment building writes off his mortgage interest? That anyone who borrows to invest in any business writes off not only their interest, but their investment?

You don't think you get subsidized? That you get nothing from others? You really ought to learn to play the game.

 
At 4/08/2010 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mail fraud is a federal crime, too. If someone defrauds you by Fedex, do you get the same protection (such as it is)?

When I get a phone solicitation, I tell them that's a good offer, put it in the mail.

You are coorect, Fedex is not an insurance business. I'm glad to see that youu understand that it is irrational to claim they are more or less efficient than some other company in a different business.

 
At 4/08/2010 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't think you get subsidized? That you get nothing from others? You really ought to learn to play the game.

I paid cash for my home.

 
At 4/08/2010 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would you pay cash up front for something you use a little at a time?

Why would you put so much into an investment unless all of your others options would return even less than real estate has?

Let's see. You buy a $100k home outright and it goes up 1% and your ROI is 1%, You make a 20% down payment and your ROI is 5%, less additional investments, and net interest costs. Youv'e got $80k left over so you go out and buy a bachoe, which you lease option to a contractor for 15% gain.

I don't get it.

Mind explaining WHY you paid cash for your home? Are you that hard over on not being subsidized or dependent on someone else? How did you come by such a stash to blow on a home, you rented until you saved it up?

obsete

 
At 4/08/2010 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true that Massey Coal got more citations this year than last year, under the previous administration? The question was, who is more likely to be Republican, the CEO or the miners?


There were an average of 93 mining deaths each year during the 1990’s when the Clintons were in office. During the Bush years, the number of mining fatalities decreased significantly to an average of 63 mining deaths per year. But, this didn’t stop democrats from pouncing on Bush for the Sago Mine disaster.

H/T Gateway Pundit

Once again, leftist just assume their moral superiority. How pathetic.

 
At 4/08/2010 9:51 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Such people often work pretty hard, have good job skills, and earn an income well above average, but don't owe any income taxes mostly because of the child tax credit"...

Hmmm, something else that needs to be struck from the books...

Totally socialist progressive nonsense that panders to those who can't or won't carry their own responsibilities...

 
At 4/09/2010 2:50 AM, Anonymous Kevin P said...

@juandos,

If you make $200K you have more to protect than someone making $20K. You benefit more from people getting an education instead of stealing from you for a living. You benefit more from the police protecting you and your property. You get the picture.

How much more? Well, that's another blog entirely.

 
At 4/09/2010 3:55 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"OK, now tell me, what is the percentage of all federal tax deductions taken by these folks?"

What difference does it make? They paid 47.9 percent of all personal federal income taxes in 2009. That is 47.9 AFTER all those deductions

 
At 4/09/2010 7:16 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Kevin P says: "If you make $200K you have more to protect than someone making $20K. You benefit more from people getting an education instead of stealing from you for a living. You benefit more from the police protecting you and your property. You get the picture."...

YOUR picture is clouded by YOUR inability to come to grips with the realities...

You call these people educated? If so the taxpayers that financed the public education of 'these people' deserve to get their tax money back that was wasted on the education of 'these people'...

RE: "stealing from you for a living"...

Hmmm, what are these DEMOCRATIC CLOWNS doing if NOT stealing from the productive in this country?

 
At 4/09/2010 7:25 AM, Blogger juandos said...

stephen says: "If people like me are required to pay higher taxes, than I'm perfectly willing to pay higher taxes.

If no one else like me is required to pay higher taxes, than I am not willing to pay higher taxes.

What is wrong with these two positions?
"...

Your TOTAL lack of logic in why the taxes need to be paid in the first place...

 
At 4/09/2010 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There were an average of 93 mining deaths each year during the 1990’s when the Clintons were in office. During the Bush years, the number of mining fatalities decreased significantly to an average of 63 mining deaths per year."

Come on, you are not actually suggesting that there is a correlation between the brand of the presidential administration and the number of mining deaths.

If you really want to go that route, Teddy Roosevelt presided over 3242 mining deaths. The Bureau of minesw was created later under Woodrow Wilson, and the Mine Safety Health act was passed under Jimmy Carter.

I'll suggest the correlation between mine deaths and party in power is close to zero.

I'll repeat the question you have so far evaded. Is it true that Massey got more citations this year than last?

 
At 4/09/2010 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What difference does it make? Thay PAID 47....

The question is whether the tax code favors the poor over the wealthy. t is given that we have a progressive tax code and the wealthy pay more taxes because they have most of th eincome to pay it with.

Given that basic tax structure and the basic tax owed, how much of that basic obligation are the wealthy able to avoid as compared to the poor.

The argument that the wealthy AVOID more tax is just as relevant as the argument that the wealthy PAY more tax.

The next question is who benefits from the taxes paid? Leaving out the ?"trust funds" which are not paid out of income tax, something like 54% of budget goes for military spending, including the military's share of the public debt.

If the rich have more stuff, they have more to protect. The next biggest item is Dept of Transportation. Is it fair to assume tha the rich travel more than the poor?

Then you have education, veterans affairs (more military), and HUD, then Homeland Security (More Protection), and Energy. I suspect the rich use more energy, too.

As far as the big items go, I don't see whre the rich are paying disproportionate to their interests.

 
At 4/09/2010 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your TOTAL lack of logic in why the taxes need to be paid in the first place...


Government's primary job is protecting people and their property. Rich people have more to protect, and they should pay more for government to do that. In addition, rich people can (and do) hire armed guards to provide them with additional protection.

This behavior suggests that they believe they are not getting enough government protection and are willing to pay more.

 
At 4/09/2010 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the 1900's we have had prgressively more and more regulation and progressively fewere deaths (Also a result of better equipment and practices.)

Does this suggest we need more regulation or less?

With more and more regulation we have fewer and fewer miners dying, so the regulatory cost per death prevented must be growing.

The same thing is happening in transportation. Suppose it costs $700,000 in government regulatory effort to make the next incremental reduction in mining deaths, but it only costs $400,000 in government regulatory costs to prevent the next transportation death.

Where should we be spending our safety money, assuming everyone is entitled equal protection?

Or should we go back to the time of no government interfence and full personal responsibilty when we had 1500 deaths per year?

 
At 4/09/2010 1:01 PM, Blogger juandos said...

I've seen some very bizzare rationales for progressive income tax but this is the most bizzare so far since it obviously DOESN'T take into account what extorted tax dollars are wasted on: "Government's primary job is protecting people and their property. Rich people have more to protect, and they should pay more for government to do that"...

If what this particular anon @ 4/09/2010 11:06 AM then the defense budget should be the largest slice of the budget pie but alas that honor such as it is goes towards politicos pandering to parasites instead, a.k.a. socialist safety net programs...

 
At 4/09/2010 1:03 PM, Blogger Geoffrey Britain said...

I'm having trouble believing this and here's why:

I'm one of the working poor who's been unemployed for over a year.

Last year (2009) I received $16,757.00 in unemployment benefits.

I took a $500.00 early distribution from my very modest IRA to get through a tough month.

That is every penny I had to live on last year. Yes, I have roommates and rent.

Because $ is so very tight I didn't have the feds withhold ANY $ from either source of income.

I'm single, rent, can't itemize deductions and so, file the short form.

It doesn't get any more straightforward than my return.

I used TaxAct online and carefully checked my entries which were straightforward and minimal..

After the standard allowances I had $5,477.00 in TAXABLE INCOME.

My OWED tax is $548.00...

That's 10% of my taxable income and that seems fair to me, I think everyone should have to pay something.

That said, how can 47% of Americans be paying NO federal income taxes...given the personal figures I just cited?

"Something's just not right in Denmark..."

 
At 4/09/2010 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DOESN'T take into account what extorted tax dollars are wasted on:

We are not talkig about waste, we are talking about the justification for a graduated tax. Or any tax for that matter. Given that we have a tax, the question is whether some people are being taken advantage of.

I get the impression that you (Juandos) think NO tax is justified and it is always a socialist plot.


My suggestion is that a primary purpose of government is protection of life, and therefore the fruits of our labor. In that regard we are all entitled to equal protection. If someone robs a dollar from a poor person or a rich person, they are both entitled the same response from law enforcement.

At the same time, if I have $200,000 to protect I should be willing to pay more to protect it than if I have one dollar to protect. If the crime stats are that there is one chance in a hundred that I will be robbed this year I should be willing to pay $200 for insurance and the guy with a dollar should be willing to pay a penny.

Instead of buying insurance we are buying law enforcement.

Even with a graduated tax, we still don't want our tax dollars wasted. If you spend $200 on law enforcement and you still get robbed, then you would complain about government efficiency and that your $200 was wasted.

Meanwhile, the guy with a dollar did not get robbed so you complain that your money was used to protect him, and this is a socialist system.

The socialist safety nets you talk about are supported by their own taxes which are not part of the graduated system. They are either supported inadequately or the benefits are too generous, but that is a different discussion.

As far as income tax expenditures are concerned defense is by far the largest slice, especially considering that portion of the debt that went for funding previous defense spending. It turns out that it is not ONLY the socialist security net that spends more than it takes in: deense is guilty, too.

Then, on top of the defense expenditures you have veteran affairs and homeland security.Even the interstates were funded as a defense priority.

Yes I agree that protection should be a large portion of the pie, and considering only income taxes, it is.

In fact, your social security tax is "graduated" the opposite way since you stop paying after around $107,000.

 
At 4/09/2010 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like the government not to waste money too, and spend it equitably as well, that is why the example for mine safety spending vs highways safety spending.

If DOT can save a life cheaper than mine safety can, and if government is doing both, then miners are getting more equal protection than people who travel.

Since we could have used the same amount of money to save more lives, the people who get cheated are the ones that died unnecesssarily on the highway because the safety money that might have seved them was spent on mine safety with a lower chance of success.

It might cost even more money to save a life by dredging PCB's out of the Hudson, so that would be a bigger waste, given that you have a better "life ROI" on something else.

If you start with the idea we are all entitled to equal protection for life and the fruits of life, then spending more to save one life over another is unequal protection.

 
At 4/09/2010 2:44 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"We are not talkig about waste, we are talking about the justification for a graduated tax"...

Wrong anon @ 4/09/2010 2:15 PM...

We are talking about wasted extorted tax dollars used to interfere in the market place, in medical sector, in one's personl life, you name it the federal government wants a piece of it...

"I get the impression that you (Juandos) think NO tax is justified and it is always a socialist plot"...

What would you call call programs like social security, medicare, medicaid, school lunch, and so forth ad nauseam where one's extorted tax dollars are wasted?

Have you ever read the Constitution?

What part of it mandates federal interference in the private sector?

"My suggestion is that a primary purpose of government is protection of life"...

I suggest then you read the Constitution...

"The socialist safety nets you talk about are supported by their own taxes which are not part of the graduated system"...

Now are you lying to me or are you just ignorant of the realities?

What's next? Al Gore's socialist security lock box?

"As far as income tax expenditures are concerned defense is by far the largest slice"...

Again, are you lying to me or are you just ignorant of the realities?

I suggest you look at the following 1040 EZ form booklet: Major Categories of Federal Income and Outlays for Fiscal Year 2008 (page 37)

 
At 4/09/2010 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are talking about wasted extorted tax dollars used to interfere in the market place, in medical sector, in one's personl life, you name it the federal government wants a piece of it...

No, that is not what we are talking aobut. The question is whether someone is in fact getting something for nothing, or are the income taxes nominally fair.

Whether they are wasted after collection is another topic.

Tax dollars are not extorted. We have government for a reason and government has to be paid for: government has the right to collet taxes. Get used to it.

Mine safety dollars are interfering in running mines, no doubt about it, but mine deaths have decreased from 1500 per year in 1900 to 25 per year today.

Do you sugggest we whould return to the time when mines operated freely, saving our mine safety dollars in exchage for 1500 men per year? Do you think the money spent on implementing and enforcing seat belts was wasted?

Why complain about only the feds? My local government has ripped me off more than the feds.

The question here is whether someone is getting something at other's expense. If so, how would we decide what the correct balance of payments should be.

Try to stay on topic.

 
At 4/09/2010 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What would you call call programs like social security, medicare, medicaid, school lunch, and so forth ad nauseam where one's extorted tax dollars are wasted?

I'd call them social security and medicare, etc. Tax dollars are not extorted, and using emotional words doesn't add to your argument. We give the government the right to collect taxes, subject to certain reservations.

I gether from your response that my assessment is correct: you believe no tax is justified and most government programs are a socialist plot.

How is it that you are convinced that the Democrats, government and mainstream media are capable or organizing this huge coordinated plot when you think they can't do anything right otherwise?

What do you think the end goal of this plot is?

You seem to think everyone else is getting your money. If you start paying taxes at 18 or so, ho long will it be before you have paid as much as you have already used?

 
At 4/09/2010 3:30 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"No, that is not what we are talking aobut. The question is whether someone is in fact getting something for nothing, or are the income taxes nominally fair"...

Well I'm not the least bit suprised that you're wrong again anon @ 4/09/2010 3:08 PM...

BTW who determines what 'fair' is?

Try to keep up...

"Tax dollars are not extorted"...

LOL! Really? Is the sky blue on YOUR planet when the sun shines?

"government has the right to collet taxes"...

I never said the government didn't have that right now did I?

"Mine safety dollars are interfering in running mines, no doubt about it, but mine deaths have decreased from 1500 per year in 1900 to 25 per year today"...

So what?

Again what part of mine safety is the job of the federal government?

I see you didn't take my suggestion and look at the Constitution...

"Do you sugggest we whould return to the time when mines operated freely, saving our mine safety dollars in exchage for 1500 men per year?"...

Why not? There is no one forcing anyone to be a miner for an unsafe company...

"Do you think the money spent on implementing and enforcing seat belts was wasted?"...

Absolutely! That goes for airbags, cushioned dashboards, bucket seats and all the CAFE standards too...

"Why complain about only the feds? My local government has ripped me off more than the feds"...

On the local level you get the government you deserve...

There is nothing in the Constitution that mandates that the federal government should steal from me because someone like you thinks that you have a good idea that needs implementation...

The defining hallmark of a liberal is to get government to get someone else to pay for their dumb ideas...

 
At 4/09/2010 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Have you ever read the Constitution?

What part of it mandates federal interference in the private sector?"

I have read it and come to different conclusions than you have. Among other things, it says you are entitled to your opinion.

If you insist on considering it in parts, I put a lot of stock in the preamble, which describes what the rest of it is about: Justice, domestic Tranquility, common defence, general Welfare, Liberty. All declared as priorites by the people of the US, which pretty much includes the private sector.

That's my opinion, and I accept you already think I'm an idiot. You are entitled to your opinion.

 
At 4/09/2010 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My suggestion is that a primary purpose of government is protection of life"...

I suggest then you read the Constitution...


I interpret the blessing of liberty for myself and posterity to include life, without which liberty doesn't mean much. I interpret domestic tranquility and common defense to mean protection of life and proerty.

You got someplace in the constitution that suggests otherwise? I don't see it. Anyway, it isn;t in the preamble which describes the purpose for the rest.

 
At 4/09/2010 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The socialist safety nets you talk about are supported by their own taxes which are not part of the graduated system"...

Now are you lying to me or are you just ignorant of the realities?


The heading on this topic is income taxes, specifically graduated ones. Social security is a separate tax from FICA. The question is who pays INCOME tax, and whether it is equitable.

You can't win this argument by changing the subject or delaring reality to be something esle.

Try to focus.

 
At 4/09/2010 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al gore is irrelevant. Zero points.

 
At 4/09/2010 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As far as income tax expenditures are concerned defense is by far the largest slice"...

Again, are you lying to me or are you just ignorant of the realities?


Consider only income tax and consider all defense relate expenditures and they are the biggest chunk, over 50%. I count a big chunk of national debt as part of defense spending that was never paid for in earlier years. While you are at it throw in homeland defense, veteran affairs and inteligence.

Wikipedia shows defense and homeland security as 23% of spending including social security and not including the Iraq and
Afgahn war. But as Wicki points out "Both Social Security and Medicare are funded by payroll tax revenues dedicated to those programs. Program tax revenues historically have exceeded payouts, resulting in program surpluses ..."

So take them out of the pi chart and compare defense spending to whats left and you get a differnet picture, of how much of our INCOME TAX defense represents. Since we are spending more than we take in, the comparison of EVERY sector to income tax collected is larger than its percentage of spending.

We have a graduated tax because when a flat rate Federal income tax was enacted in 1894, it was quickly challenged and in 1895 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.

I know the truth is hard for you because it offends your preconceived notions, but try to get over it.

 
At 4/09/2010 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Extortion: The use, or the express or implicit threat of the use, of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to person, reputation, or property as a means to obtain property from someone else with his consent. USC 18

The Hobbs Act defines "extortion" as "the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right." 18 U.S.C. S 1951(b)(2).

==============================

Taxes are not extorted unless the government is criminal.

How do you twist these definitions to include taxes?

 
At 4/09/2010 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who decides whats fair?

Final arbiter is the supreme court.

My working definition is that you cut the pie in half and I get first choice of the pieces.

Most civilized persons recognize that when reasoable people are indifferent between true choices, the choices are equivalent, or fair.

Free markets exist to discover what fair is, but they are not always efficient or perfect. Government is sometimes required to interfere in markets in order to conduct its first order of business: protecting people and their property.

 
At 4/09/2010 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the local level you get the government you deserve...

This retort is meaningless. All I was pointin out is that govenment has problems, why restrcit yoour animosity to the feds?


I get the government that is bought and paid for with the biggest contributions, just like anyplace else. It has nothing to do with what I deserve.

 
At 4/09/2010 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"government has the right to collet taxes"...

I never said the government didn't have that right now did I?

--------------------------

Then they are not extorted.

 
At 4/09/2010 4:30 PM, Blogger juandos said...

My gosh anon are you congenitally thick or do you work at it?

I mean who but the thoroughly clueless actually believes in this: "The heading on this topic is income taxes, specifically graduated ones. Social security is a separate tax from FICA"?

Guess what? There is no FICA account worth the name...

"Al gore is irrelevant. Zero points."...

Hit a little to close to home, eh? LOL!

"Wikipedia shows..."...

ROFLMAO!

"So take them out of the pi chart and compare defense spending to whats left and you get a differnet picture, of how much of our INCOME TAX defense represents"...

3.141592...?!?!

You may enjoy lying to yourself (another liberal hallmark) but please don't BS me with your fantasies...

Face it, you don't what you're talking about so do some homework...

 
At 4/09/2010 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again what part of mine safety is the job of the federal government?

================================

The governments primary job is to protect life and property. We have equal rights to protection, and the states can't provide it equally, so it falls to the feds.

The states and the mine owners had their chance and they failed. There was a free market failure.

 
At 4/09/2010 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess what? There is no FICA account worth the name...

The heading on this topic is income taxes and who gets something for nothing.

Social security tax is a separate tax.

I have several sources of income. It goes in one account. I still have several sources that I count separately. This is no diferent.

As apercentage of income taxes, defense is the largest expenditure. So far you have not convinced me otherwise, despite your namecalling.

 
At 4/09/2010 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Al gore is irrelevant. Zero points."...

Hit a little to close to home, eh? LOL!

============================

I don't give a flying fig about Al Gore or anyone in his party. it is irrelevant to this conversation.

You conntinue to make assumptions about my affiliations.

 
At 4/09/2010 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may enjoy lying to yourself (another liberal hallmark) but please don't BS me with your fantasies...

Face it, you don't what you're talking about so do some homework...

=============================

There is no point in my asking what part of my rental home expenses are of my total income.

There is no point in considering my rental home expenses as a part of all my expenses including my other businesses with their own income.

All that matters is what part of rental home expenses are covered by rental income.

It is meaningless to say rental expenses are 20% of all income if they are actually 60% (or 110%) of rental income. The true facts change how you make decisions.

You should do your homework because your argument makes no sense.

 
At 4/09/2010 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a liberal, I just hate having idiots give conservatives a bad name.

 
At 4/09/2010 5:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

@Geoffrey Britain

Many of those who pay no federal income tax have children. Others may have sources of income that aren't taxed, such as various entitlement programs.

If you were a parent with dependents, at your income level the IRS would have paid YOU money.

 
At 4/09/2010 5:46 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"The governments primary job is to protect life and property. We have equal rights to protection, and the states can't provide it equally, so it falls to the feds"...

Well anon if it makes YOU feel better just keep telling that little fantasy to yourself...

Personally I find such naivette entertaining in a Peggy Joseph sort of way...

"You should do your homework because your argument makes no sense"...

Were you also interviewd in this video?

 
At 4/09/2010 6:48 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 11:01

>"The question is whether the tax code favors the poor over the wealthy. t is given that we have a progressive tax code and the wealthy pay more taxes because they have most of th eincome to pay it with."

You mean YOUR question is whether the tax code favors the poor over the wealthy.

It should be obvious that it favors the poor, as so many pay no income tax.

You seem obsessed with the idea that some people are getting away with something by using legitimate tax deductions, which you call "avoidance". Every rational taxpayer seeks to minimize their tax liability by this means, whether they are poor or rich. I'm not sure why you think this is evil. Are there some deductions in particular that you find offensive?

I don't believe there is any way to determine, as you wish to do, what percentage of "avoidance" is used by the wealthy as compared to the poor, as the details of individual tax returns are still kept from the curious eyes of you and me. Thank goodness for that small favor at least.

By the way, at what income level can a person stop calling themselves poor, and start being considered wealthy?

>"The next question is who benefits from the taxes paid? Leaving out the ?"trust funds" which are not paid out of income tax...

That's about to change, though isn't it; Social Security is now paying out more than the contributions coming in. The SS "trust fund" consists of IOUs that will now start being called in. Where do you suppose the Treasury will get the money? How about TAXES?

>"If the rich have more stuff, they have more to protect."

What's your point? I believe it is you who use an example of more law enforcement being necessary to protect the wealthy, but that's just wrong. It costs no more to take a police report from a wealthy person than it does from a poor person. Surely you don't think law enforcement actually stops crimes from being committed, do you? Why do you think the wealthy hire private security or carry weapons?

You've probably heard the saying, "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away."

>"The next biggest item is Dept of Transportation. Is it fair to assume tha the rich travel more than the poor?"

Are you suggesting that the amount of benefit one gets from the Dept. of Transportation is proportional to the amount they travel?

Exactly what benefit DO we get from that bloated bureaucracy?

>"I suspect the rich use more energy, too."

Is this an argument about the Dept. of Energy similar to the one you made above about the Dept. of Transportation? Do the rich somehow get more benefit from this other bloated bureaucracy if they use more energy?

By the way, you have used the terms "wealthy" and "rich" in your comment. I'm assuming both terms refer to the same group of people. If not, be sure to correct me.

You seem unaware that wealthy people are wealthy because we make them that way. They are the people who have good ideas, and provide us with goods and services we want, and are willing to pay for. They become wealthy in the process, and they deserve to be. We would be much worse off without them.

Your ridiculous idea seems to be that we would all be better off if government decided how to spend the money wealthy people have earned.

You need to learn some basic economics and quit obsessing about how much tax other people don't pay.

Get a clue.

 
At 4/09/2010 9:32 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Maybe the esteemed Dr. Walter Williams can wrap it up for the anon...

Parting Company

The money line as far as I'm concerned in Dr. Williams' commentary is as follows: 'Let's look at just some of the magnitude of the violations. Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution lists the activities for which Congress is authorized to tax and spend. Nowhere on that list is authority for Congress to tax and spend for: prescription drugs, Social Security, public education, farm subsidies, bank and business bailouts, food stamps and other activities that represent roughly two-thirds of the federal budget. Neither is there authority for congressional mandates to the states and people about how they may use their land, the speed at which they can drive, whether a library has wheelchair ramps and the gallons of water used per toilet flush. The list of congressional violations of both the letter and spirit of the Constitution is virtually without end. Our derelict Supreme Court has given Congress sanction to do anything upon which they can muster a majority vote'...

 
At 4/10/2010 2:30 AM, Blogger evision said...

I have visited this site and got lots of information than other site visited before a month.


earn and learn

 
At 4/12/2010 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can always tell when Juandos is defeated becasue he gives up any pretense of rational arument and goes on personal attacks and brings in utterly irrelevant topics which include insults he is not creative enough to invent.

 
At 4/12/2010 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you think the wealthy hire private security or carry weapons?

================================

Because they think they need more security and they are willing to pay for it. Just not willing to pay government for it, even though sercurity is the one basic primary reason that we have government.

 
At 4/12/2010 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do the rich somehow get more benefit from this other bloated bureaucracy if they use more energy?

==========================

Yes, although you will never be convinced of that.

 
At 4/13/2010 2:36 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"even though sercurity is the one basic primary reason that we have government."

Are you confusing national defense with law enforcement?

No law enforcement agency has any obligation to protect you from anything. They only apprehend those that break the law. Ask someone in law enforcement if you don't believe me.

Try calling 911 and asking for protection.

"I have a bad feeling that someone might break in here tonight. Please send some officers to protect me."

The "rich", who by the way, are more likely targets of crime than poor people, understand this; so they pay for private security that WILL protect them from crime.

 
At 4/13/2010 2:52 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"Do the rich somehow get more benefit from this other bloated bureaucracy if they use more energy?

==========================

Yes, although you will never be convinced of that."


How do you know? you haven't tried. What exactly DOES the DOE do anyway?

I DO know that it employs 30,000 people. That's got to be expensive. What do they all do?

Let's see. I think that's 1 DOE employee for every 10,000 citizens. That means that for my community of 150,00 people, there are 15 DOE employees. I don't understand what they could be doing for my benefit.

How do I get more benefit from this agency as I use more energy?

I think you implied that the "rich" should pay more for the services of the Dept. of Energy, because they get more benefit. Did I misunderstand you?

 
At 4/13/2010 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be in the top .01 of earners in 1979 you would have earned more than $1.8 million. To be in that bracket today, you would need to earn more than $8.9 million. You would pay more taxes in dollars but your tax rate would have fallen from the mid 40's to around 32% today.

The rich pay more taxes today than ever, because they make (and keep) more than ever.

 
At 4/13/2010 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "rich", who by the way, are more likely targets of crime than poor people,

Not true. The rich are better and more lucrative targets, but crime strikes poor people far more often.

That is because the rich pay more for protection and get it.

Nice try, though.

 
At 4/13/2010 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you confusing national defense with law enforcement?

I lump them together, along with the national guard, neighborhood watch and concerned citizens.

Law enforcement gets plenty of federal money.

 
At 4/13/2010 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This thing is titled wrong.

100% of Americans get something for nothing. Conservatives seem to think that ALL of their taxes go to support whatever it is they don't like today.

If their taxes were paying for all the things they claim to be robbed by, the deficit would vanish.

 
At 4/13/2010 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No law enforcement agency has any obligation to protect you from anything. They only apprehend those that break the law. Ask someone in law enforcement if you don't believe me.

Oh please.

You are not protected when they catch someone and throw him in jail? Why do they call it deterrence. Every time they pull over an aggresive driver, I know I am a little safer.

The main reason we have law is security and protection, go read the Preamble. All the rest is just addenda.

 
At 4/13/2010 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

enHow do I get more benefit from this agency as I use more energy?

Like I said, you won't ever be convinced by me. Go figure it out and convince yourself.

You think that if you are at the end of the power line you get more benefit from the power company than the guy who lives nest to the substation?

The analogy is a little bit of a stretch, but use it as a hint, if youare interested.

 
At 4/13/2010 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nowhere on that list is authority for Congress to tax and spend for: prescription drugs...

Maybe because they were not invented yet?

 
At 4/13/2010 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The list of congressional violations of both the letter and spirit of the Constitution is virtually without end.

I disagree. I believe most of those things are covered under the Preamble.

You are not allowed or entitled to drive at infinite speed on the freeway because it interfiers with my life and liberty. Your liberty is limited by your responibilities and mine equally so. I cannot demand that you travel at zero mph to allevieate some invented harm to myself.

The main argument here is that somehow the government is stealing from us.

I agree. But I think the proper place to regain our protection is through the protection of proerty clause: property may not be taken for public use without compensation.

This does not say that property may not be taken, only that if it is taken for public use it must be compensated.

Those in favor of legislation always point out that it is for the benefit of us all, the public. And this is true on both sides of the aisle. If the legislation does not provide a net benefit, why enact it?

But if it does provide a net benefit, then why should there be any (sore) losers? The benficiaries can easily reduce their benefits enough to compensate the losers, and still have a net benefit.

Now, assuming you are not losing anything, why would you be opposed to something that improves the general welfare?

Because you distrust government, because it can never so anything right, because you don't want more of it even if it can be shown that you are better off with it than without?

Pareto efficiency isn't good enough, we need to argue for Kaldor Hicks efficiency. If you succeed it will get you almost all of what you want, and you get to argue in favor of something instead of against everything.

 
At 4/13/2010 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You seem unaware that wealthy people are wealthy because we make them that way.

Not at all. I am (a little bit) wealthy and I hold patents.

 
At 4/13/2010 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your ridiculous idea seems to be that we would all be better off if government decided how to spend the money wealthy people have earned.

I never said that. Don't put words in my mouth. There are some things government can do that PE cannot or will not do. i deny the idea that government is a total loss.

I just think we need to be a lot more clear about what we are buying and who owns it.

 
At 4/14/2010 9:37 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

I'm going to give this one more shot, then I have to move on. Please think carefully about what I'm saying.

>"Are you confusing national defense with law enforcement?

I lump them together, along with the national guard, neighborhood watch and concerned citizens."


So you ARE confusing them. They are not the same thing.

>"You are not protected when they catch someone and throw him in jail? Why do they call it deterrence. Every time they pull over an aggresive driver, I know I am a little safer."

You are confusing apprehension of someone who breaks the law, with preventing the crime before it happens. Both of your examples are of apprehension after a crime or infraction has been committed. It is not called deterrence, it's called apprehending a criminal.

If you were robbed and the police later caught the robber, you wouldn't say the police protected you from being robbed.

Protection requires preventing the crime. Private security, a home alarm system and a 9mm Glock will protect you from being robbed. Law enforcement won't.

>"The main reason we have law is security and protection, go read the Preamble. All the rest is just addenda."

I assume you mean the Preamble to the Constitution. What you have said is really scary. You have it exactly backwards. the Preamble is a statement of general intent, as in "Here's why we are here, and this is what we hope to accomplish." It confers no power on it's own. The rest is the actual Constitution, and is the framework for the federal form of government we have today.

There are no wasted words in the Constitution, and every one of them serves a purpose. There is no ambiguous language. It was distilled down to a very short document by the Founders. It spells out clearly what few powers the Federal government was to be given by the states, and more importantly what the Federal government can't do.

>"Maybe because they were not invented yet?

Is that a serious response?

The Constitution limits what Federal government can do. If it's not specifically authorized, Congress can't lawfully address it. There's an amendment process that can be used to make changes when needed.

As you must be aware, at the time the Constitution was written, people got medical treatment and took many medicines for their ailments, just as they do today. The Founders didn't address this because it's not a legitimate function of government.

>"I disagree. I believe most of those things are covered under the Preamble."

As above, the Preamble has no power of it's own, it's just a cover letter outlining what the Founders hoped to produce as a blueprint for a new government.

>"There are some things government can do that PE cannot or will not do."

I agree: 1. National defense. 2. Treaties with foreign nations. 3. Regulate interstate commerce. 4. Coin money. There are 14 more powers listed in the Constitution that the States wanted a federal government to do for them. And that is ALL they wanted done.

>" i deny the idea that government is a total loss."

No it isn't, but it is way out of control and way too big. What we have now is a monstrosity.

 
At 4/15/2010 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And that is ALL they wanted done.


There are a lot more things to do today than then, and a lot more to do it with. The ideals in the constitution are the ideals espoused in the preamble, and they don't change over time. but it is ididocy to assume that the dicrete guidance thay gave on how to achieve those ideals should be forever locked in time.

The free market has been free to evolve over time and discover ever better ways to chisel customers and benefit from assymetrical information and power.

Since governments main job is protection of persons and property, government needs to evolve over time, too.

Your list of things the government can do better than PE only shows the folly of assuming government can never do any thing right and PE is the answer to all government evils. It is an instructive list but it is not all inclusive.

 
At 4/15/2010 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you were robbed and the police later caught the robber, you wouldn't say the police protected you from being robbed.

================================

No, but if you were robbed, then I would. It's a consequence of innocent until proven guilty, but your argument is stupid. If the police happened to see you being robbed they would step in to protect you. So would I, for that matter.

Go read the Pramble yourswelf

 
At 4/15/2010 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As above, the Preamble has no power of it's own, it's just a cover letter outlining what the Founders hoped to produce as a blueprint for a new government.



================================

Nice try, but the preamble has nothing in it that amounts to an outline of the rest.

If anything, it is a mission stateement, citing the goals to be achieved, domestic tranquility, Promote the general welfare, etc.

The rest is a set of ideas and rules for how to go about achieving those goals.

To think that it is set in stone is ridiculous, especially considering that it wasw written to replace the previous government, under the Articles of Cofederation.

 
At 4/15/2010 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Private security, a home alarm system and a 9mm Glock will protect you from being robbed.

================================

You have a problem with absolutism.

Those things will hael protect you from being robbed, but they won;t prevent it, always, not any more than the police prevent crime, always.

All of that is a red herring in any case and has nothing to do with refuting the contention that governments primary responsibility is to protect people, and promote the general welfaqre, as stated at the very beginning of the Constitution.

 
At 4/15/2010 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is way out of control and way too big. What we have now is a monstrosity.

==============================

Ever try to steer a supertanker? It is big and mostly out of control, too: can't turn it and can't stop it. But it is also enormously useful with enough guidance

 
At 4/15/2010 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

people got medical treatment and took many medicines for their ailments, just as they do today.

===============================

You said prescriptions, not medical treatment. Anyway, it's a stretch to claim that it was just as they do today.

You don't go yo a barber to have your teeth pulled today. They didn't pay very much for the services they received because they had little expectation the services would do any good.

If being well doesn't contribute to the general welfare, what does?

Certainly not untrammelled liberty where you come first and everybody else comes second.

 

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