Tuesday, July 10, 2012

President Obama's Tax Proposal: Yet Another Middle-Class Subsidy

President Barack Obama proposed a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year but would let them rise for wealthier Americans, a move that both shifts the election debate to tax rates and sets the table for a showdown with Republicans in Congress.

- from today's WSJ.

All told, federal taxpayers last year received $1.08 trillion in credits, deductions and other perks while paying $1.09 trillion in income taxes, according to government estimates.

Only about 8 percent of those benefits went to corporations. (The write-off for corporate jets equals about .03 percent of the total.) The bulk went to private households, primarily upper middle-class families that Obama has vowed to protect from new taxes.

-from "Most Tax Breaks Go to Middle-Class Households, Not to 'The Rich' or Corporations," by Doug Mataconis in an article published last year in Outside the Beltway.

I would say that a family making $125,000 or more is pretty close to "rich," if it is not already there.  You really have to ask, "Rich compared to whom?"  If one is honest in answering that question, perspective emerges.  I mean, who really cares what Wall Street and Hollywood people make, provided that they make it fair and square and without the connivance of Washington?  (I've nearly completed the recent bio of Steve Jobs, which is intensely interesting.  He earned every dollar of what he made from Apple and Nextar.)

With all due respect to my "class," why don't we get rid of these subsidies, reduce the awful, awful complexity of the Internal Revenue Code and the expensive bureaucracies, both public and private (I am in one of the private bureaucracies myself), which manage, interpret and immensely profit from it, and clear the dense underbrush of regulation that impedes liberty for everyone? 

President Obama's latest idea of further subsidizing "the middle class" is really absurd.  Of course, it is not just a Democrat thing, subsidizing the middle class, making the tax code unfair and economically suffocating.  Far from it.  Both parties are deeply complicit.  (Thus, we get Mitch Romney and not Paul Ryan as the Republicans' Presidential candidate.  If the lesser of the two evils, then R is still not all that attractive.  He's more of the same, although perhaps not so much more as the President.)

I don't want the federal government being the nanny for the middle-class.  I want it to leave us alone.

Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

-Proverbs 8: 10 -11 (NIV 1984)

Two things I ask of you, O Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:

Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.

Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

-Proverbs 30: 7 - 9. (NIV 1984)

No comments: