Hello fellow ATP members,

 

Below is a an article I wrote for a blog that I contribute to on a weekly basis, so thought it might be good to share with this group, as well (it takes me all day sometimes)


You've probably picked up by now that part of my mission in life is trying to "evangelize" to Democrats, especially as some family members as well as some of my good friends are Democrats. I've had about zero success so far, but as with Christian evangelizing, perhaps I've planted a few seeds. We don't need to convince everyone - we realize there is about 20% of the population who will remain loyal to the "Crown" - instead of the King this time, the radical progressives, but it would be good to convert as many of the middle 50% as possible.

 

 

“You think everything the Democrats do is bad and everything the Republicans do is good.” my Mom replied in a conversation we were having about a recent Associated Press article that stated “the wealthiest Americans pay a lot less in taxes than they did two decades ago.”  I’m surprised that she sees this as a Republican versus Democrat issue.  The assumption that Republicans are rich and Democrats are poor would be news to two of the richest men in the country, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.  I think whether a person is a Democrat or Republican has more to do with geography than income level. While most of my family members who still live in the blue collar, union area of Ohio are Democrats, the ones of us who moved away are Republicans.

Like many of my fellow Tea Party members, I see the problems the U.S. is facing as caused by both parties having a short-sighted emphasis on winning the next election versus doing what is best for the country. In this regard, “the American people” are just as guilty as the politicians. For decades, it’s been known that Social Security and Medicare were on an unsustainable path. But as recently as the second Bush, any attempt to even discuss the problem has been political suicide. Not only did Republicans not address Social Security, they borrowed a technique from the Democrats in attempting to buy votes by passing Medicare Part D – the drug program for seniors.  A famous quote is that democracy can exist only until the people realize they can vote themselves benefits from the public purse.  As such, our democracy is at severe risk.  “For the first time, Standard & Poor’s lowered its long-term outlook for the federal government’s fiscal health from ‘stable’ to ‘negative,’ and warned of serious consequences if lawmakers fail to reach a deal to control the massive federal deficit.” (Paul Wiseman, Associated Press, April 19, 2011)

As I think that a biased media shapes public opinion versus just reporting the “facts,” I decided to do some research into the statement about the “wealthiest Americans.” If you look at the fact that the 400 richest Americans (which I’m sure includes Gates and Buffet) who had an average income of $345 million, their federal income tax rate dropped from 26% to 17% from 1992 - 2007. Keep in mind that a lower tax rate does not necessarily mean they paid less total taxes. If their income increased dramatically but total taxes at a lower rate (which could very well happen since the rich probably make most of their money through investment, and the capital gains tax is 15%), they could have conceivably paid more total taxes, albeit at a lower rate.

One statistic the Republican news sources cite is that the top 10% of earners in the U.S. pay 69.94% of the taxes. Since the wealthy are “paying less in taxes” now, that percentage has probably decreased, right? Wrong. In 1999, the top 10% of earners paid 66.45% of the taxes, while the bottom 50% paid only 2.7%, down from 4.00% in 1999. (I was surprised to hear that the bottom 50% paid that much, as another statistic is that 45% of taxpayers pay no Federal income taxes, and actually make money through the earned income credit.)

But regardless of how many statistics each side throws at the other, not many opinions are ever changed. In having a Global Warming debate with a Democratic friend of mine, we finally realized that neither of us believes the others’ statistics. He thinks I’m a Fox news zombie and I think he is Kool-Aid drinking Obamaniac. I’m starting to understand why there is no peace in the MidEast!

The really (un)funny thing is that my mom and my global warming friend have the very conservative values of hard work, individual responsibility and compassion for the disabled while expecting the able bodied to work.  They realize that while a hand-up is helpful, a handout is a disincentive to work.  Democrats having the types of values that should lead one to being a Republican is a problem I attribute to two causes. First, a “main-stream” media that is decidedly liberal, so what people perceive as neutral news is not; second, a Republican party that has not stuck to its values, especially in recent years.

It is the true conservative values that our country was founded on that we need to get back to in order to prevent the downfall of our nation. The Libertarian party better espouses those values today than does the Republican Party.  If the Republican Party doesn’t soon shape up, it should ship out.

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Comment by reform on April 24, 2011 at 8:05pm
I agree with you 100%.  I was just adding to your thoughts.
Comment by Cathy Mitchell on April 24, 2011 at 7:20pm
Yes, I realize that there are many more taxes besides just income taxes. My point was trying to refute the liberal press's assertion that "the wealthy are paying less taxes now." They aren't; this is just one example of how the media tries to sway public opinion into thinking that the Democrats are for the poor and the Republicans are for the rich.
Comment by reform on April 23, 2011 at 6:49pm

When Obama was running for president, his campaign often spoke of Martin Luther King Jr. 

Interesting how they named a conservative Republican as a reason to vote for a democrat. 

This I think confused many people.

The independents and some of the center democrats voted for Obama thinking he thought like Martin.

What a surprise when they find him the complete opposite of Martin. 

Comment by reform on April 23, 2011 at 6:45pm

I know that people say that cheap labor is in China, etc... 

But think about what labor here in the U.S. minus all the taxes, etc..... is.  We may not have that much of a difference. 

Now for the tax on stuff made in China.  Same t-shirt:

Import/Export tax.  The ship hits the U.S. coast and docks.  The shipping company pays a tax on the dock and any fees, etc... to operate within U.S. territory.   The owner of the dock pays property tax on the dock, land, warehouse, etc... There is a tax on the equipment bought, used and maintained.  And from there we go through the same tax process to get it to the store, starting with the trucker. See the last comment for that amount.  I know I am leaving out steps in the tax system.  But even what I can think of at the top of my head, we are getting dealt a dirty hand by governments at all levels. 

 

Another issue when talking about overseas items is that fact of embargoes.  The U.S. government controls things like sugar that come into our country.  It also controls how much sugar can be grown and sold within our own country.  Thus we must be subjected to the chemicals that are called "sugar", but are not.  We are not obese or overweight from actual sugar.  Our ancestors were not obese or overweight because they ate natural sugar from sugar cane.  They were healthy, simply because the chemicals were not put into their bodies. 

Not only are we losing our jobs, money, we are losing our health because of the government. 

This is being done by the Republicans and Democrats alike.  There is no Rah Rah difference, we have a republcrat system.  The media plays both sides (usually the liberal side, I will admit). 

Comment by reform on April 23, 2011 at 10:25am

Keep in mind that you are only talking about income tax. 

Sales tax, fees, penalties are paid by all people.

 

Let's look at a cotton shirt.  First the owner of the cotton field is taxed on the land.  He is taxed on the equipment, he is taxed on the seed, he is taxed on personal income, his business is taxed.  Then he pays his employees and they pay tax.  He loads everything on a truck.  The truck driver pays tax on his truck, an outrageous tax on his fuel, tax on his insurance, and personal tax.  The cotton is sold to a middle man.  This middle man pays tax on the cotton, pays property tax on his warehouse, he pays personal and business tax, and his employees pay income tax.  This cotton then goes to a manufacture that will make a t-shirt.  This manufacture will again pay property tax, he will pay tax on his equipment, he will pay personal tax and business tax, and finally his employees will pay income tax.  When the shirts are made they are loaded up on another truck and the truckers taxes start all over again.  The store that sells the t-shirt will pay property tax, personal and business tax, equipment tax, etc.... and the employees will be paying taxes as well.  When the shirt is finally bought by a consumer he again is paying a tax. 

My questions is:   Who is being taxed?    It is everyone, poor and rich. 

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