[lit-ideas] Re: It's Your Money, Don't Let Them Take It Without A Fight

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 18:59:16 -0400

M.A., this is the second time that you've posted that taxes are too high.  What 
is your position on taxes?  Do you think Clinton is wrong in condemning the tax 
cuts to the wealthiest 1%, of which he is a member?  Do you think we need 
another tax cut?  BTW, this article sounds like more hogwash.  He says things 
like "the good news is a growing number of people pay no taxes at all".  That's 
good news?  Do you believe this stuff?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: M.A. Camp 
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 10/12/2005 4:59:35 PM 
Subject: [lit-ideas] It's Your Money, Don't Let Them Take It Without A Fight

It's Your Money, Don't Let Them Take It Without A Fight
Chicago Sun Times ^ | 10-10-05 | Joseph Bast

Governments in the United States take approximately 40 percent of the country's 
total income in taxes. In other words, nearly half of all the income generated 
each year is sent to governments to spend.

The good news is that a growing number of people pay no federal taxes at all. 
According to a recent Tax Foundation report, 29 million people had no federal 
income tax liability in 2000, and the number was expected to reach 44 million 
in 2004. The bad news is that people who do pay taxes much pay more to make up 
for those who pay nothing.

Writes Daniel Mitchell at the Heritage Foundation, "According to data from the 
Internal Revenue Service, the top 1 percent of income earners pay nearly 35 
percent of the income tax burden; the top 10 percent pay 65 percent; and the 
top 25 percent pay nearly 83 percent. The bottom 50 percent of income earners, 
on the other hand, pay barely 4 percent of income taxes."

Federal income taxes are only a small portion of the taxes we pay. We also pay 
federal payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, state income taxes, 
state and local sales taxes, property taxes, death taxes and excise taxes.

Except for excise taxes, these taxes fall most heavily on the most productive 
members of society. This doesn't make excise taxes better: They fall randomly 
and unfairly on people based on their habits and needs without regard to their 
ability to pay or their use of public services.

The growth of government spending is what makes this tax burden necessary. The 
federal budget grew 14 percent in President Bush's first three years, with 
discretionary spending growing nearly 50 percent. The 2006 Bush budget would 
increase the Department of Education budget by 40 percent since 2001 and the 
Department of Commerce budget by 85 percent. Bush's 2006 budget was supposed to 
be an "austerity" budget that finally would rein in spending, but it started 
with a proposed 3.6 percent increase in federal spending and has taken wing 
from there. The energy and transportation bills signed by the president are 
budget busters, and the just-announced spending to "rebuild New Orleans" is 
likely to make 2006 another record-breaker.

If government is too big, as Republicans love to chant, why is it growing 
larger and at a record pace with a Republican president and Republicans in 
control of both houses of Congress? Why did it grow at a slower rate when Bill 
Clinton was in the White House?

Meanwhile, state governments have been indulging in their own spending orgy. 
Between 1990 and 2000, total state spending grew by a staggering $512 billion, 
or 89 percent. All of that new built-in spending is moving through today's 
budgets like a pig through a python, causing state politicians to cry about 
"budget cuts" even as they reap record revenue increases due to the reviving 
national economy.

Voters need to hold to the fire the feet of elected officials, and especially 
Republicans who pretend to be pro-taxpayer. Officials who cut taxes and balance 
budgets need to be rewarded with success at the ballot box, and those who raise 
taxes and increase spending should be targeted by taxpayer groups and lose 

Tax and expenditure limits, such as Colorado's Taxpayers' Bill of Rights, are a 
structural solution to the problem of too much spending during good economic 
times and tax hikes during bad times. (It limits government spending to growth 
in population and inflation and returns surpluses to taxpayers.) Efforts are 
under way across the country to adopt TABOR through referendums and initiative 
where they are allowed, or legislatively if not. Those efforts deserve 
everyone's support.

Voters need to be far more aggressive in opposing excise taxes and so-called 
sin taxes. These taxes often pass by dividing the public -- pitting smokers 
against nonsmokers, beer drinkers against nondrinkers, tourists against 
residents, and so on. They are easily hidden from taxpayers, a good example 
being the Spanish-American War tax on telephone service.

Privatization and outsourcing of government services are widespread, have been 
closely studied, and typically increase the quality of services provided while 
reducing spending. They need to be promoted and aggressively defended against 
attacks by public-sector labor unions and their allies on the left.

It's easy to complain about taxes and then do nothing to lower them, but how 
free are you when governments take half or more of your income? Even serfs in 
the 16th and 17th centuries typically owed their feudal lords only a quarter of 
their crops and livestock, and often much less.

Our forefathers fought a war for independence over taxes that were far lower 
than those we now pay without complaint. It's time we got up off our sofas and 
demanded real tax relief.
M.A. Camp, Esq. 

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