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Willisms

« Boo Hoo | WILLisms.com | Ballot Boxes And Bullets »

Taxes In 1969.

It's already nearing the end of January once again, which, of course, means that tax day is just around the corner. Income taxes and property taxes are bad enough as it is, but in recent weeks I have been paying closer attention to the little, constant taxes found in just about any sort of monthly bill. Cable television, for example.

The taxes on my bundled cable, internet, and digital phone total thirty-seven dollars and ninety-seven cents. $37.97. For the various local , state, and federal (mostly federal) taxes on that stuff. Every single month. PLUS another $1.19 for a "Municipal Telecommunications Surcharge." On the digital phone. That's the one that goes through the internet.

These are the sorts of fees that have been around forever, but too many people have begun to mentally incorporate them into some sort of monolithic cost concept of the good or service. We should be mad, each and every time we see "oh, and by the way, we need 37 dollars and 97 cents extra in taxes, thanks a bunch" on a cable bill. That shouldn't be normal.

Regardless of what Americans tell pollsters their most significant/pressing issue is (sometimes it is terrorism, or Iraq, or health care, or whatever else is dominating the headlines that week), taxes will always be there. People feel, intuitively, that they are overtaxed, no matter the tax bracket.

This is why it always baffles and delights me when liberals try to force the issue on taxes. It's sort of like that hilariously ill-advised Reggie Bush lateral/fumble in the 2006 Rose Bowl. It just makes you scratch your head and go, "what on earth could that guy be thinking?"

But press the issue they do. Often.

Unlike Reggie Bush, however, Democrats are not very good at winning elections. There's a reason for that. No matter how socially liberal some guy may be, no matter how outraged he is by all the trumped-up non-scandals in Washington, DC, how could anyone bring himself to vote for a candidate demanding substantially higher taxes? That's the one campaign promise a politician will keep 100% of the time.

But Democrats do just that-- call for higher taxes-- nearly every single election. Some cloak it in the language of rolling back "irresponsible" tax cuts, as if there is some Constitutionally-mandated tax level from the days or yore, higher than where we are now. Liberals today genuinely act as if we're woefully undertaxed today.

The sales pitch for higher taxes also usually involves something about "tax cuts for the rich." Americans almost unanimously believe they are middle class (a perception that isn't really all that off), so the occasional voter might fall for that lefty class warfare garbage.

But most of us have the basic cognitive capacity to reason thusly:

A: I am not rich.
B: I got a tax cut.
C: So, that means either, I really am rich (I'm not), I didn't really get a tax cut (I did), or that rich Democrat (Kennedy, etc.) doesn't know what he is talking about. Or worse, he is lying to me. What a joke of a political party.

Most Americans are more than capable of connecting the dots. Credibility is heck to earn and a breeze to burn.

The real question is: how much more credibility do these guys have left to burn?

That's a rhetorical question, but one answer is that they will have as much credibility as the left-dominated media grant them. We must demolish the left-wing media establishment. We must dismantle the Democrat-run death grip on information. We must expose the socialist tendencies of America's journalists. That's why we blog.

On taxes, for example.

One unfortunate side effect of America's prevailing pecuniary practice of paycheck withholding is that many of us receive a check or direct deposit FROM the IRS for hundreds or thousands of dollars about this time of year. When receiving gobs of money, it is easy to forget that they took way too much from us in the first place.

Today, we have Tax Freedom Day to remind us of just how much we have to work to pay off our taxes each year. Last year it was April 17. Federal taxes alone took 70 days to pay off last year:

taxpiechart.gif

Everybody isn't working for the weekend. We're working for Uncle Sam. And Uncle Connecticut. And Uncle New York. And Uncle New Jersey. And Uncle Massachusetts. And all the other Uncles we didn't even know we had until we got rich enough to receive one of Bush's tax cuts.

Once upon a time, there was no Tax Freedom Day, but there was this nifty bit of nostalgia (.pdf):

taxbiteinan8hourday.gif

Some things never change.

As long as taxes are an issue in an election, tax-slashing Republicans will benefit over tax-loving Democrats. From here to 2069, and beyond.

Here's a wake-up call: The 2006 elections will be here in a flash. Let's quit the dilly-dallying. Let's quite worrying over this or that or the other. In committee, let's quit pretending Democrats have anything worthwhile (or even remotely truthful) to say on taxes.

[I am appealing to you, Congressional Republicans.]

In the public square, however, use their narrowly-crafted, base-rallying comments and votes against them. Hoist them by their own collective petard, not just on their national security weakness, not just on their seething hypocrisy on the "corruption" issue, but on their tax-loving socialism, as well. The truth is a powerful force. Let's use it.

Posted by Will Franklin · 26 January 2006 08:45 PM

Comments

Well done, i love how you write. you should compile all your articles and make a book. seriously, why not, i mean if tookie can get published?!

Good work,
Christian wells

Posted by: christian at January 26, 2006 09:21 PM

Wait a minute.

The Democrats say over and over again that Bush's tax cuts were for the rich.

I got a tax cut.

By golly, I'm rich!!!!

Woo hoo!!!

Posted by: Ken McCracken at January 26, 2006 10:41 PM

Bah! You've let me down, Will! I usually LOVE your graphics for their ability to easily compare/contrast ideas in succinct ways...

Maybe it's just the way my brain works (or doesn't) but comparing a Pie Chart whose numbers are in base 365 with a bar graph in base 8, I lose the comparisons...

Again, it may well be the way my brain works, because right now it's saying "Mmmmmmmm... Pie...."

Now, which one of my freezers did I put my Ice Cream...

Mr. Michael

Posted by: Mr. Michael at January 27, 2006 01:29 AM

I am beginning to figure this blog out. Ken is the rational one and Will is the one completely out of touch with reality.

Let me put it to you this way friend. I as an individual make say $70,000 a year. But my expenses consistantly total $85,000 a year. After 10 years my debt is $150,000, (not including interest). As my total debt increases a larger and larger percentage of my expenditures (I am already over spending mind you) goes to pay the interest on my debt, so of the $85,000 I spend per year less and less annually goes to my expenses and more goes to servicing the debt, in effect making me poorer. Now if you were my buddy and I shared this information with you what would your advice be? I would guess it would be to cut my expenses and to pay off the debt, maybe get a second job to make more money. That would be the responsible thing to do.

What the GOP used to stand for was fiscal responsibility. This is why I considered my self a moderate at one point. I supported the GOP regarding fiscal responsibility and supported the democrats liberal social agenda. This is no longer the case.

Now read carefully, this is the clincher. I honestly believe that the current Grover Norquist engineered policy is to cause the government to completely fall flat on its face. To make the situation so dire that the entire infrastructure of this country collapses. There will be no way for the government to function so all social services collapse so the only role of government is protecting wealth and fighting wars. A true Bush conservative would be familiar with the writings of Grover Norquist and essentially agree with this statement. This is the goal. Your average Joe who allows the GOP to create a social agenda rallying cry is completely ignorant to this. How do you think the Gay marriage ban referenda ended up on so mayny ballots in swing states? Coincidence? Do you think they were placed there by Democrats? Also, to you recall how many terror alerts were issued in the months of October and November leading up to the election? Haven't had too many lately have we?

Posted by: thomas at January 27, 2006 08:00 AM

And if you haven't noticed, there are small but growing movements by congressional Reps right now trying to get back to fiscal responsibility.

Have you also noticed that since the tax cuts enacted by Bush, gov't tax receipts have acually gone up?

Thomas, as a regular reader now of Willisms, you must be aware that one of the biggest financial issues of the next 25 years is Social Security. What is your opinion on solutions for that?

Posted by: Hoodlumman at January 27, 2006 08:21 AM

Tax revenue increased substaintally in 2005.. This is true. But this was was mostly related to an increase in tax receipts from the corporate sector of the tax base, not from the individual.

Take a look at this for a more detailed discription.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/TaxFacts/TFDB/TFTemplate.cfm?Docid=203

Tax revenue is going to increase as the economy grows. To say this is due to tax cuts only is irresponsible. We have not had negative economic growth in this country in decades. However, I do not argue that the tax cuts and massive spending have helped the economy. Any time the government goes into debt to put money into the economy or the pockets of political contributors, it is going to have an effect. Look at what WWII or the TVA did for the economy.

Posted by: thomas at January 27, 2006 08:51 AM

Not to dodge the question of Social Security. i think there are only two options really since private accounts would do nothing to address the pending crisis. 1. Increase the SS taxes on current workers and reduce the benefits to all future retirees. 2. Reduce the number of future retirees, by converting them to Soylent Green.

Posted by: thomas at January 27, 2006 09:39 AM

Wow, Thomas.

You should start reading some Willisms archives. Maybe start here.

Your option for SS salvation is 100% unacceptable.

And what might cause a large increase in corporate tax receipts?

Your tax cut spin rings hollow here. Had the tax cuts not been implemented, the economy might have been more sluggish and slow to recover and then all we'd here is how "worthless" the overall economy is these days.

Posted by: Hoodlumman at January 27, 2006 10:18 AM

That link doesn't show many anything i don't freely admit. There is going to be a problem.

I also admit that tax cuts spur the economy. So we seem to be in agreement on most issues.

However, big problem is that regardless of the increasing tax revenues, we also have this issue of increasing national debt and budget deficit. Unless you, like Cheney, think that deficits don't matter we still have a problem here.

Posted by: thomas at January 27, 2006 10:29 AM

I wasn't pointed to that article specifically. But at the bottom of each Reform Thursday, Will links all previous topics. Those archives have tons of data, ideas, solutions and insights on the current problem.

Deficits are a problem. And they key, from my position is slapping the Republican party back in line.

Given the Dems lack of seriousness regarding national security and terrorism, they are not a viable option. And financially, they'll spend the same, if not more than the Republicans, but will go ahead and pump up taxes as much as they can get away with. They're the party that even calls decreases in the percentage increase of spending "cut backs."

That is deceptive and, quite frankly, a joke.

Posted by: Hoodlumman at January 27, 2006 10:50 AM

"Given the Dems lack of seriousness regarding national security and terrorism"

I see the GOP's propaganda machine has you hooked and reeled in. Do you think Tom Delay's critism of Clinton when he was trying to take out Bin Laden was based on true National Security concerns or was he simply taking any opportunity he could find to try to discredit Clinton instead of concentrating on defending our national security?

Posted by: thomas at January 27, 2006 11:05 AM

So it's Delay's fault that Clinton didn't nab Bin Laden??

"WILL YOU GUYS EVER STOP TALKING ABOUT CLINTON!?!?"

Posted by: Hoodlumman at January 27, 2006 11:21 AM

And please substitute the following line for "Wow, Thomas" in my third post above and add it to my repsonse two posts above:

I see the DNC's propaganda machine has you hooked and reeled in.

Posted by: Hoodlumman at January 27, 2006 11:25 AM

I have another book recommendation for you.

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 by Steve Coll

Posted by: thomas at January 27, 2006 11:37 AM

I read that book, thomas. It was one of those books that could be read by 10 different people at different spots on the political spectrum and interpreted 10 distinct ways. But that's how politics is today quite generally.

Posted by: Will Franklin at January 27, 2006 12:14 PM

thomas... How can you argue with FACTS???

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 27, 2006 02:00 PM

Ms. Gabor,

I hate to be rude lest you slap me, but I haven't a clue what you are referring to.

I am so glad to see that the stroke has not affected your thought processes so much that you can not type however.

Posted by: thomas at January 27, 2006 02:21 PM

It is a sad truth that the CinC bears a lonely burden in the foreign policy arena and often is subject to unfair grandstanding by political enemies. It is a fact that clinton had several opportunities to take out bin laden and either passed on them or blew them. It is a fact that clinton as CinC was privy to a huge amount of information about the murderous intent and capabilities of our radical islamist enemies that most of us never will know. It also is factual that the level of vitriol heaped upon the current administration for its real war on terror was not matched by the same level of vitriol for the former president for his inadequate response.

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 28, 2006 12:33 PM

Thomas, A.K.A.Eb

Zsa Zsa should slap you as soon as you slide black down the telephone pole. Be careful not to get a splinter.

Posted by: Cindy T. at January 28, 2006 01:18 PM

That is not necessary Cindy T. Thomas brings an interesting view! If Thomas doesn't have a clue as to what I am refering to, perhaps I was not making myself clear? ... Liberal and conservative views are an open door for personal attacks!... Goodness knows conservatives have a treasure trove full of Ammo that we could let loose on liberals!... It is interesting that Thomas chose to attack me? WILLisms.com is filled with facts that are quite hard to argue with! All I was saying is Thomas might want to back some of his obivious MSM filled arguements with FACTS!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at January 29, 2006 10:21 AM

As long as it is "unconscionable" for the government to reduce the overall aid rendered for failure of individual responsibility, taxes will always be "too low".

It pains me to say this but I believe that Republicans are just as guilty of catering to the politically needy. They can't bring themselves to say "NO".

Besides, the tax burden has been (largely) passed squarely to small businesses. Individuals don't recognize the tax burden because they never see the money anyway.

It's like the frog in the cool pan of water. The heat is being increased but individuals won't recognize that they're boiling until it is too late.

Posted by: Stew at January 29, 2006 08:23 PM

Ms. Gabor,
Please be specific in stating which facts I am arguing with my MSM biased opinion. Is stating the tax cuts are not being off set with spending cuts inaccurate?

Posted by: thomas at January 29, 2006 09:40 PM