Thursday, September 30, 2010

Who Owns Your Money?

Have you been following the ongoing kerfuffle in Congress over the Bush Tax Cuts? You know, the legislation passed almost ten years ago to reduce taxation rates across all income categories in a very successful attempt to spur growth in the economy and increase revenues to the Treasury? Like tax cuts almost always do? Well folks, those tax cuts sunset at midnight on New Year's Eve. If not extended in some form or fashion, what would then follow is the largest single tax increase in American history. And, given that Congress has just adjourned without action on this all-important matter bodes ill for everyone that draws a paycheck.

Congressional Democrats want to extend the tax cuts only for the so-called "middle class" and let them expire for the "rich." Rich, in this context, is defined by the Dems as those in the top 2% of wage earners. That's individuals making over $200,000 annually, and couples earning more than $250,000. Think of it as the income of your experienced fireman and the nurse he's married to. They're now rich, you see, whether they feel "rich" or not. Republicans want to extend the cuts for everyone. The President tells us we simply can't afford the $700 Billion it would cost us over 10 years to grant such largesse to those nasty rich people. Cost? There's no cost to leaving things exactly the way they are. And if cost is the issue, why aren't they focusing on the $3+ Trillion it would cost over the next decade to extend those same tax cuts for the middle-class? How, I ask, could it possibly cost us to allow those productive individuals among us to keep that extra money that they earn? That's the money with which they can invest and build companies and buy equipment and hire people. And yes, cars and houses and planes, which keep people employed building them. They are already disproportionately paying over three times the lowest tax rates. In fact, the top 2% already pay more than 25% of all income taxes. It seems to me that's punishment enough for being successful.

Where did all this class warfare come from? Why are the Dems on Capitol Hill so dedicated to penalizing the only folks who can reasonably get us out of this economic morass? I can come up with only one reason. They believe that all the money is really theirs, to do with as they see fit. And they believe they can spend it far better than can we. And redistribute it better, too, selectively buying votes in the process. It's been noted you can't make poor people rich by making rich people poor. Winston Churchill once remarked that trying to tax ourselves into prosperity is like standing in a bucket and trying to lift ourselves up by the handle. I close with one key question: When was the last time a poor person hired anybody?

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