According to the Associated Press, “Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That’s according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.”
This is the scariest statistic I’ve come across since I heard that something like 70 percent of the American people believe Satan is not only real, but is out there somewhere lurking in the shadows.
But before we get to why it’s not such a good idea that half the folks don’t pay for national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education – even though they benefit from all of it — let me ask you a few questions, and you don’t need a degree in economics to answer them.
Question #1: If I say, “Let’s go to Walmart and you can buy all the stuff you want – and I’ll pay for it, would you go?
Question #2: If I invited to you go to Tiffany’s with me, and made the same offer, would you drop what you were doing and go?
Question #3: How about free airplane tickets or free dinners? Like baseball? Can I interest you in free season tickets? Would you like that, Bunkie?
Ok, we all know the answer. Everybody likes free stuff. Mostly because it’s FREE!
Now let’s turn the tables. Let’s say I’m the one who doesn’t have to pay any federal income tax. Let’s say YOU had to pay for all the stuff I want.
I want more interstate highways. Get your wallet out, moneybags.
I want a Tomato Museum in my town and I want the federal government to pay for it. Hey, it’ll stimulate a few jobs. Cough up the cash, Rockefeller.
And oh yeah, I like that new healthcare plan my favorite president of all time just slammed through Congress. I especially like the real good stuff that YOU’LL be paying for.
And I want an aircraft carrier and government-subsidized cheese and federally-funded studies about why college kids drink and most of all I want lots and lots more IRS agents to make sure YOU pay for all this stuff.
Got that, Santa?
“But we don’t have the money for everything you want, Bernie” you say. Well, you crybaby wuss, that’s YOUR problem not mine. I don’t pay federal income tax, YOU do! Work longer hours or something.
Once upon a time in this great land of ours, we gave the tax breaks to the poor. That was good with me. But then Barack Obama and his Democratic pals in Congress pushed through a massive “economic recovery bill” – try to hold off shouting, “Oh yeah, what recovery would that be?” that gave big tax breaks to the sainted middle-class. He raised their exemptions and deductions and credits to the point where many of them wound up paying no federal income tax. And I’m sure it never crossed his mind that by buying these folks off, they might just vote for him next time around.
So here’s the wake up call: If we let these freeloaders – oh, did I say a bad word? — decide how much we should spend on stuff, how big our national budget should be, they’ll send all of us right to the poor house. They will bankrupt this country because as far as they’re concerned they’re contestants in a game show called The Price is Right – and the price they’re paying for all their goodies is NOTHING!
We need a system where everybody kicks in something. Can you say Flat Tax? Anyone on the low end of the income scale would get a break. After that, everyone pays the exact same percentage of their income. Maybe we would exempt the first $35,000 of income from federal income taxes. So if you make forty grand, you pay tax on five thousand dollars. If you make $50 million a year, you pay tax on $50 million minus $35,000. Then, everyone pays the same percentage – let’s say, 15 percent of his or her No deductions. Period.
And to make it all work, we drastically cut spending – probably across the board. (When you stop laughing, continue reading.)
That way, we’ve all got skin in the game. The rich still pay more than the poor in actual dollars, but everyone contributes his and her fair share. That way we all feel we’re a part of this great nation – even though the half that doesn’t pay taxes probably doesn’t want to feel that they’re a part of anything that will cost them money.
And if you don’t like that one, I’ve got a great back-up plan. If you don’t pay federal income tax you don’t vote in federal elections. You get no say in where the money you’re not kicking in goes.
Take your choice.
Copyright © 2014 BernardGoldberg.com