Friday, August 19, 2011
Ouch! Repugs Want to Raise Taxes: On the POOR!
Sometimes following the GOP candidates in their surreal campaign bloviations and spoutings is like trying to parse an equally surreal dream. In some way, it's as if these characters no longer even inhabit the real world, but some abstract parallel phantasm where the fundamental principles of working reality - whether in science, finance or whatever- simply don't apply.
Such was the case in yesterday's stumping when all the Gooper candidates complained there's too big a tax burden on too few and "more Americans need to pay income tax". They wailed like banshees about only 5% of the population paying 60% of the taxes, not bothering to inform their audience that most of these are fairly wealthy people, the "uppercrust" who can easily afford a piddling little 15-25%, which is what most of them end up paying after resorting to their favorite charitable write-offs, trusts, or other gimmicks. For a $5 million earner, he still gets to keep $3.75 million....but wait! Add in a $1 m refund from his Bush tax cut extension and he loses only 250 grand! What's not to like?
Meanwhile, the poor and fixed income seniors - receiving only Social Security- were lambasted as "not paying their fair share"! Excuse me, are you guys nuts! Rick Perry himself gnashed his teeth and wailed that "Fifty percent of Americans pay NO income taxes at all!"
Well, uh...yeah, but what about all the other taxes they pay? Even an American Enterprise Institute wonk, quoted in today's WSJ (A8) warned the GOP candidates ought not get on too high a horse over this, because of all the "stealth taxes" that limit the income of the poor person - say earning only $12,000 a year. Those include sales taxes, gasoline taxes, and others. And if they manage to own a home, there are the property taxes! Lastly, who the hell said that the payroll taxes don't count as real genuine taxes! At a rate of 6.2% that means every $12,000 earner will have to cough up $744. If Perry (as President) were now to add a 10% income tax on top of that, the out flow from the poor person would be $1,944. Which might well be the difference between starvation for their kids, and at least getting by.
Of course, once the news of these miscreants' remarks hit the media airwaves (as they always so, and btw, I'm including Michele Bachman and Mitt Romney in this too) they started backing away. For example, a Perry spokesperson said that the Governor didn't actually mean "raising taxes on the poor" ----oh no, no ...never! What he meant was getting more of them into jobs, or better jobs, so they'd end up paying more taxes.
I am not equally sanguine with the efforts of his campaign to soft soap taxing seniors. We know that in a recently published book, Perry declared all Social Security monies were "illegal" under the Constitution (10th amendment). If he truly believes this, then as President he'd have no qualms doing whatever to at least degrade it, and taxing it might come to mind (or privatizing it - so the oldsters would either have to risk their meager incomes in the stock market or only settle for the bare "floor" minimum monthly payout of $400.
We will see. The fact these numbskulls even raised this tax issue, and the possibility of taxing the poorest in the nation (already suffering with more potential cuts to come) shows they have their heads somewhere other than reality.
Maybe where the Sun don't shine!