The American Dream
Sept 20, 2011
Barack Obama has revealed his tax plan and it is a doozy. It would raise taxes by 1.5 trillion dollars over the next decade. Most of these tax increases would hit the wealthy, and Obama keeps insisting that it is time for them “to pay their fair share”. Of course Obama knows that the Republicans will never go for this. You see, what is going on is that Obama is laying a trap. First, he laid out a 447 billion dollar “jobs plan” that contained all kinds of goodies for the poor and the middle class. Now he has introduced a massive tax plan which specifically targets millionaires in order to pay for it.
The Republicans are falling right into the trap, because instead of introducing fundamental reforms to our tax system, the Republicans have chosen to defend the status quo. Right now our current tax system allows big corporations and the ultra-wealthy to get away with bloody murder, and the Republicans have put themselves into the position of having to defend that. This is exactly what Barack Obama wants. Obama is plotting to use class warfare as a tool to divide Americans and win the 2012 election. There is no way in the world that his current plan is going to get through Congress. What he is doing now is “setting the table” for the 2012 campaign season.
One of the cornerstones of the Obama tax plan is a new minimum tax rate on those that make more than $1 million a year. Obama says that the goal is to make sure that millionaires don’t pay a smaller rate than middle-income taxpayers do.
Obama is making a smart political move by going after less than 1 percent of the population and proposing tax breaks and lots of goodies for everyone else. This puts Republicans in the position of having to play “grinch” because of their obsession with “not raising taxes”.
There are a whole lot more low-income and middle-income voters out there than there are wealthy voters. In addition, nearly the entire nation is pretty much disgusted with Wall Street at this point.
So is now the time to attack the rich?
Obama apparently believes that he can get a lot of traction with this stuff.
In fact, Obama seems to already be in campaign mode. Just check out what Obama had to say about his new plan….
“Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett”
You know, that makes a lot of sense. I know that I am certainly disturbed that I pay more taxes than GE does.
The Republicans are playing right into all of this. Instead of crying out for reform of a system that is fundamentally unjust and completely broken, they just keep defending it.
If the current tax code was completely thrown out, tax rates could be lowered for all of us and revenues could be increased at the same time.
Comparing the current tax code to Swiss cheese is not quite accurate, because the current tax code actually has more loopholes than it has substance. If you know what you are doing and you have the resources to play the game, you can drive a fleet of armored trucks through the holes in the tax code.
The sad thing is that it would not take too much imagination to eliminate the personal income tax altogether. There was no personal income tax for most of U.S. history, and we could certainly operate the government without one.
But instead of getting the creative, the Republicans have decided to draw a line in the sand and defend the status quo to the bitter end.
What a stupid, stupid thing to do.
Even though his approval rating recently hit a new low, Barack Obama may just be able to use the “politics of division” to worm his way back into the White House once again in 2012.
Do the stupid Republicans not see what he is doing?
Obama’s plan basically involves three steps…..
#1) Propose a “jobs plan” that contains all sorts of juicy tax cuts for the middle class, but that also contains measures that Barack Obama knows will never, ever get approved by Congress.
#2) Propose a “tax plan” that contains heavy new taxes on the wealthy that Barack Obama knows will never, ever get approved by Congress.
#3) Blame the Republicans for the failure of the “jobs plan” and tell poor and middle class Americans that it failed because Republicans are opposed to having the wealthy pay their “fair share” of taxes.
In another shrewd move, Barack Obama has trotted out Warren Buffett to sell his new plan. In fact, Obama is calling his millionaire tax the “Buffett Rule”. Millions of Americans will see Warren Buffett standing next to Obama and will actually be convinced that some wealthy Americans are actually eager to pay more taxes.
The following is what the New York Times had to say about the “Buffett Rule”….
Mr. Obama, in a bit of political salesmanship, will call his proposal the “Buffett Rule,” in a reference to Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained repeatedly that the richest Americans generally pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than do middle-income workers, because investment gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages.
Not that Buffett does not make some good points. For example, according to Buffett, he was taxed at an effective tax rate of 17.4 percent for 2010, while many of his employees were taxed at a rate more than double that.
So is that fair?
Of course not.
Our current tax code is absolutely ridiculous. It massively soaks the middle class and small businesses and it greatly favors those that can hire an army of tax lawyers.
The Republicans should be pushing to abolish the current tax code and to shut down the IRS. The system we have now is inherently flawed and cannot be redeemed.
But instead, the Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. They must now defend absolutely laughable tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations.
The new “Buffett Rule” would only affect 0.3 percent of all taxpayers. Obama hopes to pin the economic frustrations of the bottom 90 percent on them and on the Republicans.
Sadly, this is how politics is played in America. Instead of working for the good of the country, Obama has his eyes on the next election.
An article in USA Today explained some of the other reasons why the Obama tax plan has absolutely no chance of success….
Obama also would eliminate tax breaks and loopholes that benefit oil and gas companies, hedge fund managers, and corporate jet owners — ideas that have previously been rejected by congressional Republicans. His plan to limit deductions and exclusions for people with income above $250,000 has even been rejected by many Democrats in the past.
So then why is Obama even bothering to propose it?
Well, as mentioned above, Obama is “setting the table” for the 2012 election. Even the folks in the mainstream media can see this a mile away.
A recent article in the New York Times clearly spelled out what Obama is trying to do….
The Obama proposal has little chance of becoming law unless Republican lawmakers bend. But by focusing on the wealthiest Americans, the president is sharpening the contrast between Republicans and Democrats with a theme he can carry into his bid for re-election in 2012.
In an article for Time, Massimo Calabresi described the political motivation behind Obama’s proposal in this manner….
Politically, it’s more complicated. Clearly both sides reach their base with their message. Fair share is straight-up union talk, and will resonate with the Democrats whom Obama wants to solidify and energize ahead of a year of tough economic wrangling. Class warfare opens wealthy wallets during campaign season and taps the active, enthusiastic and antigovernment Tea Party movement, which sees socialism under every Democrat’s bed.
Republicans should be able to see what is happening.
They should be able to understand that defending ridiculous tax loopholes for the ultra-wealthy and big corporations is not a winning strategy.
But right now, the Republicans are falling right into Obama’s trap.
What the Republicans should be doing is introducing a bold, new vision for how government finances will work in this country.
Sadly, that will probably never happen. You see, the truth is that the Democrats and the Republicans both believe in the current system. Yeah, Republicans want taxes a little lower than the Democrats do most of the time, but you don’t exactly see too many Republicans running around calling for the tax code and the IRS to be abolished, do you?
It is time that someone told the American people the truth.
Our tax code is fundamentally unjust.
Our tax code destroys small businesses.
Our tax code makes us much less competitive in the global marketplace.
Our tax code transfers wealth from the American people to big banks and big corporations.
Our tax code is a horrific waste of time, energy and national resources.
Our tax code encourages behaviors that are counter-productive.
Our tax code is used by the government to pursue social engineering goals.
Out tax code is so vast and so complicated that no ordinary American could ever actually understand the whole thing.
Our tax code greatly favors the largest corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
Our tax code is an insult to our founding fathers and it is the kind of thing they tried to prevent when they put together the U.S. Constitution.
The Republicans are foolish when they defend the status quo.
The answer to Barack Obama is not George W. Bush.
The answer to Barack Obama is 1776.
Using class warfare to once again divide the American people may help Barack Obama in the next election, but it will do nothing to solve the problems this nation is facing.
Meanwhile, our tax system will continue to produce some truly ridiculous results.
According to Forbes, the 400 richest Americans pay an average tax rate of just 18%.
A lot of you that are reading this (including myself) pay a much higher rate than that.
That is just plain stupid.
Back in the 1950s, corporate taxes accounted for about 30 percent of all federal revenue, but in 2009 corporate taxes accounted for just 6.6 percent.
In a previous article, I noted some of the big corporations that make a ton of money and yet pay less than zero in taxes….
What U.S. corporations are able to get away with is absolutely amazing.
The following figures come directly out of a report by Citizens for Tax Justice. These are combined figures for the tax years 2008, 2009 and 2010.
During those three years, all of the corporations below made a lot of money. Yet all of them paid net taxes that were below zero for those three years combined.
How is that possible? Well, it turns out that instead of paying in taxes to the federal government, they were actually getting money back.
So for these corporations, their rate of taxation was actually below zero.
If you have not seen these before, you are going to have a hard time believing some of these statistics…..
Profits: $4.9 billion
Taxes: -$34 million
Profits: $3 billion
Taxes: -$23 million
Profits: $49.37 billion
Taxes: -$681 million
Profits: $9.7 billion
Taxes: -$178 million
Profits: $32.5 billion
Taxes: -$951 million
Profits: $2.1 billion
Taxes -$72 million
*American Electric Power*
Profits: $5.89 billion
Taxes -$545 million
Profits: $7.7 billion
Taxes: -$4.7 billion
Are you starting to get the picture?
Does anyone out there still want to defend the current tax system?
Just tinkering with a few tax code provisions here and there is not going to fix things.
It is a system that cannot be redeemed and it needs to be abandoned.
So defending the status quo is just stupid.
The Republicans need to stop doing it.
If the Republicans would start calling for the tax code and the IRS to be abolished, Barack Obama would not get very far at all with his class warfare mumbo jumbo.
But we all know that the Republicans are not likely to do that. Instead, it looks like they are going to rally around a RINO like Rick Perry and defend the current taxation system to the bitter end.
America deserves better than that.
This article was posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 3:30 am