Monday, October 24, 2005

Flat Tax My Bubble Economy

Shorter Fixed Tax debate: Will the alien visitors be friendly or not?

That's just about as relevant as what is being blathered over discussed in the mainstream media. All media outlets have become so timid about discussing reality that they continue to dance around the most obvious truths. The middle class pays very little in tax--not that there's anything wrong with that (unless that's your agenda). The middle class will continue to have the smallest burden because the pols will pander to the broadest swath of voters they can get to listen between breaks on CSI. Or vote Republican again. You have to admit, they seem to be able to sell people on voting against their interests in the name of superior stances on unpopular people/causes. Hate those gays? We'll kill cut slash reform Social Security as a returned favor!

But nobody, I mean NOBODY, will state the obvious: that paying their fair share would mean tripling (or more) what the typical family pays now. If you don't believe me, take your income, assume it's a restaurant check and figure in a 15% tip. That's your flat tax bill. Now take your jaw and pick it up and try adding some more because it's likely going to be 17% with NO DEDUCTIONS. It's flat, remember? But what about my mortgage interest? NO! Kids? NO!

If you like this arrangement, then congratulations and sympathies because 1) you make more money and 2) there are more of them than you and you won't get it. It's a stealth republican gambit and the jig is up. A stealth republican is a one or two professional income household and therefore upper middle class. They get hit pretty good with taxes. But you'll get no sympathy from those making less and no help from those making more. The 250K and up bracket can buy influence and they have--Bush lowered their rate. If you're 75K to 150K, well you get to pay more than your share.

George H.W. Bush, was an arguably successful president, but he was defeated by a almost totally unknown Arkansas governer. What little was known about the Clintons involved a history of minor but questionable personal and financial activities. But Poppy Bush put tax hikes on the table for possible discussion and lost his base. That alone is a pretty clear statement from the public--I'm all for tax fairness as long as my fairness is better than before.

So can we just stop the bullshit? There is no such thing as a Flat Tax debate. Somebody has to make up the difference and the only question is who will pay more than before. Somebody gets more of the burden and you need leadership to get a consensus on that. None of that is remotely visible on the horizon. We've got a war that nobody has the guts to address in any way other than some hackneyed sports metaphor. How many people want to retch when they hear that resolve word again.

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