|Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...|
Poster: WhosPlayin Posted: 2010/9/29 8:59:31
I'm not saying that lying is a uniquely Republican tactic, or that you have to lie to be a Republican. But these days, if someone is telling a whopper, or just misleading people, it's very likely a Republican. It seems there is almost no shame anymore in just flat out making shit up, or selling a false narrative.
I know there are those who view the tax system as "punitive". I don't. That's not the point of taxes. Although I believe in a progressive tax system, I strongly believe that everyone needs to pay a share and take some ownership.
As far as paying based on resources one uses - maybe that's not the best way to look at it. Without a strong, stable, functioning government and all of the services it provides to keep society functioning, the net wealth of the country would be tiny. So to achieve wealth here may not necessarily rely on direct government services, but is enabled by the stability and education and affluence of society at large, which has progressed because of the shared values we manifest through our government. So, I think it's fair to have a bit of a spread so that those who can afford it more pay a larger share.
Again, it's not punishment, and we don't need to go back to the old confiscatory rates. But it's more than reasonable to look back and see where the rates as they were set back in the Clinton years, when everyone was making money and we had a budget surplus to pay down debt, and think that we went wrong.
Being a believer in Keynes, I think it's good (at the Federal level only) to pile up reserves during good times, then spend down in hard times. You need tax rates a bit higher during good times when people can afford it, so that you can afford to lower them as stimulus during bad times. The problem is that for Republicans, they don't follow through on raising them back up to meet the need. Even Democrats rarely have the courage to say "now is the time". So there we were, having cut taxes to an unsustainable level in the middle of two wars, and we find ourselves facing the deepest recession since the great depression, and we have no reserves - only debt. We have no wiggle room in the tax rates, because they were already at unsustainable low levels.
Now conservatives rightly seek spending cuts. I'm all for continuing to seek efficiencies and cut waste, but even the Republicans can't find enough to cut to balance the budget - and I don't trust them not to cut safety-net expenses I consider vital.
That leaves us with the only real option, which is to raise taxes.
Given that tax cuts for the wealthy are poor stimulus, and tax increases for the middle class are chilling, I only see the one option in the short term - raise taxes for those who can afford them now, then come back in a year or two when unemployment has come down, and raise the lower levels.
Of course, the chance of that happening in today's political climate is nil, I think.