Tuesday, February 3, 2015
A challenge for the GOP
WARNING! Back yourself into a corner, sit down, and hold on to your wallets. The politicians are putting together their budgets.
The Republican Party has for years called for cutting, or at least not raising, taxes. It's the glue that holds that party together. Every two years they run for re-election proudly proclaiming that they didn't raise taxes on their watch.
They are equally adamant about their opposition to "re-distribution", the policy of taking money from one class and giving it to another. And the Democratic Party just smiles and lets them get away with it, as they are silent partners in this sham.
Sham? What ever do you mean, Lowandslow?
It's all about the definition of "tax". To my way of thinking, taking money from my pocket and putting it in the government's pocket is a "tax". But what about all those "fees" and licenses we're required to pay? Whenever the pols need a few more $$$ they just raise "fees", never "taxes". What's the difference between a "tax" and a "fee"?
Example: Years ago I had a nursery license (landscape, not the juvenile holding facility kind). It originally cost me $10 a year. Then it went to $30 a year, then $90, and when it got to $300 (?) I decided it wasn't worth it and let it lapse.
I'm sure the same can be said for licenses for electricians, plumbers, beauticians, exterminators, etc. Likewise the cost to get your yearly auto registration and safety inspection has greatly outpaced inflation.
Wanna go to a state or national park? It'll cost you more than it did a few years ago. The list of things we have to pay for that falls outside the traditional definition of a "tax" is long. It may seem like small stuff, but it adds up.
Oh...and toll roads! In my state, because the politicians won't dare raise the gasoline tax, which is used to build and maintain public roads, they've come up with a new scheme: set up new "tollway authorities" and let them build the roads and charge tolls. Or worse, let them take a road we've already paid to build and turn it into a toll road. I spend well over $1000 a year on tolls. Now we're talking BILLIONS! But at least they didn't raise my taxes. Whew!
And isn't a "subsidy" really just a "re-distribution"? When taxpayer money is given as a subsidy to the oil industry, Big Pharma, Big Ag, Wall Street, etc, by my definition that's a "re-distribution". I once had that money, then government got it and gave it to someone else. Someone with political connections no doubt. Same with tax loopholes. Added up, these total HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS! But it's OK...sleep well...they aren't "taxes".
Here's my challenge for our politicians, particularly the Republicans as they seem to hold all the cards these days: Declare all things that require us to pay our money to the government a "tax". No more "fees" or other obfuscated terminology.
Declare all things that transfer our money to someone else a "re-distribution". And when one group can avoid paying taxes (formerly known as a loophole), requiring another group to pick up the slack, that should also be declared a "re-distribution".
Now let's see 'em backtrack, declaring tax increases to not be so bad after all. But...but...uhh...
Here's my point: Don't bullshit us. Admit the government needs money to conduct business on our behalf. But instead of lamenting HOW MUCH we're paying in taxes, concentrate on HOW IT'S BEING SPENT. Right now we're not getting our money's worth.
Waaaaaay too much taxpayer money is being wasted on crap stuff that is of minimal if any value, and waaaaaay too much taxpayer money is being handed out as political largess. The bureaucrats and political insiders are living very well at the expense of the rest of us.
Politicians need to learn that The People won't mind paying taxes IF THEY FELT THEIR MONEY WAS BEING WISELY SPENT. Right now we're NOT feeling the love.