Tag Archives: tax protest

The 11-04-09 Teabag gathering

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There were still people filing in to the Teabagger event when I left at 12:40 p.m., but I am estimating that attendance was about 300 – which would be 1/10th of 1% of the population of Wichita, KS.  Thank goodness their numbers are so small.  When I first got there a guy asked me:

“Do you work for the FBI?”  He had noticed me taking photos.

For a split second, I debated whether I should act like I did not hear him and get out of there.  But I finally replied, “No, sir, I don’t.  And I don’t think that anyone has ever asked me that question before.”  That seemed to satisfy him.

There is always the horse rider that shows up at these events and the ever present Abortion Protest larger than life photos on the “Truth”-Truck.  I remember the first time my daughter saw one of those gory signs – I cannot recall her age, but she was still riding in a car seat – she said, “Oh Daddy, those pictures don’t make me feel so good.”

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What was real noticable was that among all the signs against socialized medicine, it did look like well over half of the protestors were old enough to recieve Medicare – the granddaddy of all socialized medicine programs.  You know, they should have had a sign saying “Socialized Medicine is okay for me, but not for thee!”

I did not see anything that looked like a counter-protest anywhere.  That was disappointing.

It did appear to me that the teabaggers were enjoying themselves.  They were laughing and greeting new and old friends alike.  Maybe something like this should be planned on a daily basis – might keep those folks off the street and out of the way… of progress.

iggydonnelly

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Filed under Wingnuts!

The Great Country of Texas

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Apparently, 18% of the inhabitants of Texas want to secede from the United States. Other than opening the door for other states to follow, which I’m sure, even if voters reached a majority the federal government would quash in no uncertain terms.

But let’s look a the consequences of such a move; should it be allowed to take place, and indeed passes. Texas has no personal income tax, but it does impose 60 other taxes ranging from tobacco to retaliatory taxes. Texas would lose any tax money it receives from the federal government, so the imposition of higher taxes to pay for basic infrastructure would surly follow such a move. They could also require any visitors to obtain travel visas, and the federal government could impose the same on anybody leaving the state. I could go on and on, but it seems to me any state wanting to secede from the union would be creating more problems than the ones they are trying to get away from.

Readers thoughts?

jammer5

21 Comments

Filed under Economics, hate groups, Political Reform, Republicans, taxes, The Economy

Some Thoughts on Tax Reform

As predictable as the sun rising in the East, this April 15th brought a pronouncement from the President that he and his administration will be working to simplify the administration of the income tax. Heard that one before from other Presidents, and I’m still waiting.

One “reform” being championed is the so-called Fair Tax, promoted as being a way to replace the income tax and payroll taxes with no revenue loss to the government. Facially simple, it provides a national sales tax, currently pegged at a 23% rate, to be assessed against purchases of new goods (and services, I believe). Each taxpayer would pay this tax, and each household would receive a “prebate” in the form of a check from the government in an amount calculated to provide the household with a monetary equivalent to what exempting certain basic necessities from the tax would save. This amount takes into consideration the size of the household, and the federal poverty level for such household.

Immediately, the following comes to mind. What constitutes a “household”? Should two adult individuals living under the same roof be a household, or should this combination be counted as two households? Determining the answer to this question and monitoring compliance therewith will, IMHO, not reduce the costs of administration of the tax system as is promoted by the proponents of the Fair Tax.

Then, what are basic necessities? Do prescription pharmaceuticals qualify? If so, how does the proposed prebate take into account the need for the purchase of drugs by a “household” where one or more of the members thereof suffers from a chronic illness, where the Fair Tax being paid on the needed prescriptions exceeds the amount of the prebate?

What about internet sales? Will the current exemption from sales taxes be abolished? If so, how will these be monitored for compliance? Seem like additional administrative costs will be needed.

My favorite is the exemption of the sales of used goods from imposition of the tax, on the basis of the goods already being taxed. Does this not guarantee that there will be a booming market for used “stuff”, to the detriment of sales of new? Is this not contrary to the idea that replacing the current tax system with the Fair Tax will encourage the creation of more manufacturing jobs in the U.S.?

Then, what about the components that go into finished products? Current sales tax laws generally allow an exemption for those components that are not sold to the ultimate end users of the products of which the components are a part. The pure Fair Tax would impose a tax on each such component, as I understand it; and to be “fair”, that should be the result. Otherwise, if these kind of exemptions are enacted, the application and collection of the tax will become as complex as the current system, as exemptions are monitored, distinctions made, compliance assured.

Finally, for purposes of this post, we are assured that as the “rich” purchase big ticket items, the burden will be borne more by them. Hogwash; if they are truly “rich”, they will purchase what they want from other countries with lower effective tax rates. This could be avoided, to some extent, by adoption of a Fair Tax Compensating Use Tax to be sure that the 23% is paid; but again, does this not increase the costs of administration, etc., to levels similar to or higher than the current costs of administering the present system?

There is a certain basic sense of simplicity with the idea of the Fair Tax, and its appeal is based on this. Like all proposals for reform, however, it raises more questions than it answers. And, as with all proposals for reform, it creates additional employment opportunities for accountants and lawyers. To pretend otherwise ignores reality.

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Filed under Economics, taxes, The Economy

The Wichita Teabag Protest: A Photo Essay ~Iggy Donnelly

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Filed under libertarians, Republicans, taxes

Astroturf Onslaughts: GOP Party of Fools or Dangerous Opponents?

Paul Krugman was commenting on the Tea Parties that the Republicans have been setting up for this upcoming Wednesday.  He seems unsure as to whether he should laugh out loud at the GOP’s shenanigans or to be worried.  Such astroturf tricks have worked well in the past for the Republicans; Krugman recalls the efficiency of the faux riot in Miami-Dade county that stopped the vote in Florida during the 2000 election.  This was not a real “grass roots” protest, but one carefully manufactured by GOP strategists to achieve an end – which they did.  Astroturf activism seems to be big on corporate (or other powerful interests) money, and low on average citizen participation.  The tea parties have been backed by Murdock owned media outlets.

To drive home his point about his mixed feelings on the current embarrassing displays by the Grand old Party, Krugman states:

“But here’s the thing: the G.O.P. looked as crazy 10 or 15 years ago as it does now. That didn’t stop Republicans from taking control of both Congress and the White House. And they could return to power if the Democrats stumble. So it behooves us to look closely at the state of what is, after all, one of our nation’s two great political parties.”

My hope is that Krugman is wrong, because while the GOP may remain crazy after all these years, I sincerely want to believe that the electorate has not.

What do you readers think?

Iggy Donnelly

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Filed under Elections, Political Reform, Republicans