Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

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31 January 2009

Richard Rahn - Feel like a chump?

Richard Rahn, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth wrote a hard-hitting commentary in the Washington Times on 22 January 2009 about Federal taxes in this time of huge government bailouts for favored industries, local governments, and other Democrat causes. He asks if we "feel like a Chump?" We should be feeling very much like chumps as these politicians laugh at our gullibility.

He points out that when Congress wants to spend $825 billion on a so-called "stimulus program," which many economists are rightly pointing out is actually a de-stimulus program, Congress and the new administration have some very interesting views on taxation. Among these are:
  • Chairman Charles Rangel of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax legislation, did not pay taxes on some of his income, such as rent from Caribbean property.
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has repeated said that paying taxes is "voluntary."
  • Tim Geithner, the new Treasury Secretary under Obama, failed to pay income taxes for many years, when he worked for the IMF. He then served as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York while still owing those taxes. [Can you imagine the tax penalties most of us would be assessed over those years if we had not paid taxes we owed?] [Wikipedia presently says he "served as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and was a small-time tax chiseler."] He now controls the IRS.
  • Many Congressional and media defenders of Geithner and Rangel correctly argue that the tax law is complex and some laws are vague and unclear. Rahn notes that, like everyone else, he does not understand how to obey the 65,000 page Internal Revenue Code. So if the well-connected politically do not have to pay their taxes, shouldn't the rest of us be treated equally under the law as required in the Constitution?
  • He thinks all Americans should pay the same tax rate and remembers that when Sen. John Kerry ran for president in 2004, his billionaire wife paid a lower tax rate than most Americans did.
  • The typical American family of four is paying $132 to subsidize Goldman Sachs and already committed to paying $662 to Citibank, even before Treasury guaranteed $300 billion of additional debt for Citibank.
  • The Obama "stimulus" program of an additional $825 billion will cost the American family another $20,000 in taxes and/or losses to inflation.
He concludes, 'Just remember, those members of Congress who vote to tax you and spend your money on "bailouts" and phony "stimulus" may be calling you a "chump" behind your back.'

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