The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Posts Tagged ‘taxes

This Won’t Be the First Time

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“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential cause of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.”–Will Durant

If the United States were the first in history to experience a debt crisis with deficits that are about to bring this nation to its financial knees, government officials might have some excuse for what they’ve done.

The most frustrating thing about this mess is that our elected leaders knew where this would end from the beginning and if they didn’t know they have no business running a lemonade stand let alone a nation.  If it’s ignorance that got us here we have a bone to pick with our education system and its failure to teach history.  Because historical precedents for what we are now experiencing are many and should be part of every high school curriculum

Every country that has spent beyond its means has spiraled to disaster. The crash the US is about to experience has been experienced many times before.

Rome anyone?

FallOfRomeThree successive Roman emperors, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, all emptied their treasuries to pay for lavish ceremonial feasts, luxurious villas, elaborate temples, servants who never served, and bribes to the army and praetorian guard to ensure loyalty. When the money ran out, these arrogant rulers raised taxes, seized the assets of wealthy citizens, or expanded the money supply by remitting old coins using more base metal and less gold and silver.

What they got from this manipulation was severe inflation. In one thirty-year period during the third century A.D., the price of wheat rose 100,000 percent! A loaf of bread that cost the equivalent of $2.00 at the start of the period cost $2.000 at the end. By the time Rome collapsed high taxes had already destroyed Roman commerce. Cities and towns were reduced to ruin by lack of investment in their maintenance, the population was impoverished and dwindling, and riots and rebellion were commonplace.

Thirteen hundred years later, Spain, which had been one of the mightiest countries in Europe, began running huge deficits to pay for wars, a bloated civil service, and endemic corruption. By the end of the sixteenth century, revenues covered only half the state’s spending. Sound Familiar? Repeated currency devaluations, growing inflation, and a murderous tax burden killed off Spanish industry and agriculture. Impoverished, Spain lost its global influence as its empire contracted to a fraction of former size.

America In Ruins

Some economists think if the U.S. is very, very lucky it can fix its debt/deficit and suffer no more in the process than Great Britain has in the last thirty years. Great Britain’s economy didn’t so much crash as run aground. In 1976, the British government had to ask the IMF for help in servicing its debt, an acute embarrassment to the once mighty kingdom. In 1979, with inflation nearing 14%, British elected Margaret Thatcher to right the ship. Her platform stressed fiscal conservatism, lower taxes, and a reduced public sector. Thatcher’s unpleasant task was to remind Brits that though the public might make unlimited demands on the government for services, the government’s resources were still finite.

If the United States has its own Margaret Thatcher, We haven’t elected him or her to national office yet.

One thing is certain in these troubling times: What we do now will determine what happens to us later, both as individuals and as a nation. Little time remains for us to act, and, even then, our actions must be decisive, bold and radical if they are to prove effective. Forestalling the demise of our country requires the commitment and participation of all of us.

And it has to start now.

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Written by DCL

March 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Raising Taxes Does NOT Raise Revenue: Debunking the Liberal Myth

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The politics of taxation are about to get a smack down.

The left argues that we need to tax the most affluent among us at a much higher rate than we currently do because, they have more and therefore should pay more.  That argument is fine as long as the word “fair” is left out of the debate.  Because making someone pay more of their income by percentage than someone else is simply not fair.

The right argues that we should tax the most affluent among us at a lower rate, suggesting this will encourage wealthy Americans to spend more of their disposable income to spur the economy if indeed they have more disposable income due to lower taxes.  The “trickle down” effect is disputed by the left as non-existent, arguing tax breaks for the wealthy do not translate into job growth or a better economy for the middle and lower classes.

Time to put the argument to rest and I believe this explanation of the Laffer Curve does just that.  Take the next 6 minutes and get a solid education on the economics of taxation from a UCLA Professor of Political Science and Economics.


 

This would give ample weight to the idea that corporate and individual income tax should not be higher than 33% and probably best between 25 and 30%.  Like former President Bill Clinton said at the Democrat National Convention, it’s arithmetic!

The numbers are hard to refute and even harder for the left since it was someone from their side that came to the end conclusion.

Despite the vast majority of Democratic opinion that rails against the Laffer Curve’s theoretical constructs (at least when it comes to lower-level tax rates), Dr. Tim Groseclose, Professor of Political Science and Economics at UCLA, claims that its tenets are “very uncontroversial among economists.”

President Obama’s plan will increase taxes on those making over $250,000 from 33% to 36%.  If he gets re-elected, it will be interesting to see how the Laffer Curve comes into play.

The Laffer Curve could turn Obama and the Democrats tax plan into a real “Laffer”.

 

Written by DCL

September 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Want to Frustrate and Anger a Liberal? Use Logic and Reason.

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Congressman Jim Moran recently stormed out of an interview after he realized he’d been caught contradicting himself on whether its OK to rob from the rich and give to the poor.  At first he said it wasn’t OK to take something from someone by force and that the government should protect people from such action.  Then the interviewer asked if it was OK for the government to take, by force, money from wealthier Americans and give it to poorer Americans to which he answered yes, that’s OK and proceeded to go off on a difficult to follow dissertation on why that’s OK.

It has something to do with rails, roads, and investments….

See if you can figure out what he means.

When the interviewer reminds the Congressman of his previous answer about protecting people from having their money forcibly taken from them, the Congressman, realizing he just agreed to redistribution of wealth on-camera, stormed off mumbling something about needing to be somewhere else…

Congressman, you are part of the scam being perpetrated on the American tax payer and you should be ashamed and removed from office!

Written by DCL

July 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Open Letter to Congress

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Dear Congress,

Last year I mismanaged my funds and this year I cannot decide on a budget. Until I come to a decision that fits my needs and interests, I will have to shut down my checkbook and will no longer be able to pay my taxes.

I’m sure you’ll understand.

Thank you very much for setting an example we can all follow.

Sincerely,

TheLongVersion