American Elephants

Understanding the Tax Battle by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a graph with information from the IRS, explained by AEI economist Mark J. Perry that explains some of the confusing parts of the tax questions. Read it carefully until it sinks in.   I asked Bing how many U.S. taxpayers there are, and the best I could come up with was 243 million as of 2013. They apparently haven’t counted up since then, although it seems like a number that would be needed.

But never mind. Do a little math, multiply 243,ooo,ooo by 95%, and 243,000,000 by 01% so you are talking numbers of people or households, and that will give you a sense of what they are talking about with the bottom 95% and top 1%. The standard assumption that we can just soak the very rich doesn’t work. It’s just a helpful exercise. They don’t have enough money to pay all the taxes.

I suspect that most people don’t really know what they pay in taxes. If you work for a corporation or good sized business, you probably have your taxes withheld, and get a total at the end of the year, which you enter on your return and promptly forget. But I may be describing myself, not you.

At any rate Democrats will tell you that the entire Republican tax plan is just a give-away to the very rich. Republicans will try to explain what is actually happening and get so tied up in the complicated explanation that nobody understands anyway.

We have an enormous deficit, thanks to Obama. Baby Boomers in their vast numbers are beginning to retire, so they need more money. I would suggest that since federal pay reportedly is about twice the pay of the rest of us, some pay freezes might be in order.  Just a thought.

April 15 IRS DAY! by The Elephant's Child
April 15, 2015, 9:51 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

I have always done my own taxes, as sort of a personal character-building effort. And I stubbornly refuse to hand over my money until the last minute. Silly, I could save a lot of time and grief if I just paid someone else to do it, but I’m stubborn, and wallow in the irritation. This year was especially annoying because as I was copying off the final page of my return, I found a noxious sloppy error, and of course it was the figure that changed everything else on every page.

So for all you other stubborn souls out there who are rushing to get your return in the mailbox before midnight, good on you! This little exercise makes us more attentive when Congress starts debating tax-reform. For those of you who allow the federal government to withhold your money, earn interest on it, and don’t really even know how much taxes you paid — but just the size of your refund, which you celebrate as some kind of free money. Fie upon you! You don’t think of yourselves as taxpayers, and watch closely to see how the government is wasting your money, and how as soon as they get your money they stop thinking of it as taxpayer money and start thinking of it as their money for which they have no respect whatsoever. The federal government has no money of its own.

I’m for a flat tax, file on a postcard, and a government without hundreds of agencies and thousands of bureaucrats, a smaller, simpler government wouldn’t cost us anywhere nearly as much.

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