Thursday, June 11, 2009
So, regardless of what the highest tax brackets pay (currently, in the US, it's 35%), the total amount of money brought in for the government to use has been consistently around 20% of Gross Domestic Product. While I don't agree with some of the conclusions of this article, I think this quote speaks volumes:
Putting it a different way, capital migrates away from regimes in which it is treated harshly, and toward regimes in which it is free to be invested profitably and safely. In this regard, the capital controlled by our richest citizens is especially tax-intolerant.In this global economy, the people with the most money (or in a sense, the pools of money themselves) will find ways to port it to a country or state where it gets taxed the least. Note that the poor do not have that same privilege. And what a privilege it is to be able to choose your own tax rate!
[edit: I just came across this gem on HowStuffWorks.com from George W Bush in 2004 agreeing with this: "The really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway."]
If you lower the highest tax bracket, you'll be effectively raising the lower tax brackets, to bring it all to an average of 19.5%. If you raise the highest tax bracket, you're lowering the tax burden on the poor, but you're also hurting the economy because the jobs and the pools of money flow away. If we can put up walls between the US and Mexico, and we have minutemen ready to self-police the border, can't we have some real oversight of where the US money is going, especially if its in the form of easily-accessible (by the government) digitized bank records?
Where the government's money is going to is a major concern. And where the government's money is coming from should also be a major concern. Is our government's ability to levy taxes on the wealthy really that compromised?
lyrics: "Declare the pennies on your eyes."
from Taxman, by the Beatles.
colors: green of dollars, silver of the coins, and transparent of the digitized bits.
chant/prayer/mantra: the budget is very much a moral concern.
agape to all,