"Make Them Pay" said the sign at today's protest outside of Congressman Hanna's Utica office. . . . They were protesting "tax cuts for the rich," which probably more precisely should be described as preserving existing tax treatment for the rich.
What they really are demanding are tax increases for the rich . . . the rich who already contribute the bulk of the national budget . . . the rich whose contributions allow 40% of the public not to pay any tax at all . . . the rich whose contributions allow some low income people to get more in tax refunds than they ever contributed in tax withholdings... the rich who are NOT given the deductions that are permitted to low and moderate income people. How is taking more from the rich fair?
Not surprisingly, this protest was arranged by "MoveOn.org" whose stock-in-trade is class warfare . . . the kind that ends in revolutions and totalitarian governments. MoveOn's strident, divisive, hateful speech preys on envy.
Too bad . . . because it gets in the way of serious discussion and debate over needed changes to the tax code. For example, GE has raked in billions of profits without paying any taxes, while other companies and people pay taxes through the nose. . . It did so by taking advantage of loopholes placed in the code for specific purposes. Are the purposes beneficial to the country . . . or just to GE? GE has kept a lot of its capital overseas to avoid taxation here. Is that good or bad for America? How do other countries tax multinational corporations? Should corporations be taxed at all when their shareholders will pay taxes on the profits that are distributed? Should capital gains be taxed at a lesser rate than other income? Should tax deductions be given for state taxes or home mortgages? Should tax breaks be given to people who can afford a hybrid vehicle when the vehicle already saves the owner money? Likewise breaks for solar panels and wind mills?
The tax code is exceedingly long and complex. "Loopholes" are "special treatment" for certain interest groups. Perhaps if many of the loopholes were eliminated, our perception of the tax code would be more fair. We need to discuss what needs to be changed, and what should be kept the same. While there is little on which I agree with President Obama, I agree with him when he says he wants "the amount of taxes you pay isn't determined by what kind of accountant you can afford." (See Super rich see federal taxes drop dramatically)
Playing class warfare is not only a distraction, it divides us . . . preventing us from talking to each other and discussing rationally the issues that face this country and reaching sound resolutions.
Organizations like MoveOn that prey on emotions need to . . . Move On.