Ready to feel some hopenchange in your wallets?
President Obama has laid out the most ambitious and expensive domestic agenda since LBJ, and now all he has to do is figure out how to pay for it. On Tuesday, he left the impression that we need merely end “tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans,” and he promised that households earning less than $250,000 won’t see their taxes increased by “one single dime.”
The ol’ liberal “soak the rich” mantra. And what will the Community Organizer in Chief do when the “rich” decide to stop producing because the incentive is gone? Who will Robin Hood and his band of merry freeloaders turn to then?
And for what it’s worth… this “tax the wealthy” scheme won’t even work when you run the numbers.
This is going to be some trick. Even the most basic inspection of the IRS income tax statistics shows that raising taxes on the salaries, dividends and capital gains of those making more than $250,000 can’t possibly raise enough revenue to fund Mr. Obama’s new spending ambitions.
But let’s not stop at a 42% top rate; as a thought experiment, let’s go all the way. A tax policy that confiscated 100% of the taxable income of everyone in America earning over $500,000 in 2006 would only have given Congress an extra $1.3 trillion in revenue. That’s less than half the 2006 federal budget of $2.7 trillion and looks tiny compared to the more than $4 trillion Congress will spend in fiscal 2010. Even taking every taxable “dime” of everyone earning more than $75,000 in 2006 would have barely yielded enough to cover that $4 trillion.
And that was in 2006, when the economy was rolling along nicely.
So what are we getting for the $10,000 per American these drunken sailors are spending? Pork, tons of it. There are roughly 8,570 earmarks in the $400B+ lard bill passed yesterday. (This is a different two $700B+ bailout/stimulus bills passed earlier)
Here are a few things Congress plans to do with YOUR MONEY.
- Canoe trips: $238,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society of Honolulu to organize sea voyages in ancient-style sailing canoes like the ones that first brought settlers to Hawaii. (Thanks to Democrat Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.)
- Pig perfume: The swine research center, at Iowa State University in Ames, got funds through the Agricultural Research Service, and aims to improve the smell of animals and the lagoons where waste is stored.
- Tattoo Removal: $200,000 requested by Democrat Rep. Howard Berman of California for a “tattoo-removal violence-outreach program” in Los Angeles. The funds would buy a tattoo-removal machine for gang members.
This quote has never seemed more relevant…
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
…and this quote so prophetic…
Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.
Welcome to the new American slavery. It’s time to revive our spiritual truth and find our great courage.
UPDATE:Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, one of the few representatives to have actually read the StealFromUs bill (which probably explains why he voted AGAINST it), points out more pork:
- $88 million to study whether we ought to buy a new ice breaker for the Coast Guard. Not to actual build it, but to study whether it’s needed. Here’s a way to save $88 million… just say yes or no. Done.
- $448 million to build the Department of Homeland Security a new building. Despite the fact that there is $1.3 trillion worth of empty buildings right now.
- $248 million for new furniture for that new DHS building. Don’t they have furniture now? How about paying a couple thousand dollars to some of those welfare bums to get off their butts and move the existing furniture to the new building?
- $600 million for new hybrid vehicles for federal employees. I’m working hard and paying my taxes on time… and driving a 6 year old car. How about you stop taxing me so much so I can buy a new car?
- $400 million to prevent STDs. Really? I think the esteemed thieves in Washington misunderstand the nature of the “stimulus” bill.
- $150 million for a Smithsonian museum. And that helps the economy how?
- $75 million for smoking cessation activities. Hell, I’ll give up my Diet Dr. Pepper habit if you toss me a couple hundred grand.
- $6 billion to turn Federal buildings into green buildings. How much of this is going directly to Al Gore’s investments?
- $500 million for State and local fire stations. So I am sending my income to Washington, D.C. so some bureacrats can turn around and send it back to my community (less shipping and handling, of course)? Isn’t it time to cut out the middle man in Washington for things like this?
- $850 million for Amtrak. An outdated mode of transportation that hasn’t produced a profit in three decades. What’s that going to stimulate?
- $524 million for information technology upgrades that the Appropriations Committee claims will create 388 jobs. If the calculator is working correctly, that’s about $1.5 million per job. Where do I apply?
Coburn sums it up well…
Let me conclude by saying we are at a seminal moment in our country. We will either start living within the confines of realism and responsibility or we will blow it and we will create the downfall of the greatest nation that ever lived.
This bill is the start of that downfall. To abandon a market-oriented society and transfer it to a Soviet-style, government-centered, bureaucratic-run and mandated program, that is the thing that will put the stake in the heart of freedom in this country.
I hope the American people know what is in this bill. I am doing everything I can to make sure they know. But more important, I hope somebody is listening who will treat the “pneumonia'’ we are faced with today, which is the housing and mortgage markets. It doesn’t matter how much money we spend in this bill. It is doomed to failure unless we fix that problem first.
Failing that, we will go down in history as the Congress that undermined the future and vitality of this country. Let it not be so.
We’ve overcome the threats of socialism and communism before. We’ll do it again. We just need to stop pretending that this isn’t it.