Jewish World Review Dec. 2, 2002 / 27 Kislev, 5763
A taxing situation
So, how are you fixed for cash this holiday season? Are you in debt like most Americans? According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, a fun place to work, the average debt for every man, woman and child in the United States is $6,000 each, and that excludes any mortgage obligation.
Faced with that knowledge, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a solution: He wants to raise property taxes and reinstate a commuter tax on working Americans who come to New York City to make a living. Bloomberg really doesn't care that the median price for a house in the New York metropolitan area is an astounding $328,000, nor does he care that the average working American makes less than $50,000 a year. No, Mayor Mike wants more money from workers, despite the fact that New York City ALREADY IMPOSES AN INCOME TAX.
And Bloomberg is not alone. All over the country, cities and counties are running in the red. The flush times are over on Wall Street, and the easy tax money on capital gains is history. So, municipalities are going broke, and working Americans are following closely behind.
The reason that most governments, including the federal one in Washington, cannot balance the books is that few officials are watching how the money is being spent. There is no federal agency that automatically oversees government spending. The investigative arm of the General Accounting Office, which is efficient, is called upon by Congress only after there is a massive theft or fraud.
Thus, wise guys all over the United States have figured out that government-spending projects are easy pickings for larceny.
In California, it is estimated by the state that as much as 20 percent of Medi-Cal payments are stolen through a variety of scams. The situation is so bad that California has to spend $50 million a year just to investigate the scam artists.
In Massachusetts, the "big dig" construction project has run over budget by a record-breaking $11 billion. Commonwealth Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry were instrumental in bringing massive federal funding to the big dig, where the people's money has been looted by modern day pirates. Why haven't Kennedy and Kerry raised hell about the corruption? And, while we're on the subject, why are people living in Nevada being forced to pay for a road in Massachusetts anyway?
Let's go back to Mr. Bloomberg for a moment. Right now, in New York City, about more than 11,000 city workers are receiving disability payments costing Mayor Mike close to $175 million every year. So I say this. Have all of those receiving disabilities reexamined by city doctors. I'm willing to bet you a trip on the mayor's private jet that the city could cut disability payments drastically if that happened.
But it won't happen, because the unions would scream, the lawsuits would fly, and Mayor Mike would hear the gnashing of teeth outside his multi-million dollar Manhattan brownstone, from which he is safely protected from his beloved proposed commuter tax.
For the mayor knows it is much less complicated to take more money away from people who have to buy ordinary homes than it is to root out endemic fraud and waste. Need more money, let's gut people's take-home pay. It is far easier to come up with more tax ideas instead of imposing discipline and honesty in the spending arena.
And so it is the holiday season, and the tax geese are getting fat. Would you please put a penny in Mayor Mike's hat? If you haven't got a penny, a half penny will do. And if you haven't got a half penny -- you are pretty much like everyone else in America -- $6,000 in the hole.
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the
Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author
of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.
11/26/02: Talk is expensive when it comes to Bill Moyers
11/18/02: Sanity has left the building
11/11/02: The right stuff
11/04/02: The Attorney General blues
10/28/02: This ain't no game
10/21/02: It's only rock and roll, but it's brutal
10/14/02: The root of all evil
10/07/02: When children murder
09/30/02: THE TRUTH BE TOLD
09/23/02: The death of outrage
09/17/02: Singing a different tune
09/09/02: Answering my critics about the Roush case
09/03/02: Let's misbehave
08/26/02: Money makes the world go 'round
08/19/02: Long live the King
08/12/02: A friendly reminder
08/05/02: Heaven only knows
07/29/02: Blood money
07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record
© 2001 Creators Syndicate