Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 25, 2012/ 3 Iyar, 5772

Devious Taxation

By Walter Williams




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation does a yeoman's job of keeping track of how much we're paying in taxes and who's paying what. It turns out that American taxpayers worked this year from Jan. 1 to April 17, 107 days, to earn enough money to pay their federal, state and local tax bills. That statistic requires some clarification, and I ask my readers to help me examine it.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, Congress will spend $3.8 trillion this year, about 24 percent of our $15 trillion gross domestic product. But federal tax revenue will be much less, only $2.5 trillion, or 16 percent of the GDP. That means there's a shortfall of $1.3 trillion. Some people, including economists, say there's a deficit. That's true, but only in an accounting sense, not in any meaningful economic sense. Let's look at it.

If Congress spends $3.8 trillion out of this year's $15 trillion GDP, what must it do to accomplish that goal? If you said it must "find a way to force us not to spend $3.8 trillion privately," go to the head of the class. One way to force us to spend $3.8 trillion less is to tax us that amount, but we're being taxed only $2.5 trillion. Where does the extra $1.3 trillion come from? It surely doesn't come from the tooth fairy, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.



RECEIVE LIBERTY LOVING COLUMNISTS IN YOUR INBOX … FOR FREE!

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


The fact of business is that if Congress spends $3.8 trillion of what we produce this year, it necessarily must force us to spend $3.8 trillion less privately this year. The most honest way to force us to do that is through taxation. Another way is to enter the bond market and make interest rates higher than they otherwise would be, thereby forcing us to spend less on private investment in homes and businesses. Then there is debasement of the currency through inflation, which is taxation by stealth.

A common but misleading argument is that future generations of Americans will pay for today's spending. Think about it. Is it possible for someone who has yet to be born to pick up the tab for what we do today? Pose the question another way. When we fought World War II, were the resources used and the sacrifices made to fight the war produced between 1941 and 1945, or were they produced and sacrificed in 1980, 1990 or 2000? Subsequent generations benefited from our fighting the war by being born into a free nation. Congresses profligate spending will burden future generations through making them heirs to less capital and, hence, less wealth.

The bottom line is that whatever Congress consumes this year is produced this year, not in 2020, 2030 or 2040. That means, in the real economic sense, the federal budget is always balanced.

Instead of focusing on how the federal government has grown from 3 or 4 percent of our GDP — as it was from 1787 to 1920 — to today's 24 percent, our attention has been diverted to tax fairness demagoguery. Let's look at tax fairness. According to Internal Revenue Service data for 2009, available at http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html, the top 1 percent of American income earners paid almost 37 percent of federal income taxes. The top 10 percent paid about 70 percent of federal income taxes, and the top 50 percent paid nearly 98 percent. Roughly 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax. Here's my fairness question to you: What standard of fairness dictates that the top 10 percent of income earners pay 70 percent of the income tax burden while 47 percent of Americans pay nothing?

The fact that the income tax burden is distributed so unevenly produces great politically borne fiscal problems. People who pay little or no income taxes become natural constituents for big-spending politicians. After all, if you pay no income taxes, what do you care if income taxes are raised? Also, you won't be enthusiastic about tax cuts; you'll see them as a threat to your handouts.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Walter Williams Archives


© 2006, Creators Syndicate.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles