Tuesday, November 07, 2006

on taxes

The campaigns are over now along with all the bitching about taxes of one kind or another. But one of the Burns' ads caught my eye during the last couple of weeks. It was the one where the small business owners like Bob Keenan and others were complaining that Tester raised their taxes. Actually, he didn't, nor did the state of Montana, it just left in place a tax that was already there from a number of years so long ago that no one probably knows without a lot of research who first put it in place. I was really caught by the farm wife, who in her non-Montana voice, said "We'll be paying thousands of dollars we shouldn't have to." Why shouldn't they? Any farmer or rancher who has to pay income tax needs to get a new accountant. They claim to pay a lot of property taxes but if you compare their bills with those of us who live in cities, it doesn't seem that much for all the land they own. Why shouldn't they pay taxes on some part of their livelihood just as the rest of us do?

We also hear a lot of talk about the tax cuts saving the economy. I don't believe that the tax cuts, except for the increase in the child tax credit (which I didn't get because all my children are gone), did that much for the economy. The child tax credit increase produced a peak in spending which showed across the board. But all the tax cuts did was to produce a much larger deficit and, while modern economists want to downplay the role of a deficit, they can't deny that in classical economics and in practical economics deficits usually produce a rising economy, usually an inflated one. We don't have inflation now because the extra money and debt is being siphoned off outside our borders. What will we do when the bills come due?

And further, all the anti-taxers out there are forgetting a few points. They say this country was founded by efforts to stop taxes. They don't seem to realize that it was actually founded by "taxation without representation" not anti-tax per se. They also seem to forget that not paying taxes is irresponsible when their are services they want. The usual answer to that is, "I don't want some of the services." Tough. There are some services I don't want either and I can't choose which ones I want to pay, and not just at the federal level. My county tax, for instance, includes a few dollars a year to fund a business attraction group. I don't want to pay for that; new businesses have never done me any good, particularly when they get tax breaks so they don't have to pay for services.

People have short memories. They don't realize and history doesn't teach them that the last time we tried to pay for guns and butter (the Vietnam era), both guns and butter suffered. Now, the Republicans can't wait to turn their guns on social security and medicare. I paid enough for them over the years that if they halted them now, I'd join a class action suit in a New York minute.


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