By now, we’ve all become familiar with the Tea Party and their repeated bleatings about being “taxed enough already.” It’s rather comical to watch these people call themselves a “grassroots movement” all while being funded by Koch Brothers’ organizations. Their irony gets exposed even further when you consider the fact that the property destroyed by the original Tea Party was that of the East India Tea Company, who were basically the Koch Brothers of their time.
Besides the now laughable, racist and cliche misspelled signs and pictures of President Obama in Muslim garb or being compared to Hitler, there’s even more ignorance. That ignorance involves history, economics, and common sense facts.
They like to claim taxes are unconstitutional, even though the 16th Amendment allows the government to collect taxes. Once you point that out to them, then they’ll stutter about how taxes are too high and they don’t like paying them. So, on to that…
Dear members of the Tea Party – nobody likes paying taxes. Taxes are like root canals and death. Nobody really looks forward to those any more than they like receiving that Christmas letter from an over-achieving, smarmy relative who wants to brag about their honor roll student or their fairy tale second honeymoon. But guess what? Taxes are the price we pay for living in a society with navigable roads, schools and even your favorite college football team.
Yes, college sports are brought to you in part by *GASP* – government spending. Wanna cut those? No? Didn’t think so. So basically, along with college football and F-35 fighter jets, we’ve established that you don’t have a real problem with taxes so long as you’re not the one who has to pay them and/or they’re being used for things you like.
Now let’s talk about tax rates, the ones you think are too damn high. For the sake of the argument we will pretend you actually make enough money annually to pay a net income tax. We’ll also pretend you aren’t one of those who receive back more money on your refund than you actually paid in over the year. We can also make the assumption that you don’t live in one of the 7 states like Florida with no state income tax. Oh, and let’s say you don’t receive any income or assistance from “socialist” programs like Social Security or Medicare. After all, that would make you a hypocrite.
So now that we’ve eliminated at least 95% of the people who’d show up at an ever-dwindling Koch Brothers-funded Tea Party rally, let’s talk about actual tax rates versus the rest of the world. For example, out of all the countries in the world, we have the 4th highest threshold for the top tax rate. Unless you make over $400k a year after deductions, you don’t have to worry about it.
If you knew as much about how things are done in the rest of the world like those of us who do some actual research rather than just parrot everything Sean Hannity says, then you’d also know that on incomes over $100,000, the US tax rate comes in 53rd out of 114. Taxes as a share of GDP? According to Taxpolicycenter.org we are 4th from last out of 33 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
So if taxes are killing the economy like you say, and Obama is an evil socialist Kenyan communist intent on destroying Wall Street as you claim, why has the Dow Jones more than doubled in value under his watch? Why are corporations making record profits while you haven’t received a raise in years? Surely by now, that trickle down should be overflowing like a vast river of cash that we’re all drowning in if it were actually true. Why are the billions of dollars you gave to the biggest companies (via purchases or tax subsidies) squirreled away in offshore accounts?
Your anger is justified, but it’s directed at the wrong people. If you want to know where the problem lies, look up to see the people who are playing your puppet strings while paying your politicians. Maybe then you’ll understand exactly why you should be outraged.
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