[SeMissourian.com] Overcast ~ 53°F  
River stage: 22.27 ft. Falling
Sunday, Mar. 29, 2015

Opinion: Producers provide for nonproducers

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

As I quietly sat down and wrote a check to the Internal Revenue Service this week, I wondered about the 45 percent of Americans who pay no taxes. And I wondered about General Electric who paid no taxes on their $38 billion profits this past year.

Sadly, I am not among the super-rich who get blamed for hoarding their riches and who, according to the Democrats, shelter way too much and unfairly avoid their "fair share" of taxes.

Nor am I among the 45 percent who pay nothing. I also am not among those low-wage earners who qualify for the ever-popular Earned Income Credit. Come to think of it, I am also not among those whose children are disruptive and qualify for SSI. And I fall a tad above the line for housing subsidies, utility expenses, food stamps, Medicaid and more assistance than I can possibly name. All paid with taxes from the 55 percent who actually pay taxes.

Equally, I am not a farmer who qualifies for subsidies for my crops.

But alas, I do qualify for home mortgage and charitable deductions. Those small concessions may soon evaporate, too.

The bottom line -- I am a taxpayer. Not a big one perhaps in relation to many others and most certainly not a small one by similar comparisons.

I said last week that I could and would reluctantly agree with the current administration and support a higher tax rate for the rich -- though we have yet to agree on the definition of rich. Or poor, for that matter.

But for that support, all I ask is some reduced spending. What this President offered last week was fuzzy accounting tricks that counted phantom money as a spending cut.

To quote our President: Do you think we are stupid?

And now the buzz words are "shared responsibilities," as if some portions of our population will ever share in this belt-tightening.

The administration talks of Medicaid reductions as if someone will actually see a change in that ultra-expensive program.

If Medicaid costs are cut, medical providers will be forced to recoup those reductions from some other source. Same goes for Medicare. Would you like to venture a guess on who will actually pay those higher costs?

Look in the mirror, stupid!

I talk far too much about the lack of leadership these days. But I point the finger of blame equally on both sides of the political spectrum.

Yet until someone is willing to address the fundamental issues that created this mess, we'll just stall a little longer.

Here's the fundamental problem. Too few people are being required to support far too many others.

The President's dead-on-arrival debt commission recommended phasing out many of the current deductions that amount to a hefty $1.1 trillion every year.

This "shared responsibility" would impact those who work and pay taxes. It would not be shared by those who don't work and don't pay taxes.

Don't call it "shared" when the burden still falls to the producers to provide for the needs of the nonproducers.


Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on semissourian.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

The very wealthy and big corporations don't pay taxes because their lobbyists write the tax laws that provide for huge loopholes and tax subsidies. The poor don't pay taxes because they are...(wait for it)...POOR. The poor are the fastest growing class in this country. Henry Ford said that the only way out of a recession or depression is WAGES!

-- Posted by riverdog on Wed, Apr 20, 2011, at 10:58 AM

I appreciate the shot you are taking at farm subsidies.

However, if you get tired of targeting farmers you can look for a new idea in the subsidies this paper seems proud to support. Here is one in todays editorial page: http://www.semissourian.com/story/172024...

Cut subsidies for food so we can provide for the essentials... air service from Cape to STL.

-- Posted by Good Government Please on Wed, Apr 20, 2011, at 9:30 PM


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on seMissourian.com or semoball.com, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.