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Paying for tax cuts

Commentary surrounding two recent tax cuts reveals the backwards thinking about taxes that is common.

A New York Times editorial from May 11, 2006 asks this question: “Whose taxes will be raised in the future to pay for today’s tax giveaways?”

A question like this reveals several prevalent lines of thinking: First, that the government has a legitimate claim on a large part of our incomes, and that if the government “gives” any of that claim back to us, it somehow has to be paid for. Second, it’s the people who “give” tax money to the government, not the government who “gives” it back to the people in the form of tax cuts. If the government reduces taxes, the government “gives” us nothing. It simply takes less of what is ours in the first place.

This backwards thinking about taxes happens even close to home in Kansas. As reported by David Klepper in the May 12, 2006 Wichita Eagle: “They [Kansas lawmakers who supported the cuts] consider the cuts a wise, $128 million investment to spur new investment by business, new jobs, more economic activity and, consequently, higher tax receipts.”

Further in the same article: “Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, who first proposed the business machinery tax cut, agreed. ‘We’re not giving away money for the sake of giving it away,’ she said. ‘I’m hoping that the economic growth will actually help fund the school plan that we just passed.'” (emphasis added)

It is quite revealing to hear the Governor of Kansas equate letting people keep more of the money they earned with the state “giving it away.” Furthermore, the motives of the politicians are revealed: they are “investing” in tax cuts in the hope that the state will collect even more tax money in the future. What their remarks really reveal is that high taxes are a drag on our economy.

There is one thing the New York Times editorial got right: “Neither Congress nor the public has the stomach to slash government programs anywhere near enough to bring spending in line with revenues.” That is the heart of the problem. Government at all levels spends too much, crowding out private initiative. Government at all levels should cut both taxes and spending.

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3 Comments

  1. Anonymous May 15, 2006

    correct me if im wrong, but when our forefathers set up the system of government for america, didnt someone say that “it is unconstitutional to tax one man to give to another man”. and wasnt it supposed to be 1% of our income to be used for “the defense of the united states? then how did it get up to 28%?? if you read the book, “the federal mafia” by irwin schiff. (which was banned by the american government) they have violated his 1st amendment right. the american people need to stand up to the CORRUPT government and take back our rights. also, isnt the income tax supposed to ONLY tax the incomes of immigrants that come to this country to work?? why is is that when you call the IRS and ask them “which code or statute makes me LIABLE to pay income taxes?”, that you get 12 different answers?
    i will tell you WHY. because its a SCAM on the american public. how did the department of defense LOSE $5 billion in the 1990s? why isnt the IRS , the watchdog of the government instead of the people?? the government “loses” more tax money than all americans combined, that cheat on their taxes. this system is CHOKING americans to death, and is actually hurting america. we cant afford to give to charities anymore. the government needs to be torn apart and started fresh. and while this is going on, the IRS needs to investigate EVERY PENNY that any politician had his/her grubby hands on. then we can get rid of the IRS too, and really cut government spending. there are over 115,000 employees in the IRS. how much does it cost the taxpayers to support the IRS and all of its BRAND NEW buildings with work-out rooms etc, in them? this madness needs to stop. REMEMBER , there was one revolution in this country already. the british form of GOVERNMENT lost. but now its been replaced by a hitler-like regime, that tries to whittle away our rights everyday, by causing turmoil, war, and illegal immigration. after all, wasnt it that moron, BUSH that let all these immigrants into this country to sell out the WORKING AMERICAN for CHEAP LABOR. how many politicians have their lawns mowed by illegal immigrants, and how many have their houses cleaned by mexican immigrants? i know that if some of my neighbors employ them, then the politicians do to. maybe we should check on this? if you cant tell, i hate the U.S. government and would glady lead any revolt, right out front. this message will undoubtedly land me in even hotter water with the government, but guess what?? 1st amendment says i can say whatever i want and criticize anyone i want. last time i checked, BUSH hasnt abolished the 1st amendment.(YET). but since hes nothing but GARBAGE, im sure he will try. and im sure it will pass too, because americans have lost their galliones, and would rather stick their heads in the sand and ignore all problems. i, for one, bow to NO-ONE. the WWII veterans fought for our freedom, but then the government spit on them too. they spit on common soldiers, and dock their pay if they are killed in combat(true story). THEY must be stopped or a violent bloody revolt will happen. many people have already lost their jobs to illegal immigrants, and it is going to happen more and more. if the income tax was done away with, then people would have more money to spend on charity, and to pay for work done, with fair american wages, and not CHEAP mexican labor. remember that india has more colleges than any other country and more and more american white-collar jobs will be lost in the future, because they will do it CHEAPER than an american. we are selling out OUR OWN CHILDREN. dont get me wrong, i like to pay the lowest price on thins too, but thats because i “GIVE” 50 % of my income to the government in the form of TAXES., 50%!!!!! 50%!!! and i build million dollar homes in america. each of these homes are taxed on MANY levels over and over again. so, i think ive done ENOUGH for this country. if i have to start rounding up illegal immigrants myself, then there will be many human rights violations. after all, they are here illegally. if they were in your house illegally, what is the difference? the government should give all americans the right to detain and question and apprehend(if necessary) any illegal immigrant. bounty hunters do it to AMERICAN CITIZENS. we should be able to do it to immigrants.

  2. […] The sense of entitlement by government to tax revenue is usually limited to government officials. A few years ago Governor Kathleen Sebelius, when discussing a business machinery tax cut, she said “We’re not giving away money for the sake of giving it away.” (See Paying For Tax Cuts.) […]

  3. […] a cost to government. This is why Wagnon called them “tax expenditures.” This is the attitude of our former governor. The Kansas school spending lobby feels the same way, […]

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