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And then you say, Oh what a lovely tea party

posted 4/16/2009 2:21:12 AM |
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  evild614

People are mad about having to pay any tax at all during times of economic hardship. But where is that money going? I hear moaning on and on about it like Obama's just going to blow it on hookers and coke. Get a grip. First of all, his new tax plan introduces one of the biggest cuts in history for the working and middle-classes. That's most of us. I daresay nearly all of us, since Beefy left. So we're paying a bit less. We're not really feeling it because we're also making less money and spending more of it on gas, food, and power than in the past. As for the rich, their taxes are not going to record levels, just up to about where they were about 15 years ago.

Personally, I think the tax cut has come at a bad time. I know he'd probably be the most unpopular president in history if he raised taxes temporarily, but think about it. We racked up some serious debt by going to war and not raising taxes accordingly to pay for it. We need to take care of that debt. It would be nice if we could get the national debt under control in general. If we could keep taxes at a reasonable, not European level but more than what we feel we "ought to" pay (usually zero) for about ten years or so, with military action kept mainly to Al-Queda and pirates and no major wars, we could have a steady surplus until about 2020, long enough for most of our major markets and consumer habits to adjust accordingly so that in the future a balanced budget could just be considered a sensible and normal thing to have, not just a painful punishment a bold but suicidal administration puts us through every 20 years or so.

Ah, but therein lies the hard part- our mindset. Americans always want something for nothing. People worry about us being a welfare state- well, we've been one for a long time. We get services like roads, clean water, protection from foreign attack, police, fire, education, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (ok, skip that one), but we only pay for part of it- the rest we just borrow so our kids can figure it out. Taking from the government without equally contributing back- that sounds like welfare to me.

The funniest part I've heard is representation. We live in a representative democracy- so what does it mean not to have representation- did these people not vote? Do they not write to their congressmen? What do they want, to actually be on the budget committee? I certainly hope not. Too many people out there can't even do simple arithmetic, let alone grasp even an outline of macroeconomics.

I think it's rather sad how quickly we forget. WWII was a miracle- we could have lost big time had just a few things gone wrong, and we had very little recourse- why? because our economy was still dragging itself out of the depression. What would happen if we had to go to war tomorrow? Would we be ready? Sure, we've got a strong standing military, but if this war dragged on long enough on a large enough scale, we'd be in trouble. Same story if we got hit with another major hurricane. Or big terrorist attack. Fact is, shit happens. You don't want to be faced with a problem you need the government to solve for you when the government is beyond broke.

I present this challenge to each and every one of you, as the night of frantic extensions, shuffling through old w-2 forms, and signing 1099s, to turn on your tv. Write down ten things commercials are telling you to go out and spend your money on. Now think about the things your taxes go for. Homeless shelters. Highways. Fire stations. Body armor for soldiers. Now look down at your list. Honestly, were you going to spend the money more wisely?

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Comments:

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texastigress

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Apr 16 @ 5:56AM  
Great post. I work at the IRS and we just had a meeting yesterday and this was mentioned. We're all expecting there to be tea bags in the mail that the taxpayers send along with their correspondence from audits and/or tax returns, which is a really bad idea because the general public doesn't have a clue as to how much TROUBLE it is when taxpayers start sending things like that. It costs the IRS money because the people in the mail room have no idea if there is really "tea" in the tea bags, so HAZMAT has to get involved as well as the police, etc. Not to mention the IRS employees having to be checked over at a hospital to make sure that they weren't exposed to anything dangerous.

The general public may hate the IRS, but they don't stop to think that there are HUMAN BEINGS working there who are trying to do their JOB and we are taxpayers just like everyone else. You have your friendly men and women in Congress to thank for all the lovely requirements for the credits and deductions that a lot of people take just because they feel that they are entitled to them when they aren't. Also, IRS employees held to a higher standard and our tax returns are put under a microscope and a fine tooth comb. Heaven forbid if we make an honest mistake on our tax returns - there are special heavy penalties that are applied during our audits that are next to impossible to have removed. I've been there before and I ended up having to pay ~4 times the amount of the original tax in penalties and interest before it was all over with. Contrary to popular belief, we do not have cushy jobs and we do not get an employee discount on taxes. We have to deal with a lot of irate people on the phone, wade through a bunch of crap that isn't even relevant to their case and we have a lot of cases assigned to us to work and there is pressure for us to get them done as quickly and accurately as possible.

So, if you get a letter from the IRS and you pick the phone up to call the toll-free number that the IRS provided for you, be kind to the person on the other end because more than likely they've walked in your shoes and know how you feel. It doesn't do you or the IRS Rep any good if you're irate, cussing and telling them that it's their fault that this is happening to them. Get a grip and start learning about your tax return. If the general public would just get an understanding of what the numbers are and where their put on their tax returns, then the error rate will go down.

Sorry to go off the original subject, but like I said, shenanigans like throwing or sending tea bags to the IRS costs the organization millions of yours and my tax dollars in having to deal with the cleanup/removal of these tea bags.
RevDocLove

Apr 16 @ 8:26AM  
Greenie for the two most intelligent posts I've seen here lately!!
themama

Apr 16 @ 9:58AM  
Very well put..
somnium

Apr 16 @ 10:55AM  
I agree with texastigress's main points in her reply, especially mailing in tea bags along with someone's tax return.

However, it isn't so much the taxes that the complaints are about! Rather, it's the pure waste of the citizens of our country's tax dollars that's at issue. Not to mention the thousands of pages of tax codes that, in my opinion, no one could possibly know all of the details- not even any judge you care to mention, residing over tax case issues. And yet, they have the power to financially (or worse) make or break a citizen based on said codes.

The tax code system, in my opinion, are geared towards people who are (professionally) informed enough to take advantage of the inherent loop-holes and not for the average citizen. Just like the legal system itself, is geared more for the cons, thieves, crooks (whatever) and attorneys, more so than for the average citizen.

I peak from experience in having to file suit against someone who, in my opinion, committed fraud against me. We settled out of court! It will take two years for payback, with my attorney getting 52% of what is owed me, by the time it's all over. Where is the justice in that???

The tax code system (again in my opinion), needs to be totally abolished, with a flat tax and/or a national sales tax put in place. The IRS can remain in force to oversee tax collection as they do now, with our government being forced by law, to be responsible with the citizen's tax dollars! After all, it's our money, not theirs! But they think otherwise as the so called "bailout package" has shown! And I might add, without even reading the bill like our so-called "representatives" did! That act, was totally insane and leaves the door open for massive corruption, as we will see later on!!

The citizens of our fine country are only asking to pay their fair share of taxes and that the "representatives" be responsible with our tax dollars! Taxation with representation, not taxation without representation, which is what the Boston Tea Party in December of 1773, was all about to begin with and to stop the damn waste of our hard earned money! Lastly, by stopping wasteful spending, there would be no need for further tax increases, as they are now implying. Even a kid in Economics 101 knows that!! Tax and spend, tax and spend- that's all politicians know how to do!!

JMHO

slohand_47

Apr 16 @ 11:08AM  
The average consumer is too freaking lazy & stupid to have a clue about basic economics. Probably many of the elected representatives too, but that's another blog.

Keeping it simple....... IF you cut taxes, you have to cut spending as well. IF you raise spending, (and they are REALLY doing that right now), then you HAVE to raise taxes, or you are just going to keep getting deeper

and deeper

and deeper in debt.

Trivia Question. What year did the United States have NO national debt?
The one, and ONLY year was 1835.

Balancing the budget only means what you spend is equal to what is coming in. That does not address debt. IF you really want to know some more on the subject, look here.
http://www.federalbudget.com/
somnium

Apr 16 @ 12:28PM  
First, I need to state that (as I already have previously) I have nothing but total disdain for politicians on either side of the fence! So, I speak as an independent, middle-of-the-road or whatever you care to call it, when it comes to politics and I basically can't stand politics anyway!!

Keeping it simple....... IF you cut taxes, you have to cut spending as well. IF you raise spending, (and they are REALLY doing that right now), then you HAVE to raise taxes, or you are just going to keep getting deeper

and deeper

and deeper in debt.

I disagree... mainly by cutting taxes and slashing waste, the economy would grow because cutting taxes, spurs investment by corporations, who will then hire people, who then pump more money into our economy by spending it and slashing waste- well... that goes without saying!

"Reaganomics

Beginning in 1980. Reaganomics stressed lower taxes, higher defense spending, and curtailed spending for social services. After a reduction of growth in the money supply by the Federal Reserve Board combined with Reaganomics to produce a severe recession in 1981-82, the Reagan years were characterized by huge budget deficits (like we don't have that now), low interest and inflation rates, and continuous economic growth."

Reaganomics-

IMHO, his strategy greatly reduced inflation, spurred economic growth and was responsible for the collapse of the Berlin Wall not to mention the collapse of the Soviet Union's economy, by spending them into bankruptcy, while trying to keep up with our defensive systems, real or imagined!

Cootiesprayer

Apr 16 @ 8:45PM  
My biggest pet peeve with taxes is that in the town I live in we have an annual fair. I just recently found out that living in the city I am the reason that fair is put on. We have to pay an extra tax aside from our property taxes so that everyone else outside the city limits can come & see all the wonderful vendors & art displays. Yet we the people who pay for this can't go because we can't afford the stuff they are selling due to this extra tax.

I can see paying taxes but for something useful like repaving roads, or keeping police on our streets. Oh did i mention they just cut 1/2 our police dept. and the new manager just got a nice new raise. That's when I have a problem paying my taxes. JMO. Good blog though bandit. :)
StraddleMyNose

Apr 16 @ 9:36PM  
Obama's just going to blow it on hookers and coke.
Nah, all our money is going to go as payoffs to unions, acorn, and all the rest of his supporters that supported him during the election. Yep, some people think big government can decide what to do with other peoples money for them. This is not the way to go. JMO

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And then you say, Oh what a lovely tea party