What About Taxes

The 99% Solution

There are lots of numbers being thrown out there. You hear that the top 1% pay 40% of the taxes collected by the Treasury and that the bottom 50% pay nothing. It’s all malarkey. We all pay taxes and lots of it. Few talk about the burdens of sales tax, property tax, vehicle license fees, fishing license fees, tolls…the list is endless. Taxes are not a bad thing…if you get something in return. That’s the problem. In places like Sweden taxes are exorbitantly high by our standards…but the population bears them..hell they even vote for them. Why? Because they live in a nanny state and they like it. Our problem in the US is that we don’t like to pay taxes but many still want the nanny state anyway. Can’t have both.

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One of the Republican candidates who has been surging in the polls is Herman Cain, former Godfather’s CEO and former Kansas City Federal Reserve Chairman. He’s proposed a 9/9/9 tax structure. A flat 9% income tax, a 9% national sales tax and a 9% corporate tax. Sounds great on the surface, but it won’t pay for the ills that ail this country and its massive deficit situation. Under his proposal, massive cuts will have to be made to the spending side, defense and entitlement included. The shortfall between revenues received and outlays would be greater than they are today. The solution…make it an 11/11/11 tax and you’ve got a plan…9/9/9 just sounds catchier, I know.

However, the part about the plan that I really don’t like is the national sales tax. It’s been around in many countries for many, many years. Here’s the problem: Once you institute a national sales tax, guess what? You can raise it. Yep, in countries like the United Kingdom, the national sales tax or VAT began at 10%. Next year it will be 20%. And, if you’re living in Denmark or Iceland…you’re paying a whopping 25% (25.5% in Iceland). Sound like fun yet? And, that national sales tax does not exempt you from paying a local sales tax or a state sales tax.

We can moan and whine all we want about taxes. But, in truth if we want to live in a first world environment then taxes are required to fund infrastructure, defense, entitlements etc… What we don’t need is the excess spending that comes along as a result of cronyism gone wild in Washington. If you want lower taxes, elect people who will reduce corruption and graft in the halls of DC. Elect those who will pass lobbying reform. Elect those who will vote for term limits. Elect those who will be held accountable. Until that happens, higher taxes will be a way of life for years to come. The real 99% solution is to get rid of 99% of the politicians who are purporting to work for the people.

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5 Responses

  1. Dan

    Agree with your 99% solution. get rid of 99% of poly-tick-ians.(many blood suckers)

  2. Dr. John Michael Christian

    The only candidate who can turn this mess around is Ron Paul. Unfortunately the government controlled media won’t give him credit where credit is due because they’re being told what they can say and cannot say… and he’s not someone big government OR big business wants in office.

  3. Allistair

    Actually, the real solution would be much more than tax reforms and/or getting rid of the usual politicians. The problem in the USA is much more fundamental and it is based on the very economic system itself.

    It is a system that is based (motivated) on producing goods and services too heavily for profits and not enough based on the real needs of society in general.

    “FREE Enterprise” (i.e. small/family/individual business) is potentially sustainable. But “Monopoly/Imperialist Capitalism” (as practiced by the USA, etc) is neither “free” nor sustainable, and is BOUD to eventually collapse and/or bring the World to another world war. The ills you recognize in the USA and most of the other major economies are more so symptoms of the economic system and less so because of bad politicians or bad tax systems, etc.

    Words are sometimes used to misrepresent (or hide) reality. For example, places like Sweden, while it is still essentially a Capitalist economy; it also implements a number of “socialistic/communistic” social services – which the people apparently WILLINGLY support by paying (high) taxes. We call it a “nanny” state, IF they SEEM to be successful, while maintaining Capitalism and being more or less friendly to US Capitalist Imperialism. BUT, if they are not friendly to US Capitalist Imperialism (and no self-respecting country would be, except cowards who are in the many), then they are “labelled” as “Socialist/Communist”, even if they still maintain Capitalism at the national level (like Venezuela), and the USA would be on a constant effort to destabilize the government in power (like the USA currently does in the case of Venezuela).

    Again, the real source of the ills in the USA and elsewhere is the economic system itself – which is based too much on producing goods and services for profits (super profits even), and not sufficiently based on producing to meet the REAL needs of society.

    For example, in the USA, virtually all advancements in science and technology are FIRST wasted in the development of weapons and the creation of wars (and there are those who make super profits from the US weapons development and the wars the US generates). Just imagine if, for the past 40 years, all that talent and resource put into weapons development and wars were put, instead, into the development of alternative-fuel vehicles, or finding a cure for some major disease, etc. By the way this economic system wastes so much talent and resource, it actually held the World back (by about 70 to 100 years), while it is praised for bringing the world forward, by those who do not look deep enough.

    Thank you for reading.

  4. League of Power

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the comments. Hopefully we’ll figure our way out of this mess. At the League of Power we remain cautiously optimistic.

    @Allistair, you bring up some good points. Though I have to disagree with some of what you are saying. 1) I don’t know of one country in the world that is doing what you are proposing. So there is nothing to base this on. 2) I believe helping people and free market profit opportunities often align. For example a new drug or treatment is created to help a condition. The company who creates this helps the problem and makes a profit.

    You also bring up defense spending which is a valid point. Though it’s not the free market economy that has produced astronomical defense spending, it’s the government.

  5. Allistair

    League of Power,

    In keeping with our desire to remain cautiously optimistic, I am leaving out a lot of the things I wish to say (but, I may still be saying a lot to some and I respectfully accept that everyone has to right to agree or not agree).

    In response to the message above (which I essentially agree with):-

    Point 1)- Indeed, there is virtually no country doing what I propose/suggest in another message (and I do not have all the answers, of course). It would be indeed experimental and nothing to concretely base upon, except that we KNOW what NOT to do by the experiences we have from the current economic system. Just like when the USA became a “new” country, it was experimental with only the “old” European experiences to base upon.

    Point 2) – well, I firmly believe in FREE Enterprise and doing business for “good and reasonable profits”. But, I believe the current crisis is a key indication that free market profit opportunities are not aligning with helping people often enough (there is alignment indeed, but not often enough).

    For example, the “housing bubble” in the USA – which is said to be the main “trigger” for the crisis that got escalated in 2008, was because of some people (a few private companies) seeking too much of the “free market profit opportunities”. Then what about the current price of oil that we all know is artificially high (high to suit the never-ending greed of the oil companies). Then what about the private companies that have lucrative contracts with the “defence” department (or rather with the “Military Industrial Complex”)? These are a few examples of profit motives going too much against the real needs of the people (not aligning).

    Governments come and go, yet the “defence” spending remains exorbitant at ALL times – meaning, the Government is CONTROLLED at all times, regardless to who is in the White House. So who do we think is controlling the Government? For me, that is easy to know, we simply finding out who is profiting (heavily) from “defence” spending in our free market economy. There are those who are actually making super profits from US weapons development and the wars the US generates.

    Again, I have nothing against making “good and reasonable profits”. But look at the very high cost of drugs and medical care in the USA (in particular the USA). One can loose their home or their entire life’s savings if they become unfortunate and need a major operation or need an expensive drug to stay alive. Meanwhile the drug companies are making super profits (much more than what is rational in the minds of many people) in this free market system.

    We can go on and on and talk about things like the continuing foreclosures and increasing/expanding “tent/trailer cities” and homelessness in (rich) USA, while there are millions of empty homes (a key example that shows how “free market profit opportunities” and “helping people” does not align often enough, or does not align when people really NEED such an alignment). To (temporarily) stop foreclosure, or apply a holiday on mortgage payment for people who lost their jobs is so difficult (so impossible) because the “profit motive” simply can not align with “helping people” when it seems like such an alignment is needed.

    Like virtually everybody else, I hope things work out, if it is just for my children’s sake. However, the economic system has reached a new stage. This is the FIRST time in it’s history that there is a “recovery” with rising unemployment and with housing remaining in a bad state, even getting worse. There is only one outcome to this, but I will stop here.

    May God help us all, as we try to take EFFECTIVE actions to protect ourselves and those we care for.

    Thank you for reading.


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