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The Filthy Rich

Troy Keith, The Armchair ConservativeGiven the emergence of last summer’s OWS crowd and the tone of the campaign rhetoric to date, we can expect that money and possessions will be central themes throughout the current election cycle.  As our economy continues to stagnate and so many continue to struggle, it would seem only natural that themes of greed and fairness would take center stage in the theater of this ongoing class warfare battle, but is this really the most pressing issue facing our country? Does vilifying the wealthy provide any real solutions or does it simply make us feel better in the short term?

There was a time in the not so distant past when we were taught to respect and emulate the successful.  Through hard work and sacrifice, great men and women became pioneers in their fields and rose to positions of respect and power.  This was thought to be a good thing, the “American way” if you will.  The filthy rich seemed less “dirty” and somehow more affluent, abundant and successful.  They were role models to some degree and certainly not the convenient tools of political expediency for a party with little to stand on and a well of hope that’s quickly running dry.  We’re learning to despise the wealthy and find that it’s easier to take from others rather than elevate ourselves.  This temporary solution works well until the caviar jars of the 1% are empty and there’s nothing left to spread around.

With the possible exception of a handful of wedge issues that would only serve to alienate the much needed independents, the Obama campaign can speak to few accomplishments that resonate outside of their core base.  When in doubt, avoid your record and demonize your opponent.  Divide and conquer is a far more reliable strategy than uplift and unify.  Despite many promises of greater transparency and less partisanship, this stands to be one of the most divisive campaigns we’ve ever seen.

Paving the road for this theme, Massachusetts Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren made the following statement during a previous speech,

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You build a factory out there, good for you, but I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers that the rest of us paid to educate.”

In a strange display of synchronicity, speaking to supporters recently, the President stated,

“If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.”

He later added the controversial line, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that”.

This will most likely emerge as a central theme in the months ahead – collectivism vs. the individual or the 99 vs. the 1.

Staying on point, much ado has been made regarding Mitt Romney’s role at the asset management firm Bain Capital as though being a successful capitalist in the United States of America is somehow a bad thing.  The Obama team released a scathing ad about Bain’s control of Kansas’ GST Steel suggesting that a cold and heartless Romney personally destroyed the lives of hundreds of workers.  It was a powerful ad with only one problem.  Romney had left Bain two years prior to this incident.  Another inconvenient truth was that the control of Bain at that time rested in the hands of one of Mr. Obama’s top money bundlers, Jonathan Lavine.

To be “fair”, despite the gross politicization of this issue, there is a growing income disparity in our country and we’re well on our way to finding ourselves in a society of those who have and those who have not.  The middle class has taken up ranks with the Spotted  Owls and the Polar Bears of the economic environment but unlike these manufactured disappearing acts, the vanishing middle class is anything but a cheap political parlor trick.  Real solutions will require more than grandstanding and finger pointing.

As with the Reagan/Bradley compromise of 1986, any meaningful attempt at tax reform must address the current loopholes that do indeed favor the wealthy.  Republicans will have to compromise on this point.  Conversely, we cannot have meaningful change until the black hole of entitlement spending is confronted honestly.  Democrats, this is your cue.  Given the current political climate in D.C., this will require a level of compromise and cooperation that seems inconceivable at this time.

As the mud flies with ever increasing intensity between the camps of us and them this summer, it should be noted that regardless of the desperate attempts to portray the wealthy as our enemies, the top 5% of earners in this country currently pay 64% of all federal taxes while the bottom 47% paid nothing at all.  The top 50% pay a staggering 97% and to make the point even clearer, the top 400 earners in our country pay nearly as much as the entire bottom 50% combined.

The President has spoken consistently on the urgent need to raise taxes on the wealthy, but even if he was granted everything he’s asking for, the increased revenue would only cover about one week of spending at our current $4 billion per day habit.  Future arguments should be directed toward Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell as they continue jousting for sandbox supremacy rather than solving the nation’s problems.

Keep the numbers above in mind as we hear what will surely be endless references to the evil rich and the unfairness of our nation.  We’ll be told that the tax records of Mitt Romney are the issue of the day while a growing pile of dismal unemployment, national debt and economic statistics sits quietly unnoticed behind the curtain.  Mr. Romney should release the records and clear the air sooner rather than later but this would also be a fantastic opportunity to insist that Mr. Obama finally release his college records. Fair is fair. If Joe the Plumber were here today I could almost hear the words, “I think when you spread the truth around, it’s good for everybody.”

  • jeff4

    Well, you are back!!  As usual, you’ve researched both sides and stated your point well, no grandstanding, no name calling.  Thanks for your tact and intellect Troy.  Although i’m not real political and have no background in economics, i have to agree with most of what you say.  Back 50 years ago it would seem that if you were “rich” you were, indeed, looked up to.  Today it is almost a black mark.  Why?  I think people visualize wealth with cheating the system or hurting the little guy.  Short sell traders make tiny trades over pennies using millions of dollars of capital to make hundreds of thousands of dollars virtually.  Is this work?  Is this something the American people can be proud of?  Logging companies clear cut land with no regard to planting, selective cutting or sustainable harvests – can we, as a species, be proud of this?  Why clear cut?  Its cheaper.  Electric plants burn coal to generate electricity, factories release toxic substances and skirt environmental regulations, CEO’s get million dollar bonuses for increasing profits - are these things we’re proud of?  It seems that an engineer, with a new engineering degree fresh out of college who designs a new “thingy-ma-do” to increase gas mileage by 1 mpg, saving millions of gallons of gasoline and money are the real heroes of the american way.  These are the people we should be proud of.  Forget Romney, Obama, and Bain Capital.  Applaid the little guy, go fishing and weed that garden, then cook up some slow food. 

    • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

      There are obviously flaws in the capitalistic model and there will undoubtedly be individuals that exist on both ends of the system, even when it’s working at peak efficiency.. I think this was acceptable when the middle class made up the majority (and we did a better job of taking care of the needy in our society) but now we seem to be on our way to turning into a 2-class society – food stamps & caviar.. Little seems to be getting accomplished in DC these days except for a lot of name calling and finger pointing. Not sure what the future holds for us if we can’t get our collective acts together and get over this “great divide”.

      Found this on youtube the other day and have thought about it quite bit since then: (language alert) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16K6m3Ua2nw

      • Bob

         It is
        good to see you back in the saddle TK, ideas matter.  Despair is a sin, and before you write the
        USA off consider the following.  We are
        still attractive to some.  NASA let the
        bureaucracy eat the dream, but Elon might still get us there.  Perhaps Mandarin will not be the language of
        the stars after all.

         

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk

         

        http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2012/07/resolved-21st-century-will-belong-to.html

        http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2012/06/not-yet.html

         

         

        You,
        I, and even Jeff can all agree that our failures and mistakes here in the US are
        numerous, but when it comes to countries there are no saints.  We are nations of men with all the foibles
        that entails. Still with all that I think we are poised as well as any to lead
        the world going forward.

        • Bob

           RE admin, what is up with the odd line breaks when I cut and paste from Word?

        • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

          Hi Bob.. Henry brought me back. I wouldn’t write us off by any means (that indomitable spirit and all you know) but it’s hard to be optimistic watching what’s happening these days.

          Love the Elon concept and hope that others will pick up the torch.. NASA may have been a bloated bureaucracy but you’d think that cutting the space program would be one of the last items on the list given our need for a little legitimate hope these days. Surely we could have found some other items for the chopping block before this.

          As to the formatting, I usually write replies in email and then paste once into notepad w/o the wordwrap for the blog display.

          • Bob

             Thanks TK the extra step seems to do it for the formatting.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/I4JGGLPQU5GOFTQWYTK4S3543Y Pat

    The filthy rich have ignored the responcibilty that comes with wealth. They consider it ‘their right’ to ignore those that helped them and those that need their help. I feel absolutley nothing towards  them and yes its time to ‘call them on the carpet’. 

    • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

      Pat, I’m curious as to what sort of restitution you would demand from the wealthy?  Is there a set percentage of their income that would satisfy what you feel is their responsibility to society?  As outlined above, they already pay the vast majority of taxes in this country.  Many of the rich such as Bill Gates or even Rush Limbaugh give millions to charity.  Are there additional credits for the people they employ or the societal benefits gained from their actions in the business community?

      Fairness is a relative term – are you prepared to leave such evaluations up to some sort of government entity?  What if we cut our insane spending habit and eliminated even 50% of the incredible government waste that exists today?  I’m always reluctant to jump on the redistribution bandwagon despite how unjust the world may seem at times.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/I4JGGLPQU5GOFTQWYTK4S3543Y Pat

        Republicans  always reply as you have done. No wants restitution from the rich, they are tired of the rich ‘putting their straw into our economy’ and then when they have enough just getting up and walking away as they have with  some 37 trillion dollars in other places besides America. Maybe we should call the rich “fair weather Americans’ cause when things are nice and green here they decide that they are American again. Your last sentence sums up the repub view on things “redistibution’. American doesn’t want that they want ‘partiscipation’.

        • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

          Sorry Pat but I have no idea what you’re trying to say here.. My questions above are still valid if you’d like to start with those?  For the record, I’m not a Republican – more of a socially liberal, fiscally conservative Libertarian.. You say want participation but not restitution?  What sort of participation are you suggesting?  What should they be doing that they’re not now? Paying the majority of taxes, fueling business/industry?  I don’t want to be put in the position of defending the “rich” as I think there are many injustices in the current system but I’m also not sure what more we could be asking of “them” or what purpose is served by perpetuating an “us and them” mentality given all the discord in the nation already.

          • Rumsfelds_rules

            Human beings by their nature must self identify with a group. The democrat party with the blind allegiance of the main stream media has mastered the art of recognizing/creating, defining and manipulating the human herd. I have cited two paragraphs  from The Federalist papers # 10 to high light my central point regarding human nature as well as the founding fathers that tax fairness was an absolute necessity.                                                             
               “The latent causes of
            faction are thus sown in the nature
            of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of
            activity,
            according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for
            different
            opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other
            points, as
            well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders
            ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of
            other
            descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human
            passions, have,
            in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual
            animosity, and
            rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to
            co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of
            mankind to
            fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion
            presents
            itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been
            sufficient to
            kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent
            conflicts. But
            the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and
            unequal
            distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without
            property have
            ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and
            those
            who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. A landed interest, a
            manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with
            many
            lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide
            them
            into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The
            regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the
            principal task
            of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in
            the
            necessary and ordinary operations of the government.

                No man is allowed to be a
            judge in his own cause, because
            his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably,
            corrupt his
            integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit
            to be
            both judges and parties at the same time; yet what are many of the most
            important acts of legislation, but so many judicial determinations, not
            indeed
            concerning the rights of single persons, but concerning the rights of
            large
            bodies of citizens? And what are the different classes of legislators
            but
            advocates and parties to the causes which they determine? Is a law
            proposed
            concerning private debts? It is a question to which the creditors are
            parties on
            one side and the debtors on the other. Justice ought to hold the
            balance between
            them. Yet the parties are, and must be, themselves the judges; and the
            most
            numerous party, or, in other words, the most powerful faction must be
            expected
            to prevail. Shall domestic manufactures be encouraged, and in what
            degree, by
            restrictions on foreign manufactures? are questions which would be
            differently
            decided by the landed and the manufacturing classes, and probably by
            neither
            with a sole regard to justice and the public good. The apportionment of
            taxes on
            the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require
            the most
            exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which
            greater
            opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample
            on the
            rules of justice. Every shilling with which they overburden the
            inferior number,
            is a shilling saved to their own pockets.” 

               As you can see the Democrat party has willfully rejected the wisdom of the founders in order to inflame and alienate segments of our body politic to obtain raw political power. In so doing they are with malice of forethought renting the fabric that represented political and social philosophy established by the framers of the Constitution. I do not see this process of societal destruction  by the media and the Democrat party abating, if anything the forced division by both political parties has been intensified to the point of violence. Which I expect to break out later this summer and fall. In conclusion. I see no hope for highly successful political and social model I was born into. It is dying a slow painful death and is being willfully replaced by the failed European political and social model. Which over the centuries has violently spilled enough  blood to fill a small ocean. We, unfortunately are witnessing the death of a nation.

          • Henry

            So the “Democrat” party has “mastered the art of manipulating the human herd.” If the’ve mastered the art they certainly don’t seem to be using it very well. Polls show the race about dead even.
            Why am I not surprised to see you put the blame for all the country’s ills and the coming “breakout of violence’ entirely on the Democrat party.

          • Rumsfelds_rules

            Henry: since FDR the democrat party has been  pushing this nation an inch at a time toward the European Statist abyss. You may choose to ignore that truth if you wish. But, it is nevertheless the God’s honest truth.

          • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

            RR, Brilliant words – can’t think of very many (if any) mental equivalents
            in this age.  Sadly I tend to agree with almost all of your last
            paragraph but try to stay more optimistic to preserve some health and
            sanity.

          • Bob

             RR can you expand on your prediction of violence based on political division?  By who, where?  Henry,  Jeff, CSL and others are certainly divided politically from my views but I do not fear any violence on their part, and I hope they can say the same of me.

            We will endure as a nation no doubt no matter who wins the next election. What type of nation is the issue?   You are right that we have gone a long way down the European model, yet it is not too late to choose to reclaim the Republic.  We flounder about as an incompetent empire.  We have poured the blood of our son’s and our treasure in the rocks and sands of foreign lands.  We have squandered a manufacturing capacity once the envy of the world.

          • jeff4

            Bob, i am the least violent of any person on the face of the earth, unless you are a brown or brook trout.

          • jeff4

            Bob, think back on what really made our manufacturing capacity the envy of the world.  WW2 !! 

          • Bob
          • jeff4

            yup, jump started by WW1 !

          • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

            Henry, Jeff & CSL aren’t really the types that concern me these days:

            http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=anarchist+violence&FORM=HDRSC3

          • Bob

            I think you give the OWS crowd too much significance.   They are more like little children distracted by shiny things.  For most the event is the thing and thought or meaning are not even considered beyond such trivial notions as “ya, it is not fair I shouldn’t have to pay off my student loans”.

            Violence from fringe nut jobs was not what I thought RR was alluding to I thought he was suggesting something more like an Arab Spring magnitude. Perhaps I just read more into it than he intended.
            http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=guy+fawkes+night&qs=AS&sk=VI3AS1&FORM=QBVR&pq=guy%20faw&sc=8-7&sp=5&qs=AS&sk=VI3AS1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder_Plot_in_popular_culture#In_literature

          • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

            Hey, I never said they were the brightest bulbs in the lot but the anarchists can be a different breed altogether depending upon their level of organization/who’s pulling the strings.  Kind of like the difference between the tactics of Greenpeace and Earth First.  The world seems to be itching for a revolution these days – whether it’s OWS, the A’s, the G8 crowd (mostly anarchists), the Arab spring gang.  We’re also starting to see some crossover between the groups – code pink going to Israel, labor unions in the middle east and what not.  What’s that all about and who’s paying for it? 

            In the Hollywood scenario, you’d get some good Soros money in there, toss in a cop killing or two, maybe some great racial injustice (perceived anyway) and then we’ve got chaos, martial law and a couple months of anarchy before the election.

            I don’t take these conspiracy theories too seriously but it’s fun to play out the different scenarios.  Either way, the world is a crazy place these days and a lot of “folks” seem to be getting restless.

          • Rumsfelds_rules

            It is my opinion that as Obama loses ground in the polls. The left ( public and private sector unions and environmentalists) will begin a soft and hard terror campaign aided and abetted by the media and the White House to frighten the general public. Several Union leaders have already publicly stated that they are going to use force and intimidation to advance their political goals. When this happens I will rise up to do battle with them. And I expect real Americans will do the same . Do you remember the famous Jeffersonian quote regarding shays’ rebellion? :

            ” And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not
            warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of
            resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to
            facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a
            century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed
            from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s
            natural manure.”

            You must understand any violence from the left will be ordered by the White House. Consequently, it is an act of public terror brought about by our federal government. And  if Obam and his ilk want to wage  a proxy religious and race war I shall not disappoint them….

            It is time to defend our GREAT REPUBLIC! Our children and grand children’s futures depend on it. May God Bless America.

          • Bob

            I may cling to God and my guns (well perhaps not the former though I wish I could, and as to the later the only one I own is 50 miles away in my brothers gun safe), but I think good quotes aside RR that is a might big leap to make.   Perhaps you are getting your Metaphors from the Nuge? 

            When in doubt I whip it outI got me a rock and roll bandIt’s a free-for-all

          • Henry

            A couple of items: Your post’s theme seems aimed to support the rich who have, you say, been much maligned. You assert that the rich pay the majority of the income taxes. That’s very true. Have you bothered to find out why? Or just picked the numbers off a right wing web site?
            Over half of the non-payers are in the bottom 20% of earners making less than $16,800/yr. Another quarter of non-payers are inthe next quintile. Actually over 100,000 non-payers are in the TOP 5% of all earners.  (Of course these people still pay other taxes.)
            Your comment that economic ststistics “sit behind the curtain” while Romney’s tax returns get attention: Hundreds of millions are being spent to call those dismal statisics to the public’s attention. There isn’t any curtain. Many Republicans agree with you about Romney’s tax returns; George Will, Bill Kristol, Ron Paul, Haley Barour.
            I guess now that Obama’s answered the birthers it’s time to take a different tack and insist he release his college transcripts. Who knows, maybe he took a course in Russian history, maybe one in Islamic history. I’ll bet one of his professors was a socialist! I’m sure that this intelligence is right up there with Romney’s off shore bank accounts.

          • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

            The reason the rich pay the majority of the taxes in this country isn’t really the issue and doesn’t change that fact either way.  It’s unfortunate that so many people are hurting financially these days but how does taking more from the wealthy help to elevate the status of the poor?

            Some networks and print sources are making token references to the economy but I’d still contend that the vast majority of that data does indeed remain behind the curtain.  I’d also suggest that if a Republican was in the white house we’d be seeing daily figures attributing the blame directly to his/her leadership or lack thereof.  Wasn’t Bush in control of the gas prices before?  It’s kind of like the way we no longer see the daily body counts even though 70% of the deaths in the eleven year Afghanistan war have occurred under Mr. Obama’s watch.

            As to the college records, there are some discrepencies that should be addressed – to some, it’s probably about as important as Mr. Romney’s tax records.. why the subterfuge?  I’m not a birther by any means but if you get beyond immediately dismissing the issue as idiocy, there are some reasonable arguments being made – just like some of the questions raised by the “truthers” although I refuse to enter that domain as well – both ideas seem inconceivable to me.

            You said, “Who knows, maybe he took a course in Russian history, maybe one in Islamic history. I’ll bet one of his professors was a socialist!” 

            I’d have to bet that MOST of his professors were Socialists unlike his “Communist mentor” Frank Marshall Davis.  What party did his father belong to again?  How about his radical Kenyan cousin Oginga Odinga?  Was Bill Ayer’s teaching at that point?  So many questions..

          • Henry

            If the rich paying the majority of taxes “isn’t the issue” why did you bring it up?
             And then we do the guilt by association trip and talk about a radical Kenyan cousin and Obama’s father who was a communist. None of that is secret. But what has this to do with his academic records? 
            I’m sure if someone came after Romney’s polygamous ancestor who ran off to Mexico you’d happily accuse him of making irrelevant comments…and he surely would be. Yours are in the same vein.
             I’m not committed to Obama but I’m certainly no fan of Romney either, who like McCain moves however the wind blows if he needs to save his political skin. Perhaps all politicians do that.
            You, however, seem to have a raging antipathy for Obama which comes out in much of what you post. That does seem odd in someone touted by others on ths board as our resident intellectual. 

          • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

            Henry, I don’t really want to continue another long back and forth just for the sake of typing on a Monday morning.  I was saying that the rich paying the majority of the taxes wasn’t the issue in regards to the previous point that you were making – not my post in general. 

            I commented on the Obama connections because I knew it would get your goat so to speak and because you raised the socialist connection as being one of the reasons people might want to see his records.  I’m not sure it’s any secret that I have some antipathy towards the Obama admin as I disagree with just about everything we’re doing right now.  Aside from political philosophy, he comes across as disingenuous and often a bit snarky in my opinion. 

            I didn’t care much for Bush either but he seemed to have more “class” in that regard and never seemed to get very far into the gutter when it came to this stuff.  Every problem was not Clinton’s fault.. when books about his assassination were given awards and a movie depicting the same thing premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, he didn’t whine about the opposition. Remember the ”Joker-face Bush” or the hanging effigies? Even when asked recently about his thoughts on the current state of affairs, his response was “the President deserves my silence”.  I have a lot of respect for his reverence of the office and remember often being irritated that he didn’t seem to fight back or stand up for the other side.

            Definitely no resident intellectual here – many people responding to these blogs are infinitely more knowledgeable about these issues.. I think the point was that I didn’t belittle people responding but maybe that’s a question of perspective. Cheers!

          • Bob

             Henry it looks like tax free interest accounts for most of the income in those that offend you by having both high incomes and no tax liability.  If you don’t want to allow the sale of these tax exempt investments government will have to pay higher rates to fund the things it does with this money.  How will that help us?

            http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/12insprbulhignincome.pdf

          • Pgrlights

            Trying to say that the filthy rich have a responcibility to the society that allowed them to make their piles of money. If they have feel that they have no responcibility than they are no different than ‘the Romans’ who came into lands and pillaged and stole other peoples living and forcing them to ‘submit’ to their rule.

          • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

            Well I think it’s kind of a leap to paint the likes of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett as Roman conquerors – particularly given their foundations and charitable contributions.  Granted, not all of the rich do such things but again I have to ask, what is it specifically that you would have them do?  What, in your mind, would satisfy their “debt to society”?  Should their incomes be capped?  Is there a set percentage of their money you’d like to see taken by the gov’t? Do those receiving welfare have a debt to society?

  • Bob

     Who would you suggest?

  • Henry

    Sorry Bob, but I’m not offended.Troy made the point that wealthy people pay the majority of taxe and some people pay little or none. My point, which I should have made more explicit is that some wealthy people also pay little or no income tax. Why would you think I was offended?
    I’ll tell you what does offend me. It is that we have such a huge number of people too poor to pay any income tax. And I am offended that so few people , particularly those commenting here don’t give a **** about it!

  • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

    I believe very much that we do have a responsibility to society although I’d be reluctant to ever use the term “social justice”.  As mentioned before, the rich already contribute a great deal to our economy in a variety of ways – not to mention their collective donations/write-offs to charity.  How do we justify forcing them to do more? Again, I’m not sure what the rich might be “taking” from our economy.  Business is business – when tax codes and the economic environment favor investing more in America, then I’m sure the money will follow.

  • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

    No doubt about the loopholes.. I guess it just always seemed to go w/the territory as far as I’m concerned but I think just about everyone agrees that such things should be eliminated.  Set your percentages and then just pay up w/o all the games and double speak.. I’d still prefer a flat tax or some sort of flat/fair hybrid.

    • jeff4

      heyyyyyyyy I like that “TAX YOUR NET WORTH” idea.  i’m tax free and buffet and gates and mitt pay through the nose!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Henry

    Maybe a comment about Troy’s preference for a flat tax: It doesn’t take much to find out wich countries have a flat tax. There are 23 of them. Except for Jersey and Guernesy, and of course Iraq, all of the rest are satelite states of the former Soviet Union. Frankly, I’d prefer a different  model for our counrty’s tax structure. But hey, that’s just me.

  • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

    Henry, what’s the matter with the flat tax model?  All this hoopla about bias, fairness and loopholes, what could be more just than everyone paying the same amount and doing our returns on a postcard?  Isn’t that what everyone has been complaining about here? Not to be persnickety, but I did say a flat/fair hybrid..

  • Henry

    A flat would be a great idea…if we had flat incomes!

  • Henry

    Of course that should have been: A flat tax would be a great idea…if we had flat incomes.
    Personally I’d like to see the income tax completely abolished and replaced with a tax on net worth. Now that’s an idea we chew about!

    • jeff4

      HENRY – a tax on NET WORTH.  Brilliant!!!!!!! Why don’t we do this???????? Perfect solution!!!!!!!  Count me in, i’ll vote for this!

      • http://www.thearmchairconservative.com Troy Keith

        I know I’ve suggested this in the past Jeff, but if we can get Henry on board, maybe it’ll sweeten the pot a bit.. To save a little time on this issue, why don’t the three of us pool our incomes, divide equally and give 20% off the top to a worthy charity for the poor? Couldn’t get much more “fair” than that could it?

        • jeff4

          wait, not income, net worth you said TK.  and, i really dont like to just give cash to charity.  i like to donate time.  you never REALLY know where money goes (someones pocket?) but you can see what your hands do for someone (build a house, habitat for humanity, work at a shelter, cook/serve food, etc.)

    • Bob

      We all know the relationship, if you want less of something tax it.  So in this new Net Worth tax plan do the great unwashed with negative Net Worth get a check from the government?  Come now Jeff you would have us believe that with your sophisticated scientific reason you have not obtained a positive net worth?  Count me doubtful.  In a nation already notorious for low savings rates this seems like a counterproductive plan to me.

      • jeff4

        just added it up (i mean subtracted it up) – my net worth after the housing crash killed any equity is about -$8000   and yes, that’s a negative sign in front.  NEGATIVE $8000.

    • Henry

      Obviously a tax on net worth needs to be  more carefully thought out than I can do in one sentence. Please forgive me! We need to encourage saving for retirement so we exclude IRAs, 401ks etc. up to a limit of say $500 thousand. Then increase that yearly by the amount of inflation. This would surely encourage saving. (Pardon the social engineering so hated by the right…unless they are doing it.)
      We’d also exclude personal cars and home furnishings because they’re too difficult to evaluate and constantly decreasing in value. We’d certanily include all corporations of all sorts. Public entities valued on the basis of their stock price.
      It would not be a flat tax .(So sorry Troy.) There would be an exclusuion for those with less than $50 thousand, going up to perhaps 5% for those at the top whose net worth is measured in the billions.
      All of this requires careful study so we get the same income this way that we’ve been getting from the income tax. 
      One advantage of this is that it will put more money into circulation thus increasing demand and demand creates jobs. A disadvantage is that tax attorneys and CPAs will howl like crazy and all manner of lobbyists will be foaming at the mouth, either to get a piece of the cash that will flow in the effort against it or in fear that it might pass. Never fear; it hasn’t got a chance!

  • thee1truth

    Here we go….just in time to back the Presidential loser….The voice of Republican abuse and apprentice shill for the Mackinac Center…its Troy Keith…welcome back!..it should be interesting to see if i will bother to try to understand your Republican rhetoric for this election season.

  • Bob

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