Friday, September 23, 2011

Tax The Millionaires! Again!

Several decades ago, it was discovered that sixteen people with incomes over one million dollars paid no tax on it. The result of this discovery was that the Congress created the "Alternative Minimum Tax." People in the highest tax bracket had to hire an accountant to calculate their taxes under the regular tax code, and the AMT code, and pay whichever amount was greater. The only problem was that the AMT was not pegged to inflation. This has forced successive congresses to pass "patches" to keep it from affecting millions of current-day middle class taxpayers. For some reason, they've never gotten rid of it.

Recently, I read that over one thousand people who earned over one million dollars in income paid no tax on it. I guess that not pegging the AMT to inflation wasn't the only problem with it, after all, if the number of million-dollar earners who paid no tax grew by around 7,000%. I don't know what percentage of all US million-dollar earners those 16 people were all those decades ago, but the thousand or so today make up less than three percent of that population. In fact, the average tax rate on that group today is somewhere between 27 and 29 percent, according to the IRS.

I have to laugh all the farcial presidential rhetoric about "making the rich pay their fair share," especially when he trots out Warren Buffet to say "tax me more"! This is a man whose core business is built on avoiding the payment of taxes! If the President and the Congress want to actually fix the problem of million-dollar earners paying no tax, here's an idea. Have the nice people from the IRS come in and explain which tax "loopholes" these people are using, and close them.

Of course, that's not what happened in the past with the AMT, and not likely to happen today, under this president. Instead, he proposes "carpet bombing" all wealthy Americans with a higher tax burden. Many of these people are the backbone of the US economy, small business owners, and others are senior executives at many mid-sized corporations, and junior executives at most large corporations. Remember, this president is classifying people who make two hundred thousand dollars a year as "millionaires," which is only the least of faults with his plans. Most of these people already pay a higher tax rate than middle class taxpayers, and inflation has made that income bracket "middle class" in places like NYC and parts of California. It's the 1970's all over again, in more ways than one, under this president.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

JIMMY HOFFA's Army Is Smaller Than His Father's...Who's Getting "Taken Out"?

Jimmy Hoffa Jr. claims to represent "working families," but unions represent around 6% of the private workforce, and less than 25% of public employees. If this is his "army," it's dwarfed by the majority of working people, who have to compete for employment based on competence, not seniority in a union. Public sector unions have even less claim to represent "all working people," since they are paid by the much larger group of taxpaying citizens, who don't receive anywhere near the generous benefits they provide for unionized, and elected public employees.

The federal government follows the unions' lead blindly. The Department of Labor has little impact on the majority of Americans who work for small businesses. Most of their policies don't affect companies with less than 50 employees. The Department of Labor has become little more than the unions' enforcement agency.

A perfect example is the Boeing situation. Boeing wants to expand US employment, by opening a new plant in South Carolina. The National Labor Relations Board has bizzarley labelled this "retaliation" against Boeing's union workers in Washington state.

I say "bizzarely" because Boeing isn't closing it's Washington plant, it's just not expanding it. Washington is a "forced union" state, and South Casrolina is a "right to work" state. If you want to work for Boeing in Washington, you have to join the union. In South Carolina, Boeing has to offer competitive wages to attract competent workers, who will not be forced to pay union dues.

Unions are particularly harmful to "lower wage" workers,for several reasons. People in these jobs don't earn enough to provide for the more generous benefits that their higher-wage union "brethren" get, but they still get union dues deducted from their paychecks.

They're also easily replaced, so they have no real bargaining power, even with a union. That's why most large businesses contract out workplace cleaning to smaller, non-union companies. Most of these jobs are not "lifetime careers," but mopre accurately labeled "entry level jobs," which serve the economy by providing for those with little work skills or experience.

Unions give these workers the false belief that they will be "taken care of" in perpetuity, as long as they belong to the union. The truth is that no union, company, or government can "take care of" ANYONE "in perpetuity," in the real world. Does any stockboy in a supermarket really believe this? HELL, NO! The union is a joke to them, and they're moving on to something else, sooner or later!

I don't fault Mr. Hoffa for fighting for the people he does represent. I'm just stating that the people he represents are far from a majority of "working Americans," and the positions he supports are actually harmful to both the American people, and economy, as a whole. President Obama shows his bias against "working Americans" when he appears after this clown. Neither of them gives a crap about us, but the feeling is mutual. I can't believe Hoffa stands by the union that got his father "taken out," but maybe someone's got a gun to his head. Whoever is directing this liberal assault on the "tea party" conservatives, my rhetorical gun is pointed at you...and my army is bigger!