Tax In-Senate-ty


Tax In-Senate-ty

Taking Democrats to task on taxes

by Thomas Lindaman


Senate Democrats recently unveiled their budget proposal, the first one they’ve written as the majority party in 13 years. After months of campaigning about how they were going to “roll back the Bush tax cuts” and “restore fiscal responsibility,” there were high hopes for the Senate proposal. And what did they deliver? No attempts to roll back the Bush tax cuts until 2010 (which is when they would expire) and a demand that there be spending cuts to pay for the tax cuts.


Wow. Makes you glad these folks are in control of tax policy, doesn’t it? Maybe next time they can propose to force Blockbuster to waive all late fees for movie and game rentals.


This year, my annual appeal for tax sanity is directed at the party who needs tax sanity the most, the Democrats. Now that they control one house of Congress outright and could control the other depending on how the votes go, it’s their responsibility to come up with a plan to address the serious tax issues that face Americans. And if present conditions are any indication, they’re going to need my help badly.


What I’m about to say may come off as condescending to some. That’s because I’m convinced trusting the modern left to make economic and tax policy is like trusting Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and Britney Spears to build a nuclear reactor: you can’t say precisely how much knowledge they have, but your best guess is that it’s just not enough, and the results are bound to be explosive. I want you to be able to understand this so that I don’t find myself being put in a 200% tax bracket because I mock Howard Dean.


Here are five suggestions to help you guys along as you try to figure out the mysteries of the tax code.


1) Tax cuts are your friends. For as much grief as Democrats have given the Bush tax cuts, or any tax cuts they don’t like for that matter, the fact is that they’ve resulted in higher than expected income for the government. This may seem counterintuitive to liberal economists…ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha … sorry, but I always laugh when I hear or see “liberal economists.” Force of habit. Anyway, time and time again tax cuts increase revenue coming into the government because lower taxes mean more money goes back into the taxpayers’ pockets. And with us being a consumer-driven society, that means we spend more. And when we spend more, we pay taxes on what we buy, which goes back to the government. And that, boys and girls, gives you more money to spend! (Geez, could I start any more sentences in a row with “And”?)


2) Tax cuts don’t cost anything. If I hear another Democrat talk about how we have to pay for tax cuts, I’m going to go out in public without panties, shave my head, and go in and out of rehab like Britney Spears. Well, maybe not, but I’m still sick of hearing it. (Besides, I just can’t give up going commando.) The truth is tax cuts don’t cost anything to enact, unless you want to get super technical and say it costs us money for Congress to write and pass legislation and the President to sign it into law. And if you’re going to get that technical, then you really need more of a life. Coming from me, that’s saying something. With the benefits of tax cuts as referenced above and the lack of a real price tag for it, only complete idiots would be against them. Then again, these are Congressional Democrats we’re talking about here.


3) You can’t have it both ways with the middle class. Democrats love to complain about the shrinking middle class in this country. Yet, what’s the only tax cut they’ll come out in favor of every time? A middle class tax cut. Politically, this makes sense, but logically it doesn’t. Why cut the taxes of a group that’s supposed to be getting smaller? That’s a quick way to look good politically until people figure out that it’s more full of crap than Michael Moore after eating the entire holiday shipment of cheese from Swiss Colony for this Christmas. (Which, if my calculations are correct, happened around 3:00 this morning.)


4) Drop the “pay your fair share” crap because you don’t really mean it. Democrats love to complain that the rich don’t pay their fair share, and they know this for a fact because the people doing the most complaining about it have accountants to ensure they don’t pay what they suggest all the rich should. Listen, I know you’re trying to make yourselves look like the champions of the working guy, but socking it to the rich doesn’t do the trick. You really don’t want people to pay their fair share because if you did you’d be supporting a flat tax or a consumption tax. What you want to do is make the rich pay tons of money to the government while doling out the money to the poor, which helps neither rich nor poor. Just level with us for a change, wouldya?


5) Get on the alternate tax bandwagon. The current tax code is more complicated than it needs to be and you guys aren’t making it any better. There are simpler ways to get the necessary tax revenue to run this country. One option is the flat tax, where everyone pays the same percentage. The other is a consumption tax, which is when people pay for the services they use. This is what we currently have, at least in theory, on such items as gasoline, tobacco, and alcohol. It doesn’t matter what you prefer, either system is infinitely easier than the current tax code. If you don’t think so, try doing your taxes using a long form. Which long form? Any of them! If that doesn’t turn you into an alternate tax acolyte, nothing will


Okay, Congressional Democrats, the ball is in your court. You ran and won on reform, so start with reforming taxes. If you accomplish this before the 2008 elections, you might stand a shot at keeping the House and maybe finally getting the Senate in your column for real and not on a technicality. And while you’re at it, could you make sure John Murtha has his rabies shots? I’m afraid he’s going to bite a little kid and that will put a damper on anything you have planned for 2008.


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