I originally composed this post last evening but did not post it until this morning. Meantime, other comments Mitt Romney made about the Palestinians not wanting peace and a quip that he would have a better chance for the presidency if his ancestors had not just lived in Mexico but if he were actually Latino may spell his doom, many pundits seem to be saying today. Yes, I am about ready to say, stick a fork in him; he’s done. One questioned where his vaunted organizational skills are with his campaign in such seeming disarray. Of course the partisans will say this is all negative reporting and that he is in good shape. Well I wonder what bad shape looks like.
If some 47 percent of Americans don’t pay income taxes then there must be something wrong. I say this in reaction to a Mitt Romney charge made at a private fundraiser where he said there are 47 percent of the voters who would not vote for him no matter what, adding that they pay no taxes and expect the government to take care of them as an entitlement.
The story I read said that he must have been referring to the 47 percent of Americans who pay no taxes because their income was too low and/or they qualified for various tax breaks. Well actually that might include some fairly well to do folks and certainly some corporations who pay no taxes at all due to various loopholes.
Romney implied (there was a video with this story) that anyone who votes for Obama is dependent upon government — which of course is crazy, depending upon what one means by dependent, anyway. The video was supposedly shot secretly at a meeting of Romney supporters.
Well I might, I say might, vote for Obama and I am not dependent upon government, although certainly the government has helped me in so many ways. Well let me back up, actually to some extent nearly all of us are dependent upon government in some way, if for no other reason than it is what stands between us and total chaos or anarchy.
But if it is really true that 47 percent of the people don’t pay taxes, well no wonder we are in such financial straits.
Probably this is mixing apples and oranges or something. But I imagine it is true that a relatively large number of low-income people do not pay taxes, and when you add the plethora of tax breaks for the rich, and the middle class, that home mortgage deduction, you begin to see that there is something wrong with our tax system.
We need a much simpler system and a much more equitable one where nearly everyone takes part.
There is some appeal to a national sales tax, but it is seen by many as being harder on the less well off because they (we) would be paying a larger, much larger, proportion of disposable income than someone with way more than enough money for the basics.
I guess the nice thing about the national sales tax would be it that it would be directly tied to the economy. If times were good, there would be money and if not there would not and government would have to get by.
But then again, the income tax should be like that, but of course the main culprit, besides not enough people paying in, is the over borrowing by government to make up for any shortfalls in revenue.
As I have noted previously, one of my most popular posts, one that gets called up every day many times, it seems, is the one I headlined: “Why does the government borrow money…?” I did not supply an answer and have not received one yet. I keep waiting.
I think Mr. Romney has it wrong, though. While some people do see government as something that must pay them entitlements, I think a whole lot more just believe in the efficacy of using government as agent to promote the social welfare of its people (and I should have thought of a better phrase, lest the likes of Romney and his supporters jump on “social welfare” and start talking about welfare queens driving around in Cadillacs (borrowing from Ronald Reagan).
Successful people like Romney often abhor the idea of anyone getting help from the government, that is unless it is themselves. Now I won’t go so far as to say what Obama said: “you didn’t build that (your wealth, Mr. Romney), but I have to imagine Mr. Romney or his businesses benefited from the largesse of the taxpayers.
I watched the snippet of tape that was posted on the internet of Mr. Romney’s 47 percent remark, and then later an explanation by him on the apparently bootlegged tape. I give him a pass because I think he was taken out of context, the tape not showing what led up to the remark. Romney explained that he was speaking off the cuff and was just trying to make a point about the fact that many people would not vote for him because they have a different idea of the role of government.
If you do some fact checking, you will probably find that the 47 percent of the people not paying taxes (directly) is fairly accurate, as far as that statement goes.
I recall my late father telling me that before World War II most people did not pay income taxes. But money was needed for the war. And when people suddenly found out they had to cough up money for Uncle Sam they rushed out and borrowed money to pay their taxes. Today we wage war off the books and then the government has to borrow money, primarily from China, to pay the bill. Something is wrong with that too. If citizens had to pay directly for war, how much do you want to bet they would pressure their congressmen to stop it all?