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View Diary: Do Americans Pay Too Much in Federal Tax? (45 comments)

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  •  I think it is a question of trust not taxes.... (7+ / 0-)

    As you have pointed out (and I know from personal experience) as long as you are under $117,000 AGI, your federal tax bill is fairly mild.

    I think the biggest problem people have with taxes is that they don't feel the money is spent wisely. "Raising taxes" is supposed to mean instant death in politics, yet communities vote themselves higher taxes all the time. Why? Because it for a tangible thing with perceived value--school, police station, library, etc. I think the average citizen feels their federal tax money is either wasted or stolen and so complaining about taxes is the most visible way of expressing their feelings.

    I also like to remind the "tax cutters" that cutting federal taxes does not exist in a vacuum. Often, it just means the expense gets pushed farther down the track--reductions in federal taxes lead to increased local taxes and fees. The $$ have to come from somewhere.

    Another lazy white latte sipping egghead elitist for Obama!

    by Azdak on Thu May 15, 2008 at 03:51:36 PM PDT

    •  I don't think (real) conservatives object to (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eiron, neroden, jqmilktoast, dookphan

      spending moving closer to the local level.  To the contrary, that notion is central to bona fide conservativism.

      "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

      by burrow owl on Thu May 15, 2008 at 03:53:40 PM PDT

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      •  you seem to always beat me to it. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burrow owl, neroden

        I also always find it amazing that everytime local or state hikes are proposed my elected officials always claim that otherwise there will have to be cuts in the police force, education, etc.  These are the actual functions of gov't.  They never talk about the things they spend money on that was not meant to be in the perview of the gov't.  They never suggest cutting waste.  odd.

        Token conservative

        by dookphan on Thu May 15, 2008 at 04:25:38 PM PDT

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    •  Hitting the nail on the head (0+ / 0-)

      I think you've done it quite nicely. Many people simply do not trust the government to budget and spend money wisely. Much of this has to do with the way budgets are drawn and money is allocated.

      Government agencies, as the system is currently arranged, are discouraged from cost cutting. An agency is given a bucket of money for the year per their budget request. If that agency can perform its duties without spending all its money, it is not rewarded for saving money, rather it is punished the next year by being given a smaller bucket of money. Aside from making no sense, it encourages spending, wasteful or otherwise, and punishes fiscal restraint. Precisely the opposite of how successful private sector companies operate.

      Not to mention the whole earmarking process which, despite being a small part of spending overall, is still reprehensible. Consider Max Baucus' earmark in the recent farm bill as but one egregious example.

      "The time is long overdue to stop gullibly accepting the left's vision of itself as idealistic, rather than self-aggrandizing." - Dr. Thomas Sowell

      by jqmilktoast on Fri May 16, 2008 at 08:25:35 AM PDT

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