Skip to main content

Taxes are a GAME?

I never understood the thought of taxes as a game.

   "It's a game we play," Graham said. "Every American tries to find the way to get the most deductions they can. I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game."

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

Really? Maybe to the super super rich; but to the working people, the middle class and the working poor, taxes are not a game at all. The working poor and the middle class have only a few deductions. And those very few deductions do not involve Off-Shore accounts and Swiss Bank accounts...nor looking for a way of  including the expense of Dressage horses on our 1040EZ forms.

(more after the orange MC Escher Snoopy head---once seen, it can not be unseen)

And this:

 

  "I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don't think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes."

    Willard Mitt Romney (R-unemployed Multimillionaire)

Again, Really?

No, the American people expect you to be proud of paying taxes to this great country. That quote alone makes Romney unfit to be President.  A President wants his country to be strong and succeed and thrive...and he should want to help the country in every way possible. Not just those ways that benefit him and his wealthy friends.  The American people would LOVE if he paid a bit extra in these hard hard times.

Can you imagine if he said, "I am paying a 50% tax rate on my earned interest, instead of the very very low standard rate of 15%, because I know the American People need some help right now. And I know my personal wealth has been raised because of this great country and all she stands for. And giving a bit more at this time is important, and I can afford it. It will help reduce the deficit, make jobs and get US and the United States going." Would the American People think less of him? Heck no! The American People would be proud of him.

You know who would think less of him? The other super super rich people. And it is telling that Romney thinks the American People are only the other insanely wealthy people like himself.

Nobody "loves" to pay taxes. But I, and many other hard working Americans, actually like paying taxes. I don't always agree with where all the money goes, but then nobody does. But I like that some of my taxes is used so the United States has a support net for Americans less fortunate (like my mother who was raising 3 boys by herself and got help for a couple of years so she could go to college and get her teaching degree. She then gave back by being a school teacher for 22 plus years). I like to look at bridges, roads, parks and the slowly growing bicycle trails in my city and know, "Hey, my taxes helped with that."

Yes, I would like less bombs and more jobs (infrastructure needs constant help) made from my taxes. And less billions to rich oil companies. But I rejoice at the small, but hopefully growing, money going to solar and wind and to electric battery advances.

Just the other day the Senate Finance Committee voted on renewing some tax credits for electric motorcycles and bikes. The press said:

   The Detroit News reports that last year about 25 million electric bikes were sold in China compared to fewer than 100,000 in the United States. The tax credit will cost $15 million over two years and will reportedly create thousands of new jobs.
A measly 15 million to help create jobs in a green, and hopefully growing field, that will help with air quality, traffic congestion and help further battery technology. A real win win you would think...and at a great price.

Yet others think:

   "Do we really want to portray ourselves as members of the Finance Committee to drive over the fiscal cliff riding on the back of an electric motorcycle?"
    Sen. Orrin Hatch (R. Utah)
So 15 million to help small business, supposedly the backbone of this country, making electric motorcycle is "Bad". But billions in taxpayer money to RICH RICH FILTHY RICH oil companies is OK? Jesus Wept.

So the question becomes:

How can a man who hides his money in Swiss banks and the Cayman Islands, who actually expect us to be "proud" of him for it, also want to be President of this great country? And expect us to vote for him??

"Why would I pay more taxes?" seems to be the question he is asking. And the answer is, "Because you can. You're impossibly rich and the American People need help. The real question is, Why wouldn't you pay a bit more taxes? Or any taxes at all?"

I'm happy to pay taxes. I'm proud to pay taxes. I want this country to be strong, to move forward, to help our less fortunate brothers and sisters. To build roads and high speed trains and land on different worlds. To cure diseases, make clean water available to all people, to expand and grow and "do good deeds."

What does Romney and others like him want? More money and more power for the few elites.

Sad really.

Gavin

+++

There was a time that the rich were not much different than the working people (I'm 50 years old and I remember that time. It is a fairly new phenomenon for there to be such a HUGE divide economically in the work place. Sure there were Kings and Serfs--and we know some would love to see that back--but between boss and worker, even between owner and worker, not so much ).

When I was growing up my Grandparents lived in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Their neighbor owned a metal company and made a darn good living. He had a big house on about 20 acres of land. The owner had inherited the company from his father and had worked throughout the company when he was younger and knew all the people there. He went to work everyday at the factory. He earned probably 20 times what the factory workers made, and his house was probably 20 times nicer than the factory workers houses. But he earned that and he worked there and he knew his people and lived near "his" people.

Today the CEOs don't make 20 times the factory workers...more like 2000 times. (Much much more if they outsource the jobs to China) And they don't know the workers and don't go to the factory every day. Heck, they often "run" the company from a 1000 miles away or more....from half a planet away.

And if the Metal Factory in Southwestern PA had failed, the owner would have lost money and probably his nice house. Today, CEOs of a bankrupt or failing company often make HUGE profits and the workers worry about house payments and finding new jobs. Most left wondering, "What the hell just happened?"

Sad again.

The "culture" of the times....supposedly. But really? No, just what the super elite want you to believe.

There is always a choice. Ask Romney a simple question, "You take over a company: Are you working hard to get your workers a fair salary and a good living wage, while hoping to get a fair return for your investors, or are you trying to maximize profit for your investors?"  And, if he is truthful, he would reply, "I have to maximize profits for the investors."

And it is so short sighted. Having 10 insanely wealthy investors and 1000 lower class workers is not nearly as good for the country and for business as having 10 very wealthy investors (because they will still be rich beyond any of us "common people") and 1000 middle class workers.

Think of it this way: Those 10 insanely wealthy people have 10 homes each...and each home has maybe 2 refrigerators, a couple of microwaves etc etc. So 100 homes and 200 refrigerators and 200 microwaves. The middle class people have 1000 homes and 1000 refrigerators. If your business is refrigerators you want those 1000 people buying refrigerators, microwaves etc etc. And they can do that with a working, living salary.

So business should want Middle Class citizens if they are thinking of the long term. But if they are only thinking about short term gains: Lower salaries are best, No benefits are best. And if the company fails, sell everything off at a profit (just make sure to hide that profit in the Cayman's, or in an impossibly HUGE IRA).

Gavin

Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar. (5+ / 0-)

    There is no trickle down, because greed expands to absorb any excess. DevilsTower

    by thegelding on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 11:36:20 AM PDT

  •  Lindsey Graham needs to stop playing games! (0+ / 0-)

    Stop playing games and set up an actual fair and equitable system that allows government to function properly and efficiently and ensures that everyone is paying an equitable share based on a progressive taxation system - exclusive of the 'gaming'.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 11:55:18 AM PDT

  •  Wow, really? (0+ / 0-)
    But I, and many other hard working Americans, actually like paying taxes.
     '

    You are one of the very few who do.

    How many hours a day do are you happy to work to pay those federal income taxes (not counting state income taxes, federal payroll taxes, and all the other taxes)?  If you are a hard-working American subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax, you are working over two hours every single day just to pay those federal income taxes.   You think that most of them are happy about that?  You think most of them are happy to pay more than they owe if they can afford it?  Try talking to some.  

    Look, I completely understand the need for taxes and I completely understand the need for a progressive system.  But to argue that I, or any other American, should willingly pay one cent more than the law says we owe, and that if we don't willing pay more than we owe if we can afford it, we are somehow not "patriotic" is ridiculous.

    I don't pay more than the law says I owe.  I don't hold anybody else to a different standard.  If we want people to pay more, we change the law.  We don't expect people to pay more in taxes than the law says they should.  

    If you want to criticize Romney on tax policy, that's fine.  That's about what the law should be.  That's a completely legitimate area for criticism.  That's completely fair game.  But frankly, I don't criticize anybody for paying what the law requires them to pay, and no more.  That's what we should expect of people.  And I don't hold somebody to a different standard because they make a lot of money.  

    •  taxes... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      I like to pay taxes to help this country...maybe because of the help my mother got at a hard time.

      Because of that I don't "game" the system...looking for loop holes, maybe making holes that aren't really there (Son the Boss).

      So I take the big deductions (mortgage, kids---when I could, state and property taxes, a few charities...and that's it...I know I could have "found" more deductions...work expenses, travel, etc etc...but I was fine paying what I did.

      I don't hold Romney to a different standard...he does.

      100 million in an IRA? Possibly no taxes in many years even though he made millions? You have to WORK hard to do that...and anybody who wants to be president shouldn't work so hard to screw the country, he should work that hard to help the country.

      There is no trickle down, because greed expands to absorb any excess. DevilsTower

      by thegelding on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 12:48:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Look, what Romney does is hire somebody (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        to do his taxes so that he pays only what the law allows and nothing more.  If that person made a decision to forgo something to which Romney was legally entitled, that would be malpractice.  

        I use Turbo Tax to do exactly the same thing. That program raises every possible exemption or deduction to which I might be entitled.  That's exactly why I use it.

        Millions of people use H&R Block to do exactly the same thing.  H&R Block even advertises to people that it can find ways to lower your taxes, or raise your refund, that you might not have thought of.  That's exactly why people are willing to pay H&R Block -- because it promises to make sure you pay only the tax you are obligated to pay, and no more.  

        Anybody who DOESN'T take steps to make sure they are taking every deduction or exemption to which they are legally entitled, well, I wouldn't want that person handling my hard-earned money.  Anybody who is cavalier enough with money to say, "Well, I may not owe it, but I'll pay it anyway," I'm not sure that's the person I want handling money that I work to earn.  I certainly don't want a President being that way about my money -- "the federal government may not owe this to you, but I like you or you are a good person, so take the money."  

        If Romney skirted the law, or did something contrary to law, I'd be right there with you.  That is NOT something I would want in a President.  But people at his income level are audited both by the IRS and by State revenue agencies constantly, and if we have no evidence that they found he violated the law, I won't presume that he violated the law.  

        Again, if you want to discuss his tax policy, I'm all for that.  Pick that apart.  Go for it.  Say all you want.  

        But I'm NOT on board with criticizing someone for the attitude that few people LIKE to pay taxes, and I'm not on board with criticizing someone for the position that they will pay only the taxes they are legally obligated to pay, and no more.  Anybody who has somebody knowledgeable prepare their taxes -- from accountants to Turbo Tax to H&R Block -- is doing exactly the same thing.

      •  thegelding, coffeetalk raises an interesting point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep

        Romney hires PriceWaterhouseCoopers to manage his tax affairs. According to an article in the Boston Globe over the course of a year as many as 50 CPAs and tax lawyers have a hand in preparing Romney's return. PWC, and any outside experts they retain, all have a fiduciary duty to Romney to reduce his taxes to the minimum required by law. The tax professionals owe no duty to the IRS, other than to follow the 70,000 pages in the current code. I am with coffeetalk on this one, I certainly don't pay more than the law requires and I would not hold any candidate to a higher standard than I hold myself.

        This issue was discussed by one of the most quoted, respected and notable federal judges ever to serve:

        "Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands."

        Quote by:

        Judge Learned Hand
        (1872-1961), Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals
        Source:

        in the case of Gregory v. Helvering 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934), aff'd, 293 U.S. 465, 55 S.Ct. 266, 79 L.Ed. 596 (1935)

         

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 12:49:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  How to think about taxes (0+ / 0-)

    Taxes are not just revenue to the government and taxes are not for redistribu­­ting wealth like the right claims but are also a deterrent for corruption and unfettered greed.
    They gave incentives for businesses to reinvest in their companies, pay employees living wages, and to invest in research and developmen­t­.

    The government used the revenues they received
    to invest in our infrastruc­­ture, for education of our
    citizens,a­nd to improve the health of our children.

    Those taxes in the 40's through 90's allowed us to have one of the best economies in the world. Now, with record low taxes, our economy and country is worse off than it's been in a long time.

    Taxes are not a game Lindsey Graham, they are neccesary to keep us from becoming a third world country and oligarcy.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site