No foolin: It's time to pay more in taxes and fix America's broken tax code
By Dian Vujovich
Let’s see here, if I have to choose between cutting teacher pay and increasing the size of classrooms in a country where the level of our kids’ education is in need of improvement just because politicians don’t like the idea of hiking taxes, excuse me but I’ll pay more in taxes rather than make our children’s education suffer. And I’ll pay more to teachers, too.
If I have to chose between cutting benefits to those who make up our police forces, when for some unbelievable reason people think it’s okay for individuals to carry high powered semiautomatic weapons that can carry up the 31- round magazines, I’ll gladly pay more in taxes to help protect the police from people. And I’ll gladly stand up for the 2nd amendment and our right to bear arms—just not war arms.
If I’ve got to choose between paying a little bit more in taxes in lieu of cutting out social programs that aid the poor, old and ill—like Medicaid and Medicare programs, food stamps, welfare, Planned Parenthood, etc., I will gladly pay more in taxes because I know that we the people are all not created equally.
If I’ve got to join a revolt against U.S. mega corporations that base their offices outside of the United States so that they can dodge paying their fair share of taxes, I will join such a group. Then again, maybe I won’t have to. Since the Supreme Court ruled last year that corporations were people, perhaps I’ll just take a cue from corporate America and get myself a mailbox address in Zug, Switzerland.
If I hear one more corporate honcho whine about how the U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest in the world, I will loudly remind them that the United States is the richest country in the world and as such it would follow that corporate tax rates be high. The more you earn the more you pay, isn’t that the way it goes? I would also remind the complainers that most corporations don’t pay a CIT of 35 percent—the average is more in the 20 percent range. So what’s the beef?
And finally, if the Bush tax cuts had expired, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, estimated budget effects of the Tax Relief Act of 2010 show the U.S. would collect nearly $800 billion—that’s $800 billion– in tax revenues over the next two years ($374 b in 2011 and $423 b in 2012). Thereby putting a dent into our current deficit problems and wiping out a good amount of the bickering, bellyaching and bullying that’s going on in Congress these days. Which, by the by, reveals what a horribly insensitive nation we are with respect to the poor, the ill, the needy and the aged. And showing that even capitalism has a dark side—a sometimes oh-so-greedy nature.
We all know America’s current tax code is screwy, unfair and way too complicated— QuickSprout.com says it has more than 70,000 pages in it. And it’s time to pay more in taxes. Why in the world anyone thinks that cutting essential services makes more sense than raising taxes befuddles me—and it ought to you too. Unless, of course, you’re not aware of how important—even vital—many programs and services are to hundreds of thousands of Americans.
It’s time to raise the income of the average worker too. But that’s a subject for another day, no foolin.
To read more articles, please visit the column archive.