Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's the latest in the world of taxes?

California wanted to cover it's deficit in part with the 1A-1E propositions. The Obama administration wants to cover its universal healthcare project in part with the Cap and Tax (Cap and Trade; sorry!) legislation. And some in Congress are looking at paying for everything else in part with a new national sales tax.

Well, Rahm and Barack didn't waste their crisis, of that we can be sure. Please bear with me while I write only a semi-serious post because I don't have time now for a serious one. All of the scary ideas shown above are for real though. I've seen and heard them from multiple sources in the news.

Now, recall Amy Winehouse' song "Rehab" and its "No, No, No!" refrain. Or if you'd rather, Aflac's commercial in which the goat is eating the paper and saying "Naw, Naw, Naw!". Take your pick of those, but either way, that's what we TEA partiers and the rest of us in the electorate should be saying to new taxes.

Imagine a curve on a graph that rises and then falls somewhat like a bell curve. The X axis shows the amount of taxing and spending, and the Y axis is the number of votes for the pols in question. If this much taxing and spending hasn't bought all the votes they're gonna get, then no additional amount will do it. It's hit a point of diminishing returns. The TEA parties are a first loud manifestation of this. Eventually it will get loud enough that even the dumbest, deafest pol will hear it.

The key test is whether this will occur before or after permanent damage has been done to the American economy, civic environment and way of life.

Oh, and a VAT (Valua Added Tax) such as used in Europe is a somewhat slicker and slier alternative to a new national sales tax. In fact, many economic theorists I've respected over the years have preferred a VAT to both a sales or an income tax. But the question was asked on aTV news show today, "So, could either of the those replace the income tax"? The answer was a resounding "No, it would of course be in *addition* to the our income tax"!

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