Let’s take a look at yesterday’s tea parties. I am hearing from people who attended tea parties around the country that the people who showed up were by and large good, honest Americans who are upset about the bailouts, deficits and general direction that things have been going for some time. I say good for them for getting involved, speaking up and showing up. We need more of that in this country, after so many decades of apathy.
There is a problem with the tea party events as presented, however, in that the sentiments and concerns of these regular people were largely hijacked by professional manipulators, who wanted to make it appear that the the people at the rallies support an anti-democracy, anti-government, pro-corporate and right wing agenda. These were the FOX News and Rush Limbaugh audience, and the people from militias with racist signs, and paranoid people convinced that President Obama is a “fascist,” etc. and who claim that the economic distress we are experiencing is somehow the fault of Obama’s and the Democrats’ policies even though he only took office less than three months ago
There are distressing photos of these event-hijackers, and there was troubling and violent rhetoric at many of the rallies. The Governor of Texas actually talked about his state seceding from the union — the very definition of hating America and the kind of talk once that led to a savage civil war. (FOX News called such talk “patriotic.” One has to ask, “patriotic to what country?”)
An obviously focus-group-tested phrase was repeated at the rallies: “Obama is going to raise taxes on our kids by borrowing for unnecessary government spending now.” But what did the people at these rallies think us “liberals”
have been saying all this time about the effect of all the Republican borrowing to pay for these huge tax cuts they gave to the rich and corporations, and to pay for the Iraq war and other military spending increases? This is the reason we have these huge deficits!
And, of course, no one ever says which spending is “unnecessary.” Do they mean unemployment checks? Bush made those necessary. How about money to rebuild roads and bridges and schools? Bush made that necessary. How about money to reduce our oil use? Bush and Cheney, both former oil company executives, made that necessary. How about money to continue funding the Iraq war? Bush made that necessary. The bailout money? To the extent that it was necessary (I don’t agree that it was) it certainly was not Obama who wrecked the economy.
Which spending in the stimulus plan, specifically, is “unnecessary,” and which was made necessary by the Republicans who messed things up so badly?
Some contradictions from the rallies:
- The people at the rallies were presented as protesting tax increases, yet in the current Obama budget only tax cuts have been proposed. (There are hints that there will be a request for a small tax increase on the very wealthy after a few years.)
- Many at the rallies were protesting against “government spending,” but did not seem to understand where the government actually spends a huge portion of our budget, such as on military and huge subsidies for big oil, agriculture and other corporations (like Wall Street bailouts) — but instead were protesting against imagined spending like “welfare” and foreign aid, which add up to only a tiny fraction of the budget.
- Reagan’s and Bush’s tax cuts for the rich have created so much debt that we
currently pay out over $500 billion to interest each year — paid to people who can
afford to loan us trillions. Now that is some serious government spending.
- Many rallies were rebranded by their corporate-funded organizers as “Fair Tax” rallies. But the so-called “Fair Tax” is really about cutting taxes on the rich and making up for it by raising taxes on everyone else. This is an example of corporate astroturf convincing people to support raising their own taxes or cutting their own benefits so that taxes on the wealthy and big corporations can be further reduced. (You can’t cut taxes for that group without making up for it somewhere.)
This all brings to mind something that I have said about marketing: with good enough marketing you can convince people to kill
themselves. Think about cigarettes and the comet-suicide cult and you’ll understand what I mean.
* The people at the rallies were presented as protesting tax increases, yet in the current Obama budget only tax cuts have been proposed. (There are hints that there will be a request for a small tax increase on the very wealthy after a few years.)
-Wait, really? Are you kidding? The bed tax in vegas, el cajon is getting taxed 9%, new york tax increases, here is one example, http://www.nypost.com/seven/04132009/news/regionalnews/phone_taxes_are_cell_hell_164180.htm need I go on….
* Many at the rallies were protesting against “government spending,” but did not seem to understand where the government actually spends a huge portion of our budget, such as on military and huge subsidies for big oil, agriculture and other corporations (like Wall Street bailouts) — but instead were protesting against imagined spending like “welfare” and foreign aid, which add up to only a tiny fraction of the budget.
You are wrong, people were protesting every sort of big spending. What has spurred the latest protests is the bailouts of banks. Where were the bailouts when the stock market crashed in 2001? I didn’t see any. And yes, Bush should NOT have started spending more to try and get out of this mess. He is equally to blame.
* Reagan’s and Bush’s tax cuts for the rich have created so much debt that we currently pay out over $500 billion to interest each year — paid to people who can afford to loan us trillions. Now that is some serious government spending.
Yeah, no one at the rallies said they were a fan of bush. The reason people are really angry is because Bush spent our way into this mess and Obama is trying to spend our way out of it. You going to pay for the 60 trillion dollar bill? Did you know it was that much? From the way you write, it sounds like you don’t.
* Many rallies were rebranded by their corporate-funded organizers as “Fair Tax” rallies. But the so-called “Fair Tax” is really about cutting taxes on the rich and making up for it by raising taxes on everyone else. This is an example of corporate astroturf convincing people to support raising their own taxes or cutting their own benefits so that taxes on the wealthy and big corporations can be further reduced. (You can’t cut taxes for that group without making up for it
Let the FairTax people do what they want. The main point of the protests is to protest government spending and bailing out the banks. How bout I run my checking account negative and you start to pay for it? You ok with that? I am not at all. It infuriates me to no end that I have to work hard and pay for people at banks to get bailed out, and I work at a bank! Bernanke gave the analogy of a house catching on fire and needing to put it out. Guess what, the houses catching on fire are the mansions all clustered together in a valley, away from everyone else. Let them burn.
I’m not a FOX junky but I truly believe we are being taxed too much. I’m a single guy and I make about 150,000 and if I add up all the taxes I am going to pay next year it adds up to 48-50% effective tax rate.
Salary = 150,000
Federal Tax = 44,975.50
State Tax = 16,274.23
FICA = 6,621.60
Those are the big items. If you add that up.. i get about 82,128 and I figure about 6,500 in sales tax/other tax over the year.. That will leave me about 50% in taxes.
you really think that’s fair. Honestly. every dollar i make i have to give 50% away.
You need to get help with your taxes because you computed them incorrectly.
According to the IRS a single person pays $17,681 on the first $100,000 AFTER DEDUCTIONS, and 28% on the rest. IF after all deductions you have $150,000 taxable income you would pay $31,681. I also compute yuour state tax to be $11,745.64 on a TAXABLE income — after all deductions, of $150K.
remember, this is taxable, not gross income. You probably have a lot of deductions like mortgage, etc., so if your gross income is $150K your taxes will really be a lot lower than what I put above.
So relax, someone has misinformed you about how much you pay in taxes.
Then all taxes combined I pay 1/3 to the government. According to H&R Block someone that makes 50k pays 6k and someone that pays 150k pays 33k. That is a factor of 5. Don’t you think that is enough? I agree with you about the federal tax, but making the state go up. Don’t you think some of us have a point about being upset?
What do you think is fair?
Well in Alaska everyone gets a big check every year instead of paying state taxes. And all state government services are paid for, too. This is because they tax their oil as it is taken out of the ground. AND they also set aside enough so that it will cover the government and pay those checks forever, even after the oil runs out.
But in California and nationally we have made the decision NOT to tax oil and other companies very much. That’s right, in California they get our oil for free and then sell it back to us. In fact nationally we instead provide subsidies to oil companies. We pay our taxes and then give subsidies to the companies that make more profits than any companies in the history of the world. So WE have to make up the difference. In fact in the current state budget compromise there is a HUGE tax CUT for big multi-state corporations (not small local businesses.) (I wonder how many tea party attendees know about that?)
In previous decades our corporations paid a mich higher proportion of the taxes.
As I said, though, we have made the decision NOT to tax our corporations even though they use the infrastructure that WE built to make that money. And we have decideded as well not to tax the dividends and capital gains, etc.
Since most income at the upper levels is from dividends and capital gains, we have made the decision not to ask the rich to pay the taxes — only the rest of us. AND in fact we have also decided not to tax the children of the very wealthy for their income, which comes from inheritance, even though the rest of us are taxes on our own incomes.
So yes, taxes might seem high, but it is the result of decisions we have made not to tax the corpoirations or the wealthy, and instead to take it on ourselves to bear the burden of the infrastructure that enable their wealth.
Our Corporate Tax rate is 8.84% and that is pretty high. I only see 5 flat rate states that have higher. Those are Mass, Minn, New Jersey, Penn, and RI. And three other progressive tax states that have a higher upper end. They are Alaska, Maine and Iowa.
In terms of the Multi-national, multi-state corporations and Hollywood mentioned in the LA Times article. We are trying to keep employers here. When companies leave, we lose their tax revenue AND all of the employee’s. It’s a double hit. We lose the income, sales tax and property tax of the employee’s that left. We have a very “high cost of doing business”.
It’s like throwing out the baby with the bath water. If we give breaks to corporations its because we need high paying jobs here so they can pay the astronomical taxes here. Nevada has 0 taxes, Oregon has 6.6, and Arizona has 6.9. Like in the job market, California is competing with other states for Jobs. We are the hardest hit in this economic downturn because businesses are saving money anyway they can. Including leaving the state!
Furthermore, Arizona gets 7% from corporate tax, Oregon 6.1%, Nevada 0%. We get 11% of our budget.
1) It has never been documented, not even once, a company leaving California because of our taxes. If anything companies move TO California.
2) The reason we get more of our budget from corporate taxes is because our state is so much more attractive to corporations, so we have Silicon Valley and the movie industry, etc. Why would a company want to locate in other states, esp the extremely low-tax states where you can’t hire educated workers, or states that are just desert?
3) You started by saying personal income taxes are too high, but when I pointed out that other states have NO personal income taxes, and instead PAY people because they tax their corporations while we do not, you switched to defending lower taxes for corporations. So you have to make up your mind about how we will pay for schools and roads and public safety and our legal system.
4) You give certain tax rates, but you left out oil comanies not paying for the oil they take out of the ground, etc.
1) First Federal Title corporate headquarters were based in Orange County. They PUBLICLY moved to Florida. There is one. And publicly traded.
2) The top three areas for highest education and lowest wages are Austin, TX, Raleigh, NC, and Boise ID. BTW the article you quoted that gave tax breaks to corporations, it specifically mentioned Hollywood. They gave those breaks because Hollywood was moving to Canada and Prague. And if we gave them tax breaks then they stay here. They don’t pay as much corporate tax, but employ hundreds of people that will make that up.
3). You mentioned two states, Texas and Alaska. Alaska I agree with. Texas has much higher property tax then we do. Its almost 2% across the board. BTW. Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming, New Hampshire and Tennessee are the other states. None of which are oil states. Tennessee is the only state that has a higher sales tax and only by 1%. But no income tax. In balance, California has higher taxes.
4.) You seamed obsessed about oil states. Drop that. Forget Texas and Alaska. We pay too much taxes as is, compared to other states. If the environmentalist would shut up we could drill the crap out of California. Trust me the oil is there. Look up Pauley Petroleum. Edwin Pauley found the largest oil reserves in California History, but gave it up because of Environmentalist. Trust me I know. He was my Uncle. It was way cheaper to drill in Alaska and Mexico. He sold his company to ARCO which owns the Oil reserves in Alaska.
I would appreciate a citation on First Federal Title leaving Orange COunty because of taxes. I can’t find anything.
Regarding Hollywood moving to Prague? Can you actually imagine anyone leaving their Beverly Hills homes for Prague?
“If the environmentalist would shut up we could drill the crap out of California.”
Huh? Californians care about the environment. Why should we “drop it” so a few people can get really rich at our expense?
Here is the Excerpt from the article (JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Significantly lower costs, customer proximity and plenty of room to grow: That combo made up the lion’s share of the location rationale in Fidelity National Financials decision to relocate its California-based headquarters to Jacksonville, Fla..
The headquarters reshuffle will create at least 750 high-end positions in Jacksonville. And in the longer term, the relocation could create perhaps as many as 1,000 more new Jacksonville jobs.
“Our biggest problem in California,” Foley explained, “is that people we wanted to move there couldn’t afford to live there. They would have to drive from 60 or 70 miles (96 or 112 kilometers) away.” Jacksonville’s cost of living, said Foley, is half that of Santa Barbara, 95 miles (152 kilometers) northwest of Los Angles.)
The Comment about Hollywood moving to Prague isn’t about the Studio heads or actors moving their homes. It’s about the filming of the movies. Look at an average movie budget, its in the hundreds of millions. Movies get made in places like Prague, British Columbia and Baja Mexico because it’s to expensive to use the studio’s here. That’s why that article talked about tax breaks for the studio’s. We need to keep jobs here.
Bottom line is we are taxed enough in California. We don’t need more taxes. It will drive down the base revenue. We are “one of” the most taxed states in the country. Last year’s budget was 144 billion, this year its proposed at 134 billion. That’s still to high.
But that says that they moved because it cost too much to buy a house in Orange County, not that taxes were too high!
And the cost of making a movie in Prague is lower because people are paid about a dollar an hour. Not because of taxes.
So on to your complaint about state spending. Specifically, what spending do you think should be cut, and by how much?
Let’s look back 10 years. To 1998. It was a good year. It was before the dot com boom and before real estate went out of control. Those two factors put billions of speculative dollars into California’s Economy. 1998 is a model for what the next 10 years will bring. It was a moderate boom year but not completely out of control like 2005 or 2000 was. Let’s look at the general fund.
98 = 57.8b
99=66.4b (15% Increase) .com boom
00=78b (17% Increase)
01=76b (2% Decrease) bubble burst
02=77b (flat) Davis kicked out because he wouldn’t reduce budget
04=81b (7% Increase) start of housing boom
05=91b (12% Increase)
06=101b (11% Increase)
07=102b (flat) Start of housing crash
08=94b (9% Decrease)
09=92b (2% Decrease)
We should have had a 10% decrease in spending from the general fund. Not a 2%. And next year another 10%. Bare minimum the general fund budget should be 75billion. Gray Davis lost his job because the budget went up 15% then 17% and when the .com money dried up. He wouldn’t reduce the budget. The same will happen to Arnold.
This year and next….
Criminal Justice = 2.5 billion a year
Health and welfare = 4 billion a year
Higher Education = 1.5 billion a year
K-12 = 4.5 billion a year
EPA = .5 Billion a year
Social Services = .5 billion a year
Transportation = 1.5 billion this year (scrap the new train)
That will give us 15 a year. and in two years we will be balanced. and not borrowing from other funds
So you’re basically saying to cut services for the citizens of California (public safety, education, health care, transportation, etc.), in order to avoid placing taxes on the corporations and wealthy.
Tell me, why would citizens want to do this? I understand why the few who own corporations might want ever more money, but why would citizens support this?
My question to you. Where are you going to find the revenue? Corporate tax last year was 11 billion. Are you going to triple that? It’s at 8.84%.
Prop 63 for 2006-07 brought in 800 Million in that year. That was the 1% tax surcharge for “Millionaires” that brings there rate up to 10.55. Do we raise that to 25% surcharge?
We over spent in the last 3-4 years. We have to return the budget back to 2001-2004 levels. That was the last year where there wasn’t a “boom”.
You simply can’t get that much money from the “corporations” and the “wealthy”.
The highest state corporate flat tax in the nation is Pennsylvania at 9.9 we are at 8.84. Let’s say we raise it 3% to 11.84%. That would raise about 3.5 billion extra. And raise the Millionaire tax from 1% to 5% that would raise 4 billion. Your still way off. Please tell me how in the world you would raise 20-25 billion in revenue. The money is just not there!
We have to find the revenue. The first place is to close various tax loopholes that are letting SOME corporations and well-off people pay less than their fair share. I would start with an oil severance tax — the reason Texas has NO state taxes, and Alaskans not only have no state taxes, they get a huge check from the state instead.
Next I would remove commercial property from the break given by Prop 13. There is no reason that commercial property should get those huge reductions intended to keep the elderly in their homes.
These are examples of some of the ways that a select few have been able to avoid taxes, largely through providing huge, uh, “campaign contributions” – that’s the nice way it is worded.
Next is the Vehicle License Fee. Cutting that led to billions of budget shortfall.
California produced 594k barrels per day in 2007. 594k x 365 = 216m barrels x 40$ a barrel = 8.6 Billion x 9.9% which is what the “progressives” want = 858 million. By the way Texas charges 4.6%. Alaska gets 64% of all revenue from Severance Tax (Oil, Fish and Mining) but that only generated 2.2 billion dollars in 2007.
Add 9.9% Oil Severance Tax = 858 million
Add 2% (12.55%) more to millionaire tax = 1.6 billion
Add 2% (10.84%) more to Corporate tax = 2.4 billion
If you add all that up which would create BY FAR the highest Income, Corporate and the 2nd highest Oil Severance tax in the country. You would raise 4.9 billion
We are short at minimum 26 billion. (the news states 42 billion, but they add the 16 billion from the current tax estimates. 42 – 16 = 26)
So you absolutely can not get all of it from Oil, Wealthy individuals or Corporations.
at 8.25 we have the highest sales tax in the nation
at 9.55 we have the highest top tax bracket in the nation
which starts at 47k, #2 Vermont 9.5 starts at 357k
then we add the millionaire tax to 10.55
at 8.84 we have the 4th highest Corporate in the nation
only MA-9.5, MN-9.8 and PA-9.9 are higher
With all of that, and it only lasts one year 1A-F will fail. we are still short 26 billion (42 next year if 1A-F fails). Cuts back to 2003-2004 levels are the only solution. You can’t come up with the short fall with out raising the average persons taxes by 25% or greater.
BTW… I researched it and i would be OK with an Oil Severance tax. Everyone else is doing it. Your totally right on that.
BTW, I just donated to your site. Your one of the few blog sites that will put up an argument, and as far as i can tell, you accept all opinions. I’ve tried to post on cbp.org but they won’t let my comments post. i thought it was broken. but i post “your great” from bob and it went right through.
The non-vote Republicowards and the Oil Severance Tax are two issues I didn’t know about. You educated me and I only found your site this week.
I hope more people support your site. Its great to have some depth instead of a sound bite.
You are a great and noble gentleman, sir! And brilliant.
we need to get drunk or high.. then we could really figure out the real answers…
and yes I’m for legalization of marijuana. but at 40 I’ve never done it…
when its legal.. i will be the first… and I’m for taxing it…
but i still think your wrong about the budget!
The Bible tells us “you will reap what your sow”. No one cared to look into Obama’s background and credentials. No one cared about the people he surrounded himself with, especially his Minister who said God Damm America.
He is a proud, haughty man who has no experience, background and no clue about the United States.
Now it is 2010, and people are so upset? What happened when they could have prevented his becoming president?
Hope people will learn that you cannot put your head in the sand and say, Oh, all is well with the world.