The Real TEA Party

Think you are Taxed Enough Already?

You don’t know the half of it yet, and you are on the wrong side.  It is time for you to join the Real TEA Party.

In addition to your wages being reduced by income taxes, Medicare and Social Security payments, if you are like me and the rest of 99% of employed Americans, you ALSO:

Get up early in the morning before you have gotten nearly enough sleep, and prop yourself up on caffeine.  You bust your ass all day long, working harder than you have ever worked (because you are doing the work of your former co-workers, laid off to keep your company’s bottom line profitable), and often working for a jerk who incorrectly thinks they know how to do your job better than you do.  Then when you get home, you spend time and effort trying to figure out how to pay the bills, keep the house from falling apart, keep your resume up-to-date in case the rumored sixth round of layoffs happens, and generally not getting a break until you go to sleep just early enough to not quite get you enough sleep for tomorrow.  You are barely making it, and obviously the taxes are reducing your ability to make it, so you feel like you are taxed more than enough.

But let’s take a look at how the other half live.  Or should I say, the other 1%.  Let’s pick someone exemplary of the class, say, Paris Hilton.  In addition to having more than enough money to do what she needs to do, she has enough to do anything she wants to do too.  She’s also never worked a day in her life (unless you call recording her “singing” for her CD as work, or the one night in front of the camera as work – and yes I know that part of what she did is called a -job, but she wasn’t working that hard at it).  Her day looks like this: she gets up at the crack of noon, hangs around the house or goes shopping all day with people to do stuff for her, then she goes out and parties all evening until she gets bored, and then goes home.  What a tough life.

And because she doesn’t lift a finger to do anything productive, she doesn’t pay any Social Security or Medicare taxes, because the money she earns isn’t from effort.  Oh, and the income tax rate she pays for un-earned income from investments is lower than what you pay for the privilege of busting your ass.

Let’s review:

You bust your ass; she sits on hers.

You pay a higher rate of taxes for the privilege of busting your ass; she gets a lower rate of taxes because she doesn’t.

You pay taxes that she doesn’t, because you earn your money by busting your ass and she “earns” hers by sitting on it.

And she has as much money as she could ever need because her ex-porn star mom married a rich guy, and you don’t because your mom wasn’t a porn star and/or didn’t marry someone whose family had given him his money.

Yes, Paris is an extreme example.  But it isn’t so far away from being representative of that 1%.  Let’s look at other examples of the “most productive” members of our society, shall we?  Michael Dell, retired.  He pays less taxes than you do, comparatively, and doesn’t have to work to earn far more money than you do, and he doesn’t have to worry about making ends meet.  Bill Gates, also retired.  Over half of the Walton family of Wal-Mart billionaires is not involved in any business activity.

Yes, there are some in that 1%, many perhaps, who choose to stay engaged in productive activity.  (But notice that word, “choose”.  Do you have that choice?)  But they, too, make most of their money passively.

You can see that the system isn’t fair to people who actually work for a living.  And it is unfair in a way that even a “flat tax” can’t make fair – even if you and Paris paid the same percentage of every dollar earned, you are earning it the hard way, and she’s not.  You are being taxed by your labor, and she’s not.  You are taxed for being skilled (and needing to use those skills), and she gets a tax break for being useless.  And she, like the vast majority of wealthy in this country and everywhere in the world, didn’t get to that point because she worked hard.  (And in her case, she got hers only because her mom did her work on her back.)

Taxing passive income at a higher rate than income actually earned by effort is fair. And it is fair to you and me without being unfair to them.

Beyond simple fairness, there are other benefits.

You and I may differ on what we believe the functions of government should be.  Fine.  But whatever you or I think those things are, there is a price, $X, that represents the cost of those functions.  And those functions need to be paid for.

And if they aren’t paying for it, you, who are having a hard time making ends meet, are paying for it.  Your taxes can’t go down until they pay their fair share.



One Response to “The Real TEA Party”

  1. The Tea Party is Wrong (but not about everything) « Politically Me Says:

    […] The Tea Party is right – you ARE Taxed Enough Already. […]

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