Paying Their Fair Share

Progressive-Democrats, including their Presidential candidates, are fond of saying the Evil Rich aren’t paying their fair share in taxes; they should pay more.  Those same Progressive-Democrats also carefully decline to say what that fair share should be, other than their “more.”

Here’s a graph of what those Evil Rich do pay, compared with the income those same Evil Rich earn, courtesy of the Center of the American Experiment:

Notice that. That’s even after those Evil Rich have taken all the adjustments to their top line income that our tax code allows them to take, including the Progressive-Democrats’ much disliked preferential tax treatment for capital gains and interest income.

The Right Answer

Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) is outraged. Outraged, he says.

It is outrageous that the wealthiest corporate executives in America get unlimited, special tax privileges on hundreds of millions of dollars in savings, while ordinary workers can only get tax deferment of up to $19,500 on their 401(k)s[.]

Of course, the (Democratic) Socialist’s answer is to raise taxes on those executives’ savings, their executive retirement and deferred compensation accounts.  He wants to “sharply curb” the tax benefits associated with those accounts. Because, after all, there comes a time when they’ve made enough money. And they didn’t earn that money, anyway; they had help.

Bernie Budget

Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) has released the outline of his budget, which he claims would pay for all of his Free Stuff spending.  Here are a couple of the high points of his budget.

  • tax the investing process
    • 5% tax on stock trades
    • 1% fee on bond trades
    • 005% fee on derivative trades
  • wealth tax on the “top 0.1%”

These, without inhibiting investments, including those of the mutual funds in our 401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc, are supposed to raise more than $6 trillion over ten years, and—poof—there go all college expenses and housing costs. Never mind that this would drive up the cost of investing by a factor of five—but no, there’d be no effect on investing.

Contradictions

Japan raised its sales tax—consumption tax/value added tax—and promptly saw a 6.3% year-on-year drop in GDP in the last quarter of 2019. Consumer spending (did I mention that the tax was a consumption tax?) fell by 11.5% that quarter.

Color me—and hosts of others much smarter than me—unsrurprised.

Now come the contradictions, from the just US Congress-revived IMF, yet.

The International Monetary Fund thinks the consumption-tax rate will have to rise to 15% over the next decade, and to 20% by 2050. But first the fund’s wizards say Tokyo must expand its Keynesian spending to make the economy “strong” enough to bear the tax hikes to pay for the spending.

Taxes

It seems Amazon isn’t paying enough corporate taxes to suit Progressive-Democrats.

In its annual regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jeff Bezos’ sprawling e-commerce empire said it paid $162 million in federal income taxes on $13.3 billion of US pre-tax income, an effective tax rate of 1.2%. It deferred more than $914 million in taxes.

All perfectly legal, too, yet the hue and cry is loud. Matthew Gardner, Senior Fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, for instance:

This means that instead of avoiding 100 percent of its income tax liability, Amazon appears to have avoided only 94 percent of its tax bill last year[.]

Big Government vs Free Market

An economist says Apple isn’t paying its fair share of taxes. There is many things about which to criticize Apple, but this isn’t one of them.

Davos lights insist that companies are responsible to and for their employees, their suppliers, and their communities. Indeed. And the way to execute that responsibility is to be responsible first to companies’ owners. That’s what helps companies thrive so they can have, and have more, employees and suppliers—which money rotation funds those local communities.

What is Apple’s “fair share?” This economist declined to say—just that it ought to pay more.

Medicaid Block Grants

The Trump administration is planning to set up procedures for allowing States to convert the Medicaid funding they receive from the Federal government from matching funds to block grants.

The new procedures would represent a large change.

Medicaid funding is open-ended, meaning the federal government matches state spending. If that funding is converted to a block grant, a state could get a limited, lump sum of federal money instead.

There are two key differences here. One is that the funding would go from strings-attached matches to no-strings block grants. The other is that the decision to go to block grants would be each requesting State’s, resulting in less Federal control over that State’s internal affairs.

Universal Basic Income

It’s creeping ever more deeply into the Progressive-Democratic Party’s psyche and ideology. It’s an idea that was first dreamed up in the ’70s, and it remains an idea that can only fail were it to be implemented.

Giving everyone a basic income won’t improve anyone’s income; it’ll only incentivize employers to pay a wage diminished by the amount of the guaranteed government payment.  But the failure runs much deeper than that.

Such a scheme is inflationary: the outcome can only be a spike in inflation followed by price stabilization at a higher price level.

Population and Income Redistribution

People are moving from politically blue States to politically red ones, and they’re taking their money with them.

Four states have lost population since 2010 including West Virginia (-3.3%), Illinois (-1.2%), Vermont (-0.3%) and Connecticut (-0.2%), but 10 experienced declines last year. New York was the biggest loser as a net 180,000 people left for better climes. Over the last decade New York has lost more of its population to other states (7.2%) than any other save Alaska (8%), followed by Illinois (6.8%), Connecticut (5.6%) and New Jersey (5.5%).

And

Great Britain’s Socialist Party

Nominally, it’s the Labour Party, but its MFWIC, Jeremy Corbyn is moving to make it overtly socialist.  He’s jumped onto the Free Stuff, Higher Taxes, and Pay Raises for Government bandwagon with both feet. Sure, these things have been staples of Labour for generations, but Corbyn really intends to outdo his forebears. Corbyn intends to nationalize enormous sectors of the British economy:

  • fixed line network of telecoms provider BT [British Telecom] to provide free broadband
  • rail
  • water
  • mail delivery services.

Having taken over the economy, Corbyn then would raise taxes even higher than they are already, reorganize what would remain of private enterprises, and increase spending: