McCain and Romney Have a Common Goal: They Both Want To Give Mountains of Money To The Rich

Both John McCain and Mitt Romney are calling for Bush’s tax cuts to be made permanent. The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of 2010.

Amazingly, according to this article, “Estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation indicate that the cost of the tax-cut provisions the Tax Policy Center has analyzed would be $3.7 trillion over the 2009-2018 period”

More amazing is how this towering pile of trillions of dollars is suppose to be divided — if McCain and Romney get their way. According to The Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center:

  • The top 1 percent of households (currently those with incomes over $450,000) will receive more than $1.1 trillion in tax cuts over the next ten years, if the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are extended and relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax is continued.
  • By 2010, the tax cuts will average more than $60,000 a year for households in the top 1 percent — and more than $150,000 a year for households with incomes above $1 million.
  • The cost of the tax cuts (when fully in effect) for people with incomes over $1 million will exceed the total amount the federal government devotes to K-12 and vocational education, and it will exceed what the federal government spends on hospital and other medical care for veterans.
  • The annual cost of the tax cuts for those with incomes over $1 million also will exceed the total savings in each of the next five years from the cuts the President’s budget proposes in an array of domestic non-entitlement programs, including education, health research, environmental programs, and others.

From Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “THE SKEWED BENEFITS OF THE TAX CUTS”, by aviva aron-dine

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13 Responses to McCain and Romney Have a Common Goal: They Both Want To Give Mountains of Money To The Rich

  1. Joe C, says:

    If only! Isn’t it about time that the rich (i.e. taxpayers) got some of their money back?

  2. T. Ruddick says:

    Joe, that’s a simplistic view.

    The rich benefit more from society, and they cost the rest of us more. The OJ Simpson murder trial cost us millions; the China Arnold murder trial will run much cheaper. Such wealthy luminaries as Warren Buffet and H. Ross Perot are honest enough to say they don’t pay enough taxes–are you rich enough to contradict them?

    Taxes are supposed to be your fair share of the load of our democracy. It’s hard to allot fair shares, but look: let’s say that there’s 200 pounds of stuff that must be carried through the woods, and there are three people to carry it: All-pro defensive end Michael Strahan, an old college professor with bad knees, and an 11 year old girl. Should we divide the load evenly, or should Strahan carry much more than me and the girl combined?

    This simplistic attitude of “it’s your money” fails to recognize that it’s our society–which includes our government–that is the basis of that wealth. Become wealthy as a hermit and you might be able to fairly advance that argument, otherwise, it’s absurd.

  3. Andy says:

    Well, if Michael Strahan gets to keep his share of what he carried then I would agree with you. If the old man and the young girl expect more than what they carried then that is a good example of what our society is becoming.

  4. T. Ruddick says:

    Good point, Andy. But I already addressed it. The wealthy person has attained that wealth precisely because we have the government and culture that permits such wealth.

    If we collected taxes based on how much people benefited from what society, through government, has provided, then Microsoft would be paying for everyone’s internet access and the major trucking firms would have built all of our highways.

    Warren Buffett, who clearly got fabulously wealthy from our social system, has said that he pays less taxes than he should. H. Ross Perot, the same. Evidently only a few of the uber-wealthy are honest about how our current tax system permits them to pay a lower rate, overall, than middle-class people.

    In fact, a study a few years back showed that, when you consider sales taxes, property taxes, and fixed taxes like the ones tacked onto phone service and gasoline, the top 1/3 in income paid about 18%, the bottom 1/3 also paid about 18% (and it hurt them more, since they have nothing to spare), and the middle class paid 25%. Now, that’s changed and I don’t have current figures, but Warren Buffett has gone through his office and compared his tax rates to those of all his staff–and he pays a lower rate than any of them.

    So if you continue to think that the wealthy deserve another tax break and that “tinkle-down” economics will lift all boats, I must conclude that you’ve fallen for the repeated lie. Look up the numbers and prove it for yourself.

  5. Andy says:

    “The wealthy person has attained that wealth precisely because we have the government and culture that permits such wealth.” This is not a true statement but if it were then your argument is invalid because the opportunity to become wealthy is available to everyone. Whay do you hate rich people so much? All you want to do is take money from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not. You are simply a socialist.
    With regard to the comments by Warren Buffet and H. Ross Perot…man, you gotta be rich in the first place to talk like that.

  6. T. Ruddick says:

    Andy, it is profoundly arrogant to insist that I hate the rich just because I want them to bear their fair share of the burden of society. This nation thrived in the 1950s when the top income tax bracket was over 90%; we flail about from recession to recession as we navigate the recessionary waters of the Reaganomics era. I don’t hate rich people; I’m related to some of them. I just want sanity in the distribution of wealth and responsibility.

  7. Andy says:

    It is more arrogant to insist that your opinion is fact. Go to the Congressional Budget Office website and look up who is paying their share of the taxes.
    Again, you are not talking about fair share, you are talking about socialist income redistribution, which is legalized theft. Asking one minority group to shoulder the burden almost exclusively is discriminatory.

  8. T. Ruddick says:

    Andy, please quit twisting my words. Your own libertarian bias seems to have caused you to consider any moderate to be a flaming socialist.

  9. Andy says:

    I’m just trying to figure how you, or anyone else, can think it is OK to charge a citizen different amounts for the same public services.

  10. T. Ruddick says:

    Because, dear Andy, the wealthy do not receive the same services–they use MORE. The wealthy exploit public utilities for their own profit. The wealthy require far more resources to prosecute for any criminal acts they’re caught committing than the middle-class or low-wage citizen.

    But moreover–taxes are NOT a purchase option, they are the way that we support our community. If we are a team, the stronger players should pick up the slack for the weak. Your position is analogous to saying that LeBron James should not be expected to score any more points per game than Ben Wallace…and Ben should not be expected to pull in more rebounds than LeBron. Sorry, but teamwork requires the stronger members to shoulder a greater portion of the burden.

    I presume that you’re not wealthy, that you’re a paycheck-to-paycheck kind of guy like me. Why are you so invested on protecting the wealthy, people who you don’t know nor understand?

  11. Andy says:

    You are correct in that I am not wealthy. I do believe in the system though – that everyone should have a chance to become wealthy and that they should be allowed to keep what they earn. The wealthy should not be burdened just because they have money. This country was founded on the ideal that everyone would be treated equally. Are rich people exempt? I don’t think so. If you want to go form your own country where you can make your own rules please go for it. But don’t try to change this system.

    Your point about the wealthy and the resources they use is debatable. Let’s take police services for instance. Do you think the majority of 911 calls come from the wealthy? Do you think the number of 911 calls generated even remotely resembles the pattern of wealth distribution in America? I’ll save you the time and give you the answer – it doesn’t. In fact, the rich people can afford to use their own security so they may not rely on public law enforcement at all except in criminal cases.
    Your statement that “The wealthy require far more resources to prosecute for any criminal acts they’re caught committing than the middle-class or low-wage citizen.” is not a problem caused by the wealthy. How many and the type of resources to burn is a decision made by the prosecutor’s office. How do rich people incur more resources than anyone else? Even is there was some far-fetched notion that this is true then those costs should be pursued as a separate matter – not collected as an overhead tax for all to pay.
    Your analogy of LeBron James and Ben Wallace is fallacious. LeBron James is PAID more by the team’s owner so yes, he should be expected to produce more. The analogy to support your point should be that LeBron James should give part of his salary to Ben Wallace with no expectation that Wallace should produce more.

    If a wealthy person and a poor person both go in to a grocery store to buy a can of corn why should anyone believe that the poor person should pay 10 cents for that can of corn and the wealthy person should pay five dollars for the same product? Remember, the fact that the five dollars may be like 10 cents to the wealthy person is not the issue here.

  12. T. Ruddick says:

    Good logic, Andy.

    Now let’s look up the costs of the OJ Simpson murder trial. The state bore the burden of millions of dollars for prosecution precisely because they had to counter OJ’s millions of dollars of defense. Same thing for the prosecution of Jean Harris for the murder of Scarsdale Diet author Tarnower, or the Michael Skakel murder trial.

    Is this an inherent weakness in our courts system that should be fixed by competent legislators? Sure–but at present I expect to college enough money from the wealthy to be able to match them, attorney for attorney, when they go postal on their loved ones. Or, even more common, when they collude to do an Enron-Worldcom-Tyco-Global Crossing-Arthur Andersen style felony.

    As for their use of resources–are you one of those who complains about how Al Gore and Bono are stamping down a fairly huge carbon footprint for people who are concerned about global warming? If so, then you should understand that Dick Cheney and Clark Howard and the Walton heirs are consuming and polluting far more than you or I could, just on the basis of opportunity (not even adjusting for my choice to drive a hybrid, etc.).

    True, that semi truck pays about 10 times the road tax that I pay–but it travels ten times further, generates 20 times the road wear due to its greater weight, and earns several million per year for the owner of the trucking company. Currently, you and I are subsidizing BestWay and Wal-Mart and the other big fleet operators who rely on our road system for their profits.

    You seem to think that every man is an island; that wealth can somehow be generated absent the fertile conditions of a stable society, that society will remain stable even if wealth is not distributed fairly (and note: fair does not mean equally). Surveys have shown again and again that most Americans think they’ll be rich someday; in actuality, fewer than 1% will. I see these pro-wealth arguments as a reflection of that documented wishful thinking.

  13. Andy says:

    You won’t get an argument from me that our entire legal system is a sham but how often do we have wealthy people on trial? Although I consider Simpson more of a celebrity than a wealthy person, trials like his are still once in a blue moon. There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of murder trials for every trial that involves a wealthy person.
    By the way, I do believe in some egalitarianism practices – particularly when it comes to breaking the law. In those instances I believe the rich should have to pay more for something like traffic fines because I believe they need to be penalized on the same scale as a person with less money. In other words, no one should be encouraged to break the law because they can afford to do so.
    To Joe’s point that started this thread, in many cases the rich pay way more than their fair share. For example, rich people can afford to send their kids to private schools. But that doesn’t excuse them from having to pay outrageous property taxes on their huge estates, a lot of which goes to support the school systems. Do they have a right to a refund? Of course not, but I would like to think that they, and everyone else, understand that it balances it out somehow.
    Those trucks chewing up the roads pay a lot in taxes, but is it enough? I don’t know, I have not seen any empirical data to say one way or the other. If not raise those taxes, but those increases will only be passed on to you and me through the costs of the products they carry. Yes, we do subsidize those companies and their trucks but society is guilty on that one – if people would stop buying all the crap they don’t need from China then Wal-Mart and others would be reducing their truck traffic. And yes, there are companies and people getting rich off of that truck traffic but that is the foundation for the free enterprise system. Anybody can start their own trucking company and get in on the riches.
    I agree with this theory on the distribution of wealth: you could take all the money in the U.S. and divide it up evenly. It would only be a matter of time before it was again distributed the same way it is now. The creative people will figure a way to get the money and the suckers will lose it. You can’t keep taxing it back in to balance.
    You are somewhat correct when you say I believe that a society can remain stable without wealth being distributed fairly. But I think it was John F. Kennedy who made the statement, which I agree with, that that a free society needs to help the poor or the rich won’t be around for very long. How those poor should be helped will be a point of debate for a long time.

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