Please Help Me Understand


nteresting news today for the Baconauts and Boomergeddons. The stock market has tanked because Standard & Poor’s Rating Services has cut its outlook on the U.S. to negative, saying it was worried about government deficits and debt. On the same day, the wire services are noting word from the IRS that “Super Rich See Federal Taxes Drop Dramatically.”

Huh? Isn’t this confusing! We are saddled with a deficit so big that S&P is threatening the U.S. government’s triple-A rating (to be fair, as Jim Bacon more or less predicted). If progress isn’t made on a frugal budget that addresses the longer term financial issues by 2013, we’ll be in the soup, says S&P.

One way to help solve the problems is to have more tax money coming in. I mean, do I have that right? If I make more money, my checking account is bigger and it’s easier to pay my bills. Bacon, Groveton and the rest — please tell me if I am understanding this simple concept correctly.

But forty-five percent of all households will pay no federal income tax at all. Of the 400 taxpayers reporting the highest adjusted gross incomes, the average tax rate was 17 percent in 2007, down from 26 percent in 1992. The year 2007 is the latest for which the IRS has data. The upper tax bracket is supposed to be 35 percent — a fact bemoaned by many Republicans and others in the silk-stocking set. Why the difference? Deductions galore, from real estate, tuition and other credits, help people who make more than $340 million very, very much.

Once again, with so little money going in from the wealthy, why the big push to keep Bush era tax cuts that benefit them? I guess it is because some people accuse Barack Obama is a “socialist” despite no evidence. If anything, one might criticize Obama to not do more to make the super rich pay their fair share. But, I forgot, he may not even be an American citizen, not if you believe Arizona legislators, who in an extreme insult, are requiring Obama to “prove” he is a U.S. citizen if he wants to campaign in the Copper State.

That’s off topic. What’s on topic is this basic contradiction. If Americans, especially the super rich, are so burdened with taxes and they shouldn’t be required to redistribute their wealth, why then, do they pay so little in taxes? And if you have such a serious financial crisis that S&P is making dangerous noises, shouldn’t you increase the top line?

Groveton. Bacon. Please help. Thank you.

Peter Galuszka

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