Saturday, April 29, 2017

On Politics part 1: Why I Don't Like Democrats

I spent the duration of Lent off of Facebook. This is something that I started last year, or maybe the year before. It is good to spend a little less time using social media and being constantly inundated with information overload. But with just being on Facebook a little over the last few days I have been bombarded by political post after political post.




It can be so very tiring to constantly see the Democrats and Republicans gong back and forth, and then the Libertarians jump into the fray.

Many memes I see from Democrats are quotes from Bernie Sanders. I'm sorry, but I can't take anything​ he says seriously; he talks about income inequality and how the rich don't pay their fair share while he has 3 different mansions. He tries to come off as a man for the people but the only occupation he's ever held is that of politician. How can Bernie say he represents me when he's never gone through any of the struggles I have?

Many memes I see from Republicans are about how great Trump is, and how the Liberals need to stop being pussies and just accept that Trump is President. Basically, they are taking a page out of the Liberal playbook and using against the Liberals. Gloating isn't really goings to make friends of enemies.

And the memes I see from Libertarians are all about how both parties are stupid, taxation is theft, and marijuana should be legalized. I actually agree with these things, but the memes are so obnoxious and it seems to be the only talking points that anybody is aware of for the Libertarians. And they constantly feed into that by hardly posting anything else.

There are a few major problems with all of the parties, though. One major problem is that their politicians very often don't actually represent the common man and their interests - instead their campaigns are built around political doublespeak and they promise one thing while delivering another. A few years ago there was the vote for the House and Senate where the populace voted in Republicans to counter what the Democrats and then POTUS Obama were doing; problem was that everything was going just as usual up on Capitol Hill. Nothing changed except for the faces sitting in the chairs.

Another major problem is how much it seems that the two parties hate each other. They no longer debate issues, but they attack the character of their opponents. When they debate issues they often appeal to the extreme and use absurd strawman arguments. They fail to look at an issue from their opponent's point of view to understand where they are coming from and better be able to debate against the issue. I'm not going to kid myself, name calling and d absurdum arguments have always existed in American politics, but it seems that our politicians of old at least tried to understand the issues from a different perspective before giving an insult that would make Winston Churchill proud. And I would even dare say the insults would be much better if our politicians actually understood what it was they were arguing against, instead of just arguing against their opponents because they are opponents.

But we just don't have this in American politics any more. It's all just talking points and toeing the party line - deviations from such get you labeled a traitor to some imagined cause. Hardly any politician seems to argue for what they believe and what they believe the common people believe and instead argue for their party's policies and tell the people what they should believe.

For an example, the Democrats are fond of saying that the rich need to pay more in taxes, that the rich need to pay their "fair share" to compensate for all of us poor folk. But do they even realize that they are the rich blokes they're screaming about? And do they realize that the "rich" (those who make over $418,000 and above) pay something like 39% of their income while those who make less than $37,951 pay only 15% - if someone makes $9,325 and less they pay only 10%. It seems that the rich pay more than their fair share.

Let's use a hypothetical tax rate. Let's say that we all pay 10% of our income regardless of how much we make. So a person making $10,000 dollars a year would pay $1,000 in taxes. A person who made $50,000 a year would pay $5,000 in taxes. A person who makes $100,000 a year would pay $10,000 in taxes - or the salary of the first example. A person who makes $400,000 a year would pay $40,000 in taxes - or 4 salaries of our first example, or roughly one salary for the second actual tax bracket. And of course, the more someone makes the more "salaries" they are paying in taxes; some one who makes $1,000,000 a year would be paying $100,000 in taxes or enough for 10 people in our first example and 2 in our second. It seems at this flat rate tax that the "rich" are already paying their fair share, even more so for our actual tax rates which has those making $418,401 paying and over 39.6%, or $165,686.80 or more, in taxes - or almost 4 1/2 salaries of people who make $37,000 a year.

Why do I keep relating percentage of taxes paid to salaries? Because Democrats seem to think that all of our hard earned money should go to those who can't/don't/won't earn enough for themselves. The current US population is over 326,000,000 people. Of that, 892,420 are in the top 39.6% bracket. So, assuming the majority of Americans make around $37,000 a year (the 15% bracket - which the majority of Americans [~42 million] fall in) and that those who make over $418,000 pay in taxes an equal amount of 4.5 salaries at $37,000, then the top bracket is paying the same amount in taxes as roughly 4 million people make for their yearly salary. Yes, almost 900,000 people are paying the same amount in taxes as 4,000,000,000 people earning an average salary. The math is probably a little off, since this doesn't take into account those who make $500,000 a year, or even 1,000,000,000 a year and those who make in the upper limits of the 15% tax bracket.  Obviously, not everyone makes only $37,000 a year or $418,000 a year, but as you go up in your tax bracket you are paying taxes equal to the amount of someone else's salary since your percentage is also going up. Still, 890,000 people are paying the same in taxes as about 10% of the the 15% tax bracket! How much more are they expected to pay to meet their "fair share"?

Now get this, the most common tax bracket is 15%, but the next most common tax bracket isn't 10% or even 25%. No, the next most common tax bracket (over 36 million people) in America is 0%, meaning these people don't pay any taxes. But, "All in all, the majority of American households (77%) fall into the 15% tax bracket or below" (taxfoundation.org). I'm not saying that those who don't pay into any taxes are evil or wrong, but I am asking how can anyone say that the rich aren't paying their fair share in taxes when we have a whole tax bracket which is the second largest not paying any taxes? Of course we can't expect those in poverty to pay taxes, but we can't expect those 890,000 people to pay everything for them.

Let's look at some more examples. If we assume that the people in the 25% tax bracket make an average of $75,000 then one person pays around 18,750 in taxes or roughly two times the salary for someone in the top of the 10% bracket. Since there are roughly 24,010,000 million people in this tax bracket that means they are paying in taxes an equal amount to
48,020,000 people in the 10% bracket, but there are only about 27.5 million people in that bracket! The 25% tax bracket is definitely paying more than their fair share of taxes.


But this factoid of rich people not paying their fair share is so very widely believed by Democrat voters that it can be seen in many campaigns for Democrat politicians. And yet, someone will take issue with me using individual income tax brackets instead of corporate tax brackets, because it's the corporations who aren't paying their fair share! And yet the US had the third highest corporate tax in the world in 2014 (wikipedia). And US corporations are generally taxed between 15% and 35%, but, "Most corporate income is taxed at the maximum rate" (taxpolicycenter.org). This means that the majority of corporations are paying 35% of their income, plus whatever they have to pay in their respective states.

Granted there are certain things that are not taxable such as mergers and liquidations. But I scarcely see as how that matters because the real question is, why should a corporation have to pay for the populace? Most especially why should a corporation have to pay for the populace when, "The corporate income tax is the third largest source of federal revenue, after the individual income tax and payroll taxes, and raised $343.8 billion in fiscal 2015" (taxpolicycenter.org). Don't forget that payroll taxes are also payed by the employer - aka the corporation. So they are paying twice on the federal level, and again on the state level - and both payroll taxes and corporate income taxes are in the top 3 sources of federal revenue! So sorry, but corporations should not have to pay taxes for individuals, and they pay more than their "fair share". Yes, there are loop holes to exploit, because without them the corporations would go under.

There is a reason why many companies move their headquarters to locations where they don't have to pay many taxes, and it isn't corporate greed, it is so they can thrive and continue to pay their employees better than minimum wage. When I lived in Tennessee I heard of and read of many companies moving to the state because of the lower tax rates that they would have to pay, and these companies brought employees with them, as well as hired from the populace, thereby making the economy in Tennessee slightly better through housing sales and general sales from the communities - and because of an uptick in population than meant more jobs for retail and grocery stores as well as other things. 

Conversely, it meant less money for the states where the companies moved from. And that would negatively impact that state's economy as the corporation and employees would move out and then not be adding anything to the local economy. 

It makes sense that if you start taxing a company more that they will then have to lay off employees, eliminate jobs, etc. because then they could not afford to keep going at their current rate. This of course means less jobs for the local economy and more people having to delve into unemployment benefits (and more people that the rich corporations then have to pay for in taxes). You can't tax people into wealth, but you can certainly tax them (and corporations) into poverty.

The Democrats love to see themselves as Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, and yet, that isn't the whole story to Robin Hood. No, Robin Hood was fighting against an unjust system that was taxing everybody and making everybody poor to the point that everybody owned the Crown money, and if they didn't pay then the Crown would take their lives and their land. It wasn't just the poor who were suffering under this regime, but even wealthy landowners were losing their lands and their livelihood, which meant less people buying from the local economy, which in turn meant less wealth all around.

Of course the Democrats will tell you that they are fighting an unjust system, so they really are like Robin Hood, and yet they forget that Robin is one of those who lost his lands. They also forget that all of those taxes were going to government programs, which is what the Democrats love - big government programs. Unfortunately, the Democrats fail to realize that in any example of Robin Hood they are Prince John, taxing the people further into poverty.

Taking more and more taxes will not help anybody other than politicians. Because despite their supposed differences both parties love to line their pockets while making it seem like they are doing so for the greater good. Which is why I really don't like Republicans, either.
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