Taxes — Representation Without Taxation? Or Republic of the 400? Or Both?

Taxes are an interesting issue.

— 51% of Americans pay no income taxes per year.

— Back during the height of the War on Poverty only 24% paid no taxes.

— Of those paying no taxes now: 30% actually get money back via various credits.

— Of those paying no taxes now: 91% make less than $19,000 per year. Some of those are retired folks (15%) and some are young, ages 16-26 (39%).

We have become in essence a country of ‘representation without taxation’.

An alternative view of our situation: we have become such a service economy that we now have a dysfunctional middle-class that has lost buying power almost every year since 1980. (Some of our lost buying power is masked by the greatly increased predominance of double incomes from both parents working, which was not the norm prior to 1984).

While the above numbers are factually correct, it is also true that just 400 Americans earn 50% of all income reported to the IRS each year.

Somewhere in between is the rest of us.

We need a conversation. I am not out to soak the rich to pay for everything. Yes, they should pay more than those less well off, but it should not be a hugely larger percentage of income.

We need a conversation because most people haven’t a clue as to how money flows, works or even how much they actually contribute to the system.

Do we really have a country of ‘representation without taxation’? Yes, and no.

I’m not out to take from the rich and neither am I interested in belittling the working less-well-off; those that contribute to our economy each day, even though they aren’t getting ahead. Life is a pyramid, a pointed bell curve.

The few can and will do great things. The few will make a name for themselves. Only the few. It has always been so. The greatness of our country is that the few can come from nowhere with nothing — but it remains that only a few will find their pot of gold.

We need a tax system that is fair, transparent and where a certain level of taxes will be paid to support our society regardless of how many tax credits or write-offs are accumulated.

The larger argument over deficits and debt begins with the argument over taxation.


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