Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tax Virtue: The Golden Mean

Views from the Centre-Right -

By: Larry Walker, Jr. -

“Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.” ~Calvin Coolidge -

In philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. The following links and brief excerpts are from 34 articles on income tax reform, written between November 2009 and December 2011. Authored with an independent fiscal conservative twist, the objective has been to define the golden mean, with respect to income taxes. If something catches your eye, pore over it. And if you are able to apprehend and digest them all, consider yourself wise, and fit for the impending battle. For we all know what’s coming, and we should also realize what happens when a government operates on the wrong side of the road.

Endless Stimulus | Payroll Tax Cut - Dec 01, 2011

Since Social Security and Medicare taxes are collected in order to realize future benefits, why would the federal government choose to refund a portion of those collections today? Are its entitlement programs in such good ...

Tax Simplification, Part I - Nov 10, 2011

Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan, which involves eliminating the 15.3% payroll tax, of which every dime is presently committed to current Social Security and Medicare payments (and then some), fails to address the main problem ...

Tax Simplification, Part II - Nov 17, 2011

“There is no doubt that many provisions in the Tax Code benefit narrow groups of taxpayers, but the dirty little secret is that the largest special interests are us – the vast majority of U.S. taxpayers. Virtually all of us benefit from ...

Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Sham - Oct 23, 2011

Herman Cain argues that the reason we need his 999-Plan is because the tax law is too complicated. But is it really? I've worked with the tax law for 30 years, and I don't think it's all that complicated. It may have some complex ...

3rd Concern with the 9-9-9 Plan - Oct 29, 2011

Since under the current tax code, the taxpayer's in the first example are already in a 35% marginal tax bracket, if they earned an additional $1,000,000, they would pay federal taxes of $698,543 under the current tax code, ...

Obamas 9-9-9 Tax Cut | For the Blind - Oct 30, 2011

According to a study on GOP flat tax proposals conducted by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, the 9-9-9 Plan would cause '95 percent of people making $1 million or more to receive tax cuts averaging $487,300'. ...

Taxing the Rich – 1765 to 2011, Part I - Sep 02, 2011

“There is a limit to the taxing power of a State beyond which increased rates produce decreased revenue. If that be exceeded intangible securities and other personal property become driven out of its jurisdiction, industry ...

Taxing the Rich – 1765 to 2011, Part II - Sep 03, 2011

Believing the income tax to be unconstitutional, President Grover Cleveland refused to sign it. The Act became law in 1894 without his signature, but was ruled to be unconstitutional in the following year. In 1895, the Supreme ...

Taxing the Rich – 1765 to 2011, Part III - Sep 04, 2011

In 1765, Great Britain imposed a series of taxes upon the American Colonies, in order to pay for its lengthy French and Indian War (1754-1763). After the war, the British forced upon the Colonies, the Stamp Act of 1765, ...

Obama's Tax Fallacy - Jan 27, 2010

First of all 43.4% of Americans don't pay any income taxes. That leaves the rest of us. So did 95% of the 56.6% who actually pay income taxes get a tax cut? I doubt it, but even if that were true, it's not 95% of all Americans (or ...

Obama's Tax Fallacy II: Updated - Mar 05, 2010

According to the Tax Policy Center, there were 151 million tax units in 2009 (excluding dependents of other tax units). Out of those 151 million tax units, 65.6 million, or 43.4% had zero or negative tax liabilities here ...

Obama's 1950’s Tax Fallacy - Aug 06, 2011

The table below compares what 1950's tax rates looked like back then, against what they would look like in 2010 dollars. [Note: Tax rates were the same throughout the 1950’s, and the brackets for Single and Married Filing ...

2011 Tax Increase: A Reality Check - Jul 17, 2010

Left-wing pundits are claiming that the Bush tax cuts were for the wealthy, which is simply not true. Next year when the 10% tax bracket disappears, and tax rates return to pre-2001 levels, will represent an across the board tax ...

2011 Tax Jam: Wrong Way, Wrong Road - Jul 24, 2010

In my last blog post, 2011 Tax Increase: A Reality Check, I attempted to point out how the Bush tax cuts applied to all Americans at every level of income, and that with their expiration at the end of 2010, income taxes will rise ...

2011 Tax Hike: Progressive Style - Jul 25, 2010

Obama and the progressives want to somehow let the Bush tax cuts expire for anyone making over $200,000 per year, but it's not clear whether or not tax rates for those below that amount will revert to pre-2001 levels. ...

We Are All Billionaires Now - Apr 17, 2011

Good luck to Democrats in first identifying tax breaks that benefit people with net worth's of over $1 million (or $1 billion). They don't exist. And secondly, since more than half of millionaire households are headed by retirees, ...

Obama's Static Tax Blunder - Sep 03, 2010

"If we cut taxes, our revenue will decrease, and if we raise taxes, our revenue will increase." "So let's compromise. Let's keep taxes the same on the many, and raise them on the few, that way we'll increase our revenue, and ...

Obamacare's Effect on Small Business - Oct 06, 2011

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” ~ Daniel Webster in M'CULLOCH v. STATE, 17 U.S. 316 (1819) - ...

Give Me a Tax Cut, or Give Me Death! - Nov 20, 2009

Do Small Business Owners deserve tax relief? You're damned right! What can you do about it in Washington D.C.? Well, if you want Small Businesses to spend more, hire more, and stop the lay offs, then stop squeezing us. ...

Payroll Tax Cut Forsakes the Poor - Feb 22, 2011

But first of all, extending last year's tax rates actually didn't do anything for anybody (i.e. nothing gained, nothing lost). Secondly, renewing jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed was simply the price we had to pay for a ...

Obamacare's Deadweight Loss - Oct 12, 2011

Prior to Obamacare, with its one existing plant, TEA, Inc. would have net income of $150,000, would pay federal income taxes of $41,750, and would be left with after-tax income of $108,250 (see table below). Assuming all ...

Obama's Ersatz Rich | The Top 400 - Sep 09, 2010

If the goal is to tax the "rich", it would be very easy for Obama to raise taxes on them. All he has to do is add some new upper level tax brackets such as I mentioned above. In fact, such a tiered system existed back in 1921. ...

Keeping It Real: Obama's $250,000 Fallacy - Sep 06, 2010

President Calvin Coolidge, under the Mellon Tax Bill, slashed top rates from 73% in 1921, down to 25% in 1926. The new top bracket was 25% for anyone making over $100,000 ($1,206,419 in 2010 dollars). So under the ...

Tax Revolt of 2010 | Authentic - Sep 11, 2010

War has oft been used as an excuse for raising taxes, and tax hikes have sometimes led to war. Prior to the imposition of the income tax, the federal government's primary source of revenue was through tariff duties. ...

Obsolete Government Programs, Part 1 | FICA - Apr 20, 2011

If we were not forced to pay this mandatory tax of 6.2% (12.4% for the self-employed) on earned income up to the limit of $106,800, we would be able to save a greater portion of our own money into the modern retirement ...

Obsolete Government Programs, Part 2 | Medicare - Apr 21, 2011

Medicare is partially financed through payroll taxes imposed by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and the Self-Employment Contributions Act of 1954. In the case of employees, the tax is equal to 2.9% (1.45% ...

Real Tax Reform I: Taxing Small Business - Nov 13, 2010

Much of the debate against raising tax rates on the upper bracket centers around how income taxes are computed on small business owners. The debate focuses on the way that pass-through income, which is earned by the ...

Real Tax Reform II: Taxing Corporations - Nov 16, 2010

In Part I, we focused on unfair tax policies surrounding S-Corporations and Partnerships. The prospect of increasing tax rates on business owners is a far cry from what most of us would consider meaningful fiscal reform. Part II ...

Tax Reform 101: Stuck on Static - Nov 18, 2010

Example 1: Static Revenue Policy – Joe the retailer owns a gift shop. One day Joe got sick and tired of lackluster sales and decided to raise prices by 100%. Joe believed that if he doubled prices, while maintaining the same ...

Tax Reform 201: The Optimal Tax Rate - Nov 23, 2010

Those immersed in the static conception of human behavior say that America will never grow its way out of debt. Well, that's a self-fulfilling prophecy if we base our tax policy on the static view. So do they think we can tax our ...

Tax Rates, Earmarks, and Weiners - Dec 20, 2010

For those who think that a top federal tax rate of 35% is too low, there is a solution. How about forking over some of that excess lucre? How about putting your money where your mouth is? The time to stand up for your ...

The Elitist Condescension Tax Credit - Dec 06, 2010

According to some estimates, if made permanent, the Making Work Pay tax credit will cost the U.S. government an estimated $640 billion through 2018. Any idiot who would vote for something that cost so much and helps no one should be ...

Shared Sacrifice and a Free Lunch - Dec 05, 2010

According to the Tax Policy Center, in tax year 2009 there were 151,500,000 tax filers excluding dependents of other taxpayers and out of those 71,000,000 (46.9%) had a zero or negative income tax liability. ...

Debt & Taxes: Obama's Rate of Change - Feb 18, 2010

During the 16 year period ending with fiscal year 2009, GDP achieved an average annual growth rate of 6.8%, while government revenues (taxes) grew at 4.5%, and the national debt grew at 10.3%. Summary: The national debt ...

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