Monday, November 26, 2012

The so-called fiscal cliff, taxes, etc.

I don't know if I've gone on the record recently, but let me do so. A few bullet points so that staff members of the administration and Congress -- who should be trolling the blogosphere -- can find this and grasp it quickly. I am a Democrat and will always vote Democrat until Republicans can put their bibles back in their pants and show some respect to women, the gay community, and the "minorities" who are now the majority.

  • Over time, at present, taxes need to be higher on not just the top 2%, but the top 10 or 20% or maybe even more. The upper-middle class has plenty of money to spend on crap it doesn't need. The taxes don't need to be raised right now, maybe, but over time they could be. I think that, in fact, the upper middle class could easily sustain a tax bump right now and it's consumption wouldn't be dinged all that hard.  Maybe we'd eat at restaurants a little less, but that's not a big deal compared with maintaining continuity in important government functions (which also have wage-earners performing them).
  • The Republicans are right that the tax code needs to be simplified:  a blanked limit on deductions is not  a bad idea.
  • Entitlements do need to be pared. People live longer, we can retire later, so Social Security ages can rise. I don't buy the argument that means-testing for Medicare is a slippery slope. Rich people can buy better healthcare, they don't need as much government money.
  • Though I am a big consumer of public television and NPR, and I believe that some government programs appeal to some constituencies (these appeal to liberals), while others appeal to others (conservatives love the military), and that on principle public TV and radio should therefore retain support, I don't think it's worth going to the mat over. Public radio, TV, art etc. can get money from the affluent that consume it. It is much more important to protect the NIH, CDC, etc. Public health needs to retain government funding.
  • The Republicans argue that charitable organizations do a better job of taking care of poor people than does government. This is bullshit. If you starve the government of revenue by keeping taxes low, rich people buy fancy boats and other gewgaws, poor people get fucked and get angry, do not feel that they participate in broader society, lose all hope, and turn to crime (gross oversimplification). Then we throw them in jail.

No comments: