‘Extreme’ thoughtsWritten by Maggie Thurber | Toledo Free Press Writer | firstname.lastname@example.org
A recent Gallup poll found that only 46 percent of Americans say their taxes are “too high.” Fifty-two percent of those earning between $30,000 and $75,000 said their taxes were “about right.” So why would more than half the people think that their taxes are ‘OK’? The IRS has the answer: those earning more than $388,806 in 2006, the top 1 percent of earners, paid about 40 percent of the taxes. The top 5 percent, those earning above $153,542, paid 60 percent of the taxes. And the top 10 percent, those earning more than $108,904, paid more than 70 percent of all taxes. The rest of the 90 percent of the population, those earning less than $108,904, only pay 30 percent of the tax burden. If you were 90 percent of the available group, but only paying 30 percent of the bill, wouldn’t you think your taxes were ‘about right’?
The problem with this is that so many of these individuals – and many government officials – believe that taxing “the rich” even more is the way to go. The question we should be asking is how much is enough? If paying more than 70 percent of the bill isn’t “enough,” why stop at 75 or 80 percent? Why not just say that everyone who makes more than $153,542 has to pay it all?
As it is, there are people who, instead of paying their “fair share,” end up getting money from the IRS – money they haven’t paid into the system, but that has been paid for by all those “rich” people. No wonder we’re having tea parties.
One of the best tax day tea party signs, which seems very relevant to Toledo: “You can’t fix stupid, but you can vote it out.”
I’m proud the government thinks I’m a right wing extremist. When believing in the Constitution, especially the 10th Amendment, gets a person labeled an “extremist,” we should wear that badge with honor – and then ask ourselves two questions: 1) Since when is a belief in the Constitution a prerequisite for being named an “extremist” and 2) Why isn’t everyone clamoring to be one?
Then there is the issue of immigration. If you, like me, believe that people should come into the country legally – following the laws duly established for such entry – you’re an extremist as well. Yes, the Department of Homeland Security thinks that people who support the laws of the nation and the “security” of our borders are “extremists.”
You just can’t make up this kind of stuff.
But not to worry – it’s not just those of us on the right-wing side of issues. You might be surprised to learn that many of our union brethren are also right-wing extremists. You see, if you are concerned about the loss of manufacturing jobs to foreign countries and are opposed to free trade, like NAFTA, you’re an extremist.
How many unions and their members have this opinion, especially in the Toledo area? I wonder what all the unions think of being a right-wing extremist.
With the push for “green jobs,” will anyone pay attention to what’s happened in Spain with its green job initative? President Barack Obama has used Spain’s green initiative as a blueprint for how the United States should use federal funds to stimulate the economy, and local politicians are falling all over themselves to jump on the bandwagon and spend even more money for the purpose.
But Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at Juan Carlos University in Madrid, has done a study of the impact of Spain’s green job initiative.
Every green job created with government money in Spain over the past eight years came at the cost of 2.2 regular jobs, and only one in 10 of the newly created green jobs became a permanent job. Calzada said the United States can expect similar results.
“The arguments for Spain’s and Europe’s green jobs schemes are the same arguments now made in the U.S., principally that massive public support would produce large numbers of green jobs,” the report states. Contrary to intent, Calzada says the renewable jobs program hindered Spain’s attempts to emerge from its recession.
“The study’s results show how such green jobs policy clearly hinders Spain’s way out of the current economic crisis, even while U.S. politicians insist that rushing into such a scheme will ease their own emergence from the turmoil,” said Calzada. “This study marks the very first time a critical analysis of the actual performance and impact has been made.”
Will we ever learn?
Former Lucas County Commissioner Maggie Thurber blogs at http://thurbersthoughts.blogspot.com/.