A house of cards divided

Somewhere around half the population pays somewhere around none of the income tax, and Fausta sees this as a disparate-impact issue:

This means that a lot of people do not have their earnings directly decreased and seized by the government the way the earnings of the tax-paying minority are. Abstractions like federal deficits don’t hit you in the gut directly; having half (or more) of your yearly earnings taken away does. Until and unless each and every wage earner is taxed, nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, is going to change.

They might actually be paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, which are not exactly insubstantial, but the government persists in the fiction that somehow those taxes are different, despite the fact that everybody (well, okay, not everybody) knows that it all ends up going into the same bucket, and that the ostensible Trust Funds contain, at best, a fistful of dusty $2 bills and a stack of freshly-issued IOUs. We would be better served by an end to this particular fairy tale.

And since “OMG they’re going to tax poor people!” will not sit well with overpaid editorial writers and political hacks, I propose we invert Fausta’s insight: “Until and unless no wage earner is taxed, nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, is going to change.” Hey, it worked through 1912.

1 comment

  1. Charles Pergiel »

    6 January 2011 · 2:56 pm

    Bread and circuses: keep the people fed and entertained and you can do pretty much whatever you want.

    So, nothing is going to change except for the worse.

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