The word “taxes” has been the subject of intense, well-funded, well-crafted, right-wing messaging directed at the public for 30 years. So now there is a negative connotation associated with the word – almost as bad as the dreaded ‘L’ word, “liberal.” So instead of using the ‘T’ word, let’s try a different approach. Think of taxes as paying for the Iraq war and increased military and government services. Who will pay for these things?
The new Bush proposal will ask that people who receive dividends not be asked to pay anything for the war or other government services. (Keep this in mind – they say that this will benefit most Americans because most Americans own stocks. But this is crap – regular people have stocks in a 401K or IRA, and don’t pay taxes on dividends NOW, because you don’t pay taxes on gains in a 401K or IRA. And if the stocks are in a pension plan you also don’t pay taxes on dividends.)
Here’s what WILL be taxed:
-Money made from working at a job in an office or at a factory or as a janitor, etc.
-Money made from savings interest.
-Money made if you are a plumber, etc. (even though you are paid by people who already paid taxes on their income, so it will be “taxed twice,” which is the justification for no dividend taxation. But that sort of nonsense justification only applies to money made by the really, really rich. Wink, wink, nod, nod.)
-Money you receive as unemployment benefits.
-A big chunk of your income from your job will go into Social Security – but only the first 85,000 is taxed – if you make more than that the tax stops. This is the largest tax most Americans pay. This money is currently going back out to the rich as tax cuts, because the deficit resulting from these tax cuts is also using up the Social Security surplus.
In other words – the money that YOU make.
Here’s money that WILL NOT be taxed:
-Money made from inheriting huge fortunes.
-Money made from selling stocks. (Taxed at a much lower rate.) (This benefits primarily the top few % of wealthy.)
-Money made from receiving dividends. (This benefits primarily the top few % of wealthy.)
-Money made from selling a company. (Taxed at a much lower rate.) (Needless to day – this benefits primarily the top few % of wealthy.)
-Money made from stock options received for being an executive at the company that laid you off. (This benefits the top few % of wealthy.)
-Money made by corporations that move intellectual property offshore, then license it back to their U.S. branch. Example, a patent on a drug is “owned” by the Bermuda branch and licensed to the U.S. pharmaceutical company for the entire amount of their U.S. profits, so they pay no U.S. taxes on those profits.
-Money made by corporations who have moved their mailing address offshore. (But these corporations WILL be allowed to continue to receive lucrative government contracts.)
-Money and services received by executives as “expenses.”
-Income after the first $85,000 is not taxed for Social Security.
In other words – the money that THE REALLY RICH make.
Remember, your Social Security retirement money was given away to the really rich in the 1980’s, through tax cuts. Now the money you currently pay into the Social Security system is also being handed to the rich through even more huge tax cuts. And the portion of the tax money that you pay that goes out as interest on the debt is also being given to the rich in the form of debt interest payments. A lot of the military budget is handed to wealthy corporations. The pension money that you would have received if you worked at a corporation was handed out to the rich in the 1980’s in the form of increased stock price when pensions were stopped, and you were instead told to save your own money through an IRA or a 401K account.
You pay. They get. And it’s just getting worse.
Update – a few words from No More Mister Nice Blog