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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Howie Carr: Why Don't Pro-Tax Taxpayers Pay More Taxes?

Boston Herald, Moonbats Wing it When it Comes to Paying More Taxes, by Howie Carr:

Hey moonbats of Massachusetts -- why won’t you pay more taxes? You’re always lecturing the rest of us how taxes are an investment in the future, the price we pay for civilization, etc., etc. But when given the option of personally paying your fair share, hey, come back here, you pony-tailed trust-fund recipient you. ...

As the deadline for filing 2009 state income taxes nears, once again the Beautiful People of Massachusetts are proving that while they enjoy talking the talk, walking the walk is another thing altogether.

We have a two-tier income tax in this state, you know. You have the option of paying either at the standard rate of 5.3 percent, or at the old, higher 5.85 percent rate.

As of Wednesday, here are this years numbers, according to the state DOR:

Of 1,840,000 state tax filers, exactly 931 have opted to pay taxes at the higher rate. That works out to one-twentieth of one percent. Think of it this way: In 2000, only 60 percent of the Massachusetts electorate voted to cut the income tax, but a decade later 99.95% of the population has decided to take advantage of the tax cut a lot of them claimed they didn’t want or need.

The moonbat motto is: Do as I say, not as I do. Consider the charitable deductions (or lack thereof) of the most sanctimonious liberal politicians: Obama, Biden, Kerry. They throw around quarters - their own, anyway - like they were manhole covers. But they would gladly give you the shirt off somebody else’s back.

(Hat Tip: Woody McNair.)

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One of the more risible aspects of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is its income-tax system, as Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr explains: We have a two-tier income tax in this state, you know. You have the option of paying either at the standard r... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 8, 2010 7:48:21 AM

Comments

Don't understand why you give Howie Carr face time on your blog. His rant is not worthy...

Posted by: Jack Walsh | Apr 6, 2010 5:48:29 PM

Well, I live in Massachusetts, and honestly I don't really mind the state taxes. I'm due for a refund, and hopefully I'll get around to filing for it. I feel like I get real services for my state taxes, like roads, drinking water, police and fire departments, schools, etc. I had a problem with an employer once who was violating state labor laws, and the Massachusetts government bureaucrats were actually very prompt, courteous and helpful.

But let me tell you, I filed for my Federal return early and made sure I got back every red cent I was entitled to, because they take my taxes and give me things I'd pay (lots!) to be rid of, like a Pentagon, a CIA, a DEA, an NSA, banker bailouts, an insurance mandate (one thing I don't like about MA), NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO membership, an IRS, 'no child left behind,' a PATRIOT Act, a Federal Reserve, I could go on but those are the big ones.

Posted by: Benjamin | Apr 6, 2010 6:27:53 PM

I appreciate your giving Howie Carr face time on your blog. He makes a valid point.

Posted by: Woody | Apr 6, 2010 6:41:48 PM

I don't think it's fair to characterize left vs right as pro-tax vs anti-tax. No one is in favor of paying more taxes for the sake of paying more taxes, but they are willing to pay more taxes because of the return on those taxes - education, infrastructure, etc. But we only get those rewards if a lot of people pay taxes.

For example, if a small increase in the sales tax meant great advancements in education then I would be a supporter. I won't, however, add an extra one percent to what I buy now because the total amount I add personally is insignificant.

Therefore, your argument that if someone doesn't pay additional taxes then they don't want additional services, I disagree with.

Posted by: Wesley Wills | Apr 6, 2010 7:45:38 PM

Here in Massachusetts, taxpayers have the option of paying a higher 5.85% tax rate instead of the standard 5.3% rate. And some people do choose to pay the higher rate (although it's not many).

Posted by: Frank Gerratana | Apr 6, 2010 9:55:09 PM

Come on Liberals act like grown up and pay for their idiot ideas come on. All liberals know how to do is tax more and make everyone pay for there programs that bankrupt the country. That is what liberals do take a great society bankrupt it and point the finger at someone else.

Posted by: Bruce | Apr 7, 2010 1:20:57 AM

Come on conservatives act grown up. Your hackneyed conventional business model of "less taxes" is not working. Rants like Carr's are meaningless drivel. They offer nothing to the debate.

Posted by: Jack Walsh | Apr 7, 2010 7:33:49 AM

Hey Jack Walsh, you didn't address the issue. Do you voluntarily pay the higher tax or not? Well, come on Jackie boy, tell us all about it. As far as the Pentagon, NSA, CIA are concerned, I agree, we don't need their services because no nation or group would ever attack the USA now that Obama is Prez. You know, they love him so much and everything. Dinner Jacket just insulted the dear boy again today because he loves Obie so much. And Geitner, the tax cheat, do you mind paying his taxes for him too?, or Rangel, or the rest of the oligarchs?. Pay all the additional taxes you want Jackie, no one is stopping you but like all socialists, you want someone else to pay YOUR way. while you talk out of the side of mouth.

Posted by: nadadhimmi | Apr 7, 2010 8:35:22 AM

Given the option, most people would probably pay zero taxes. Does that mean that the tax rate should be zero? The point of the tax system (in theory, anyway) is that we bring in enough money for the state to perform the functions we expect of it. Bring in less money, and the state can perform fewer functions. And everyone's in favor of less spending until they have to pick the programs to get axed.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 7, 2010 8:37:05 AM

"Of 1,840,000 state tax filers, exactly 931 have opted to pay taxes at the higher rate."

I see 931 amended returns in the offing.

Posted by: Dusty | Apr 7, 2010 8:38:45 AM

I don't know what's more weird -- a state giving you a choice of what tax rate you prefer to pay, or the fact that 931 knuckleheads voluntarily paid the higher rate?

Well, I suspect those 931 philanthropists were acting out of confusion or ignorance, and not out of ideology.

And to Benjamin above -- that refund is your own money, owed you because you (oddly enough) overpaid your taxes and provided an interest-free loan to a government that pays interest when it borrows money from more savvy investors. You get that, right?

Posted by: kmfurr | Apr 7, 2010 8:44:09 AM

Wesley, that argument rings hollow. People on the LEFT chide people on the RIGHT for wanting laws requiring less taxes. They always paint those on the RIGHT as heartless and subhuman because they want to hang on to what they earned. The LEFT has always been about giving the "less fortunate" other peoples money, but are notoriously stingy when it comes to opening their own wallets.

I would beg you to rethink your sales tax versus education spending. The spending goes to the salaries of the teachers and administrators, while there has been no improvement in educational performance. My school district wants a 2% increase in property taxes to fund a 4% increase in the budget - almost all of it goes for salaries, benefits, and non-educational programs.

In general, the LEFT wants high taxes to promote their redistributionist agenda. I guess it's all well and good until you run out of other people's money.

Posted by: Dr. K | Apr 7, 2010 8:44:11 AM

It's simple, really. Higher taxes are for other people.

Posted by: MPM (UC Law '89) | Apr 7, 2010 8:45:54 AM

Only one problem, Wesley:
"For example, if a small increase in the sales tax meant great advancements in education then I would be a supporter"

There is no [positive] correlation between $ spent per pupil and academic achievement, thanks to stupid policies, curricula and pedagogical choices by the education mandarins, which would cost no more to *not* do.

Posted by: newscaper | Apr 7, 2010 8:49:20 AM

You are telling me that we are getting value for our tax dollars in education.

Posted by: Ray | Apr 7, 2010 9:04:02 AM

Anyone who is in favor of paying higher taxes is free to do so. Every State and the Fed will gladly take any extra money you throw their way. Massachusetts is simply the one place where the exercise of that option is tracked and recorded. It offers us a glimpse into the mind set of all those who opposed lower taxes yet willingly choose to accept the lower tax burden themselves, that being higher taxes for thee but not for me.

Carr does not tell us precisely how many voted against the tax cut, but surely it was more than 931 voters.

The hypocrisy is blatant, hence all those seeking to spin the issue away from the facts.

Posted by: ThomasD | Apr 7, 2010 9:05:46 AM

From this morning's Washington Post:

"I'm in favor of higher taxes on people like me," declared Eric Schoenberg, who is sitting on an investment banking fortune. He complained about "my absurdly low tax rates."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040603743.html

Posted by: howard | Apr 7, 2010 9:07:14 AM

"No one is in favor of paying more taxes for the sake of paying more taxes"

Demonstrably untrue. There is a powerful branch of liberal ideology that believes taxes are the means to redistribute wealth. That this wealth may lift up the underclass is really a passing thought. The stated goal is to divest financial power that those with 'excessive' wealth enjoy. If the state cannot control the means of production entirely yet, at least the means of production should not be able to influence the state.

Posted by: Mark Buehner | Apr 7, 2010 9:36:50 AM

Woody, you prove the point. You personally wouldn't pay more in taxes, but you'd love to have EVERYONE pay more. Spoken like a true liberal.
If you were the only one paying more in taxes, and it helped just one student get the help he/she needed to go on to do better in life, isn't that worth it?
Apparently not, if it means YOU have to pay a few more dollars.
Thanks Woody (or is it Obama?) for the lesson is unicorn and rainbow logic.

Posted by: Diggs | Apr 7, 2010 9:39:34 AM

Please. How can you even think that someone with half a brain could consciously decide to pay more? Everyone knows that the black hole of government devours money and the siren of your dollars getting burned can be heard by all. They, the liberals, just believe that this is the standard deviation of fraud so more taxes still means more money for infrastructure.
IRS Form 1099-GOV would paint a spotlight on those entitlements that crushing the country.

Posted by: SenatorMark4 | Apr 7, 2010 9:47:48 AM

Howie's point is excellent. And I'm willing to bet a good chunk of those who opted for the higher rate had $0 of tax liability anyway.

There are two types of people who want higher taxes.
[1] Those who pay no taxes
[2] Those who think they'll get a raise if taxes go up, and are willing to pay a small fee by also paying the higher tax themselves. A kickback, if you will.

Both groups are motivated by pure selfishness. But they will lecture endlessly about all the Tremendous Moral Good that can be found in higher taxes. But if that were true, a lot more people would be opting for the higher rate, wouldn't they?

Howie slams that point home quite nicely.

Posted by: Jim D | Apr 7, 2010 10:31:08 AM

As Carr points out and as Wendy illustrates liberals talk the talk but fail to walk the walk. Funny in a sad sort of way.

Posted by: Amused Observer | Apr 7, 2010 10:40:32 AM

Higher taxes mean more government control which is the real goal, not actually helping anyone.

Posted by: John | Apr 7, 2010 10:44:57 AM

Hey there Jack Walsh - time to wake up and join the real world. You stated: "I'm due for a refund", That simply means you overpaid during the year. I love how when you ask people how much they paid in taxes they often answer in that vein - I'm getting a refund. That final figure on the bottom line is NOT your taxes moron - it's the difference between what you paid and what you owed. Look up a couple of lines and see how much the government is actually demanding out of you. If we had to write a check for the total amount of our taxes due every year on April 15th you'd see people surrounding Congress with torches and pitchforks so fast it would make your head swim. Of course that is just the tip of the iceberg. A favorite political con job is the "tax businesses" ploy. Businesses have never paid taxes and never will - all they do is collect them from you in the form of higher prices and pass it on to the government. But politicians are betting on the stupidity of the average taxpayer and they are successful. It is difficult to underestimate the intelligence of the average voter/taxpayer (see 2008 election for example).

Posted by: Lib R. Tarian | Apr 7, 2010 11:46:20 AM

Why don't those who supported the Iraq War voluntarily pay more federal taxes to fund it?

Posted by: Publius | Apr 7, 2010 12:09:40 PM

"From this morning's Washington Post:

"I'm in favor of higher taxes on people like me," declared Eric Schoenberg, who is sitting on an investment banking fortune. He complained about "my absurdly low tax rates."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040603743.html

Posted by: howard | Apr 7, 2010 9:07:14 AM"

Did the WaPo ask him if he sent a check to the Bureau of the Public Debt for the money he thinks he OUGHT to be paying? They have a process set up to accept "contributions" but they aren't very busy --- and I suspect Schoenberg is not on their list of "contributors" either.

Liberal hypocrites.

Posted by: John Steele | Apr 7, 2010 12:12:16 PM

Diggs, in your 9:39 AM comment, you sure have me or my positions confused with another.

Posted by: Woody | Apr 7, 2010 12:34:34 PM

Liberals are reflexively tight fisted with their own money. Who has forgotten Clinton and Gore's pathetic charitable deductions when their tax returns were released?
As I recall, Clinton deducted $10 for his used (and doubtless soiled) underwear.

Posted by: Bill Jones | Apr 7, 2010 5:09:32 PM

Libs are lying, hypocritical bastards who have no interest in reaching into THEIR wallets and paying for the programs they want, but will happily reach into YOUR pockets to fund those programs. Whenever I read someone on the left talking about how much "we" need to raise taxes, I think it's either a government bureaucrat or some member of that large number who doesn't pay taxes.

Here's a clue for you, lefties: there's a real crisis of government legitimacy. Any white male in America who thinks he gets his money's worth out of his taxes is delusional. The current tax system and redistribution is used to hurt him (discrimination against whites) and help those who make it clear they hate him.

Under such circumstances it is inevitable that such people will plan their tax strategies to avoid paying taxes since that money only goes to help their enemies. If some entity has made it clear they intend to hurt you with the money they extort from you, why would you want to pay them at all, much less pay them more?

The answer, of course, is that rational people wouldn't. Consequently, you'll see more people "go Galt," cheat on their taxes, expatriate, barter, work on the black economy, and basically do whatever they can to avoid paying money to their oppressors.

Nice work, lefties. You took a system that worked pretty well (voluntary compliance) and all but made certain it won't work anymore. Typical lib outcome, soon to be followed by large increases in the number of IRS snoops harassing the public. Scratch a lib, find an authoritarian redistributionist.
When this happens unofficially, it's called "armed robbery."

Posted by: mac | Apr 7, 2010 6:20:20 PM

Mark Buehner:

""No one is in favor of paying more taxes for the sake of paying more taxes"
Demonstrably untrue. There is a powerful branch of liberal ideology that believes taxes are the means to redistribute wealth. That this wealth may lift up the underclass is really a passing thought. The stated goal is to divest financial power that those with 'excessive' wealth enjoy. If the state cannot control the means of production entirely yet, at least the means of production should not be able to influence the state."

I should clarify what I meant. No one is in favor of themselves paying more taxes for the sake of paying more taxes. It's possible to simultaneously want everyone to pay more in taxes while not wanting only one person to pay more.

One could make the argument that liberals are in favor of more taxes to redistribute wealth, but in the context of "why do people want taxes increased yet don't want to pay more taxes themselves" an important distinction exists between wanting taxes raised on one person (yourself) and raised on everyone (including yourself).

Dr. K. :

I think phrasing the difference of opinion as "the left wants to take away everything you work for and give it to lazy people " and "the right is heartless and subhuman" is unproductive. There are serious moral questions about how much responsibility we have for other people, whether that responsibility increases or decreases based on where they live, and whether the responsibility to help others increases with increased ability to help others, etc. Oversimplification to "that side is a bunch of theives" and "that side is subhuman" isn't accurate or constructive, and specifically phrased to increase differences and division rather than bridge them.

However, I do feel like we could make some progress when you reference a redistributionist agenda and infer that conservatives pay the brunt of the taxes. It seems that a strong argument can be made that in a system that's so inherently unfair as the US economy, some redistribution of wealth is moral. Basically, taxes pay for civilization so the more one benefits from civilization the more one owes in taxes. But I'd be interested in reading some of your thoughts about to what (if any) degree redistribution policies are moral or useful, and what criteria you use to define "redistribution".

Newscaper:

Whether increased funding for education results in educational gains or not depends on how the money is used, it can be wasted or used wisely. But for my general premise that increased funding for public services makes those services better, I'm assuming the money is used wisely. I think the discussion about how the money should be spent on education is a fundamentally different question than rather or not money should be spent.

Diggs:

The argument isn't "all liberals should pay less taxes and all conservatives more". The argument is that "we should all pay more". Increasing taxes on a single person brings in a trivial amount of money, increasing taxes on everyone brings in a substantial amount of money.

Arguing that raising taxes on everyone raises a substantial amount of money (and therefore is effective and desirable) is perfectly consistent with the argument that raising taxes on a single person raises only a trivial amount of money (and is therefore ineffective and undesirable).


(Woody, btw your facebook link doesn't appear to be working?)

Posted by: Wesley Wills | Apr 8, 2010 1:17:56 AM