Do the Math

-By Frank Hyland

With the Congressional bill on raising the debt ceiling signed into law by the President, the talk by people like Harry Reid (D-NV) is already turning to the next round of deliberations. “Today we made sure America can pay its bills. Now it’s time to make sure all Americans can pay theirs,” Reid said. Other comments were made about “millionaires, billionaires, and corporate jet owners.” (Be sure and call Reid, by the way and ask if he was including luxury yacht owners like Sen. John Kerry (D-MA).) What you are seeing and hearing is a delayed reaction to what Harry Reid and others consider having been put in the Timeout Corner by the hated TEA Party.

A number of times in the past when you have been in a public place it is likely that you’ve seen an unruly child in the midst of a temper tantrum. A tantrum is one of those events that is completely mindless, such as when you react to touching something too hot, too cold, or too expensive, like a yacht. More and more knowledge has emerged on how to respond to howling children in a store, a restaurant, or a commercial plane so that they throw such tantrums less often. The prevailing wisdom? Walk away and let ‘em scream. How, then, should you respond to Harry Reid and his cohorts in the coming phase of the effort to keep the US from going bankrupt as they throw tantrums?

To deal more effectively with the expected tantrums of the Left, you should take a closer look at the situation in an effort to get past the words of those on both sides of the issue — left or right — and to get to reality on your own without any filter. Unlike Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi (“Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs.”) and others, we’ll use the real figures from Tax Year 2008 so that you are dealing with actual numbers rather than opinions, estimates, and pundit projections. American taxpayers are divided into two groups. The so-called upper half of taxpayers paid 97.3% of all the tax money received by The Treasury. To avoid defacing a penny — and to be fairer than the US tax system — we’ll round down to 97 cents and up to three cents. For the most instructive results, gather 100 pennies and spread them out on the tabletop in two groups, one with 97 pennies and one with the remaining three pennies. So if your Adjusted Gross Income per year was $33,048 or more, you and others in your group paid 97 cents of all income taxes while those who made less than you paid little or nothing at all. This is the so-called “progressive” tax system.

The next time, then, that Harry Reid or one of his ilk whines that “The wealthiest among us can and should pay more in taxes,” you can better grasp the absurdity of the words. Their goal is to move the remaining three pennies of tax revenues into your column so that you and the other members of your group can pay the entire 100 pennies of every dollar. The other 50% of taxpayers? They’ll become even bigger tax avoiders than they are present, riding on your dollar because they say that you are “rich.” Most important to the Democrats, those new convert to non-taxpaying status will likely vote Democrat in 2012. They will consider it a victory until, in 2017 or earlier, the checks stop arriving from the “government” and they are left on their own. Meanwhile, Harry Reid will leave his luxury apartment in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and be tending to his Pomegranate trees in Nevada, and Nancy Pelosi will be safely ensconced in her Napa Valley, California vineyard.
Frank Hyland is a long-time Writer/Editor who has written for The New Media Alliance, and also for The Reality Check and has appeared weekly on Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Conservatism on Sunday evenings on Blog Talk Radio, along with Babe Huggett and Warner Todd Huston.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001