Thursday, October 25, 2007

Misleading Headline of the Month

Today's online edition of CNN/Money contains the following swell headline:

Giant tax overhaul bill unveiled

AMT repeal. Lower corporate tax rates. A bill Rep. Charles Rangel offers $1 trillion in cuts. Here's how he would pay for them.

First of all, you have to be on guard with anything Charlie Rangel says, particularly if you value the contents of your wallet. The "$1 trillion in cuts" is the way CNN shills for Democrat Rangel. The "gotcha" is in the next sentence: "Here's how he would pay for them."

In the first place, that last sentence is false. Rangel is not going to "pay" for anything. YOU ARE. Where does money for the Federal budget come from?

Any Democrat's idea of a "tax cut" is robbing Peter to pay Paul (a Democrat supporter), while making sure that this money transfer to Paul is indexed to inflation, meaning that Paul's newly stolen "share" now continuously goes up.

Which means that what Rangel is talking about is not a "tax cut" at all, since, allegedly, the overall tax take would remain the same. That is not a cut. A cut is when the amount of money that the government steals from individuals and corporations goes down. As in the Bush tax cuts. Which are the real target of Rangel's "cuts." Rangel's "cuts," therefore, are simply a re-allocation of resources and money to people who support Rangel. And make no mistake. The tax rates will continue to go up from here.

The centerpiece of Rangel's "cuts" is the hated AMT. He hopes to attract support for his "cuts" by replacing the AMT with something more sinister:
The bill proposes that high-income filers would pay at least a 4 percent surtax on adjusted gross incomes (AGI) above $200,000 for married couples filing jointly.

So for a couple with $300,000 in AGI, they would owe the 4 percent surtax on $100,000 ($300,000 - $200,000). Hence, they would an extra $4,000 on top of their regular tax bill.

For couples with AGIs over $500,000, the surtax applied would be 4.6 percent.

With the repeal of the AMT, the majority of taxpayers with AGIs under $500,000 would pay less than they would under current law, the Tax Policy Center estimates. Under current law, the Bush tax cuts would sunset by 2011 and there would be no patch for the AMT.

Rangel hopes to build support for his "tax cuts" by proving he's still taxing "the wealthy" but has removed the non-inflation guarded AMT that is sneaking up today even on factory workers whose spouses also work. There are also other sneaky things in Rangel's package that are additional tax increases that Rangel is playing down, so read the whole thing, but read between the lines.

The killer, though, is this graf:

More than any other revenue raiser in the bill, this measure is the one that will do the most to compensate for the $800 billion cost of AMT repeal. It's estimated to raise $832 billion over 10 years.

I am constantly amazed at terminology such as that used in the first sentence: "the $800 billion COST of AMT repeal." Emphasis in this quote is mine. THERE IS NO COST OF AMT REPEAL. When the government steals extracts a portion of your paycheck as withholding tax, this costs you money out of your paycheck. It doesn't cost the government anything.

The government takes in only as much revenue, theoretically, as taxpayers feel justified in remitting, as transmitted via the tax code. In other words, taxes cost you and me something. They don't COST the government anything. Likewise, a true tax cut or tax decrease means that taxes COST you and me less. The government, in turn, is going to have to do without something, and this is something the Democrats cannot stand, since they want the government to do everything and have you and me pay for it. But a tax cut COSTS the goverment nothing, because the only money they're allowed to spend is money that you and I send to it based on a grudging agreement as to the "fairness" of the current tax code.

The government works for us, theoretically, at least, not the other way around. If it's time for the Feds to do with a little less, just like you and I have to do all the time, well, then, tough. The government, under a Rooseveltian legacy, still has a tendency to act as if we are its benefactors. In fact, it's the other way around, something folks have forgotten over the last half century or so.

The Democrats have, over the years, reversed terminology. They never apply the term COST to the taxpayer. They apply it to the government. Hence, a true tax cut will COST the government X-billion dollars. This subtle shift in terminology instantly begins to increase the impression that there are some bad rich people out there who are TRYING TO ROB THE GOVERNMENT of its rightful money. Money which, in fact, is rightfully yours and mine. Their preferred terminology creates support for creeping socialism over time, building the impression in people's minds that ROBBING THE GOVERNMENT IS ROBBING YOU. Au contraire. By depriving the government of more and more needless revenue that it will waste, squander, or mail to Charlie Rangel's supporters, you are forcing the government to work more efficiently, to purge useless legacy programs, and to leave more money in your own wallet.

Warning: watch these bastards and their supporters in the media. And put a lock on your wallet. No modern Democrat EVER supported a real, overall tax cut. Not since JFK. Remember that when you read this stuff. All smoke and mirrors.

(NOTE: The only thing useful in this story is that FINALLY, we've gotten a 'Rat to define for us just who is "rich": anyone who's married and filing jointly with a combined income over $200K. Hey, seems like a lot of moolah. But it's all location based. Ask a Manhattan couple making $200K, living in an efficiency that they rent, and sending about half that "income" to the Feds, and the crooks in Albany and in Bloomberg City Hall. They'll tell you how "rich" they are, and they'll use colorful language, too.)

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