Dick Palmer: Who's on first? That's a taxing question
With all the hubbub surfacing now that the Democrats and Republicans in Congress have agreed that a tax refund is in order, one has to wonder if this agreement will get our player standing on first base all the way home in time to help our stalli...
With all the hubbub surfacing now that the Democrats and Republicans in Congress have agreed that a tax refund is in order, one has to wonder if this agreement will get our player standing on first base all the way home in time to help our stalling economy?
This is a silly game of the alleged good boys vs. the bad guys, each vying for a place of power.
The game could well be called for darkness, which is generally the case in Washington when issues of serious importance have too many strings attached to solve the problem.
Republican President Bush is out stomping daily in an attempt to get the public behind him in an effort to sell his $1.6 trillion tax cut over a 10-year period. The Senate has 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, and members of each of these caucuses are not in lock step with their party leaders. That may be a good sign, because neither political party is in a position to ram legislation down the throats of the American people.
One thing appears certain, however. The American people want a tax concession, and they want it right now. Because of this broad-based consensus, the Democrats have now offered a one-time $300 check to taxpayers stating that such a move will immediately stimulate a faltering economy. It's a shortsighted view to gear up for the 2002 fall campaigns.
It is not a plan that will hold the Congress to long-range goals and objectives. This effort will merely drop a few dollars on the table short term, and when that money is gone, taxing issues will continue to plague average citizens, who generally want some long-term control over the taxes they pay.
What we're saying here is that the Bush plan needs to be pursued, and if the Democrats want a short-term solution, they need 51 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House and then must have the ability to override a presidential veto. So the message here reflects on the politics of all this. Bush says the Democratic $300 plan could be put into the total package, but the Democrats want no part of that. It would mean cooperation instead of confrontation. So we have a better idea to consider.
One of the main reasons the government has so much excess money in the bank is obvious: It has overtaxed its citizens. One such method of extracting more money from the taxpayers occurred a few years ago when the government refused to allow an income tax deduction on sales taxes paid for consumer goods.
In Minnesota, the sales tax is 6.5 percent. Add another 1 percent for purchases in Duluth, and we are talking about a lot of money that becomes a tax on a tax. By allowing sales taxes to be deducted from earned income, the consumers would get a boost in income. Lower income people would benefit the most from this.
The current squabble in Congress is just that, a squabble for power, not redemption for the average citizen. Who's on first, the people or the politicians?
Dick Palmer is the former editor and publisher of the budgeteer News. He may be reached by telephone at 729-6470 or by e-mail at RPalmer341@aol.com .