Friday, August 22, 2008


All One Needs is an Encompasing Frame of Reference

One of the divides between left and right is that the left generally wants higher and ever more progressive tax rates and the right generally doesn't. (Both sides of the political aisle appear equally to love to spend other people's money). However, the overwhelming majority of Americans don't want to pay more taxes (so the voluntary contributions to state tax are tiny). Accordingly, the government's making employed citizens pay more taxes on their wages and salaries is not at all very popular. So the left tries to hide the fact that it's raising tax rates. Regarding tax rates now, the left always says that they're for repealing the tax rate cuts under the Bush Administration. But that's just raising taxes put in different (and concealing) words. While it wasn't tax cuts for the rich; it was tax rate cuts for the tax payers, who really cares now what the tax rates were in 2000? In 1960, the highest rate was 91%. In 1913, the highest rate was 7%. Those nuggets from history have virtually no importance compared to what the rates are right now.

The justification, such as it is, for taking not just more but more at a higher rate from the most successful is "they can afford it." There is no moral justification for taxing the successful at a higher rate. A flat tax is fair; a graduated tax is socialistic income redistribution, unfair and wrong.

Here in Colorado, the Governor wants to raise taxes on the companies producing oil and gas in this state. The amount he is seeking is in excess of $300 million. But he and his supporters don't come out and say we want to tax the oil and gas companies more; they say that they're correcting an inprovidently too generous tax credit, regarding severance taxes, put in place some three decades ago. That's, at best, camouflage, and, at worst, just plain lying. Whatever should have been the 'proper tax' in the past, what is being sought right now is higher tax rates. A lot of the less sharp will support the proposed higher taxes with approving cries of 'Yeah, let's stick it to big oil. Those guys need to pay more. Enough is enough!"

The smart will know that corporations don't pay taxes, they collect taxes, from the people to whom they sell their products or services. Every business must cover all its expenses and costs of doing business or it will not be in business for long. A tax on a corporation is just such a cost of doing business. The increased tax will be passed on to the consumers in higher prices for oil and gas which means everyone who drives a car or heats the house with gas will pay the extra tax, not the corporation. The oil and gas supplier will continue to make the same profit (about 8 to 12% of sales); the price of the oil and gas will be slightly higher to cover the cost of the new tax. WE will suffer from the Governor's deceptive wording with less of our own money in our pockets.

I'm going to use the ballot proposal (Initiative #113) as an IQ test for the state. I have some faith in my fellow Coloradoans' ability to see this is not a suspension of past tax credits and therefore a 'correction' that cuts into the profits of the prosperous oil and gas companies, but a higher tax on each of us. I hope they can see it.


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