(Pardon me while I step away once again from the primary purpose of this blog, keeping track of rapid technological change and its effect on media, society, and my hobby of choice, amateur radio. I've become riled again about a subject that seems so utterly simple and understandable, yet one so many get so wrong. Help me understand why other seemingly sane and intelligent people can't see it my way!)
All the breathless hyperbole was inevitable after yet another president and Congress declared yet again their intention to radically alter how we tax revenue earned by citizens of this country. Too many oxen get gored, too much political patronage becomes threatened, and too many people who have careers and earning schemes and entire industries predicated on the inner workings of this mess. Also, the sheer complexity of the tax code and the fact that we have come to depend on the "temporary" income tax to fund every worthy cause or complete boondoggle assures that changing anything meaningful in regard to taxation is going to be problematic. Maybe impossible.
Well, today I received from a friend a link to a Washington Post op/ed piece that pretty much says anything that ends up in a new tax plan is in there not because it is a good idea. It is becoming the law of the land because certain key legislators already have cushy jobs lined up after leaving Congress and will put anything in the plan that it takes to close the deal on those employment contracts they are busily negotiating.
Bull feces! I'm as cynical as the next guy. But I also am certain as I can be that we need to change the way we do taxation in this country. Perfect or not, any plan that lowers taxes for anybody...ANYBODY...is a good thing. And especially if it forces us to also finally consider how we spend taxpayer money. Hard-earned and begrudgingly surrendered taxpayer money that is rightfully ours, not the government's.
By the way, if you are one of those who think it is a legitimate goal of a central federal government to assure every citizen gets FREE medical care for life or FREE college, regardless whether or not you take care of your health and use that medical help wisely or whether or not you should even go to college, you may as well stop reading now. You and I will never agree.
Now, my real problem with this op/ed piece: the continuation of the trend to treat terms like "CEO" and "profit" as sleazy, dirty, despicable words. Anyone who leaves Congress to go to work for a consortium of business people has to be a crook, a plant to get those evil, greedy businessmen less taxes and more slimy profits while crushing the struggling middle class so the crooks and thieves in business can line their own bulging pockets with more and more ill-gotten gains.
First of all, "CEO," "profit," and "business" are not dirty words. "Taxation" often is. Especially "taxation" when it is applied to punish those who dare to work, risk, innovate and create in the name of making a profit for themselves, their employees, and their stockholders. And to make better stuff for their customers, too. I am convinced it is time for us to get over this insane jealousy and distrust of everybody who tries to make a profit, assuming that if they do make money they accomplished success by illegally and immorally squashing competition, creating dangerous products or services, and by bribing every public servant in sight to keep their ill-gotten gains.
(If you have time for even more ranting on this subject, see my blog post from several years ago on this very subject, culled from my previous experiences in a business that actually does a much better job in its field than many of its government competitors and have caught its share of hell for daring to do so...in the name of...yeeccchhh!!!...profits. See that blog post HERE. But be aware: my wonderfully well-written set of arguments did not change a damn thing. And your government has almost succeeded in putting out of business most of its competitors in that particular field, a true loss for students, the middle class and employers everywhere. Your government is especially adept at putting anyone it wants to out of business, believe me. I speak from direct experience.)
Let me be unequivocal. Any reduction in any taxation for anybody is a good thing. I get so tired of hearing about tax breaks for "the rich." Many assume that if rich folks get to keep more of their profits, that would remove money from circulation and we regular folks will have no chance of ever getting any of it. Or that we are just encouraging companies to do bad things by allowing them to keep more of that money earned on the backs of their poor, beaten-down workforce. Neither is true!
Those CEOs don't back up the dump truck filled with all that misbegotten money and drop it into a hole in the ground out behind their polluting factory, and cover it up with the ashes of even more burned money! Or make their pitiful, overworked, mistreated workers man shovels and cover it over.