Friday, July 15, 2005

Time to end Socialism in the United States!

Handouts for the lazy, the criminals, and the backwards must come to an end before we end up with a hammer and sickle on our flag.

So how do we do it, how can we help fight socialism in the US? How do we keep people from getting free handouts for doing nothing and not working? How do we force people to start carrying their own weight? How can we eliminate our budget deficit and eliminate waste in our federal government that rewards and breeds laziness?

We stop giving them free money and make them pay their fair share of taxes!

So where do we start, how do we identify these leaches? The first place I would look would be Washington DC; DC is full of welfare recipients, but what can you expect from a city whose Mayor smoked crack? It’s easy to find these people.They are all over the place in DC. All you have to do is go to any street corner and find a guy wearing a suit and tie who either lobbies for an industry or works for a Fortune 500 corporation; he is the one stealing the bread off of your table and keeping your taxes high. What, you thought I was talking about some fat black lady with 3 kids, didn't you?

Welfare:
That's right, if the US eliminated corporate welfare the government would be able to provide annual tax cuts twice the size as the ones handed out in 2001. In 2002, the US spent 93 Billion dollars to subsidize US business and industry. In the 1940's, corporations paid 33% of all federal taxes, yet by the 1990's they were only paying 15% of all federal taxes meanwhile individuals saw a 60% increase in their tax burden. In other words, not only are they having us make up for the corporate tax decreases, but they are actually handing our cash to the wealthiest people in America. This is the exact definition of income redistribution.

The "Big 3" auto makers received 333 million dollars of our tax money while posting profits of over 13 billion dollars in 1995. You may say that is needed in order to keep people working or to develop new technologies like hybrid vehicles, right? Wrong- since 1979 the "Big 3” have laid off over 350,000 US workers and only put out one Hybrid vehicle between the 3 of them while both Honda and Toyota have opened several US plants, and each put out more than one Hybrid vehicle without the help of the federal government. In approximately the same time period, average CEO pay for Fortune 500 companies has gone from 40 times the amount of the average worker to 411 times the amount of the average worker. In Japan the ratio is more like 20 times that of an average worker. Another big welfare recipient is GE; their CEO earns over 8.5 million dollars per year. Do you really think he would quit if they only paid him 1 million per year and diverted that money towards R&D? Remember Jeff Skilling of Enron, the corrupt subsidized energy company, he earned 84 million dollars in 2000 before committing one of the biggest acts of corporate fraud in history. These companies clearly do not need these welfare checks to survive, they just need to trim the fat and produce a product that works- one that people want.

Farm Subsidies:
The fattest recipient of federal welfare is agriculture. The US budget for the department of agriculture is over 35 billion, 2.5 billion of that is in the form of crop insurance so farmers/farming conglomerates don't have to take any risks in their business and get compensated for any failed crops. Does this mean that the government should start subsidizing bartenders when they have a bad tip night due to a blizzard? Over 20 billion dollars of this budget gets paid out as farming subsidies which mostly go to big corporate, profitable farms, including tobacco growers. Mostly, these are companies such as ADM who grow corn (an unprofitable subsidized crop) which is converted into corn syrup which is one of the main culprits of putting fat on the asses of Americans, contributing to our nations healthcare crisis. In other words, Hoosier Ma and Hoosier Pa who own their own small family farm have no lobbyist to petition on their behalf for these handouts; that’s what Farm Aid was all about. So if you are a small family farmer and are wondering how to survive, grow corn, call Mellencamp, get your own lobbyist.

Logging Subsidies:
And for all the people out there who are being plagued by the mounting surplus of trees in this country, you will be happy to know that logging and timber companies receive over 50 million dollars per year in order to pave our nation's forests. You can't really expect them to provide their own infrastructure when depleting all of our forests can you? This is America. We are Capitalists! The government should not interfere with commerce and business, unless it's giving them money in order for them to cut their costs and make more money. Anything else is socialism! This, by the way, is a drop in the bucket compared to what the mining companies get.

Free cash handouts for people who don't work:
8 out of the 15 richest people in this country had their money handed to them and did not work a day in their life to earn it. So, why is it ok for the Walton family or Paris Hilton to do nothing and get free money handed to them but it's not ok for a shoeless single mom in Tennessee to get money which she didn't work for? Why do poor and middle class Republicans fight for these people? Do you really think Paris Hilton cares about how much tax you pay to the federal government? Do you really think she would fight and lobby for you to keep more of your money? Then why are you so adamant about fighting for her, do you really think she deserves it more than a guy who works 50 hours per week and still can't afford to pay the bills? The Estate Tax (AKA the Death Tax to spinster Republicans) only affects 1.5-2% of the population, so who cares if someone has to pay more than 50% of their 19 billion in taxes to the federal government? The Estate Tax only applies to Estates worth over 1.5 million dollars; I hardly think that anyone will go hungry if they only inherit half of that. Hand me a free check for over $500,000 and see if I bitch about it. If we can't tax dead rich people, who can we tax, the poor living people?

Wealth Redistribution:
Most of the states in the union are on welfare. Chances are, if you are guy in a "red state" who bitches about socialism and crack moms in New York bringing down America, you are a benefactor of this welfare and wealth redistribution from progressive, liberal states who actually make money and can support themselves.

California annually pays out over 25 billion dollars more in taxes than it receives in federal subsidies. My state of Illinois also pays out almost 25 billion dollars more of its tax revenue than it receives in federal subsidies. In contrast, Alabama receives 10 Billion dollars more per year than it pays out in taxes because it is unable to sustain itself with its current tax rates and tax base. Indiana and South Carolina received 4 billion and 5 billion more than they pay out respectively. California's GDP is the same as all former Confederate states combined. So why is it, with all this money, do you hear about California having to live through blackouts and water shortages every year, yet you never hear of these shortages in Mississippi, a state that constantly loses money?

For all of you Libertarian "flat taxers" out there, does this mean that we can make someone in Rural Alabama pay the same sales, fuel and alcohol tax that I pay in Chicago? Apparently I pay 8.75% in sales tax so Mississippi can keep their tax rate at 4%. On top of all this, Mississippi residents get a $12,000 tax exemption for married people when New Jersey residents only get a $2000 dollar exemption. If Mississippi kept $10,000 of that exemption, would they still need New Jersey's money? For every dollar Mississippi pays out in federal taxes it gets $1.84 in return, New Jersey only gets $.57 back for every dollar it sends to Washington, we here in Illinois get $.77 back in subsidies for every dollar we pay in taxes. Welcome to the motherland of the Union of American Socialist Republics, or U.A.S.R.

Final Thoughts:
I understand the concept of helping someone when they are down; I had no problem with the US bailing Chrysler out of their slump in the 80s as they quickly paid back all their loans. But when companies like GM, Ford, etc., do develop hybrid or hydrogen vehicles, and start to make a profit on them, are they going to give these subsidies back? When the price of corn peaks, does ADM plan on giving their subsidy money back, or are we just creating a culture of welfare where these companies can cook their books, find tax loopholes, pay for their CEO's weddings and we, the middle class, flip the bill allowing the rich to get richer, and diverting this money away from people who actually need it?

Sources: CATO Institute, Office for Social Justice, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, US Census Bureau, Levy Economics Institute, Sierra Club, Retrovsmetro.org, Federation of Tax Administrators

36 comments:

trick said...

I'm moving to the South.

Erudite Redneck said...

Used to be, food production was considered a plank of national defense -- and it was a lefty, Henry Wallace, one of FDR's veeps, who last said it so plainly.

So, while I admire yer post in general, I still got one thing to say: If you don't like agriculture, don't talk with yer mouth full. :-)

carrier said...

To borrow a line from a character created to represent every vile money grubbing corporate capitalist fatcat Amerika has to offer, C. Montgomery Burns of Springfield Oregon...excellent.

tugboatcapn said...

Toad, if imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then I apreciate the compliment.
However, I think that this post made more sense when I wrote it.

tugboatcapn said...

You never answered my question, by the way...
Do you mind if I link to your blog?
I WILL NOT do it without your permission,but I would very much like to...

tugboatcapn said...

Toad, I realize that the flippant answer that I gave you before was unfair.
You deserve a more detailed response to your post, so here it is.
First of all, You need to forget about the money that Paris Hilton and the Walton family inherit. That money came from people who earned it, and can do with it whatever they wish. If they want to leave it to spoiled brats, that is their right. THEY EARNED THE MONEY, and if they had not generated these fortunes, these fortunes would not exist.
The things that people work for should belong to them, and they should be allowed to do whatever they want with the fruits of their own labors. Whether Paris Hilton worked for the money is irrelevent, whoever GAVE her the money worked for it, and if they want her to have it, that's their business, however worthless SHE may be.
The taxes that you pay in Indiana do not go to the people in Mississippi. You are refering to STATE taxes and not federal. everyone who earns a wage is subject to the same federal tax rate, according to their specific tax bracket.
If there were more incentive within the states of Mississippi and Alabama for corporations to locate there, then maybe more corporations would locate in these states, and create more jobs, and expand the earning power of the population, and increase the tax base, increasing the revenue that these states produce.
Taxing rich people into poverty to generate revenue is a poor substitute for increasing the number of taxpayers paying into the system. Within this context, giving large corporations incentive to locate in a particular area, or to expand their facilities (which you call corporate welfare) makes perfect sense. IT CREATES A LARGER GROUP OF TAXPAYERS. If more people pay in, they each have to pay less to create the same amount (or a larger amount) of revenue.
AS to the problem of the blackouts and water shortages in California, these were caused by excessive Environmental regulations, not unfair tax policies. California has not allowed the construction of a new power plant in the last 20 years because of the Environmental impact it would have had. As a result, the power generating capacity of the state has not been able to keep up with the growing population, and when the state of California became dependent upon neighboring states for their energy, They also became subject to the priorities of the states that produce the energy that California so desperately needs. Arizona is not going to do without electricity that they generate so that California doesn't have to. This is common sense. I know you can understand this if you try...
Government interference with the capitalist system is what has caused this whole problem.
Once again, you have fallen victim to the idea that Government can solve problems that the market should be allowed to handle.

Toad734 said...

RE: Tug

I must point out that the money paid out under social security, public housing, food stamps etc also came from people who earned it? I still don't see why Paris Hilton needs it more than the poor people who get it, as over 40% actually work, thus paying into SS etc. When Paris Hilton receives that amount of cash, why shouldn't she have to pay her share of SS, FICA, state and local and federal income taxes? Everyone else who receives a check has to pay it, why should she be different, besides the fact that she didn't ever work for it.

Wealth, or money, is not typically "created", it is merely transferred. Wal-Mart is a perfect example; they didn't just generate billions of dollars on their own, it was given to them by the poor people who shop there.

Yes sales taxes are generally used for local municipalities, cities, states etc. However that doesn't mean that those tax rates are appropriate and that they pay for everything the state needs, clearly as I have pointed out, it doesn't. What happens when a state isn't generating enough revenue to sustain its education budget, its disaster budget, its road and transportation budget etc.?? Ever hear of declaring an area a federal disaster? Why do states do try to get a president to declare their problem a "disaster area"? To get federal money!

Also, what I am trying to express is that the federal tax revenue generated by a profitable state such as mine, comes from areas where those residents are also paying higher sales taxes. Look at the sales tax in Chicago, NYC, Los Angeles, etc. Why do these local areas have to charge more in sales tax when their state is already generating a surplus of federal tax revenue? These are already the people who are taxed the most at a federal level, since these are the places where most of the corporations and the people who run these corporations operate.

The point is, one way or another, it goes to pay for Mississippi's teenage unwed mothers, their farm subsidies, there mining subsidies, their states lenient, low local tax rates and poor education systems.

tugboatcapn said...

From your comment: "Wealth, or money, is not typically "created", it is merely transferred."

Your basic argument is based uopn the premise that there is a static amount of wealth in the world. I do not believe this to be the case. Wealth is generated constantly by economic activity.
The people who shop at Wal-Mart do not just walk in and hand over money to the Wal-Mart corporation, they recieve goods in return, which they then use.
I have enjoyed this discussion with you on economic theory, however I find your logic to be somewhat flawed. I have over estimated your understanding of economics,I am afraid, so for now I will agree to disagree with you.
Interesting post, though, I must say...

Sandi said...

Toad I agree with you. I have a friend that argues the flip side, he likes to say, 'Why should they have to pay taxes on given money? Taxes were paid when the money was earned.' To which I usually reply, because it is INCOME. Just because they did not earn the money, does not mean that it is not income. I mean come on, if I hit the lotto then the government would be first in line to collect, but that is a windfall, I did not earn it.
Any time money goes from one person to another, that money is considered as income to the person recieving it, so they should have to first in line at the tax office.

Tom Harper said...

Great post. This needs to be written about and publicized. Those "welfare" stereotypes are really deep-rooted in our society, and too many people don't want any facts getting in the way.

Boiled Owl said...

Tugboat is talikng about "value added" manufacture and marketing, and surplus accumulation, I think, Toad. Even so, the consumer must somehow become more "affluent" in the capitalist formulae in order for the "man" to further bilk him. This is typically accomplished by priming the economic populist pump in any nymber of clever ways, usually at some "lower" classl of society's expense. Lately we have transferred much of this exploitation overseas so we don't have to look at or deal with legally. But rest assured, Toad, your concept of wealth transfer is accurate. The man givith and the man taketh away.

United We Lay said...

Great Post.

BRUISER said...

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAH

You use the CATO Insitute for public policy research ..hahah
right on....so recockulous...

Toad734 said...

RE: Sandi

Yes and my money and investments are also taxed several times. Part comes from my paycheck, then when I buy something with that money I pay a sales tax, and I also am taxed on capital gains, as is my property.

IN other words, who gives a shit if has already been taxed, and as you said, the lottery is essentially a gift as well but we still have to pay taxes on it.

Toad734 said...

RE: Tugger

Clearly I am no Greenspan, and yes wealth can be created, look at bank interest, but when you buy something, yes you get a product but look at automobiles for example; I buy a car for 25k, that money goes to the Ford corporation and affects their bottom line and increases their stock price ever so slightly so my wealth has been transferred to the Executives at Ford, the Stock holders of Ford and it used to be shared with the US employees of Ford but is now kept by the Corporation because they no longer really pay for labor. You say I have a car yes, but it is no longer worth 25k dollars, its worth about 20k the minute I drive it off the lot. So I have not only parted with 25k but my net worth has decreased by 5 grand and Fords has increased by 25K dollars which in turn is used to pay the rich people who run the company and their rich, and middle class stock holders.

The point I am making is that when I buy something for a given amount my net worth, wealth, decreases because it is no longer worth what it was before I bought it, but the person who made it is making a profit on it because a 25K dollar car only cost them 18k to make. My net worth goes down theirs goes up.

The lottery, as Sandi indicated is another perfect example of wealth transfer.

Toad734 said...

RE: Press

I'm not sayin I don't like agriculture, in fact I am saying that I do. I just don't want to subsidize something like Corn, which is rarely eaten in its pure form, when we could be growing profitable crops which aren't turned into high fructose corn syrup, thus making America the fattest nation on earth.

Nölff said...

I agree with the welfare. Let the strong survive. I think Darwin called it Natural Selection.

On the other hand. Rich people who commit corporate crimes deserve to go to real jail instead of Martha Stuart prison. Martha should have been licking some bush, like in real jail. That'll teach somebody from commiting corporate crimes.

Sandi said...

Hey, Toad, go check it out I plugged your site pretty good.

trick said...

well said, owl. a good point.

in this country's past, the economic primer was the slaves. then the newly "free" ex-slaves followed by european and asian immigrants. now it's the "undocumented" workers and people in overseas sweatshops. someone is always being taken advantage of in order to "prime the pump". the overwhelming majority of americans can be included in this along with the rest of the poor world. what we need most right now is some serious wealth redistribution. there's no reason why people in our country and others should be denied life, health and education while so many are living so high on the hog.

Balloon Pirate said...

Fantastic post, Toad. Cogent, to the point, well-reasoned and accurate. Not surprising then, that tuggy doesn't understand it.

Over on BOPDemocrat, you asked about the "This Modern World" comic Phil posted. Tom Tomorrow's stuff is at his blog: http://www.thismodernworld.com/

But his latest comics are posted on Mondays at www.salon.com (subscription required), or Tuesdays at Working for Change's website http://www.workingforchange.com/index.cfm?

Both have great content, too, by the way

Yeharr

United We Lay said...

Corporate Welfare: There is no reason why the government should be spending so much money bailing out major corporations. It was originally done to help save jobs, but now it would be better to help the people who get laid off when a company closes down. If the govenment wanted to help keep American jobs, they would place strict limits on outsourcing.

Farm Subsidies: While helping farmers when there is a severe drought is a good thing, paying farmers not to grow corn is something else entirely. Farmers need to grow something worthwhile. Something that can be widely used for a variety of purposes, like hemp.

Welfare: If you subsidize the income of people who are working and actively looking for work rather than just sending them a check, things would go a lot better. If there was government day care, that would go a long way to allowing mothers to work. Disability is one thing, and you should work to you ability. If you are unable to work, a goverment home is an option if family won't take you in.

EDUCATION: If you spend money educating people to begin with, they will be much less likely to need government assistance.

Toad734 said...

I should do an entire post on social welfare vs. work and Childcare. The bottom line is that if you have children, you are better off not working and receiving public aid instead of getting a minimum wage job.

Part of the welfare system should be free adequate daycare, and raise minimum wage so that the only jobs that can't be outsourced (fast food, grocery stores etc) will actually pay well enough in order for someone to survive. Something has to replace the auto industry.

Boiled Owl said...

Thanks, trick. Good seein' ya man. Long time.

Solidarity bro, solidarity.

¡Que viva la heulga en general!

shadylayne said...

My precious Toad, I know that you hate to read anything that is not scrollable, but you really should consider it from time to time. With regards to your last comment,please read Nickel and Dimed: on (not) Getting By in America by Ehrenreich.

That copy of Freethinkers is still sitting unopened on our bookshelf, by the way.

tugboatcapn said...

Toad, I have provided a link as promised. Thanks.
I look forward to corresponding with you in the future.

Whymrhymer said...

I'd make a terrible economist: lots of what you say -- and lots of what Tug said in return -- earns a big 'No Comment from me."

I will weigh in on the "Death Tax" thing.

We work our asses of (and pay income taxes) to have something to leave to our family. Rich people either worked harder or smarter or had a "better idea" so they earned more. When they leave that money to their spouse or kids it's not "income" to them, it's just a gift -- money already earned and taxed.

Income is money "earned" by providing a service or product.

Rich people aren't the enemy, they're the ones who keep our economy going and growing.

Sandi said: "Any time money goes from one person to another, that money is considered as income to the person recieving it, so they should have to first in line at the tax office." I'd say that is simply not true -- and should not continue to be true.

Toad734 said...

RE: Whymrhyner

Some rich people help keep this country going, and they would continue doing so if they were paying 10% more in taxes.

Again, not all income, or wealth is earned; as I pointed out 8 out of the 15 wealthiest people in America inherited it all and never worked a day for it. When they die, they will also pass on their wealth, so in those situations no, the person handing it to the next did not work for it, the person receiving it did not work for it, and under your plan, neither would have paid any taxes on it.

Maybe I should convince my employer to not pay me, Ill work for free, as long as they give "gifts" every month.

Isn't the lottery a gift? Are you saying that should not be taxed? After all, the money used to buy that ticket has already been taxed.

I don't work to acquire wealth for my children, or future children that I am never going to have, I work to make money for myself, I doubt Bill Gates is any different; they don't get rich so their kids wont have to work, they get rich because they want to be rich.

Remember only 1.5% of the population is affected by the death tax, in other words, not you!
If we eliminated the estate tax the Federal government would lose over $30 billion per year, which is 9% of the non-military discretionary budget for the US.

Boiled Owl said...

Here's some fun for you Toad. Feel free to move it around whereever you want to:

This from a California friend:

Dear Red States,

We’re ticked off at the way you’ve treated California, and we’ve decided
we’re leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we’re taking the
other Blue States with us. In case you aren’t aware, that includes Hawaii,
Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the
Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and
especially to the people of the new country of Nueva California.

To sum up briefly:

You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.

We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard. You get Ole’ Miss.

We get 85 percent of America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get
Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the revenue, you get to make the red states pay their
fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian
Coalition’s, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single
moms.

Please be aware that Nueva California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and
we’re going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need
people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they’re apparently
willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don’t care if you
don’t show pictures of their children’s caskets coming home. We do wish you
success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we’re not willing to
spend our resources in Bush’s Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the
country’s fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation’s fresh fruit, 95 percent of America’s quality wines
(you can serve French wines at state dinners), 90 percent of all cheese, 90
percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all
living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools,
plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88
percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92
percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90
percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually
100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University,
Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was
actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless
we’re discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that
evolution is only a theory, 53 percent think Saddam was involved in 9/11 and
61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals
than we lefties.

By the way, we’re taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed
they grow in Mexico.

Sincerely,

Author Unknown in Nueva California.

P.S. You also get Mt. Rushmore, the Shrine to Oligarchy. You can execute flag burners there.

Toad734 said...

RE: Owl

Ya thats awesome, I have seen it before but cannot nail down the source; wish I would have thought of it. I don't know how accurate is seeing how theres no way the blue states control that much produce.

Boiled Owl said...

When I worked for the United Farm Workers movement in the '70's the statistic was that the San Juaquin valley in California supplied 70-90% of the worlds produce. That's why it sucked so hard that the workers were being exploited. The farms are owned by Dow Chemical, Gulf Western, etc., family farms being squeezed out long ago by hostile corporate price fixing. (Cut the price of lettuce, rais the price on toilet paper until the family farms knuckle under, then jack the prices back up again.) I'm not sure what current stats are, but I bet they'll blow you away, Toad.

Toad734 said...

I don't really have any, I just figured with all the peaches and melons in GA, Onions in TX, and Oranges, lemons and limes in Florida that they would account for a good chunk of the produce, clearly CA, Oregan, Washington and Idaho are big players as well.

Boiled Owl said...

I hear ya, Toad. There are days I'd sell my soul for a Georgia peach. But take a look a map sometime and see how big the San Juaquin, Coachella, and Imperial Valleys are combined. They take up the bulk of the interior of the state of California and it's all agriculture. Pretty awesome actually.

Boiled Owl said...

By the way Toad, I shopped your column around out here a little. Told them my friend from Chicago wrote it. Feedback has been great even with the rednecks! Kudos on a fine piece of writing, man.

Anonymous said...

So is Karl Rove in jail yet or what?

City Troll said...

I love when fools speak or express their point of view, it's always such good entertainment.

keep posting toad.

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