I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Biggest Lie in America Today

Christie says it. Cuomo says it. Bloomberg says it. Obama says it. Boehner says it. The media says it.

"We just don't have the money."

And it's total bulls***:
Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year sinceHarry Truman's presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.
Some conservative political movements such as the "Tea Party" have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels. 
Federal, state and local income taxes consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010. 
"The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts," says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberalCenter for American Progress 
A Gallup Poll last month found that 48% thought taxes were "too high" and 45% thought they were "about right." Those saying taxes are "too high" remain near a 50-year low.
Gee, there's a shock - I wonder where people got that idea?

Of course, the massive, historic income inequity we've all seemed to accept as perfectly normal helps to contribute to the feeling most American's have that they're getting squeezed. But when all "serious" people tell you our number one problem is that "we" are being taxed too much, that uncomfortable fact of the rich taking more and more of the pie doesn't really get a chance to enter into the conversation, does it?

So, goodbye education, health care, public safety, human services... Nothing we can do about it. We just don't have the money. Have a nice day, and pass the campaign checks over here.


thinker said...

I think part of the problem here is that we have become sooooo materialistic as Americans, which is probably due to our consumer driven economy. We are all about STUFF now, I see it everywhere I look and in every age group; heck, I am just as guilty as anyone in this regard. So in order to buy all this STUFF (and really, is it ever enough?), we need to have as much disposable income as we can-so we keep on complaining that the government is taking too much of our money. Oh, if only we had the money we pay in taxes, we could buy more STUFF! See how that works?

Maybe I'm just viewing the past with rose-colored glasses, but I don't recall there being such a rampant need for money and STUFF when I was growing up...of course, I grew up just at the edge of poverty so what do I know? I just don't recall there being such a strong push for STUFF before, say, 1980.

Duke said...

Thinker, you sound like George Carlin, my favorite social critic of the last 20 years. He had a great routine about STUFF.

He also said we were a nation that was trading its freedoms for cell phones that can make pancakes.