Bribes and Taxes
A commenter on my earlier post where I said this was my second bribe solicitation ever asked what my "first" bribe solicitation was.
It was like this. An electrician working on our room addition told me it would cost me $125 for him to do the work. "Or," he went on, using a calculator, "You can pay me in cash, and only pay $100, 'cause then I won't have to pay any taxes."
I had to know, so I asked. "You're a Democrat, right?"
"Sure!" he said. "Union all the way."
Well, of course you are, buddy. Liberals believe that taxes, and for that matter all rules, are for other people. The system is only there to control bad people, or dirty immoral rich people. We can ignore bad things done by good people, like our boyfriend.
Anyway, I told him: "My wife is an attorney, an auditor for the IRS. You have to realize that if you really want to make me that offer, you are going to get investigated. So let's just pretend you didn't say it."
His eyes bugged out, and he just sat down and pretended to work. I could hear him cursing under his breath.
After about an hour, he shouted up the stairs. "Finished!"
I realized my wife had the checkbook. I would have to pay him....IN CASH!
So, I counted out $125 in twenties and a five. Started to hand it to him.
He laughed, a little too aggressively for my taste.
I pulled back the cash, and said, "I'll need your social security number before I can give you this."
Eyes bug out. But he stopped laughing.
Me: "I'm just messing with you, man. Now go out there and vote for higher taxes."
He was muttering again as he went to his brand new extended cab Ford truck with the dualies in back.
It really does surprise me how many people who consider themselves liberals, and who are quite wealthy (this electrician was making $75/hour) also can justify a special exemption for themselves from those very rules. The rules COULDN'T have been intended to apply to them. They WORK for their money.
My wife and I together paid more than $80,000 in taxes last year, federal and state, and another $10,000 local. Can we afford it? We can't afford NOT to. Men with guns will come to our house and take our property. If we resist in any way, they will beat us, and quite possibly kill us. So we pay.
Do "we" pay enough? Consider the context for the Bush tax cuts.* These IRS data, from 2000, show that the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 35 percent of Federal personal income taxes, while the top 10 percent pay about 65 percent of these taxes. The top quarter of taxpayers account for about 83 percent of these tax payments. The top half pay 96 percent of Federal personal income taxes, while the bottom half of tax filers account for about 4 percent of the total.
Percentiles Ranked By AGI (2000)
Adjusted Gross Income Threshold on Percentiles
Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid
Top 1 %
Top 5 %
Top 10 %
Top 25 %
Top 50 %
Bottom 50 %
The criticism of tax cuts seems to be this: People get upset when someone who is paying most of the taxes says "I shouldn't have to pay so much in taxes, because I'm paying more than my share!" Hard to say what the share is, maybe progressivity is okay. But should the top half of the income distribution really pay 95% of the taxes? And, if so, how can you criticize a tax cut that benefits "only" the rich? Of course it only benefits the rich, because only the rich pay taxes.
The truth is that liberals think, "I shouldn't have to pay so much in taxes, because I'm morally superior!" When they cheat on taxes, or ignore rules that should only apply to the little people, it's okay. Because they LOVE the little people. Even if they don't really know many of them personally.
*It is a fair question to ask about the Bush DEFICITS. Cutting taxes and then starting a war and encouraging an absolute orgy of pork barrel spending is hardly conservative. But I'm just talking about the taxes, already.