Congress continues its class warfare with taxes

I have to say last week’s congressional session was inspirational. Personally, it inspired me to want a constitutional amendment limiting Congress to only meeting every other year in July, seated on metal folding chairs arranged around the Washington Monument. It would at least minimize the damage.

Actually, the micro-filibuster put on by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was inspirational, since his rhetoric gave rise to a number of ideas along the same lines he was preaching. Now, we have to remember that Bernie is a socialist or, as he likes to point out, a democratic socialist, which puts him squarely in the mainstream of Washington Democrats.

Sadly, Sen. Sanders is forced to hold office as an independent, not as a socialist from his native Vermont, undoubtedly due to the machinations of Rush Limbaugh or Fox News. But boy, do we know one thing, Bernie is really mad at rich people.

Some agitation is understandable when you’re representing a state whose most notable product is obtained by viciously hacking trees until they surrender their precious bodily fluids to be poured on waffles by New York potentates. Look what it did to poor Howard Dean. It’s bad enough we indenture bees for our sweetening needs, but this brutality has to stop.

The senator’s main beef seems to be that he thinks continuing the Bush tax rates, especially for folks who earn much money, is just, well, unfair. Oh, and greedy.

I agree there are problems, especially when I read the findings of the Tax Foundation last year, which determined the top 1 percent of taxpayers now pay 40.4 percent of total federal income taxes and by 2007 had exceeded the combined share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t Sanders’ point. He wants an even more progressive income tax, which seems to raise the question of how few people should pay to buy votes for progressives?

The progress of this income redistribution and narrowing of the tax burden has been pretty fast. In 1987 that top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the federal income tax.

That’s a lot of “progress.”

If you think it’s all right to take a higher percentage of income from rich people just because they have more of it, then we should apply that philosophy more universally.

Let’s consider the criminal law for example. Here in Colorado, stealing something worth more than $20,000 is a Class III felony that carries a sentence of up to 12 years in prison. That’s pretty harsh if you stole that money from a billionaire who would probably not even miss it. So perhaps we should have a sliding scale for punishment based on the respective wealth of the victim. Steal $20,000 from a billionaire, and it’s probably a petty offense. Take the same amount from a community organizer, and you get 20 years.

What about baseball, where some teams have a lot more money than others to hire talent? Maybe when the Tampa Bay Rays play the Yankees next July, they should start with two runs already on the scoreboard.

I wish we could write off attitudes about taxes and government such as Sanders’ as simply clumsy and historically ignorant attempts to redistribute income, but they’re not. They are clever and calculated attempts to stir up envy and animosity to maintain political power and seize capital to further fund their political ends.

The consistent and historically epic failure of dependency socialism can only be masked by the continuous acquisition of the means of production and its fruits by the state (that should get some Marxist’s attention).

This brings us to that cognomen-challenged member of Congress, Rep. Anthony Wiener of New York, and his obsession with plundering the estates of the departed. Not content to tax money as it is received; he believes the national government is entitled to a lion’s share of that money when it is passed on.

When questioned about this double taxation, Wiener’s response last week to Fox’s Megyn Kelly was: “You aren’t paying anything in that case because you’ll be dead.”

One thing the 111th Congress has taught us is why the saying is not “death or taxes” but “death and taxes.” Lord, will it never be January?

Rick Wagner offers more thoughts on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong.


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