This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
According to FoxNews.com; September 18, 2011(full article available on-line)
A top House Republican accused President Obama of appealing to Americans' "fear, envy and anxiety" by pushing a new tax rate on people making more than $1 million annually, saying the "class warfare path" will only hurt the economy.
"Class warfare ... may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, told "Fox News Sunday."
But Ryan said the millionaire tax provision will undermine economic growth.
"If you tax something more, you get less of it," Ryan said. "If you tax job creators more, you get less job creation. If you tax their investment more, you get less investment."
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," also expressed concern that the increase would stifle the economy.
The idea behind the Obama proposal is to make sure those making more than $1 million a year pay at least the same rate as middle-income taxpayers -- Obama will call it the "Buffett Rule," after billionaire Warren Buffett who complained that the wealthy are sometimes effectively taxed at a lower rate than others. That's because investment income is taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income.
The measure would be in addition to $447 billion in new tax revenue the president is proposing in order to pay for a new set of jobs proposals.
Ryan said the tax proposals, coupled with the looming expiration of the Bush tax cuts absent congressional intervention, are only fueling the uncertainty that's hampering economic growth.
Plus he said taxing investment income more amounts to a "double tax," since the money would have been taxed as income before being hit by the investment tax.
"I'm afraid these kinds of tax increases don't work," Ryan said.
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According to the Associated Press, April 7, 2010 (full article available on-line)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions, but for nearly half of U.S. households it's simply somebody else's problem.
About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That's according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.
The result is a tax system that exempts almost half the country from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It is a system in which the top 10 percent of earners -- households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 -- paid about 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government.
The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment.
President Obama vs. The Wealthy Successful American minority
Federalist 84, footnote 3. By Alexander Hamilton:
To show that there is a power in the Constitution by which the liberty of the press may be affected, recourse has been had to the power of taxation. It is said that duties (taxes) may be laid upon the publications so high as to amount to a prohibition.
US Constitution Amendment 16
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
We the People:
It is one thing for a politician to attack his political rivals, but we should look with suspicion on any leader that pits one group of Americans against another. Congress has the authority to tax based on income according to the 16th amendment; and indeed they have done so unfairly (reference AP article above). The wealthy are paying too much. In the quote by Alexander Hamilton, he was obviously referring the press, but his point applies to any private venture. Do we dare tax business success “so high as to amount to a prohibition”?
To quote William J. H. Boetcker, 1916 (this is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln)
“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. “