Taxation

Pay As You Go?

Pay As You Go? By Karl Peterjohn, Kansas Taxpayers Network On the rare occasions the mainstream national news media bothers to cover federal spending and taxes you are sure to hear the phrase, “pay as you go,” as the primary talking point of the new congressional Democratic majority. This phrase is supposed to reassure us now that the profligate “Bridge to Nowhere,” free spending Republicans have been relegated into the minority. New York City Congressman Charlie Rangel, who now heads the powerful tax writing house ways and means committee, wants to dismantle the most successful legacy of George W. Bush’s…
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Painlessly paying our taxes, almost

As the annual tax deadline is upon us, we should take a moment to examine our level of awareness of the taxes we pay. Many families don't pay any federal income tax. According to a study by the Tax Foundation (link: http://www.taxfoundation.org/ff/zerotaxfilers.html) 58 million households, representing some 122 million people, or 44 percent of the U.S. population, pay no federal income tax. I made a few calculations, and Kiplinger's TaxCut software for 2004 shows that a family with two children and $40,000 income (that's approximately the median household income in Wichita), taking the standard deductions, pays $0 federal income tax.…
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The advantage of being Warren Buffet

The recent news that Warren Buffet is giving away the bulk of his fortune to charity is good news to me, as I greatly prefer private charity to government spending of taxes. That's true for me even if Mr. Buffet were to use his philanthropy to support causes that I might not agree with. But there is an irony here. Mr. Buffet is a vocal supporter of the inheritance tax (or estate tax or death tax). By giving away much of his wealth, he escapes paying the tax he wants others to pay. Mr. Buffet is wealthy enough that he…
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Paying for tax cuts

Commentary surrounding two recent tax cuts reveals the backwards thinking about taxes that is common. A New York Times editorial from May 11, 2006 asks this question: "Whose taxes will be raised in the future to pay for today's tax giveaways?" A question like this reveals several prevalent lines of thinking: First, that the government has a legitimate claim on a large part of our incomes, and that if the government "gives" any of that claim back to us, it somehow has to be paid for. Second, it's the people who "give" tax money to the government, not the government…
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Increase our awareness of taxes

Writing from Miami, Florida As the annual tax deadline is upon us, we should take a moment to examine our level of awareness of the taxes we pay. Many families don't pay any federal income tax. According to a study by the Tax Foundation (link: http://www.taxfoundation.org/ff/zerotaxfilers.html) 58 million households, representing some 122 million people, of 44 percent of the U.S. population, pay no federal income tax. I made a few calculations, and Kiplinger's TaxCut software for 2004 shows that a family with two children and $40,000 income (that's approximately the median household income in Wichita), taking the standard deductions, pays…
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Separation of Sport and State

I recently discovered that all over the country there are taxes being directed to Sports teams and Arenas. So, I created a site www.separationofsportandstate.com Please visit, and contribute by emailing the administrator.
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Tax increment financing in Iowa

Writing from Cedar Rapids, Iowa Readers of The Voice For Liberty in Wichita are well aware that I believe that when the government provides subsidies to businesses -- either in the form of cash payments or preferential tax treatment -- we create a corrosive business environment. Government picks winners and losers for political reasons, rather than letting the market decide which companies are doing a good job. Government also spends money inefficiently. Instead of letting the market decide where to best allocate capital, government chooses who receives capital taken from the people through taxation according to the whims of politicians…
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Tax reform and simplification

Writing from Orlando, Florida Two recent Wall Street Journal articles ("A Golden Opportunity" in the November 1, 2005 issue, and "Triple Jeopardy" in the November 2, 2005 issue) make the case for simplification and reform of our current income tax system. In these articles we learn these things: "... true reform -- changing to a broad-based income or consumption levy that taxes income only once -- could yield once-and-for-all annual household income gains of 9%." Our tax system has a bias against saving and investment. That slows capital formation and wage growth. "It is the marginal tax rate -- the…
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TABOR Criticism Analysis

From the introduction to an analysis by the Tax Foundation: The state of Colorado is under assault. Opponents of Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) are waging a well coordinated but misleading attack on Colorado's reputation. This attack takes the form of a number of rankings and statistics that purport to show that the Taxpayer Bill of Rights has decimated Colorado. These rankings and statistics are based on the assumption that if Colorado ranks poorly on things like the adequacy of prenatal care and education spending, then Colorado is failing to adequately care for and educate its citizens, and that…
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Affording Tax Cuts, or Whose Money Is It, Anyway?

The logic of paygo for taxes is backward, in that it starts from the assumption that all tax revenue is Washington's in the first place and thus any tax cuts must be "offset" so Congress can be made whole. But of course the money belongs to the taxpayers who earned it, and the burden ought to be on the politicians to spend less so Americans can keep more. Republicans claim to believe this. ("Budget Irresolution," The Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2005) "Paygo" refers to the "pay-as-you-go" budget rules, which require that any tax cuts be offset by other tax…
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