tower of rules

Tax practitioners are so serious and dry. Why are their blogs scary?

Not a single news organization reported this data, this basic information, when it was released October 15.

The story the numbers tell is one of a strengthening economic base with income growing fastest at the bottom until, in 1981, we made an abrupt change in tax and economic policy.

The Founders were concerned first and foremost with preventing tyranny, oppression and policies that retard the human spirit. Economies have rules and those rules have a huge influence on the distribution of benefits. Specific rules raise or lower incomes, for example.

There are hundreds of thousands of pages of these rules.

These rules distort economic outcomes. Hardly anyone but the people who get rich off them through what economists call ‘rent seeking’ has ever read them, much less explain how they distort the economy.

When those rules allow huge interest-free loans to some, or limit how much the vast majority can save on a tax-favored basis but lets those at the top save unlimited amounts, when some workers can defer paying their taxes for years or decades and then at rates lower than that of the median income worker the outcomes are heavily influenced by those rules.

The current federal income and payroll tax burden on a single worker who made the median wage of $26,000 in 2007 was 21.6%, but by the same measure for the 400 highest income taxpayers, who made almost a million dollars a day, this tax burden was just 16.6%.

Only the wealthy pay low taxes.

Why do you think corporations spend all that money in Washington? They did not always run huge lobbying shops. They do it to win favors that shape, influence and in some cases rig markets, and that in turn alters how the benefits of the economy and the burdens of government are distributed.

We are a terrible thing to waste:

1) The data show that the tectonic shifts have taken place since the Reagan administration began, with its ‘new theory’ about wealth creation, jobs and taxes.

2) The data show that these policies have not worked out well for the vast majority, but they have helped a relative few really prosper.

Oops. Bloomberg cites the data October 25; thanks Zo. Tax returns were made secret in the 1920s, yet last year’s pay at the very top is up more than 500%.

There’s something to gain understanding where our money goes went.

Who dares believe Republicans are defending this nation? It’s plundering and pillaging and marauding since the neoconservative launch; since Reagan’s Budget Director David Stockman, never an economist nor taxation analyst, but a one-time Representative of a 95% white rural Michigan district plucked as Sarah Palin is plucked, a political operative and willing trumpet.

Renting Congress.
Now that’s rent seeking!