Kevin Price challenges GOP conventional wisdom on the middle class and taxes
Kevin Price’s syndicated article appears in thousands of websites including Sky News, USA Today and many others… Here is a recent column that challenges the GOP’s approach to say the middle class is not sharing its load. He clearly shows they are and those people should demand a different approach to taxes.
Conservatives are conveying wrong message on the middle class and taxes
- By Kevin Price, Fiscal Responsibility Examiner
Conservatives have gotten rather animated about the idea that approximately 50 percent of the population does not pay taxes. They point at this as an example of a government that lulls the majority to sleep by keeping their tax burden low (or even “no”), while pounding the wealthy minority in order to keep themselves in power. Conservatives are half right, the intention of the “soak the rich” philosophy is to make the rest of America believe it is not paying taxes, and is thus distracted from the government’s irresponsible fiscal activities.
Those who are offended by the fact that the federal government does not directly tax such a huge population, should be angry, but for very different reasons. What is offensive is not that these people are not paying taxes — because they are. What is really offensive is that they are paying taxes through a huge shell game that has them being economically exploited without even realizing it. They are being taxed through the prices that businesses charge them. It is a game in which cowardly politicians use businesses that don’t vote, to tax the individuals who do through the selling goods. Worried about the possibility of a Value Added Tax? Don’t be, we already have it in the form of corporate income taxes. Meanwhile, politicians disparage “big business” for its exploits and profits. The one who really takes advantage of the “little guy” is the government who uses businesses as a tax collecting vehicle.
The common retort to this argument is “that is ridiculous, businesses pay taxes just like everyone else.” The people who are most likely to say this are those in business. In reality, taxes are little more than a fixed cost of operating a company. When the taxes go up, businesses transfer the cost to consumers in the form of higher prices or in the reduction of the quality of the products they make. If the taxes go up to levels that a business finds prohibitive, they move their companies to other countries in order to be more competitive. Businesses do not pay taxes, people do. Businesses are only tax collectors.
So what about the huge deficits and the need for additional revenue? It would come from everyone directly, preferably through a sales tax, rather than one on wealth creation. A sales tax would increase fiscal responsibility because it would have to remain low in order to prevent a black market. It would get revenue from everyone — ranging from the undocumented to the drug dealer, as well as honest working Americans — who all have to buy things in order to live. Most importantly, those who vote would see the cost of government in every purchase they make and that would lead to a government that is much more accountable and a tax system that is far more honest.
Republicans and conservatives in general are preaching the wrong message about the middle class and taxes. Instead of arguing that the middle class and lower income groups do not pay taxes, they should argue that they do pay and it is through a very dishonest system. These groups will be far more interested in supporting a movement that is opposed to their exploitation, than one that merely discredits them.