Saturday, December 4, 2010

Raising taxes on the car in the ditch and the gas that's in it

Democrats just can't help themselves.  Delaware Senator Tom Carper proposed a 25% tax on gasoline just one week before the House Democrats passed a bill to stop the Obama tax increases for Americans making less than $250,000.  At the same time, the Senate passed a bill that allows the federal government control over the entire agricultural sector (including your own home gardens).  There is another push to extend unemployment benefits as well.  Let's look at each of these proposals on their merits.

  1. 25 cents per gallon tax on gasoline - This would certainly put more money into the federal coffers which is desperately needed until the government begins to cut spending but Carper wants to put this money into a fund specifically for road construction (to join the National Highway Trust Fund which is bankrupt because Congress has borrowed from it).  The tax would hit consumers at the pump, making gasoline that averages around $2.95 per gallon today, rise to $3.20 per gallon for regular gas.  It would also hit consumers across the board because businesses who transport goods will need to pay the same .25 cent fuel tax on each gallon their trucks consume.  Do you think that they will eat that cost or increase the cost of their products to cover the fuel cost?  That's right, they will pass it on to us.  Every product on every shelf and in every store will see an increase to help cover the costs associated with this tax and that will amount to BILLIONS of dollars in price increases for American citizens at a time when the dollar is already buying less and less.
  2. Obama tax increases on those making more than $250,000 - The Democrats have sold this as class warfare rhetoric by claiming that these increases only affect the top 2% of Americans.  They get away with that because the tax increases would directly hit only the top 2% of wage earners however, it would trickle down to everyone else.  You see, the top 2% of wage earners are also the people who create the jobs in America.  They are small business owners, medium sized business CEO's and hiring managers at Fortune 500 companies.  Ask yourself this, ever gotten a job from a poor man?  The answer is most likely no and this is the reason why it's not smart to raise taxes on ANYONE right now.  When we need jobs as badly as we do now and when many with jobs are looking to salary increases to stave off the effects of inflation, it's even less understandable that the Democrats would fight so hard to stick it to the people who create the jobs.
  3. Food Safety Act of 2010 - Progressives always come up with innocent sounding names for their bills in order to conceal the goal of the legislation.  This is one of the times where the name of the bill obscures the true intent.  Allegedly brought on by the recent egg scare, this bill builds on something that started in the 1930's with the Agricultural Adjustment Act.  The AAA allowed the government to control planting habits in many of America's staple crops by subsidizing farmers who let their fields lie dormant in order to artificially adjust pricing for certain crops (think corn, grain and cotton) and influence which types of crops are grown in each region.  Later the progressives would introduce genetically engineered seeds that produced higher yields and larger products than the original "heirloom" seeds but the problem with the genetically engineered seeds is that they are only good for a single season because they are sterile.  Heirloom seeds, the original seeds work in the traditional fashion where pollination can occur and seeds can be planted once and grown for many seasons thereafter.  Sterilizing the seeds serves a single purpose, it keeps farmers coming back every year for more seeds.  Now Congress has introduced a bill that allows them to control livestock, tomatoes, cucumbers, you name it, they can now determine where you can grow it, how you can grow it, when you can grow it and what you can do with it afterwards.  There is even a provision (put on hold by a last minute amendment) that controls home gardens.  It does almost nothing to increase safety unless you trust the government with every aspect of your life.
  4. Unemployment benefit extension - Unemployment benefits are both a great safety net and a terrible tool of control.  They allow immediate relief for people who are laid off abruptly through no fault of their own and provide the necessary minimum (sometimes less than the minimum) required to sustain them until they are able to find work again.  The problem is that Congress has raised unemployment benefits so much and extended them for so long that there is a segment of the population that has become accustomed to living on these benefits and who no longer feel the need to seek gainful employment.  As one talk show host said, "If the government will pay you $300 per week to stay in a home paid for by someone else and do nothing, why go out and find work?"  Yet, unemployment benefits are crucial at this time with so many people out of work and so there must be a discussion about extending them at least until the job market improves so the conservatives have suggested that the Democrats use unspent TARP or stimulus funds to pay for their new spending on unemployment benefit extensions.  The Democrats have refused to do that and instead want to add more than $12 Billion to the federal deficit (which is now over $14 Trillion) in the most fiscally irresponsible move imaginable.  In fact, Democrats have said that increasing spending in one are and decreasing it in another doesn't make sense.  Conservatives say that the 2010 elections show that Americans want a more responsible management of funds and that using unspent TARP or Stimulus funds is the most responsible way to pay for these extensions.  They call it balancing the federal budget.
The current culture of spend, spend and spend some more has not changed with the wake up call sent to Washington on November 2nd.  We can only hope that the new Congress in January makes the changes we all want, needs and desire.

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