Democrat's Get-The-Rich-Quick Scheme

FUSION JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010


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Top Hat Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Oliver Childs

By Tyler Grimm


 

The $787 billion “stimulus” program may have created little to no jobs in the U.S., but Democrats have found a surefire way to provide a boon to the Swiss and Grand Cayman banking industry: A millionaire’s tax.

With the federal budget deficit this year exceeding a record $1.4 trillion, fleecing the rich is now being touted as the way to bankroll Obamanomics. The latest health care bill to be passed by the House of Representatives, for instance, contains a punitive surtax for individuals making more than $500,000 or couples making more than $1million a year.

The “wealthy” have long been an easy political target so, this is really no surprise. Besides, it’s not a bad deal, right? I mean, the rich have plenty of money, so why not make them cough up a little more?

The reality is that these schemes never produce their intended results. Instead of filling government coffers to benefit the public good, these punitive taxes always end up bringing in less revenue than expected. Why? Because the rich stash their money off-shore, move to more tax-friendly locales or simply decide to work and invest less because of the tax consequences.

Kail Padgitt, an economist at the non-partisan Tax Foundation says, “Millionaires’ taxes are not reliable revenue sources. These might provide revenue in the short run, but the long-run costs make it a terrible bargain.”

This is not just a federal phenomenon. This year, Hawaii became the fifth state to implement a so called “millionaires’ tax” (the other four: California, Maryland, New Jersey and New York). In each of these states, unintended consequences abound.

Last year, cash strapped Maryland implemented a millionaires’ tax with depressing results: Revenue from that tax bracket was down $100 million and one-third of the people in that bracket were no longer there.

New Jersey produced similar results. Because of the implementation of a half-millionaire tax in 2004, the number of families making over $500,000 grew by 16 percent less than the national average between 2003 and 2006.

In California and New York, it’s hard to tease out the effects of high-income taxes from other bad fiscal policy. Over the last decade, the two states have seen, on net, 1.4 million and 1.9 million people (respectively) move out.

In California, the state’s highly progressive tax structure drove both rich and poor away. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, in the top quintile, 1.16 per every 100 households left between 2004 and 2007. In the bottom quintile it was 1.73—surely due to many employers (likely in the top quintile) departing. And where did they go? Three of the top destination states were Nevada, Texas and Washington, none of which have an income tax.

In the case of New York, it is losing many of its wealthy investment bankers to tax-friendly Connecticut, just across the border. In the words of public policy expert George Gilder, “High tax rates do not redistribute income, they redistribute people.”

Even the Beatles—certainly no Reaganite conservatives—were tax refugees. Their song “Tax Man” was about England’s terrible tax burden. They were paying 95 percent of their income to the crown (“There’s one for you, nineteen for me”). So what did they do? They moved to the then low-tax United States, of course.

Now let’s suppose you don’t believe that these taxes will have adverse consequences and are a good idea on the grounds of economic justice. After all, during his campaign, Barack Obama said that he would look at raising taxes “for purposes of fairness.”

Well, chances are that you don’t make over $1 million a year—no hard feelings, only .3 percent of Americans do. However, “millionaires’ tax” has become a catch-all term, usually referring to any tax on income over $250,000. Over the summer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained why her colleagues’ newly proposed tax would fly politically: “You hear ‘$500,000 a year,’ you think, ‘My God, that’s not me.’”

Pelosi and company see such measures as reasonable because they appeal to people’s sense of fairness or, possibly, envy: The rich earn so much more income so they should pay more in taxes. The problem with that logic is that they already do. The Internal Revenue Service’s most recent data shows that the top 1 percent paid 40 percent of all income taxes in 2007, more than the entire bottom 95 percent.

Last April, in conjunction with tax day, a Gallup poll asked, “Do you consider the amount of federal income tax you have to pay as too high, about right, or too low?” Forty-six percent of respondents answered, “about right”—the highest since 1956. This might be surprising until you learn that the poorest 40 percent of Americans now pay a negative income tax rate.

The people who make up these elusive top tax brackets are not all Paris Hiltons and Derek Jeters. It’s estimated that roughly half of America’s small-business income would be hit by Obama’s plan to raise the top two tax rates. This couldn’t come at a worse time. As Dr. Padgitt explains, “As the economy begins to recover, we need a tax system that attracts investment. Millionaires’ taxes provide the exact opposite.” 

The conditions in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule — for Americans, allies, Christians, women and more — continue to deteriorate, and the people there continue to plead that we will not forget them. On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck gave an emotional update on current evacuation efforts, including the tragic story of one girl — an American passport holder — who was not rescued in time.

"I have a pit in my stomach like I haven't had in a while. What is happening in Afghanistan is both miraculous and horrendous," Glenn began. "What's going on right now one of the most amazing things I've ever personally witnessed — the evacuation of Americans, those [Afghans] who helped us, Christians that are dying, women that are under incredible conditions. I see things that I can't show you. I see the pleadings from people who are in safe houses, 'Please, don't forget us.' I see what they're being sent by the Taliban.

"If I die today, my entire life will have been worth it for what you have helped get done, in just the last three weeks. You have saved well over 5,000 people," he continued.

Fighting back tears, Glenn added, "I ask that you pray for those in the Middle East, that are in the midst of doing work, that a Moses-style miracle will happen. ... There are several people that are in dire need of medical care. Friday, we told you — along with the congressman from Oklahoma [Rep. Markwayne Mullin] who had just returned — [about] a father and two daughters that were blue passport Americans, and a mother who had a permanent residence, a Green Card. The daughter was very ill. And they thought, that if we couldn't get her out of there, that she would lose her legs. I got a call on Saturday morning, that we were too late, that she didn't lose her legs. She lost her life, waiting. There are now two Americans, instead of three."

Glenn showered his audience with gratitude, repeating that "well over 5000" lives have already been saved because of their incredible generosity, but lamented that there are still thousands more people yet to be saved.

Watch the video clip below to hear more updates from Glenn:

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To donate to these rescue efforts, visit NazareneFund.org or MercuryOne.org.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Megyn Kelly pulled her sons out of the private elementary school they attended after she learned that the boys were asked "weekly" if they were still sure they were boys. But that's not all that this "experimental transgender education program" taught.

Megyn joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to tell the story, which she thought had ended when the school apologized, and to talk about what's next for America as our leaders refuse to promote actual psychological support for our kids and instead "parade" transgenderism as the solution to their problems.

"When [my son] was in third grade, I found out they unleashed a three-week experimental transgender education program on these boys, with really inappropriate videos. The kids were confused. These are 8- and 9-year-olds, Glenn. They have no idea what the school is even talking about with the trans thing. They got really in-depth, with really in-your-face videos — and then parents complained. And the school did something it hasn't done in its 400-year history, which was they apologized. Even they realized they had done wrong," Megyn explained.

"But, then I said to my son a year later, so did they ever round back to the trans thing? Like, whatever happened with it? And he said ... they bring it up every week. ... [They ask] how many people here still feel confident that they're a boy? Do you still feel sure you're a boy?" she continued. "This is not support. This is not nonbullying. This is indoctrination. And it's deeply confusing to the children, and wrong."

Megyn went on to give examples of how she's seen trans ideology turn "support, nonbullying, kindness, friendship, allyship, on its head."

"The absolute surrender of the medical community to this insanity is a scourge on this nation. It's disgusting what is happening with our doctors," she added. "There are people who are legitimately transgender, or who have gender dysphoria. And for those people, we should be supportive and they should get the care that they need. But what we've done instead, is taken everyone who expresses any kind of gender confusion and said, you're trans. You're trans. And we have our psychiatrists doing this."

"It's crazy," Megyn asserted. "The fact that we're doing this so willy-nilly in the name of allyship and support, it's abusive. It's criminal."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

"Never forget" is not only a tribute to those we've lost, it's a warning that it could happen AGAIN. On "Glenn TV" Wednesday, Glenn Beck looks back 20 years ago to the modern generation's Pearl Harbor moment. A day of infamy we're STILL feeling repercussions from.

But in remembering 9/11, we need to look toward the future because the Biden administration is setting us up for the NEXT 9/11. They bungled the Afghanistan withdrawal, and now we have video of top al Qaeda commanders — who served with Osama bin Laden — returning to the country. But could America survive another terror attack?

Glenn asks former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the leader who brought America back from the brink. He tells Glenn about the moment he learned the Twin Towers were struck, the actions he took to prevent more terrorism, and if he thinks NYC could survive another attack under Mayor de Blasio's leadership.

Glenn is also joined by Rev. Johnnie Moore, author of "The Next Jihad." He warns that Biden's policies in the Middle East are Obama 2.0, and "if you thought ISIS was bad, you haven't seen anything yet. We must keep our eyes on Iran."

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.