Monday, November 12, 2012

Tax 'Em 'Till They Bleed Blue

If there was one coherent theme to President Obama's campaign this fall, it has been that it is time for the "rich", alternatively defined as "millionaires and billionaires" or people who make more than $250,000 yearly, (not necessarily the same) should be taxed more to help cover the blossoming costs of government.  Obama won the election, fair and square, at least as far as we know (don't inquire too hard into the voting in Philadelphia, though), so it would seem that he has won a mandate to pursue tax increases.  Now its up to the legislative branch to decide how to implement some of these increases.

John Hayward of Human Events has some suggestions for tax increases that will allow the millionaires and billionaires (and the people who make more than $250k per year) in the Blue States to contribute their "fair share" and maybe a little more to deficit reduction:
Start by taxing the ever-loving crap out of Hollywood. I’ve suggested this before, and the esteemed Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, was on the same wavelength last August when he suggested bringing back the 20 percent excise tax on motion picture gross revenue from the 1950s.

“The movie excise tax was imposed in response to the high deficits after World War Two,” Reynolds recalled. ”Deficits are high again, and there’s already historical precedent. Of course, to keep up with technology, the tax should now apply to DVDs, downloadable movies, pay-per-view and the like. But in these financially perilous times, why should movie stars and studio moguls, with their yachts, swimming pools and private jets, not at least shoulder the burden they carried back in Harry Truman’s day – when, to be honest, movies were better anyway.”

As Reynolds noted, one side effect of such proposals is that it causes far-Left Hollywood types to suddenly begin babbling about the depressing effects of high tax rates upon economic growth, as though they had been suddenly possessed by the ghost of Milton Friedman. That’s fun even if the tax proposals end up getting defeated. Especially now that we have YouTube to disseminate and immortalize their panicked bursts of “trickle-down economic” wisdom.
I love this idea; we rarely watch movies, and have a minimal (though shockingly expensive) cable package.
Capping the mortgage interest deduction at $250,000, for example, would hurt those rich blue enclaves with high property values – 8 of the 10 richest counties in America voted for Barack Obama in 2012.
I guess not having a mortgage make us like this solution all the better.  I'll bet Schuck Schumer won't be happy to go along with this one, though.
Taxing trust funds and hoards of foundation money would hurt the Left, as outside of Hollywood, rich liberals are more likely to be sitting on piles of inherited assets, while conservative millionaires tend to be actively generating and re-investing income.
Why should rich liberals be entitled to promulgate their ideas with money shielded from taxes.  They should welcome the thought of contributing.  I have a specific proposal here.  Tax the principal of the fund at 10% of the stash, minus the amount they actually spend on programs.  In the long run, that would cause them to wither away (it would be tough to run long term using 10% of the capital annually).  Will it hit some conservative think tanks?  Probably.  If people value them, they can contribute.
Ending the federal tax deductions for state and local taxes – an idea prominently advocated by Newt Gingrich during the Republican primary – would end the practice of federal taxpayers subsidizing the government greed of those big-spending blue states. It’s actually a form of inter-state redistribution as it stands, so let’s do away with it.
Living in one of the bluest of the blue states, I would undoubtedly take a hit with this one.  Oh well, if it gets bad enough, I can move out of state, or stop earning income.

I have one other idea to contribute.  Tax the snot out of smart phones and their data plans.  All the young Obamaphiles seem to have them, even when they don't have enough income to pay income taxes.  

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