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Monday, September 20, 2010

Smoke Gets in my Eyes

So, there I was, last Saturday night, sitting on the porch swing, blowing blue smoke rings, scrubbing Fuzz’s belly, and though I looked the epitome of contentment, my mind was simply abuzz with thoughts about how we taxpayers are constantly exposed to the smoke from politicians’ tightly rolled, horseshit (HS) cigars.

Take all that smoke currently billowing about the Bush tax cuts, passed, initially, to be temporary and supposed,at the time, to increase revenues while giving folks more dough to spend on whatever. Well, none of the proposed or supposed happened- revenues decreased, 250 billion dollar surplus became trillion point four deficit, and good old boys and girls, like you and me, lost six percent in actual earning power over the time these cuts were in place. When it comes to taxes, republicans and dim-witted democrats are quick to anoint Ronnie Regan as an economic savant; the top tax rate during his tenure was 50 percent and after cuts in 1981, three years later, his administration reduced tax cuts (that’s increased taxes) especially on business.-Just more smoke. Or republicans will label the Clinton times as foolish tax-and-spend times aimed at screwing middle class Americans. BUT by the time Dumya showed up, we, that would be you and I, had a government with 280 billion dollars in the bank and a projected 10 year surplus of 5.6 TRILLION dollars. So, if Bush II had not cut taxes nor bought his midterm elections by issuing stimulus checks, we would still have a balanced budget plus at least 5 trillion in the federal booty. Thus, when republicans begin to chant BS about tax-and-spend liberals ruining the country, simply remember that they are blowing smoke from a horse dung cigar. Yep, and you can quote me.

Another huge cloud of good old political smoke is blown our way in discussions about how returning to Clinton era taxes will ruin small businesses. As soon as a republican politician says something about ruining small business you would do well to break out your smoke detector. In the first place, republicans never quit blowing smoke; they want us in a fog about all sorts of stuff. In the second place, there has never breathed a republican who is concerned about a small anything; republicans give not one goodly fuck about small business as you and I think about it. Unless you are from another planet, you probably think “Mom-and-Pop” when you think small business- I think of my buddy with the plumbing business with no more than 5 employees, about George the Mason’s business with maybe 10 full timers depending on the ebb and flow of government and private spending on construction; I would, in my dim brain, what with government’s propensity to BIGNESS allow 250 employees as being still “small.” But damn- go check- in 2006 (that’s the most current I can find) of the 13.6 million small “firms and establishments” in the US, 60 percent) were in size from 1 to 248. The other 40 percent of what politicians call small businesses have more than 249 employees. The catch is that the 40 percent of businesses with more than 249 employees account for more than 60 percent of the revenue earned by small businesses. So, politicians have lit up a HS cigar, called firms that have more than 250, “small,” blown more smoke of confusion by designating a difference between firms and establishments (but hide the definitions in the bowels of federal regulations) and use all that confusion to scare real small business owners into thinking they are going to be taxed out of existence, or worse yet, that by increasing taxes now we will encourage small businesses not to hire people. But, and I won’t go into it in detail today, LLCs and Chapter S corporations already allow owners of “small businesses” to move business profits into their private pay checks so that individual-tax-rates instead of corporate-tax-rates can be paid on profits. Oh yeah, what kind of revenue do you think the average American would account as average for a “small business?’ Before you guess consider the following from Fortune 500’s fastest growing small businesses as cited on CNN: LCA-Vision (500 employees)-192 millions; La Barge (1100 employees) 177.7 millions; TALX (1900) 193.3; BJ’s Restaurants (5424!) 178.2. Go figure- small business are pretty damn big.

I am quite sure that we could benefit from more current data and some honest clarification about what impact tax increases would have on folks who own and who are employed by small businesses plus benefit, too, from recognizing that small businesses, on a national scope, ain't really so small; I am equally sure that instead of clarification we will get the blue smoke from dopey-assed politicians’ cigars. Those boys and girls at play with our money and sanity do not want the smoke to ever clear; if the smoke moved on out, some might figure where politicians were really standing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Focused and informative...

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