It’s pretty clear that many Americans want more from government and there are politicians willing to do so and encourage citizens to make that demand. But in making these demands politicians and citizens ignore the reality of paying for expanded social programs even while the evidence of what it takes to do so is right in front of us.
The United States has far from the highest taxation among developed countries, especially in Europe. We can only speculate as to the reaction in American if citizens faced the reality of paying for all they want. That would include higher income taxes, much higher payroll taxes, value added taxes and more.
My question is: How far does the responsibility pendulum tilt left to the “government” to support them or right to the individual to support themselves? A question of degree.
Actually it’s individuals paying for everything – or should as government has no money.
When the federal government guarantees a program, think college tuition or VA and FHA loans, it is a blank check to providers. I don’t know if my dental is reasonable but there is no guess work on the costs. All my dentist have known for the last 30 years exactly how much my insurance will pay them and price their services to match. If the federal is willing to pay 80% or 100% for my dental, you know that prices will rise until they stop paying.
The problem with paying more taxes to supposedly improve things for all the people and the lower income folks is the tax paid gets squandered.
There is too much money floating around now that is going to frivolous public projects, more foreign aid, more military boondoggles and so on.
Giving more money to a politician is like giving a 6 year old money and saying “now spend it wisely”.
Not just “the rich”. I earn about the average household income, and I could pay more taxes. I have family that works full time and literally earn half what I do. I don’t know why Biden said he wouldn’t raise taxes on incomes under $400,000. There are families trying to raise kids on $40,000 incomes. Give them access to affordable dental, vision, healthcare, and education. It’s an investment.
Again, the U.S. has among the highest income equality of all OECD countries. (Even after transfers.) Many working families are barely surviving. They are not all lazy, stupid, or greedy. The poverty is endemic, and unsustainable.
“ You can’t blame the guy at the bottom forever. ”
Simply, the focus needs to be on income mobility AND, as Kennedy said, when he cut tax rates, “a rising tide lifts all boats”, not what Obama/Biden assert, a few years ago, President Obama let slip in an ABC interview that he would raise tax rates even if such actions LOWERED the amount of tax revenue the federal government received.
To paraphrase a long ago TV commercial, economic illiterates like Obama, Brandon, Pocahontas, Bernie, and Sandy will “promise you anything, but give you economic malaise.”
No one blames the guy at the bottom, and no one should blame those who were once at the bottom or never at the bottom, either.
Correction, the guys at the bottom. Plural.
“If you would just work harder (or smarter), live within your means, educate yourself, and save for retirement (like i did?), you, too can be middle class.”
That is blaming the guy(s) at the bottom.
Income mobility is swell, and real, for the individual. People can and do, move up (or down) the income/wealth spectrum every day, but the lower cohort itself, sui generis, stays the same, or changes very slowly, and not always for the better. That is what makes poverty endemic.
Not blaming the guys* at the top, or middle, either. They are fruit of the same tree that produced the poverty cohort.
“ Not just “the rich”. I earn about the average household income, and I could pay more taxes.”
So send the additional amount you think you should pay to the treasury. Like so many others (Buffet for instance), many call for additional taxes, but don’t take the obvious step of sending extra $$ to the treasury. Don’t want to feel lonely, or is there some other reason you haven’t done so?
Nice try, though.
The entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare continue to make up a larger portion of federal spending as time goes on. I believe, at some point, the younger voters will start to push back as beneficiaries increase in numbers relative to the number of workers carrying the load.
Americans want the best stuff YOUR money will buy.
Citizens of some nations have accepted higher taxes across the board in return for more generous government provided benefits. We are being told that we too can receive similar benefits, but without having to pay for it if only the “rich” would pay their “fair share”. The strategy is simple. Create the demand for more benefits, provide them, and then gradually redefine “rich”. Taxes will inevitably increase for everyone.
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Taxes will not increase for everyone. The “free market” is distorted. There is no reason why a full time worker, even in a menial job, should live in poverty. To counterbalance market distortion, logically, those with above average incomes should pay higher taxes than those with lowest incomes, like water seeking its own level.
No one is asking for equality, just a little less inequality.
And, no full time worker lives in poverty – at least not “poverty” as defined by the federal government. The feds define it based on income. The federal poverty level for the lower 48 in 2021 is an income of $13,128 for a single individual.
A full time worker gets paid 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year = 2040 hours @ federal minimum wage of $7.25 = $14,790. Or, if you prefer, 35 hours a week = 1,820 * $7.25 = $13,195. The add the benefits.
For comparison, 30 states have a separate minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum wage, and 24 States increased their minimum in 2021. The highest is California at $14/hour.
Just as important, only a handful of employers are still paying minimum wage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of hourly paid workers earning the prevailing federal minimum wage declined from 1.9 percent in 2019 to 1.5 percent in 2020. This is dramatically less than the 13.4 recorded in 1979, when minimum wage data were first collected. Here’s a summary of what BLS found when it looked at the demographics of minimum wage workers in 2020:
– Age. Although workers under age 25 represented just under one-fifth of hourly paid workers, they made up 48 percent of those paid the federal minimum wage.
– Gender. 2 percent of women and 1 percent of men had wages at or below the prevailing federal minimum.
– Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. About 2 percent of Black workers earned the federal minimum wage or less. Among White, Asian, and Hispanic workers, the percentage was about 1 percent.
– Education. Among hourly paid workers age 16 and older, about 2 percent of those without a bachelor degree, and 1% of those with a bachelor’s degree.
– Marital status. Those who were never married were more likely than married workers to earn the federal minimum wage or less (about 3 percent versus about 1 percent).
– Full- and part-time status. About 4 percent of part-time workers (< 35 hours/week) were paid the federal minimum wage vs. 1 percent of full-time workers.
– Occupation. Service occupations had the highest percentage of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage, at about 5 percent – 70% of all minimum wage workers were in service industries.
Industry. The industry with the highest percentage of workers earning hourly wages at or below the federal minimum wage in 2020 was leisure and hospitality (about 8 percent) – 60% of all workers who were paid the federal minimum wage.
– State of residence. 4% of South Carolina workers, 3% in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia.
Yep. Trickle down taxes.