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Sunday, June 11, 2006

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Assigning the national debt proportionally according to tax burden is interesting, but it isn't any more accurate than assigning it equally. The taxes don't changes as the debt goes up, so the same burden is falling on those exploited, overburdened rich people who don't have any politicians looking out for them regardless of the growing debt.

What the debt DOES do to us as a country is NOT proportional to tax burden. As an example: As foreign countries lose faith in the unassailable fortitude of the US economy, the dollar weakens, making imports more expensive. Oil goes up in price for US companies who buy with US dollars, which translates into higher consumer gasoline prices.

Higher fuel costs hammer the entire US economy. And now that I think about it, are a pretty good formula for inflation. Unless The Fed puts us into a recession to avoid inflation. There is a comforting thought for you.

Sure I'll concede that "Birth Tax" is a misnomer, and a cute response to the "Death Tax." But it did the job it was designed to do, in that it got us talking about the National Debt.

True enough -- taxes don't change as the debt goes up. So nobody is directly paying for the debt now.

And, as you point out, everybody is indirectly "paying for" the debt now in terms of its practical economic impact.

But the point of this piece was to highlight the fallacy of the "Birth Tax", not to defend massive deficit spending (which I emphatically do not).

And I disagree that the whole idea of the "Birth Tax" was designed to get us talking about the National Debt. It was designed to get us talking about how terrible the Republicans are, and it was designed to imply that Democrats would be better. Show me any mention of "Birth Tax" anywhere that really talks about the National Debt and the true economic impact of it on our country's future, as opposed to a rant against Republicans and/or tax cuts in general. I haven't seen any such discussion.

Taken at face value, the very idea of the "Birth Tax" is that to entirely pay off the debt (never mind the extraordinary economic impact of having a large debt which is virtually never mentioned) would require everybody to kick in $30K. And that's obviously just not how it works.

In fact, you're right that assigning the payoff of the debt by tax burden is also inaccurate, since as you said the taxes to pay off the debt have not been raised. And, assuming those who complain the loudest about the "Birth Tax" were elected to office and running the show, how exactly would they not only balance the budget but pay down the debt?

By raising taxes, of course. Not by cutting federal spending (except, perhaps, for the military budget). Certainly not by taxing the poor (for whom they'd like to increase spending), and perhaps only marginally taxing the middle class (you know, anybody -- like myself -- who's not in the crosshairs of one of their "targeted tax cuts"). So the burden of actually paying off the debt, if that ever happens at all, would really fall almost entirely on the wealthy.

And perhaps -- perhaps -- that's as it should be. But it's not as if the rich are getting a "free ride" here. And that's been the context of the most recent mentions of the "Birth Tax". That somehow, the rich don't have to pay any taxes, while everybody else is stuck with the bill. And that's just far, far away from the truth.

I just discovered this. Incredible, but I suggest the author immediately remove King George's and Cheney's hands from his pants.

Splendid, Eddie. Did you have any information in particular that would refute the point of my article? Or is it simply that "King George" and Cheney are so very evil that spurious attacks on them for things they are not entirely responsible for must be warranted anyway 'cause they have it coming?

Seriously, I'm no fan of the Bush administration for a number of reasons. That's no excuse for letting the pure bullshit of a "Birth Tax" slide, however.

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