Bold plan to eliminate the deficit

We reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in defense contracting and medical billing, and raise taxes on the ‘Fortunate 500’ – The 500 wealthiest Americans – to cover the short-fall.

Advantages

  • The plan is simple enough for a bumper sticker; lots of people envy the rich; ‘Fortunate 500’ is clever and memorable.
  • The rest of us won’t pay higher taxes.
  • People naturally oppose bad things. Waste, fraud, and abuse are all bad things – abusive, fraudulent, and wasteful. Opposing these, everyone will implicitly support my plan.

Disadvantages

  • It won’t work, because the Fortunate 500 don’t have anywhere near enough money even if we take every dime, and they’ll have even less the second year of the plan.
  • The plan won’t really reduce waste, fraud, or abuse; it will just move it somewhere else. Nothing will significantly reduce waste, fraud, or abuse except Christ Jesus coming in glory to judge the living and the dead, or a more broad and sincere expectation of that.
  • Envy is sinful and destructive.

Here’s the bold part

That isn’t really the plan, except the part about promoting envy. The real plan is to tell people that is the plan, then while they’re bickering about whose supporters are more wasteful, fraudulent, and abusive and who among the Fortunate 500 should get a waiver, we sneak down to the basement of the Treasury Building and turn the printing press up to 11.

Then after the election we raise taxes on the middle class.

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3 Replies to “Bold plan to eliminate the deficit”

  1. It’s a stupid idea because … the rich do not pay any taxes. That’s why they have accountants.

    Nor can they be made to do so; because all the people who run all the countries in the world are rich, or intend to become so.

    All that would be achieved by this is to increase the complexity of the tax system, and burden yet further those who are not rich.

    And, of course, to ensure that honest work does not pay, and to increase China’s competitive edge.

    In a real democracy, of course, the really rich might pay off the deficit to show off
    how filthy rich they were. In ancient Athens rich men would equip a trireme for just such a reason. But in a society without security of property — which is what this proposal reflects — no-one but a fool would do so.

    1. I can’t now find the data I saw suggesting taxes actually collected are mostly independent of the stated tax rate. Over the last 75 years or so, as rates have varied dramatically, taxes collected have stayed right around some fraction of gross national product – 18% plus or minus 2%, if I remember.

      Congress and the administration have a choice. They can make tough decisions about taxes and the legitimate, workable scope of government; or they can, by one means or another, both debase the currency and raise taxes on the middle class. So far, the Republican congress has been unable to de-fund Public Radio, and President Obama’s recent speech was insubstantial and un-serious, so the second option is more likely.

  2. Neither side is serious about solving the problems. If they solved anything, they wouldn’t have ammo to beat the other side over the head with, thus attempting to ensure continued re-election and power for themselves. After all, being in power means you can exempt yourself from any unpleasantness relegated to the masses.

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