Politics

Bill Maher complains that his taxes are too high

Bill Maher complains that his taxes are too high

First we had top Democrat consultant Donna Brazile scratching her head and wondering why her health insurance premiums were going up.  Now we have painfully unfunny HBO comedian Bill Maher discovering the unfairness of confiscatory taxation, courtesy of NewsBusters:

The whole exchange began with the high-octane stupidity of MSNBC host Rachel Maddow whining that House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget “is a document that says the big problems in America right now are that rich people do not have enough money… They need relief from confiscatory tax rates.”

Because all money is the rightful property of the State, you see.  Anything the geniuses in Washington decide to let you keep – rather than seizing and giving to their favorite constituents, or “investing” in debacles like Solyndra – is an “expense.”  So is the United States military, the one government program Maddow wants to cut to the bone.

We’ll get back to that business of government “investment” in a moment, but first, savor the irony of hyper-liberal Bill Maher deciding he’s not quite ready to follow Maddow down this particular fork in the Road to Serfdom:

Pointing at Virginia’s former Republican Congressman Tom Davis, Maher said, “You know what? Rich people – I’m sure you’d agree with this – actually do pay the freight in this country.”

“I just saw these statistics,” he continued, “I mean, something like 70 percent. And here in California, I just want to say liberals – you could actually lose me. It’s outrageous what we’re paying – over 50 percent. I’m willing to pay my share, but yeah, it’s ridiculous.”

Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters graciously stepped in to help Maher out by appending the actual California tax burden for millionaires, which could actually exceed 60 percent if federal income, state income, payroll, local, and property taxes are added together.  And that doesn’t even include the many hidden taxes rich people pony up, just like the rest of us, particularly the taxes liberals love to pretend that evil businesses “pay,” instead of passing them along to customers.

But Maher has the broad outlines of the situation right: a small group of people fork over a dramatically higher percentage of their income, carrying a share of the tax burden wildly disproportionate to their share of earned income… and it’s still not good enough for the shrieking Jacobins of the Rachel Maddow Left, who reserve the right to constantly re-define “fairness” as “whatever the ruling left-wing Party thinks it needs.”

I hate to shatter Maddow’s fragile information bubble, but Barack Obama also thinks certain rich people don’t have nearly enough money, and he wants to take it away from others to line their pockets.  Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner notes that Obama and his devout followers seem awfully keen on their own version of “trickle-down economics:”

Democrats love attacking the GOP for practicing “trickle-down economics,” but their latest congressional budget makes Republicans look like pikers. The spending priorities and “investments” Senate Democrats propose to help the middle class mostly involve handing money to big corporations.

“The Senate Budget takes the position that trickle-down economics has failed as an economic policy,” the document’s introduction reads, “and that true national prosperity comes from the middle out, not the top down.” By “trickle-down economics,” the Democrats are referring to tax cuts and deregulation — what a conservative might call “leaving people and businesses alone.”

But in the next paragraph, the Democratic budget celebrates “the policies President Barack Obama and Congress put in place in response to the Great Recession.” Those policies are Obama’s implementation of the Wall Street bailout, the government-funded rescue of Chrysler and General Motors, and a stimulus bill that threw money at the likes of General Electric and Bechtel, on the theory that the money would trickle down to American workers.

In their new budget, Senate Democrats don’t merely applaud this sort of trickle-down Obamanomics — they propose more of it.

The liberal caricature of supply-side economics attacks the notion of allowing the people who earn money to keep it, and re-invest it.  Obamanomics is far more accurately described as “trickle-down,” but it’s okay because our wise ruling class seizes the money by force and redistributes it, instead of allowing the people who earned that money to keep it?

What a sick and twisted ideology!  Besides the immorality of using force to confiscate wealth, and the death spiral of allowing greedy politicians to endlessly re-calibrate what everyone else’s “fair share” works out to, it’s insanely inefficient.  Value is boiled away from that money as it pushes through the hot pipes of bureaucracy.  The information value of investment success and failure is erased by blind ideology.  Our government “investment” gurus are very noticeably less concerned about their fiduciary duty to the “clients” who provide their money than any private capital firm.  It’s not as if we can sue Washington for fraud, or take our investment capital elsewhere, is it?

The big problem in America right now is that the government has too much money, spends even more than it has, and exercises vast regulatory and unfunded-mandate powers beyond even the titanic amounts it spends.  Maher is correct, but very late to the party, in noting that people who must surrender over half of their income to government at every level are less than half free.  Add the true burden of hidden taxes and regulatory cost to the amount directly confiscated in taxes, and I wonder if certain citizens of certain states are still even one-quarter free.  Is that supposed to be irrelevant, as long as the people in question can still afford gilded cages to dwell in?  And when will those who carry less of this absurdly unfair burden realize they’re paying a lot more than they think they are?

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