Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tea Partiers are Insane

Either that or they are utterly innumerate or so blinded by racism that they can't tell the difference between the number 12 and the number 10.

Our taxes went down a lot this year compared to last, with almost no change at all in our income level and without benefiting from any of the "special" tax cuts in the ARRA plan (sales tax on a new vehicle or downpayment on a new house).

How much?

Most years I calculate an effective tax rate by dividing the income taxes due by the total income (bottom line on the front page of form 1040). It gives a sense of what my "flat rate" tax would be if income was taxed in the same way the FICA tax is figured. The result?

Last year we paid almost 12.4 % of our income in "income tax", while this year we paid less than 10.9 %. That is more than a 10% drop in our taxes whether you figure it from the percentages or the actual dollars paid. So I say "Thank you Pres. Obama, Sen. Reid, and Rep. Pelosi for cutting my taxes" even though we make well over the median family income for our area.

What didn't go down? We still pay (between out of my pocket and out of the pocket my employer pays me from) over 15% in FICA and Medicare taxes, a rate far higher than our income tax rate. Further, we pay (again between out of pocket and out of employer's pocket) about 12% for health insurance, even before you total up co-pays, which is a bit more than we pay in income taxes.

Between Social Security taxes, Health "taxes", and Income taxes, our income tax rate is the lowest of the three. (Our state and local taxes are much smaller than any of those three.) Given our income bracket, this should also be true for more than half of the US population.


Anonymous said...

An alternative, more charitable explanation is that they're concerned about spending (and hence future taxes), not this year's temporary tax decrease.

(They're a little late to that, er, party, but maybe they just finally got fed up.)

Doctor Pion said...

If that were the case, they would have been holding up racist caricatures of "W" for his trillion dollar Medicare expansion (which included free end-of-life counseling) and the "tarp" bailout of GM. But they didn't. Instead, they lie about events that were only a few months old when they started ranting, and blame Obama for things that Bush actually did.

They also aren't particularly honest about the choice they wish had been made. If someone takes the position that the US would have been better off if we had had a "great" depression rather than a run-of-the-mill regular depression and increased debt, they should be honest enough to stand up and say that.

Remember, these are people who had a clear choice in 2004 between a candidate who supported the war in Iraq but only if it was paid for with new taxes and one who wanted to borrow the money needed to pay for that war. They picked borrow over tax when the President was white. (And if you knew what flag our Tea Party people fly, you would realize this observation is no accident.)

Anonymous said...

What!?!? Are you all crazy. You actually believe people are protesting against taxes because we are racist. I think people who make that statement are racist to even think that!

I don't know where you live but our property taxes alone went up 81%! The TEA party movement not only concerns our president and the money or federal government is taking from us, but also our local.

Maybe you all need a little brush up on your history and the purpose of the original tea party. Step out of your little boxes and take a look around! We have a much larger taxation problem now.

Doctor Pion said...

Yes, I believe people who hold up racist caricatures blaming a black President for things that were done by a white President are likely racist. And there is zero doubt locally when you listen to what they say and look at what is on their trucks. They are not flying the American flag.

But thanks for providing a perfect example of uncritical thinking. It isn't the fault of a "federal takeover" that your local taxes soared. It is your fault, in your community, with your locally elected officials. No one in Congress, or even in another state or city or county, can solve your problem. No one forced you to request services that require those taxes.

FYI, our local property taxes went up a few percent this year, mostly to make up for cuts in state funds that normally go to schools and local government. Some of those cuts result from state tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest few percent in our state. My state taxes remained unchanged.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully submit that you need to eat your pi and not comment on the grassroots revolution known as TEA parties until you educate yourself about us. I don't mean to embarrass you but your ignorance is showing. "Racism," a misnomer at best, plays absolutely no part in our protest.

In the first place, we are one race: the human race. Every other distinction is familial or cultural. We do not harbor negative opinions against those with large noses (a characteristic that marks my family), dimples, blue eyes, or brown skin (we rather favor the latter in my family, actually.)

I do agree with you that many of our problems in this country begin at the local level with our own council members, precinct committeemen and women, judges, and local representatives. We're taking steps to rectify that situation, also.

You obviously take great pride in the intellect with which Creator God has entrusted you. Please be a good steward of it and do your research before setting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

Marcia Twayne

Anonymous said...

P.S. from Marcia Twayne:

By the way, I hardly consider the pretender to the Presidency to be Black. Further, I vote for the man or woman of character, morals, patriotism, knowledge, passion, and statesmanship. Who cares about the tone of his or her skin? That's an asinine criterion.

Anonymous said...

Well said Marcia!

Mr. Pion, Before you excuse anyone else of "uncrital thinking," maybe you should do some critical thinking yourself. I can tell by your uneducated statements of the TEA party movement that you know nothing of it. You have probably just seen what you know of it from the news. I have never once seen anything racist at the TEA parties I have attended. Furthermore, if you did know anything about said TEA parties, then you would be informed enough to know that the movement is not only about the current administration but actually is about the last 3 administrations. So, know tell me where you get that we are racist besides what the evening knews has brainwashed you to believe.

Let me just educate you a little so you don't make rear of yourself in front of anyone else. The following is the mission statement of the grassroots efforts of the TEA party movement:

Mission Statement

The impetuses for the Tea Party movement are excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.

So, if you would like to discuss a real issue and not some made up garbage, then I would be glad to.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, I meant Ms.

Doctor Pion said...

I will point out that neither of you have answered the primary questions:

1) Is your position that the US would be better off today if the depression of 2008 had turned into a "great" depression instead of a severe recession? The argument being made (that deficit spending under our current conditions is a worse policy than it was in 2004) implies your answer is yes and your silence is an attempt to pretend otherwise.

2) You have provided no alternative explanation for why the TEA Party blames President Obama for things that President Bush did ... or why they tolerate racist caricatures of the Commander in Chief during a time of war and racist attacks on elected officials on the steps of the Capitol.

You may not be a racist, but that does not change the fact that there are plenty of people whose behavior can only be explained by their being racists (or nativists), utterly ignorant, or insane when they complain about high federal taxes when almost everyone got a tax cut this year.

You see, all they were complaining about at our local 4/15 rally was high federal income taxes. Utter nonsense. If you think otherwise, you and Marcia can post your effective tax rate and prove me wrong.

But I think you are just trying to change the subject rather than respond to those facts or answer those questions, as is Marcia with unsupported incendiary (and potentially treasonous) language like "pretender to the Presidency". You see, I voted for the man who was more patriotic, the man who promised to take the war to Al Qaeda after 5 years of ignoring those who attacked us -- and he has done a great job of fighting that war. And he was also the candidate who was born in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Doc. I didn't get the memo that Kenya had been admitted to the Union as a state. What year was that?

Dr. Marcia Twayne

Unbalanced Reaction said...

Oh my goodness, Anonymous. You are cracking me up.

Doctor Pion said...

"Dr. Twayne", your nonsense cracks me up also. The Panama Canal Zone was not admitted to the Union as a state, yet no one seemed worried about whether McCain was eligible to be President because his mother was a citizen, just as Obama's was.

So even if you are correct about the recent invention of a time machine so all of those official and contemporaneous records and newspapers in Hawaii were fabricated by a time traveler, you are still wrong about whether Obama is President.

Or were you one of the people who voted for McCain knowing he would be declared ineligible so Palin could appoint someone to be President and resign?

Doctor Pion said...

Unresponsive comment rejected.

You cannot complain about the massive TARP program of Bush and the ARRA program of Obama without answering question #1, and Anonymous did not answer question 1 in the post I rejected. The TEA party people are advocating the same action as their Republican ancestors took to keep Hoover from fighting the Depression, and their balanced budget cuts made it into a Great Depression.

Imagine how bad things would be today if 25% of our teachers and prison guards were unemployed instead of being paid by ARRA money. Ditto for construction projects across the country.

Anonymous also was unresponsive to my question #2, because you would have to be totally out of touch with reality to have not seen any of the racist behavior by TEA party protesters. They were right there on the steps of the US Capitol, shouting racist epithets, and no one from the TEA party stopped them.

And now we have Ron Paul's kid saying he thought it was wrong to prohibit racial discrimination by private business.

Doctor Pion said...

This thread is closed.