How Did We Become A Society Lulled By Entitlements?
January 19, 2016
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Over the past decades, American culture has changed to the point where we have become a society of citizens, who see entitlements as part of what it means to be American. In fact, much of our economic structure is based on these expectations. Obamacare has moved us further in this direction.

Over $2.3 trillion of our annual debt is spent on a combination of Medicare/Medicaid, social security and income security, which includes unemployment insurance, welfare and food stamps.

Somehow, in the last 10 years, governments started to throw the number $1 trillion around like it was a smaller number. Ten years ago $1 trillion was not even in the vocabulary of any discussion of any budget. Anywhere!

It is interesting to note that the American defense budget – dedicated to our national security – is about 25% of the budget spent on these types of entitlements.

The cry of politicians like Bernie Sanders to “raise the taxes on the wealthy” is completely UnAmerican. It doesn’t take into account some basic facts.

So, Bernie, here are the stats:

  • According to IRS data and the Congressional Budget Office, the top 10% of all income earners already pay nearly 70% of all the federal income tax collected.
  • The top one-percent (1%) of all earners pay nearly 33% of all the income taxes collected by the IRS.

To me, that seems like they are paying a fair portion of income taxes. In addition to paying the majority of income taxes, the rich pay the largest share of consumption taxes. We are talking about sales tax, taxes on fuel, excise tax, and import duties, etc.

Still, when you listen to the Democrats, they seem to beat the same drum incessantly about maintaining entitlements and taxing the rich.

Throwing Stones At The Wrong Target Won’t Solve The Problem

Since the facts don’t support the democratic solution, I can only guess that they are following the rules of the advertising industry, which says, “If you can pull your customer’s emotional trigger, they are yours.”

When people are scared, they want a scapegoat to blame for their troubles. In this case it is easy to make an enemy out of the rich niche. And the rich niche has its own collection of scapegoats to blame for our precarious economic picture.

The truth is that as long as we are looking at other people to blame, we can avoid looking at ourselves. We can avoid making our own decisions. We can avoid being accountable for our own results.

I wish taxing the rich were the simple solution, but ignoring the facts in favor of a wishful world is not the way to find that solution. There are solutions – there must be. We got into this mess by making a series of incremental choices and we will find our way out my making different incremental choices.

We need – as a society – to stop trying to make something true that simply isn’t true. We need to stop placing blame, start looking at facts and work from there.

Yes, we need a better tax code and yes, there are many inequities and too many ‘pork barrel’ inefficiencies in the current tax code. As of today, we have over 74,000 pages of tax code to tell us how to comply when filing our tax return. Until we can change it, we must work with what we have.

I suggest that if Bernie doesn’t want to deal with reality, he move to another nation governed by Socialism. I will gladly buy him a ticket! He will see soon enough that that system has never worked and never will.

About author

Mike Lathingee

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