Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
How corporate taxes cost jobs
Published on September 1, 2003 By Draginol In Politics
I swatted away a yellow jacket at the BBQ while listening to to my friend patiently and firmly explain that the wealthy and companies need to pay more in taxes.

I am not sure if the average American has always been as woefully ignorant of how our economy works as they are today. But if so, it's amazing that our country hasn't collapsed economically.  We live in a representative democracy of universal adult suffrage. The problem with unqualified voter rights is that those who don't produce or even know anything about the economy can essentially vote in representatives who will confiscate from the producers to give to themselves.

You can almost see it: America 2103, the congress, after a close 51% to 49% a new law stating that the top 10% must  subsidize summer cottages on lakes for the lower 90% of people. "It's about time those rich bastards pay their fair share. Why should rich people be the only ones with summer homes? Who made them better than us?"

Right now it's tax time at work and we're going to be paying quite a bit in taxes. "Most rich people and companies don't even pay taxes, look at Enron!"  The problem with that thinking is that it's completely wrong. Sure, you can find sensational examples of some individual or company that's managed to get rich and not pay taxes. But that's why it's news -- it's an unusual occurrence.  The vast majority of businesses and individuals operate pretty transparently and pay taxes. Lots of taxes. 

During the conversation, my friend had little sympathy for the taxes we pay. "Hey, you should be paying big taxes, you're making a lot of money. Thanks to your Republican buddies, a lot of people are without jobs and they need help."  To this I said, "Wouldn't it be better for companies like ours to keep as much of that money as possible so that we could hire more people? The taxes we paid cost us 3 jobs. That's how many people we would have hired if we didn't have to pay as much in taxes."

And here's where it became surreal, he responded: "Oh so you buy into that trickle down crap, Reagan tried it and Bush Jr. is trying it. It doesn't work." 

Bullshit. I am not espousing some egg head "theory". I'm living the reality. The taxes we are paying this year cost 3 jobs. It's purely a matter of budget. We need 3 more people but we cannot afford 3 people.  We have a perfect candidate in mind for a technical advisor position here and another person in mind for an animator position. Would be great to have them. But we can't afford them. Why? Because the government took that money. And what are they doing with it? 60% of it goes to various redistribution of wealth programs (social security, medicaid, medicare eat up the majority of that).

And now people want to expand this for prescription drugs? My friend explained why we "need" prescription drug coverage. Everyone knows someone who has to have some $400 prescription drug "to live". And it's "those damn greedy drug companies" that are to blame of course. Amazingly, people lived without prescription drugs for thousands of years.  Yes yes, I know, people didn't live as long back then. But rather than being thankful that the drug companies are coming up with these wonder drugs, we villainize them.  Think about that: these drugs allegedly make the difference between life and death -- that is, before these drugs we must assume that these people would have died. That's what the people who "need" these drugs claim anyway. Therefore, the "greedy" drug companies have created things that are saving a lot of people's lives. But because they want to be paid for them, and paid well, they're "greedy".

Personally, I find those who demand that other people pay for their stuff to be a helluva lot more greedy.  The people I know who scream for prescription drug coverage can somehow afford cable TV, air conditioning, and certainly don't look malnourished.  And they want those free pills. But they're not greedy of course. It's the drug companies who are greedy. It's the "Rich" people who pay for the prescription drugs for them who are greedy. It's the companies who employ everyone who are greedy. But not them. No, never. They just want something for nothing. They don't want to sacrifice anything for it. They don't want to ask their kids to help pay for it.

Instead, they'll get faceless people and companies to pay for their pills. And as a result, at least here, 3 people who might have had jobs, don't.

on Sep 02, 2003
So what are you proposing for the impoverished elderly? Death by exposure? Because you know those ingrates would demand subsidized euthanasia.

I'm opposed to socialism and big govt. but your arguments have you coming off as just soulless here. They can afford air conditioning so they shouldn't have pills? Sheez.

Let's say you weren't born a genius, even that your I.Q. was in the double digits (our national average is 102 I think,) but that you worked hard all of your life. You didn't make much money but you were honest and had a good heart and you worked hard.

So after thirty hard years of manual labor your body is broken and you have no nest egg, just a tv set (w/ cable, god-damn yer bones) and a rattling window-mounted air conditioner in your little rented house. Everything is cruising along just fine in your twilight years, but then the pain starts.

It hurts to breathe. You knew this was coming, damn masonry work. You always said you'd finish yourself off before going to some damned wet-behind-the-ears doctor, but when the moment finally comes you just can't do it. Out by the tree with a shotgun and a fifth-o-bean, looking up at the stars, you end up crying about the war for the first time in many years... it's almost funny, you always thought being in that damn war would have made this easier. It's easy this night to go back, to remember them all, your friends.

Erma next door finally makes you go when you fall down right in front of her. Her son takes you. Tests, tests and more tests, and your scared because you don't have any money to pay for it all. You're terrified.

Your only comfort is knowing that some little shit animator has a piss-ant job somewhere.

Anyway, your attitude in this post if fully implemented would be a communist's wet dream, leading to the rise of the masses and etc... Compassionate conservatism, not draconian machiavellian utilitarianism, tyvm.
on Sep 02, 2003
The question is whether it's the federal government's job to provide pills to the elderly. We're not talking about putting elderly on the streets or starving them. We are talking about whether the federal government should be providing pills.

So what's next? It's going to be heartless and soulless if we don't provide everyone with a free car? Or how about more money so that everyone has a free membership at a fitness center? Where are you going to draw the line?

What about charities? Perhaps those who agree with you should come together and form a charity to help provide seniors with free prescription drugs.

Anyway, your attitude in your response shows the dangers of the socialist dream. It's a slippery slope. The left always seems to demonize those who want to draw the line somewhere. I draw the line at giving free pills to the elderly. At some point, people are responsible for taking care of themselves.

on Sep 02, 2003

Where is the responisibility of that person who worked hard for thirty years to try and create a nest egg so in just case of an incident that he would have the money to help pay for his medical costs. I think that is more of the issue. Too many people carelessly spend their money away on themselves over the years and do not care about the consequences of their actions. And when it finally comes to a point where they do not have the money to pay for medical treatment (because they blew away their money instead of saving it) they expect for everyone else to pay for his medical expenses (through taxes).

I for one am in support of helping the needy. But I am against supporting those who carelessly throw their money away just so they can have a new car, go on vacations or have the fanciest clothes and then in the future cry that they do not have enough money to purchase the most expensive medicines while they sit on their leather couch watching cable tv while eating a large steak dinner with their 2 year old car sitting out in the garage which they just had new aluminin siding put on it.
on Sep 03, 2003
As a retired MD (rehab medicine) I have some insight others might not have into this. I know my fellow physicians and unless constrained by a rigid formulary (a list of drugs which are allowed to be dispensed free) they will continue prescribing the latest version of every drug at a phenomenal price to the system. The reality is that there are very few essential must have miracle drugs for bread and butter problems like high blood pressure or arthritis. Newer versions of antiarthritic drugs or blood pressure drugs or asthma drugs etc... work no better than earlier ones they may have features like once a day dosing or reputed fewer side effects (and this is highly arguable!).
Physicians are not known for their cost sensitivity and will automatically prescribe the $10 a pill version that can be had for about 25cents in the older forms. Thus I see the program as potentially a gigantic waste of money.

By the way I am for basic cheap universal health care that is highly cost constrained. I also not only think that drugs are way overpriced but I think Doctors are way overpaid. So another improvement I would make to the health care system would be to open up the doors to the medical schools and flood the market with MDs.

on Sep 03, 2003
So is it the cost of the pills, or the cost of the war "that is not to find WMD and why did you believe us in the first place" that keeps taxes this high ?

Cynisism aside, I've had a long look at how much I paid in taxes and health care in France, and how much I am paying now in the US, and what I get for this money. I was surprised to discover that the tax / health care burden is heavier in the US (at least for me, at my level of income). So maybe the question is not how much taxes one is paying, but the (very inflated ?) cost of health care in this country.
on Sep 03, 2003
How can your taxes in the US be higher? If you make less than $30,000 you basically pay no federal taxes (you get it all back at the end of the year). And most companies pay for health care.

As for the war on terror, since defense costs 15% of the budget and welfare programs of various kinds use up 60% it's pretty obvious what is causing high taxes.
on Sep 04, 2003
I'll admit one thing:
People do not know how to spend their money wisely.

It is possible to have a nice nest egg. Nevertheles that is not always true. Also, if a person has not done so, requardles of the blame, we still end up with the burden of taking care of that individual, if not we risk having thousands of human speading diseases and other national health risks (I belive this is one of the reasons why illegals can get medical treatment)

End the end, I still feel that people who have the money pay more so that the overall social wellfare of the country stays in balance. While it might be true that you could not hire 3 employees, it is possible that someone got their medication, food, or workfare job or even housing.

The bottom line is that if the general population is not healthy, there is no economy or businesses. It is a careful balance and it is not perfect or fair but it trues to benifit all who live here. Its not just about some elderly person not getting there pills so a company can hire more people. I agree that your argument is valid but only to a point of restructuring how the taxes are used and what incentives are made so companies can hire more or invest more (as in rather just making CEO's and friends richer directly... although is correctly done and the business grows the CEO with friends will be richer)

As far as trickle down theory... I belive you should fix and help the middle and the base of the economy not the top. The top sits on the middle and the base. I am not a fan of trickle up theory either but it works far better than downward. I am a fan of stratigic planning and tax incentives.

It shouldn't be about the 'tax the rich' because that doesn't work either but the rich will be the ones with the burden mostly because they are so and can offord to. It is also not about 'give to the poor' because it will help for one month or less and then back to check by check. It has to be done stratigically and usually that means middle class, business class, business encentives. This way moey improves the lives of the poor by not just getting jobs but hopefully not living on the edge of living life, th middle class gets better jobs, businesses get better people, more productive people, and businesses get better investment abilities because of tax breaks and so on.
on Sep 04, 2003
As concerns federal taxes, I guess I'll have to see at the end of this fiscal year (I'd be happy to get this money back). As concers health care, my company pays from mine, but I must pay for my wife and kid (I cannot stand this idea of having my 2 years old without health insurance). And this is $450 a month (the cheapest plan the University I work for provides). This is 3 times what I pay in federal taxes in France.
on Sep 04, 2003
Sounds like your university needs better health care. Where I work, and we don't have anything special, you can get your family covered as part of your plan very inexpensively and it includes prescription drugs.
on Sep 09, 2003
The problem with socialized prescriptions is that either (1) the government blows ridiculous amounts of YOUR tax money on it or (2) they put price ceilings and the drug companies run out of money to fund R&D. They then either roll over and die or outsource to other countries. In fact, it is very likely that (1) and (2) will both happen.

Welfare, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. It is very easily and commonly abused though. It should only be for those who are truly in need.... and as for this free pills BS? Well, instead of demanding free pills from the government, how about raising good kids so you can go to them instead? That *is* how things worked for all the rest of human history before socialism came about...

Also, on the matter of the whole "tax the rich" matter--the rich already pay plenty of taxes, and the poor and much of the middle class pay none at all now for the most part. The average American pays something to the tune 30% of his income to the government, when you consider sales taxes, income taxes, social security, etc. And 30% in taxes is just plain ridiculous. What we need is not more welfare, we need a return to small, efficient, non-bureaucratic government and an attitude of "quit begging for handouts and make something of yourself." I know I've seen far too many people on various types of welfare who can very obviously afford to not be... so get off it already and quit voting for whatever idiot promises you the most free handouts.

Just my 2c...
on Oct 31, 2003
I have had type I insulin dependant diabetes since I was 6. Now 25, I can not buy health insurance. Not because it is expensive but because it is not available. When I retire Medicare will be my only option, because no company will extend benifits through retirement. I have no chance but to put my eggs into the governments basket. Now, I will say our current insurance company has gone from a set co-pay for prescriptions to a percentage of the cost of the medication. This change has made me a much more informed consumer. I ask for less expensive alternatives and question the need for some medications.

As far as people making poor choices about spending their money, my insulin pump, pump supplies, glucose strips, glucose meter and other "medically" necessary things together cost $700 per month more than my cable, electricity (with AC), internet access, and groceries. So even if we did away with all of these things we would still be way short every month.

I'm not thrilled with the same people who are responsible for the postal service making my medical decisions, but I'm at a loss for better options.
on Apr 11, 2005
I Think the taxes should be lowered a least a mere 20% because with all of the new buildings being put up within the last year, and all of the taxes taken out of the paychecks, the citizens are going to end up broke...