Just say no to polls: Lying should be taxed
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”. And nowhere is this truer than in the medias’ use of opinion polls to substantiate the morphing of bias into news. What even the sophisticated reader assumes to be fact may just be propagandistic fiction. In the rarely reliable words of Jayson Blair (formerly known as a NYT journalist) people should not “believe everything they read in the newspapers”.
While trying to gain some ground on the New York Times to become the Parthenon of fraudsters, USA TODAY informed its readers that, “Americans are not clamoring for tax cuts, which may mean there will be little gratitude when they vote next year. In a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll this month, 52% thought tax cuts are a good idea, 47% said they are a bad idea.” Maybe next they should take a poll on the legitimacy of war crimes trials and only talk to Adolf Hitler, Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein.
From the poll itself, an inquisitive mind can unearth two facts: (1) that while 52% of those polled think that tax cuts are a good idea, 41% think they are a bad idea and 7% have no opinion and (2) that the poll sampled “1,005 National Adults, aged 18+”. So what’s the big deal? Aside from the fact that USA TODAY erroneously reported the results of its own poll, they also reported that, “…an analysis by the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute found 36% of all households would get no tax cut in 2003, and more than half would get a tax break of $100 or less”.
The U.S. 18+ population is a bit greater than 200 million. On a miraculous day only half that number will actually leave their Sony PlayStations long enough to vote in the 2004 election. Almost 131 million somehow find time to file income tax returns but only half that number, about 65 million people, pays no income tax. So, with a little logic, which is abysmally absent at USA TODAY, one can deduce that significantly fewer than half of those polled actually pay all of the income tax. Why would you think that tax breaks are a good idea if you don’t pay taxes?
To the acclaim of those who pay no taxes, 19.6 million of them are industrious enough to claim $33.4 billion in Earned Income Credits. That’s right…19.6 million people who pay no income tax are getting over $33 billion handed to them. Why would you want to reduce taxes if those very same taxes are giving you over $33 billion of funny-money while you pay nothing?
In another insightful journalistic whimper, USA TODAY concedes that tax cuts could help to slightly boost the economy, BUT the cuts”…could come at the price of increased budget deficits….”. To legitimize this crumb of rocket science, the paper calls in the experts…Gus Faucher, senior economist at Economy.com thinks, “The problem is that the revenue loss from (tax cuts) is pretty substantial.” Of course it’s substantial if the government wants to keep spending more than it collects.
That’s the great thing about governments…other than manipulating and/or threatening the citizenry, their incomes are not commensurate with their labors. Unlike the average household that eventually must bring expenditures into line with revenues, modern government policy portends that you ask for more than you need and always spend more than what you get.
So…in an economy where GDP is barely growing, the government, especially the state and local governments, continue to spend more than five times the rate of inflation. With flat GDP growth and almost non-existent inflation this mandates that a greater share of the taxpayer’s income must go to the tax collector. Tax cuts would not adversely affect the deficit if some Congressional bean counter only had the guts to suggest reigning in government spending. Even a non-expert can understand that it’s all relative to the Pork Factor.
With a final slap to the taxpayer’s face, USA TODAY squeaks-in that, “Democrats say the deficit will make it difficult to pay for services for the large baby-boom generation when it begins retiring soon.” To which the substantially less than Nobel laureate Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y adds, “What we are talking about is borrowing money, making insecure the Social Security system….”. Wait a minute…aren’t all of those dollars that hard working folks have been paying into the Social Security Trust just waiting for retirement payback? Oh, pardon…that’s right, Congress has been balancing budgets off of your Social Security money for decades and stuffing the Trust with paper IOU’s.
Looks like those deficits mean double taxation for your retirement. First you paid into the Trust for your retirement benefits and now you get to pay again for those same benefits that were hijacked in the name of excessive government spending…Hello Enron! If only the government could tell the truth. If only the media would stop spinning bias into news. If only all USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Polls could be taxed for each misleading representation there would be no deficit. A problem deficit will only be created if politicians keep recklessly spending while the taxpayer is simply trying to survive. Let them eat pork!
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”