culture, democrats, education, electoral college, ideas, living abroad, philosophy, politics, republicans, voting

Nobody Rides for Free

money finance bills bank notes
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

An American Dilemma

Here’s what I’ve noticed about Americans. This has been commonplace my whole lifetime. People always moan about inadequate services. They want better roads, schools, police protection, healthcare, and what. That’s understandable, yet what baffles me is nobody wants to pay any taxes to fund them. They all want something for nothing. Sorry to burst your bubble, folks, but that’s not how the universe works. Barry Commoner comprised the Four Laws of Ecology. One of them states, “Nobody gets a free lunch. There is no such thing as a free lunch.” I had fallout with one of my long-term friends over this. If it were up to me, everybody would have universal healthcare and free education from preschool all the way through postgraduate school. My former companion argued both cost too much. Her rationale is that college and healthcare prices would spike while the quality would go down if they were available to everyone. What do you expect from someone who watches FOX News?

Get Your Priorities Straight

I can promise the reader with a capital P it costs less to provide those to each person who can’t afford it than it does to house non-violent prison inmates in private prisons for one year. I imagine the folks who rebuke these ideas the same idiots who believe schools are socially engineering children. The price would be infinitesimal compared to what it would to build an aircraft carrier, fighter plane, or even a high-tech missile. Funny how you never hear the alt-right moan about pork-barrel defense spending. What do they care as long as it’s not their children sent to die so corporate fat cats can get wealthier? The American government throws $38 billion a-year to Israel, a country with universal healthcare and free post-secondary education.

No Taxes, No Government, No Service

This conversation I had with a German friend two years ago. She elucidated how Germans see it as their civic duty to pay taxes. They assert they’re doing a community service. They have the right attitude in my book. Where this aversion towards paying taxes in America began I don’t know, but it’s a paradox to say the least. The Libertarian ideology exacerbates that mindset. Thus, I find their philosophies more impractical than those of the GOP. You cannot have limited government in a country with over 300 million people; especially, when that nation is the world superpower and breadbasket of the global economy. The concept sounds sexy on paper, but it’s asinine in reality. We’re not settlers on the frontier anymore. The manifest destiny, Civil War, and Revolutionary War ended centuries ago. We’ve moved past that phase (at least I hope we did.)

Don’t Tread On Me

The Tea Party movement which began in 2009 was never about standing up to government tyranny. That was a carte blanche they used to express their disgust over a black man in the White House. Funny how we haven’t heard anything about them since Barack Obama left office. Their principles were misguided and misplaced. The original Tea Party revolted over the taxation of commoners in colonial New England and the misappropriation of funding towards the British crown. That’s no different than trickle down economics and tax cuts for the rich. Last time I checked, America is no longer part of the British commonwealth. As I said, it was nothing more than a smoke-and-mirrors campaign to disguise their prejudices towards a black President. Funny how Ted Cruz, a Canadian-born half-Cuban, spearheaded the birther movement.

Offshore is Off the Mark

There is a flip side to this coin. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez meant well when she proposed taxing the top bracket at 70-percent. My former friend is right about one thing. If they start taxing the wealthy that much, more millionaires and billionaires will try to safeguard their money in offshore accounts. That’s why I think Congress should impose the Tobin and Spahn taxes before they do anything. The Tobin tax, named for James Tobin, charges transaction taxes from offshore accounts plus whatever the individual owes in income taxes. The Spahn tax, named in honor of Eugen Spahn, is the corporate version. That way, Covfefe, Mitt Romney, and other tax dodgers will think twice next time they have overseas accounts. Traveling back and forth to Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, or wherever can be time-consuming and costly after awhile. Not to mention, there’s a maximum amount of cash one can bring through US customs before being spotted by the IRS.

The Path of Least Resistance

Most rich people will take the cheapest option. Therefore, I feel it’s imperative to implement these practices. This I suspect would pay off large chunks of the national debt. I don’t know for sure if they have the Tobin and Spahn taxes in the Scandinavian countries, so don’t quote me on this. I believe that’s why Ingvar Kamprad, the CEO of IKEA, moved their headquarters from Stockholm to Amsterdam, and Kamprad himself moved to Switzerland. Bjorn Borg changed his residency to Monte Carlo after he won the Grand Slam Tournament to avoid taxes in Sweden and later returned to Stockholm when he retired so he could reap the benefits. That was mighty white of him. I surmise this is why Dolph Lundgren lived in Spain for many years, but there’s no way to prove that. For all we know, Lundgren resided there because Spain has a warm climate and averages over 300 annual days of sunshine unlike Sweden where it gets dark and cold throughout the winter. You can’t fault him for that.

Bye-Bye Miss American Pie

Too often I look pie charts regarding the budget, and it shows misleading information about social security. Medicare and social security are funding by taxpayers not the government. The pie charts are made by conservatives to fool viewers into thinking those are burdens on society in lieu of priorities. That leads me to my last solution. I’d force the government to pass a constitutional amendment mandating all government programs receive equal funding. The powers that be would spend the same amount on education, healthcare, infrastructure, energy, science, housing, VA benefits, transportation, etc., that it does on defense were it up to me. Further, I’d pass another bill requiring Congress to raise taxes ten percent and require the children of congressmen, defense contractors, and war financiers to be drafted into military service whenever war is declared. No matter what, wouldn’t be allowed to take funding from education, healthcare, or any other service and pour it into defense. That would make them think twice about committing career suicide like. My senior year in college, a well-seasoned professor of mine stated, “Democracy works best when all the goods are equitably distributed.” About that he was right as rain.

That’s Gonna Cost You

Congress must impose the Tobin and Spahn taxes before they raise income taxes on the top tier. That first part is imperative. Further, I insist they induce an expatriation tax for someone who tries something cute moving abroad to avoid taxes while consulting one’s business on American soil. I even condone there being an outsource tax and massive tariffs on American products manufactured overseas. The government I feel should raise the latter as high as 150-percent if necessary. Basically, I’d raise them to where it would be more expensive to outsource labor and slap CEO’s with hefty fines should they pull a dick move like that. No longer would businesses or owners be allowed use travel expenses and company expenses as tax write-offs. Freedom isn’t free. That’s the part Libertarians and tax dodgers have a hard time registering through their thick noggins. They reinforce that sense of entitlement Americans have. Perhaps they should change the laws to where people had to pay weekly or biweekly income taxes to close all the loopholes. Here is what the income tax code would look like if it were up to me:

Income Tax Brackets Based on Annual Salaries as Head of Household During Time of Peace and/or Economic Boom
Less than $15,000 = 10%
$15,000 – $30,000 = 11%
$30,000 – $45,000 = 12%
$45,000 – $60,000 = 13%
$60,000 – $75,000 = 14%
$75,000 – $90,000 = 15%
$90,000 – $105,000 = 16%
$105,000 – $120,000 = 17%
$120,000 – $135,000 = 18%
$135,000 – $150,000 = 19%
$150,000 – $165,000 = 20%
$165,000 – $180,000 = 21%
$180,000 – $205,000 = 22%
$205,000 – $220,000 = 23%
$220,000 – $235,000 = 24%
$235,000 – $250,000 = 25%
$250,000 – $265,000 = 26%
$265,000 – $280,000 = 27%
$280,000 – $295,000 = 28%
$295,000 – $310,000 = 29%
$310,000 – $325,000 = 30%
$325,000 – $340,000 = 31%
$340,000 – $355,000 = 32%
$355,000 – $370,000 = 33%
$370,000 – $385,000 = 34%
$385,000 – $400,000 = 35%
$400,000 – $415,000 = 36%
$415,000 – $430,000 = 37%
$430,000 – $445,000 = 38%
$445,000 – $460,000 = 39%
$460,000 – $475,000 = 40%
$475,000 – $490,000 = 41%
$490,000 – $505,000 = 42%
$505,000 – $520,000 = 43%
$520,000 – $535,000 = 44%
$535,000 – $550,000 = 45%
$550,000 – $575,000 = 46%
$575,000 – $590,000 = 47%
$590,000 – $605,000 = 48%
$605,000 – $620,000 = 49%
$620,000 and more = 50%

Income Tax Brackets Based on Annual Salaries as Head of Household During Time of War and/or Economic Recession
Less than $15,000 = 10%
$15,000 – $30,000 = 11%
$30,000 – $45,000 = 12%
$45,000 – $60,000 = 13%
$60,000 – $75,000 = 14%
$75,000 – $90,000 = 15%
$90,000 – $105,000 = 16%
$105,000 – $120,000 = 17%
$120,000 – $135,000 = 18%
$135,000 – $150,000 = 19%
$150,000 – $165,000 = 20%
$165,000 – $180,000 = 21%
$180,000 – $205,000 = 22%
$205,000 – $220,000 = 23%
$220,000 – $235,000 = 24%
$235,000 – $250,000 = 25%
$250,000 – $265,000 = 26%
$265,000 – $280,000 = 27%
$280,000 – $295,000 = 28%
$295,000 – $310,000 = 29%
$310,000 – $325,000 = 30%
$325,000 – $340,000 = 31%
$340,000 – $355,000 = 32%
$355,000 – $370,000 = 33%
$370,000 – $385,000 = 34%
$385,000 – $400,000 = 35%
$400,000 – $415,000 = 36%
$415,000 – $430,000 = 37%
$430,000 – $445,000 = 38%
$445,000 – $460,000 = 39%
$460,000 – $475,000 = 40%
$475,000 – $490,000 = 41%
$490,000 – $505,000 = 42%
$505,000 – $520,000 = 43%
$520,000 – $535,000 = 44%
$535,000 – $550,000 = 45%
$550,000 – $575,000 = 46%
$575,000 – $590,000 = 47%
$590,000 – $605,000 = 48%
$605,000 – $620,000 = 49%
$620,000 – $635,000 = 50%
$635,000 – $650.000 = 51%
$650.000 – $665,000 = 52%
$665,000 – $680,000 = 53%
$680,000 – $695,000 = 54%
$695,000 – $710.000 = 55%
$710,000 – $725,000 = 56%
$725,000 – $740,000 = 57%
$740,000 – $755,000 = 58%
$755,000 – $770,000 = 59%
$770,000 – $785,000 = 60%
$785,000 – $800,000 = 61%
$800,000 – $815,000 = 62%
$815,000 – $830,000 = 63%
$830,000 – $845,000 = 64%
$845,000 – $860,000 = 65%
$860,000 – $875,000 = 66%
$875,000 – $890,000 = 67$
$890,000 – $905,000 = 68%
$905,000 – $920,000 = 69%
$920,000 – $935,000 = 70%
$935,000 – $950,000 = 71%
$950,000 – $965,000 = 72%
$965,000 – $980,000 = 73%
$980,000 – $995,000 = 74%
$995,000 and more = 75%

Income Tax Brackets Based for Married Individuals on Joint Returns During Time of Peace and/or Economic Boom
Less than $20,000 = 10%
$20,000 – $40,000 = 11%
$40,000 – $60,000 = 12%
$60,000 – $80.000 = 13%
$80,000 – $100,000 = 14%
$100,000 – $120,000 = 15%
$120,000 – $140,000 = 16%
$140,000 – $160,000 = 17%
$160,000 – $180,000 = 18%
$180.000 – $200,000 = 19%
$200,000 – $220,000 = 20%
$220,000 – $240,000 = 21%
$240,000 – $260,000 = 22%
$260,000 – $280,000 = 23%
$280.000 – $300,000 = 24%
$300,000 – $320,000 = 25%
$320,000 – $340,000 = 26%
$340,000 – $360,000 = 27%
$360,000 – $380,000 = 28%
$380,000 – $400,000 = 29%
$400,000 – $420,000 = 30%
$420,000 – $440,000 = 31%
$440,000 – $460,000 = 32%
$460,000 – $480,000 = 33%
$480,000 – $500,000 = 34%
$500,000 – $520,000 = 35%
$520,000 – $540,000 = 36%
$540,000 – $560,000 = 37%
$560.000 – $580,000 = 38%
$580,000 – $600,000 = 39%
$600,000 – $620,000 = 40%
$620.000 – $640,000 = 41%
$640,000 – $660,000 = 42%
$660,000 – $680,000 = 43%
$680,000 – $700,000 = 44%
$700,000 – $720,000 = 45%
$720,000 – $740,000 = 46%
$740,000 – $760,000 = 47%
$760,000 – $780,000 = 48%
$780,000 – $800,000 = 49%
$800,000 and more = 50%

Income Tax Brackets Based for Married Individuals on Joint Returns During Time of War and/or Economic Recession
Less than $20,000 = 10%
$20,000 – $40,000 = 11%
$40,000 – $60,000 = 12%
$60,000 – $80.000 = 13%
$80,000 – $100,000 = 14%
$100,000 – $120,000 = 15%
$120,000 – $140,000 = 16%
$140,000 – $160,000 = 17%
$160,000 – $180,000 = 18%
$180.000 – $200,000 = 19%
$200,000 – $220,000 = 20%
$220,000 – $240,000 = 21%
$240,000 – $260,000 = 22%
$260,000 – $280,000 = 23%
$280.000 – $300,000 = 24%
$300,000 – $320,000 = 25%
$320,000 – $340,000 = 26%
$340,000 – $360,000 = 27%
$360,000 – $380,000 = 28%
$380,000 – $400,000 = 29%
$400,000 – $420,000 = 30%
$420,000 – $440,000 = 31%
$440,000 – $460,000 = 32%
$460,000 – $480,000 = 33%
$480,000 – $500,000 = 34%
$500,000 – $520,000 = 35%
$520,000 – $540,000 = 36%
$540,000 – $560,000 = 37%
$560.000 – $580,000 = 38%
$580,000 – $600,000 = 39%
$600,000 – $620,000 = 40%
$620.000 – $640,000 = 41%
$640,000 – $660,000 = 42%
$660,000 – $680,000 = 43%
$680,000 – $700,000 = 44%
$700,000 – $720,000 = 45%
$720,000 – $740,000 = 46%
$740,000 – $760,000 = 47%
$760,000 – $780,000 = 48%
$780,000 – $800,000 = 49%
$800,000 – $820,000 = 50%
$820,000 – $840,000 = 51%
$840,000 – $860,000 = 52%
$860,000 – $880,000 = 53%
$880,000 – $900,000 = 54%
$900,000 – $920,000 = 55%
$920,000 – $940,000 = 56%
$940,000 – $960,000 = 57%
$960,000 – $980,000 = 58%
$980,000 – $1,000,000 = 59%
$1,000,000 – $1,020,000 = 60%
$1,020,000 – $1,040,000 = 61%
$1,040,000 – $1,060,000 = 62%
$1,060,000 – $1,080,000 = 63%
$1,080,000 – $1,100,000 = 64%
$1,100,000 – $1,120,000 = 65%
$1,120,000 – $1,140,000 = 66%
$1,140,000 – $1,160,000 = 67%
$1,160,000 – $1,180,000 = 68%
$1,180,000 – $1,200,000 = 69%
$1,200,000 – $1,220,000 = 70%
$1,220,000 – $1,240,000 = 71%
$1,240,000 – $1,260,000 = 72%
$1,260,000 – $1,280,000 = 73%
$1,280,000 – $1,300,000 = 74%
$1,300,000 and more = 75%

Advertisements
changes, democrats, education, electoral college, ideas, politics, psychology, republicans, voting

Changing the American Elections

usa flag waving on white metal pole
Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

The Trouble With Voter Expectations

Historically, the United States has one of the lowest voter turnouts of all developed nations. One reason I’m convinced the Republican Party is still in power is voter apathy. Beto O’Rourke came close to defeating Ted Cruz in 2018. He gave the liberals hope, but it was short-lived in the long run. Only about 41-percent of eligible voters went to the polls. There’s no doubt in my mind Donald Trump was elected in 2016 when he shouldn’t have even made it past the primary is because of low turnout. States like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan went red because Bernie Sanders supporters behaved like petulant children over him not winning the nomination and opted to stay home or go third-party out of spite which helped Trump win. Their cynicism did little more than show immaturity and selfishness on their behalf. Indeed Hillary Clinton was far from perfect, but there’s no question she was the more qualified candidate. Too often I hear people lamenting over the questionable things Hillary Clinton may or may not have done. If the reader knows any politician who hasn’t done anything extralegal or controversial or at least lied about something, do tell. That’s part of the game. If you want to plant seeds, you have to get your hands dirty. Even Saint Bernie has done lousy things like voting no on the Brady Bill. I’m sure that man has taken kickbacks somewhere, too.

Overhauling the System

The entire system must be overhauled in my humble opinion. First and foremost, I think Election Day should be moved to a Friday. I’m thinking Black Friday of October should be sufficient. That way more people would head to the polls. The reason they’ve had it on Tuesdays all along was to purge the votes. Back in the 1800s, they had it on Tuesday, a weekday, because people had to work and couldn’t make it to the cities from farms. I’d have the primaries the last Friday of March to select candidates from each particular party. There’d be no more superdelegates and whatnot to confuse the voters, and it would all be the same day so they couldn’t drag it out. Then I’d have a secondary election conducted either the last Friday of May or June to eliminate third-party candidates from spoiling the elections from not dropping out sooner. The national conventions would be conducted in July. First, I’d have the challenging party have theirs ensued by that of the incumbent candidate/party the following week. Last but not least, I’d eliminate the electoral college. There’s no question the candidate with the most popular votes should be the winner not the one with the most electoral ones. That I’m certain is another factor towards low turnout. Anyone with a physical mailing address would be registered automatically through the post office and not have to re-register on a continual basis. I’d even allow people to vote online with their social security numbers and a PIN assuming there’s ways to safeguard that. Or I’d allow anyone to mail in their votes if they don’t wish to face the crowd. Early voting I’d allow 24/7 an entire fortnight before Election to mitigate the latter.

Why We Need Compulsory Voting

Most importantly, I’d induce compulsory voting across the board. That’s how I think it should be. Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador enforce compulsory voting. That’s where everyone who’s eligible by law must vote. I know what some of you are thinking. But isn’t that violating people’s civil rights? Not in my book it isn’t. In Australia, anyone who doesn’t vote has one’s passport revoked until the next election unless one has the reason dismissed by a judge. Because Australia is surrounded by water, the only way off the island is either by plane or ship. Anyone who stays home on Election Night can’t board. If it were up to me, anyone who abstains from voting would have to forfeit one’s income tax returns until the next election. My mantra is you play, you pay. All of that revenue would be geared towards deficit spending. Therefore, if somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of eligible voters only show up, the other 40 could pay off large chunks of the national debt over the course of two or four years. They may even make Uncle Sam debt free. Imagine how quickly there’d be change under this system.

Why We Need Term Limits

This leads me to my last point. I would induce term limits on all politicians not just presidents. Were it up to me, governors, senators, representatives, mayors, and everyone else in office would be limited to two four-year terms per position. For supreme court, state, and local judges and justices, the max time they could serve would be two presidential terms. The idea is to cut through the red tape and prevent people from becoming complacent after being in office too long. The voters would ween them of their addiction to power and lower government corruption big time. The only way anyone could become a career politicians would be by running for different offices once they were term-limited and win the elections. Therefore, a two-term governor or senator could run for president during one’s second term whereas a two-term mayor could campaign for state senator, governor, or whatever. While politicians are only human, I’m certain the three main reasons America has a gridlocked system are the electoral college, low voter turnout, and lack of term limits. People who have deadlines and more to lose tend to get more done.

The Younger, the Better

History has shown some of the best presidents were the youngest ones whereas some of the worst ones were the oldest, moreover. You’d think it’d be the opposite, but it makes perfect sense if you ponder long and hard enough. A man in his 40s has a better idea what it’s like raising a family in today’s society. Not only can he connect with the younger voters more; he’s more familiar with pop culture. The younger candidate probably has more energy and is more enthused about his job. He has newer and fresher ideas. A man in his 70s may be convinced he knows everything because he’s been around longer. Many of the older men want the world to be like it was thirty or forty years prior when they were younger, and that’s not how it works. They’re probably out of touch because they’ve been in politics too long. Last but not least, older presidents know if they do a terrible job, they have nothing left to lose because they won’t live long enough to see the damage they’ve caused. Alas, this is why I declare there should be compulsory voting, term limits, and the other changes in the electoral process I discussed in this entry.