Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Welfare for the Rich

I've been blogging here at Western Hero since March, 2008.  Before that I blogged at a project that was going great for awhile but eventually fell through. 

I started out as a fire-breathing, rightwing defender of Bush and the GOP, but I ended up a skeptical, cynical libertarian.  I also came to accept some arguments of the left, principally, their criticism of crony crapitalism and political favors handed out to corporations and the rich (except when it's Obama doing it...  hypocrites...).

But anyway, lefty Emily Badger (what a name!) wrote an article in WaPo entitled, The Rich get Government Handouts just like the Poor.  Here are 10 of them, and there is not much there for me to disagree with.

Herewith, I list her 10 instances of welfare for the rich which she believes should be eliminated, with my opinion below each item:

1. The mortgage interest deduction for big houses and second homes.

I agree.  I think there should be no deduction whatsoever, but a good start would be to limit it to one home, and target it to people who need the tax break.

2. The yacht tax deduction.

Agreed.  Who, besides a 1%'er would disagree with this one?

3. Rental property.

Disagree. I don't own rental property, but I know people who do, and it is a business that provides a worthy service to others.

4. Fancy business meals.

I could go either way. This is such chump change, I don't see it as a burning issue

5. The capital gains tax rate.

Partially agree.  Where I disagree:  What lefties forget is that capital gains are an investor's reward for funding capital projects and loaning money to people producing goods and services in our economy.  If the government taxman sticks it to investors too hard, it will result in less money for new startups and other worthy economic endeavors.

I do believe some indexing should be done so that Joe Schlubb wage slave doesn't get slammed by the same rate as the big guys raking in millions.

6. The estate tax.

Totally and vehemently disagree. What gives government the right to feast upon the carcasses of the dead?  When a farmer passes on his operation to his children, the money is all wrapped up in land, equipment and livestock.  Many inheritors are too cash poor to pay the tax bill, and end up having to sell.  That's just wrong.

7. Gambling loss deductions.

Agreed.  You crap out, you eat it.  (that goes for Wall Street gamblers as well, but that's another topic)

8. The Social Security earnings limit.

I could go either way on this one.

9. Retirement plans. 

Disagree. Badger makes a very unprincipled argument of fairness and resentment of those who have retirement plans. I hate the way government micromanages and over-regulates individuals and their savings plans anyway. For the vast majority of us wage slaves, government should simply tax us when we make it and then leave us alone to grow or blow our accumulated wealth as we see fit.

10. Tax prep.

Agreed.  If you pay someone to do your taxes, that should not be a write-off.

* * *

That's my opinion.  More importantly, what's yours?

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