Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tax the Rich

Texas State Representative Lon Burnam has filed H.B. No. 1735, which calls for a personal income tax on all income above $100,000. (Texas is one of a few states without a personal income tax.) Calling the Texas tax system "profoundly unfair", Burnam told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:
Not only do we have a tax system that is unfair on the working middle class, it doesn't generate enough funds for whatever we need to do. So, I filed this income tax bill that is selective. All it proposes to do is an income tax on income in excess of $100,000 and the thing is that most working people don't make that much.
He went on to say:
But you know what? Everybody can live on $100,000 a year and many of my constituents don't have enough to live on and they're paying a much higher percentage of their income in taxes than the people who make $100,000 a year. It is not fair, it is not right.
But apparently it is fair for Burnam to forcibly take money from those who earned it so that he can spend it. Apparently Burnam believes that might makes right.

As I have pointed out previously, when faced with a budget deficit, politicians automatically look for something to tax. The concept of cutting spending is as foreign to them as a polar bear in the Sahara.

Burman is rather explicit in his envy and class warfare:
Most people who bother to study it and learn and understand it say 'this is a no brainer'. Look how much money we could get from the extremely wealthy and give tax relief to the rest of us.
According to Burman anyone making $100,000 a year is "extremely wealthy". Either he is extremely naive (in which case he shouldn't be in the legislature) or he is extremely dishonest (in which case he shouldn't be in the legislature). This is nothing more than a money grab. If a private citizen took money from someone else, he would be labeled a thief. The principle does not change simply because one sits in the Texas House of Representatives.

Burman's dishonesty goes beyond merely pretending that his proposal is fair and right. While singling out the "extremely wealthy", he conveniently ignores that the same argument was made regarding the federal income tax when it was first proposed. But it wasn't long before the tax was expanded to the middle class. The same will happen in Texas, because politicians will raise taxes long before they will cut spending.

As if penalizing productivity isn't bad enough, Burman proposes to apply the $100,000 to each individual. Consequently, if one spouse makes $100,000 while the other makes less, they would still pay taxes on $100,000.

Fortunately, it is unlikely that the bill will pass. But that won't stop Burman from trying--he introduced a similar bill in the last legislative session.


dave said...

I think it is about time that the qualifications for being a politician are raised. Currently if you are a citizen ,old enough to vote and can fog a mirror you can become a politician, no matter how stupid you are.

About the only trait that most of them share is the fact that they are consummate liars.

Brian Phillips said...

I don't think that politicians are necessarily stupid, but they are most definitely driven by bad ideas.