Thursday, January 27, 2011

Taxation for Representation

I'm not sure why Michele Bachmann gets so much press.

Okay, scratch that. I do know why. Because she says dumb shit, just like someone else we know and love or hate depending on where we sit and how much grey matter we're sporting.

She's now riding this wave of neo-constitutionalism that has a stubborn tendency to ignore the parts of the constitution that contradict their goals. This is remarkably similar to the tendency of many, who are (perhaps not coincidentally) on the same side of the political fence, to ignore the parts of their other sacred document that don't support their views.

Although the teabaggers like to flout their reverence for the Founding Fathers (a phrase, by the way, coined by one of our most corrupt leaders), the U.S. Constitution was left intentionally open to interpretation. (And change. Amendments, anyone?) What does "general welfare" mean to you? How about "common defense"? A "well-regulated militia", maybe? They're all covered. And they're all pretty damn vague.

I just looked at Article 1 - Section 8, the section that is perhaps most frequently ignored by the teabaggers. Here's what it says.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Wanna do some "interpretation" with me? Cool.

I'm sure that people like Steve Forbes would argue that "uniform" means a flat tax. But what this really means is that no one state should be taxed more than another. That is, that the federal income tax rates should be the same for individuals living in every state. My federal tax can't be 10% in New York, but 15% in Alabama.

But take a leap with me for a moment. Could this possibly mean that each state should bear the same total burden? If we need to collect $1 trillion dollars, do we get 1/50 of it from each state? That would be "uniform", right? "No!", you scream. There are way more people in New York than in Wyoming. And way more money there. They should pay more. (These complaints would come from Wyoming far more than from New York.)

But ask those same folks in Wyoming how they feel about the Senate and it's a different story. They get two senators, New York gets two senators. So our constitution demands that each state get equal representation in one of our two houses of legislation. So howzabout they pony up for that? Equal representation, equal tax burden.

Maybe the federal tax rate should be adjusted for the amount of representation you get in congress. Toss the House into the mix, if you want. That'll level things a bit. But not entirely. Wyoming has 3 legislators in D.C., one for every 188,000 residents. New york has 31 legislators, one for every 625,000 residents. Maybe Wyoming should pay a bit more for that extra representation. More than three times as much, by my cheap calculation. Don't want to pay more? Okay, send one or two of those folks home.

And while we're at it, we can stop taxing the folks in D.C. at all.

Of course, I don't mean any of this. Except the last bit about the D.C. taxes. That I mean. But really, is it any crazier than some of the crap the teabaggers are tossing at us?

4 comments:

Mrs. Chili said...

Please write more. I miss you when you're quiet, and I love the way you frame your discussions.

I have been trying to keep myself from the brink of despair over all of this nonsense. I'm consistently - CONSISTENTLY - astounded by some of the shockingly DUMB SHIT that some of these people say out loud and in public. HELLO!? Can you HEAR YOURSELF?! And why is it that no one from the groups that these people associate with have either taken them aside to ask "what the fuck is WRONG with you?!" or also stood up and said, out loud and in public, that these idiots DO NOT represent the majority of us. Does no one do that because they really DO believe what Bachman and Palin and those of her ilk are saying?

GAH!

MAB said...

Thanks, Mrs. C! I'll try to be a more consistent presence here.

Kizz said...

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