The Tax and Spend Spectator

The Tax and Spend Spectator

The Waste Awakens, Never to Sleep Again

By 12.15.15

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). follows retired Tom Coburn in reporting on the ludicrous waste of taxpayer dollars in Washington. In advance of the latest Star Wars movie release, Flake issued Wastebook 2015: The Farce Awakens. Alas, the waste never sleeps. One of the few constants in Washington is tossing taxpayers’ hard-earned cash not just to special interests who hire the best lobbyists, but for misbegotten purposes that only Uncle Sam could imagine.

The Wastebook showcases 100 nutty expenditures. It explains that each outlay “represents thousands, millions or, in some cases, billions of dollars that could have been better spent on cancer research, strengthening national defense, caring for veterans, or not spent at all to reduce our debt.” So much for that dreadful austerity that congressional spendthrifts claim we are suffering through.

The Tax and Spend Spectator

The Rich Pay More Than Their Fair Share

By 5.6.15

From President Obama to Hillary Clinton to Elizabeth Warren, on down, the entire Democratic Party is invested in a false narrative about the relative burden of federal income taxes, and about freedom and opportunity in the American economy.

“The rich don’t pay their fair share,” “the deck is stacked against you,” and “the middle class is being squeezed,” they tell the nation they have been leading. But the truth is just the opposite. The latest, official, U.S. government data for 2014 shows that “the rich” pay far more than their fair share of federal income taxes. That is most recently demonstrated in a report from the Tax Policy Center, which is a project of two liberal organizations, the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.

The Tax and Spend Spectator

The Great Divide

By From the January-February 2014 issue

If you want your federal taxes reduced you will have to wait until 2017. If you want your state and local taxes reduced, move—now. Before President Obama lied about allowing you to keep your doctor and health insurance, he told his most famous fib: promising that he would never raise any form of taxes on anyone who earned less than $250,000. On February 4, 2009, only 16 days after his inauguration, he raised taxes on tobacco users, whose average income is less than $40,000. Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, which created 20 different new taxes. And on January 1, 2013, the president refused to extend all of George W. Bush’s temporary tax cuts, including the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch. Eighty-five of the cuts, measured by dollar value, were were made permanent, but 15 percent lapsed.

Today the House forestalls any effort to hike taxes, while the Democrat-controlled Senate and White House guarantee that GOP plans for tax reform—cutting the top rates for individuals and businesses to 25 percent, instituting a territorial tax system, allowing the expensing of business investment—are on ice until 2017.

The Tax and Spend Spectator

Digest 2013

By From the December 2013 issue

With the November 5 contests in New Jersey and Virginia behind us, we are now one full political year past the re-election of Barack Obama. Much has transpired in those 12 months.A year ago the establishment media was quick to explain that Obama’s re-election was the down payment on the Democrats’ inevitable, inexorable, demographically guaranteed lock on power in America. As annoying as Mitt Romney’s defeat was, the left’s bravado rang a tad hollow, like the super-villain who pauses in the penultimate scene of the movie to explain to James Bond that he has now won and will soon run the world.

The Tax and Spend Spectator

This Budget Battle Is All About 2014

By From the October 2013 issue

BARACK OBAMA WOULD very much like to be president again. For two glorious years he stood athwart the nation backed by his Praetorian Guard: the Democrat supermajorities in the House and Senate. He could do anything. Obamacare. Financial regulation. Stimulus spending. Special deals for union bosses. Solyndra contracts for his bundlers. Then the annoying Republicans took away his House majority. He wants it back. Every waking moment at the White House is focused on regaining that power and glory for 2015 and 2016. Think Gollum and the ring. Captain Ahab and the whale. Obama can regain this power by winning a House majority in 2014 (and keeping his endangered Senate majority) or by breaking the Republican phalanx and creating a collaborator caucus. But the quisling faction failed to materialize. The GOP has not been enticed by the fools’ gold of Simpson-Bowles. It has resisted demands to unlock and break the sequester.