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  1. about 21 hours ago on Michael Ramirez

    Close, but actually what I’d like to see is flat rate, & a minimum standard deduction plus deduction for dependents for everyone. MSD would equal 1/2 federal minimum wage, annualized. DD would equal some flat amount tied to inflation. Agree that interest income taxable. Also capital gains at same rate as everything else.

    But I know from years of reviewing tax returns that graduated tax rates are an excuse for adding deductions/loopholes & anyone with money maneuvers around them. That’s why Mitt Romney, who I regard as a straight arrow, pays overall at about the same percentage (15% or so last time I looked) as me, a retired mid level govt bureaucrat. Graduated rates are an illusion to fool people into thinking we can get the rich to pay extra. In fact, the result is often that the rich pay less. So I’m against progressive rates mainly because they don’t work.

    Truthfully, if I could wave a magic wand, I’d abolish the individual income tax entirely, required every business to incorporate, & tax corporate income only at a flat rate, setting a maximum deduction for wages/salaries/bonuses when actually paid. That might actually force the rich to pay extra. But I can’t seem to find that damned wand…

  2. 2 days ago on Michael Ramirez

    You are right that the issue is playing catch-up. But it’s Illinois’ issue, to be solved by Illinois. A graduated tax isn’t the answer, in my view. It’s just another tool for the politicians to use to buy votes by handing out deductions. 40 years of working for the IRS convinces me of that. Higher taxes on a flat tax basis is better, granting a reasonable exclusion for those at the bottom – say annual income based on 1/2 of the minimum wage. In addition, the nonsense of not taxing pension income should be stopped. (And I have one of those so I personally won’t be happy about that.)

  3. 2 days ago on Michael Ramirez

    Don’t change the subject. We aren’t talking about expending federal funds for federal programs agreed to in advance, which is what was done in the past. Nor are we talking about the fact that taxpayers who pay more federal taxes are clustered in blue states. We are talking about deliberate underfunding of pension plans in particular states that now want a bailout. They want to foist the costs of their bad choices on the rest of the country. No different than any other situation where state taxpayers let their government spend money foolishly. It’s on them.

  4. 2 days ago on Michael Ramirez

    The subject is not federal funding generally applicable to all the states. That’s a separate problem. It is whether we should have a new policy of bailing out pension funds foolishly chosen by particular states. If KY is one of them, they don’t get a bailout either.

  5. 3 days ago on Michael Ramirez

    Not in Illinois. Our tax system is quite secure. It just won’t generate enough money to rescue the outrageous pension system.

  6. 3 days ago on Michael Ramirez

    That has nothing to do with state level pension funds or this particular cartoon.

  7. 3 days ago on Michael Ramirez

    Not true. The pension debt crisis is in Democrat states – not federal level. Reagan reformed federal pensions in 1985 & that system is relatively stable. So what’s going on here is that Democrats have been feeding the donkey but are running out of hay.

  8. 3 days ago on Michael Ramirez

    That’s certainly true at the federal level.

  9. 3 days ago on Michael Ramirez

    What’s wrong with blaming? I live in Illinois. Democrats & the public unions have looted the treasury to fund pensions. Now they want the rest of the country to bail us out. Damn right I blame them.

  10. 12 days ago on Michael Ramirez

    Yep. “Assumption of risk” – already a legal doctrine.