Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tom Eblen and his "Educated Ideas"

Tom Eblen of the Lexington Herald Leader explains to his readers that "educated ideas" such as the ones which would advocate a certain approach to taxation are superior to the uneducated ideas of those opposed. While Eblen throws around the reference to EDUKASHION in a completely irresponsible manner, let's only worry about his tax ideas here.

First of all, we would all like to pay less taxes on our income and thus take home more money, correct? Is this an educated or uneducated position? (Or patriotic?)

Eblen argues that a "return" to the taxes of 2000 prior to President Bush's tax cuts are superior to our present day's taxes. A quick glance at the tax schedule shows that across the board everyone paid MORE in 2000.

A brief visit to shows the differences quickly and succinctly in the tax breakdown. The numbers that jump out from both is not necessarily the changes that have taken place, but rather the extraordinary difference in the percentage that the higher income brackets are paying.

The Actual Numbers:
In 2000, those making $0 to $26K were taxed at 15%, $26K to $63K were taxed at 28%, $63K to $132K at 31%, $132K to $288K at 36%, and $288K and above at a whopping 39.6%.

In 2008, those making $0 to $8k are taxed at 10%, $8K to $32K at 15%, $32K to $78K at 25%, $78K to $164K at 28%, $164K to $357K at 33%, and above $357 at 35% (still some "whopping" big percentages for those last two brackets.)

What if everything we bought at the store were priced according to our income in such a way that those making $100,000 were charged 20% more for a soft drink than those making $10,000? While that's only 20 cents on a soft drink, it could be thousands of dollars on a car or house.

If Eblen wants to advocate a Robin Hood type of taxation which increases the tax burden on the wealthy while easing it further on the poor, then he should be allowed to advocate such a position, but he should call it what it is: charity.

If Eblen wants to argue for this position because of compassion and out of a need for financial equality, fine. However, to point his finger at Kentucky and make the issue one of being educated and uneducated while he fails to present the real numbers behind what he is proposing is deceptive. To further disguise socialistic economic principles behind the mask of education is seemingly an intentional misleading of his readers.

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