Don’t let John Birch do your taxes

You probably heard all the latest news about the IRS. My spouse is an accountant so I hear about taxes no matter if I want to or not but since it’s near an election, politicians are talking about taxes. Some of what you hear is good news, in fact, on the federal level much of it is. A lot of it is just plain BS-scare tactics meant to keep the rich richer and fund political ambitions.

The announcement from Biden is that the income categories are going to be adjusted for inflation, meaning, you will probably be paying less in federal taxes.

Earned income credits are used for low income people and can add back some credit to the refund for “working poor.”. This bracket will go up too,meaning those raises from $7 dollars and hour $10 an hour will not be a burden, helping those low income workers and according to my spouse, “makes taxes more fair.” But if our taxes are going down, how will the government make ends meet without being stingy when it comes to the average citizen?

You probably also heard about the added IRS agents. This is needed to put the Service back in IRS. Taxes are the way we get money to run our country. To ignore tax cheating and not do all we can to collect what is legally owed is like shooting the family breadwinner. My husband calls it “malfeasance” which has been visited upon our country since the 80s.

Adding new agents will help honest people and make doing taxes and getting a refund much easier. By the way, here are some ways NOT to cheat on your taxes. Be aware, itemized deductions are pretty much going away in the new Trump massaged tax plan.

Additionally, the IRS will be able to update their technology. As this article explain, they have computers that still use windows XP!

A relative who has since passed away was a member of the John Birch Society and was taught to hate income taxes so much that he told my husband he was working for the enemy by being a tax preparer. The John Birch Society was once considered a fringe wing of the Republicans and mostly ignored. It’s back now with its demonizing of many facets of civil society. Politicians such as Ted Cruz seem to be doing its bidding. I recently heard one running for office in my area say in a debate that getting rid of the IRS updates was her top priority. Here she is at my grocery store for those who recognize her.

Those who demonize income taxes and say they cut taxes fail to mention one important tidbit of information. There are all types of taxes besides income taxes and states use these types of taxes and income taxes to fill their coffers for things such as public schools, roads (and plowing them), recreation areas, and law enforcement, which is aided by the federal government. They can also make up for income tax cuts by reducing services. For example, my state cut back on restaurant inspections.

I have been traveling and all across the country, the same politicians who brag about cutting taxes accuse the OTHER side of defunding police when it is those taxes which are paying for the law. None of it makes sense which is why I hate political ads. You can’t explain an issue in a soundbite, especially when the ads are handed down from outside groups like the John Birch Society But guess what, the same people associated with the John Birch Society are paying for those ads.

Progressive income taxes are used by states who want those who can to pay more in taxes. For those who want the rich to keep what they have (and possibly donate it to politicians), other taxes and fees are added to make up the difference. States vary in what they tax more, income or the add-ons and consumption taxes such as sales taxes. A popular way to add on a tax is to have a “sin tax” on things such as gambling, liquor, and tobacco products. Marijuana is a new and lucrative taxable substance for some states, luring people from out of state to fill their coffers. Take a look at your phone bill. Mine includes over $11 worth of tax and fees. Those are NOT income taxes. They are making up for the high income people getting a tax break, recouping losses for “tax cuts.”

My state, Iowa has a flat tax, which people see as simple and fair, but which shifts the tax burden onto lower income people more harshly than the upper echelon. It often means lost revenue for the state which means other taxes and fees must be added, or services must be cut. Personally, I probably won’t see much benefit and I would love the richer people to pay more taxes so they fund fewer political ads.

When it comes to taxes, unless you are very rich, there isn’t really such a thing as a tax cut. You might lose services and benefits or get charged more of another tax. Iowa for example, has gone from a 2.5 % sales tax to a 6% sales tax plus local option taxes. We also have an internet commerce tax. The basic idea is that if you have lower income taxes, you will attract more high rollers to your state and they will spend money buying things. One thing they will buy is political advertisements. They also are more likely to be tax cheats so those IRS agents are going to earn their keep.

One modern lesson we’ve learned is that tax cuts at the top are bad for a country. Look at Great Britain today. History shows this as well. The Mayan Empire is an example, as cited in the book Collapse.

In any case, be aware of what it means to “cut taxes” and if a politician talks about scary IRS agents, they are not going to work for you–they are John Birch Society performance artists. Be mindful and cast an informed vote.

Diagram of taxes

4 thoughts on “Don’t let John Birch do your taxes

  1. this is what is really maddening about the coverage of issues like education in our state is that folks like Grant Gerlock who will report on what the Gov and co. say about their plans but never look into the national campaigns (largely dark money) behind the misinformation (CRT, grooming, etc) and also the ALEC style cookie cutter legislation, and while there is some Christian Nationalism at work in these affairs it’s mostly about their hatred of taxes and spending, of which public education (along with healthcare) is a major piece of the pie and they’d like to get rid of it entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Even as a hopeless cause, she’s uplifting. And the comments about CovidKim on the PBS site were for the most part, funny and true. Kim pretended to cry about late term abortion of a healthy fetus. But I have been asking and not getting a reply–how could this be done? No insurance in the USA would pay for it, just for starters.

    Like

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