(There are some things you can give Gary Crooks of the Spokesman-Review great credit for.)
Think of it as a tax burden
Gary Crooks, in his most recent “Smart Bombs” column discussed the concentration of wealth as it accrued to the 1% of the wealthiest individuals residing in this nation. That 1% who now had a greater burden of taxes as a consequence of such a concentration of wealth. Which may be the real reason why McCain wants to shave the tax rate even further for such corporations so that their “tax burden” is reduced accordingly. Never mind the many ways in which the wealthiest 1% work hard at avoiding paying out on that tax burden at every opportunity. Such as Tax Shelters. What McCain breezily promises and avoids taking a close look at anything, he implies some sort of altruistic motivation to major corporations, that if their tax rates were reduced to even more historic lows, why they would create wealth. Make that, they would have further opportunities to horde the wealth they already have. So here are some facts that McCain simply doesn’t want to look at.
Taxes that vary from country to country
McCain in his many campaign stops before different rallies mentioned the fact that Ireland has the low tax rate of 11%. This would be, so he proclaimed the reasons why businesses would relocate to Ireland in order to set up shop. Don’t expect me to become an over night economist in that I can state right now what a tax ratio to Gross Domestic Product would be; or that I ever had a direct hand in writing tax codes to assume that we had X amount of GDP and can therefore tax according to the actual wealth created by the actual GDP. But I can still legitimately speculate, that if Ireland has an 11% tax rate, it doesn’t mean that Ireland has a more business friendly environment for businesses to set up shop. Indeed, if Ireland happened to have labor and environmental laws anything like that of the U.S., it is also highly unlikely that a Microsoft (for example) would move its main office there. It is because Ireland may have a GDP well below what presumably the U.S. has. And an 11% tax rate would be about what that nation can produce in state revenues for what its actual production involves. • We aren’t just talking about taxes now, but also dirt cheap labor. • You can find all that in India, China, Vietnam and etc. I find little to no wealth creation in the business of greed first. What gets me, is that these same companies that rendered their American workforce jobless made the blithe assumption that jobless people would still be spending money (that they hadn’t earned) like crazy. So it takes awhile before joblessness begins to take a toll on the economy and starts causing collapses in the marketplace up and down the ladder. So let us put it bluntly, that altruism did not exist when businesses relocated (not just on taxes but also other factors) to other nations, taking away, as they did so, wealth creation in their original states or counties or cities of operations. Forever seeking short term greed and making the proverbial gazillions on the basis of what has been described above, I can hardly proclaim that if McCain reduced to 25% the tax rate on the gazillions already owned by such corporations, well, it just means they would keep gazillions more in their greedy hands. It doesn’t mean however, that they would be more inclined to play nice and hire on an American workforce. Speaking of an innate liberalism behind McCain’s very comments. The man is definitely operating on some idealistic assumptions.
The Ayn Rand factor?
Ever since Ayn Rand wrote what today is being described as a radical approach to the whole idea of the marketplace: The individual matters more than group think, altruism is an enemy to success, etc. There have no doubt been devotees who tried to put Rand’s reverse Communism into action. Why would I say “reverse Communism?” Because ultimately, the same people who would at least on the surface support Rand’s ideological views in fiction, still expected the government to “be there” for their collective wants and needs, special legislation that their industry lobbyists would write that would favor the businesses they had come to represent. The common good was seen as alien, the other, to ideas of success. But, the common man could fork over for the business interest because who has to pay for the tax break or subsidy? Who has to pay for the federal grant or loan, quite beyond the business interest? Who has to fork out for any trade deal that is sure to benefit that business? If Ayn Rand were to be believed, those who ran the businesses and deemed altruism a terrible threat to their long term profits should have considered that altruism where they can be beneficiaries, can surely be denied as well. Yeah, reverse Communism. Not the common good, or all are rendered by the “state” equal, but because I have the money to be heard better than you who don’t, then I can expect something from the state, and your wallet, (and call you “socialist” if you demand the same.) I had the occasion for reading at least a couple of Rand’s books as a child. Atlas Shrugged was one I recall, and I think it was, “Who’s John Gault?” Was he some kind of a fictional character in an already fictional tale? Where a dude in this story goes out to find him and basically prove his existence. But, I understood the works to be fiction. What I did see in any of those books was something of a culture war between men of enterprise and those demanding that men of enterprise develop a social conscious. When I think about it, Ayn Rand must have been quite apoplectic over Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” where Scrooge was taught a social conscious with the help of ghosts. Or did Rand have another thought in mind? What would happen if men of enterprise really did not care to develop a social conscious and pursued greed at every turn? Rand wasn’t prescient enough to know what would happen, but today, we do see the outcome. The global markets crashing.
Altruism is behind McCain’s arguments against higher taxes, especially on those who can most afford to pay them. We can’t have that, higher taxes will not generate wealth creation. No, but it does obligate people to pay for such things as the roads and bridges they travel on, the military they expect to protect them, the schools they go to for education and etc. Who do they expect to pay for these things? It used to be that it was called welfare with the implication of laziness. The guy who doesn’t think he needs to earn his own keep if he can just insist on gvt taking care of his needs. Good enough. Now how about those who also want something for nothing? The people who go to McCain rallies and hear a something for nothing speech from Senator McCain? Looks like “welfare” and the “laziness” factor have now migrated (like the spreading of wealth) upwards.
I don’t expect any politician to be thoroughly honest. To say the right thing all the time and not have his words come back to haunt him. But, I am prepared to offer far more respect to the fellow who recognizes somewhat how and why we are in the economic situation that we now face. That we shall have to sacrifice something to pull this nation out of the ditch and give it a future. Obama admits it. McCain has yet to.