December 3, 2013

Letter: Unwitting tools?

The t-e-a in tea party stands for “taxed enough already.” And if you are the average citizen this certainly is true.

But when you consider federal income taxes today as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) are about the same as they were in 1952, something seems wrong. Ask yourself if it’s possible that the Koch brothers, through Freedom Partners-funded tea party events, did so out of pure kindness. The truth is the tea party has just played into the hands of the rich. The Kochs are for lower individual and corporate taxes and restricted environmental laws (remember West, Texas). Who stands to win the most — you or the Kochs’ industries?

A study by USA Today found that 57 companies listed on the Standard & Poor’s 500 pay an effective federal income tax rate of zero percent. Goldman Sachs’ David Kostin points out that less than 10 percent of Standard & Poor’s 500 firms actually pay the statutory rate (39 percent). Lowering capital gains to 15 percent was said to boost the economy and create jobs. An analysis by economist Leonard Burman found no apparent relationship between low capital gains taxes and high economic growth. The top 1 percent of households own 57.5 percent of corporate wealth — dividends and capital gains. The top 5 percent own 82 percent of all stocks.

The easiest way to wealth is to have the government give it to you. The farm bill is a good example. According to the Environmental Working Group, on the Forbes 400 some 50 billionaires, or 1 percent of farms (commercial), averaged $1.5 million each in traditional farm subsidies between 1995-2012. Texas got $27.3 billion. Republicans Stephen Fincher and Doug LaMalfa both recently cited the Bible to argue that while Christians have the responsibility to feed the poor, the federal government does not. Agricultural Department records show they have received $3 and $5 million in subsidies.

A Chattanooga Times Free Press report on a Tennessee state audit said the state could not prove that incentives are creating the jobs they promised. Is Georgia getting our money’s worth? Kia got $419.4 million. Georgia’s governments give $1.4 billion in tax incentives away each year (a tax of $144 per person). Companies create jobs but the taxpayers are stuck paying for roads, land and infrastructure while there seems little oversight into the number of jobs and taxes generated. Do the tea party’s misdirected tax strategies make them unwitting “tools” of big business?

David Bean


Text Only
  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere

    Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.

    July 22, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly

    Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dalton council should seek answers

    Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Letter: Something to think about

    It has been better than four months now since Malaysia Flight 370 went missing. During that time we have heard all kinds of speculation, conjecture and opinions as to what happened to it. The only certainties to emerge are that the Malaysians fumbled the ball early on and there are some understandably distressed loved ones left to deal with their losses.

    July 21, 2014

  • Don’t forget the runoff

    Most folks are either getting ready for or still recovering from their summer vacations. So it’s easy to forget that Tuesday is an election day. A runoff election day to be precise.

    July 20, 2014

  • Be excited about a new grocery store, but stay loyal to the Green Spot

    The Daily Citizen reported on the front page of the July 15 newspaper that Dalton could get a new grocery store.

    July 19, 2014