You Call That a Tax Cut?

Have you ever been to a website and they have the “deal of the week” or something like that but every time you go there it’s the same thing for like eight weeks.  I just thought inter-nettime went slower, sorry Bruce.  But I digress…

Now that I’ve built up the suspense, remember last year when we all got a $300 “tax cut?”  Well we’ve got another one coming this year but it looks like it will be $500.  I paid zero income tax last year.  Well let’s back up a little.  I actually paid about a thousand dollars (I’m a starving graduate student) and then at the end of the year they paid me back.  Then a month later they sent me a check for $300 that was totally unrelated except for the fact that it was signed by the IRS who also signed my refund check.  What’s more everyone else got the same $300 check (married couples got 600 if I recall correctly).  It had nothing to do with how much money I made or anything else.  I just got it for living in America.  Well here’s a bombshell people.  That’s not a tax cut, that’s a welfare check!  It was only called a tax cut because we had a republican president, and now as a concession to conservatives the Obama Administration will call their even larger welfare checks tax cuts as well.

If you recall my post on dual Federalism, you know how all power state governments used to have has been usurped by the federal government taking their money and giving it back to them in exchange for behaving in the way that it wants them to.  Well they’re doing the exact same thing to you.  Every two weeks the government takes an amount of money from you based on how much you make (according to your ability) and then at the end of the year it gives you back a portion of it in exchange for doing what it wants you to do.  And now they’re also handing out flat payments which have nothing to do with what you do or how much you make (according to your needs?)  They don’t actually reduce the tax rate.  That would actually affect the incentive to produce (though admittedly it’s not theoretically clear which way it would affect it in all cases).  But that would also be relinquishing their grip on your finances to some degree.  This way they keep just as much control over you and actually increase it by making you dependent on that check.  If we get any more tax cuts around here the government will just take your whole check every payday and then decide how much you deserve at the end of the year.  It seems like that system has a name but at the moment I can’t think of it….