Monday, March 07, 2011

The Real Enemy

I don't know if this guy Ron Legro is truly dense or just writing puff pieces for the "left progressive" faction.

His argument:
Number of teachers in Wisconsin: 59,552
Number of millionaires in Wisconsin: 89,977

Yes, it's amazing, but true: Wisconsin by far has more millionaires than school teachers. Suffice to say, the two categories do not appreciably overlap.

Average Wisconsin teacher salary: $46,390 (US rank: 28th among all states)

Typical wage cut faced by a Wisconsin school teacher if Gov. Scott Walker's non- negotiable give-backs are enacted: $5,567 to 6,958 per year (based on net total compensation reduction caused by Walker's plan).

Continuing average income boost for millionaires in Wisconsin and elsewhere, thanks to the recent extension of 2001 Bush-era federal tax cuts: Approximately $100,000 per year.

So here's the bottom line no one on the red side of the political aisle will ever bother to acknowledge:

If the State of Wisconsin increased taxes on resident millionaires to take back just one-twentieth of the extra money they've been keeping in their pockets thanks to the Bush tax cuts, that would totally wipe out the need to slash teacher salaries under Walker's scheme. Totally.

-------- As pointed out to Legro by a reader, his facts regarding Wisconsin's number of millionaires are misleading, the 89,977 is "total net worth, not annual income." As I blogged before, there's a huuuuuge difference between what you're worth (wealth) and your income (wages).

I might mention that the "Bush tax cuts for the rich" also included tax cuts for all. If the cuts were not extended you would have noticed more withholding tax on you pay stub, which the majority of wage workers will receive back, some or all of it, in a tax refund, unless of course BigDaddy government keeps it for back child support, student loan default, back tax for not filing for years Bubba, etc., etc.

One reader on Legro's blog commented: Great post! The more people talk about this, the more the country will see who the real enemy is. Wherever appropriate I mention that I am old enough to remember the 90% tax bracket for income tax. Nelson Rockefeller, the former governor of New York and Vice President, was in this bracket, solely because of his thieving grandfather. He paid his income taxes without complaint.

Who the real enemy is? If the reader is old enough to remember the 90% tax bracket for income tax and that Rockefeller didn't complain he should also know that said bracket was not for total net worth because of a thieving grandpappy, but for income over $400K. He should know that Nelson could pay himself an annual income of $4 or $400 or $4000. He should know that the 90% was AGI, after deductions, and rich folks have lots of deductions. He should know that it was these high tax brackets that gave birth to thousands of tax free "foundations" where family money could be donated to family foundations, tax free. (Although tax free foundations were established earlier by Warburg, Rockefeller, and Carnegie.)

And in case you're not old enough to remember, when Nelson Rockefeller wanted to become Gerald Ford's vice president, he had to disclose his tax returns which revealed that in 1970 Nelson hadn't paid one cent of income tax.

The "progressives" who seem more capable than I of spotting the "real enemy" would have you think the sole and simple solution is Robin Hoodish. Soak the rich.

Even one of their own, Oprah, legally only resides in California half the year, to avoid the resident tax rates - she's not soaking for anyone. And good old Charlie Rangel, forgetting income and interest free loans, etc. Or the memorable "African-American" Theresa Heinz Kerry, who reluctantly released 2 pages of her tax return showing an income of about 5 million from trusts, paying about 600K in federal tax of which 200K was overpayment which she elected to apply to the following year's taxes. Nothing released on the numerous family trusts that earn millions if not billions in interest. Her gross wage income was approximately $8000 based on the $1200 social security tax she paid.

The only time you'll see a decent tax return from a politician is when he knows he'll be running for office and might have to release one to the public, otherwise you would be speechless at the final amount on line 43. AGI is whittled to a nub when no one is going to see it. The list of "progressives" who are closet hardcore capitalists is long. It's not about "sharing the wealth" but who controls the wealth.

What do I think about public school teacher salaries? Most teachers are underpaid. But! Most teachers are also incompetent. Half of what's wrong with public education is piss-poor parenting, the other half is ineffectual teachers and administrators. More funding never has and never will solve the problem of a people who just don't care about things that matter.

So do the leaders of the "left" or the "progressives" really think they're going to soak the rich ("real enemy") for your benefit? No, but they know the village is full of idiots who fall for simple-minded rhetoric.

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