Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Liberals Flip-Flop On Taxes

There are a lot of things that liberals are apparently either unwilling or unable to understand. The American tax system seems to be at the top of that list.

Both John Kerry and the protestors against Washington’s new baseball stadium are blatantly misleading the public and ignoring important facts about their respective tax grievances.

Sen. Kerry has a plan to repeal President Bush’s tax cuts for those making $200,000 or more per year. During last Friday’s presidential debate in St. Louis, he again gave his word -“absolutely” – when asked if he was not going to “sign any legislation that will increase the tax burden on families earning less than $200,000 during your first term.”

Even if Kerry were to somehow attempt to keep that pledge – and given his constant flip-flops, his word means about as much as a telephone psychic’s – he does not seem to realize the ramifications of such a tax increase, and he is once again using petty class warfare to twist the public’s perception of who will be affected by the plan.

During the same debate, Kerry said of his plan, “I suspect there are only three people here who are going to be affected: the president, me, and Charlie, I’m sorry, you, too.”

He couldn’t be further from the truth.

What John Kerry isn’t telling you is that two-thirds of all personal income tax returns in the highest bracket include earnings from partnerships, sole proprietorships or “S” corporations – small businesses.

Why is this important? Kerry talks about health care and jobs for everyone, but taxing small businesses more is absolutely contrary to that goal.

According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses (defined as having fewer than 500 employees) employ half of all employees in the private sector, and pay 44.3 percent of the private U.S. payroll. They have also generated 60-80 percent of the net new jobs during the previous decade.

If our small businesses have their tax burdens increased, they will struggle to create those new jobs as well as have greater difficulties providing health care for those already employed. Far from affecting three of the people in the room, Kerry’s tax plan will affect at least half of them, if not more.

Suppose Kerry’s tax increase was to go through. It would only raise about $286 billion from those making over $200,000 over the next 10 years. But the senator’s additional spending proposals are estimated to add up to $771 billion, leaving him half a trillion dollars short.

Is Kerry going to add that money to the deficit he attacks Bush for, or is he going to raise taxes on the middle class? Kerry needs to come clean on just whose taxes he’d like to raise, and how doing so will affect society.

Meanwhile, liberals here in D.C. have appeared to take the opposite stance on taxes. “No D.C. Taxes for Baseball!” is a newly formed group that supposedly stands in strong opposition to raising local taxes in order to finance a new baseball stadium.

A closer look at their Web site, however, reveals their true agenda.

The stadium would be financed by levying a tax on businesses that make over $3 million every year. Estimates from the mayor indicate that such a tax would cost almost 2,000 D.C. businesses between $3,000 and $28,200 per year.

While more concrete numbers aren’t available yet, a “ballpark figure” average puts the total cost at only about $30 million. The only other taxes come from sales taxes charged inside the stadium, and the vast majority of the money would come from up to $500 million in revenue bonds.

I’d be very surprised if half of the protestors in the group even have jobs, let alone their own businesses that make over $3 million a year. The real reason that these people are complaining is because “raising taxes for baseball would make it harder, if needed, to raise taxes in the future.”

This all makes sense now. When was the last time a Democrat protested against raising taxes on big businesses? The group still wants to raise taxes in D.C., just on its own terms – not the mayor’s.

If and how exactly a stadium should be publicly financed should be left up to the people of the District in an honest discussion – although “No D.C. taxes for baseball, but go ahead and raise them to spend the money on other things!” is admittedly much less concise.

It is painfully clear that John Kerry and company won’t give the American public the real story when it comes to taxes. Don’t be fooled by their omissions of crucial details and their shiny promises that they have no intention or ability to keep.

Eric Rodawig is a sophomore in the College and can be reached at Thoughtcrime appears every other Friday.

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