Rebate limits penalize those who work hard and succeed
Responding to recent legislation, the Internal Revenue Service has just sent out notices concerning an “Economic Stimulus Payment.” The irrational thinking of the congress persons of these United States never ceases to amaze me. They are attempting to jump start the economy by sending $600 tax rebates to individuals who have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $75,000 and $1,200 to couples who file jointly with an AGI less than $150,000. If one has worked hard to earn more than that latter level of AGI, one is afforded a smaller rebate which is inversely proportional to the AGI: the more one’s income, the less the rebate in spite of the fact that those who make more pay a higher tax. Ultimately the government accounting office has decided upon a maximum AGI beyond which one qualifies for no rebate at all.
I paid a bunch of taxes and thus do not qualify for a rebate under current rules. Furthermore, people will get a “rebate” that have not paid any taxes at all. In 2005 44 million wage earners paid no federal tax and that which was with held from their pay checks was returned in full. But that is not really the point of this letter. Need I define the word “rebate” to my inane house and senate representatives in Washington DC? A rebate is defined as “money paid back.” If I pay no money how do you give me a rebate? If I had been one that paid no tax you may call my forthcoming check a gift, a present, contribution, award, endowment, grant or a donation, but please do not insult my intelligence and patronize me by calling it a rebate. The other irrational point to all of this nonsense is that the (congress and President Bush) think it will stimulate the economy; it won’t. People whose income is so low that they pay no taxes and those who earn less than $75,000 are commonly massed out on their numerous credit cards, with items already purchased in the past economy and thus their rebate will simply go to pay off a portion of their debt. That will help the Visa, Discover and Master Card companies, but it will do nothing to stimulate the current economy.
If the government politicos had refunded some of the exorbitant taxes that they have confiscated from the top earners (The top 5% of earners in the populace, representing people with annual incomes over $145,000 paid 60% of all of the taxes received by the Federal government in 2005), that money would have either been spent, invested or saved so that someone else would spend the investment or savings by expanding more jobs. Congress persons need to take a course in basic economics. The president should have learned as much at Yale.
CHARLES H. McGOWEN, MD
Visions of a dream team
The possibility of the Democrat Party’s vision of a “dream team” could be the glue that unites that party and the country into the future if:
Sen. Barack Obama is our next president and Hillary Clinton is our vice president.
Both pursue a somewhat similar path to solve the problems that both Democrats and Republicans created these past 20 years or so but for one difference, Change. And that job belongs to Obama.
Clinton cannot effect the change that the people want and need. She is embedded too long in the past and present politics of Washington, owes too much to both Democrats and Republicans to upset the entrenched political system. If she is sincere for any degree of change, not just solutions that come way too late, she can be the most active and helpful vice president in history to help guide this country into the future.
With Obama’s vision, long term insight and the hope he projects, and with the experience of Hillary’s knowledge of inside Washington politics together, for change, it is, indeed, a dream team.