End Welfare for the Rich


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End Welfare for the Rich

Editor’s Note: Tom A. Coburn is a Republican senator from Oklahoma.

(CNN) – The debate in Congress this week about whether to pay for extending the payroll tax cut by imposing a new tax on millionaires will have nothing to do with solving our nation’s economic challenges and everything to do with election-year politics. Senate Democratic leaders have already signaled they will use the debate as a purely partisan exercise designed to embarrass Republicans into opposing tax cuts for the poor while defending tax cuts for the rich.

I intend to offer an alternative. Instead of punishing the rich with higher taxes, I will give Congress the option of helping pay for extending the payroll tax cut by ending welfare to the wealthy.

Read Sen. Coburn’s report, “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous”

Every year, politicians on both sides engage in a process of reverse Robin Hood in which they steal $30 billion from low- and middle-income Americans and provide handouts to the rich and famous.

Millionaires receive tax earmarks and deductions crafted by both parties that allow them to write off billions each year. These write-offs include mortgage interest deductions on second homes and luxury yachts, gambling losses, business expenses, electric vehicle credits and even child care tax credits.

Meanwhile, direct handouts for millionaires have included $74 million in unemployment checks, $316 million in farm subsidies, $89 million for preservation of ranches and estates, $9 billion in retirement checks and $7.5 million to compensate for damages caused by emergencies to property that should have been insured. Millionaires have even borrowed $16 million in government-backed education loans to attend college since 2007.

The goal of highlighting these excesses is not to demonize those who are successful. Instead, by highlighting the sheer stupidity of pampering the wealthy with lavish benefits through our safety net and tax code, I hope to make a moral and economic argument for real entitlement and tax reform.

The most troubling gap in America today is not an income gap. It is an integrity gap — and even intelligence gap — between Washington and the rest of the country.

Families are struggling to make ends meet and are making painful economic choices as politicians in Washington borrow billions to provide welfare to the wealthy. Politicians on both sides refuse to fix big problems and defend stupid policies because changing those policies would involve upending a comfortable political status quo.

It’s important for taxpayers to understand that these distortions are not accidental loopholes in the law. To the contrary, these provisions are intentional efforts to get all Americans to buy into a system where everyone appears to benefit while the poor and middle class are being robbed.

In the case of entitlements such as Social Security, progressives have argued for decades that a program for poor people will be a poor program. Yet, Warren Buffett hardly needs the same retirement check as his secretary. Ending welfare handouts to millionaires will strengthen, not undermine, the safety net for people who need it most.

Even Canada has adopted means testing in its retirement program by limiting benefits for high-earners. That fact is we can’t afford the system we have today. Only by adopting common-sense reforms can we sustain a safety net for those who truly need assistance.

On the tax side, both parties have been reluctant to alter tax earmarks and deductions, such as the mortgage interest deduction. These are considered sacrosanct.

Yet, it’s hard to understand how limiting the mortgage interest deductions for yachts will hurt working families. Defending spending in the tax code is not conservative. Providing tax earmarks and deductions to millionaires is a tax increase on everyone who doesn’t receive the benefit. The only way we will enact real tax reform, and grow the economy, is by lowering tax rates and broadening the base by scaling back these egregious handouts. This is precisely what President Ronald Reagan did in 1986.

Even though the super committee failed to reach an agreement on broad deficit reduction, there is no reason why the other super committee — Congress — should drag its feet. Change in Washington tends to start with small steps. There is no better place to start than scaling back ludicrous handouts to millionaires that expose an entitlement system and tax code that desperately need to be reformed.

About Commish Greg

I have had a life long love affair with the New York Yankees and baseball period. In my retirement I've discovered the hobby of sports game simulation through online gaming. I also have collected cards and memorabilia since I was 7 years old in 1961. I inherited from my uncle the collections starting from 1956 - 1960 and in 1961 I started my own collecting. I started an online league through Out Of The Park Development and their game OOTP16. The name of the league is the Alternate History Baseball League and it began in the 1954 baseball season when I and fifteen others held an inaugural draft and began the AHBL league in earnest. In my blog I will review the AHBL league and also mix some pop culture and historic events from real life. I hope you enjoy !
This entry was posted in Conservative, Empire, Finance, Liberatarian, Nanny State, National Debt, Opinion, Politics, Taxes, Welfare and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to End Welfare for the Rich

  1. It is very appalling that the rich can pay so much less in taxes than the poor yet expect the poor to jump at their every demand. What the people of America do not realize is that the poor have just as much and in many cases more power than the rich. Yes the rich made their millions of dollars but not without the helps of lower class America working for them and buying their goods and services.
    And if lower class America would wake up and realize that the rich are taking advantage of the them maybe they will do something about it and vote those in Washington out that serve Corporate America and replace them with Patriots that will serve the people.

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