Please forgive me for this slight rant about the major disservice both congressional Republicans and Democrats have done to the most important and largest economic group in the United States; the middle class, but I can no longer remain quiet. To be clear, I define the middle class as a legal U.S. citizen, married or single, earning between $45,000 and $100,000 per year. My figures take into account those living in several areas ranging from New York to Alabama. I also included sample data from several different demographics like single adults with no kids or property and single adults with kids and property. There aren’t many differences between them, given current tax codes, but that argument will be reserved for future articles. With that said, on to my small rant.
Let me begin with the Democrats. If Democrats are for the “working families” of America, why do they impose so many taxes on “working families”? The average American pays dozens of taxes outside of personal income tax each and every year. These taxes range from the infamous telephone federal tax, state and local surcharge tax, to my personal favorite the excise taxes. Excise taxes are truly taxes on products you already pay sales tax for, but are levied because of the need for the government to raise revenue. This certainly doesn’t seem like the actions of someone looking out for the “Average Joe”.
The Republicans aren’t doing a much better job either. If the current Republicans in congress believe smaller government helps middle class families, why are they spending so much? The last true fiscal conservative president was Richard Nixon. His presidency cut the national debt down to 35.6% of Gross Domestic Product, today it’s almost 100%. Secondly, Republicans favor tax codes that aren’t fair and equal. Continual support for the capital gains taxes doesn’t promote fiscal equality. Capital gains earnings aren’t taxed at the same rate as regular income; they are limited to 15% of the revenue received. If I was a full-time teacher and decide to pick up a part-time bartending job, I would get taxed based upon what I earned from both jobs. Wouldn’t my earnings from this part-time job (aka “something in the side”) be equivalent to earnings from capital gains? The 87 million dollars Warren Buffet gave dollars on C shares in 2011 could be perfectly described as “something on the side”; however, it is taxed as if there are major differences. How does supporting such an unfair tax policy help middle class families?
So yes, I’m calling both sides out. They have done a terrible job of protecting the most valued assets outside of our basic freedoms, the wealth of Americans. Sadly, given current headlines, things don’t look to be getting any better in the near future.