Need, greed: The issue that tops all others

Some Americans, feeling overtaxed and discouraged by the direction of their country, are thinking about renouncing their U.S. citizenship.

That came up during small talk after a luncheon hosted Thursday by the Maine Heritage Policy Center at a Portland restaurant.

High-income Americans, including some in Maine, are so fed up they are exploring the possibility of renouncing something most hold dear, their official attachment to their native land.

Some places, like Hong Kong, cap income taxes at much lower rates and, generally, don't poke around so much in the affairs of their wealthy citizens. Others like the Netherlands, have even higher taxes than we do, on the order of 68 percent.

There has been a small surge in people renouncing their citizenship for tax purposes, according to an Aug. 12 Wall Street Journal article.

Most of them are already living overseas, where they have made a lot of money and resent the U.S. government's new crackdown on foreign banks and tax havens.

A new law requires a mound of paperwork for people living outside the country and holding U.S. citizenship, and the U.S. is pressuring foreign banks to turn over their records on the accounts of U.S. citizens.

Thus, about 1,000 Americans in the second quarter of the year dumped their citizenship, but that's among the 6 million living overseas.

The idea of an American rejecting their citizenship is shocking and sad. It's been done, but often by Americans taking a job in a foreign government or protesting some political stand of the United States.

The simple argument is that our taxes are too high, making other places more attractive.

The highest marginal tax rate in the U.S. is 39.6 percent on money earned over $450,000, up from the 35 percent rate that has been in effect since 2003.

But the highest rate 40 years ago was 70 percent on income over $200,000, which pales next to the 1963 rate of 91 percent on more than $400,000 in income.

So, taxes may seem high, but they are not as high as they have been for long periods in U.S. history.

Perhaps what's really high is disgust with government, and that seems mainly to revolve around the level of support we give to people who can't or won't take care of themselves.

Too generous, some say. Not generous enough, say others.

Our guess is that liberals have this mental picture in their heads of the average poor person: down on their luck but good-hearted; willing to work and get ahead if given some help getting back on their feet.

Like Tanya Caron, a woman Sun Journal readers met last week in a story and video.

Caron, 30, grew up in Lewiston and got her diploma through Lewiston Adult Education. Three years ago, she and her husband lost their jobs, collected unemployment until that ran out and ended up at Hope Haven.

There they noticed an ad in the Sun Journal for newspaper carriers. Today, Caron and her boyfriend rise before dawn to hand-deliver 210 newspapers to customers on four routes in New Auburn and one around Barker Mills.

That's sometimes in the rain. It's mainly in the dark and it's one door at a time. Seven days a week.

But she's pulling herself up by her bootstraps and now has, with some government help, an apartment.

Few would resent her getting the assistance she needs, so long as she is helping herself. We respect hard work, thrift and honesty.

A conservative would likely recognize and applaud that person, but likely consider her an exception rather than the rule.

To a conservative, the typical poor person more closely resembles a fellow readers met last Sunday on these pages, Charles "Scooter" Epps.

In court and police records, Epps describes himself as a criminal and liar who has not held a regular job since he was 16. He is now 31.

He has told police his apartment was a "safe haven" for criminals, and evidence indicates a murder was planned there.

A haven, perhaps, but not very safe. Lewiston police have visited the apartment 24 times in 10 months. Epps had been arrested more than 20 times in Florida before moving here.

Until recently he was living with a woman who received government benefits for her four children, which he lists as his income.

Working does not appeal to him, although he seems healthy. He says he would rather do drugs, hustle on the streets and play games with his children.

That's where our money goes, many conservatives would argue: to people who are lazy, undeserving and scoff at accepted American values like honesty and hard work.

We all envision where our tax money goes, which really means how our income and wealth is distributed for government services and benefits to others.

Correctly and positively. Or poorly and wastefully.

And the more income a person has, generally the more tax they pay. Some, like billionaire Warren Buffett, do so happily. Others, many others, do it resentfully, like conservative libertarian Grover Norquist.

And that is the great divide in this country, between people who mainly think government is a beneficial force in society, and those who believe it exists largely to transfer wealth to selfish bureaucrats and the undeserving poor.

Gov. Paul LePage is definitely in that latter camp.

Are liberals just naive to the reality of the greedy "takers," that reputed 47 percent of Americans getting some form of government benefit.

Are conservatives just greedy and unwilling to share with people who, for the most part, need and deserve help?

We have two halves of a nation each seeing alternate realities.

We may be divided over how to treat Egypt, Wall Street, farm subsidies and the environment.

But the issue of poverty and wealth, and our concepts of need and greed, is larger than all others.

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Significant omission

The article omits an important point. These people are not renouncing because the foreign taxes are lower. If it were just that, then they could just live abroad and retain citizenship. No, it's because US and only the US collects taxes on all earnings earned abroad, even if your residence is in another country. So, in effect, they are paying double taxes -- the local taxes and federal US taxes. The majority of those renouncing their citizenship are actually not wealthy, they are ex-pats making average salaries for whom the fees and taxes associated with filing both local taxes and federal. Plus many ferign banks will not open accounts for Americans without huge fees because of the requirements the US government imposes on them. So it's not about gred for all of them. It's about survival.

There was an in-depth story on this on Marketplace last week.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Need, greed: The issue that tops all others

Mainers , 14:10 hst ? Monday ( our ƒunday )
i believe in the Forrest Gump theory of life
It's not what you got , it's how you use it •
Invest in that fruit company ?
hth , Dr. Dosh , HI ( FSO ret.)
" Life is like a box of chocolates. You don't know what you got until you stick your finger in it ."
btw - i meant to say the Washington Post ® and the Boston Globe ® the other day , ed. and not the venerable NYT ® . ....

† y v m for the soapbox :D

Steve  Dosh's picture

Need, greed: The issue that tops all others

Mainers , 15:45 hst ? Sunday •
Whelp , you'd have to renounce your citizenship ( @ 18 years of age ) because dual citizenship is against the law in these US of A
Yeah Canadians . It is
hth , Dr. Dosh , HI ( FSO ret.)
.. www.mainsteet.com/slideshow/lifestyle/food-drink/drunkest-cities-america
Aloha from Pahoa

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Is ist possible to be both???

Can a person truly be happy and poor? The answer to that question depends entirely on who you ask. I've been arguing with myself for years about just exactly what "poor" means.
I've bitched and moaned about loosing most of my income, but what exactly did I lose? I feel pretty comfortable now, in spite of being, so called poor. Sometimes I think the real answer is with my relationship with my relations. Specifically my siblings. Actually it's the lack of any relationship with my siblings. I really haven't spoken to any of them in decades, but I'll see one on of them on TV once in a while. Evidently I have chosen a rout that indicates to them I lack the ambition I was supposed to have in life.
I must have missed the sit-down scheduled many years ago, scheduled to explain the direction my life was supposed to take. I missed it, and as a result took my own path, a path which has led me to where I am today, living in a trailer, in the woods with a crappy boat and a wicked expensive truck. It drives them crazy, from what I've been told. On the four or five occasions I've had contact with my brothers in the last thirty five years, they pounced on me like those religious types who come to your door at the worst times. They're trying to convert me to rich, and damn-it, I've been fighting them off tooth and nail. They seem to think I'd be happier in a place where, seeing how many people they can squeeze into the smallest of places, is a way of life. On a visit to my parents house many years ago, I went fishing down there. I actually chose to buy a six pack to bring along. My line no sooner got wet, when a young couple strolled past and complained about me, actually drinking a beer in public. I guess I wasn't wearing my sweater correctly around my neck. They would have really gone off, if they knew I didn't even have a fishing license.
I've seen how the other half live, they've even tried to drag me into it. I want nothing to do with it. I moved to Maine, and before that New Hampshire for a reason, to be happy, not to become rich.
I guess you could say I've achieved my goal in life, I am definitely not rich, and unlike my siblings living in their monstrous monstrosities, I am truly happy with my trailer in the woods, my crappy boat, and my wicked expensive truck.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Happiness is an attitude. How

Happiness is an attitude. How many people do we both know who have more money than they could ever spend but are miserable and unhappy people? A good way of staying happy is to focus on the positive side of what we have rather than pining about what we don't have. You seem to have found a way of balancing that.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Good for you Frank. Freedom

Good for you Frank. Freedom means choosing our own path in life. It also means paying your own way, especially when we choose unwisely.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Throughout my life, I’ve been

Throughout my life, I’ve been adept at spotting trends. Given the responses I read to this editorial, I see that most if not all of these readers are missing the trend.
People who point to historical high-levels of taxation in this country are not seeing the big picture. During periods of high taxation, the world was less mobile for both corporation and individuals.
However, globalization during the 80’s and 90’s changed the game. America’s should no longer assume that corporations are willing to stand for high-levels of taxation, as witnessed in part with the exodus of our manufacturing to other geographical locations.

Now think for a moment why the above phenomenon should be limited to only corporations and not individuals as well. This phenomenon is not just limited to corporations. We are witnessing a prelude of things to come as the planet becomes increasing global for both corporation and individual.

As we discuss the proper level of taxation for U.S. corporations and individuals, looking to the past in order to justify high-levels of taxation will only produce policy that hastens taxpayer exodus. The U.S. and all you readers should want to get in front of this trend and create policy that makes the U.S. the premiere destination for both corporations and individuals to avoid oppressive taxation elsewhere instead of a place to run from.

How?

Zero corporate tax, zero personal income tax, all sales tax.

Jason Theriault's picture

The leave

I'm not looking to tax corporations or individual's to death here. But taxes are at HISTORIC lows, and as Mr Romney has shown, there are numerous ways to lower your tax burden without leaving the country.

But you know what? If you want to leave because taxes are too high, then go. Please go.

I don't want people or business here that are only here because it's an optimum tax haven. I want people who see what the United States is, and want that freedom.

We need more people and businesses who want to do what's best for the country, and not their bottom line.

MARK GRAVE's picture

You need to look at tax

You need to look at tax receipts, not marginal tax rate. Tax receipts are a function of both marginal tax rate and deductions. The amount of absolute dollars one pays in tax liability is NOT historically low.

Perhaps your flag waving is blinding you.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Sign me and the parrot up for

Sign me and the parrot up for that.

RONALD RIML's picture

Odd how certain folks neglect 'Corporate Welfare' in their

discussions here. To the tune of $100 Billion per year.

So who are the 'Takers?' Somebody of little means and influence in the rotting heart of Lewiston, receiving a check for $800 a month?

Or industries receiving hundred of millions - even billions of $$ in Government subsidies simply because that's the way it's always been done - and these companies are no longer expected to compete on their own without government assistance. There are many reasons - some valid, others not -

Corporate Welfare in the Federal Budget

By Tad De Haven

Introduction

"Rising federal spending and huge deficits are pushing the nation toward a financial and economic crisis. Policymakers should find and eliminate wasteful, damaging, and unneeded programs in the federal budget. One good way to save money would be to cut subsidies to businesses. Corporate welfare in the federal budget costs taxpayers almost $100 billion a year.

Policymakers claim that business subsidies are needed to fix alleged market failures or to help American companies better compete in the global economy. However, corporate welfare often subsidizes failing and mismanaged businesses and induces firms to spend more time on lobbying rather than on making better products. Instead of correcting market failures, federal subsidies misallocate resources and introduce government failures into the marketplace.

While corporate welfare may be popular with policymakers who want to aid home-state businesses, it undermines the broader economy and transfers wealth from average taxpaying households to favored firms. Corporate welfare also creates strong ties between politicians and business leaders, and these ties are often the source of corruption scandals in Washington. Americans are sick and tired of “crony capitalism,” and the way to solve the problem is to eliminate business
subsidy programs.

Corporate welfare doesn't aid economic growth and it is an affront to America’s constitutional principles of limited government and equality under the law. Policymakers should therefore scour the budget for business subsidies to eliminate. Budget experts and policymakers may differ on exactly which programs represent unjustified corporate welfare, but this study provides a menu
of about $100 billion in programs to terminate."

MARK GRAVE's picture

Do you really want to stick

Do you really want to stick your head in the sand and not recognize the expanding trend of globalization for the individual?

The world is competitive, the US needs to lead that trend to attract corporations and wealth individuals. Otherwise, the US will be on the losing end.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

The nutshell

That is their selling point in a nutshell . We are supposed to think, for example, that it's OK that those energy companies in Texas, Koch brother included, make billions in profits a year, yet manage to dodge paying most federal and state taxes , get leases off government land at low rates and get subsidies besides. In fact we are lucky to have them. Never mind that they are so grateful for our generosity that they raise the price of gas every summer and in the North the price of oil and gas every February. It should not matter to us that they polluted the Gulf so that it will never recover completely and that there is a town in the Midwest that is so polluted from a pipeline spill that the land are water are polluted for the foreseeable future since no one can figure out how to clean it up and that they are working diligently to prevent the development of any renewable resources that might slow down climate change It should not matter that their stooges in Congress complain about cost when a community is hit by a weather disaster and they need help. It's" Pick yourself up by your bootstraps" time unless we are talking about their own district.. It also should not gall us that the worst nursing home care in the entire country is in Texas. Can you believe it Texas, land of oil billionaires. So, like Snowden, some of us would be just as happy to see them head off to China, Iran or Russia. They would fit right in.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Perhaps you should compare

Perhaps you should compare apples to apples. In your argument you are comparing one individual to a popularity of corporations - $800 individual to $100 Billion in aggregate.

If you were interested in making a fair comparison, would have compared total welfare spending to total corporate spending. Your bias is clear, which significantly diminishes your point.

However, I do support substantially shrinking government spending, so I too would like to see business subsides go away. I am not in favor of simply shifting spending to welfare.

Let's avoid the drama and start comparing items of proper weight.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

A spectrum

For me this is not a black or white issue. I think most people fall somewhere along a wide spectrum where you hear things like" We should kick the cheaters and the lazy out but we should take care of the truly needy". The ones screaming the loudest, however, are on the far ends of the spectrum and the media being the way it is you only get heard if you are screaming "FIRE". It is a principle of law in this country that it is better to let a guilty person go free than to incarcerate an innocent person. Because of that we have many legal protections to prevent punishing innocent people. On that same principle I think we should not be shirking our social commitment to people who are unable to take care of themselves, be they sick, young, old or temporarily incapacitated by misfortune, because other people are dishonest. Rather we should take steps to find the dishonest and kick them off but still keep safeguards in place for the truly needy. Those who want to disband the social safety net are demonizing the poor, exaggerating their financial impact and ignoring the cost of war funding, corruption of our political processes, nepotism and corporate welfare. Those folks funding the Heritage Center and other far right think tanks are mostly large global entities who have no loyalty to this country and I, for one, think we would be wise to treat them as foreign interests because they are not really loyal Americans and are not working for our interests only our votes. And so it is in their interest to promote hatred of the United States Government because it is our only protection against their greed.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I agree with you hundred percent............

My only contention with your post is that really, there is no protection from the greedy. Greed is a part of everyone's, everyday life. Most don't recognize it, but it's there. A lot of times, very successful people are recognized as brilliant business people, but what people don't see is the greed that catapulted them into success.
There's many types and levels of greed. You have the corporate cheats who get caught red handed, then there's the perfectly legal, maybe not to ethical, but legal business types. There's my personal favorite, I call the "middle management desperado's. These are the guy's who are so close to corporate they can taste it. There is nothing, legal or other wise, these types wouldn't do to advance their position on the corporate ladder. You have to be leery of these individuals. They could be kissing the ground you walk on, until your out of the room, then, they would ruin you personally, and financially, just to get your spot. To them it's no more unethical than putting a letter in the mail. The funny part is their justifications. You haven't heard BS until you hear the reasons outlined in a hearing for a victim of this kind of back stabbing.
This is why everyday people feel threatened by big business. This is day to day business for these people. It's like they live in a bubble, totally protected from the scourge of the less fortunate. This is where people like LePage get the ideas that they get. It's where they learn that there are two types of people in the world. Us and them, no in between, and no compassion. If you aren't one of us, you obviously did something wrong, therefore we can't help you.
Well I've been out of work for six or seven years now, I feel I can finally let my guard down. There is one thing that won't change for me. The two things that will never impress me, one, how much money you have, and two, how high up the corporate ladder you have climbed. Those are two things you should never judge a person on. There are far more important traits to go on.................

MARK GRAVE's picture

Zero corporate tax, zero

Zero corporate tax, zero personal income tax, all sales tax. .

Greed is a two-way street, your greed for more services against what you are calling their greed.

Like it or not, competition exists. Nations, states, and local governments need to compete for dollars. There is no steering around that fact.

Ed McCaffrey's picture

You view point on the conservative mentality

seems to be that all of us, even the unwealthy among us, is that we are anti poor and anti charity. Nothing could be further from the truth (until you get to big business, and then it's all about them). Most of us who are of a conservative mind set believe that charity begins at home, that is to say, that communities should be taking care of their own for the most part.
I work hard for my money and to see it given away, even if it is only in a small part, to people who are unwilling to make an effort to provide for themselves, is galling to me. I have no problem with some of my tax dollars going to support the disabled and the old but I feel that local government has a better idea about who should be receiving aid than the federal government does. As for corporate welfare, if a company can't stand on it's own merits without federal aid, it deserves to fail.
I don't consider social security or medicare to be welfare programs because we, the workers have paid into those programs to provide a safety net for ourselves when we retire. I don't think that those programs should be used to support anyone who has never paid into the program simply because they cannot work. That should be another program entirely, perhaps funded by some of the money devoted to corporate welfare.
I don't hate the US government, I just feel that they have their fingers in too many pies and that their duties should be limited to controlling interstate commerce, military, and the court system which was how it was intended to be when the constitution was written. Let the state and local government handle the rest and tax according to their needs. IOf a state has a small number of needy people, then that tax burden would be lower than a state with a higher number of needy and make citizenship in that state a qualifier for benefits.
This may seem callous, but truthfully, I care far more about the person living on my block that I know is in need than I do about a person in California who MIGHT be in need. I'll take care of what i can see and let them take care, if they choose to, of what they can see...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

100 agrees, Ed.

100 agrees, Ed.

MARK GRAVE's picture

"I don't consider social

"I don't consider social security or medicare to be welfare programs"

Yet the average American collects 2 to 3 times more in benefit dollars than they contribute. Looks like welfare, smells like welfare, then it is welfare.

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Link?

You got a link for that outrageous statement? Or do you just make these statements up as you go along.
And no links to nutty right-wing think tanks. I want real information.

MARK GRAVE's picture

The data is easy to find with

The data is easy to find with some simple Google action.

Here is only one of hundreds of links on the topic:

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2011/01/06/will-y...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

True, but that may be more

True, but that may be more the fault of the government's administering of the program than the people who are partaking of the benefits. Dangle the carrot in front of the horse and he doesn't care if it comes from his owner or if it was taken from his neighbor's garden. It's the liberal democrat govt.that has turned Social Security into a welfare program in exchange for the votes of the beneficiaries of the extension of benefits. SS disability is a great example. As you know, one does not have to be disabled to collect SS disability benefits. That has to stop.

Sandra Coulombe's picture

I think the truth lies

I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle as there are plenty of both types receiving assistance. The real issue is not having separate rules for food stamps and medicaid one set that applies to the able bodied with strict limits and another set that applies to the elderly and truly disabled that are less restrictive and more generous.
The able bodied should be required to obtain job training education, complete a set amount of volunteer hours each week, and strictly adhere to the use of birth control while receiving any form of subsidy. Their children should not only be required to attend school but also to stay out of trouble while there and actually do the work including homework if they don't then there is a penalty taken from the subsidy check. If they have another child while on assistance they should be permanently banned from receiving any form of assistance and if they can't fully support the kids the kids taken and placed for adoption. Enough of this children are a right thing, they are a RESPONSIBILITY!
The elderly and disabled should fall more under the rules of social security for all forms of assistance and the assistance should be a little more generous. If they have children in the home the children should fall under the same rules regarding school as any other child who's family receive assistance. With the same limitation of having more children though I would say for a disabled person that has been disabled from childhood an allowance of having 2 children while on assistance should be made.
What really ticks the tax payers off is seeing the women with a horde of kids all on welfare and they just keep having more and more kids and a good number of them don't even take care of the kids they have! What holds most of us back from getting behind the so called reforms is they are not reforms just cuts to amounts and they keep the elderly and truly disabled lumped in with the able bodied.

Ed McCaffrey's picture

I would like to click the "agree" button 4 or 5 times

But I can only do it once...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

But you can type "5

But you can type "5 agrees".....

AL PELLETIER's picture

Speaking of Egypt

When those on the taxpayer's nickel hear and read about the United States giving 1.3 billion (with a B) a year in foreign aid to Egypt it makes me wonder if they might be thinking, the government has lots of money to throw around, give me some.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

An 80% reduction in ALL

An 80% reduction in ALL foreign aid could probably solve a hefty portion of America's financial problems.

MARK GRAVE's picture

The dirty little secret is

The dirty little secret is that the US government is broke. The money is nonexistent for foreign aid nor welfare.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

A secret??

And yet the folks who profit the most from military contracts, government energy leases, offshore tax havens, government subsidies lobbysists and foreign aid are screaming it from the rooftops every time funding for anything that might benefit the middle class comes up. Some secret.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Funny that I only hear you

Funny that I only hear you attacking the scorpion (receipts) and not the frog (government, the enablers).

The problem lies in Washington DC - period.

Ed McCaffrey's picture

The sad fact of the matter

is that we are giving foreign aid to countries that hate us and often use that same foreign aid to support militant groups that are on our terrorist lists. I will agree that the money would be better spent at home, but I can't agree that welfare is the thing to do with it...

AL PELLETIER's picture

Agree, Ed

I didn't write that we should use that money for welfare. I wrote that those on welfare are saying "why not me"?
If we did use that money for job creation, education and rehabilitation just think about how much better our country would be.

Ed McCaffrey's picture

My bad...

I misunderstood your intent.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Unfortunately, most people

Unfortunately, most people know more people like " Scooter" than they do people like Tanya. Gaming the system has become a way of life for far too many people, and that takes the fun out of getting up every day and going to work so that you can pay taxes and give these folks a free ride.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Most of the people like Tanya

Most of the people like Tanya are transitory in the system - in then out - which is the intended purpose of these programs in my opinion rather than be mechanism for redistribution.

RONALD RIML's picture

For you Dudes and Dudettes at the MHPC

(Maine Heritage Police Center)

As you renounce your U.S. Citizenship and leave this country - Don't the the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Your presence won't be missed.

MARK GRAVE's picture

That is a good attitude

That is a good attitude Ronald. Let's just look to Detroit to see the outcome that attitude produces.

Stick with that attitude, ignore global economic changes, and you'll end up with a cesspool in every U.S. city called Detroit.

Just stick your head in the stand and ignore change.

Perhaps we should be thinking now to exploit changing times instead of resisting it like Detroit did.

RONALD RIML's picture

How odd.......

Foreigners pay higher taxes than you greedy buggers are willing to.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Ignoring the facts again

Ignoring the facts again Ronald.

Americans have, and will continue, to renounce citizenship for countries that offer lower tax liabilities. We all know that statement to be true.

Therefore, your statement "Foreigners pay higher taxes than you greedy buggers are willing to." is false unless you qualify it with those counties that have higher tax liabilities.

The real fact is that not all foreigners pay higher taxes.

Globalization changed the relationship between corporations and country.

Globalization will also change the relationship between individual and country.

I see this as a good thing since countries will have to earn the loyalty of citizens rather than demand it. That is a step forward for freedom.

RONALD RIML's picture

You're here for the 'Low Taxes?'

Dayum!!! What the hell is it you've been belly-achin' about all this time then!!??

MARK GRAVE's picture

When confronted with facts,

When confronted with facts, you seem to have trouble staying on topic.

RONALD RIML's picture

The fact is you are 'Here"

So that attests to where the lower taxes really are. And there aren't "Over there".....

MARK GRAVE's picture

Yes, some countries have

Yes, some countries have lower personal income tax liability than others. The following is a list of the most tax friendly modern nations. Some of these nations were surprising to me.

• India
• Canada
• China
• Mexico
• Russia
• Netherlands

I’m jazzed talking with young American, many of whom are aware the burden this generation is placing on then, and they oppose both major political parties. They are increasingly libertarian. It is this younger generation that will nip our tax and spend government in the bud.

I smell a revolution at the ballot box rolling back your generation's tax and spend polices.

RONALD RIML's picture

And you're aware of Canada's sales, gasoline, and 'sin' taxes

Sales Tax - 5% - 15% depending upon Province

Gasoline Tax in Canada varies from $0.64 to $1.87/gal

Alcohol and Tobacco are taxed somewhat higher than in U.S.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Yes, but I can reduce my tax

Yes, but I can reduce my tax liability by changing my consumption habits. I have choices, whereas I don't under a personal income tax.

Like I said - zero federal tax, zero state tax, all sales tax.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

You'll miss them a lot ...

... when you and the political philosophy you represent run out of other peoples' money.

RONALD RIML's picture

As said in the Navy....

I'd miss them like a case of the clap.....

MARK GRAVE's picture

Yea, we'll hear you screaming

Yea, we'll hear you screaming like a little school girl when the money is gone with them.

AL PELLETIER's picture

As I twist the pipes to the head (urinal)

I scream, AGREE!!

MARK GRAVE's picture

Perhaps you are just

Perhaps you are just experiencing a kidney stone.

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