Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 Tax Stinkers

Howard Gleckman has posted on The Ten Worst Tax Ideas of 2009. The TaxProf lists his favorites, here are mine:

8. Obama’s Middle-Class. This is a rerun from last year, but it is too good to leave out. The President thinks we will somehow reduce the deficit and fix the tax code without raising taxes by a dime for those poor souls making a quarter million dollars-a-year or less. Unfortunately, that's 95 percent of us. Can’t wait to see how he does it.

4. California. It claims to be the fifth largest economy in the world but can’t pass a serious budget, and can’t govern itself. It is the poster child for dysfunctional state governments and fiscal crises everywhere

3. The homebuyer credit. Congress started the year by giving away $8,000 in subsidies to "first-time" homebuyers, as many as 74,000 of whom, it turned out, never quite got around to buying a house. Then, it extended the boondoggle to current owners who buy up. Bottom line: People who were already going to buy will get billions of dollars in government subsides. But you gotta make those real estate agents happy
The problem with the Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class is that it just doesn’t pass the smell test. You can’t go off the social agenda deep end without raises taxes to break the fall. Then there is the fact that if that stinker Cap & Trade passes it is the middle class who will be overwhelmingly impacted. Don’t even get me started on the VAT and the middle class. No offense but when I buy something I find out what it costs right up front. When my government is trying to sell me something, I want the cost right up front. Which brings us to…

California is living proof that the path to Hell is paved with good intentions. In the Land of Perpetual Good Deeds every good deed is now being punished. The citizens of the state tried to turn their state in to a social utopia and what they ended up with is a fiscal cesspool. You really can tax, spend and regulate yourself out of business and now that California has reached the end of the road they still aren’t willing to take the necessary actions that will allow the state to (slowly) rebuild. They deserve their lot.

The Homebuyer’s Credit speaks for itself. It was just another government program that “enticed” people to buy something that they were already planning to buy. Oh, and like every other government program it is rife with fraud. Double whammy.

Actually, taxes are an easy target for ridicule. Problem is, when you spend, you tax, so we’re far more likely to see more stinkers in the years to come.

h/t Ed Driscoll

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