What proportion of those under poverty level would you like to have people pay income tax, Threadbear? Families under $15,000 for four were under poverty level for years, and I'm pretty sure that the cut off is higher than that now. For a family of four it's $21,200. Here are the guidelines in general, if you're curious.
The thing is, many of us think that poverty is a reason not to charge people when it's not absolutely necessary. Whereas, having extra disposable income may make it inconvenient, but won't cause starvation. Remember those kids you were getting all weepy about before they were born? Some of us think they're worth bothering about after they're born as well.
About the people below the povery line: These are people who frequently have competition between rent and food for their kids. I don't know about you, but as a guy who's both rented and owned, I know that it's a much better deal to own. You get help from Uncle when you own. There are lots of things that Uncle is helpful about when you can afford an accountant, too.
That's another thing about the Laffer curve that the right doesn't talk about (in addition to the stuff I referenced in the articles I cited a few postings back). That is that the Laffer curve talks a lot about how much rich folks tend to fudge things on the taxes as the tax rates go up. That's a fancy way of saying that the closer you get to the high end of things, the more likely you are not to pay what you really owe, so the government shouldn't really count on it.
Your solution, to pick on the people at the poverty line or below it, the people who are starving or close to it, to pick up the difference is too cold for my blood. To say they don't pay taxes means they don't pay income taxes, Threadbear, not that they don't pay withholding or social security or the rest of the tax and fee business like everybody else and hope they get back what they put in for at the end of the year. They pay the same regressive sales taxes as everybody else, and because they pay rent, their relative housing rates tend to be higher on a percentage basis than their more wealthy cousins. Food costs them relatively more because they frequently can't afford economies of scale. Their health tends to be worse because they can't afford preventative care and because the care they get is usually emergency care without sufficient follow-up and long term care to resolve the issues. Their medication may or may not be covered.
You and I can usually get insurance, with a bit of luck.
But all this is another discussion. One about health care, which I believe is another Republican disaster that's only grown worse over the past eight years. If the VA can buy its medication quite successfully by competitive bid, why has the Bush eldercare medication program found it necessary to let the pharmaceutical companies set the price for their own products, rather than having prices set by competitive bids?
Suddenly the market isn't good enough for big business.
I guess the only thing we can do is soak the taxpayers, and wreck a potentially workable program so the guys who are sabotaging it from the start get to say I told You So. I get whiplash just thinking about it.
Sincerely, Bob Kaven