Tax funds going to the government don’t go to $16 cupcakes as a FOX NotNEWS story recently pounded. CNN and network news looked into the claim and found the cost per government meeting attendee averaged $16, but that cost went for the conference room, beverages, other food, paid the servers, and yes, there were some cupcakes. Part of that $16 paid for several jobs that day. FOX did not report that because that is reality which they don’t typically report.
Tax money pays for many things which benefit all citizens and companies, and all these things pay for jobs. Tax money pays for: an educated population, roads to move company goods to market and their employees to and from work, police and fire precincts to maintain public safety, maintaining all land records for everyone from major corporations to small business and to and every couple hoping to retire off the value of their property, a military which buys massively expensive goods from many of our country’s companies, regulators protecting our retirement savings from the greedy, and on and on and on. All of these government expenses require jobs to fulfill them.
Despite all the Bush era tax breaks, what were most of the companies doing in the new stories you read the past few years? They were reorganizing for cost savings. In other words, they were cutting jobs or moving them overseas so their investors would maintain higher profits. CEOs are not job creators. Their job is to run each company with high output from the lowest possible employee and cost base. Job cutting creates higher unemployment which means there are fewer people able to buy a company’s goods and services. With fewer people buying a company’s goods, that company eventually needs to cut a few more jobs. As this predicament inevitably approaches the extreme, the only Americans making money are those rich enough to buy 100,000 widgets from China to sell to the few Americans able to afford them. Also, there will be some low wage American jobs to distribute these Chinese goods.
An excellent NPR article based on an interview of Nick Hanauer, an author and venture capitalist, can be found at Just What Do the Rich Have That’s Taxable. Nick is nearly a billionaire and explains most of the rich pay 11% and often lower in taxes. For example, he explains some actual examples where people made over $250 million and paid no tax on the income.
Consider this: Who benefits more from a widely educated work force, good roads to ships products across the country, and fire and police precincts to protect their money and property, a maintenance worker making $35,ooo/year, or a CEO and board members of a large, profitable company? Both benefit from those government services, and it’s possible none of those people would have their jobs without those services. The difference is, without those services, the maintenance worker might lose up to $35,000, but the CEO might lose $500,000 or $500 million that year. If you were the CEO, wouldn’t it be worth paying $100k or more toward schools, roads, public safety, and land record maintenance to protect the rest of your huge salary instead of demanding the lower income person from paying $5,000 more which might make your products too costly for them? You can still afford your caviar and French wine. In fact, the government might be spending money on your company to build the roads or create the materials.
If the republicans demand small government at a small cost, and then mostly campaign on platforms requiring bigger government in our bodies and bedrooms (anti-gay, anti-pot legalization, anti-abortion even when raped and under aged, etc.), then they need to leave government. Why elect people to government who don’t believe government is a benefit? Let people lead us who know government spending buys American made goods and materials, and builds our middle class which can then also afford to buy American made goods and services. A strong American government also leads world foreign policy which ideally creates stabilization in the world which is good for everyone, rich or poor.