I just have a couple of quick thoughts I wanted to get off my chest as I am recovering from an excruciating neck and back of my head injury (not quite sure what it is from, I did feel horrible after my 10 miler Tuesday (got the shakes and all kinds of bad stuff), but it’s been a week and I am really tired of it). But anyway, I have some thoughts about constitutionality and the role of the Federal government.
Why is it that Tea Party “Patriots” all talk about the intrusion of the Federal government and the un-constitutionality of certain programs; especially when it comes to things like Social Security, Medicare and the recently passed Health Care Law? Now, I admit that I am no “credentialed constitutional scholar, but it seems that these folks stop at “We the People” when they read the Constitution. In the Preamble, the Constitution furthers 6 goals of the Federal government; well really five and by performing those five, the sixth comes along with it. “…In order to 1) form a more perfect union, 2) establish justice and 3) ensure domestic tranquility, 4) provide for the common defense, 5) PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE (emphasis mine) and 6) secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Now Joe Miller, Republican Senatorial candidate from Alaska can see no constitutional standing for Federal entitlement programs in the constitution. By providing a safety net to people who need a hand up (unemployment insurance for folks who are out of work due to no fault of their own, social security for people whose retirement savings were wiped out in the capital markets decline of 2007-2008 and even access to preventative medical care to catch medical problems before they become big medical problems) aren’t we promoting the general welfare. If people can earn a living wage, won’t crime rates fall, neighborhoods be kept safe and won’t our economy expand as workers are now confident that they will be able to keep their jobs and they will again be the drivers of demand in our economy? I spoke about stimulus and such in a previous post. Anyway, when you frame the discussion in the “general welfare” clause of the Preamble, doesn’t that give you constitutional authority?
And now, about Federal income taxes… A progressive income tax is the only way to go here. Everybody in this nation has certain necessities of life that are required just to live. Every working citizen gets taxed at the exact same rate on the income necessary for those basic needs of food, shelter, retirement (social security) and medical care (Medicare/Medicaid). If you make more than the amount necessary to cover those bases, you get taxed, at most, at 39.8% (after expiration of the 2003 tax cuts) only on the income above what you need to live. Economically speaking, the only time you would ever be deterred from making more money is when the marginal income tax rate is greater than 100% (that situation in which it would actually cost you to work more). So, the argument that allowing the tax cuts to expire is a disincentive to business growth is false on its face because you still get to keep over 60% of what make. I also spoke about the false narrative regarding the 2003 tax cuts in a previous post. Now the real question to me is why isn’t anyone else looking at it like this?