06/09/2011 08:16:00 AM EST
Dedicated Taxes, Deceptions, and Driving Fast
One of the most curious themes in tax policy is the steady attack on the best-funded and most stable government programs while taxpayer funds are diverted to risky commercial ventures unlikely to succeed.
These troubling developments are related. They reveal how we have lost faith in the future and are mining the present rather than investing. These policies mean a future that is poorer.
Recent events in Texas show how we are literally running off the road in spending imagined incremental tax revenues that cannot possibly materialize, stealing from public purposes to enrich a British monopolist and a Texas billionaire.
Attacking the best-funded mass programs may seem odd, but unless the enemies of those programs gut them they cannot divert significant sums to the already rich through a combination of tax cuts and subsidies.
On the federal level, that means going after Social Security, which has a more than $2 trillion surplus, and Medicare, using misleading numbers. Opponents of universal old-age benefits claim, as they have for decades, that both programs are unsustainable and will go broke. That is utter nonsense in the case of Social Security and costly utter nonsense in the case of Medicare, which has large, but solvable, financing problems.
View TaxAnalysts' David Cay Johnston's opinion in its entirety on TAX.com.
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