Three items today

Three items today: Bonuses at outfits that take government money.  Squeeze those rich folks.  And look! Republicans offer a sensible plan.

First, those bonuses. Fox News ran a story about college coaches who earn millions while their schools are on the dole.  The University of Kentucky, for instance, just signed an eight-year, $32 million package with its basketball coach.  Ah, but UK was running out of money a few months ago.

It no doubt will get help from the state.  And the state has its hand out for billions in bailout money from Washington.  Sure, sure, nobody will admit that any bailout money will go directly to the college.  But the principal is the same.  The college needs state and federal money to survive.  Still, it shells out millions to its basketball coach.

I am not suggesting our Congress should set coaches’ pay.  But if it should not, it should not set pay at companies it sends bailout funds to either. There is no question our colleges would fall on their faces if Washington withdrew the billions it loans to students.  And the billions it funnels to the campuses in one program or another, direct and indirect.



When government treats recipients differently it says a lot about motives.

Second, let’s squeeze those rich folks.  That is the attitude amongst politicians today.  It will hurt charities across the fruited plain.  But that is something many on the left will enjoy.

The federal government is going to raise income taxes on the high earners.  In addition it is going to reduce what they may deduct when they donate money to charities and non-profits.  Meanwhile, various states are also raising their taxes on the high earners.

It is those high earners, not government, who will rebuild our economy.  By investing in new ventures. By risking their money in expansions.  Message for clueless politicians: The more you tax them, the less investing they will do.  And the slower our expansion will be.  If you do not believe that read something called History.  As far back as you want to go.

Now when you tax these folks more they will also cut back on donations.  They will do this for a simple reason.  Government will have taken more of their money.  Which will leave less to give away.

These are the folks who contribute zillions to Hospice, colleges, hospitals, symphonies, Red Cross, heart associations, theaters, food banks, Katrina victims.  And so, government will cut these contributions.  It will cut them by raising taxes on the high earners.  And by capping what donations they can deduct on tax returns.

Many on the left like this.  They truly do.  Because they hate it that the wealthy can direct where they want their donations to go.  The elite figure they know where that money should go.  They know better than the donors.  One way to change the picture is to take some of the charity money away from the rich.

Soon the charities will beg government to help them.  Because donations from the wealthy have fallen.  The elite on the left will be only too happy to have government make up the difference.  They feel government knows better how that money should be “given.”

If you do not believe this, have a look at charity in the more socialist countries.  The amounts their wealthy give are tiny compared with what ours give.  For the reason I just cited. Charities are on the government dole there.  And the elite love it.

Lastly Republicans last week suggested a truly simple income tax.  It calls for one low rate for lower earners.  And one higher rate for higher earners.  It would allow us to fill out our tax returns on post cards. 

The plan would permanently cut taxes on corporations.  We have some of the highest such taxes on earth.  It is ridiculous that we do.  It is ridiculous we tax companies at all.  They only pass it on to their customers in the form of higher prices.  Don’t believe it?  Start taxing taxi drivers 25 percent more.  Tell me the passengers won’t pay it.

The present congress gags at the suggestion of making taxes simpler and lower.  Some of us, however, live in hope.

From Tom ... as in Morgan.                  

For more columns and for Tom’s radio shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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