Are “Big D” Demorats capable of answering a direct question? My friend Rufus thinks the answer is a resounding “No!” Today’s 800 words are dedicated to trying to get a one word answer.
I posed a question on Facebook over the weekend: do you think businesses should make their customers absorb the taxes those businesses pay? Yes or No?
Here’s the back story. President Obama now plans to crank up the tax on banks. The Star-Ledger , an actual newspaper in New Jersey, reports that the sharp increase in the taxes paid by the nations largest banks will raise $90 billion or so. Demorats just love these regressive taxes: sales taxes, taxes on hospitals, fees on dollar stores.
Wikipedia defines a regressive tax as one that “imposes a greater burden (relative to resources) on the poor than on the rich — there is an inverse relationship between the tax rate and the taxpayer’s ability to pay as measured by assets, consumption, or income.”
Put more simply, pretty much everyone who deals with a big bank will see their fees go up a buck or two per month in response to the tax. If your income is $500 per month, a buck or two could make the difference between getting that $4 generic prescription or not. If your income is $50,000 per month, a buck or two won’t make difference in getting that $15 Viagra.
Former North Puffin car dealer Buster Door and Democratic party official took up the challenge.
“Learn the difference between tax policy and a business model,” he replied.
It was a yes or no question, Buster.
Singer Jimmy Buffett had a thought or two about ducking these difficult queries:
Some say life isn’t fair,
Hey, I don’t know, I don’t care.
Ambivalent, well, yes and no.
Hey where did all the hippies go?
Our conversation sounds like actors’ lines.
Is it time for your medication or mine?…
If you’re looking for a quote from me
I’ll be under the mango tree.
Just can’t say how I’ll get there
Hey, I don’t know and I don’t care.
I love the liberal approach: when faced with facts, obfuscate, deny, point to someone else as the problem, and leave.
Tell us, Buster, I asked, do you think businesses should make their customers absorb the taxes those businesses pay? Yes or No.
“We raised prices when doing so made sense in the context of our business plan…” he replied.
Ignoring the fact that pricing goes in a marketing plan (not a business plan), that is perhaps the best obfuscation printed in politics this week. In fact, I’m sure I’ve heard a similar phrase come out of Washington: “We would never raise taxes unless doing so made sense in the context of the growth of revenue in the private sector …”
Huh? It was a yes or no question.
Tell us, Buster, I asked again, do you think businesses should make their customers absorb the taxes those businesses pay? Yes or No.
“Typical binary wingnut thinking: YES or NO?” he answered. “I think that businesses decide, on a case by case basis, which costs to absorb and which to pass on.”
I wrote, “Tell us, Buster, do you think businesses should make their customers absorb the taxes those businesses pay? Yes or No?” That asked for a 1 word answer. Buster wrote another 100 words. Businesses do indeed make their own decisions but he never answered the question.
Tell us, Buster, do you think businesses should make their customers absorb the TAXES those businesses pay? Yes or No?
“Are you really having trouble reading and comprehending the statements, ‘Taxes are a cost, Dick. Like all other costs, they are absorbed or passed along on a case-by-case basis.’? Or are you just wallowing in some bizarre thread-length bit of ego-boo?”
You’re right, Buster, this thread is not about taxes; it’s all about me and my ego. When asked for a one-word answer (YES or NO in case anyone forgot), Buster delivered dozens and dozens more words and still didn’t answer the question.
Buster crawled down the presidential “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is” rabbit hole with his final response to the question: “What’s the square root of pi, Dick? YES or NO?”
“Pretty typical, innit,” Rufus commented.
I wouldn’t dream of putting words in Buster’s mouth but methinks the gentleman doth protest too much. You, gentle reader, could conclude that, in answer to the question of whether businesses should pass new taxes along to their customers, Buster would give a resounding “No!” Which begs the question of whom he thinks will pay the new tax?
After all, when Buster crawls under the mango tree, I simply can’t help but hear the echoes of Ronald Reagan: The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.
Despite Buster’s liberal application of fancy footwork, banks aren’t the only businesses that quietly pass along taxes to consumers. Sirius XM added a $2 RIAA tax its monthly bills to pay the court-ordered “royalty” tax for listening to satellite radio. Customers of SECO, the Sumter Electric Cooperative in Hernando County, Florida, will see a $50 increase in their monthly electric bill when Congress passes Crap and Trade. Every phone bill has a line item for “Regulatory and Compliance Fee Recovery.” That’s phone company speak for baldly passing on a tax the government imposed on the business (it’s up about 50% since last year on my bill.)
And the banks themselves raised credit card interest rates and fees last month in anticipation of new laws forbidding higher credit card interest rates and fees.
The words quoted in this piece are real. Only the names have been changed to protect the dumbfounded.
This just in. Campaigning in Massachusetts President Obama said, “Bankers don’t need another vote in the United States Senate. They’ve got plenty.” I expect this tax to fail the same way bankers beat back the heavy Wall Street bonus tax. Of course, Congress can always raise the needed $90 billion by adding a tax to the three health care policies they haven’t exempted from new taxes. That would be your policy, Rufus’, and mine.