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When It Comes to Paying Taxes, the Left Won’t Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

By: Daniel J. Mitchell - @danieljmitchell - Jul 17, 2017, 9:00 am
Paying Taxes
The state of Massachusetts has a program for voluntary tax payments, but the Boston Globe revealed that Elizabeth Warren somehow couldn’t bring herself to cough up additional money to finance bigger government.

If you want to see a bunch of hypocritical leftists squirming with embarrassment, there’s a very clever video showing what happens when a bunch of pro-tax hike millionaires are asked to voluntarily pay more money to the IRS.

I’ve even debated some of these rich, pro-tax statists on TV, telling them not to make the rest of us victims of their neurotic guilt feelings.

They definitely don’t put their money where their mouths are. There is an official government webpage where people can voluntary send extra cash to Washington, but the amount of money raised doesn’t even qualify as an asterisk in the federal budget.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that people elsewhere in the world also are not keen on the idea of deliberately giving politicians extra money to spend.

Voluntary Taxation

Bloomberg has a rather amusing story about the utter failure of a voluntary tax in Norway.

Eager to pay more taxes? Then look no further than Norway. …Launched in June, the initiative has received a lukewarm reception, with the equivalent of just $1,325 in extra revenue being collected so far, according to the Finance Ministry. That’s not much for a country of 5.3 million people… “The tax scheme was set up to allow those who want to pay more taxes to do so in a simple and straightforward way,” Finance Minister Siv Jensen said in an emailed comment. “If anyone thinks the tax level is too low, they now have the chance to pay more.” …Jonas Gahr Store, the wealthy Labor Party contender…, has so far refused to take up the government’s offer.

I’m not surprised that the ordinary people of Norway aren’t sending extra cash to their politicians.

After all, the country already has a costly welfare state financed by very high tax rates as well as lots of oil revenue. So why enable an even bigger burden of government?

But Mr. Store hardly seems a very ethical proponent of higher taxes if he’s not willing to lead by example.

Again, this is not very shocking. It’s a pattern among rich leftists.

The Biggest Proponents of Higher Taxes

The state of Massachusetts has a program for voluntary tax payments, but the Boston Globe revealed that Elizabeth Warren somehow couldn’t bring herself to cough up additional money to finance bigger government.

Elizabeth Warren acknowledged this morning that she does not pay a voluntary higher tax rate on her state income taxes, a question her campaign had previously refused to answer. …state Republicans have criticized Warren, who has earned a six-figure salary and owns assets worth millions, for her previous refusal to answer whether she pays a voluntary higher rate, calling her an “elitist hypocrite” who “lectures others about their responsibility to pay higher taxes.”

And John Kerry also decided that he wouldn’t pay extra tax to his state’s politicians.

Sen. John Kerry (D. Mass.) sailed into hot water last year when tax returns revealed that he also paid the Bay State’s lower tax rate. …perhaps he intended to pay Massachusetts’ higher rate, but his calculator slid off his yacht.

Though Kerry uses tax havens to protect his wealth, and even keeps a yacht in a neighboring low-tax state, at least he’s consistent in his hypocrisy.

Though according to New England Public Radio, there are a few people in Massachusetts who actually do contribute extra money.

Lenox accountant William Keen said it’s his job to save his clients money, so he just assumes they want to pay their state income tax at 5.1 percent, and not the optional rate of 5.85 percent.

“If somebody specifically asked to be set at the higher rate, I would do it,” Keen said Friday. “Nobody has ever even asked for that. It’s never even come up.” And very few taxpayers across Massachusetts do pay at that higher rate. According to the state Department of Revenue, on average since 2002, 1,200 people each year check the box on the tax form to voluntarily pay more. That’s contributed to just over a quarter million dollars to the state’s coffers each year – a drop in the bucket since Massachusetts has a budget of about $40 billion.

I think people who deliberately over-pay to government are very misguided, but it’s better to be naive than to be hypocritical. Like the Clintons. And Warren Buffett. Or any of the other rich leftists who want higher taxes for you and me while engaging in very aggressive tax avoidance.

Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review. This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Daniel J. Mitchell Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell has a PhD in economics from George Mason University and is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

Venezuelan Soldiers Kill Colombian Worker during Border Incident

By: Felipe Fernández - @Ffernandezp - Jul 14, 2017, 3:50 pm
venezuela-7

EspañolA Colombian citizen was killed on the border of Venezuela this Thursday, July 13, Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas confirmed. The event demonstrates the ongoing tension between the two countries. Colombia has had to repeatedly warn Venezuela about violating international laws and overstepping its authority, while simultaneously accepting waves of refugees fleeing Nicolás Maduro's dictatorship. This particular incident took place in a sector known as "La Roca," on the banks of the Táchira River near the half-way point of the two countries' borders. "(The Colombian Foreign Ministry) deeply regrets the death of the Colombian citizen, identified as Libardo Fuentes Hernandez, and expresses its strong disapproval of the disproportionate use of force by Venezuelan soldiers," Colombian officials said in a statement. https://twitter.com/CancilleriaCol/status/885576330686976000 Colombian Chancellery  @CancilleriaCol Tweet: Press statement about the death of a Colombian citizen during events reported on the Colombian-Venezuelan border.  Members of the Bolivarian National Guard reportedly killed Libardo Fuentes Hernandez from their own territory; however, the Colombian government said it is conducting an investigation into whether or not the actions they took were necessary. "One person was killed and another detained," Carlos Villegas said. "Both actions were justified as both of them had been extracting construction material from the Pamplonita River." Read More: UN Demands Release of Thousands of Prisoners Wrongfully Arrested in Venezuela Read More: “This is a Step Towards Liberty in Venezuela”: Political Prisoner Leopoldo Lopez On the other hand, Colombia's chancellery expressed a "huge concern about the excessive use of force by the uniformed men of the neighboring country against Colombian citizens who were unarmed" and called for the appropriate measures to be taken so as to avoid similar situations from occurring in the future. The other Colombian citizen, Géler Barreto Gutiérrez, was arrested and subsequently released due to the efforts of the Colombian consulate in San Antonio del Táchira. Libardo Fuentes was operating construction equipment owned by a Colombian company in the area. The owners of the company said that they have the operation permits from the Ministry of Mines in Colombia. Source: El Nuevo Herald

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