I had to step out for a while but have been thinking about what KMG said in the previous thread – “Tax exemptions cost money.”, preceded by his definitions of subsidies:
– Salaries for employees of tax exempt organizations
– Health insurance employer contributions for tax exempt organization employees
– Salaries and benefits provided to religious institution employees
Now I don’t want to single him out, because I believe this mindset is shared by the vast majority of liberals and it is a 180 degree difference in the way I view these issues. I believe that the government has only the power and money that the people choose to give it. Therefore, a tax exemption is simply a business keeping more of it’s own money and not giving it to the government. It doesn’t cost the government money because it didn’t belong to the government in the first place. Which leads me to the salaries of tax exempt organizations, which are not subsidies. These salaries are paid from the donations or revenues generated by the specific organization. The government is not involved in anyway, and just because they are tax exempt, it doesn’t mean that that organization is keeping the “governments money”, therefore no subsidies. A subsidy is when the government uses tax payer money to offset costs of another entity or individual. Let’s take for example the health care benefits of John McCain, who recently voted for himself a tax payer subsidy to help pay his health insurance even though his salary is approximately $170K. Now one of you needs to tell my why you support that subsidy.
Have any of you ever wondered why we government spending increased by nearly 30% in January of 2009, has not dropped of at all, and still we are told it is not enough? Do any of you ever question that? Were people starving in the streets in 2008? Look, government can not lift people out of poverty – that has been proven over the last 50 years; government can not legislate fairness, government can not spend any money it first doesn’t take from someone else, and government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem (I have always loved that line). People like Harry Reid are the problem. People like John McCain are the problem. It boggles my mind that so many of you just accept what they say as fact, and follow willfully. I don’t understand it. I suspect all of you have been voting for Democrats for years – so my question is, how is that working out for you? Record number of people on food stamps, disability, welfare; lowest workforce participation rate in decades; highest black unemployment in decades, high out of wedlock birth rates, cities like Detroit and Chicago in ruins, etc.. Are you pleased with their progress so far? Don’t you think it’s time we might try something different?
In terms of the Congressional exemption, since many of you just don’t get it. I give you Bill Bennet, who details it nicely in this piece. Here’s an excerpt:
<b>Congress complains that without its special subsidies the Hill will suffer a “brain drain” as staffers leave their jobs because of increasing out-of-pocket insurance costs. Heaven forbid Congress suffer the same fate as private companies like UPS, which recently had to cut health-care benefits entirely for employees’ spouses; or labor unions, like the 40,000 International Longshore and Warehouse Union workers who recently left the AFL-CIO citing as one factor ObamaCare’s tax on their “Cadillac” health-care plans.</b>
In closing I just want to say that I like all of you guys – we have debated long enough, and I am familiar with a few of you now to know that you are all pretty good guys. Sometimes I scratch my head wondering how completely different we are politically, but that doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. I think it would help if most of you would dispense with the notion that conservatives are mean spirited, because ultimately, I think we all want the same things – we just have vastly different opinions on how to get there.