We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A government fee is imposed on those who directly benefit from the government service, such as a fishing fee to support restocking, a fee for using a toll-road, or an extra fire insurance fee to support the local fire-fighting service in higher-risk areas near forests.A government tax is imposed on everyone, or most, though the government service does not directly benefit the taxpayer.
Eminently sensible Robert Samuelson opinesthat President Obama’s tax on the financial industry benefits all taxpayers, who have had thrust on them the costs of bailing out excess risk-takers who themselves benefit in higher pay for taking higher risks.However, Samuelson misses the fact that the tax would land on the well-run firms, acting to reduce their “reward” for acting responsibly.
More sensible, and targeted, would be a high, even confiscatory fee imposed on those in specific firms receiving a taxpayer-bailout who in the current or previous year received salary and bonuses above, say, $1 million.That would make them think twice about reckless gambling and insufficient due diligence.It may not raise enough to offset billions of taxpayer funds spent to stabilize markets, but it won’t stifle markets or penalize the responsible firms, and will encourage more responsibility by targeting rather than blunderbussing.
If the goal was to recoup government spending from the firms that made it necessary, Mr. Kesler's plan would be a good one. Since the goal is to shaft the rich, a widespread fee or tax serves the real purpose rather than the stated purpose.
Of course the rich includes everyone who deals with banks or owns stocks, including me. It's amazing how rich I am to the "progressives" and how poor I feel when I'm paying bills. BTW, to define rich down to me, you have to get to the
I always like those hair splits that are used to explain the difference between a "fee" and a "tax". To e, if the government collects it, for whatever reason, purpose, or plan.... it is a tax. Otherwise, that explanation is probably one of the better ones out there.
Here in Michigan, we have a little thing called the Bolt Decision. Our Supreme Court ruled in Bolt v City of Lansing that, in effect, if you can opt out, it's a fee; if you can't, it's a tax. Applies here, I would think, in addition to that whole attainder thing.