Tom Pittman's WebLog

2012 September 8 -- SuperPAC TIME, Part 2

Next week's issue of TIME arrived early. The cover story goes blatantly into SuperPAC political ad mode. I won't link to it, you can find it in any library. Here's my response, but they won't print it:
It's pretty obvious to most of us that TIME magazine is an unreported, unregulated Obama SuperPAC, but Grunwald as a Party shill is over the top. Don't you guys even bother checking the facts?

One third of the yellow stickies "subsidies" in his feature article are tax deductions related to the cost of earning money. Those have never been considered "taxable income" and to say so here by calling the deductions "subsidies" makes Grunwald (and TIME, for uncritically printing it) either a liar or a fool -- or both. If the government taxed as income everything spent as part of creating or preparing products and services sold for profit, it would double the cost of goods in this country and make it impossible for small businesses to survive. Grocery stores are not taxed for what they pay the farmers, that is "cost of goods sold." Construction firms are not taxed for the cost of the labor they pay to build the structures we live and work in, that too is cost of goods. If Grunwald thinks his tax deductions are "subsidies" then he is committing tax fraud, and the government should hit him up for unpaid back taxes.

Of course rich guys like Grunwald can afford high-priced tax attorneys who are able to convince the IRS that even the most devious of deductions are in fact legitimate business expenses, but that only makes them successful tax evasion, not "subsidies".

Some of the other items marked out are not subsidies either. Farm supports increase the cost of food on the grocery shelves. They may help the farmers buy expensive cars, but they don't help Grunwald when he buys their products.

Energy subsidies don't reduce the cost of energy, they perpetuate unsound business practices by managers who thereby do not have to do things in a fiscally sound way, making energy more expensive for everybody.

State-subsidized insurance is a great way to transfer to the rest of the people the consequences of fools building inadequate structures in climate-hazardous locations. If the government refused to subsidize hazardous locations like NewOrleans and (I suppose, from Grunwald's brag) Miami, then the rest of the country wouldn't have to rush to the aid of so many people when natural disasters like Katrina do the inevitable.

That's just the yellow stickies called out in the big pictures. The article text brags about many more bogus subsidies. They are the reason we have trillion-dollar deficits and people like me out of work. Grunwald (and TIME) should be ashamed.

The Soviet Union is now the former Soviet Union because Stalinist government programs impoverish the people. They didn't work in Russia, they didn't work in Cuba, they definitely didn't work in North Korea, and they won't magically start working here. We need to get the government out of the subsidy business.

Tom Pittman


SuperPAC TIME, Part 1: "Unpaid, Unregulated, Left-Wing Political Ads"
Additional thoughts on subsidies vs deductions
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