Observations on life

Voting against your own best interests. 

Reading a Facebook post regarding the Republican tax reform strategy including elimination of certain deductions, one comment read, “Why do people vote against their own best interest (for Republicans)?”

That got me to thinking. Sure, if I am benefiting from a particular deduction like the interest on student loans, I want that to continue… as does every person who benefits from any tax provision. 

But I submit that truly voting against ones best interest and the interests of their children and grandchildren is voting for politicians who ignore the warnings of the Social Security Trustees, the Medicare Trustees and the federal debt and deficit admonitions of the Congressional Budget Office and others. 

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5 replies »

  1. RD – Just remember what Mark Twain said – “If voting made any real difference, they would not let us do it.”
    I have been voting for the last 43 years, for Ds and Rs in both state and federal elections and have only seen things get worse, not better. We are no longer a government of, by and for the people. We have become a government of, by and for the corporations and special interest groups.
    I will not be voting in any more elections, supporting these corrupt office holders, I am done with it all.

    The so called tax cut that will cost any family with more than 1 child more in taxes is the last straw. If you double the standard deduction by $12,000 and take away the personal exemption of $4,050 for each family member, a family of 4 has to pay tax on an additional $4,000. If the family is larger they will pay even more taxes than they do today.

    Trump is just like all the corrupt politicians, when he was running for office his tax plan was going to raise the standard deduction to $50,000 for a married couple, What happened to that plan?

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    • To the contrary, we still are a government of “by the people for the people”, that is; I’ll vote vote for you as soon as you tell me what you are going to do for me. Politicians have taken the phase “promote the general welfare” to a new meaning. It means more like enslaving by general welfare.

      Sometimes I feel the same way you do about voting. I do not want to be blamed for putting one bad politician after another into office who often is against my own views. But there are two reason why I still vote. 1) I try to pick the lesser of two evils often failing at that and 2) if I don’t vote than it is my fault for not trying to improve the situation and thus I have no right to complain because I didn’t try to stop some idot from getting vote in.

      As an independent voter (really I am a capitalist voter) that leans a little to the conservative side who understands the purpose of good regulations, I get so sick of putting up with NJ over-regulating by Democrats. The Republicans are just too extreme on the other side. I wanted to vote with my feet and leave NJ but my wife would not leave the grandkids.

      Last year I wanted to throw-up on my presidential ballot just to see whom the election officials would give my vote to. I think it could have been counted for either one.

      I used to believe in local elections. I felt that it didn’t matter who was in office. Back 35 years ago people actually care about their towns and truly tried to do what was best for their small towns. Now in South Jersey, you’ll answer to the Democratic bosses or you will not get elected.

      Why can’t the RICO racketeering laws apply to the political parties? The parties take your money then once in office they extort you for more money just to be heard and they promote their own agenda while enriching themselves on your money just like a crime boss.

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  2. So, what to do? Starve em. See: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc300/tc306. Cut back regular withholding in favor of quarterly estimated tax payments. Generally, most taxpayers can avoid any penalty for under withholding if they either owe less than $1,000 when filing their return, or if they paid the lesser of (1) or (2): (1) 90% of current year taxes, or (2) 100% of taxes on prior year return. So, keep track of the taxes withheld throughout the year, and make estimated tax payments as needed.

    As of April 21, 2017, the IRS had processed 129MM returns, issuing 97MM refunds (~75%), with an average refund of $2,763. Most who get a refund claim early/in a timely fashion. Through July 27, the IRS received 142MM tax returns.

    So, assuming we reduce withholding by ~$2,000 each for 150MM taxpayers, or $300,000,000,000 ($300 Billion) through the 9/30 fiscal year, perhaps they will get the hint when the revenue is not so regular.

    But, I really don’t think that will work, either. At least, it will reduce the number of people giving the federal government an interest free loan.

    Simply, do you know how much the federal deficit was for the year ended 9/30/17? Was it (in billions): $458B, $1,413B, $1,294B, $1,295B, $1,087B, $679B, $485B, $438B, $585B, or $666B?

    Perhaps you guessed? Yes, the above numbers are the federal deficits for the federal fiscal years ending 9/30/08 through 9/30/17. 9/30/08 was George W. Bush’s last full year in office – $458B. In 2011, in a campaign speech, President Obama said President George W. Bush was unpatriotic because he added $4 Trillion to the long term debt. President Obama’s last full year, ending 9/30/16 was $585B. In the combo year of Obama/Trump, it was $666B – mark of the devil, I guess. Do you remember what President Obama said about his deficits, as he added ~$10 Trillion in 8 years, doubling the national debt? As part of his 2016 State of the Union address, less than two years ago, he stated: “… we’ve done all this while cutting our deficits by almost three-quarters….” .

    They all lie in exchange for your votes. And so do the media. The fact checkers assert that his statement was mostly true (suggesting it is close if you start with the combo year of Bush and Obama (year ending 9/30/09) and if you measure as a percentage of GDP)…

    Figures lie, liars figure.

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  3. .

    One never knows what kind of response commentaries like this might inspire.

    Take me for example. If I truly had my children’s and grandchildren’s best interest at heart, it wouldn’t be only financial. I would take into consideration all the evil political and social agendas that both political parties promote. I wouldn’t vote for either of them. I might not vote at all [that doesn’t seem to be working very well.] I might become a revolutionary. That’s how this nation was born… in rebellion against a much lesser evil than rules today.

    .

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  4. People voting their own self-interest is what vote buying politicians rely on to stay in office and history tells us they are right. People don’t understand that their deduction is a subsidy to them paid for by the rest of the tax paying public. And who gets these subsidies, the less than 30 percent of taxpayers who itemize their deductions rather than take the standard deduction. It wouldn’t surprise me that if you asked the 70 percent of taxpayers who don’t itemize if losing deductions is a good thing or bad, that they would think it’s bad. When will the 70 percent majority realize how the tax system of deductions and preferences is screwing them?

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