So, why should you care what other countries pay in taxes? For the same reason we take standardized tests, to see how we’re doing compared to the people around us. So what about our elected officials who claim they are spending our money honestly and fairly? Well, I argue that they’re crooks or incompetent at best.
Imagine a country where we allowed the Republicans to reduce the tax rate by 10 percent and the Democrats to give you every service you can imagine. That country is called France. With 10 percent lower taxes, they get free health care; high-speed rapid transit; green, cheap, clean and safe electrical power that does not come from oil, gas or coal; and free schooling all the way through college. The French get five weeks of vacation per year, a 35-hour work week, a pension when they retire, and get one year at full pay to find the next job if they get fired.
According to KPMG, the average corporate tax rate in Europe is 32.5 percent versus 40 percent average federal and state tax rate in the United States. When you look at income tax, the same problems show up. The average income tax rate in France is about 36 percent.
California has a 9 percent corporate tax rate and the federal corporate tax rate of 35 percent for a combined total of 44 percent corporate tax rate. Personal state income tax is about 10 percent and federal income tax is about 35 percent for a combined total of 45 percent. That means the French pay about 10 percent less corporate and personal income tax than the people of Santa Monica. We should get 10 percent more services than the French, right?
We pay 10 percent more and get less services than the French? This is not a Republican or Democrat debate but an irrefutable point of fact. If my point is not clear yet, let me spell it out. This is because you believe public services should not have a goal of making a profit. Roads will never pull a profit, but how unprofitable should matter to you. Higher taxes are not the solution when you spend your money wastefully. It is a demonstrable fact that the “Socialist” French spend 10 percent less in taxes and get all the services we only dream about. Before I hear how we must lower taxes or raise taxes, I want my elected officials in California to explain why the French get more services for 10 percent less money or we will toss the whole lot of them out of office.
So where is our money going? Lets look at our prison system. We pay more than twice as much as any other major state to keep a person in jail. Other states have offered to take care of our prisoners for 35 percent less than we spend because they would make a profit on us. Instead, the state is having to release prisoners? So in short, the reason why the prisoners are being released is not because we don’t spend enough money on inmates, but because we spend more than twice as much per inmate than any other state. Why do we spend twice as much? Because you elected someone to represent you, gave them blank checks from your bank account, a set of credit cards and never paid attention to what they were doing. Who’s fault is it and what are you going to do about it?
The system is not too big to repair. First, we must change the budget process to reflect collections instead of what they hope they will collect. Second, we must make adding an expenditure to the budget more difficult by having it create the tax and have it receive revenue for a few years before that money is used for the new budget item. If we’re not able to keep inmates in our jails at a reasonable price, then we need to exercise a third option and send them to another state and take the 35 percent savings. Keep in mind that someone is living off of the money our elected officials are wasting, and they will fight like hell to keep it.
The reason our tax code is so complex is because they don’t want you to understand how much you pay in taxes. If we’re to get a handle on spending we must simplify the tax code. A percentage of our income should just be deducted for income tax and a flat sales tax should be in effect. People with more money purchase more and will pay more in taxes when they purchase something. Instead of giving poor people deductions, don’t take it from them in the first place. We should just have a flat simple tax that is pay-as-you-go for the items you purchase instead of getting taxed everywhere. You should have an option to pay more taxes if you wish toward certain budgets such as the parks or green energy.
Come on people, the French are not smarter than we are!
David Alsabery is a high-performance driving instructor and all around nice guy.