Tuesday, June 14, 2016

June, 2016, Part 4, By The Numbers: So LIttle Are Taxed So Much, Refugees and Tuberculosis, and More

On a periodic basis we do some posts that fall under the theme of “by the numbers.” Rather than trust what the American political tells us about reality, we like to examine the real numbers and the real reality in the world to understand what is actually going on. Relying on politicians, and their cohorts in the media, to tell us what is reality is always a sucker bet. They have their own agendas and goals, usually centering around their needs and self-enrichment. So we need to look at the reality of the numbers to determine what is really going on.

Previous analyses of “by the numbers” can be accessed by entering the phrase in the search box above. This is the fourth and final post this month where we look at the numbers to truly find out how good, not likely, or bad, most likely, the American political class is doing in managing our tax dollars, protecting our freedoms, and resolving major issues that affect all of us. 

1) According to a recent NewsMax article that quoted another article by the Washington Free Beacon’s analysis of IRS data:

  • Americans that earned six figure incomes paid 79.5% of the country’s share in individual income taxes in 2014. 
  • That year, Americans paid a total of $1,358,093,169,000 to the IRS in individual income taxes. Americans earning $100,000 or more paid $1,079,392,180,000 or 79.5% of the total. 
  • While the top earners paid almost 80% of all individual income taxes they account for only 16% of individual tax returns.
  • The top fifth of earners pay at a 14% tax rate while the middle fifth of earners pay at a 2% rate on average.
  • If we include all Federal taxes, the highest earners had a Federal tax rate of 29% while the overall tax rate for the middle class was less than 15%, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The reasons to review these numbers is twofold:

  1. First, to put so much of the Federal government revenue stream on so few people is extremely dangerous. These folks have the resources to move out of the country, which they have been doing at record rates over the past few years, taking their wealth taxes, and wealth creating potential with them. As they move, the rest of us will have to pay more and more in taxes since the political class has not reduced spending, continuing to waste our tax dollars on stupid, ineffective, inefficient, and inane projects and programs.
  2. Second, at what point does taxation become repression? Is it fair for the high earners to be taxed at a tax rate seven times more than the middle earners? It is one thing to ask those better off to pay at a higher rate but at some point it becomes abusive, especially since those spending the taxes, the Washington politicians do not spend it to fix our crumbling infrastructure, help the homeless, the hungry or drug addicted, better serve the middle needs of our ailing veterans, fix our failing schools etc. 
Just another example of our pathetically counterproductive 70,000 page tax code.

2) Obama and other liberals seem hellbent to assuage their guilt feelings and admit a lot of Syrian and other Middle East refugees into this country. Of course, if the Obama administration had not screwed up the whole Syrian strategy in the first place we might not even have this problem but that is a discussion for another day. 

Since it is our opinion that one of the few prime and legitimate functions of government is to protect its citizens from physical harm, the numbers in the following area show that the government might be following flat on its face on the whole Syrian refugee issue:

  • According to a Breitbart article by Michael Patrick Leahy on May 17, 2016, 22% of newly arrived refugees coming into this country and settling in Minnesota test positive for tuberculosis.
  • Nationally, only 4% of the U.S. population tests positive for this very bad disease, according to the Centers For Disease Control
  • 26% of the foreign born cases of tuberculosis in Minnesota were in refugees from Somalia.
  • The Minnesota Department of health reports that in 2015, the number of tuberculosis cases across the whole country increased for the first time in 23 years.
  • A previous report from Breitbart reported how an unexpected outbreak of measles in Memphis, Tennessee originated at a local mosque in that city.
  • The Centers For Disease Control also found that in 66% of the cases reported in 2014 were found among foreign born people, which is a rate 13 times higher than the rate of the disease for U.S. born people.
  • According to the Minnesota Star Tribune: “Today four states – California, New York, Texas and Florida – have more than half the nation’s active TB cases, though they have only a third of the country’s population. The four states have the highest numbers of foreign-born residents.” 
  • Across the world, tuberculosis kills 1.5 million people of which 500 to 600 of that total die in this country.
  • Treatment for the disease is long and expensive, often taking up to nine months for someone to get healthy.
  • In Michigan, a state with a large number of Middle East immigrants, the rate of tuberculosis infections was up about 25% from 2014 to 2015.

Protect American citizens, not sure the Federal government is doing that when it allows anyone to come into this country without first testing for any number of diseases. I guess that makes me a racist, according to some liberal types. But better to be live racist, at least in their eyes, than a dead American whose government decided that taking care of foreigners was a more urgent need than taking care of its own citizens.

3) But Minnesota is not the only state with a big tuberculosis problem. Consider some distressing numbers from the organization, Vermont Watchdog:

  • 35% of recent refugees living in Vermont have tested positive for at least the latent form of tuberculosis.
  • The Vermont Department Of Health has refused to tell the public how many of these 35% have the active form of the disease.
  • The 35% level, while alarming, is actually down from a few years ago when in 2013, almost 44% of Vermont refugees had at least the latent form of the disease.
  • Active tuberculosis is fatal in half of the cases that go untreated according to Vermont Watchdog.
Given these numbers, shouldn’t all Americans have a say in what type of refugee program is put in place and how it is operated in order to protect Americans’ health rather than burnish Obama's legacy?

4) Judicial Watch recently reported on some new corruption and wasting of American tax dollars in Afghanistan, a Federal government effort that may be the most wasteful, ineffective, and criminally infested government program of all time. Details of their corruption investigation found that:

  • An amazing $113 billion has already been wasted in one form or another in the entire Afghanistan fiasco.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor has given/wasted more than $11 million on a charity whose director earns a whopping $600,000 a year in salary, calling into question of how legitimate this charity is when they pay one person that kind of salary.
  • That charity, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), is supposed to provide “vocational training for vulnerable Afghans.” 
  • The Afghanistan inspector general wants to know how those millions were spent but so far with no luck, the money has not been accounted for as far as what it has accomplished.
  • But according to the inspector general, this is not atypical in that a lot of the $113 billion spent so far has not been tracked, quantified, or accounted for.
  • For example, the State Department spent $18.5 million to renovate an Afghan prison that was NEVER used, likely because the State Department person in charge of the effort was eventually convicted for accepting bribes from a contractor.
Taking care of “vulnerable Afghans.” How about taking care of vulnerable Americans first? How many homeless, hungry, sick and drug addicted Americans and veterans could have been taken care of with that $113 billion?

That's it for this month's by the numbers where we continue to prove the reality that the Washington politicians in office today are the worst, most inept, and the most wasteful spenders and wasters of taxpayer welath EVER. 

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