Easter Egg Equality

We were delighted to spend Easter Sunday with my daughter-in-law’s family in a Chicago suburb this past weekend. One of the best things about Easter Sunday is having a few kids around for the egg hunt.

Hunt they did. About ten of them ages seven and younger slipped through the damp grass in their new shoes to find eggs filled with chocolate treats. The parents managed not to punch each other in the process. That’s something I always consider an important measurement of family success.

The fun, at least for an outside observer like myself, came as the children huddled to scan their loot. While the original goal was ten filled eggs per child it was obvious there was a little egg disparity after the gathering. One of the mothers suggested to her daughter, one of the older girls in the group, that she share a couple of her eggs with her younger cousin.

“Why would I want to do that?” the girl asked.

I couldn’t help it. I laughed out loud. I turned my head and tried to make it look as though something else had amused me, but it was probably a little obvious. I mentioned to my son “It looks like we found the Republican in the group,” in a quiet mumble. He rolled his eyes in reply.

No, I don’t see any need to train a child away from that instinct. She didn’t slap any of her cousins to the ground to gather her eggs. Nor was she told she could find only ten and then needed to stop. Why would she want to give her eggs away after she’d worked to collect them?

It’s an interesting thought as the chant to tax the rich moves to a fevered pitch prior to the election. Why not, instead of taxing the rich more, simply tell the rich they may only collect a certain amount in income instead? Wouldn’t that allow those lesser wage earners the opportunity to earn more?

Come on. I dare you readers begging for higher tax rates to give me a good argument on this one.

Comments

  1. BrkfldDad says:

    I love your post. Hope you had a Blessed Easter!

    btw – did you see this? Must be liberal parents :) -http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/central-georgia-easter-egg-hunt-canceled-amid-concerns-about-violent-parents-in-past-years/2012/04/06/gIQAZ3sRzS_story.html

  2. Easter Eggs?

    Pagan!

  3. Uhem, Nick. A Christian adaptation of a pagan symbol. The early church was darn good at that kind of marketing. ;)

  4. If the selfish child had laid the eggs you might have a point. As it is, sharing bounty of Nature is part of the whole eggy message that the early Church subverted and co-opted; unless, of course, the GOP is against those eggs, too.

  5. J. Strupp says:

    “Why not, instead of taxing the rich more, simply tell the rich they may only collect a certain amount in income instead?”

    Or we could just raise taxes on dividends/cap. gains to 35% , eliminate the MID, get rid of the carried interest loophole/scam (and other government subsidies for rich people), break up the top bracket into smaller brackets and tax the higher brackets at a higher rate, therefore, making certain that rich people pay an effective tax rate closer to what they paid 35 years ago instead of, say, 14% as many pay now.

    And then rich people can go ahead and make as much money as they want and build beautiful gold plated car elevators all over the country and I’ll stop complaining.

  6. No bounty in Nature given they were plastic eggs, Grumps. :)

  7. Hey, J. Strupp. Why don’t you just give everyone a flat tax and then we’ll both be happy.

  8. J. Strupp says:

    Because I think trying to get a complete tax overhaul through Congress would be close to impossible. It’s probably going to be easier to just raise taxes on rich people using our current flawed system.

  9. If I own part of a company, who, after paying the highest corporate tax rate in the world, turns enough of a profit to be able to pay out a dividend, why should that dividend also be taxed at 35%?

    Obviously, the dividend would have been significantly higher if you didn’t already tax it as profit… so why do you think double-taxing this money a good thing?

  10. J. Strupp says:

    “If I own part of a company, who, after paying the highest corporate tax rate in the world, ..”

    The corporate tax rate means nothing. Corporations don’t pay 35%. When you take into account effective corporate tax including net interest, the American corporation does not pay the highest effective corporate tax rate. When a CEO or politician recites this line about paying the highest corporate tax rates in the world he/she is lying to you. These people have told this lie so many times that they believe the pile of crap they’re shoveling out to you.

    “so why do you think double-taxing this money a good thing?”

    Because this money is not “double taxed”. You assume that corporations and individual shareholders are one and the same. They are not. Corporations and individual shareholders have always existed as separate entities and the tax system we’ve created has ALWAYS treated them as such. Shareholders are more than welcome to form a partnership rather than a corporation and be taxed at the personal tax rate. This, of course, doesn’t happen very often because of the limited liability (and tax) privileges shareholders enjoy by forming a corporation (you don’t get sued as a shareholder of BP when they dump a few billion gallons of crude into the gulf). When an investor is taxed on dividends, this is no different than being taxed on wage earnings.

    When you take this into consideration, the tax cuts on dividends makes all the sense in the world. You and I don’t benefit from the tax cut because most of our money is tied up in 401K and IRA portfolios. The corporation doesn’t benefit unless earnings are paid out to shareholders in the form of dividends. But who owns all of these individual stocks? Well of course! The same dummies who bankroll the people you vote for every 4th November so they can make the laws that screw you and make them more money.

    And if this doesn’t make you puke, go ahead and research “carried interest”. It really shouldn’t be too shocking that these same dummies are now taking all of their income at the 15% dividend tax rate. You wanna know how guys like Romney’s wealth went parabolic about the same time the great George W. Bush came around? Supply side gimmicks like financialization, dividend tax cuts and div. loopholes like carried interest, profit repatriation (which SHOCKINGLY mostly ended up being paid out as a dividend!). The list goes on and on. But Paul Ryan is “going to close tax loopholes”. He must think I’m drunk or stupid or both.

    Said it before and I’ll say it again, these people don’t work for you. They are scamming you and blaming it on poor people.

  11. “You assume that corporations and individual shareholders are one and the same.”

    No, not one and the same. But obviously I as a stock-holder am punished both because of corporate tax (which lowers the profits of the company I own part of) and because of taxes on dividends.

    I’ll concede that while America’s corporate tax RATE is the highest in the world, the effective taxes they pay are not the highest in the world, only the 6th highest in the world. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-14/u-s-companies-pay-world-s-sixth-highest-tax-rate-study-finds.html

    That’s still too high if we are really serious about getting the economy going again, IMO.

  12. J. Strupp says:

    I’d be willing to bet it’s less about feeling punished and more about simply paying less. Historically speaking, you already are. Much less.

    Of course, if you’re an average American, this is trivial because you don’t have much tied up in individual stocks anyway.

  13. J. Strupp says:

    “The report doesn’t take into account accelerated depreciation and other timing incentives built into the U.S. tax system, and that makes the difference between the U.S. and other countries look bigger than it is”, said Martin A. Sullivan, a contributing editor at Tax Analysts, a nonprofit organization in Falls Church , Virginia

    The disparity between us and them is debatable.