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Column tough to interpret

by Larry L. Morrison
| May 1, 2010 9:00 PM

Jimmy Pappas (My Turn, 4-23-10) uses words of more than one syllable?and forms coherent sentences. Therefore, I interpret that the load of bovine scatology he provides is not due to idiocy or profound ignorance.

For those who may not know, the TEA in "Tea Party" is an acronym for "taxed enough already." I have no part in this truly grass-roots movement and I have never attended one of their rallies. However, I am sympathetic to their position. And, unlike Pappas and the Obama regime, I support their First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances (Bill of Rights).

Since Pappas brays the standard Democrat Party talking points, together with plenty of insults, I assume this is part of the Obama regime effort to dismiss and discredit all opposition and to (they hope) provoke hostile, irrational and even violent responses in order to ease the task of ignoring the voice of the people.

So many lies, so little space: Exxon Mobile had earnings around $310.5 billion in 2009, but they paid $15.12 billion in FIT. Their profit, as a percent of income, was about 6.2 percent, more than some companies, much less than Coca-Cola for example (about 22 percent). Exxon paid $1.66 per share in common stock dividends. Many of these shares are held by pension funds, including those of states and unions. Remember, their product (energy) is of rather higher importance to our economy and mobility than sugary soft drinks.

Consider this: Idaho is in the midrange of total gas tax levels for the states. The price of each gallon includes taxes of 43.4 cents. At a price of say $2.80 per gallon Exxon's profit is about 15 cents. Who is gouging the consumer?

"The upper 1 percent make more money than half the nation and get all the tax breaks..." Actually, the income data is about right (17 percent of total income versus about 14 percent for the lower 50 percent).

But, for some reason, Pappas fails to mention that the top 1 percent pay roughly 39.9 percent of federal income taxes while the bottom 50 percent pay less than 3.0 percent of FIT. That's more than 13 times as much! A large percentage of the lower half of earners pays no income tax at all! In fact, due to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), many receive a distribution of tax dollars.

But the issue before us is not Democrat versus Republican. It's whether we will insist on adherence to our magnificent constitution or will continue the drift into authoritarian government (i.e. Socialism).

Don't take the bait! Remain polite, constructive, determined, and informed. In November do two things: Vote the progressives (of either party) out. And insist that their replacements know and follow constitutional principles.

Larry L. Morrison is a resident of Harrison.