I am a big fan of financial consultant Dave Coker. I’ve followed Dave’s adventures in global financial advisement for a few years now and when he started blogging recently, I knew he would be a must read.
As expected, his charts and analysis on his blog,”Observations of a Financial Nature”, always get me thinking.
But few got me thinking more than a chart Dave posted on his site a few weeks ago in a post entitled “Who pays the taxes?“. In the chart accompanying this post, Dave shows how personal taxes have accounted for an increased amount of tax revenue for the government than corporate taxes.
It looks like in 1959, corporate and personal taxes each accounted for half of the total. The corporate tax revenue has increased slightly, while the personal tax revenue has skyrocketed.
I wouldn’t expect them to be as even as they were in 1959. The government does more to help people than businesses, thanks to Medicare, Social Security, etc. And businesses enjoy money, so government programs do little for them. Lower taxes, they like.
But there is one huge part of government spending that corporations do benefit from that the American taxpayers are not as likely to benefit from. And in 2009, that part cost nearly 20% of US federal spending, or nearly 700 billion dollars, three times the total of what corporations put into the pot.
That costly element of the US government?
The military’s mission can be divided out in concepts. One is to protect the land mass of the nation from invasion or threat. Although we are not in fear of waves of Chinese or British (hey, it happened!) forces coming by air or sea to America, we should still be weary of the occasional North Korean or Iranian rocket. That’s a legit concern.
Then there is peace-keeping, a growing part of the military’s activities over the last 25 years or so. Peace-keeping ensures violence is kept to a minimum and safety is established, protecting lives and the principles America values.
Another part of the military’s mission is to protect “economic interests”. This can be naval – shipping lanes, straits, canals, etc – or it could be land-based, holding down terrorist groups to ensure economic trade is not hindered or protecting businesses that do business in other nations.
But are corporations paying their fair share for the military protection to trade with other countries? Or is their line of argument that the taxpayers should pay because it is the taxpayers that benefit when US corporations prosper? But with US corporations hording more money and hiring less, is there a benefit to the taxpayer whose dollars go to paying for the protection of global commerce?
The end result of an increasing amount of military actions are dedicated towards the free action of commerce, yet are businesses paying their share share of military costs? What results do the public see of military actions? Few, I would say since WWII, save for removing terrorists who might eventually migrate to the US and attack citizens.
With defense budget cuts looming, I think businesses will take up more of this cost in the form of private military protection such as Blackwater. But that would cost them out of their pockets, instead of the pockets of the US taxpayer.
As for the people, the Second Amendment is there. As fictionally depicted in Red Dawn (and its remake), they will be fine.