Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Emailed False Analogy: Baseball and Taxes

I stumbled across a new blog recently called Debatable Politics. The stated purpose of this new blog is to break down political arguments into their basic components, linking them with political philosophies of the past.

Today, they posted an email that is going around the conservative circles alleging that "Democratic tax policy" (specifically, the Earned Income Tax Credit) is akin to the refund of tickets on a rained out baseball game:

50,000 people go to a baseball game, but the game was rained out. A refund was then due. The team was about to mail refunds when a group of Congressional Democrats stopped them and suggested that they send out the ticket refunds based on the Democrat National Committee's interpretation of fairness.

Originally the refunds were to be paid based on the price each person had paid for the tickets.

Unfortunately that meant most of the refund money would be going to the ticket holders that had purchased the most expensive tickets. This, according to the DNC, is considered totally unfair. A decision was then made to pay out the refunds in this manner:

People in the $10 seats will get back $15. After all, they have less money to spend on tickets to begin with. Call it an "Earned Income Ticket Credit." Persons "earn" it by having few skills, poor work habits, and low ambition, thus keeping them at entry-level wages.

People in the $25 seats will get back $25, because it "seems fair." People in the $50 seats will get back $1, because they already make a lot of money and don't need a refund. After all, if they can afford a $50 ticket, they must not be paying enough taxes.

People in the $75 luxury box seats will each have to pay an additional $25 because it's the "right thing to do."

People walking past the stadium that couldn't afford to buy a ticket for the game each will get a $10 refund, even though they didn't pay anything for the tickets.

They need the most help. Sometimes this is known as Affirmative Action.

And what about people who would have earned more to buy better tickets, but someone didn't pay them enough to buy those tickets -- even though they worked enough to afford them had they been paid like they should have been?

You can find even more here. And that is just one company!

Now, if the rich ticket holders got enough money to buy those expensive tickets because they cheated the $10 ticket holders out of their wages, it would only seem fair that those who would have been able to afford the more expensive seats should get a refund for what they could have afforded. It's a small price to pay if you consider that a baseball game is probably not the only thing they are not able to afford because they are not paid the wages the deserve.

That's not to mention the other ways in which the middle and lower classes are being exploited.

Click on the title for Debatable Politics' discussion of the topic.

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