Our government, no matter what you think of it, has a fundamental charter to expend funds for the public interest - if for no more than "providing for the common defense". Yes, these are taxpayer funds, money from you and I. These funds, coming from the American people, should be spent among the American people, for the good of the American people.
Recently, though, I believe the companies that it has allowed to suckle at the government teat have not been truly American companies - they have had headquarters in various offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands or the Dominican Republic. Even the ones that are US headquartered have been outsourcing the actual work paid for by US tax dollars to India and China. I bet China doesn't allow it's government funds to be spent on American labor, they insist that a Chinese national be hired to do the work!
When I propose that taxpayer funds be restricted to US companies, I get this crap about WTO "sanctions", and how they will "punish" us by taxing or restricting our exports. What exports? You mean the ones that are already banned or taxed, without a whisper of protest by the vaunted WTO in Europe and elsewhere? Or the ones that no one buys because of the cheap Chinese crap that has flooded the market?
The US taxpayer has a reasonable expectation that their money will be spent within this country, not shipped to some opportunistic foreign job shop to pocket and provide tainted goods and/or shoddy service.
State governments are especially horrible at this. I keep hearing about outsourced, to India, unemployment call centers. Great way to indicate that you want your people to get back to work - hire people overseas to "help" them with their unemployment.
I don't mind paying my taxes as part of this great nation, provided those monies are well spent. But prosecuting illegal wars (ala George Bush), bailing out banks, stockbrokers and insurance companies (Bush, Obama), spying on the American people (Bush), wasting money on sewcurity theatre (Bush, GOP) or buying shit from foreign companies that should be bought here is a waste of my money.
Call me isolationist if you like, but we have no responsibility to pay the rest of the world, too. They sure won't pay us. I pay taxes to help my fellow citizens, to advance the nation as a whole, not to make a bunch of offshore tax haven corporate fat-cats richer.
On the subject of taxes, I firmly believe that the capital gains tax rates and the income tax rates should be the same! Why should money you get from letting stock site there (letting your bet ride) be taxed at a lower rate than money you went out and earned? Mind you, I sold stock last year and this year, so this is not just an abstract thing for me.
Also, a single person making over $250,000 is rich, not "middle class". $100,000 is middle class (barely middle class in the SF Bay Area.) How do I know? In tax year 2008 I almost cleared $100,000, and that was basically middle class in the SF Bay Area. 2009 will be maybe half that, and 2010 could be worse.
Single people making over $250,000 need to have their tax rate go up a lot. Back to the Reagan era tax rates would be a good start.
Also, while we should do away with the individual AMT below a certain income threshold (indexed for inflation), we must have a corporate AMT.
Yes, the tax increases will hurt. But, as the teabaggers and GOP whiners have pointed out, we have this biiig, baaad, deficit to pay down. The fact that they didn't do a single damn thing about it when Bush spent the money on his damn wars, useless tax cuts, and unfunded Medicare drug giveaway just seem to pass their notice - it's easier to blame Democrats.
If the Democrats are going to be tagged "tax and spend", they might as well get down to the taxing part so they can do some good for the economy with the spend part. The truth of the matter is that the GOP is "borrow and spend" and the Democrats are "tax and repay".