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Old 02-14-2012, 11:40 AM   #16
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Now that my previous post answered the actual thread I want to turn to many of the posts surrounding taxation -- Comparing the present to the past with regards to income taxes is really apples and oranges -- there wasnt a large population -- people could live off the land -- travel was long and hard so most people stayed in their communities forming bonds that fed the barter system and the idea of taking care of one another. All of that has changed --

Basically -- in todays world we need some sort of federal and state income -- without it our society would be FUBAR -- you can argue about the tax code -- the tax rates -- the types of taxes etc -- all are valid discussion topics -- but the idea of no federal and state income is really a non starter
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:47 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by LSSpam View Post
I think the core idea is that, especially in a modern industrialized economy, "money" is, essentially, a function of government and therefore the transfer of it falls under government purview.

That is to say, the reason your "pay" in the form of currency has any value at all is a result of governmental oversight/responsibility and, therefore, they have every right to monetary any transaction of it.

It goes back to a comment I made in the drug testing for welfare thread. If you take something from someone, you give them the right to interfere in it. That's a basic rule of thumb.
And I will go back to my other talking point. Just because the government can do something, doesn't mean it should.

Further, the fact that the Constitiution had to be amended to allow this intrusion is evidence of the fact that just because the governmnet prints the money, doesn't mean it needs to know where you keep yours and how much you made.


We are far to willing to give up our freedoms and our privacy.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:50 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by 4saintspirit View Post
Basically -- in todays world we need some sort of federal and state income -- without it our society would be FUBAR -- you can argue about the tax code -- the tax rates -- the types of taxes etc -- all are valid discussion topics -- but the idea of no federal and state income is really a non starter
I disagree. Why do we need an income tax when other forms of taxation can collect revenue without being as intrusive?

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Old 02-14-2012, 11:54 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sandman View Post
I disagree. Why do we need an income tax when other forms of taxation can collect revenue without being as intrusive?

Personally, I would find sales taxes to be more intrusive than income taxes. What you get paid is less personal than what you use the money for.

Besides, unless we go to a usage-based or fee-based taxation system the income tax is easiest and best way to determine what each person's "fair share" of the bill of government should be (IMO, of course).
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:55 AM   #20
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I disagree. Why do we need an income tax when other forms of taxation can collect revenue without being as intrusive?

If you read my post I dont mention income taxes at all -- I said that we need some sort of federal and state income -- it could be an income tax -- a sales tax -- a flat tax -- property taxes -- or the fed can own and operate businesses -- all of that can be up for discussion -- but the fact is there has to be income - thats all i said --
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:59 AM   #21
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And I will go back to my other talking point. Just because the government can do something, doesn't mean it should.

Further, the fact that the Constitiution had to be amended to allow this intrusion is evidence of the fact that just because the governmnet prints the money, doesn't mean it needs to know where you keep yours and how much you made.


We are far to willing to give up our freedoms and our privacy.
Actually, I would amend that statement and phrase it as "we sell off our freedoms and privacy".

Bureaucratic government is amoral by nature. We assume government should act in a fair, even-handed, "good" manner. But bureaucratic government doesn't exist in any one individual, or even any one entity. The US government, for instance, extends exponential, by multiple degrees, beyond even the entire congress. The IRS, the FBI, border control, customs, FAA, FDA, etc, all exists beyond even the collective conscience and motivations of the 535 members of congress.

The idea that you can apply some moral condition to such a behemoth is impossible. It's like saying the American people should "be good".

I go on this rant because there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding about the relation of government to the people it governs. The assumption is that government should be "good" in the moral sense. So we get into debates of "fairness" verses, say, "charity". These debates wholly miss the point in my opinion.

Government can be "just", that is transparent and consistent, representative of the collective desire of the populace, it can be "effective", efficiently accomplishing the objectives of the collective. But it's never morally "good".

Consequently, I think your opening sentence is misplaced. Government "does", not just because it "can", but because the population has, over time, collective sold off what you perceive as a right to privacy (which, mind you, I agree with) for various benefits. There is no "rightness" or "wrongness" inherent in this though.

So the debate, in my opinion, is in terms of is it being applied "justly" (progressive vs regressive and everything in between), is it "effective" (laffer curve, hausers law, etc), and things of that nature.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 4saintspirit View Post
If you read my post I dont mention income taxes at all -- I said that we need some sort of federal and state income -- it could be an income tax -- a sales tax -- a flat tax -- property taxes -- or the fed can own and operate businesses -- all of that can be up for discussion -- but the fact is there has to be income - thats all i said --
Well you did mention income tax in the part I didn't quote. Of course, the government needs revenue. I don't think anyone is arguing that it shouldn't have tax revenue. Rather, it is the method of collecting that revenue.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:20 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by LSSpam View Post
Actually, I would amend that statement and phrase it as "we sell off our freedoms and privacy".
I would say, we sell it off too cheaply.

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The idea that you can apply some moral condition to such a behemoth is impossible. It's like saying the American people should "be good".
I am not asking the government to be moral. I am asking that it collect revenue is a less intrusive manner. It can be done. Income tax doesn't make the government amoral. It makes it intrusive beyond need.

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I go on this rant because there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding about the relation of government to the people it governs. The assumption is that government should be "good" in the moral sense. So we get into debates of "fairness" verses, say, "charity". These debates wholly miss the point in my opinion.

Government can be "just", that is transparent and consistent, representative of the collective desire of the populace, it can be "effective", efficiently accomplishing the objectives of the collective. But it's never morally "good".
I am really not sure where you are going with the "moral" and "good" as I am arguing neither point.

Quote:
Consequently, I think your opening sentence is misplaced. Government "does", not just because it "can", but because the population has, over time, collective sold off what you perceive as a right to privacy (which, mind you, I agree with) for various benefits. There is no "rightness" or "wrongness" inherent in this though.
I disagree. We have sold off our right to certain income in return for protection and mutual benefit under the government. I do not believe we have sold off the right for the government to know every detail of our economic lives. The government can still collect the money to provide the benefits without the invasion of privacy. In this instance, since the government can it should.

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So the debate, in my opinion, is in terms of is it being applied "justly" (progressive vs regressive and everything in between), is it "effective" (laffer curve, hausers law, etc), and things of that nature.
I agree that the tax should be effective and justly applied. I believe that it can be done in a manner that is less intrusive while still achieving the goals in what you believe the debate should be about (justly and effectively).
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:25 PM   #24
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I agree that the tax should be effective and justly applied. I believe that it can be done in a manner that is less intrusive while still achieving the goals in what you believe the debate should be about (justly and effectively).
I understand your point I believe. What do you propose then? I believe the majority of industrialized nations use income tax, which suggests superficially at least it's the most direct, efficient means of collecting revenue. Given that, any proposed alternative is going to be, by nature, somewhat "radical" without a lot of evidence as to the functionality of it.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:27 PM   #25
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Well you did mention income tax in the part I didn't quote. Of course, the government needs revenue. I don't think anyone is arguing that it shouldn't have tax revenue. Rather, it is the method of collecting that revenue.
in a completely different context -- I said comparing the concept of income taxes in the past with the present is apples and oranges -- it was in response to those who said life was fine for our forefathers without income taxes -- thats all --
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:33 PM   #26
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I understand your point I believe. What do you propose then? I believe the majority of industrialized nations use income tax, which suggests superficially at least it's the most direct, efficient means of collecting revenue. Given that, any proposed alternative is going to be, by nature, somewhat "radical" without a lot of evidence as to the functionality of it.
I agree with you -- most forms of taxation besides income tax is rather regressive and would garner all sorts of complaints -- on the surface one would think national sales taxes are fair -- but in reality that hits harder the lower down the income level you go. We all pay the same amount for basic necessities -- income taxes allow you to shelter those who truly cannot afford to pay so raising them significantly to replace income taxes would be very regressive -- and even as fiscally conservative as I am I cannot support something that bad -- same as other types and forms of taxation --

Personally I dont think its the income tax that is the problem -- its the complication tax code that causes the heartahces and intruseviness --
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:35 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by LSSpam View Post
I understand your point I believe. What do you propose then? I believe the majority of industrialized nations use income tax, which suggests superficially at least it's the most direct, efficient means of collecting revenue. Given that, any proposed alternative is going to be, by nature, somewhat "radical" without a lot of evidence as to the functionality of it.
Sales tax. States use it, and it can be collected by the states when they collect their sales taxes. Thus reducing the need and size of the current IRS. So there is a manner that is currently being used that is not considered radical.

Tweaks will need to be made as far as what items will be taxable and not taxable (food) and possible "luxury taxes" on certain items/categories. This will (hopefully) address the "justly" nature of the tax. The amount collected needs to be in line with what we are collecting now (if not a little more--we have a huge debt to pay off after all).

This will not make everyone happy. I know that. Many will lament the loss of tax credits and such. There will be an adjustment period, but I think in the end, and we will be better off with the new system.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:51 PM   #28
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Sales tax. States use it, and it can be collected by the states when they collect their sales taxes. Thus reducing the need and size of the current IRS. So there is a manner that is currently being used that is not considered radical.

Tweaks will need to be made as far as what items will be taxable and not taxable (food) and possible "luxury taxes" on certain items/categories. This will (hopefully) address the "justly" nature of the tax. The amount collected needs to be in line with what we are collecting now (if not a little more--we have a huge debt to pay off after all).

This will not make everyone happy. I know that. Many will lament the loss of tax credits and such. There will be an adjustment period, but I think in the end, and we will be better off with the new system.
Sales taxes by nature are very regressive -- I certainly support the luxury tax items but to replace income taxes how high are the sales taxes going to be -- what will be eliminated besides food -- what will be considered luxury -- TVs -- cars -- better cars -- You will end up with a complicated mess to be able to gain enough income from sales taxes --

I still contend a simpler tax code -- with fewer deductions would be the easiest to implement -- it would still reduce the staffing and power of the IRS -- but thats just me
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #29
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in a completely different context -- I said comparing the concept of income taxes in the past with the present is apples and oranges -- it was in response to those who said life was fine for our forefathers without income taxes -- thats all --
There is quite a bit of land still around that people could live off of but I do see your general point. Most of that land is federally protected anyway and it could be easily argued there wouldn't be enough to go around.

I still don't feel there is a need for the government to just take your money right off the top of your paycheck though.

Perhaps if they want to be paid then they should be the best at whatever services they're providing?

The only thing I could see one arguing that the public sector does better than the private sector is the Police forces (In the feds case the FBI), but that could be argued that it's because private police forces (ie - security companies) aren't granted the same powers or training as the public sector ones. Actually I'll throw the military in there too for the most part even though some of their tasks are outsourced to PMC's.

With regards to technology it is believed by quite a few that the government is more advanced than the private sector and while this may be true, it is also believed that the new technology they have doesn't reach the general populations knowledge or use for 10-20 years after it was developed. They can also afford to push the envelope and be more advanced when the entire nation foots their bill and they can seemingly take on as much debt as they want only to pass costs down to the taxpayer later. This doesn't just apply to technology either, but loads of research/developments in other fields as well.

It would also seem that the government takes that money and then outsources a lot of what it does to private companies anyway.

An argument I've heard before, probably on this board, is that if everything was really all private then the man with most money could buy the best army and take what he wanted. Whilst this has merit, it would seem the government already does such a thing with companies like Dyncorp and Blackwater. Most people who work for PMC's are former military (special forces from around the world at that which means some of them have no actual allegiances to America other than they get their paycheck from an American company), and they jump ship to the private sector because they'll make more money to risk their lives. It also leads to situations where companies like this inadvertently engage or become engaged by actual American or allied military units do to communication problems.

I'm sure it also ****** a lot of actual American military men that they get paid substantially less than their private sector counterparts for similar jobs, even though the government is essentially footing the bill for both the military and the PMC's.

If they're just going to outsource things to private sector anyway, why shouldn't we just pay those private sector companies ourselves if we feel the need to rather have the government take the money from us and pay them with it, or in other cases printing money we haven't even given them yet to pay them?

As I said in my longer post, if we have to have a federal tax then lets figure out way to do it that is more fair and balanced. I also don't see how a sales tax is more intrusive in the slightest, I never suggested you had to report exactly what you bought so it's not like they ever need to know that. Sure certain things would be taxed heavier than others but isn't that already the case with the sales taxes we already have?

I know all states don't have sales taxes and the ones that do don't always have the same tax rate but all states don't have the same minimum wage or costs of living either. It would actually seem that states with higher costs of living pay a higher percentage in taxes anyway.

I'm also sure there are other potential solutions I haven't thought of or heard of. Anyone care to explain them?
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #30
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Sales taxes by nature are very regressive -- I certainly support the luxury tax items but to replace income taxes how high are the sales taxes going to be -- what will be eliminated besides food -- what will be considered luxury -- TVs -- cars -- better cars -- You will end up with a complicated mess to be able to gain enough income from sales taxes --

I still contend a simpler tax code -- with fewer deductions would be the easiest to implement -- it would still reduce the staffing and power of the IRS -- but thats just me
All of that is matters that will be looked at. I can't give specifics--I am no economist, and I think the best of the best would need to be consulted before switching our current tax system. I think it would be foolish to switch to a sales tax without a real plan. In fact, I would suggest a phasing in of the sales tax while at the same time phasing out the income tax.

There would be some complexity to the system to address the regressive nature of the tax, but that complexity would stop at the merchant level. The individual would just buy the goods and pay the tax. The intrusion on the individual would be a minimum, and it is that intrusion that I am trying to reduce.
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