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  • #2291131

    The biggest threat to individual freedom

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    by maxwell edison ·

    .
    In another thread I suggested that the biggest threat to individual freedom in the United States is the U.S. tax code and the myriad of U.S. social programs. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I sadly realized how true that really is. And what’s really sad about it is twofold. One is that people, as a whole, don’t realize it. And the second is that people are asking for (voting for) more of it.

    The camel is indeed in bed with us. Or we are only but frogs in a pot of cold……make that warm water. (Ask and I’ll explain – unless someone knows, and wants to reveal the meaning.)

    More to come…….

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    • #3292959

      Entitlements

      by dc_guy ·

      In reply to The biggest threat to individual freedom

      People who receive something from the government feel more or less content with the way things are. They can’t be convinced that in a truly free economy they’d be able to buy what they get from the government for a fraction of what they pay in taxes. It’s just too easy to let the tax be withheld, pay somebody to fill out the tax forms, and sit passively while the government gives them back about five cents on the dollar.

      So all the government has to do is see to it that a majority of the people receive something, and they will stop complaining, or at least not complain very sincerely.

      Deficit spending makes it all sweeter. We’re not really paying for a lot of this. We’re passing the bill on to our grandchildren.

      Personally, I don’t have any children, much less grandchildren. Nonetheless as an elder of this community, I care about the future that I’m leaving to all of my Children. What I can’t figure out is why the people who really do have children of their own don’t care.

      • #3292938

        On “entitlements”

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Entitlements

        .
        Entitlement: (noun) A government program providing benefits to members of a specified group. The state or condition of being entitled. A right to benefits specified especially by law or contract.

        Entitled: (transitive verb) To furnish with proper grounds for seeking or claiming something .

        Government: (To paraphrase President Lincoln) We are a government “of the people”.

        Government Entitlement: A person is “entitled” to take the property (money) of another person.

        What’s wrong with this picture?

        • #3292884

          Reply To: The biggest threat to individual freedom

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to On “entitlements”

          If you read my other posts, you know I agree with you on this subject. We in the United States are getting in a dangerous situation where, if not already, a minority of people pay taxes, so we will get in a situation where the majority will vote for people who will increase entitlements, and the minority will have to pay higher taxes to pay for them. Although I supported Bush’s tax cuts in general, they increased the minimum income at which people paid taxes, and increased various tax credits, so that fewer people pay taxes. Instead, it should have expanded the 10% tax bracket (new bracket that replaced much of the 15% bracket) so that more people paid taxes at that low amount, and decreased personal exemptions. I would rather have a flatter tax with fewer exemptions, so that more people would pay their fair share based on a proportion of income than the current situation where many are exempt, and do not have to pay for government. An even more radical suggestion (would require constitutional amendment) would to say that in order to be eligible to vote, a citizen would have to pay more in taxes than received in “entitlements”, so that only those who paid for the goverment would have a say. No net tax paid, no vote. Similar to the concept that only shareholders can vote for a corporation’s board of directors, except that all shareholders (taxpaying citizens) would have only one vote instead of votes proportional to taxes paid (number of shares). “Entitlement” is a very bad word for government transfer of wealth, since no one should be entitled to money from the government.

      • #3292742

        Everbody’s on Welfare

        by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

        In reply to Entitlements

        re:
        People who receive something from the government feel more or less content with the way things are.
        —– —– —– —– —–

        It would be nuts to think that Americans, *any* Americans, don’t receive something from the government.

        We ALL rely on our entitlements – we’re entitled to police protection, and fire protection, and clean air and water, and protection from burglers – white and blue collar.

        Folks who whine about the government handing out entitlements do not appreciate the Blessings of Liberty… and want to take them away from those of us who DO appreciate the Blessings of Liberty.

        God knows, you’ll never hear anyone speak out about the Blessings of NeoConservatism. It’s a curse.

        • #3291204

          You’re either extremely disingenuous or very naive’

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Everbody’s on Welfare

          .
          To compare taxpayers paying for police protection or fire protection (your examples) to paying for viagra or knee replacements (my examples) is ridiculous. In fact, it deserves no further comment.

          Except I will say this. Liberty is not “paid for” by dollars. It’s paid for by hard work and self-responsibility.

        • #3290977

          Socialist

          by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

          In reply to You’re either extremely disingenuous or very naive’

          re:
          Except I will say this. Liberty is not “paid for” by dollars. It’s paid for by hard work and self-responsibility.
          —- —- —- —- —-

          In a socialist Utopia, that would be true. But we live in Captialist USA. Here, freedom has to be paid for in Greenbacks. No money – no freedom.

          btw – It’s kinda cool seeing you slowly come around to realizing tha Socialism is a good thing.

        • #3290928

          Bucky the socialist – by his own admission

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Socialist

          .
          You and I must have different definitions of socialism.

          My definition of socialism:

          “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

          I abhor that principle. It’s absolutely wrong for a government to take a dollar from the person who earned it just to give it to a person who did not.

          I’m in favor of the following:

          Phasing out social security over the next 70 years, eventually eliminating the program all together.

          Phasing out Medicare over the next 50 years, eventually eliminating the program all together.

          Phasing out Medicaid over the next 20 years, eventually eliminating the program all together.

          Never implementing any nationalized health care.

          Eliminating all foreign aid to nations that do not have a real democratic form of government and a society that guarantees freedom and liberty to all – and free elections.

          Eliminating the Department of Education, returning full control of the public school system to the states.

          Encouraging competition in the public school system by allowing school choice for the parents of the kids they chose to have.

          Keeping “social spending” (that is community help for the needy) at an amount not to exceed 10 percent of all federal spending.

          Overhaul the “welfare” industry, force able-bodied people to work if they receive any assistance, and make it so difficult and miserable for them that they won’t want it. But most of all, make it perfectly clear that they are “entitled” to absolutely nothing.

          Keeping federal spending at an amount that’s significantly less than 10 percent of our GDP.

          Institute a flat tax not to exceed 10 percent of a person’s income, or an equivalent VAT (Value Added Tax).

          Absolutely no tax for corporations.

          Abolish the Internal Revenue System.

          Reduce the federal tax code to no more than 10 pages.

          …..I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

          If you think I’m a socialist thinker, you’re more deranged than I thought.

        • #3290900

          Sociopathic Republicans

          by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

          In reply to Bucky the socialist – by his own admission

          re:
          From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

          I abhor that principle. It’s absolutely wrong for a government to take a dollar from the person who earned it just to give it to a person who did not.

          —– —– —– —– —–

          Why do you jump to the conclusion that those in need do not deserve help, and that those with money deserve their treasure? Why do you measure morality in terms of dollars and sense?

          Do you know that people who totally dismiss socialist values have a mental disease? They’re called sociopaths. They, like you, have a pathological fear of their fellow man especially when grouped into societies.

          Are you sick, or just stupid?

        • #3290899

          Sick or stupid? Neither

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Sociopathic Republicans

          .
          I’m confident.

        • #3292296

          Because……

          by olprof67 ·

          In reply to Sociopathic Republicans

          Why do you measure morality in terms of dollars and cents?

          Because, my share-the-wealth friend, those dollars and cents are the single most accurate judgement of a free society’s actions.

          Everything else is just the ranting of the power-obsessed (like yourself) who want to structure things according to their own visions.

          And in the real world, it’s the capitalist democracies which have the strongest safety nets. There is no deliberate starvation, but plenty of malnutrition, particularly among children….

          due to the neglect of irresponsible parents, often complicated, rather than corrected by the welfare bueaucracy.

          Those who fall on hard times through no fault of their own will usually find somone ready and willing to ease things, but those who fail through fault of their own character usually go whining to some left-wing politician.

          It is the socialist, commmunist, and native-nationalist societies whose record is written in blood.

        • #3294061

          And One More Thing

          by olprof67 ·

          In reply to Sociopathic Republicans

          “Those who completely dismiss socialist values”

          simply represent a higher level of moral evolution.

      • #3290912

        Free Market

        by thechas ·

        In reply to Entitlements

        While it sounds good, I respectfully disagree with your premise.

        Show me a government service that has been privatized and has ended up costing the consumer less.

        Education: No, private companies are leaving the K-12 education system. They cannot both educate children and make a profit.
        Look closely at the financial model of faith based education and services before you point them out as a model.
        They exist off of low wages, volunteers, and contributions from the fold.
        Education in particular has 2 advantages that our public schools do not:
        Involved parents who value an education.
        The ability to expel any student they desire.

        Prisons: Again, private companies are finding out they they cannot lower the cost enough in order to make a profit and perform the required task.

        It always costs the general community when a government service is privatized.
        In order for the private company to make the desired profit, they either have to pay significantly lower wages, or reduce the quality and quantity of service provided.

        Chas

    • #3292855

      NeoCons Want a Free Ride

      by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

      In reply to The biggest threat to individual freedom

      re:
      the biggest threat to individual freedom in the United States is the U.S. tax
      —– —– —– —– —–

      It pays for the firefighters, and police, and safe streets. It pays for cleaning the water we drink and the air we breathe.

      It pays for the prisons that lock up criminals, and the schools that unlock minds. It pays for so many wonderful things.

      But you say it’s a threat to individual freedom – without cause. Just a blanket statement.

      You voted FOR the biggest expansion of government in the history of the nation. Did you think you were gonna get a free ride?

      • #3292848

        None of those things

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to NeoCons Want a Free Ride

        .
        None of the things you mentioned are “social programs”.

        And if I voted for, as you say, the biggest expansion of government in the history of the nation”, then my vote kept that expansion from being even BIGGER under Democrat control.

        Republicans – Tax and spend

        Democrats – Tax more and spend more

        • #3292842

          Bucky

          by protiusx ·

          In reply to None of those things

          You had to know he would post on this. It is his compulsion that drives him like a moth to the flame. Sense he didn?t include his other buzz words I thought I?d list them here for you.

          100,000 dead
          NEO-CON
          Militant Christian
          Nazi Republican guard
          FAIRIE GOD PARENTS! (wait that was from my kids cartoon again)

        • #3292797

          Be fair Protius. :-)

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Bucky

          He DID SO mention NEO-CONS.

          Right in the title

        • #3292743

          Blessings of Liberty

          by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

          In reply to None of those things

          re:
          None of the things you mentioned are “social programs”.
          —- —- —- —-

          Nobody said they are. You’re tilting at windmills, Quixote – taking offense where none is offered, fighting fights without opposition.

          Still, you say taxes are freedom-killers and you’re wrong – because they pay for the Blessings of Liberty.

        • #3292708

          Can you please enlighten me?

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to None of those things

          Republicans – Tax and spend

          Democrats – Tax more and spend more

          Do you really believe that the financial agenda of the two major parties can be expressed as simply as that?

          And you may like to comment on the following, which I lifted from a discussion posted on November 12 by the peer “antipodes” which did not receive a single comment.

          “The following figures came from a quick Google search. They may not be 100 per cent accurate, but I think the point made is clear enough.

          WASHINGTON September 27, 2000 — President Clinton announced Wednesday that the federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history and topping last year’s record surplus of $122.7 billion.

          WASHINGTON January 27, 2004 ? The federal budget deficit will reach $477 billion this year, the biggest ever in dollar terms, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday.
          The deficit hit $375 billion in 2003, the highest in dollar terms ever. The previous record was $290 billion in 1992.

        • #3292647

          Enlightenment Indeed

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Can you please enlighten me?

          .
          No Julian, I don’t believe that the financial agenda of the two major parties can be expressed as simply as that. It was just a “sound-bite” comment, if you will, expressing my opinion that neither major party is really the party of fiscal responsibility, that both major parties make spending promises for the purpose of political expediency, but that the Democrat party, on balance, will tax and spend more if left to their own devices and desires – if for no other reason than their single policy of supporting nationalized health care. So no, I don’t believe the financial agenda of either major party – or the party-neutral federal government as a whole – can be expressed in any simple terms. There’s nothing “simple” about it.

          To the contrary, it’s a bookkeeping shell-game; it’s a “how can we fool them today”; and the financial management – or mismanagement, I should say – policies of our party-neutral federal government would never stand up to the very scrutiny that we impose upon and expect of our corporate leaders. Enron, for example, has taken on a meaning of it’s own. At on time when someone said the single word “Enron”, it was no more than the name of a corporation. But today the single word “Enron” conjures up images of financial mismanagement run amok – even to criminal levels. Well, if the Enron Corporation was so bad, and it was indeed very bad, then our party-neutral federal government is absolutely dismal. Our federal fiscal policies would make the Enron debacle look like a bounced check. And I believe it’s time we hold our party-neutral federal government to the same standards we expect of our corporations.

          But neither party will step up to the plate and tell it like it really is, lest they not get the precious vote of the ignorant and self-centered voter who only asks, what’s in it for me. In the quest for that precious vote, politicians – of both parties – make promises that could be boiled down to taking the money from the person who earned it, only to give it to the person who did not – in exchange for a vote, of course. If the Republican party ever reverted back to the fiscal conservative values of Barry Goldwater, when the final votes were tallied they’d be slaughtered like sheep. So they’ve capitulated to the status quo, they’ve learned to play the game, and they have become the very thing they used to abhor – and what I like to call baby-Democrats. (But the Democrats have really “grown up”.) Thus my “sound-bite” comment that the Republicans are the tax and spend party, but the Democrats are the party of tax even more and spend even more.

          We are headed for a financial train-wreck. But the voters, in their never-ending quest to line their own pockets with other peoples’ dollars, will do nothing to avoid it. Sure, some people don’t support such out-of-control spending for their own financial gain, but they’ve succumbed to the notion that they are supporting the “less fortunate”, or they believe that equality of opportunity really means equality of outcome. But they’ve only sped up the impending disaster. And perpetuated by the constant “sob stories” that they are inundated with by our illustrious media outlets, they’re duped into voting for more and more spending and more and more fiscal irresponsibility.

          Thomas Jefferson is often credited for having said, “That government is best which governs least.”, and no truer words have ever been spoken. But unfortunately, we have not heeded his warnings. And people who totally blame Democrats or who totally blame Republicans are only fooling themselves. And ultimately, they have only themselves to blame.

          On the particulars of your budget surplus/deficit comments, I’ll put my reply in another message.

          to be continued…..

        • #3290971

          “We are headed for a financial train-wreck”

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to Enlightenment Indeed

          Of course this is a worry to everyone. If America goes down the tube financially, it would affect other countries as well, I presume, just like the great depression on 1929.

          Do you think the current situation is potentially as serious?

          By the way: Australia has it’s share of corporate criminals.

        • #3290934

          Great Depression – No

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to “We are headed for a financial train-wreck”

          .
          I think there are too many opportunities for growth to see another 1929. Moreover, many of the reasons for the crisis of the 1929 and the early 30s aren’t a factor anymore. The “run on the banks”, for example, that took place in the 30s couldn’t happen today; and if there was an attempted massive sell-off of stocks, trading would be suspended until rational thinking was restored. Moreover, we’re smarter right now, and people have the intelligence to ride out the down-turns in the market. Just after 9-11, for example, when our stock market went from a high of the 11,000 range (for the DOW) to the 7,500 range, the “smart money” just held a pat-hand and rode out the storm.

          By a financial train wreck I mean that eventually, government will have to cut spending. There’s absolutely no way around it. The “automatic increases” built into the system won’t be sustainable. This includes social security, and the people who are counting on retiring at 65 might be faced with working another 5-10 years. I’m certainly not an economist, and I’m not a doom-and-gloom predictor, but we sure could have a major downturn in the economy, perhaps see an increase in the number of personal bankruptcies, and see the dollar lose even more ground to foreign currencies.

          Historically, government spending has been held to about 10 percent of our GDP. Right now, it’s pushing 20 percent, and something will have to give. I believe it’s better to correct the problem now rather than be forced to deal with a more severe problem later.

          And I think it’s absolutely vital that the government stop making spending promises it can’t keep, and let individuals keep more of the money they earn so they can take care of their own needs.

        • #3290896

          I agree – sorta.

          by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

          In reply to Great Depression – No

          I agree that there’s financial storm clouds on the horizon, but the NeoCon path is the wrong one for dealing with it.

          The way we finally got out of the depression was to go on a massive government spending spree. Government loans financed Hoover Dam, WWII, the creation of the airline industry and the overhaul of the auto industriy. We built highways from coast to coast where before there were none, we created entirely new lakes.

          These kinds of efforts don’t come out of NeoConservative “no-government-is-good-government” cowardice.

          re:
          And I think it’s absolutely vital that the government stop making spending promises it can’t keep, and let individuals keep more of the money they earn so they can take care of their own needs.
          —- —- —- —- —-

          Personally, I’m OK with paying taxes so that I don’t have to hire my own police, firefighters, water and sewage, etc. I think its cowardly not to trust the government with those functions – as long as its a Democratic government.

          For some dumb reason, Republican governments don’t believe in providing for the common defense of those blessings of liberty.

        • #3290976

          Borrow and Spend

          by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

          In reply to Can you please enlighten me?

          You got it wrong, there.

          Republicans don’t tax and spend – they debt-and-spend. It’s fiscally irresponsible – but it has great appeal appeal to the folks who don’t want to pay their fair share.

        • #3293996

          I don’t have to be Adam Smith ….

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to Can you please enlighten me?

          or John Maynard Keynes, or Milton Friedman etc …
          to interpret what these figures indicate.

          In 1992, George Bush Snr (alleged typical small-taxing, small-spending Republican) achieved an all-time record deficit of $290 billion.

          By the end of his second term in office, Bill Clinton (alleged typical big-taxing, big-spending Democrat) had converted this into an all-time record surplus of $230 billion.

          In the last year of his first term in office, George Bush Jnr (alleged typical small-taxing, small-spending Republican) turned this surplus into an all-time record deficit of $477 billion.

          Hmmm ….

    • #3292794

      90+% True, Max…..But

      by olprof67 ·

      In reply to The biggest threat to individual freedom

      Let’s not overlook the fact that several of the commonly-accepted rules in today’s workplace are structured to stifle individuality for the good of the enterprise.

      As one of the most flagrant, I’ll cite health insurance. Employees who refrain from all tobacco use have fewer sick days and are far less likely to incur catastrophic health care bills.

      But can you name me one major corporation or insurer who directly rewards employeees who don’t smoke in the only compensation that matters — hard (and preferably tax-fee) cash?

      And while I definitely don’t want centralized health insurance, I resent employers using their access to lower group rates (which DO NOT exclude smokers) to hold mature productive workers hostage.

      The corporate world isn’t all that indisposed to collectivism if it can be structured in its favor, and the only answer to this is a little more empowerment of the responsible individual.

      Because once in a while, that individual deserves the right to look his boss straight in the eye and deliver a resounding NO! without fear of retribution.

      • #3290947

        Perhaps things are changing

        by protiusx ·

        In reply to 90+% True, Max…..But

        Being the time of year it is I am sure you all, like me, had to renew your benefits for the coming year – Open enrollment time. Now this year I noticed some very different things in the options my company offered. Firstly my PPO standard rate flat lined from the previous year (very good!) and that the PPO HIGH rate increased a great deal. This was explained as an attempt to defer the costs of the coverage to those that actually use it which sounds good to me. So this may be a precursor of things to come with regard to making our health insurance more affordable.
        As a side note: one of the other changes is that our company now recognizes ?unions? regardless of gender. It is limited to two people though so my goat will just have to wait;o)

        • #3290895

          No Healthcare

          by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

          In reply to Perhaps things are changing

          re:
          Being the time of year it is I am sure you all, like me, had to renew your benefits for the coming year – Open enrollment time.
          —– —– —– —–

          Perhaps you haven’t heard. Most Americans don’t have health insurance of any kind whatsoever.

          You and I part of a privledged minority but it’s indecent to whine about your shoes, when you’re surrounded by people who have none.

    • #3290908

      Beware Unintended Consequences

      by thechas ·

      In reply to The biggest threat to individual freedom

      I basically agree with your premise that the US tax code is structured to reinforce desired behaviors and discourage other behaviors.

      Still, I am concerned that we are apt to suffer from the law of unintended consequences when we tinker with the code.

      Switching to a flat tax would end up devastating our economy.
      Why?
      The bulk of retail sales come from the lower and middle class both in bulk and as a percentage of income. A flat tax would double or triple the tax burden on the middle class significantly reducing money available for spending.
      Not to mention what losing the mortgage interest deduction would do to the housing market.

      If you take a close look at the tax code changes from the Reagan era, you will notice that the bulk of deductions that were eliminated had a greater impact on the middle class than they did on those earning the big bucks.

      Things I would suggest make sense:

      Change the tax code to a flat tax for business income ONLY. Start at something like a 10% rate, and drop it 0.2% a year until it reaches 5%.

      The only deductions would be based on corporate citizenship not dollars spent.
      Factors like:
      Pay all employees a living wage;
      Meet pollution standards;
      Control CEO compensation;

      would allow a company to use a lower tax rate as they would be less of drag on the overall economy.

      For individuals, keep the present progressive rate structure.

      Drop the Alternate Minimum Tax. Or at least index it for inflation.

      Keep at least these deductions:
      State and local taxes;
      (Including re-instating the sales tax deduction)
      Primary residence mortgage interest;
      (but limited to the original loan)
      IRA’s;
      (include net deposits to savings accounts held for over 2 years)
      Health care expenses;
      Charitable contributions;

      Chas

      • #3292639

        Freshman Argument

        by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

        In reply to Beware Unintended Consequences

        “The results of meddling with the free market is nothing *but* unintended consiquences” – Keynes

        I kinda like the way you start out by saying “simplify the tax” and then, by the end of your post, have come up with a complex array of loops and holes. That’s how our current tax system got where it is today.

        The devil won’t let you make just ONE deal with him. If you’re in for a pfenig you’re in for a mark.

        If you gotta raise socialist money (i.e. taxes), you gotta keep it simple or you end up with a beaurocracy that collapses of its own weight – if you’re lucky. If you’re not lucky, it has to be taken down through Bloody Revolution. The wages of sin are death.

        If you decide to issue a flat tax – fine, do it. Progressive? Great. Regressive? No better or worse.

        Ever play SIM City? The cities do OK as long as you don’t jack with taxes too much. Progressive, regressive, high, low – it doesn’t matter. The free market will correct itself to meet the balance. But it can’t if there’s no stability – it’s hard to hit a moving target.

        I heard that it takes 1000 judges, lawyers and clerks to manage the traffic generated by one volume of the federal tax code. Wouldn’t it be great if there was only one volume?

      • #3292608

        Flat taxes …..

        by jardinier ·

        In reply to Beware Unintended Consequences

        I am amazed that so many people can’t see how easy it would be to introduce a flat tax rate without disadvantaging anyone.

        Simply adjust gross wages across the board so that everyone would still receive the same net income as they do now.

        A flat tax rate would encourage people to work harder (no penalty for moving into a higher tax bracket) and discourage dishonesty (no need to hide income to avoid moving into a higher tax bracket).

        There would also be a massive drop in paperwork if a one-tax system was introduced.

        So why does it remain a pipe dream? Presumably because too many people (accountants especially) have a vested interest in keeping the system complex.

        We had a marvellous debacle in Australia a few years ago when John Winston Howard — after previously vowing that he would never do so — introduced a GST (Goods and Services Tax).

        This was to be a “fair and simple” tax. In fact the changes to the taxation legislation took the tax laws from 800 pages to 3,500 pages. It also placed a heavy burden on small business people who in affect became unpaid workers for the Taxation Department.

        The demarcation between goods which attract GST and those which don’t, is chaotic and irrational. For example, there is no GST on unprocessed food, so theoretically fresh produce should not have increased in price. However merchants have to pay GST on their rent, electricity and so forth, which has to be passed onto the consumer.

        There was an instance recently which provoked me to send a mass email to my friends. I don’t remember if I included my American friends. But it related to a certain brand of fruit juice. Apple juice attracted no GST, but apple and blackcurrant juice did, because it was “processed” — that is, a small amount of blackcurrant juice was added to the apple juice.

        • #3292530

          Freshman Argument

          by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

          In reply to Flat taxes …..

          re:
          I am amazed that so many people can’t see how easy it would be to introduce a flat tax rate without disadvantaging anyone.
          —– —– —– —– —–

          Freshman argument again. Of all the things passing a flat tax would be – easy ain’t even on the list.

          The first thing that would happen is that churches and non-profits would want an exemption. How do you tax an entity that does not report a profit, or measures it in souls?

          Then there’s the question – should a 1000-person corporation be taxed the same as each of the thousand individuals? Should they be double-taxed – once when the corp pays theirs, and again when they get their paychecks?

          What about people who are on welfare, or get a government paycheck – are they tax payers, tax recipients or some complex combination. Should tax recipients be taxed. If so, where does the money go – to themselves? Do they have to report it as income – and pay taxes on it?

          This all goes back to Macro vs. Micro economics. An event that has one impact on the macro level, often has an opposite impact on the micro level. While a flat-tax is totally fair on the national level, it creates a plethora of individual injustices. Only a very few individuals would be taxed fairly – just like in the system we have today.

          The only truly fair tax, macro and micro, is one that pays the bills – all of them. Want a $1/4Trillion war? Fine, but you gotta pay for it? Want clean water and schools? Fine, but you gotta pay for it.

          That’s one of the things that’s so revolting about Bush Republicans – they want a free ride. They’re not willing to pay their fair share.

        • #3293887

          Thanks Bucky

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to Flat taxes …..

          for pointing out the potential pitfalls in a flat-tax system.

          It is just another instance of what I have learned during my life — I can hold onto an idea for years, or decades, and believe it to be true until someone challenges it.

          I am always willing to learn. Thank you.

        • #3293870

          Not that hard…

          by dwdino ·

          In reply to Thanks Bucky

          Already been done in Russia, and is working well for them.

          All earned income from employer to employee is taxed at x percent.

          All non-profit remains non-profit.

          All wellfare receipients are classified as non-profits (but should be taxed, messed up system anyway).

          Corporations are taxed based on gross revenue, 0 to a million. Self, corp., partner, etc. I.E. 7 percent is 7 percent.

          What a flat tax really hurts is spending. Since are persons are now equally responsible, then the government must be much more fiscally responsible. The government can no longer modify the tax code and say “middle class give me more”, or “lower class, here is a handout”. Make a change and it goes for all.

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