Friday, April 17, 2009

Taxes, Blessed are the Poor

As I was watching grandpa sign a check to the IRS I couldn’t help but ask why he didn’t do it the easy way over the internet as everyone else was doing. He just chuckled a bit as he said,

"Bacause boy I don’t like the government to get its hands on my money any sooner than possible. This is the one day of the year that I wished we lived in Canada rather than here. They have another couple of weeks yet before they need send their tax check out."

Then a grin came across his face as he added,

" I have often wondered if we could wait and pay our taxes to Canada then have them forward it back to our government.

Boy, the funny thing about taxes is that you can either tax production or tax consumption. If you tax production, you end up artificially inflating the worth of the product. If you tax consumption you end up artificially deflating the value of the money used to buy the product. Tax them both and you’ll be double taxing the people.

You can also tax assets or you can tax liabilities. If you tax assets, you take away from a person’s wealth. If you tax liabilities you add to a man’s debt. Either way a nation is poorer. The greater the tax, the poorer a nation will be.

You can tax the people equally or you can tax the people unequally. Taxing them one way will unite the people as one against a governmental abuse. Taxing them the other way will divide a nation and pit them against each other, each greedy for what the politician promises, each believing that the politician represents them.

Taxing them equally will unite because the rich man cannot demand that his taxes be lowered without knowing that it will lower the tax of the poor man. The poor man cannot demand that the taxes of the rich man be higher without raising his own taxes. The politician cannot make a promise to one without keeping that promise to the other. In other words, he must represent all the people not just those he is ideologically allied with.

You hear the cry that there are many that have no representatives in government, that they are disenfranchised and left out of the system. You hear the cry that their grievances are not being addressed as promised in the Constitution. Then you remember the cry of the revolutionaries of "No taxation without representation."

This would imply that those who deserve representation in government are those who pay taxes. Those who did not pay taxes did not deserve to be represented in our government. There is a good basis for this argument also, boy. It is found right in our Constitution too.

The House of Representatives was created from this concept. It was created to give a voice to those who paid the taxes for the maintaining of the government. This was specifically addressed in this section;

"Section 7. Clause 1. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."

Now, boy, many may dispute the meaning of this section but it would be hard for me to imagine that anyone would dispute the fact that the section deals with taxes and the imposition of taxes upon the people. It would also be hard to imagine anyone thinking that the House of Representatives did not have the primary role in regards to the imposition of those taxes from this clause.

It also befuddles my mind to hear people speak as if the President of this nation has that role. Times I actually think they believe that the President dictates and Congress obediently follows along. Then again, I hear these politicians speak and I begin to wonder if what those people think isn’t true."

Then he grinned at me as he continued,

"Boy, they say that there are only two things a man cannot avoid and those two things are taxes and death. The difference being are that taxes promise to impoverish a person and if you believe in a God, death promises to enrich a person."

I heard grandma giggle at this as she listened from across the room. Then she said,
"Blessed, indeed, are the poor"


Lista said...

Will taxing the people equally really unite people? You're still going to have the problem of Greed and Envy. I seriously doubt that Equal Tax is going to fix this problem.

Those who do not believe in "Flat Tax" will continue to complain and "Demand" that the rich pay more than they do because "They can afford it.".

You are suggesting, Griper, that those who are handicapped and can not work in order to pay taxes do not deserve representation. This is not a very kind thing to say or believe. Your words also imply that Children and the Retired do not deserve representation. What I think is that you have not fully thought this one through.

You are right, though, that it is the House of Representatives, not the President, that should impose taxes.

What frustrates me is how when a President wins an Election, he thinks that he has a Mandate to do what ever he wants to, especially if he wins by a significant margin. This is why I disagreed with the Republicans who chose to not vote for McCain, for this gave Obama more of a Mandate to go right ahead and destroy our country.

"The greater the tax, the poorer a nation will be."

Interesting Statement.

The Fair Tax is actually a little better than the Flat Tax. By taxing what we buy, yet not Necessities, the poor, who spend a higher percentage of their income on Essential Necessities than the Rich, will still be paying a lower percentage of their income in taxes.

When you think about it, paying taxes only on the purchases that are not Essential Necessities is a good way of taxing only money that is "Extra" and not what is Essential. Flat Tax does not make this distinction. I don't know. Maybe the Fair Tax is the way to go.

BB-Idaho said...

In the spirit of 'fools rush in.."
the full beatitude addresses the
poor IN SPIRIT. Later contextual
deliberations widened that to the
poor (indeed)..if we subscribe to the Geneva school. Conciously or not, Griper, you hit on a bit of irony. The Matthew 5:3 quote about the poor came from an apostle who had previously been a
tax collector. :)

Lista said...

Even though the book of Matthew was written by "an apostle who had previously been a Tax Collector", the Beatitudes themselves are from one of Jesus' Sermons (Matthew 5:3-7:27). A shortened version of the Beatitudes are also recorded the Gospel written by Luke (Luke 6:20-26). Matthew 5:3 and Luke 6:20 say pretty much the same thing.

The Griper said...

he just grins, the irony was intentional but maybe not in the sense you were thinking. that was why i titled it as i did.

"Will taxing the people equally really unite people?"

in terms of the problem of taxation it will. if the law declares we all be taxed equally tthen it doesn't matter what some people demand. we are subject to the law not the demands of men. even now, we see the wisdom of that. it is much easier to raise the income tax then it is to raise the sales tax.

"You are suggesting, Griper, that those who are handicapped and can not work in order to pay taxes do not deserve representation. This is not a very kind thing to say or believe. Your words also imply that Children and the Retired do not deserve representation"

and you are impying that i cannot reconcile or justify it which if you reread my post i say that i can. so, it is you that needs to reread my post with greater understanding, not me who did not think this through enough yet.

BB-Idaho said...

Lista, I am admittedly no expert on the beatitudes. However, we note that the phrase 'poor in spirit' may be different than 'poor. Since both Matthew and later Luke based their writings on Mark, whatever
exegesis, and there are a few, would, IMO, be based on
contextual interpetation, perceived intent, chronology and linguistics. My ignorance in the area is why I prefaced the self
descriptive 'fools rush in.." and my uncertainty regarding 'in spirit' modifying 'poor' in the first case but not in the latter
triggered my ref to the 'Geneva School. Perhaps the iconographic symbol of Matthew's three moneybags vs Luke' ox provides more clues. Hmmm, three moneybags...what's the symbol of the IRS?

dcat said...

death promises to enrich a person."Oh good I'll get to sleep in than!

Lista said...

"We are subject to the Law, not the Demands of men."

Actually, this is not entirely true. The current law protects the woman's right to choose whether or not to have an Abortion, yet this law has been under constant protest the entire time that it has been in effect.

People who are barely making enough to survive, should not be taxed as much. Even though the rich do not like to think so, the truth is that some of the poor do in fact work really hard for their small little pay checks. The least we can do for the poor who actually DO WORK is give them a break on their taxes. This is why I will never support the idea of a Flat Tax.

Actually BB,
I'm often impressed with your ability to quote Scripture and also with the fact that you knew something about the Author of the Book of Matthew and now about Luke and Mark as well. I don't know why I always feel so compelled to add my own two cents. I guess that's just in my nature. Sorry. You're doing great, though. You really are.

Ok, here's a couple pennies more. Luke was a Physician. That's why he started his story with two pregnant woman, Mary and Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) and yes, it's likely that both used the Gospel of John as a reference, yet they both added more to it, for there is no mention of the Beatitudes, nor "the Sermon on the Mount", from which they came, in the Book of Mark.

Stand by for a more complete definition of Poor in Spirit, as soon as I can find my other Study Bible. Just from memory, I believe it has something to do with Humility of Spirit.

I bet Griper never knew he was going to get a Bible lesson below this Post.

The Griper said...

"yet this law has been under constant protest the entire time that it has been in effect."

protest yes, demand no.

"This is why I will never support the idea of a Flat Tax."

ahhh another area we can say that she is an extremist on, huh?

Lista said...

"Demand" is just a word, Griper.

I've noticed that you use this word whenever you are pointing out something that you feel is Inappropriate, yet when the word doesn't fit with the thoughts you are trying to convey, you use the word "Protest" instead. The only difference between the word "Protest" and "Demand" is the Intensity of the emotions felt and the Attitude expressed while making a Request or if you feel that the "Request" is Inappropriate, you could accuse the one making the Request of being "Demanding".

No, Griper, the Flat Tax is the Extreme, for it is very highly Republican and offers No Compromise what-so-ever with the Democrats. That's probably why you like it. The "Fair Tax" is less Extreme in that it offers a little bit of a break to the poor in the fact that the purchase of Necessities are not Taxed.

The Griper said...

i have already declared that i am no advocate of the income tax and that would include the flat tax, so what is your point?

and the necessities of life can be dealt with in the flat tax as well too. the regressive tax has notrhing to do with necessities of life. it is just a way to place greater burden of supporting the government on a portion of the people.

the problem is that by taxing the income of people you leave a great number of persons out of the system thus placing a greater burden on those who abide by the tax laws.

the regressive income tax is an attempt to create economic equality by subtraction rather than by addition.

it also leads to creating criminals out what would otherwise be honest citizens. Obama's appointments exemplified this very well.

BB-Idaho said...

Taxes are almost impossible to avoid. I'm with these guys:
"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the Income Tax."
-- Albert Einstein
"Abracadabra, thus we learn the more you create, the less you earn. The less you earn, the more you're given, the less you lead, the more you're driven, the more destroyed, the more they feed, the more you pay, the more they need, the more you earn, the less you keep, And now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to take, if the tax-collector hasn't got it before I wake."
-- Ogden Nash

Lista said...

Hi Griper,
Once again you appear to be contradicting yourself in that the first paragraph of your above comment says that you do not advocate Income Tax, yet in your second paragraph, you go on to defend the idea of the Flat Tax. The main reason that I keep expressing my opinion about the Flat Tax is because you keep defending it.

Couldn't it be said that the "Burden of Supporting" Oneself is higher on those who lack the Genetic abilities that are needed in order to succeed in Capitalism.

The main reason that those who make less should have a little bit more of a tax break is because of the fact that a rather large percentage of what they make goes to cover Necessities, not Luxuries. When Purchases are Taxed instead of Income, this problem can be addressed Directly. With Income Tax, the problem can be addressed Indirectly by giving the poor a little more of a break.

In your third paragraph, you make a very good point and the Sales Tax would include everyone in the Tax System, even if the number of Non-Necessity Items Purchased by certain individuals is small.

Haven't you ever given your Child a "Handicap" while playing a game with him or her? One good example of this is in the game of Horse Shoes. In this game, it is suggested that Children should be allowed to stand behind a line that is closer to the peg they are throwing at, than the Adults. The reason for this advantage has to do with the lack of Skill and Ability that gives the Adults the natural Advantage.

The Regressive Tax gives a similar "Handicap" to the poor, making it easier for them to Compete with those who are more Genetically Gifted then themselves. To me, it seems like the only motive for being reluctant to do that is selfishness.

The Fair Tax is a wonderful way of bringing some Compromise between the issue of Flat Tax and Regressive Tax. That's my point. If I'm making a point that you already agree with, than why don't you more clearly say so.

You say you are a Liberal, but you talk just like a Republican. The problem with the Regressive Tax System, though, lies not in principle, but in degree. When Democrats get their way, the Regressive Tax System is taken to unacceptable Extremes.

To all,
This discussion has really been good for me, because I used to be a little confused about the Fair Tax, yet now I think I've adequately talked myself into supporting it.

Lista said...

I thought of one more point relating to the Regressive Tax System. While playing Video Games, each time that the player moves to a "New Level", the game gets harder. Why is this acceptable in Video Games, but not in life itself?

While playing Computer and Video Games, this extra Challenge is accepted, but in life it produces Resentment and Anger. Why is this? IMO, I think it has to do more with Selfishness and Greed than with actual mistreatment.

Sorry if I've offended you by suggested that you haven't fully Thought Something Through. I didn't mean to cause offense. Since the Thinking Processing is an on going process, none of us ever reach the point at which we have thought anything completely and totally through.

The Griper said...

my second paragraph is a response to your assertion that a flat tax would deny the poor of their needs and that a regressive tax provides for it. it was not a defense of it.

most everything i say is always a response to one of your comments. my mistake is that i haven't provided your comment to show it.

Lista said...

Hello again Griper,
I guess I'm going to have to back track just a little. I guess you told me in at least one of your comments that I should read your Post again. I guess it was in relation to Reconciling and Justifying the idea that the Handicapped and those who can not work in order to pay taxes do not deserve Representation.

As I read it again now, I see that the main Justification that you offered was something that the Revolutionaries said and the fact that the Constitution says so, but you did not provide an air tight argument, just as your Grandpa admits in his statement "Now, boy, many may dispute the meaning of this section." and you did not address the subject of the Handicapped or those who can not work.

When I reread just now that "The President dictates and Congress obediently follows along.", I'm shacking my head in amazement because lately this almost seems to be true.

I guess I assumed that when you said that "Taxing them equally will unite", you were talking about the Flat Tax, for you didn't clearly specify which it was. Just stating that "You can either tax Production or tax Consumption." is not a clear statement about which of these you prefer. The first mention of the phrase "Fair Tax" was in my comment, not your Post.

I need to reread the above comments as well, because I feel as if there are other things that have been left unanswered in my mind. I need to go for now, though. More later.

BB-Idaho said...

Lista, it sounds as if you have reversed the definitions of taxation ..our current income tax is the rate is higher for the higher bracket. Those of us who make less than $250,000 rather like it. The system is so complex, though that the rate makes no sense..I am in the 15% bracket, but with deductions, my
actual rate comes to about 7% (according to my CPA) Under the flat tax it would be 11% (better in theory, worse in actuality). Were I at poverty level, the current 'progressive' my tax would be zero and the flat tax 11%.
In Griper's subsequent posting, we note a long list of various taxes.
I began to list them as progressive, regressive or neutral, but quickly noted it is not really that simple. For example a high tax on liquor is regarded as a 'sin' tax - an awful sinner pays a very high rate. Yet, such taxes are optional in the sense that state revenue lotteries are optional. The propery tax is another which is difficult to classify. Our home is property,
Bill's farm is property and the
75 ton press at the factory is property. A corporate comptroller one time came to see our new Infra Red Spectrophotometer. She asked if it was 'real property'. I tapped the top and observed it sounded 'real to me. But, as she noted, depreciation and write-offs vary with the property type. You are correct, I am of the liberal persuasion, but taxes are every bit as frustrating over here on the
'dark side'. :)

Lista said...

I was merely copying Gripers term "Regressive", which might have actually be a typo. He may have actually meant "Progressive".

There is a reason for the Complexities within our Tax System. When you call these Deductions "Loop Holes" it sounds like such a negative, but what they were originally meant to be is "Tax Incentives".

The problem is that those who have money are supposed to donate some of it and put a whole bunch more of it back into their business, thus producing more jobs, yet the natural human tendency is for business people to spend a good portion of their money on themselves. The "Tax Incentives" are designed to give people incentives to spend more of their money either Donating or Growing their Business and Creating Jobs. I think that Tax Incentives are a good thing.

It also makes no sense to me to place any kind of a Tax Burden on anyone who is either at or below the Poverty Level. That's just not right.

Ok, now back to the top.

"If the law declares we all be taxed equally, then it doesn't matter what some people demand. We are subject to the law not the demands of men."

Ah! but we are subject to what people "Demand"; or I prefer the word Request. The whole reason why Amendments are allowed is because the people are allowed to make changes when they do not like the way the Constitution is written.

"The necessities of life can be dealt with in the flat tax as well."

I don't follow this one. You're going to have to explain what you mean.

I explained how the regressive, or actually Progressive Tax, relates to the Necessities of Life in the second to last Paragraph of the Comment I wrote on 4/17/09, at 8:07 AM.

The Griper said...

"...our current income tax is progressive..."

our current income tax is either regressive or progressive. it depends upon the view you start with. if looking at it from the view of who pays the most then it is regressive. if from the view who pays the least then it is progressive.

" but with deductions, my
actual rate comes to about 7% (according to my CPA) Under the flat tax it would be 11% (better in theory, worse in actuality). "

no disrespect intended, BB but here is an example of the age old problem with taxes in the first place. eveyone loaths the idea of having taxes risen on them but have no problem thinking it is fair to raise taxes on others. funny thing is that everyone wants to be treated as an equal to others except when it comes to taxes.

another thing, your CPA was making a comparison to a proposed idea for the flat tax. you and i know that no bill goes thru Congress as originally proposed. it is always filled with amendments. we need to remember that taxes are paid on net income(taxable income) not gross income.

we must also remember that taxes was one of the primary reasons that we are under the present Constitution. under the Articles of Confederation the people were not taxed directly.

The Griper said...

"Ah! but we are subject to what people "Demand"; or I prefer the word Request. The whole reason why Amendments are allowed is because the people are allowed to make changes when they do not like the way the Constitution is written."

you're right in regards to the amendment process but you forget one thing. until an amendment is passed it doesn't matter what the people demand or request of government. if the Constitution does not allow the government the authority, it isn't allowed to do what is demanded or requested. amendments are not like the laws passed in Congress, it takes years even decades, sometimes, to pass an amendment.

""The necessities of life can be dealt with in the flat tax as well."

that is the reason of deductions, lista, also tax credits.

the tax rate has nothing to do with needs. its one purpose and intent is to create a more economically equal society by lowering the rich closer to the level of the poor instead of encouraging just the opposite.

Lista said...

This time instead of feeling frustrated, she just smiles and shakes her head, thinking to herself how amazing it is how long two people can keep going back and forth over certain subjects.

"The Tax Rate has nothing to do with needs. Its one Purpose and Intent is to create a more economically equal society by lowering the rich closer to the level of the poor instead of encouraging just the opposite."

The "Tax Rate", Griper, is an Inanimate thing, or in this case, an Inanimate System of Inanimate Objects, namely Money. Inanimate Objects, Griper, do not have "Purpose and Intent". Only People have "Purpose and Intent".

Though there may be some people who believe in the Progressive Tax that have the exact Purpose and Intent in mind as you have suggested, certainly not all of them have this Purpose and Intent.

Again, I see this as more of an issue of Degree from Reasonable to Extreme. The Extreme form of the Progressive Tax leads to "a more economically equal society", in which the Rich are Lowered "closer to the level of the Poor", yet a less Extreme form of the same only gives the Poor the edge that they need in order to better compete in a Capitalist Society.

Yes, we do need to put things into the system that encourage the poor to at least try.

As to Deductions, I suppose if things could be written off such as the Grocery Bill, the Rent, the Utilities and even a few items of clothing per person in the house hold, than the Flat Tax wouldn't be too bad. In order for this system to be fair to those at Poverty Level, they would have to be able to write off most of what they make, because Necessities is mostly all that they buy.

I guess I don't understand the "Tax Credits" idea. I don't know how this works.

If something is Requested and Demanded long enough, it can be changed.

Lista said...

Just as I suspected, my NIV Study Bible, from Zodervan Press, is more detailed than the one put out by Charles Ryrie. The thing that has often confused me about the phrase "Poor in Spirit" from Matthew 5:3 is that if all it means is Humble, than Matthew 5:5 which mentions the "Meek", means pretty much the same thing, yet there has to be some kind of a distinction.

My NIV Study Bible says that the phrase "Poor in Spirit" is contrasted with the Spiritually Proud and Self-Sufficient. Also, where as "Poor in Spirit" is more of an out outward attitude towards man, the word "Meek" refers to a Humble Disposition towards God.

Apparently the concept within Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (KJV), was also written in Psalm 37:11, "But the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." (KJV).

The Griper said...

Objects, Griper, do not have "Purpose and Intent". Only People have "Purpose and Intent".

everything has a purpose and intent, lista. purpose and intent only declares why something exists and how sommething is to be used.

"I guess I don't understand the "Tax Credits" idea."

deductions lowers your income that is to be taxed.
credits lowers your taxes that you pay.

some tax credits only lowers your taxes to zero while others will go beyond that and the difference is refundable to the taxpayer. the earned income tax credit is an example of a refundable tax credit.

The Griper said...

ohh and there is one more thing too, lista,exwemptions. the tax laws allow for some income to be non-taxable income.

and i'll clue you that most of the so-called poor spend a whole lot more on things other than the basic needs of life than you think.

Lista said...

Hi Griper,
I'm working on another longer response to a bunch of the above Comments which I have read now several times, yet for now I'll just respond to what you've just said.

The "Purpose and Intent" of something, Griper, is established by the one who set it up. When something is set up by more than one person, which is usually the case in Politics, the Reasons for setting up the System can differ from one person to the next and when Voting is involved, the Reasons can vary greatly.

Thanks for the Info., Griper. I'm going to need to study the idea of Tax Credits more.

"And I'll clue you that most of the 'so-called poor' spend a whole lot more on things other than the basic needs of life than you think."

You know; I'm aware of this too, yet it really puzzles me because when I get really low on funds, I'm not that good at it and one can only restrict oneself to buying "Only what you Need" for so long before it starts to drive you absolutely nuts. Poverty causes all sorts of problems and Marital Strife and I can go into Depression over stuff like that. Eventually something has to give.

The Griper said...

purpose and intent can also be determined by the real effects something has also as opposed to the perceived effects desired, lista.

The Griper said...

with no disrespect intended, lista but usually the problem of lacking funds at end of month lies in the fact of not having a proper budget not in not having enough money.

that is based on personal experience working with those who complain about not having enough money. once i taught them how to make a proper budget they found themselves living a far more comfortable life style.

BB-Idaho said...

I agree, one wants their taxes to rise. (!!) My experience was though, that with the progressive income tax, the
rise was proportional to a growing income stream..a bit more tolerable than simply raising them on a fixed income. Regarding the flat tax, it apparently grew out of the French revolution, the peasants bearing the entire burden
(the very nature of peasantry being flat broke to start with) while the nobles and clergy were
immune to taxes. After a considerable number of separated heads and the rise of Napoleon, a flat tax was instituted. (this was sort of like the old 'head tax' wherein everyone owed the King a farthing once a year, be they rich or be they destitute)
Other European nations instituted it early last century, although
it was later discontinued. Now,
the former USSR has reinstituted a flat tax..from 13% in Russia on up
through Estonia, Slovakia etc. One country has a flat tax as high as
30%. Things like 'adjusted gross
income' and 'weatherization credit' is what drove me from my calculator to the CPA. (That and an inbred compulsion to err in my favor) :) I agree as well that family budgeting is an excellent that I never took up until I retired. But a budget spreadsheet is helpful..toggle the numbers and watch the bottom line.
Indeed with such tools, taxes become just another planned expense.

Lista said...

Wouldn't you know it. I wrote an entire page again of responses to some of the above Comments, but I don't have the time right now to proof read and submit it all. Having more to say than I have time to say is the story of my life, especially when it comes to Blogging. For now, I'll just try to keep up with the most recent Comments.

Actually the word "Intent" has to do with Motive and applies to People, not Inanimate Objects. The word "Purpose" refers to the Reason something was set up. The End Result may or may not reflect the original Intent and Purpose.

You are right about the Budget thing and unfortunately, my husband, Ray, is not very good about sitting down with me and planning out a Budget. That's a big part of the problem, for when two people can work together on a Budget, there is less arguing.

Ray's idea of Budgeting is just "Not Spending Money on anything that is not Absolutely Necessary"; what ever that means. Quite often this translates into being able to afford what he wants, but not what I want. It shouldn't be too hard for you to see the conflict in this paragraph. When our Income Level is high enough to make Ray feel more comfortable and secure, he lets up a little and I have more Freedom to make Financial Choices.

You are always so full of information.

The Griper said...

ok, lista, i won't argue the point anymore. use whatever words you like to describe something's reason for existing vs the end result of its application.

The Griper said...

yes, i see the conflict. ray is one of those persons that doesn't feel secure unless he has money in his pocket. that is a common malady that i have often found in those i helped.

Lista said...

Hi Griper,
The Reason something Exists is because someone set it up. When it was set up, the person or person's had a Reason in mind.

I guess you could pass that Reason on to the Inanimate Objects involved if you want to or even say that in time, they develop a life of their own and Accomplish their own end result. They don't do so with any human Reason, Purpose or Intend. They just do so because that's the nature of the thing.

Sometimes when we try to help people, it is difficult to do unless we start at the top with the one who is the most In Charge. About all that can be done for the one who is not In Charge is to try and encourage in some way.

Lista said...

Sometimes it feels as if I could just ramble on and on and on and this appears to be one of those sort of subjects. I've gotten in the habit of submitting only 1/3rd to 1/2 of a type written page at a time and then I wonder how many such Comments I should really submit in a row.

Anyway, here I am rereading once again.

Whether a Tax is Doubled or not is not as important as the actual Total of all the Taxes incurred, except in the fact that when Taxes are Doubled and Tripled, it creates more math and thus, more Confusion.

You make it sound as if the Motive in creating Unequal Tax is to Divide the People, and pit them against each other, rather than allowing them to be United against the Government. I guess that’s an interesting thought.

As far as the statement "Those who deserve Representation in Government are those who pay Taxes.", it could be argued that though Children do not pay taxes, they are represented by their Parents, the Elderly are represented by their Children and the Handicapped are represented by Family and Loved ones, yet there is still a concern over those who have no Family. Hopefully, though, they are represented by their Tax Paying Friends and/or by those who work at the Organizations that care for them.

Though we both believe in the Fair Tax, if Income Tax is what continues to be done, you seem to lean more towards the Flat Tax and I towards the Progressive Tax.

BB left an interesting Link in his 4/19/09 Comment that I would like to take the time to read a little more thoroughly when I have time. For now, I just want to say that BB's Link does not match your explanation, Griper, of what Regressive Tax is.

Lista said...

The reason why your idea about Taxes surprises me is because Liberals tend to believe in Large Government and High Taxes.

One thing that makes your link relating to Progressive and Regressive Taxes a little Confusing is the fact that Tax Deductions change the Percentages of Gross Income that is paid and in doing so, can actually have an affect on what situations result in Progressive or Regressive Taxes, just as you pointed out in the 4/19/09 Comment that you submitted at 3:38 PM.

Here is a sentence that I wrote in an earlier Comment that shows how Sales Tax can be Progressive, rather than Regressive…

"The Fair Tax is actually a little better than the Flat Tax. By taxing what we buy, yet not Necessities, the poor, who spend a higher percentage of their Income on Essential Necessities than the Rich, will still be paying a lower percentage of their Total Income in taxes."

"Funny thing is that everyone wants to be treated as an equal to others except when it comes to taxes."

People like to be treated like we all have equal worth, yet in reality, due to a difference in our needs, we are not treated the same. For example, someone who is Handicapped is provided with Special Parking spots that no Non-Handicapped person is allowed to use. Such individuals are also often allowed at the head of the line in many cases, boarded first on airplanes and offered all kinds of Special Treatment, yet nobody who cares about people ever complains.

I also think of the phrase "Poor in Spirit" in relation to a humble attitude relating to admitting and feeling Ok about our need, rather than feeling like we absolutely must be Self-Sufficient all the time.

The Griper said...

as for the remarks in the link BB left, it is a good political argument but it is a fallacious one, lista.

Lista said...

Well, I haven't fully read the Link BB left, but what really threw me off was another Link that I found at the Bottom of the Page; "What's Good for the Economy? Who Cares?". I want to get my husband to read this one and see what he has to say about it.

The Griper said...

as for your use of the term "fair tax" you need to explain that to me.

Lista said...

Fair Tax is the term that Huckabee uses to describe his Tax Idea. He believes in doing away with Income Tax and creating a Federal Sales Tax instead.

The Griper said...

a federal sales tax, ok, that is what i thought but i wanted clarification first. if you are for the fair tax then you should also be for the flat tax instead of the progressive tax because they are meant to serve the same purpose.

Lista said...

I'm going to have to think about this awhile, Griper. I guess I'm a little skeptical that they will actually provide the Poor with enough Deductions. There is a very good reason why those at Poverty Level do not pay Taxes. Poverty is sort of a hard place to be. Even if there are some Non-Necessity purchases, it's still not enough. The Working Poor DO WORK. If they work, than why shouldn't they have a little something to show for it?There are such a large number of issues discussed in this Post and in the Comments that it is quite hard to talk about it all and each time that I reread, I think of more to say. Perhaps part of the solution will be to make at least some of it into a Post on my own Blog soon.

Meanwhile, the reason why I made such a big deal out of the words Purpose and Intent is because it appears that you are expressing opinions about the Motives of Politicians.

In the Post itself, you implied that the Reason for the "Unequal"/Progressive Tax is to Pit the people against each other and prevent them from Uniting against the Government. In your comment submitted on 4/18/09, at 11:39 AM, you said that "It is just a way to place Greater Burden of Supporting the Government on a portion of the people." Then again in your comment submitted on 4/19/09, at 6:14 PM, you say that "Its Purpose and Intent is to Create a more Economically Equal Society by Lowering the Rich closer to the Level of the Poor, instead of encouraging just the opposite"

These are all statements about the Motives of Politicians, Griper. They are interesting Statements, yet when it comes to Motives, there is no way to know for sure what people's Motives really are. We can only guess. My take on it is that some Politicians have good Motives and some do not. Also some of them care about people's needs and some do not and this is true on both sides of the isle.

Politicians who care about People and about our country are the ones who suggest things that are Reasonable. Those who don't are more Extreme. The Progressive Tax System needs to be kept at a Level that's Reasonable and not taken to Extremes.

Getting back to the Flat Tax idea, I always thought that the Flat Tax was supposed to "Simplify the Tax System", yet in order to protect those at Poverty Level from losing what they need in order to survive, a lot of Deductions will need to still remain. If there are still lots of Deductions, how is this "Simplified" and how does this comply with one of the main stated reasons for the Flat Tax?

If for the sake of "Simplification", there are not that many Deductions, than I remain very concerned about the well being of those who Work very Hard for very small pay checks.

The Griper said...

in regards to "intent and purpose" we are in agreement. i just never thought about how we were. i was thinking of it in the "passive" voice while you were thinking of it in the "active" voice.

" is this "Simplified" and how does this comply with one of the main stated reasons for the Flat Tax?"

first of all it simplifies the calculation of taxes. right now as it is, ther poor are taxed at the lowest rate only. the rich are taxed at every level based on maximum of each level. with the flat tax there is only one level to tax each person's taxable income. thus, if rasing the tax becomes something politicians must debate then they'd know that it would mean raising it on the poor as well as the rich.

it would also mean that politicians could not win elections by telling one sector of the nation that he'll lower their taxes while raising the taxes of the other sector or sectors like Obama did in his campaign.

you must also remember that you are speaking of a tax law as it is proposed by Hucklebee not voted on by Congress as i said earlier to BB without compromise.

you need to remember the government only places a tax on net income or taxable income not gross income.

this year the personal deduction was $3500 per person. a single person only requires, at the most and i'm being liberal on this figure, around $1600 a year to eat on. that would leave $1900 for other needs and that is only by use of one deduction.

Lista said...

I don't know Huckabee's Tax plan well enough to worry about the details before or after a Compromise. I'm just responding to the basic concept of a Federal Sales Tax.

Most of what you just said in your comment also applies to the Federal Sales Tax.

If the "Net Income" of the lowest of the Poor was practically nothing, than perhaps the Flat Tax wouldn't be so bad, yet I'm still not opposed to a small level of Progression in the Tax System because I do not consider those who Do Work lazy, regardless of the small size of their pay check.

People need way more than just Groceries, Griper. Rent is usually the highest of the Expenses, not food. Minimum Wage jobs don't usually bring in enough money to pay much more than the Rent, if that.

The Griper said...

"I do not consider those who Do Work lazy, regardless of the small size of their pay check."

neither do i, lista. but just because a check is not as big as another person's is no justification for taxing him at a lower rate either. if it did, it would also justify a government mandate that everything he buys be at a lower price too. i don't think even you would abide by that.

"People need way more than just Groceries..."
i think you already knew that i know that. what i said about it was just an example of the nature of deductions. and just as there are more needs than groceries there are more ways to reduce your taxable income also.

"Minimum Wage jobs don't usually bring in enough money to pay much more than the Rent, if that."

that's an exaggeration lista, and unbecoming of you.

Lista said...

Actually, Griper, there are times in which price breaks ARE given to the Poor. Haven't you ever heard of the "Sliding Scale". This is done quite often in relation to Counseling Services, because the normal price of Counseling is often too high for those on a Low Income to afford.

The coupon is also based on the principle of giving a price break to the poor. Even though the rich are allowed to use this benefit as well, they often don't.

Eventually, a business man begins to think in terms of the "Time is Money" concept and because of their high pay check, they realize that their Time has a Significant Value connected with it. Along with this thinking, also comes a reluctance to do things that save "Insignificant" amounts of money in comparison to the Effort involved and they become Lazy in relation to things such as coupons and just go ahead and pay full price for things.

I realize that there are exceptions to this, yet the basic concept is true and businesses routinely offer coupons because they know that they will get a few more sales that way, while also still selling some of the product at full price.

Sales work the same way. People who value their time more than their money are less likely to take advantage of them because there are often Long Lines and/or the Timing of the Sale is Inconvenient.

Even the Senior Discount was created for this purpose. Though, yes, there are rich Seniors, many Seniors are on a Fixed Income and well, sometimes when business try to get Extra Sales from people who have less money, there are a few who do have money that benefit as well.

Rent is really high, Griper, especially in Southern California. When I say that I honestly don't know how people on Minimum Wage do it, I'm really not making that up. How in the world can anyone set money aside in order to get ahead? Even when you do, the car breaks down or something. I just think that people deserve better than that. Is that so wrong?

And anyway, if the taxes go up on these people, that will eventually cause the Minimum Wage to go up as well and this effects the business, the number of jobs available and thus also, the Economy.

The Griper said...

"...there are times in which price breaks ARE given to the Poor. Haven't you ever heard of the "Sliding Scale". This is done quite often in relation to Counseling Services,..."

you're right, but are they "for profit" entities? a for profit entity would go out of business fast if they tried this. those who do do this are non-profit org
or gov't org., who are subsidized by either charitable org. or gov't.

as for senior citizen discounts, they usualloy make up a small percentage of business and businesses makwe up for that discount by charging the rest a bit more and that includes the poor who are not senior citizens.

yes, rent is high. but you already agreed with me that the poor spend a lot for things that aren't needs. how could they do that if they could hardly pay rent?

taxes and minimum wage are both determined by gov't, lista.

Lista said...

It doesn't matter whether a business is "For Profit" or "Non-Profit". The point is that there are things that are done for the sake of lowering the price to the Poor and anyway, the Coupon and Sale Examples do relate to "For Profit" Organizations. Coupons and Sales bring the Inflated Price due to Senior Citizen Discounts back down again, so it all works out if you are willing to put in the time.

I'm not sure if I agree with you on your point that "The poor spend a lot for things that aren't needs." The phrase "a lot" is relative and there are times in which defining what is a "Need" is relative as well. There are times in which I have had the "Need" to go out to eat for the sake of my Emotional Sanity and I even think that an occasional "Non-Essential" Purchase is "Needed" to alleviate Discouragement and Depression.

You are missing my point about Minimum Wage and Taxes. People need a certain amount of money to survive. If you Tax Minimum Wage, than this will either cause the Poverty Level to go down, or the Minimum Wage to go up. If the Poverty Level went down, I do not feel that would be a good thing.

The Griper said...

I'm not sure if I agree with you on your point that "The poor spend a lot for things that aren't needs."

you know, lista, it serves no purpose to discuss things if you are not consistent. nothing can be agreed on when that happens. i also said you already aqreed with me on this. and here is your agreement.

"You know; I'm aware of this too, yet it really puzzles me because when I get really low on funds, I'm not that good at it and one can only restrict oneself to buying "Only what you Need" for so long before it starts to drive you absolutely nuts..."

and we have made this long enough for this post. let's continue on another post.

Lista said...

Yeh, but I never said that I agreed with you on that point. If I seemed to, it was only because I have noticed that some people who get Government Benefits seem to buy things that we can't afford, such as Cell Phone for all of their kids, Name Brand Clothing and the like. Sometimes I think that those who get Government Benefits have more money than some of those who work. When talking about Taxes, though, the subject is the Working Poor, not those with Government Benefits.

The Griper said...

as you said before about businesses, the poor are the poor regardless of whether they work poor not.

you can't apply to one without justly applying it to the other.

but i'll add this. the same applies to the working poor as well as the non-working poor on welfare

Lista said...

I don't recognize what you just quoted in the last of your comments. It doesn't even sound like me. All I'm saying is that Working People deserve to be payed a Decent Wage. I do not feel that Minimum Wage should be any lower than it is due to Taxes taken out and I do not feel that it should be raised because of Taxes either. If you don't agree fine, but I thought you were suggesting that we are going to move on.

Lista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Griper said...

let's see now, you are against having taxes deducted from certain person's paycheck but you are for the fair tax that those very same people would have to pay. i give up.

Lista said...

I guess I trust the Government to not put Sales Tax on Necessities, more than I trust them to give adequate Deductions to the Poor. Not only that, but when it comes to buying Non-Necessities, a person can choose not to purchase and spend money, and thus, not to pay taxes.

The main thing that really makes me feel skeptical of the Flat Tax Idea is the stated reason for it being "To Simplify the Tax System". This is done by removing Tax Deductions. They call these Deductions "Loop Holes", yet how many of these "Loop Holes" are actually "Tax Incentives" designed to stimulate the Economy. And in the name of Simplification, how can we be sure that they are going to give enough Deductions to the Poor?

The Griper said...

with deductions and credits, lista, a person could end up paying no taxes.

once a tax is paid as a sales tax there are no refunds at all to anyone including the poor. everyone will pay taxes including kids when they spend their allowance.

Lista said...

I thought that you were leaning more away from the Income Tax Idea and more in favor of the Sales Tax Idea. I guess you are just trying to point out contradictions in my thinking.

I can think of ways of offering Deductions to business people. We could remove the Sales Tax from anything purchased at Whole Sale and from the things that are purchased frequently by people in certain businesses, such as, an Electrician could buy Electrical Supplies without Sales Tax. A Contractor could buy Building Supplies without Sales Tax, etc. All they would need to do is show their Contractors/Retail/Business License in order to get these Tax Breaks.

I guess it could even be set up so that Business Receipts could be sent into the Government at the end of the year or each quarter, in order to apply for a Tax Refund. I don't know if anyone has ever considered that one or not.

Anyway, Late Yesterday morning, at 11:04 AM, you were trying to bring this particular Comment Thread to a Close and here we are, 7 Comments later. So perhaps I should just say something that sounds sort of Conclusive.

I am not as bothered by the Progressive Tax System as you are. Though, I do feel that sometimes Democrats can take it too far over to the Extreme.

There are obviously pros and cons to all of the Tax Systems. The Progressive Tax can be a problem when taken to Extreme. The Flat Tax can be a problem if it removes too many of the Tax Incentives and Deductions for the Poor. The Fair Tax is a system that very possibly would be set up in a way that offers no Tax Refund to anyone. So you see, they all have their problems.

The Griper said...

"I guess you are just trying to point out contradictions in my thinking."

yup, and with that we can say this is a very nice conclusion to this thread.


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