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Apparently, My "Too Much" Is "Never Enough"

Over at Outside The Beltway, I got into another scrum with the commenters on a Doug Mataconis posting. (It's a bad habit of mine.) The topic was the tax burden on Americans, and how it's distributed. I brought up what I thought should have been a fundamental question on the matter:

Is anyone prepared to argue that the government doesn't take in enough money in taxes?

The question remained, unsurprisingly, unasked.

The best estimate I've found for government revenue for 2011 puts it at about 2.174 trillion dollars. Or, (putting on my "Jay Tea the math geek" hat), put out in the long form, $2,174,000,000,000. And in another way, an average of just over $7,000 for every single man, woman, and child in the United States.

Now, that's all revenue sources, not just income taxes (which make up over half the total), but it's still a hell of a lot. And it seems to me that, without getting into the minutiae, that ought to be enough money for a federal government to run itself.

But that wasn't the topic of the argument over there. It was "are certain people paying enough?" More specifically, the rich.

Ask any leftist, and you know the answer -- "no."

Don't bother asking them "how much would be enough," though -- the only answer will be "more." They won't let themselves be nailed down to a number, but they start getting squirrelly around 70% as the top marginal rate -- the rate President Kennedy signed off on when he took it down from 90%. But they don't really say "no" when you talk about 100%, especially when pointing out how if you confiscated all the wealth of the wealthiest, it still wouldn't help matters.

Underlying this whole argument, however, is a truly insidious notion that needs to be dragged out in the open and beaten to death with sticks -- the presumption that taxes are a form of social engineering, and used to "punish" those who are judged to have acquired "too much" in "improper" means.

Especially to the point it's being used now -- the "fair share" arguers aren't talking about simply redistributing the existing tax burden, but taking more and more away from "the wealthy."

And just giving it to the government.

They don't make the argument that the government needs the money. They don't make the argument that the government is entitled to the money. They don't make the argument that the government will use the money more wisely. To them, those are all givens.

I don't buy those precepts.

And I won't ever buy them.

Because, even below those assumptions, is an even more profound assumption that can not be left unchallenged:

The idea that the money in question is rightfully the government's, and whatever the government deigns to allow people to keep is a gift.

That's how you come up with saying that "we can't afford tax cuts" -- because it assumes that the government has first dibs on the money in question, and when it takes less, it's an actual expenditure. It's as if the government actually writes a check to the individual, instead of reducing the size of the check the individual has to write.

They also like it when wealthy people like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett say that they ought to be taxed more, but don't like it when you bring up that those worthies -- or anyone else -- can volunteer to pay more to the government to assuage their conscience already. And they get seriously out of joint when you bring up the Massachusetts income tax, where taxpayers can choose to pay at a higher rate -- and the percentage of those fine, outstanding liberals who have chosen to do so has never exceeded the tiniest fraction of 1% -- and those who have chosen to do so have not had the names Kerry, Kennedy, or Frank, just to name a few.

I'm still waiting for someone to answer me: can anyone put forward an argument that the government currently takes in too little money? And are they willing to go further, and say just how much would be enough?

I ain't holding my breath.

Update: I think I FINALLY got the right number of zeroes...


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Comments (79)

Yeah. Don't hold your brea... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yeah. Don't hold your breath. You won't ever get a straight answer from any lefty in a forum where they can't shout you down.

I just like to remind liber... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I just like to remind liberals that even God only asks for 10%.

The only one's shilling for 'income redistribution' are those who are either too damned lazy to get off their asses; or those who've already learned how to milk the system for their benefit. Like Barry Obama.

The federal government prov... (Below threshold)
John:

The federal government proves over and over and over again that is it totally irreponsible with our money, why on earth would a rational person want to give them more. I suppose by this point we just have too many cowboy poets that can't survive unless they are supported by tax dollars.

Recognizing that going to O... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

Recognizing that going to OTB and engaging in "discussion" is dangerous to your mental health is the first step. They have started the steep slide into the fever swamp with several of the denizens having every appearance of outright socialists if not believers in communism. Many of the rest just believe that everyone with more than them should be taxed while they enjoy the fruits of your labor. Mataconis likes to say he is center but every post seems to be bending further and further over to the left. mpw

You're missing 3 zeroes....... (Below threshold)
Hawk777:

You're missing 3 zeroes....

Let's talk about "fairness.... (Below threshold)
Joe Miller:

Let's talk about "fairness." Liberals want to argue that the rich need to pay their fair share. What about the 45% of tax filers who pay no tax (or get more back than they put in)? Is it fair that they get federals services and pay nothing for them?

What do you mean, Hawk? I m... (Below threshold)

What do you mean, Hawk? I mentioned Kerry, Kennedy, and Frank...

Oh, you meant actual DIGITS! OK, fixed now, thanks.

J.

Liberal blue blood rulers n... (Below threshold)
914:

Liberal blue blood rulers never met a taxpayer they did not heist.

Joe M, as long as they keep... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

Joe M, as long as they keep voting D, then the answer is yes. There is the rub. mpw

JT,If the goal is ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

JT,

If the goal is fairness, then all should pay the exact same percentage of all income derived from whatever means and with no deductions.

If the goal is to increase government receipts and balancing the budget, eating the rich won't do it.

More in a post I'm working on and will put up shortly.

The WSJ is taking Barry and... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

The WSJ is taking Barry and his glib speech to task on this very topic:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704621304576267113524583554.html

Wait until the 'middle class', those the progressives appear to be so concerned about find out what's in store for them.

The government exists of, b... (Below threshold)
john:

The government exists of, by, for the people, and provides exactly the services that the people choose it to, as proxied by their elective representatives.

can anyone put forward an argument that the government currently takes in too little money?

If it is not enough money to pay for the services that the people have required the government to provide, then by definition it is too little money.

And are they willing to go further, and say just how much would be enough?

Enough would be a sufficient amount to pay for the services that the people have required the government to provide.

You're making a fool's argument, especially "without getting into the minutiae". To claim that some arbitrary dollar amount "ought to be enough money for a federal government to run itself", without any analysis of government services, is specious.

The right argument is for changes in the services provided. Not that the government already has sufficient money for the current services.

Don't bother asking them... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Don't bother asking them "how much would be enough," though -- the only answer will be "more." They won't let themselves be nailed down to a number, but they start getting squirrelly around 70% as the top marginal rate -- the rate President Kennedy signed off on when he took it down from 90%.

I was asked that very question last September on Wizbang. My response was that I would be concerned if it went above 40%.

I am gonna ask a question h... (Below threshold)
Stan:

I am gonna ask a question here. Which entity takes in trillions of dollars and never pays taxes on any of it? What would you all say if I told you the Federal Government was that entity? Bet I get a great big bullshit from the resident trolls.

It would be more believable... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

It would be more believable if the liberals who claim they are not tax enough would pay higher taxes then say “I could pay much less in taxes if I wanted to”. However they take advantage of every tax loophole that they can find. If taxes were raise on the wealthy, they probably would find a way to avoid that too.

I could be wrong, but you s... (Below threshold)
JP Author Profile Page:

I could be wrong, but you said, "The question remained, unsurprisingly, unasked." Do you actually mean to say unanswered?
My personal view is that a flat tax, with no deductions,is a way to get all of our citizens to "buy into" our system.

"If it is not enough money ... (Below threshold)
Hank:

"If it is not enough money to pay for the services that the people have required the government to provide, then by definition it is too little money."

Fair enough. But if the govt has lost control of those services, i.e. 15 different agencies overseeing food-safety laws, more than 20 separate programs to help the homeless, 80 programs for economic development and 82 federal programs to improve teacher quality, then by definition, the answer is way too much money is being taken via taxes by our govt.

At this point in time, increased taxes should not even be an issue. The question of how much has long since been passed.

To a lot of liberals, taxes... (Below threshold)
Harvey:

To a lot of liberals, taxes are just a manifestation of their jealousy.

It's a case of "If I I'm not smart enough to make a lot of money, then why should you?"

And let's not forget that class hatred is goal of all the Marxists disguising themselves as Democrats.

Wayne,They not onl... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

Wayne,

They not only take advantage of every loophole that they can find, but our good leftist friends flat out cheat on their taxes too.

Just look at the number of democrats in this administration that have had tax problems.

But my all time favorite example has to be the Kennedy's. Having Rose Kennedy declared a resident of florida after she died, even though she hadn't set foot in florida in over a decade before her death, just to reduce the inheritance taxes they owed. Absolutely stunning. Sure wish I could claim residency in Nevada to reduce my income taxes, but I'm not a connected democrat.

And yet, when the left cheats on their taxes, its not a problem. We just need to raise taxes on the rich to make up for it!

Those who are rich, like Bu... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Those who are rich, like Buffet, Gates etc and claim they aren't taxed enough just paid out salaries to an army of tax specialists to prepare their taxes and utilize all the tax breaks available. Isn't that a bit two faced?

Those who claim they aren't taxed enough aren't saying what they really mean. They know they can just pay more if they feel they should. What they don't say is:

"I should be paying more in taxes, but I'm not going to unless you make everyone else of equal means pay more too."

Its very similar to Barry b... (Below threshold)
Kool aid Klan:

Its very similar to Barry bashing Bush during the campaign then, 2 long years later being for Bush's policie's after he was against them. Same thing here. Liberals want you to live and do as 'they' say, not as 'they' live and do...


Sorry Jay, but your fix did... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Sorry Jay, but your fix didn't take. It's still showing just over 2 billion, not trillion. Maybe Obama swiped the extra digits ...


And the per-capita government take is closer to $7,250 a person.

[/DJgeek]

Nobody ever seems to propos... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Nobody ever seems to propose cutting out the futile and even counterproductive wars, shutting down the insane world-wide network of bases, and ceasing to try to dominate the world.

The U.S. military budget accounts for 40% of all the arms spending in the world, and is bigger than China's, Russia's, Japan's, the UK's, France's, Germany's, and India's - combined.

This is from the Heritage Foundation, a well-known leftist organization:
http://blog.heritage.org/2010/04/05/how-does-u-s-defense-spending-compare-with-other-countries/

"I was asked that very ques... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"I was asked that very question last September on Wizbang. My response was that I would be concerned if it went above 40%."

But Tina, God only asks for 10%. Why the additional 30%?

Chico, at least defense is ... (Below threshold)
AlexinCT:

Chico, at least defense is something the government has constitutional authority to spend money on. The welfare state isn't. And as far as I am concerned I get some real value from the money spent on defense. The welfare spending however only serves to pay those on it to make more of themselves, and thus increase the cost on those of us that actually work instead of just vote for a living.

Besides, everyone I hear decry the imperialistic & evil American military, with so few exceptions as to be statistically ignorable, holds that antipathy primarily because they see the American military as an impediment to their collectivist world movement, something that should frighten everyone that likes freedom and life. And your argument that we spend so much more than all those poor others leads me to put you firmly in that camp. That we haven't seen another world war in over 70 years, one with nuclear weapons of all things, precisely because of the American military, escapes them and you.

Especially to... (Below threshold)
warchild:

Especially to the point it's being used now -- the "fair share" arguers aren't talking about simply redistributing the existing tax burden, but taking more and more away from "the wealthy."

And just giving it to the government.

They don't make the argument that the government needs the money. They don't make the argument that the government is entitled to the money. They don't make the argument that the government will use the money more wisely. To them, those are all givens.

I don't buy those precepts.

And I won't ever buy them.

Sure you do, you just don't know you do. You are fine taking my money and flushing it down the toilet on missile defense. You are fine taking my money and nation building in iraq, or building prisons off the coast of cuba. You are fine taking my money and having the government set up programs to listen in on my phone calls. It's not government taking my money you are against. Your dispute is what the money is used for.

Start spending that money on clean energy research and you have a problem.

Start spending that money on health care for Americans and you have a problem.

btw, the rich are paying a far lower percentage of their income than most Americans. Sure the poor don't pay income tax, but they pay payroll and tax and sales tax.

Us bottom 90% are paying mostly for things like social security in fact, as someone who makes over 100k a year I pay the exact same amount of taxes for things like Social Security as the Koch brothers, that works out fairly.

sometimes the rich don't pay at all take,

John Paulson, the most successful hedge-fund manager of all, he bet against the mortgage market one year and then bet with Glenn Beck in the gold market the next. Paulson made himself $9 billion in fees in just two years. His current tax bill on that $9 billion? Zero.

Congress lets hedge-fund managers earn all they can now and pay their taxes years from now.

since we started this reagaonimcs piss down experiment the only prosperity seen in this country has occured at the very top.

That won't change the mind of any of the fanatics on this board but such is life when you hang out on a Republican blog.

So john claims we are getti... (Below threshold)
John:

So john claims we are getting what we asked for (services etc), how many of us want to pay for PP to do abortions or any other services, how many of us are interested in paying GM to stay afloat, how many of us voted to fund cowboy poets, how many would vote to fund the National Endowment for the Arts or NPR Public Broadcasting. I'm sorry john the federal government is a frankenstien monster that is no longer under control. They spend money on things that if put to vote would never ever survive.

"Enough would be a sufficie... (Below threshold)
apb:

"Enough would be a sufficient amount to pay for the services that the people have required the government to provide."

Good one, johnny! The moron class was at 52% and gave us Zippy two years ago; remember the video of the ecstatic Obama-tard that thought she wouldn't have to worry about her gas and mortgage because she supported Zippy?

You're an absolute fool for believing in "services that the people have required the government to provide" when it involves a bunch of 'takers' looking for free stuff, and a government bribing the takers to keep themselves entrenched at the trough.

I don´t know if Jay is argu... (Below threshold)
Steve crickmore:

I don´t know if Jay is arguing, even theoretically, against a graduated income tax, but it seems unjust for the poor to pay income tax at the same rates, as the rich, as they have very little discretionary income after paying for necessities? It is kind of customary for people who can afford it, to pay the lion´s share, a sort of social contract, a noblesse oblige, if all are receiving services necessary for the integrity of a country, on which the nations's currency is based, so that it ultimatey can be redeemed with some value.

Bush cut America´s top rated income tax for those earning $373,000 roughly, from 39.6% to 36%. Those on a low income around $10,000 start in a income tax bracket of about ten percent.


However, the problem for the very rich is that it is somewhat a phyrric victory having received the benefit of extended Bush tax cuts. With government tax revenues down, deficits and the debt up, the American dollar has slumped considerably against other currencies circa 35% and other comodities such as gold. The very rich have been disadvantaged if they want to convert their savings from dollars and with a low dollar their purchasing power is also lower for imports.

And unless we get government revenue up we are all in the ´big do do· and the dollar´s value will continue to plummet. Even legendary, free marketeer and Ayn Rand disciple Alan Greenspan recognizes that..now

"I think this crisis is so imminent and so difficult that I think we have to allow the so-called Bush tax cuts all to expire," Greenspan said. "That is a very big number," (the current federal deficit) he continued, adding that taxes should return to the higher levels instituted by the Clinton administration in the 1990s not just for the wealthiest taxpayers, but for all Americans.
Steve and the other liberal... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Steve and the other liberals "give me, give me". Have you ever heard that just under 50% pay no income tax. Half of those get "earned income credit" which means they get money back they didn't put in. You see nothing wrong with that scheme but the "rich" (people making more then 250K) is not paying their share? I always try not to think in the vein of "their idiots" but I am truly reassessing my belief. I am starting to think liberals are idiots and cannot understand the complexities of the situation. ww

WildWillie. I talked on the... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

WildWillie. I talked on the other side, that 49% of Americans not paying any income tax is too high. Sure that should be tighted up, and everyone all agencies should make their share of sacrifice. What we are seeing is as much a cultural as economic war. There are welfare corporate bums, for example, the banksters, as well as the generic welfare bums too.

did I miss the 'scrum'? we... (Below threshold)

did I miss the 'scrum'? were you using another ID? because pretty much everyone completely ignored your couple of comments from what I see.

"Start spending that money ... (Below threshold)
apb:

"Start spending that money on clean energy research and you have a problem."

Ethanol has been an epic failure by taking food from the hungry and subsidizing rich agribiz; wind is a joke (ask the Scots); nuclear (true clean energy) has been hijacked by regulation and made hugely expensive.

"Start spending that money on health care for Americans and you have a problem."

HHS budget for 2011 is $880B - $3K for every man, woman, and child in the country. That comment was 'weapons-grade' stupid.

"btw, the rich are paying a far lower percentage of their income than most Americans."

Either you understand the top 25% of earners pay over 86% of Federal income tax, or you believe they don't.

Maybe this CBO link will help:

http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/tax/2010/graphics.cfm

sure chico, defense spendin... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

sure chico, defense spending should be on the table too. as should medicare and medicade. as should agricultural subsidies, the dept of education, etc....

if you don't think we have a spending problem, take a look at href=http://wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.3908

  • we MUST cut spending.
  • evaluate the services the government provides
  • eliminate duplicative efforts.
  • eliminiate programs which are not the role of the federal government
  • eliminate subsidies
  • reform the tax code so that it is simple with few to no deductions
  • make everybody have some stack in the government being fiscally responsible. yes, that means taxing anybody who makes an income.

however, if you are advocating the we just pick up, bring everybody home, and leave the rest of the world to their own devices, history has pretty much shown that to be damn foolish.

Jay Tea, your figure for go... (Below threshold)
Red Five:

Jay Tea, your figure for government revenues is still 3 orders of magnitude short. It's still showing 2.174 billion, not 2.174 trillion.

usually commenting at OTB i... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

usually commenting at OTB is not a good use of your time ...

basically the "tax the rich" argument is simply a stalling tactic ... the libs know it won't be enough money ... they just don't want to have the after discussion ...

Dougy M. is the bandleader at OTB for liberal talking points ...

Jay Tea, your figure for... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Jay Tea, your figure for government revenues is still 3 orders of magnitude short.

I've used this tactic in debating liberal friends, namely, asking them how many zeroes there are in $10 trillion (i.e., our national debt).

Answer: 13. Not one has gotten it right yet. Kinda says it all, doesn't it?

I'm still waiting for so... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

I'm still waiting for someone to answer me: can anyone put forward an argument that the government currently takes in too little money? And are they willing to go further, and say just how much would be enough?

Even if all of the spending cuts John Boehner's proposed had passed, we would still have a defecit. Therefore the only way to reduce the defecit is through a combination of decreasing spending and raising taxes.

Jay, how do you propose we ... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Jay, how do you propose we balance the budget without cutting taxes? Can you list what government services you would cut that would save the government enough money to not have to raise taxes?

There are welfare corpor... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

There are welfare corporate bums, for example, the banksters

I couldn't agree more, but the corporate welfare bums (e.g., GE, banks, and Wall Street) are too heavily mobbed up with the Dems to be touched. Check out OpenSecrets.org (which compiles FEC filings) to realize that the financial industry donates heavily - very heavily - to the Dems (Goldman Sachs, for example, over 3:1 to Dems). So nothing's going to change.

I meant "without raising ta... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

I meant "without raising taxes"

Obama paid an effective rat... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Obama paid an effective rate of 25% ON HIS 1.7 MILLION IN INCOME for 2010.

Why isnt he leading the pact on paying more?

Oh wait. Obama and leading. 2 words that dont go in the same sentence together.

Therefore the only way t... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Therefore the only way to reduce the defecit is through a combination of decreasing spending and raising taxes.

This is a fair point. In a liberal-free world, that's exactly what we should do.

The problem is that if we raise taxes, the Dems will just spend the "found money," and resist any attempt to cut spending (because the increased taxes will ease the problem a bit, and the Dems will say there's then no need to cut spending).

You know this is true. That's why it's important to cut hard and deep first (and now!). We need to endure pain, and lots of it, to get out of this mess.

So john claims we are ge... (Below threshold)
john:

So john claims we are getting what we asked for (services etc), how many of us want to pay for PP to do abortions or any other services, how many of us are interested in paying GM to stay afloat, how many of us voted to fund cowboy poets, how many would vote to fund the National Endowment for the Arts or NPR Public Broadcasting.

Quite a few of us, actually. But I doubt you care how many "of us" approve of spending on something of which you disapprove.

Your comment demonstrates that your position is purely ideological, rather than fiscal. You're also apparently unaware that PP already is not allowed to spend federal money on abortions. Or that NPR gets no direct budgeted money from the government.

But even if we cut every program that offends your subjective ideology, that would cut about a buck-fifty from the budget, comparatively. Then what would you have to complain about?

I couldn't agree more, b... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

I couldn't agree more, but the corporate welfare bums (e.g., GE, banks, and Wall Street) are too heavily mobbed up with the Dems to be touched. Check out OpenSecrets.org (which compiles FEC filings) to realize that the financial industry donates heavily - very heavily - to the Dems (Goldman Sachs, for example, over 3:1 to Dems). So nothing's going to change

Jay Guevara, I agree. Corporatations have way too much influence in politics.

Tina,Great. We agr... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Tina,

Great. We agree!

But Tina, God only asks ... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

But Tina, God only asks for 10%. Why the additional 30%?

If the government could perform miracles than it would not need the additional 30%.

Tina, you do know th... (Below threshold)
Chip:

Tina,
you do know there is no law prohibiting you from giving your 40%? You can give as much as you think the Government needs, so; why don't all you democrats that are calling for the raising of taxes lead by example? Give for the poor, give for the children, give until it hurts. Go ahead show us how it's supposed to be done.

Don't bother asking them... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Don't bother asking them "how much would be enough," though -- the only answer will be "more." They won't let themselves be nailed down to a number, but they start getting squirrelly around 70% as the top marginal rate

Jay, you say democrats never "how much would be enough" and "won't let themselves be nailed down to a number". Likewise republicans say the budget can be balanced through cutting spending alone, yet they won't let themselves be nailed down by saying which programs they would cut to offset the defecit. Can you answer this question?

Go ahead Tina S, donate 50%... (Below threshold)
Barry's caddy:

Go ahead Tina S, donate 50% of your cash. Show us how it's supposed to be done.

Tina, I'd start by limiting... (Below threshold)

Tina, I'd start by limiting the federal government to functions explicitly delegated to it by the Constitution, and using a much stricter definition of "interstate commerce" than has been the case in recent times.

You'd be surprised how much federal spending would be eliminated, and how many empty chairs there would be around the Cabinet Room table.

you do know there is no ... (Below threshold)
john:

you do know there is no law prohibiting you from giving your 40%? You can give as much as you think the Government needs, so; why don't all you democrats that are calling for the raising of taxes lead by example? Give for the poor, give for the children, give until it hurts. Go ahead show us how it's supposed to be done.

It's hard to believe there's anyone who still tosses out crap like this and thinks they're being clever.

How about... if you think the government spends too much, then there's no law prohibiting you from refusing their services. So why don't all you that are calling for the cutting of spending lead by example? Go drive only on private roads, use private mail carriers, and send your kids to private school.

If you think the US needs to up the fight against terrorists, then then there's no law prohibiting you from enlisting and joining the fight. Go ahead and show us how it's supposed to be done.

Here's a good one... if you think airport security is too lax, then there's no law prohibiting you from volunteering for a strip search. Bend over, and give until it hurts.

Nobody is stopping you from... (Below threshold)
Kool aid Klan:

Nobody is stopping you from putting your money where your fat mouth is.

Put up or shut up.

John ref post 52.... (Below threshold)
retired military:

John ref post 52.

1st Item. Been there and done that. As a young soldier I qualified for things like WIC and food stamps. Took neither. Got a 2nd job instead.

2nd ITem. Been there and done that.

3rd item. Sorry. not into your sexual fantasies. But every time I fly I have to go through the airport shuffle. Meanwhile they are searching 5 year olds and 97 year old grandmothers and letting muslims (who are deliberately causing problems after they are on the plane) get on the plane without the anal probe.

BTW John"... if yo... (Below threshold)
retired military:

BTW John

"... if you think the government spends too much, then there's no law prohibiting you from refusing their services"

Most of the people who are taking advantage of the govt provided social expenditures are DEMOCRATS.

TinaI am all for t... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Tina

I am all for the following law.

EVERYONE pays 5% of gross before any deductions.

That incldues folks which John say makes millions but dont pay anything.

Noone gets any tax credits/deductions which would take their obligation to the govt below that minimum 5%.


BTW John

"Go drive only on private roads, use private mail carriers, and send your kids to private school.

"

SO I take it you dont have a problem with $250 million bridge to nowhere (I sure as hell do), the govt building bike paths, and all the other boondoggles.

Oh and you want folks to send their kids to private schools. That means that their tax money for public education goes back to them right (BTW I sent my kids to private school).
No?? How about half the money they pay in going towards vouchers for private schools? How the Dem politicians would howl.

We realize that the govt has an obligation to do some things. Roads, schools, military etc.
Those we generally dont have a problem with, voucher systems for private schools would be nice to give folks a choice from the democrat propaganda mills would be nice though.
It is the unnescessary crap. PP, NPR, bike paths, govt studies on the mating habits of the south american platypus, the amount of funding for the arts (got to take care of the social elite now dont we) when it has been shown there is plenty of private areas that cover that, and the litany goes on.

Oh I'm so sorry john did I ... (Below threshold)
John:

Oh I'm so sorry john did I only mention the totally idiotic spending that seems to be supported by liberals? I'm all for cutting all spending start with the cowboy poets and work your way through the crooked deals that GE and others get all the way to defense. The point is no matter how much money we send to DC the idiots there will spend 150% of it on something stupid so NO MORE! They need to get their house in order.

John, Did I touch ... (Below threshold)
Chip:

John,

Did I touch a nerve? Methinks I did.

Go drive only on private roads,
I pay for registration of my vehicle and pay taxes every year for this service with a happy heart even though the roads I travel the majority of the time are always in poor repair, I'd just as soon pay for a private company to take care of them for the state does such a poor job.
use private mail carriers,
yep do that. UPS and Fedex and I pay bills online and for letters all the people I know have an email address.
and send your kids to private school.
Yeah, funny thing is I homeschooled and still had to, and must pay school taxes every year.
If you think the US needs to up the fight against terrorists, then then there's no law prohibiting you from enlisting and joining the fight.
Yep, I volunteered for the Marines, Army, Navy, National Guard and Coast Guard, but due to a disability they refused me, so there was no point in trying the Air Force. My son is in the military and IS fighting terrorism, thanks for asking.
Here's a good one... if you think airport security is too lax, then there's no law prohibiting you from volunteering for a strip search. Bend over, and give until it hurts.
Don't fly, so no need for me to volunteer to ruin peoples lunches. One look and I'll clear the airport.

Okay John, I've shown you mine now it's your turn since you support the raising of taxes, will you lead by example? Are you going to commit to volunteering your hard earned money to the IRS, will you commit to taking NO deductions or exemptions on your taxes?

JayYou spoke the oth... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Jay
You spoke the other day about your comments being band on another site. You automatic filter block a comment of mind. The strongest word I used in it started with “Social”. What’s up with that?

I think that easiest way to... (Below threshold)
retired military:

I think that easiest way to balance the budget is to pass a law that says that if their is a deficit then all INCOMES (from all sources) for all memmbers of congress and the president is forfeit to pay for the deficit.

BTW John

Has your hero John F "I served in VIetnam" Kerry ever pay the taxes he should have owed for his yacht to the state of Mass. ? Umm Thought not.

"Has your hero John F "I se... (Below threshold)
914:

"Has your hero John F "I served in VIetnam" Kerry ever pay the taxes he should have owed for his yacht to the state of Mass.?"


He donated it to the Heinz foundation in honor of Theresa's former husband for all he did for John.

John, I already do a lot of... (Below threshold)

John, I already do a lot of what you say.

I have never availed myself of any of Planned Parenthood's services.

I have no children in the public school system (which, by the way, are almost entirely supported on the state and local level, with minimal federal funding, which kind of shreds your point).

I've managed to avoid all sorts of "social" spending.

I've contributed to NPR on my own volition, to cover my Car Talk/Wait Wait!/Weekend Edition Sunday jonesing.

I'm thinking of taking McGehee's comment #51 and expanding on it. It's a darned good argument...

J.

Jay Tea,Hawk77 had... (Below threshold)
TC:

Jay Tea,

Hawk77 had it right at 12:30 pm. If you are going to write it out in long form, add 3 zeros. (otherwise, put away your math geek hat).

Otherwise a good post.

TC

University of Texas just ar... (Below threshold)
retired military:

University of Texas just arranged to buy $1 billion in gold. Explain to me again why they need ANY federal, state, or local tax money at all.

Why is the federal govt loa... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Why is the federal govt loaning billions of dollars to estable an oil refinery in Columbia and a natural gas plant in New Guina? Why is it okay for other countries to build a new oil refinery and natural gas plant when we cant here thanks to Obama's and democrats environmental policies. Does an oil refinery in columbia pollute the earth less than an oil refinery in LA or MISS? And which one provides more American jobs.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/feds-plan-284-billion-loan-oil-refinery

chica @23, you ignorant slu... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

chica @23, you ignorant slut [/nightly update mode], whines:

Nobody ever seems to propose cutting out the futile and even counterproductive wars, shutting down the insane world-wide network of bases, and ceasing to try to dominate the world.

That would be because eliminating the DoD in it's entirety (less than the 40% you claim) would not balance the budget (49% deficit).

Thanks for playing.

crampless @ 29 asks:<... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

crampless @ 29 asks:

I don´t know if Jay is arguing, even theoretically, against a graduated income tax, but it seems unjust for the poor to pay income tax at the same rates, as the rich, as they have very little discretionary income after paying for necessities?

I responded to the same query by the same imbecile on my "It's Where the Money Is" thread:

...why should the poor pay any less (as a percentage of income) for the benefits of citizenship than the more affluent? Is their vote worth less?

He didn't answer there and no doubt will fail to answer here as well.

That would be because el... (Below threshold)
Chico:

That would be because eliminating the DoD in it's entirety (less than the 40% you claim) would not balance the budget (49% deficit).

So nothing should be cut unless cutting it balances the budget all by itself? Cutting the Department of Education out won't balance the budget, so why bother? Cutting little $10 million pork projects won't balance the budget, so why bother? I'm sure DOD spending that could be cut is a lot bigger than a lot of things you would want to cut.

You make no sense, which is par for the course.

chica @68, you ignorant slu... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

chica @68, you ignorant slut [/nightly update mode], whines:

So nothing should be cut unless cutting it balances the budget all by itself?

Which is emulating the prevaricator in chief by erecting a false dichotomy.

The real growth in Federal Outlays has been The War on Poverty programs, and that's one "war" we should walk away from.

Post Office is a great exam... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Post Office is a great example of the government business model. Totally top heavy and very unproductive. Micromanaged and if citizens had a choice would not choose the USPS.

The NEA gets 77 million a year. Why?

The department of energy get about the same. How is that alternative fuel coming over the last 40 years?

For the liberals on this site: We spent ourselves into this whole. We need to cut the spending to get ourself out. ww

ChicoBy your reaso... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico

By your reasoning then we shouldnt raise taxes to Clinton era level either.

That wont pay for the deficit.

You are totally ignorant, and cant even do basic math.

Go back to school, get a GED and then come back and try to have a rational LOGICAL discussion.

Jay, you might have seen it... (Below threshold)
Olsoljer:

Jay, you might have seen it before, but I invite your attention to the last column written by Charlie Reese (545 vs. 300,000,000 People) for the Orlando Sentinel on March 7, 1985.

One of his closing statements "Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What in the heck happened? Can you spell "politicians'?"

If fairness is a central is... (Below threshold)
Agit8or:

If fairness is a central issue, you should get more if you pay more. How about one vote for each $1,000 in federal income taxes, capital gains tax, and FICA taxes paid.

I just find it truly fascin... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

I just find it truly fascinating that almost universally, the only things that liberals are willing to cut are explicitly stated functions of the federal government, in order to provide more money for things which, with a realistic reading of the constitution are not only not explicitly stated functions, but are pretty much forbidden functions.

And no, "General welfare' does not mean 'do whatever the hell you want to"


But Tina, God only asks ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

But Tina, God only asks for 10%. Why the additional 30%?

Union dues.

Therefore the only way t... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Therefore the only way to reduce the defecit is through a combination of decreasing spending and raising taxes.

No, it's not. You could keep the tax rates the same, decrease spending, and take the money not spent and apply it towards debt reduction...which is generally what sane people do in their own households. People generally don't go to their bosses and demand raises because they spent too much on their credit cards.

How about... if you thin... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

How about... if you think the government spends too much, then there's no law prohibiting you from refusing their services. So why don't all you that are calling for the cutting of spending lead by example? Go drive only on private roads, use private mail carriers, and send your kids to private school.

We could refuse their services, but that's not going to stop the government from forcibly taking the taxes anyway. I don't use welfare, food stamps, medicare/medicaid, WIC, or any of these programmes. I pay for my own private insurance (though, how long I'm going to be able to be allowed to do that is questionable), and I have a couple of IRAs. Think I could call up the IRS and say that I refuse to pay for FICA, SOCSEC, etc?

Well, I could...if I fancy government accommodations in the nearest pokey.

Oh, and the roads are funde... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Oh, and the roads are funded primarily by the state and local municipalities via car registration fees and gas taxes. These I don't mind. The government primarily finances the Interstate system (usually by blackmail--e.g. mandatory drinking age raising), but I can get around pretty well without the Interstate or by taking the toll roads.

: the maintenance ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:
: the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishment

A single Tax rate is Just. If Justice is to be blind then why does it look at how much money one has in his pocket. If an American Citizen earns 100 dollars in taxes he pays 15% if he earns 18 trillion he pays 15%. End of story. Why do we diminish the value of person based on the more they earn?

Income Tax is not the only tax that people pay.
Good and services.
A common argument is that the rich use the so much more than the poor then they should pay more. However they do pay more. Roads you have federal and state Gas tax that supposed to pay for roads and bridges. Along with registration and all the other little things that happens. The more income a person has the more he can afford to buy items like cars and pay for all items associated with it that means they might use roads more but they are in essence paying for the up keep so no need to tax them more. Corporations have fleets of cars and pay for transport of goods and services so it could be said that they are the ones who are really paying for the upkeep and by your logic have greater access. In fact Gas guzzlers should be celebrated for how much they contribute to roads and it the poor who need not private roads.

Schools are paid for primarily through the collection of property taxes. Who pays property taxes? it not the poor who do not own homes or if they do they are getting a government check it the those citizens with the means to own it.

My parents immigrated with my family from West Indies a sectary and cook. We lived in a small apartment they saved all their money and bought a house in Newark. Well schools in Newark F***ing suck so they sent us to private school. In order to do this they worked multiple jobs. Well that meant they paid more in Taxes which at time mean that their hard work was rewarded with less money . There was no tax credit for them. They paid 5k in property taxes and 3K for school, + uniforms, books and supplies. however these are local taxes and not Federal income tax issue.


I like many fellow Wizbangers volunteered and served in the US armed forces. In the military you learn to do without, and you pay for every thing. Free food well actually the government takes that out of your pay, Uniform allowance yeah first year in boot camp they take that out of your pay also, now you get a Uniform Allowance but when you work 12 on 12 off or 2-2-80 you tend to but more uniforms than they provide. However you are WORKING for it. No Unions , no excuses .
The military is one of the thing the Federal government must do.
Can spending be curtailed yes but it need to be looked at after all the other BS programs are looked into. Same with NASA which should just become part of the USAF/USN.


FICA.
SS and Medicare are taken out on at 15.3% of pay. So the more you earn the more money that person contributes to the SS portion until we reach the celling. Medicare keeps coming out. So again high wage earns contribute more money to the programs and do not get all the benefits that the poor get.

The fact of the matter is no enumerated goods and services are mostly used by the poor.
If the Rich are those who makes 250K what are the Poor and the Middle Class.

The fact of the matter is that procures are the ones that pay for the Goods and services while poor benefit from it. maybe the Just system is that you start at high tax rate when your getting the goods and services paid for and as you make more money the tax rate goes down.

The question is what the purpose of Government?
What services must, should and could provide?
How are those services to be paid for.
How do we get revenue?

Ambition built this country. the idea that no matter who you are or to what station in life you can achieve. Union did not make this country, Charity did not make this country American Citizens whit drive dedication and made this country. People did not come hear for SS, medicare, medicaid they came here to work.





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