Why demonize the rich? I think I know why

The liberal message of tax the rich has been in high gear for the past three to four years, and ramped up significantly over the course of the presidential campaign season.  The mantra that the wealthy don’t pay enough, let alone their “fair share” is inescapable.  Though I’m not one to buy into conspiracy theories, but I think there is a highly suspicious reason for it all.

It’s no secret that the economy is in shambles.  Unemployment rates are at record highs, the number of people utilizing government assistance is at record highs, government borrowing is at record highs, and even the misery index is the highest it’s been in two decades.

I’m sure this isn’t the first era in our nation’s history that the rich have been attacked as a demographic.  But since I have been following the political atmosphere, I have never seen such an attempt to rally the public against them.

Could it be that this president is trying to change how the nation thinks about being rich — which is necessarily associated with being successful?  I get the impression that we as a nation are being conditioned to view success as a bad thing.  Not just bad, but immoral.  It’s almost like we are being encouraged to find satisfaction with merely getting by.  Rather than force people to be poor or modest through imposed socialism and communism, trick them into voting for it and imposing it upon themselves.

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Comments

  1. Profit is already a dirty word. Young people are ashamed to desire them. Marx would be proud.

  2. Hmm. Christ didn’t think too much of it — being rich, I mean. “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” — Matthew 19:24

    Profit isn’t the problem. People who love money as their master more than they love God and God’s instructions regarding the poor are the problem.

  3. Christ was talking about the attitude behind the wealth, not that wealth was wrong. After all, God made Solomon the wealthiest man in the world.

    It is perfectly okay biblically to be wealthy. It is not okay to be greedy. But liberals equate wealth with greed because that is how they have been conditioned.

  4. Why do God instructions regarding the poor hold such high regard in our modern time? How do you define poor? Or rich for that matter?

  5. John – this…

    DEMONIZE THE RICH? …I>

    does not equal this…

    The mantra that the wealthy don’t pay enough, let alone their “fair share” is inescapable.

    That is, many folk interested in morality, equity and justice simply believe that it is obvious that the more one has, the more one should be responsible for. I certainly know that I, as a middle class guy, EXPECT and DEMAND that I pay a larger percentage of taxes than a poor person. Anything else would be unjust and immoral.

    So, yes, we as a nation DO believe in the notion of progressive taxation (as did the founding fathers). But that we believe in this is not a sign that we’re “demonizing” the rich.

  6. Re: the Bible and “demonizing the rich…” The case can be made that it happens quite regularly in the Bible. Mary, the Mother of Jesus – when she found out she was pregnant – sang…

    My soul magnifies the Lord…

    God has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
    God has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
    God has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.

    And James the apostle and brother of Jesus, our Lord, said…

    For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass, its flower droops, and the beauty of its appearance vanishes. So will the rich person fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

    Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls…

    Listen, my beloved brothers. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? But you dishonored the poor person. Are not the rich oppressing you? And do they themselves not haul you off to court? Is it not they [the rich] who blaspheme the noble name that was invoked over you?…

    Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days.

    Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

    You [the rich] have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. You [the rich] have condemned; you [the rich] have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance…

    owch. owch. owch.

    In all of these – and many other places – the writers say quite specifically and literally “the RICH.” They could have said, “Those rich who are greedy…” or simply “the greedy…” but they specifically didn’t.

    It’s funny how the Religious Right makes much of taking the Bible literally… UNTIL they come to passages that they don’t like the literal interpretation, ain’t it?

  7. The founding fathers of the USA most likely never envisioned and income tax.

    “FAIR” is that everyone pays the same percentage of their income. To make people who have more wealth pay more of a percentage is nothing but class warfare. Just because one has more money, and therefore can be “responsible” for more, it is a non sequitur to say that “more” equals a higher percentage of his money. The “more” is the same percentage. Certainly grade school math should tell you that 10% of one million dollars is more than 10% of $10,000. But liberals, who demand “equity” (which used to mean something like what you have in property value vs what you owe) have decided that “equity” (don’t they mean “equality?”) means you have to pay MORE than your fair share if you happened to have worked and earned money.

    As usual Dan murders Scripture to force his agenda in it. The context of “the rich” in these passages are the greedy, “Scrooge”-type of people.

    Again, God’s enriching Solomon is a good example that being wealthy is neither immoral, nor against God in any way. It is what one does with his wealth which may make it unbiblical and ungodly.

  8. Glenn…

    “FAIR” is that everyone pays the same percentage of their income.

    Well, that would be debatable, wouldn’t it? I don’t agree with you and I suspect most people disagree with you. Most of us recognize that a person making $10,000/year who pays 10% in taxes is HURTING, whereas a person who makes $100,000/year who pays 10% in taxes is not. There is a huge difference in a straight up flat rate and that is why most people thing a flat rate is NOT fair or just or rational.

    Just because you say, “It’s FAIR!” does not make it so. You are welcome to your opinion, though.

    Glenn…

    To make people who have more wealth pay more of a percentage is nothing but class warfare

    You are free to think of it that way. It is not the intent we have when we support it and you have no evidence to support the claim.

    Look at the evidence: I SUPPORT MY PAYING A LARGER PERCENTAGE than poorer people. Are you suggesting that I’m engaging in class warfare AGAINST MYSELF?? That isn’t even reasonable, Glenn. For most of us, a progressive tax rate is the most reasonable and just and we’re interested in reason and justice, so therefore, we support it. You’d come across less like you’re a class warfarist yourself if you didn’t reduce all “THEIR” arguments down to “They just hate the rich!”

    You’re better than that, Glenn.

    Beyond that, IF I am doing financially well in our society, then the system in place is benefitting ME more than the one who isn’t doing as well. Therefore, from a simply rational and fair point of view, it seems reasonable that I pay more. To the ones who have been given much, much will be expected.

    Glenn…

    The context of “the rich” in these passages are the greedy, “Scrooge”-type of people.

    That’s an interesting hunch. Of course, you’ve done nothing to make the case to support it, you’ve just thrown it out there. I hope you can understand that just because you say, “I, GLENN, think THIS IS TRUE!” – if you offer nothing rationally to support it, people will just dismiss your opinion as an unsupported opinion.

    • Dan,

      NO it is not debatable by people with common sense. “FAIR” is paying the same. You want the rich to “hurt” when they pay – interesting. My opinion is based on rationality.

      The fact that you support yourself paying a larger percentage is evidence of only one thing – at least once you are being consistent in your world view. For most of LIBERALS a progressive tax rate seams reasonable, but for normal people who have a grasp of what is fair and equitable, as well as rational and mathematically sound, everyone paying the same percent would be the most reasonable.

      So if you’re financially well off it’s because YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT! Yep, typical Obamanite. No one is responsible for their financial gain – society is responsible for all of it.

      And OF COURSE the correct understanding of the scripture by thousands of scholars through the centuries would only be a “hunch.” How could I be so silly to think that everyone else was right and Dan was wrong.

      Okay, end of this conversation with Dan no matter how much you want to bait me. The argument has immediately descended to that which is foolish. It’s like talking to a wall.

  9. Glenn…

    You want the rich to “hurt” when they pay – interesting.

    You find meaning in my words – and even WORDS in my words – that factually aren’t there. I never said anything about wanting the rich to “hurt.” Why would I? It isn’t my intent. I’M RICHER than folk who are poorer than I am – do you think I want to see myself hurt??

    As always, real world evidence and just common sense undermine your unsupported and demonstrably false claims.

    Real World, 1; Glenn, 0.

    • Most of us recognize that a person making $10,000/year who pays 10% in taxes is HURTING, whereas a person who makes $100,000/year who pays 10% in taxes is not.

      The statement is that people making $10,000 a year paying 10% taxes are are hurting, while those who make $100,000 and paying 10% are not hurting. Ergo, the “rich” people must pay MORE than 10% so they will hurt the way those who make only $10,000 hurt. The whole implication of the LEFT with their focus on the “wealthy” (normally only concerned with the conservative wealthy vs the liberal wealthy) is that the wealthy must pay taxes until they hurt!

      Of course one has to first explain why anyone making $10,000 a year being required to pay 10% to tax is “hurting.” I guess someone has a very subjective definition of hurting. I’m sure someone making $100,000 a year being forced to pay MORE than 10% would feel he’s hurting also.

  10. The world is made of takers and makers. The makers make things happen in the world, feed the world, defend the world and do everything for the world. The takers do nothing for the world, live off the makers, and yet hate the makers who provide everything they take. THAT is the leftist ideology.

  11. Glenn…

    Ergo, the “rich” people must pay MORE than 10% so they will hurt the way those who make only $10,000 hurt.

    Ahh, I see. Well, at least you did have SOME basis for your wrong conclusion. But the point I was actually making (and now am clarifying so you can rightly understand my actual position) was NOT that, “The poor are hurting, therefore the rich should hurt…” but rather, “If, by MY paying a larger percentage in taxes, someone making very little will not be hurt as much, then that is a good thing.”

    So, you see, the point is NOT to “hurt” the rich (myself!). The point is justice and fairness. The point is that 10% of a little may not be affordable whereas 10% of a lot IS affordable – that not all “10%s” are equal.

    Understand now?

    Glenn…

    The world is made of takers and makers. The makers make things happen in the world, feed the world, defend the world and do everything for the world. The takers do nothing for the world, live off the makers, and yet hate the makers who provide everything they take. THAT is the leftist ideology.

    WHO is engaging in class warfare?? From where I sit, it sounds like exactly what you’re doing there. “Those damnable poor folk, TAKING from us wonderful rich folk!! Darn them all to heck!!”

    Get serious.

    • Well, I took the bait, for the last time.

      Yes, all 10% are equal. Do the math. It is also everyone paying their “fair” share. It is “justice and fairness” for everyone to pay the same percentage. If you want to make a case that no one pays taxes on their first $20,000 dollars, e.g., then the same would apply no matter how much one makes after that – the still don’t pay on the first $20,000.

      You made a straw man attack. I said nothing about the poor – my comment was about the takers. And I’m not even going to address your other tax schemes since the topic is income tax.

  12. Glenn said earlier…

    The founding fathers of the USA most likely never envisioned and income tax.

    I don’t know whether or not they envisioned an income tax (again, you provide no support for your claims), but Jefferson and others certainly desired a very progressive SALES tax scheme (whereby nearly ALL our needs are paid for by the excesses of the wealthy, Jefferson said).

    I’m not tied to an income tax. If you want to go the Jefferson route and tax luxury items sufficiently so that we find the Jeffersonian ideal of getting nearly all our taxation from the rich, I’m okay with that if it works.

    Would you support that, Glenn?

    Or is appealing to the early sales tax merely a dodge and you actually object to ANY progressive tax scheme – even the ones advocated by the founders?

    I’m guessing the latter.

    How about this: Do you think Jefferson, et al were wrong to want to see ALL (or nearly all) our gov’t’s expenses paid for by the rich? If so, why don’t you just say that, rather than appealing to the Jefferson-era sales tax that you wouldn’t support either?

  13. I said, “I’m guessing the latter.” and I was right.

    There seems to be a constant theme, dear Glenn, in our conversations. I bring up real world facts and you deny them or dodge them. That should be a cue to you as to the validity and soundness of your opinions.

    As to your wild claims about 10% for those making under $10,000 being “fair” as compared to 10% for those making $100,000, it suggests you are not familiar with the real world struggles of the poor.

    The difference, as is obvious to most people, is that it takes a certain amount of money just to cover the basics. It is nearly impossible to pay rent, feed your family, pay for health care, pay for heat, pay for water in our nation if you’re in a family that makes only $10,000. For THAT family to have $1000 taken in taxes, that would be unjust – clearly so to most people. That family could simply NOT make it on that kind of money.

    On the other hand, the family making $100,000 can EASILY pay their essential bills and have some left over if they’re taxed at 10%.

    For this reason, most rational people understand that it’s comparing apples and hand grenades to say that 10% for the poor family is the same as 10% for the wealthy (or middle class) family. There’s nothing fair about it because it causes one family to crash and burn while it doesn’t cause the other family to do so.

    Do you not understand that, yet?

    • ARGH!!!!!!

      Dan you NEVER bring up “real world facts.” All you ever do is bring up your personal opinion and your ideology and totally ignore every fact that is ever presented to you.

      So facts are relative to whether or not you are poor!?!?!?! 10% is not fair if you are poor but 10% is fair if you are rich?!?! And then who gets to determine who is rich or poor? Why, the liberals do!

      I’m “not familiar with the real world struggles of the poor”?!?!? I lived that world for a few years in federal housing projects. Don’t tell me I don’t have first-hand knowledge. Have you lived that way??

      It is only YOUR opinion that it is “unjust” to make a “poor” person pay the same rate. No – if it is unjust to tax a poor person, then it is just as unjust to tax a rich person. When you tax the rich but not the poor, you tax them out of envy for their money – you punish them for working hard. “FAIR” means everyone pays their equal share. If I pay 10% then you should pay 10%. If I go to a store and pay 6% sales tax, then you also should pay the same sales tax. You can’t go to a store and say, “I’m poor so don’t make me pay the same amount of tax – let me pay only 2%.” And that is the logical end of your ideology.

      The person who can afford the tax without much “harm” (by your definition) busted his tail to get there. The “poor” people earn what they’ve worked for. But you want to penalize the guy who was more successful. Your ideology is what is ruining this country.

  14. Consider it this way and see if it helps:

    Suppose you have a blind student and it’s time for a test in school. The ENTIRELY EQUAL thing to do would be to hand them a pen and the paper with the questions written on it and say, “Good luck on the test!”

    That would be EXACTLY EQUAL and treat the blind student EXACTLY as you treat the sighted student.

    It would be equal, but it would not be fair.

    Why? Because the blind kid couldn’t see! It does no good to tell them “hey, I’m treating you exactly the same…” that doesn’t make it fair, reasonable, moral or just. Just the opposite!

    Same for saying “Tax the $10,000 household and the $100,000 household EXACTLY THE SAME and that will be fair.”

    Treating people the same does not equate to treating them fairly.

    • Sounds to me like Dan is equating lack of motivation with a physical disability. Of course some of the poor can claim disability but we know its not the norm. The norm is a life time of bad life decisions.

      Dan also seems to not take into consideration that wealth is not a zero sum game, and it wasn’t handed out at random. People earned it either with intellectual labor or physical labor. We don’t tax people based on how badly it hurts their bottom line, and we don’t tax people out of fairness.

  15. Historical example:
    Makers: slaves.
    Takers: slavers.

    Modern example in my country:
    Makers: workers.
    Takers: bankers.

    Becoming or being rich doesn’t make someone a maker.

    • Bankers aren’t takers. Whose money do they take? Examples please.

      The wealthy are makers. The wealthy are the employers. They make things and they make services available. No one is talking about making in the production line sense.

    • I presume then that the both of you, Isu & Dan, believe the rich should pay more for bread and gas and milk and clothing etc because they can afford it? Is that why its OK to take more from them, just because they can afford it? I’d love to see that happen at a store with you two. The person in front of you making the same purchases as you and paying half as much because some bureaucracy has decided that you can afford to pay more. I bet I’d hear “that’s not fair, what difference does it make what I can afford. We should pay the same!”

  16. Progressive taxation is fair.
    Mainly, as Dan said, the higher the income the less percentage is needed for basic needs.
    Secondly, the richer usually have more potential to cheat taxes. For example, I had a boss who had his own enterprise and bought cars for personal use but declared them as of enterprise cost so reducing payment for benefits.

  17. Do you want examples?
    In my country bankers made decisions which ruined the banks (savers money) whereas they took for themselves exorbitant wages.
    They also make ignorant people to buy bank shares telling them it was a good investment when they knew the bank was to crash.

    They now are wealthy whereas many people who put their money in trust are ruined.
    You could say they earned it with their “intellectual labor” and they are makers. But makers of ruin.

    • Since we are talking about the American system with American workers, let’s stick to the context with which the post is written. Do you have examples of bankers taking at the expense of “workers” presuming of course that bankers are not also workers.

  18. John.

    Progressive taxing is applied to income, not to products.

  19. John.
    Do you call the faudsters I have mentioned workers?
    Don’t make me laugh!

    • Examples of fraudsters please… You seem to be equating money made through investing fraudulent.

    • Isu,

      Get serious, Madoff acted criminally, he broke laws. You said bankers were takers. So let’s have it.

      Dan, it would be easy to progressively tax purchases, create a system whereby ones drivers license or other id contains the code with which the systems knows how much you need to pay.

      Also the reason why the rich were taxed in the founding is because they were the ones using government. They used the roads. The poor didn’t pay taxes at our founding because they were self sustained on their own land. It wasn’t until government decided to solve our personal shortcomings that everyone else needed to be taxed.

  20. I and I believe a majority of the nation is in favor of progressive taxation in general – as a matter of morality and justice. How it works out, I’m flexible on. Thomas Jefferson supported taxing mainly those things which only the rich paid for and, thereby, hoped to pay for nearly all the gov’t stuff that benefits us all. I don’t go as far as Jefferson, but in general, it is just rational that those who benefit most from living in our great nation, pay the most, in terms of percentage.

    I don’t know how you could feasibly tax “bread, gas and milk” at a higher rate based on income, unless you want to suggest everyone brings their tax returns to the store each time they shop… I don’t find that a feasible solution. But we, the people, DO support progressive taxation in general.

    It’s okay because they/I financially benefit the most from living in this great nation. Because I MAKE more than the family making $10,000/year, I want to PAY more, as a percentage of my income.

    John…

    Sounds to me like Dan is equating lack of motivation with a physical disability.

    It’s an analogy. The point is: Treating people exactly the same does not necessarily equal being fair, reasonable, moral or just.

    Do you agree or disagree with the point being made?

    Here’s another analogy, if you don’t get the point of that one:

    You have two children, Bobby is eight and Louise is 12. Louise’s bedtime is 9pm. Bobby’s bedtime is 8pm. Bobby complains: You’re not treating us equally! It’s not fair!! You explain that, when Louise was eight, she went to bed at 8pm, just like he did. They don’t treat them equally TODAY because of their different ages, but they ARE treating them fairly.

    Equal is not the same as fair. Fair is not the same as equal. At least not always.

    Do you agree with the point being made? Or do you think that we ought to treat two DIFFERENT situations EXACTLY equally, even if they aren’t fair, rational, moral or just?

    • Isu is equating those who intentionally commit some sort of fraud with the average rich person who worked his way there. Of course those who got rich fraudulently by hurting (essentially stealing from) other people are offensive to everyone. BUT, they are not the norm, nor are the the context of the “rich” which is being discussed here.

  21. Bernard Madoff?
    I didn’t say making money through investing fraudulent.
    I say making money from others investment and ruining them is fraudulent.

  22. Glenn…

    But you want to penalize the guy who was more successful.

    There’s part of our differences, friends. I don’t consider paying taxes a “penalty.” I consider it a privilege that one has when one lives in a common society with common needs.

    If I lived in a tiny village populated by 20 people and I owned more than all 20 people combined, then I would expect to pay a greater percentage of my money to our common needs. I would not only expect it, I would demand it. I would be EMBARASSED to have folk who are struggling to get by to pay the same percentage as I do.

    Taxes are not a penalty, they’re what we pay for the privilege of living in this great nation. If you don’t like it, you can always try to go find some place where they don’t pay taxes (I know of some third world nations that you might be able to move in to like that).

  23. I could be that my income is not enough to buy a car, but I would be paying taxes to mantain roads and traffic policemen the rich are using while I’m not.
    Is it fair?

    • I can say the same thing about many other things, I don’t collect welfare, should I be taxed for that? If I didn’t have kids should I be taxed to provide for schools? Seriously. Get real already

  24. Glenn
    I think you are the one who are not in the real world.
    The boss who tell me the “enterprise car” trick had a saying: “Working is the way you don’t make money”.
    I had worked hard and I have never became rich, so it’s true. It happens the same with most people.

  25. John…

    Sounds to me like Dan is equating lack of motivation with a physical disability. Of course some of the poor can claim disability but we know its not the norm. The norm is a life time of bad life decisions.

    There is another difference between us: I don’t presume that “the norm” for poor people is that they are unmotivated and are uniquely bad decision makers.

    So there you have it: For Glenn, taxes are a penalty, not a privilege and for John, the poor are by and large lazy and do bad thinking.

    Poor folk are poor for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to) making bad decisions (and, of course, they are not unique in making bad decisions). They are also poor because of limited education, limited opportunities, bad circumstances, disabilities (including ones you can’t see), a lack of parental/community support growing up, poorly designed strategies in our schools and court systems and, yes, irresponsible choices on their part. But to suggest that it’s primarily due to laziness and stupid choices, that is ignorant. Volunteer at a shelter, John, educate yourself.

    John…

    it would be easy to progressively tax purchases, create a system whereby ones drivers license or other id contains the code with which the systems knows how much you need to pay.

    Would you, therefore, support a Jeffersonian sales tax on almost exclusively the rich so that, by taxing what the rich use, we could pay for all our common needs? I’d be okay with that, although I probably would include at least the middle class.

    I rather doubt that you would support that.

    John…

    Also the reason why the rich were taxed in the founding is because they were the ones using government. They used the roads. The poor didn’t pay taxes at our founding because they were self sustained on their own land.

    This is historically and rationally inaccurate. ALL the people of the nation benefited from gov’t taxation to pay for our common needs. Jefferson said, and I quote…

    “The rich alone use imported articles, and on these alone the whole taxes of the General Government are levied… Our revenues liberated by the discharge of the public debt, and its surplus applied to canals, roads, schools, etc., the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings…

    And, while we’re at it…

    The end of democracy and the defeat of the American revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of the lending institutions and moneyed incorporations…

    I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country…

    …Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.”

    ~Thomas Jefferson

    Do you think that Jefferson was wrong to engage in “class warfare” by suggesting the poor and working classes (farmers, for instance) should have our nation made into a “paradise” with all our common needs paid for by “the rich alone…”?

  26. Glenn…

    It is a penalty when you tax someone at a higher rate just because they worked harder.

    In the real world, I’ve met very few really wealthy folk who “work harder” than the janitors at any company I’ve ever worked at, or the laborers at any laboring job I’ve worked at.

    I ask again: WHO’s engaging in class warfare here? It sounds like Glenn, to me.

  27. What everyone is missing is that the current “tax the rich” proposal “according to arch conservative pundit Joe Lieberman” will bring in 2 trillion in increased revenue over 10 years. With 1 trillion plus in yearly deficit spending the entire conversation is laughable. Who in their right mind actually believes that a 3’4% increase on “the rich” can get even close to offsetting the deficit spending. At least Howard Dean has the balls to admit that if we want to keep spending like drunken sailors on payday then taxes will need to be raised on everybody. Not a popular position, but probably the most honest thing I’ve heard from any dem in this whole discussion.

    The dems also conveniently ignore the fact that the senate, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) NV, has failed in it’s constitutionally mandated duty to pass a budget for 3+ years. How about we start there, figure out what we actually need to spend per year. Then we can cut what is unnecessary from the spending side. Then we can take a rational look at what revenues are needed to fund the budget, and how best to generate those revenues. Instead we get this same old baseline plus x% increase every year no matter what, and the ridiculous notion that an increase less than planned for is somehow a cut.

    Honestly, I’d say let P-Bo and Reid drive the bus over the fiscal cliff, except for one thing. No matter what actually happens, even if the GOP house agreed to 100% of P-BO’s proposal, the GOP is going to get blamed for whatever bad happens. It sucks, but it’s the most likely outcome.

    • Even if we taxed everybody at 100% it wouldn’t fix the deficit, because the people in our government refuse to cut expenses. If we cut out all the unconstitutional spending we could probably balance the budget at current tax rates.

  28. If we confiscate all income over 250K it pays for around 45 days of current spending. The problem with this, other than the glaringly obvious remaining 320 days in each year, is that the “rich” would arrange their compensation in such a way as to avoid paying income tax. But other than that, taxing “the rich” more is a spectacular idea.

    I did hear an interesting idea that might actually work. Cap deductions at a % of income. Maybe, you could index the percentage so it doesn’t affect lower income or self employed folks disproportionally, but it seems reasonable to consider.

    The problem is it’s just easier to keep repeating “It’s not fair” and “Tax the rich” instead of actually sitting down and negotiating some new paths to deal with the tax code.

    I have to admire the Wimpy notion of balance exhibited by P-B). “I will gladly give you some vague unnamed spending cut in 10 years for a tax increase today”.

  29. I would think a starting place that people SHOULD be able to agree on is, for many programs, require an accounting as to why it’s worth continuing.

    For instance, my old favorite (simply because it’s an easy example): Prisoner education/rehabilitation.

    Study after study demonstrates that investing $1 million of our tax dollars will SAVE $2 million in tax dollars. That SHOULD BE a no-brainer – something that we all can agree upon. Any program that pays for itself in savings that we’d otherwise have to spend is a rational investment.

    I would say that ANY program that can reasonably demonstrated expected savings should be one that we’d all support out of simple fiscal responsibility, if nothing else.

    Now, not all programs would be so clear cut. Does investing $10 billion in NASA result in a net benefit to our society? I’d suggest yes, but it might be hard to enumerate. Does investing $ 500 billion in defense-related spending result in a net benefit to our society? I’d suggest no, but again, it’d be hard to enumerate.

    Still, it would be one starting point that I think most rational citizens could agree upon, but I don’t think the hard-right (or left) idealogues would be won over. Some folk would cut off their nose to spite their face.

  30. Dan, are you agreeing that the Senate should fulfill their constitutionally mandated responsibility and actually submit a budget. Said budget actually evaluating the effectiveness of individual programs and cutting or eliminating those that don’t work or have outlived their usefulness before even considering tax raises on anyone. If so, good call.

    I would suggest that simply eliminating $500 billion in defense spending might have some ripple effect (massive unemployment, decreased tax revenue, national security degradation), however I would agree that it is possible, maybe necessary, to look at every line item of spending in order to determine what makes the most sense.

    If only Sen. Harry Reid (D) Nevada would lead the senate in this process.

  31. Yes, I support removing programs that have outlived their usefulness and properly funding programs that save us money in the long-run. Although I lean pacifist-ish, I wouldn’t recommending cutting $500 billion from the defense budget, but certainly, there is plenty of room between 0 and $500 billion for savings.

  32. Here’s why they CANNOT abide a flat tax:

    If everyone paid X%, “the poor” would insist on lower taxes and lower spending. And they’d be right!

    As far as the rich paying their “fair share”, anyone have the latest numbers? How much of all federal income tax revenues do the richest 5% pay? Somewhere around 70%? what would be considered their fair share? 90%? 99%?

    How much MORE of the tab do they need to pick up for their contribution to be considered fair?

    We really are talking about that when we considered what is fair. How much of the government’s expenditures should be paid for BY EACH OF US?

    To start, we can’t even agree that the answer to that question is “SOMETHING”!

    We’re so far beyond fairness. I’m just waiting for the day when making over a certain amount is outlawed. Some will say that’s “fair”. But, those are the ones who don’t understand that high salaries are a RESULT of excellence. If you attack high salaries, people won’t want to do any better than they have to. We ALL will suffer.

  33. Dan,

    I’m glad that you agree tha Sen Harry Reid (D) Nevada should, after years of failing to do so, actually produce an actual budget that is a zero base budget rather than our recent practice of simply automatically increasing every line item.

    C2C,

    Stop bringing up those inconvenient facts about how much revenue the “rich” actually contribute to the federal coffers.

  34. For those opposed to progressive taxation, you’re going to have to do something better to make your case rather than just shouting louder. Most people find your position to be immoral and unjust, as well as not rational. Until you make a case that begins to sound moral and just, you’ll just continue to lose this debate.

    Step one for you? Acknowledge that people who disagree with you (ie, the majority of We, the People) are genuinely trying to do what’s right. Along with that, quit making up strawmen (THEY want to outlaw making too much, THEY want to be lazy and just take money from the rich, etc).

    Step two? Make a case as to WHY it’s not right/moral/just/rational to expect those who benefit most from our society pay the most. Just repeating “It’s NOT FAIR!” isn’t helping your case.

    Just a suggestion.

    • Has anyone else noticed that Dan seems to take his morality from consensus? Take a mental recap of all the times he mentions how “most people” see things his way, and that “we” are losing the debate. It certainly doesn’t give any credence to his claims of “after careful investigation…”.

      P.S. This is merely an observation and an assessment of that conclusion, not an ad hom, Dan.

  35. Higher salaries are not the result of excelence. In my country the highest salaries were taken by bankers directors who led the banks to collapse. It is only excelence for these scumm.
    I’m not against different salaries depending on the work done, responsibilities and results. But it doesn’t mean there is a direct correlation between salary and excelence.

    Paying higher tax rates doesn’t discourage people to do better. I prefer earning 35351$ paying a 25% tax instead of earning 8701$ and paying a 15% tax. I find that doing worse and earning less in order to avoid a higher tax rate is idiocy.

  36. I know that “the majority” does not make something right. I am, after all, in the minority on many positions that I think are right. I’m just pointing out that you all are not in the majority on this point to say that, IF you want to try to change the minds of the majority, you’re going to have to come up with some more rational, moral, compelling arguments than the approach you are using.

    Since I think you’re mistaken, I don’t really care if you improve your arguments, I’m just pointing it out for the benefit of discussion. Well, that, and because I would like to see the tone of disagreements improve.

  37. I AM glad to see you all recognize that an appeal to the majority and/or the appeal to tradition (which is a form of an appeal to the majority) is not a logical grounds to support an argument.

    Since that appears to be your entire case against the support for marriage equity for gay folk, I hope you’ll acknowledge that this appeal to the majority is insufficient to make the case and acknowledge the logical loss.

  38. Yeah, Dan’s “morality” is always what liberals believe. I want to know how you come up with taxing being moral or immoral! OH, if you think tax should be really fair vs liberal fair, then that is immoral. They sure have funny standards.

    And then the claim is that we appeal to tradition and majority for our stance on homosexuality, when the appeal is actually to God and what HE says, as well as biology and physiology. But liberals don’t care about either of those – they just reinterpret them.

  39. 1. Factually, God has not stated an opinion on gay folk marrying.
    2. Factually, there is nothing wrong biologically with homosexuality.
    3. Factually, there is nothing wrong physiologically with homosexuality.

    Real world, 3. Glenn, 0.

    • When Jesus discussed marriage he actually said that from the begining marriage was made for male and female.

      Every passage that addresses homosexuality it speaks of it in the most negative way bringing on the most negative consequences, except when you find a way to make the passage say the opposite of what the words actually say.

      And apparently homosexual sex is quite the producer of disease. Not even promiscuous heterosexuals have the same rates of disease.

      The actual world 3, Dan disqualified for misinformation

    • Factually, God has stated plenty about “gay folk” – he called homosexuality an abomination to him, he called it perverse, unnatural, etc. He would never condone it.
      Factually God made marriage as one man and one woman.
      Factually physiologically homosexuality is deviant and an abuse of human sexuality.
      Factually, people who support homosexuality are anti-god and perverse in their own thinking.

      Dan =0

      On another take about taxes, unions are the ones who don’t pay their “fair share” – but then, of course, they are socialist liberals.,
      http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2012/12/07/hey_fat_cat_unions_pay_your_fair_share/page/full/

  40. Glenn, you consistently demonstrate an incorrect understanding of “facts.” That word does not mean what you think it means.

    Real world, 4. Glenn, 0.

    John, same for you, my man. I’d go into it more, but it’s off topic.

    • For Dan, the word “fact” isn’t what conforms to reality – as it is for the rest of us. For Dan the word “fact” is something that conforms to his ideology. That is someone who doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

    • Dan

      You’re right, we are off topic.

      Can you please tell me why tax rates should be raised on the wealthy. And please tell me why you think the government imposes taxes.

  41. Dan,

    If you answer John’s questions, can you answer this as well.

    Since raising the tax rates on the rich will have a minimal impact on the fiscal condition of the country, why do you think this is such an important agenda item?

    In you opinion is it more important for the US to get it’s fiscal house in order, or to tax the rich?

  42. I believe that those who have the most have a responsibility to pay the most.

    I believe this should be done as a matter of principle, so, it wouldn’t matter if there is a “minimal impact.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by that, though, Craig. If we went to a flat tax to pay for things (what you all appear to be saying is “most moral” in your opinion), there would be a HUGE impact on society, not “minimal.”

    I think it is important to get our fiscal house in order. I believe in progressive taxation. There is no reason why we can’t/shouldn’t do both, not that I’m aware of.

    I believe that the most rational way to do this progressive taxation is as a percentage of income, but I’m open to other ways. I don’t think there’s anything magic about an income tax, we could do it other ways, it just seems the most practical.

    I’d also be open to doing it the way Jefferson suggested: Having taxes on those things that only the wealthy would purchase and raising all our moneys that way.

    While I’m answering your questions, would you answer mine? Would YOU support doing it the way Jefferson suggested – basically luxury taxes? Do you think Jefferson was wrong for wanting to pay for ALL our needs primarily through taxing the wealthy?

  43. Sorry, I missed a question…

    please tell me why you think the government imposes taxes.

    We all agree to pay taxes (ie, we impose taxes upon ourselves) to pay for our common needs as a society.

    Why do YOU think we agree to pay taxes?

    • Since it has been demonstrated so many times that lower tax rates bring in more revenue which pays for the common goods, and would do more to reduce overspending, what principle is being secured by enacting tax policy that is a detriment to what you said the whole purpose of taxing people is?

      There is only one answer, you want the wealthy to feel some financial pain just like lower income people. There is no other possible answer, you see taxes as a way to punish.

  44. …OR… my answer could be just what I said it was: That I think those of us who make more ought to pay more as a matter of justice and reason and morality.

    So, who knows best what MY reasoning is…?

    Ooh! I know the answer to this one: ME!

    Real world, 1. John, 0.

  45. John, I answered your and Craig’s questions, any chance you’d return the favor?

    Thanks!

  46. The supply side theories behind your suggestion of “what works,” I don’t believe hold up in the real world.

    We tried that in the Reagan and Bush years, it didn’t work so well. No, thanks.

    You may THINK it works, I don’t believe that opinion holds up to real world facts.

    And it has nothing to do with “what makes people feel better,” it has to do with ethics and morality.

    So, are you suggesting we should lay aside our ethics and morality in favor of efficacy (ie, if it works, then don’t worry about the morals)? If so, I would disagree with it, EVEN IF it worked. In this case, I don’t think what you think will work, will work.

    (OR, to put it like you did with me:

    So, do what “works” and don’t worry about the morals of the situation. Gotcha!)

    • Except that growth was through the roof under Reagan and unemployment was in the 4s and low 5s through the majority of Bush until Democrats caused the housing crash.

  47. Yeah, I don’t believe it’s helpful to look at the economy through rose-colored glasses. Here’s another view that I think makes more real world sense…

    supply side’s first shot at governance [Reagan years] was at best half a success. Then came the second go-round under George W. Bush, and this of course was an unmitigated disaster.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/13/michael-tomasky-on-how-mitt-romney-finally-killed-reaganomics.html

    Or here…

    http://mises.org/daily/1544

  48. Dan,

    To clarify, the current proposal from P-BO is to raise the rates on “the rich” approx. 3-4%. Given that the revenues generated by this raise will have essentially no effect on our current fiscal situation (in other words the revenue projected is much less than the existing debt plus the continuing deficits), what is the benefit to the country in increasing taxes on “the rich”.

    I know I’ve asked before, but since I don’t recall what your answer was so I’ll ask again.

    What, in your opinion, % of income should “the rich” pay in federal taxes?

    What % of the total federal income tax revenues should be paid by the rich?

    Assuming the GOP went along with Rand Paul’s current proposal, would you then agree that the results of that would be the responsibility of the Dem’s?

  49. Sorry Dan,

    Two more.

    Why are P-BO and the congressional dems so reluctant to discuss actual cuts in the federal budget?

    Why can Nancy Pelosi blatantly lie about what is under discussion regarding the tax rate situation?

  50. The topic I was discussing was progressive taxation, in general. John was making the case that those who are supportive of progressive taxation are “demonizing the rich” and want to “hurt the rich.” I was pointing out the reality that people who support progressive taxation do so for reasons of morality and justice.

    The specifics of the current proposals would require more time than I currently have and is off topic here, it seems to me. I was speaking specifically to the topic at hand and the notion of progressive taxation.

    Any chance you might take some time and answer the questions that I have asked, now that I’ve answered several of your questions?

  51. Dan,
    Actually since the topic of demonizing the rich is in the context of the current fiscal situation, it seems as though my questions are not necessarily off topic.

    The only question I see that you’ve asked me is about supporting some some sort of quasi “Jeffersonian” luxury items tax.

    My answer is in theory, I have no real problem with it. As a pie in the sky fantasy solution, sure why not. As a reality based proposition, I have no earthly idea.

    In reality, it seems problematic.

    A few problems I see.
    1. You’ve laid no foundation that such a tax could even begin to support our current bloated level of Federal spending.
    2. In general the effect of raising taxes on non necessity items (cigarettes for instances) is people modify their behavior and purchase less of that/those items.
    3. You have provided no way to define what items would be taxed and a what rate.
    4. What would stop the wealthy from living/purchasing the bulk of their time/items elsewhere?
    5. It seems as though in our current context, this simply enforces the notion that the way to achieve anything is to soak the rich.
    6. You have not identified what taxes your quasi “Jeffersonisn” plan would replace.

    Given your lack of specificity, it would be exceedingly difficult to give you any sort of rational informed answer to it.

    Having said that I would be in favor of some sort of sales or consumption tax with exemptions for food, meds, clothes, etc to shift the burden further up the income scale.

    If you’d like to actually propose something that could be evaluated, I’d be happy to consider it, but your current vague proposal really can’t be addressed in any sort of rational way.

    I think that at the time Jefferson was around, and given the fact that the federal government was much more limited then, that his “plan” might have worked up to a point. In other words, he might have been right 200 plus years ago. I also think he’d be appalled at the expansion of the federal government circa 2012 and that he’d be more concerned about how to rein in the feds rather than how to fund more expansion.

    In addition to the other unanswered questions.

    Do you really think Jefferson would support the 16 trillion dollar federal debt plus 1+trillion dollar deficit spending for the foreseeable future?

    Do you think Jefferson would support the Senate abrogating it’s constitutionally mandated responsibility to pass a budget for years at a time?

    I’m caught up, your turn.

  52. John,

    I know you’ve made this point before, I was using shorthand for a raise from 36% to 39.6% or whatever that current numbers are. You are right that that is a 10% increase, I should have been more precise.

    • Craig

      I wasn’t actually sticking you out. I was just bringing up the inherent dishonest approach of those who would try to minimize the impact to those the increase applies. “Its only 3%!”. Well, no it isn’t. Its much worse than that.

  53. John,
    I know you weren’t. My point was/is that the tax increase that P-Bo wants is (despite the fact that it is a 10% increase) is so small compared to the deficit spending as to be useless in actually solving the problem. I’d argue that it is so misleading as to actually constitute a lie.

    What stinks is that the GOP could follow the Rand Paul strategy and let the Dem’s raise taxes and spend to their hearts content, and in 2014 the Dem’s would still blame the resulting economic downturn on the GOP, and/or Bush, and/or something rather than taking responsibility for their policies. All with the willing help of NBC, CNN et al.

  54. Here’s a compelling logical and moral argument as to why the rich should pay more in taxes…

    http://enlightenedvet.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/why-the-rich-should-pay-more-an-argument-from-a-layman/

    Think it over.

  55. Craig…

    A few problems I see.
    1. You’ve laid no foundation that such a tax could even begin to support our current bloated level of Federal spending.

    Well, to be sure, you’d have to tax the heck out of luxury items to achieve it. Plus, I think the working class/middle class ought to contribute, too, so I’m not as far Left as Jefferson was. That’s why the income tax seems most practical to me, but I’m open to suggestions from the Right if they want to try to pay all our bills with the Jeffersonian approach.

    As to your earlier questions (rephrased slightly for clarity’s sake)…

    What is the “right” amount to tax people in general? How much for the wealthy? For the middle class? For the poor?

    There IS NO “right” answer to this question. It’s not like we have a word from on High saying, “If thou dost make over $250,000/year, then the RIGHT amount to be taxed is at 45%. Thou shalt NOT tax these at 44%. Neither shalt thou tax these at 46%. 45% is the right percentage, and the right percentage is 45%! 42% is right out!”

    Obviously, taxing the wealthy (however that is defined) at 100% would be too much and wrong. Taxing them at 1% would seem obviously too little and wrong.

    I don’t have an answer to the “right” percentage that the wealthy (or the middle class or poor) SHOULD be taxed.

    I will say that any tax that is oppressive – that deprives people of necessities – would seem to be obviously wrong (I think you can make this case just morally, as well as biblically). So I’m very wary of any taxation on the “least of these,” if it deprives them of necessities.

    Do YOU have a “right” amount that you know of?

    Craig…

    Do you really think Jefferson would support the 16 trillion dollar federal debt plus 1+trillion dollar deficit spending for the foreseeable future?

    Don’t know. Do you? I DO know that we’ve had a budget debt for most of our nation’s lifetime.

    Do you think Jefferson would support the Senate abrogating it’s constitutionally mandated responsibility to pass a budget for years at a time?

    Don’t know. Do you?

    Again, my point here was not to get into the specifics of this particular budget (I will gladly admit I don’t know enough details to have firm opinions on specifics). I’m talking about IDEALS and MORALS here. As an IDEAL, I don’t want those who are poorer than I am paying a larger or even the same percentage of their money in tax dollars.

    As a general guiding principle, do you agree with me?

  56. Dan,
    I didn’t ask you what was the “right” or “biblical” percentage. I asked for your opinion on what you think is an appropriate amount of federal income tax on “the rich”. It’s a pretty simple question, and there isn’t any right or wrong answer. I’m mystified as to why you chose not to provide a simple direct answer.

  57. Is, “I don’t know” not an acceptable answer? Let me explain why that is my answer and then I’ll try to give a more direct answer…

    For ME, “paying a larger percentage than those who make less than I do,” is one right answer that I think is moral and reasonable. What that percentage is would depend on how much we need as a society, it would seem to me.

    Consider this: IF we had a small society of 100 people living on an island the size of a city block, we would have minimal (zero?) needs for roads, minimal needs for prison or law enforcement, minimal needs for judges, teachers, fire departments, garbage pick up and disposal, etc, etc. Therefore, in THAT situation, the appropriate taxing to meet all our needs would be a pretty small percentage of everyone’s income – but I would still expect, as a matter of morality and justice, that those who had the most would pay a larger percentage.

    If the society was 300 million, though, stretched out over a continent with needs for roads, bridges, police departments, social services, medical needs, FDA-type needs, etc, etc, etc, then I would expect THAT society would have a much larger NEED for more tax dollars and everyone’s income would rightly be taxed at a higher rate than on the small island society.

    More direct…

    In our society, I hear that some millionaires like Romney and Buffett are paying less than 20% in federal taxes and that sounds way too low to me (and to Buffett), I hear that the poorest aren’t paying any in federal taxes and that sounds right to me while others are paying more or less. I’ll tell you right now that I don’t know what everyone is paying because it seems a rather slippery notion of what someone does and doesn’t pay in taxes. Consider this information…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/09/19/heres-why-the-47-percent-argument-is-an-abuse-of-tax-data/

    Or this…

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0415/Taxes-and-the-rich-How-much-do-they-pay-now

    If the richest folk are only paying, on average, 30-35% in taxes, that sounds a little low to me, it would seem a bit more might be appropriate. 50% sounds like maybe getting too high, but it really depends. Again, I don’t really hold a specific amount in mind. Rather I have at least three principles in mind:

    1. The wealthier you are, the larger proportion you/I should pay.
    2. We need to tax enough on everyone (except the poorest) to pay for ALL our expenses.
    3. If taxation would cut into a family’s basic necessities, that level of poverty should not be taxed.

    IF we’re taxing the top 10% at 35% and the middle 80% at 25% and not taxing the poorest, and that money combined does not cover all our needs, well then, we have to tax higher. We HAVE to pay our bills.

    Where am I mistaken in these principles?

    Now, we COULD say, “Well, let’s just cut our expenses,” and that is fine as far as it works. I think we have a great deal of room to cut expenses in some areas.

    But consider: If you’re in a family and you’re paying all your money just for food, shelter, heating and water and that takes up all your money, then you don’t have room to cut expenses, you HAVE to increase your income.

    I am fine with cutting where we can, but I don’t want to make stupid cuts. Stupid cuts would be the ones that end up costing us MORE in the long run (per my earlier prisoner education example).

    Is that any better?

    What is the optimal amount you think reasonable to tax the wealthiest folk?

    Do you believe in progressive taxation? (You seemed to agree to it in principle when it was Jefferson’s plan being discussed, just checking where your principles lie).

    • Dan, you are mistaken because you dont even seem to suggest the government should stop spending at the rates it is. Its out of control. Has it occurred to you that if we cut spending drastically, we could also begin to run lower or no deficits?

      Have you see the numbers that welfare spending is at $168 per day for each household that is in poverty? 168 x 365 = pisses me off, do the math.

  58. Dan,

    Do you seriously expect anyone to believe that Jefferson would be in favor of unsustainable deficits and the resultant debt. Especially as it eats up an ever larger % of GDP. Or that Jefferson would be supportive of the senate abrogating it’s constitutional responsibility, give me a break. Again, how about a clear and definitive answer.

    While I’m being incredulous, are you serious with the “rich” paying a smaller % in income tax than those who make less. I know it’s confusing, but the “rich” always pay a higher federal income tax rate than those who make less. Now they may have more access to deductions etc. that lower the taxes they pay, but the rate is the rate. Further, much of what “the rich” get taxed on is interest/dividends/capitol gains, which is rightly taxed at a different rate than income. Part of the reason for this is that the income that generated the capitol gain has already been taxed as income once, so why would you tax it twice. Is that fair?

    As to your preferred “Jeffersonian” tax system, despite your advocacy of it, you don’t even support it. Why would you put this system forth as a solution, when you admit it won’t work. Although, your admission of the unsuitability of this “system” saved you from addressing my concerns. Although why you wouldn’t be for the modern version of this system seems strange to me. I suspect it’s because it’s a conservative proposal, not something the left proposes.

    As a general principal, when the top 5% of income earners generate that vast majority of the revenue generated by the federal income tax, I don’t worry to much about what the % is.

  59. Craig…

    Further, much of what “the rich” get taxed on is interest/dividends/capitol gains, which is rightly taxed at a different rate than income. Part of the reason for this is that the income that generated the capitol gain has already been taxed as income once, so why would you tax it twice. Is that fair?

    Well, as a Christian in the anabaptist tradition, I don’t really believe in the notion of investing as good or Godly or wise. I don’t believe in getting wealthy off of doing nothing but trading money to those in need of it. So yes, it does seem “fair” to me.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting all upset about. I’m speaking of general moral/ethical principles that I have in place BEFORE I take actions/make decisions. I strive to hold to those moral principles because I believe in the concept behind them. I believe in a progressive tax system as a moral solution to our common needs. Do you?

    Because I believe in a progressive tax system, then YES, I believe that taxing the rich at a higher rate is rational and moral and just. I believe taxing everyone at a flat rate to be irrational and unjust. Whatever the specifics of a particular time and place, I believe in those principles.

    Surely you agree people ought to live by principles, don’t you? Whatever the circumstances?

    Again, how about a clear and definitive answer.

    What part about “I don’t know,” is not clear and definitive? Do you want me to MAKE UP an answer that I don’t know the answer to? I prefer to speak in terms of what I actually know rather than taking guesses at unknown “what-ifs,” generally speaking.

    You’re asking me, “What would Jefferson do in THIS situation…?” And I’m answer, as honestly and straightforwardly as I know possible, “I DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION.”

    Unlike some here, I guess I do not pretend to be omniscient. Gee whiz, fellas.

    As to your preferred “Jeffersonian” tax system, despite your advocacy of it, you don’t even support it.

    AGAIN, I am speaking of PRINCIPLES. IN general, I BELIEVE IN A PROGRESSIVE TAX SYSTEM. Jefferson believed in a progressive tax system. I AGREE with the principle, it’s just that he talked about it in even MORE progressive terms than I’m willing to go. It’s a spectrum, from VERY progressive (wherein the poor AND middle class pay nothing or next to nothing) to VERY regressive (wherein the poor and middle class pay WAY too much and the rich very little. Jefferson and I BOTH believe in the principle of progressive taxation, he just takes it further than I do.

    So, are you saying that you disagree with Jefferson’s principle of generally desiring a progressive tax system?

    I thought earlier you agreed with it..?

    Or is it you agreed with it, IF we were a much smaller nation in a much simpler time with much fewer needs and, at that scale you think progressive taxation is reasonable and moral, but at the scale we have now, you think a flat tax system is better? Is that what you’re saying?

    If so, then the principle changes depending on the scale? Or are you saying the principle of the issue doesn’t matter to you, you just do what feels right at the time?

  60. “For most of us, a progressive tax rate is the most reasonable and just and we’re interested in reason and justice, so therefore, we support it.”

    Unfortunately, there is nothing but subjective and self-serving explanations, but nothing that demonstrates real justice or reason.

    The well to do have benefited the most? Nonsense. We all benefit equally. If a driven individual achieves more, it is not due to roads or canals or anything else the gov’t or society has “provided”, but by his own drive, initiative and other qualities, like perseverance and discipline (to name a few). To whatever extent they have benefited is more a result of their own efforts. It is envy and covetousness that drives the progressive tax policy. We all share the benefits of our country, but not all of us uses those benefits to the greatest extent. Too many of our nation’s wealthy came from very humble beginnings for that line of crap to continue to get the time of day.

    The idea that “the poor” can’t pay an equal percentage is based on bass-ackwards thinking. The poor must live within their means and part of that is their obligation to the society in which they live. If their $100 a week is reduced to $90 because their 10% gets taken off the top, then they must base their lives on the $90. Its that simple (the concept, not the doing—all of us who pay income taxes should be living the same way). Once those who enter the workforce realize that their entry-level pay won’t do much more than pay the rent and feed the kids, then not only will they be on the road to a good life, but will be more engaged in the political process beyond voting for the guy who gives them food stamps. Of course, considering that so few voted last time around, that’s really only a pipe dream.

  61. I find the notion of investment a good one.
    That’s because by lending money to people who need it they will consume more goods or by lending money to enterprises which need it they will produce more goods. Both will increase production and thus economy wellfare.
    And the investors should get personal benefit from it (investment can have also its risks). Of course, it should be a reasonable profit not falling into usury.

    In the same way, increasing production is a reason why the richer should bear the higher tax burden. That makes that non-rich ones, which are the vast mayority, will have more acquisition power and will be able to consume more goods including goods produced by the rich themselfs.

    The actual crisis is an outcome of the current unbalanced way of making money. Money should have production and consume backup, not a speculation one.

  62. Dan,

    I just want to be clear. You characterize investment as “trading money” with little or no thought to what actually happens when money is invested. You do realize that that investment capitol does horrible things like help people start or expand their buisness, hire other people, make things that people buy, you know kind of like our entire economy. I can see why Anabaptists don’t like those things, because Jesus spoke against the…… Oh wait, He actually commended people for investing, now it makes sense.

    You’ve also done a good job at trying to keep this discussion out of the real world context and into the nether world of your “moral/ethical principles”. A nice dodge, it allows you to avoid dealing with the real world examples as well as position yourself a a pious outsider.

    Well, one can only assume that due to your dearly held Anabaptist principles, you don’t keep your money in the bank ( since those evil bankers just invest the money on deposit). You certainly don’t participate in your employers 401K or retirement plan. Maybe you just go the mason jar in the back yard route.

    What about your dearly held” moral/ethical principle” of living within ones means/simply. Strangely this dearly held principal doesn’t stop you from voting for/supporting/defending a political party who has done the exact opposit of living within out national means. Sure you personally talk a good game, but voting, that’s a different deal.

    You just can’t bring yourself to admit that your folks, the Dems, have failed miserably in ther constitutional duty to pass a budget for more than 3 years. You imply that Jefferson would possibly be ok with this breach of responsibility.

    The only thing clear about “I don’t know” is that it looks like you don’t have the courage to admit that you might have been wrong or overstated your case. You talk of this “Jeffersonian progressive tax system” as if such a thing actually existed in any form that could be applie, and when shown some problems, you retreat away from what you propose as the better way. When presented with he alternative (the primarily conservative notion of a weighted national sales tax) you act as if it isn’t a modern day analogue to your “Jeffersonian” system by pretending it’s not there.

    I have no doubt you feel strongly about your moral/ethical principles. As long as they don’t deviate too much from whatever left wing cause you happen to be high on today.

    You seem perfectly content with P-BO’s big plan, that doesn’t even begin to make a dent in the real problem, with Pelosi lying about “tax cuts” for the rich and with the entire media/dem narrative that this is all the republican congresses fault. Does it matter to you that P-BO’s plan to cut the deficit, contains more spending, or that there are no tax cuts for anyone. Apparantly not enough to speak up.

    Look I have no doubt that you sincerely believe everything you say and that you don’t see any of the inherent contradictions. I just can’t see the point of trying to discuss real world problems with someone who lives in some other world.

    Thanks, but unless you have anything direct for me to respond to, I’m done.

    John,

    I apologize, I had no idea that this was going to get this far off topic. Please feel free to clean up/delete any of this that you’d like.

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