I’m not Casper’s ghost, but
in re: taxing church -
we were founded on the principle of religious liberty by people and the descendants of people who were subject to severe and extended religious persecution. The problem was, the church was controlled by the state. People were tortured to death, deprived of their liberty, had their property and livelihood confiscated - due to their legitimate religious beliefs.
If the state can tax the church, the state controls the church.
Thus Christians particularly, and Jews, as we learn from long and usual history, get persecuted to death.
Were the state to have had control of the church these past two centuries, many Biblical teachings would be illegal to proclaim at this point: for example, women would have to be allowed in positions of authority, people who oppose your particular beliefs would have to be hired, homosexuals would have to be allowed to marry and get married in there, etc. etc. etc. The church would just become an arm of the state.
Also no church/Christian could in safety oppose the status quo. You may think the First Amendment would protect them; and perhaps as individuals it would; however, they’d have no legitimate church, no body, no fellowship, no sacraments or discipline; they’d have to be Christians by themselves in their house. They’d have to sneak to illegal churches and get arrested and etc. over same. “Tax evasion” would be the reason. You can’t have a Bible teaching church because the government would hold your teachings to be illegal; and you can’t have a non-registered church because you’d be evading taxes.
Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. Our churches are tax exempt for excellent reasons.
Yes, but strictly speaking, no church, synagog, mosque or ashram would be taxed. No company would be taxed. No person would be taxed. Only purchases would be taxed, the taxes would fall evenly and controllably on the rich, the poor, the believer, the atheist, and most importantly on the state itself.
Everyone who benefits from the government would have skin in the game to keep taxation low.
The state itself would feel the bite of its own taxes at every level and in every department’s budget as well.
No system of taxation will ever be perfect, but I think this might be worth a try as the ONLY form of national taxation within US boarders.