Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A taxing question: Just what is fair?
The Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | April 15 2002 | Edwin A. Locke

Posted on 04/15/2002 4:34:52 AM PDT by Fintan

It's tax day. So let's consider some basic facts. The wealthiest 1 percent of the taxpayers pay 34 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 50 percent pay 96 percent of the total bill. This means that the least wealthy 50 percent pay almost nothing. In short, the income tax system soaks the rich. In the name of justice, the President, Congress and the American public should be demanding a tax cut that lowers the tax bill of the wealthy.

But the opponents of tax cuts do not want justice. They want redistribution of wealth. They want to confiscate the income earned by the wealthy and give it to people who have not earned it. They want the rich - which includes the most productive people in society - to be the servants of the poor.

The moral principle used to justify income redistribution is altruism. Altruism does not mean generosity or benevolent concern for the less fortunate. Altruism means: other-ism. It is the doctrine that it is your moral duty to live for others and to sacrifice your life, property and well-being for theirs. It is the code of self-sacrifice. Under altruism, the productive are the ones who must give and the nonproductive are those who receive. The inability or unwillingness of the nonproductive to create wealth gives them a moral claim upon those who do.

The tax code enforces altruism through coercion. Earning money through voluntary trade is replaced by getting money by force in order to achieve the altruistic goal the government desires. But when the property of some people is seized and given to others, it is an injustice.

The doctrine of altruism induces (and is meant to induce) guilt. It makes the successful feel that they have no right to their achievements. The goal of altruism is to disarm the producers morally so that they will not defend their right to their lives and property. Thus the rich often support higher taxes for themselves. Remember in recent years, just as one example, billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett attacking a repeal of the estate tax.

Most Americans would be shocked to learn that altruism is the moral code that underlies Marxism (and thus communism). Marx's credo was: "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need." Humans have no right to exist for themselves in this view; they are servants of the state, to be disposed of as the state sees fit.

No, we have not gone all the way down that road yet, though the progressive income tax has been a step in that direction.

Altruism is the opposite of Americanism. Americanism means you have the inalienable right "to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," which includes property rights. It means that your life and property belong to you, not to the state or to society. It means that the government's proper job is to protect, not to violate, rights. Acting in one's own self-interest (while respecting the rights of others) is fully moral - it is the fundamental requirement of a successful and happy life. It means that you are not an object of sacrifice but a sovereign being. It means that your property belongs to you. It means that every individual, whether rich or poor, has the same rights. Self-reliance, not self-sacrifice, is the American ideal.

On tax day, support tax cuts by promoting the idea of a truly just society: where each man keeps what he earns and has no claim upon the life and property of others.


Edwin A. Locke, Dean's professor emeritus of leadership and motivation at the University of Maryland at College Park, is a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute (http://www.aynrand.org).

 



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: redistribution; taxfairness; taxreform
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-105 next last

1 posted on 04/15/2002 4:34:52 AM PDT by Fintan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Fintan
Good to see ARI products in the mainstream press.
2 posted on 04/15/2002 4:40:43 AM PDT by RJCogburn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
It means that your life and property belong to you, not to the state or to society.

It means the selfish ones are those who seek to take others money, not those who seek to keep their own.

3 posted on 04/15/2002 4:44:16 AM PDT by NittanyLion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
bookmark
4 posted on 04/15/2002 5:01:55 AM PDT by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
Coerced altruism is made worse in the U.S. because the 50 percent that don't pay taxes are also eligible to vote in public elections. Thus, a simple majority, that has no responsibility to pay for government services, will vote consistently for politicians that promote more (free) government services. This scheme is inherently corrupt. The progressive income tax system is the root of this corruption. A flat tax would go a long way to correct this Marxist scam. Unfortunately, too many Demorats get elected while promoting this scam. Demorats need to be publicly demonized around 15 April for promoting this scam.
5 posted on 04/15/2002 5:18:32 AM PDT by Tralfaze McWatt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
*yawn*

I'd support ditching the income tax. Won't happen.

However, while we have it, there's no excusing that the wealthiest indeed get the greatest benefit from a vibrant economy, low crime and relative peace abroad. We should probably adjust the upper bracket so mutli-millionaires and multi-billionaires pay a share more in line to the overall benefit they've received. At such levels, money is just making more money. It has little to do with their continued daily effort, nor even really what their contribution is worth to humanity.

Perhaps a special sportsman and entertainer tax is in order for all those nothings which contribute only to the decay of decency and morality to pay us for having to put up with them. And no more damned tax-payer funded ballbarks, too.

There was one op-ed in the local paper on Sunday suggesting, in essense, it wasn't fair that the poorest 50% don't pay 50% of all taxes. The writer, somewhere off in an alternate reality, neglects to realize any tax on the poor has a bigger impact on that person's or family's buying power. These aren't people of means. At those levels it can mean passing on necessary health care and I'm not talking about vanity or lifestyle indulgences like birth-control pills and viagra but full-time care for an dementia patient who is too dangerous to be cared for at home any longer.

To someone in the upper brackets, and yet they too can live beyond their means but who have the financial resources and management resources available to them to more easily avoid it, such costs are hardly an issue at all. Consider Limbaugh and his not bothering with health care insurance and HMOs, instead using his financial means to pay as he needs. Damned few are in his position. Most must wait two, three months in the HMO queue for kidney or liver ultrasounds, colonoscopies, and other tests.

We can't all be in the top 1%. The economy, from a business and consumer angle demands a majority of people at lower income levels to fill critical, if often menial tasks. We can't all be making $150,000/year. Businesses and conservatives already grouse at increases in minimum wage, imagine if we were all paid like lawyers (or, in some places, like teachers!).

Sometimes I wonder if Democrat's solution is to import (near) slave labour in the form of illegal immigration and the Republican solution is to rent near, or actual, slave labour in foreign countries all the while both are gleeful as our investment portfolios bloom and we drag on our health care system with habits of excess drink, smoking, and unhealthy diets. At least Rush, being able to pay in full, dodges the hypocrasy yolk by not being a drag on HMO costs and contributing to the need for higher premiums.

Or not.

6 posted on 04/15/2002 5:19:15 AM PDT by newzjunkey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
the altruistic goal the government desires

nice try but you missed the point
do the math .....
take money from 49 % of the people
give to 51 % of the people =
perpetual power.

7 posted on 04/15/2002 5:19:52 AM PDT by THEUPMAN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
As someone who lives in the Philadelphia area and who occasionally reads the Philadelphia Inquire. I am stunned that they even printed this article.

Is this April 1st?

8 posted on 04/15/2002 5:21:48 AM PDT by Falcon4.0
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NittanyLion
"It means the selfish ones are those who seek to take others money, not those who seek to keep their own."

Nah--the selfish ones are those who seek to take others money for THEMSELVES. They aren't nearly as dangerous as those suffering from "Robin Hood Syndrome", in which they decide to take money from you and give it to "someone more deserving" in order to enhance their own self-esteem.

9 posted on 04/15/2002 5:22:26 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
The truth is lost on the stupid, horse headed masses! They're mad now after writing that check for money that they don't owe to Uncle Sam. Two weeks from now it'll all be forgotten. John & Jane Q. Public will slip back into their slothful world of six packs and video rentals!
10 posted on 04/15/2002 5:28:12 AM PDT by Destructor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
A taxing question: Just what is fair?

The income tax is unfair and needs to be eliminated in favor of user fees and consumption taxes so everyone will pay the taxes. If you buy it or use it, then pay a tax. Today, the vast majority of self-employed folks are tax cheats, never reporting all of their income, and living off salaried folks like leeches.

11 posted on 04/15/2002 5:30:05 AM PDT by JoeGar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
However, while we have it, there's no excusing that the wealthiest indeed get the greatest benefit from a vibrant economy,

The wealthiest, BY DEFINITION, are responsible for the "vibrant economy".

12 posted on 04/15/2002 5:32:10 AM PDT by TomB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Tralfaze McWatt
Coerced altruism...

It's *NOT* altruism. It's offering a return on investment to stakeholders and an investment in goverment to help ensure favourable geo-political, economic climate, and delivery of services (water, power, etc.).

It ought to be a self-realization that as one of these top-tier people, you wouldn't have two dimes to rub together without the low end buying your increasingly pathetic wares and (no) services. That would be altruistic or simply just a willingness to give something back to stakeholders.

As it is, to fatten your bottom line you've unemployed the Americans for slaves in China or some Asian-Pacific paradise, or imported them. To fatten your bottom line you've begged the government to help you negotiate a deal with a foreign nation or taken advantage of a new economic pact. You're not doing all that much, and probably didn't do all that much to start off in the scheme of contribution to humanity. You've just become a successful snake-oil salesman (from Gates to Sheen to Woods) while watching your money make more money. Or you're a lawyer suing some industry for some windfall judgement that'll pay you $50,000 per minute in legal fees. Or some "esteemed" member of government.

13 posted on 04/15/2002 5:34:15 AM PDT by newzjunkey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
Do you live in America or Europe? Because, in America it's about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Where in the Constitution does it say that "once your money starts reproducing," the government has a right to take it away from you.
Besides, many of the $150,000 wages earners went to college for 5 to 51/2 years and owe a ton in student loans. And, they're paying taxes up the wazoo so that someone who's less ambitious can hold their hand out.
When the government gives away our money to the non-productive, it encourages more of the same.
14 posted on 04/15/2002 5:37:41 AM PDT by jaq
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
"Fairness" is probably not a concept that can ever be applied to coercive taxation. It's roughly synonymous with "justice," which is about redressing wrongs, not how best to mulct the citizenry, however necessary the process might be.

Having said that, I should add that we could move our tax system a giant step closer to fairness, by replacing income taxes (individual and corporate) with consumption taxes, and by transforming as many governmental activities as possible from tax-funded to fee-for-service. People generally demonstrate greater equanimity about consumption taxes, which are simple to calculate, don't justify invasions of their privacy, and don't require complex recordkeeping and return preparation. They tend to view fee-for-service as inherently fair -- "You ought to pay for what you get." There's probably a role for uniform import and export tariffs, too.

Of course, what I'm suggesting would be a whole lot easier if the government's activities were limited to its Constitutional functions. Sigh.

Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
Francis W. Porretto
Visit The Palace Of Reason: http://palaceofreason.com

15 posted on 04/15/2002 5:39:03 AM PDT by fporretto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
Christians find a useful ratio in I Samuel 8. Here, the aging prophet defines for a rebellious people the meaning of tyranny -- a civil government that demands more than God does. And the people still voted for a tyrant, so as to be politically fashionable.
16 posted on 04/15/2002 5:40:17 AM PDT by TomSmedley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
Government politicians and bureaucrats doesn't create wealth, productive private people create wealth. The best and most important thing that government can do in a free society is PROTECT the ability of the wealth producers, at all income levels, to create wealth. I don't include scam artists as wealth producers, unlike the philosophy of the Demorat party.
17 posted on 04/15/2002 5:45:56 AM PDT by Tralfaze McWatt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
However, while we have it, there's no excusing that the wealthiest indeed get the greatest benefit from a vibrant economy, low crime and relative peace abroad. We should probably adjust the upper bracket so mutli-millionaires and multi-billionaires pay a share more in line to the overall benefit they've received. At such levels, money is just making more money. It has little to do with their continued daily effort, nor even really what their contribution is worth to humanity.

There is also no getting past the fact that, by and large, the wealthiest are the folks who created this vibrant economy. The richest folks you'll find are also the ones who took the greatest risk and succeeded by contributing greatly to the welfare of consumers.

Perhaps a special sportsman and entertainer tax is in order for all those nothings which contribute only to the decay of decency and morality to pay us for having to put up with them. And no more damned tax-payer funded ballbarks, too.

I'm with you on the ballparks. But a sportsman and entertainer tax? Are you serious? If you are serious, have you ever thought about the ramifications of government dictating "morally proper" versus "improper" jobs?

There was one op-ed in the local paper on Sunday suggesting, in essense, it wasn't fair that the poorest 50% don't pay 50% of all taxes.

Are you sure the suggestion wasn't that the lowest 50% would pay the same tax as a percent of their income? Only an imbecile would advocate the lowest 50% paying 50% of the actual tax dollars.

The writer, somewhere off in an alternate reality, neglects to realize any tax on the poor has a bigger impact on that person's or family's buying power. These aren't people of means. At those levels it can mean passing on necessary health care and I'm not talking about vanity or lifestyle indulgences like birth-control pills and viagra but full-time care for an dementia patient who is too dangerous to be cared for at home any longer.

While you certainly paint a sympathetic picture of the poor dementia patient being deprived of meds by "The Man", I remain unconvinced. Indeed, I would suggest if the poor paid as large a percentage of their income to the government as the rich do, taxes overall would be a far lower burden on everyone. "The Poor" would never shoulder the burden "The Rich" currently do.

To someone in the upper brackets, and yet they too can live beyond their means but who have the financial resources and management resources available to them to more easily avoid it, such costs are hardly an issue at all. Consider Limbaugh and his not bothering with health care insurance and HMOs, instead using his financial means to pay as he needs. Damned few are in his position. Most must wait two, three months in the HMO queue for kidney or liver ultrasounds, colonoscopies, and other tests.

What's your point? Rush Limbaugh discovered the public holds him, as a commodity, in high demand. He is well-paid for his talents. How is it that other people are morally entitled to HIS well-earned money?

We can't all be in the top 1%. The economy, from a business and consumer angle demands a majority of people at lower income levels to fill critical, if often menial tasks. We can't all be making $150,000/year. Businesses and conservatives already grouse at increases in minimum wage, imagine if we were all paid like lawyers (or, in some places, like teachers!).

No, we can't all be in the top 1%. Only the brightest and hardest working among us will achieve that status. Perhaps some will choose family over work (and that's a great choice, IMHO). Others are simply not as smart or diligent; that's just the way it goes. Others will be subject to bad luck, etc.

Bottom line: What right does Person A have to appropriate Person B's money? If you can explain how that is moral, you stand a chance of changing my mind. However, I would suggest you face an impossible task in doing so.

18 posted on 04/15/2002 5:45:59 AM PDT by NittanyLion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: Fintan
bttt
20 posted on 04/15/2002 5:48:45 AM PDT by lodwick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
It's *NOT* altruism. It's offering a return on investment to stakeholders and an investment in goverment to help ensure favourable geo-political, economic climate, and delivery of services (water, power, etc.).

Once again, BY DEFINITION, this is not an investment, which imples a voluntary commitment of capital. Anyway, confiscatory tax rates are not required to ensure the things you listed. It is only when the government gets into the business of redistributing wealth and buying votes that it becomes necessary to raise rates to higher levels.

21 posted on 04/15/2002 5:49:09 AM PDT by TomB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
They want the rich - which includes the most productive people in society - to be the servants of the poor.

One thing to consider...is a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills really 500-1,000 times more productive than an elementary school teacher? Is that plastic surgeon more productive than a farmer who grows enough food to feed 10,000 people? Using income as the only measure of productivity seems a bit myopic.

The only vocation in America which is absolutely essential is farming. Without doctors, we'd suffer a 1-5 year loss in longevity, without farmers we'd suffer a 90+% population decline in a matter of 2-3 years. Are farmers more productive than doctors? Not according to income statistics.

22 posted on 04/15/2002 5:56:09 AM PDT by ReadMyMind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tralfaze McWatt
...productive private people create wealth.


And creativity, entrepreneurship, jobs (which create more wealth), individuality, independence from government, happiness, self-fulfillment and freedom, to name a few.

In other words, pretty much everything that scares the hell out of socialists.


23 posted on 04/15/2002 5:56:51 AM PDT by Fintan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: TomB
Nice Limbaughesque soundbite but it isn't so. There's a difference between wealthy and wealthy who are actually adding to the economy.

There are also wealthy who do stupid things like all those VC's who forgot about the need for revenues and profit during the so-called ".COM boom" of the 90's. Big help, they were!

If the wealth isn't used, isn't pro-actively invested, is badly invested, is badly managed, leads to unemployment, disrupts an industry... this might be adding to overall economic activity but isn't necessarily leading to further wealth creation or ensuring an vibrant economy. Further, you're wrong to dismiss the idea that outside influences (9/11 depressing travel, for example) can impact an economy adversely irrespective of what the wealthy alone are doing. In fact, in the airline case, if they'd done a better job (proper cockpit doors) they'd not have allowed the circumstance which hurt the economy to begin with. Realistically speaking, the government couldn't have really acted any more effectively (you either have or don't have the human intel) but the airlines sure could have.

An economy is vibrant when there's a good match between the geo-political and economic opportunities made possible by government--through tax dollars--(i.e. a war or post war economy, getting tarifs lifted, NAFTA) and private wealth's (hopefully) wise investment.

24 posted on 04/15/2002 5:57:07 AM PDT by newzjunkey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
If the wealth isn't used, isn't pro-actively invested, is badly invested, is badly managed, leads to unemployment, disrupts an industry... this might be adding to overall economic activity but isn't necessarily leading to further wealth creation or ensuring an vibrant economy.

Are you suggesting that, as a whole, government can invest and manage wealth more wisely than private enterprise?

25 posted on 04/15/2002 6:00:17 AM PDT by NittanyLion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
There's a difference between wealthy and wealthy who are actually adding to the economy.

That may be correct. It is also irrelevent. What the "wealthy" do with their money is their business.

It is their money.

26 posted on 04/15/2002 6:03:15 AM PDT by Skooz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
We should probably adjust the upper bracket so mutli-millionaires and multi-billionaires pay a share more in line to the overall benefit they've received. At such levels, money is just making more money. It has little to do with their continued daily effort, nor even really what their contribution is worth to humanity.

Arrgghhh! Perhaps you need some more information. Money "at such levels" doesn't just magically produce more money. Money is valuable, and can create more wealth if applied to proper ventures. What those horrible alchemist-millionaires are doing is lending their money to individuals and institutions for innovation and investment. In turn, these evil rich people are compensated in the form of interest, or dividends, or an increase in the value of the holdings for which they have traded their money. Believe it or not, even disgruntled non-millionaires such as yourself are completely entitled to this same process....

27 posted on 04/15/2002 6:05:51 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
You seem to have a distorted view of "the rich". You seem to think that they are all Kennedys who inherited their money. But the fact of the matter is that over 80% of millionaires are first generation, meaning, they made their own money, which invalidates your entire argument.

An excerpt from the book, The Millionaire Next Door:

PORTRAIT Of A MILLIONAIRE

Who is the prototypical American millionaire? What would he tell you about himself?(*)

    * I am a fifty-seven-year-old male, married with three children. About 70 percent of us earn 80 percent or more of our household's income.

    * About one in five of us is retired. About two-thirds of us who are working are self-employed. Interestingly, self-employed people make up less than 20 percent of the workers in America but account for two-thirds of the millionaires. Also, three out of four of us who are self-employed consider ourselves to be entrepreneurs. Most of the others are self-employed professionals, such as doctors and accountants.

    * Many of the types of businesses we are in could be classified as dullnormal. We are welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, and paving contractors.

    * About half of our wives do not work outside the home. The number-one occupation for those wives who do work is teacher.

    * Our household's total annual realized (taxable) income is $131,000 (median, or 50th percentile), while our average income is $247,000. Note that those of us who have incomes in the $500,000 to $999,999 category (8 percent) and the $1 million or more category (5 percent) skew the average upward.

    * We have an average household net worth of $3.7 million. Of course, some of our cohorts have accumulated much more. Nearly 6 percent have a net worth of over $10 million. Again, these people skew our average upward. The typical (median, or 50th percentile) millionaire household has a net worth of $1.6 million.

    * On average, our total annual realized income is less than 7 percent of our wealth. In other words, we live on less than 7 percent of our wealth.

    * Most of us (97 percent) are homeowners. We live in homes currently valued at an average of $320,000. About half of us have occupied the same home for more than twenty years. Thus, we have enjoyed significant increases in the value of our homes.

    * Most of us have never felt at a disadvantage because we did not receive any inheritance. About 80 percent of us are first-generation affluent.

    * We live well below our means. We wear inexpensive suits and drive American-made cars. Only a minority of us drive the current-model-year automobile. Only a minority ever lease our motor vehicles.

    * Most of our wives are planners and meticulous budgeters. In fact, only 18 percent of us disagreed with the statement "Charity begins at home." Most of us will tell you that our wives are a lot more conservative with money than we are.

    * We have a "go-to-hell fund." In other words, we have accumulated enough wealth to live without working for ten or more years. Thus, those of us with a net worth of $1.6 million could live comfortably for more than twelve years. Actually, we could live longer than that, since we save at least 15 percent of our earned income.

    * We have more than six and one-half times the level of wealth of our nonmillionaire neighbors, but, in our neighborhood, these nonmillionaires outnumber us better than three to one. Could it be that they have chosen to trade wealth for acquiring high-status material possessions?

    * As a group, we are fairly well educated. Only about one in five are not college graduates. Many of us hold advanced degrees. Eighteen percent have master's degrees, 8 percent law degrees, 6 percent medical degrees, and 6 percent Ph.D.s.

    * Only 17 percent of us or our spouses ever attended a private elementary or private high school. But 55 percent of our children are currently attending or have attended private schools.

    * As a group, we believe that education is extremely important for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. We spend heavily for the educations of our offspring.

    * About two-thirds of us work between forty-five and fifty-five hours per week.

    * We are fastidious investors. On average, we invest nearly 20 percent of our household realized income each year. Most of us invest at least 15 percent. Seventy-nine percent of us have at least one account with a brokerage company. But we make our own investment decisions.

    * We hold nearly 20 percent of our household's wealth in transaction securities such as publicly traded stocks and mutual funds. But we rarely sell our equity investments. We hold even more in our pension plans. On average, 21 percent of our household's wealth is in our private businesses.

    * As a group, we feel that our daughters are financially handicapped in comparison to our sons. Men seem to make much more money even within the same occupational categories. That is why most of us would not hesitate to share some of our wealth with our daughters. Our sons, and men in general, have the deck of economic cards stacked in their favor. They should not need subsidies from their parents.

    * What would be the ideal occupations for our sons and daughters? There are about 3.5 millionaire households like ours. Our numbers are growing much faster than the general population. Our kids should consider providing affluent people with some valuable service. Overall, our most trusted financial advisors are our accountants. Our attorneys are also very important. So we recommend accounting and law to our children. Tax advisors and estate-planning experts will be in big demand over the next fifteen years.

    * I am a tightwad. That's one of the main reasons I completed a long questionnaire for a crispy $1 bill. Why else would I spend two or three hours being personally interviewed by these authors? They paid me $100, $200, or $250. Oh, they made me another offer--to donate in my name the money I earned for my interview to my favorite charity. But I told them, "I am my favorite charity."


28 posted on 04/15/2002 6:07:13 AM PDT by TomB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: TomB
"I am my favorite charity."

This is exactly what I tell telemarketers and everyone else with a hand out.


29 posted on 04/15/2002 6:10:25 AM PDT by Fintan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
an investment in goverment

Ahhh, a Clintonian euphemism for taxes.

30 posted on 04/15/2002 6:10:33 AM PDT by RJCogburn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: TomB
We have a "go-to-hell fund." In other words, we have accumulated enough wealth to live without working for ten or more years.

LOL! I like the sound of that!

31 posted on 04/15/2002 6:10:35 AM PDT by NittanyLion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: ReadMyMind
One thing to consider...is a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills really 500-1,000 times more productive than an elementary school teacher?

In terms of economics, YES. Unless he's stealing his money.
32 posted on 04/15/2002 6:11:54 AM PDT by motzman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: NittanyLion
It does have a plethora of meanings, doesn't it? ;-)
33 posted on 04/15/2002 6:13:15 AM PDT by TomB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
What right does Person A have to appropriate Person B's money? If you can explain how that is moral, you stand a chance of changing my mind.

Is there any chance of getting this question answered?

34 posted on 04/15/2002 6:17:49 AM PDT by NittanyLion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
Taxes are like the weather because...............:<)
35 posted on 04/15/2002 6:18:47 AM PDT by verity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
IF YOU WANT THIS MAN – AND MEN LIKE HIM – TO REMAIN IN CONTROL OF YOUR ECONOMIC AND PERSONAL DESTINY, CONTINUE TO TOLERATE THE CURRENT MARXIST INCOME TAX SYSTEM.

ONE MORE TIME:

IT’S ABOUT P O W E R AND C O N T R O L!!

CHECK OUT HTTP://WWW.SALESTAX.ORG to find out how you can help!


36 posted on 04/15/2002 6:32:50 AM PDT by Dick Bachert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TomB
"It is important that the assembly which voted the taxes, either general or local, should be elected by those who pay the taxes imposed. Those who pay no taxes, disposing by their votes of other people's money, have every motive to be lavish and none to economize(sounds like democrats). As far as money matters are concerned, any power of voting posessed by them(the freeloaders) is a violation of the fundamental priciple of free government." -John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) English economist and philosopher.
37 posted on 04/15/2002 6:40:17 AM PDT by blackdog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: dighton

Did you ever get the feeling that it's going to be one of those days???

:)

38 posted on 04/15/2002 6:43:24 AM PDT by MozarkDawg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NittanyLion
Is there any chance of getting this question answered?

Not a snowball's chance.

39 posted on 04/15/2002 6:47:54 AM PDT by Fintan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

Coerced altruism is made worse in the U.S. because the 50 percent that don't pay taxes are also eligible to vote in public elections.

Well said, and I fear that the situation will only get worse over time.

The de facto tax strategy of politicians (all Dumbocrats and unfortunately most Republicans.....grrrrr.....) is basically "Tax the rich." But according to the current tax code, "rich" can mean as little as $60,000 per year.

"Tax the rich" is a safe, self-serving strategy for politicians, because the number of income tax free-loaders who vote will always outnumber voters who get screwed on income taxes.

40 posted on 04/15/2002 6:50:36 AM PDT by RooRoobird14
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
repubs and dems are both statists: both agree the state can abrogate individual rights. sooner or later, conservative folks have to admit to this. i no longer desire to be rich. I could open two more business if I really wanted to. But for this, I would be penalized by fifty percent of my earnings(that really means TIME). Plus, if I dont, I deprive them of my mind, my production, my money. Run your social programs without my money. If others understood this, Atlas Shrugged, the game would end in a few years. think about it.
41 posted on 04/15/2002 6:53:45 AM PDT by galt-jw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
In fact, in the airline case, if they'd done a better job (proper cockpit doors) they'd not have allowed the circumstance which hurt the economy to begin with. Realistically speaking, the government couldn't have really acted any more effectively (you either have or don't have the human intel) but the airlines sure could have.

Somehow I missed this little gem. Unfortunately, the cockpit doors could have been as big as a bank vault's, and it wouldn't have mattered. The airline industry, in conjuntion with the FAA, had a policy in place prior to 9-11 to negotiate and acquiesce to the demands of hijackers. Strengthened cockpit doors would not have helped because they were opened voluntarily.

42 posted on 04/15/2002 6:55:43 AM PDT by TomB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
Not a snowball's chance.

Looks that way.

Another hit-and-run socialist.

He probably had to take a nap.

43 posted on 04/15/2002 7:30:26 AM PDT by TomB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
Locke is right. It's not fair "The top 50 percent pay 96 percent of the total bill " since government spending is out of control, the timing is perfect. There should be a major tax shift raising all the lower tax brackets, then lowering the upper ones to help the poor darlings at the top and squelch the hopes for those at the bottom for ever getting ahead.
44 posted on 04/15/2002 7:33:52 AM PDT by lewislynn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
My wife hates it when I tell this, but we don't allow the word "fair", along with other words, to be used in our home. Instead of "fair" and/or "unfair", we use "right" and/or "wrong". It's incredible how this shortens disputes at our house. The other day, my 13-year-old daughter came running in the room to tell us our 6-year-old daughter had used the "F" word. Scared me to death until she told us the word was "fair".
45 posted on 04/15/2002 7:37:28 AM PDT by Crawdad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fintan
I don't remember being asked to vote on the whole concept of income tax.
46 posted on 04/15/2002 7:39:21 AM PDT by jetson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jaq
you can say that again. My 'top ten' mba cost 90K! Of course, I get to pay this back with cashflow that has been taxed at 50%
47 posted on 04/15/2002 7:40:54 AM PDT by fooman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: lewislynn
We need Federal envy crime legislation to complement Federal hate crime legislation. Envy crimes should be punished with the same force as hate crimes. Enhanced punishment for envy crimes should send a lot of demorat supporters to the electric chair or the gas chamber.
48 posted on 04/15/2002 7:49:47 AM PDT by Tralfaze McWatt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: fooman
Of course this just means indentured servitude! It took six years to get the MBA and pay it off. Almost the seven years that it took 200 years ago!
49 posted on 04/15/2002 7:53:19 AM PDT by fooman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: lewislynn
There should be a major tax shift raising all the lower tax brackets, then lowering the upper ones to help the poor darlings at the top and squelch the hopes for those at the bottom for ever getting ahead.

Seeing as how the poor don't pay any income tax already, anything paid would constitute a major shift, I suppose. I would suggest lowering the tax burden on the "rich" by a drop in the marginal rates. I would lower the burden on the "poor" (and rich) by privatizing Social Security. Of course, this would require a simultaneous and massive spending cut.

50 posted on 04/15/2002 7:53:48 AM PDT by NittanyLion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-105 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson