Random thought of the day

Liberals/progressives/etc. want to increase taxes on things to discourage such items and/or activities. Examples include the NFA of 1934 which taxed firearms and certain safety equipment, huge taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, And of course there are the frequent demands for huge taxes on ammunition and sometimes on gasoline and other fossil fuels.

What this makes crystal clear is those same people use the tax system in a way that is consistent with a belief that there should be fewer rich people and more poor people. They place huge taxes on “the rich” and want to eliminate taxes on “the poor”. If they really wanted to reduce or eliminate poverty shouldn’t they be taxing it? Sort of like the demand for taxes on guns and ammunition to “pay for the costs of gun violence” shouldn’t there be taxes on poverty to pay for the cost of supporting the poor?*

* No. I’m not entirely serious about this. Only a little bit serious.


14 thoughts on “Random thought of the day

  1. The anti-federalists were right: one of the fatal flaws of the Constitution is that it places no limit on the power to tax. This in spite of Madison’s laughable attempt to claim that it does.

  2. I heard an ad while driving to work this morning. It was from, among others organizations, the Ad Council. They were selling Socialist Security Disability. They want to sign more people up for Disability. They start by saying that one in five men are disabled. I guess they’re shooting for one in four.

    This is Cloward & Piven stuff; overload the system and collapse it into another system (communism). And of course it helps the powers that be if more Americans are more dependent on government, rather than being self sufficient. So it’s win, win; collapse the economic system while making more Americans dependent on the powers that engineered the collapse. That way they will own you in every sense of the word.

    And so we have two basic classes of leftist. There are the perpetrators, or those who actually drive the policy. Then there are the duped, or those who fall for the huge lies about compassion, fairness, “social justice” and all the rest (the useful idiots).

    OF COURSE the people who actually drive policy have no interest in general prosperity. Everything they strive for centers around coercion, whether it be coercive redistribution or coercive “nudges” when it comes to energy use, food choice, transportation, communication and so on.

    Looking at their assertions and connecting the dots between what they say, what they do, and the results of what they do, it becomes obvious that they start with coercion as the Prime Directive and then come up with the rationalizations for it as they deem possible along the way. That goes for Progressive Democrats and Progressive Republicans alike.

    As for what rationalizations are possible along the way, it of course helps the cause of coercion tremendously if Americans are more distracted rather than less distracted, and it helps the cause if Americans are more ignorant rather than less ignorant, and here is where public education and the media find their true purpose.

    And so their war against liberty has been fought on several fronts at the same time. More dependency, more distraction and more ignorance. Agitation of tribal tendencies is another tool in the arsenal. If we’re looking with suspicion at different races or other groups that the left has defined, then we’re more distracted and more likely to look to government for solutions. We can add hopelessness, fear and anger to the list of objectives, and all of it is for the purpose of enslavement.

    I would say that your exasperation lies in the fact that you’re taking some of them at their word when they say they want to make things better for people. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Throw out the window dressing. Throw out the surface assertions and the next few layers down. Those are the distractions FROM what they want. Ignore all that BS utterly and completely. Some among the left might even actually have themselves fooled. It’s common enough. Don’t let that fool you. If you take any of their bullshit (the surface assertions) seriously, you’ll be in a constant state of confusion, exasperation and anger, which, again, is the point of it.

    Sooner or later you’ll have to conclude that we’re staring pure, unadulterated, irrational and insane, inhuman evil right in the face. So what are we going to do about it?

  3. I’ve said this for years. Just about everyone will agree when you ask them “will people change their behavior when you change the incentives?” Well sure, they say. “So, if we raise taxes on cigarets, because they are bad for your, people will smoke less, right?” Well sure, they agree. “And if you raise taxes so high they can’t afford them, they will quit?” Well sure, they say. “So the fact they are addicts won’t send them to steal them, or smuggle them in from lower-tax or cheaper sources?” Uhhh, I suppose, perhaps, some might, maybe, they say. So they will admit only grudgingly the glaringly obvious. You ask them “will people invest more if you give them tax breaks for investing?” Of course, they say.
    Then you ask about welfare subsidizing failure, and taxes discouraging work, and they flatly refuse to admit that even at the margins that might happen. You might get a few who will admit that maybe, maybe, a few, a small percentage at the margins, might change their behavior that way, but that it’s cruel to throw out the good with the bad, and the rich can afford it, right? They all but admit they’d rather everyone drown because they want to try to pull everyone into the lifeboat, rather than limit the numbers and at least save some.
    At this point most of them want to quit talking to you because you are making them squirm with uncomfortable truths, and they don’t want to face the reality that they do not have consistent principles to apply, just unworkable “instincts” of fairness and a desire to “help the unfortunate.” They can’t see any logical problems with your argument, but they get a glimmer of the problems with THEIR argument, so they call you a hater, and mean, and stomp off.
    Not a good thing to do with a more senior co-worker, no matter how satisfying it might be at the time. Don’t ask me how I know.

  4. I’ve long advocated a flat 10-12% tax rate. Or, if you want to keep all the deductions currently available – children, charitable donations, etc. – a 15-18% tax rate.

    Most people would be better off. The “evil Rich” would have more, but they’d largely use it to invest in their (or others’) businesses, which usually means hiring more workers at competitive wages/salaries with benefits, which raises the income and quality of life for the lower-income folk. The more the “big spenders” have, the more they spend – including on their workers/employees – and it’s the wide-spread circulation of money that makes a healthy economy.

    As Margaret Thatcher pointed out, the Socialists are happy with the poor getting poorer, provided the rich get poorer with them. I’m happy if the rich get richer, because it tends to help the poor get richer, too. I’m a fan of a (relatively) low minimum wage; it keeps prices for commodities low across the board, allows employers to hire more workers, and encourages those workers to work harder to earn better jobs and better wages. And for the love of Pete, lose the negative stigma attached to “skilled labor” jobs – once upon a time, there was nothing wrong with being a carpenter, brick-layer, riveter, welder, plumber, mechanic, trucker, etc., and one could earn a decent living at those jobs. We don’t want or need a nation of middle-managers.

    I’m not advocating punishing the poor and downtrodden for being poor and downtrodden, but we certainly should not be punishing the rich and successful for being rich and successful. The “fair share” concept, isn’t; how is it “fair” to coerce the rich into paying for themselves PLUS everyone else, and let everyone else off scot-free? We should not be forcing those who work to provide for those who don’t; rather, we should be allowing the people who employ others to do their thing (mostly) unimpeded, and let the good times roll for all.

    • Which is why we hear about “the growing gap between rich and poor” without asking the question, “are the poor better off than they used to be?”

  5. One advocate for less taxes suggested that if there was a constitutional amendment requiring that only one tax be allowed, the rates would decrease. Right now I have no idea, and no easy way of knowing, exactly how many taxes I am paying in my daily life.

    If there was one “20%” payment due annually on all income, royalties, fees, dividends, interest, etc., without any exceptions or deductions, discussion of the tax rate would be more rational.

    • Look up the FairTax (www.fairtax.org). A flat retail 23% (inclusive) tax on all final goods and services, to cover EVERYTHING- defense, SS, Medicare, parks, welfare, everything. That is, you you buy a $10 item or service, the selling sends $2.30 to The Man for you. No other accounting. Everyone registers to get a “prebate,” a rebate on the taxes you’d pay on the first $X dollars of goods. If you earn less than that, it’s a small subsidy. It encourages saving and investing, encourages legal recidency because you have to be here legally to get the prebate, so illegals and tourists pay the tax starting on dollar uno.They figure it’s save more than $400 billion a year in tax accounting costs alone, and save the FedGov billions more in IRS enforcement. Get the government out of social engineering. Simple. non-invasive. Make the US the best place in the world to invest, so trillions would be repatriated, and a LOT of corporate HQs would move here. In other words, it’ll never happen.

  6. In a society that spends so much lip service on equality why should not the poor also contribute to the up keep of others. After all it is only fair and is for the children.

  7. Anything more than two or three percent is going to redistribution, and redistribution (the coercive kind that government practices) should be considered treason because it is a direct attack on liberty.

    If you want to help the poor, then help the poor, and good for you– far be it from anyone to get in your way. On the other hand, if you want to hold a gun to your neighbor’s head and rob him to “help” the poor, you should be shot– you’re nothing but a common criminal.

    • The story goes that the lawmakers talked about setting a limit of 3%, having started at 1%. Someones response was why would they ever get it that high, so why bother. Sigh…

  8. I don’t know about taxing the poor to reduce poverty but it would not be a bad idea to impose a surtax on people who have received government handouts if and when they get back on their feet. This would create revenue for other citizens in need of help.

    • FAIL. This idea violates human nature. It would be an incentive for people to not make an effort to get on their feet. Or, alternatively, to look for ways to cheat on the tax. Bad idea.

      • Exactly. The idea is to make it undesirable to be on the dole.

        In my opinion, a starting point would be to prohibit those on the dole from voting.

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