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  • Alternative to the Income Tax

    Interesting idea to constrain Federal spending:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...lth-care-game/

    Repeal the 16th Amendment to the Constitution (ratified Feb. 3, 1913) which gives Congress the power to lay and collect taxes, and replace it with an amendment that requires each state to remit to the federal government a certain percent of its tax revenue.
    Let's assume that each state would have to transfer one-third (it could be a different ratio) of its tax-and-fee revenue to the federal government. The federal government would have to constrain its spending, for it would not control its source of revenue. New programs would be severely limited because there would be no authority to finance them. This dynamic would force the creation of new programs by the states because they would still have the authority to tax. The federal government could still issue debt, but given the discipline of markets, this would be self-limiting because the government would not be able to tax in order to pay principal and interest when due. New entitlements would be limited for the same reason. Federal spending ultimately would be limited to the necessities of government. Other spending and programs would now be the states' purview.
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

  • #2
    Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

    We don't need to cut federal spending. We're getting national socialism. We want to get more money from the big makers of it. We're going to spread the wealth around... yes... we... can... :/

    sigpic
    "The true genius shudders at incompleteness - and usually prefers silence to saying
    something which is not everything it should be." Edgar Allan Poe

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    • #3
      Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

      Well, we could instead get rid of all state and local income taxation, and replace it with extra Federal taxation. Why duplicate effort? Why should Alaskans and the people of New Hampshire pay less income tax than Californians?
      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

        Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
        Interesting idea to constrain Federal spending
        Interesting, but sadly not feasible. The 'Statist' politicians in Washington would never agree to taking away their authority to levy taxes whenever they choose. I've read quite a few theories over the years about different ways of restructuring the taxing authority of the Federal government. It would be nice if any of those plans could even get a debate started about the issue. Unfortunately, Americans seem uninterested in restraining the government and their spending.

        The article was written by William G. Shipman, a member of the decidedly libertarian Cato Institute. Not so long ago libertarians would argue that the 16th Amendment and the IRS should be completely abolished - with no Federal income tax at all. That was just fodder for pro-government mainstreamers who used that to discredit their argument as not practical thinking. Maybe this latest plan is a more moderate notion to avoid being ridiculed, using it like medical marijuana to open the door to full legalization. I'm willing to support almost any reform to stop the deficit spending at this point.

        There has always been a decent libertarian argument for repealing the 16th amendment. That would mean the Federal government would be back into compliance with its original Constitutional authority. This makes big government advocates shudder at the very thought of such a thing.

        A 10 Percent Tax Cut? Repeal the 16th Amendment Instead

        In 1913, the 16th Amendment - the income tax amendment - was added to the U.S. Constitution. It was a watershed event in American history, for it fundamentally transformed the relationship between the American people and the federal government.

        For approximately 125 years, the American people had lived without a federal income tax. Individuals were free to earn unlimited amounts of wealth, and there was nothing that Congress and the president could do about it. The Constitution had not granted the federal government the power to levy a tax on incomes.

        Why didn't our Founding Fathers grant the government such a power in the first place? The answer is found in the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson emphasized that all men have certain fundamental rights with which no government can legitimately interfere. Among those rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

        What was truly revolutionary about the Declaration is the notion that the exercise of such rights is actually immune from the control of government, even if the government is democratically elected. For example, even if 97 percent of the American people demanded a law requiring everyone to attend church on Sunday, their duly elected congressmen would not have the power to enact such a law. Whether to worship or not is immune from majority rule.

        The reason that the Founders did not grant the federal government the power to levy an income tax is that they believed that a person's income - that is, the property he acquires through labor and exchange - is itself immune from majority vote. That is, they believed that an essential aspect of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the right of each person to acquire wealth and property and then decide what to do with it.

        What was central to the thinking of the Founders was the notion that the individual, not the government, is sovereign and supreme over his own life and his own income and savings. Government officials were viewed merely as servants, their primary duty being to ensure that violent people did not interfere with the exercise of fundamental rights, e.g., the unlimited accumulation of wealth.

        The 16th Amendment inverted this relationship between the American people and their national government. By nationalizing income, the amendment caused the federal government to become sovereign and supreme and the citizens to assume the role of servants.

        Nationalizing income? Yes, that's exactly what the 16th Amendment did. Today, the federal government owns everyone's income and, by setting the percentage of tax to be paid, in effect provides each citizen with an allowance. Sometimes they are good to us and permit us to keep more of our money. Sometimes they are not so good and permit us to keep less. But what matters is not the exact percentage of income tax but rather the fact that government officials have the power to set the percentage.

        Assume that I am your pharaoh and, as such, have the power to force you to work for me seven days a week. I decide to be nice to you and force you to work for me only one day a week. Does my benevolence change the nature of our relationship? Of course not. You remain my slave even though you are working six days a week for yourself, because I'm the one giving you permission to do so. If I'm the one setting the percentage of time you must devote to me, I am the master and you are the servant.

        A much more honest and direct approach - one that would truly reflect what the 16th Amendment has done to the American people - would be to impose a 100 percent withholding tax on everyone, enabling all income to flow directly to Washington; each citizen would later be sent a U.S. Treasury check as his governmental allowance. At least then, the American people would be able to see clearly how the passage of the 16th Amendment fundamentally changed their relationship to their government.

        Should Congress give us a 10 percent income tax cut and IRS reform? Shouldn't we be asking a more fundamental question: Why not recapture the principles of liberty on which America was founded by simply abolishing the income tax and the IRS through the repeal of the 16th Amendment?
        According to Wikipedia, here are the total individual tax reciepts and spending for 2010.

        Total receipts
        Estimated receipts for fiscal year 2010 are $2.381 trillion, an estimated decrease of 11% from 2009.

        $1.061 trillion Individual income taxes
        $940 billion Social Security and other payroll tax
        $222 billion Corporation income taxes
        $77 billion Excise taxes
        $23 billion Customs duties
        $20 billion Estate and gift taxes
        $22 billion Deposits of earnings
        $16 billion Other
        If you took away the individual income taxes the government could not even pay for the mandatory spending.

        Total spending

        The President's budget for 2010 totals $3.55 trillion. Percentages in parentheses indicate percentage change compared to 2009. This budget request is broken down by the following expenditures:

        Mandatory spending: $2.184 trillion (+15.6%)
        $695 billion (+4.9%) Social Security
        $453 billion (+6.6%) Medicare
        $290 billion (+12.0%) Medicaid
        $0 billion (−100%) Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)
        $0 billion (−100%) Financial stabilization efforts
        $11 billion (+275%) Potential disaster costs
        $571 billion (−15.2%) Other mandatory programs
        $164 billion (+18.0%) Interest on National Debt
        This discretionary spending is what really destroys the budget each year. Clearly SOME of these departments are needed, but many are bloated and need to be cut or eliminated.

        Discretionary spending: $1.368 trillion (+13.1%)
        $663.7 billion (+12.7%) Department of Defense (including Overseas Contingency Operations)
        $78.7 billion (−1.7%) Department of Health and Human Services
        $72.5 billion (+2.8%) Department of Transportation
        $52.5 billion (+10.3%) Department of Veterans Affairs
        $51.7 billion (+40.9%) Department of State and Other International Programs
        $47.5 billion (+18.5%) Department of Housing and Urban Development
        $46.7 billion (+12.8%) Department of Education
        $42.7 billion (+1.2%) Department of Homeland Security
        $26.3 billion (−0.4%) Department of Energy
        $26.0 billion (+8.8%) Department of Agriculture
        $23.9 billion (−6.3%) Department of Justice
        $18.7 billion (+5.1%) National Aeronautics and Space Administration
        $13.8 billion (+48.4%) Department of Commerce
        $13.3 billion (+4.7%) Department of Labor
        $13.3 billion (+4.7%) Department of the Treasury
        $12.0 billion (+6.2%) Department of the Interior
        $10.5 billion (+34.6%) Environmental Protection Agency
        $9.7 billion (+10.2%) Social Security Administration
        $7.0 billion (+1.4%) National Science Foundation
        $5.1 billion (−3.8%) Corps of Engineers
        $5.0 billion (+100%) National Infrastructure Bank
        $1.1 billion (+22.2%) Corporation for National and Community Service
        $0.7 billion (0.0%) Small Business Administration
        $0.6 billion (−14.3%) General Services Administration
        $19.8 billion (+3.7%) Other Agencies
        $105 billion Other
        Completely abolishing the 16th Amendment is a pipe dream at this point. The government has grown too large and powerful. But I'm sure there is at least 1+ trillion dollars that could be saved annually by cutting or eliminating departments, agencies, and defense spending. That would at least stop the deficit spending each year.
        |TG-X| mp40x



        Register for the Forums! | Get on Teamspeak! | Play Squad! | Join Discord! | Support Tactical Gamer!

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        • #5
          Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

          Ok, first off shuffling where the tax is collected at the state vs Federal level for income still makes it an income tax. An alternative would be something like a property tax.

          I also found this funny:
          For approximately 125 years, the American people had lived without a federal income tax. Individuals were free to earn unlimited amounts of wealth, and there was nothing that Congress and the president could do about it. The Constitution had not granted the federal government the power to levy a tax on incomes.
          Bill Gates sure made a fortune of essentially unlimited wealth while being taxed the whole time, and the government had nothing to they could do about it.

          The whole issue is how much money should the Federal government be collecting and spending. Items like bridges and infrastructure may or may not need to be Federally funded but how much of that should be resting on the Federal government instead of the State? Someone has to pay for it so it will either be a national pool to be divided between the states through Congress, which Federal taxes are, or individual states would be required to pay for their own stuff. As I have stated before the Nation as a whole has more influence in the identity of US citizens so I don't think the resources being pooled and distributed is in itself a bad idea but I do think that a lot of spending is being included unnecessarily when they are items that only apply to one state. While pork barrel spending is generally a very small percentage of actual spending, all it does is allow more more focus on spending amendments to distract from other issues.

          But whether the taxes are collected through income taxes, property taxes or taxes on business which simply filter back to the individual the taxes will be collected. The main problem with income tax is that is structured so that the burden is on the middle part of the income spectrum as the more you make the easier it is to allocate it to something that is either not taxed or taxed differently.
          |TG-6th|Snooggums

          Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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          • #6
            Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

            Everybody should just give up the idea that the USA is a collection of individual states with an overriding federal oversight to enable states to interact. It hasn't been that since the North beat the South in the civil war. At that point the national government gained control and the states lost most their independence.

            You want states to gain some of that back? Go win a civil war.
            Im not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
            - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
            - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
            - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
            - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
            - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
            - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

              Makes sense to me. Dissolve the States. They're just as much a fiction as the Constitution. We're the New Rome, or at least the New British Empire, and should just suffer it.

              We should also seize all those pesky territories we currently occupy and declare them US property. Extend our so-called rights and our tax and regulatory burden to them.
              Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

              snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

              Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

                Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                Makes sense to me. Dissolve the States. They're just as much a fiction as the Constitution. We're the New Rome, or at least the New British Empire, and should just suffer it.

                We should also seize all those pesky territories we currently occupy and declare them US property. Extend our so-called rights and our tax and regulatory burden to them.
                No, no, no. That isn't how it works. There is nobody directing this thing. It is just the natural progression of human activity. I don't know where it will end up but I know it isn't going to go backwards anytime soon. Even if you got a few true libertarians in power nothing would really change because, let's face it, very few people want things radically different.

                So the only thing you and all the others that think the government is bad can do is revolt. Pick up your arms while you can and claim your own little piece of North America for yourselves. But if you are going to revolt do it soon. Your complaining about the government is getting rather tiresome. :)
                Im not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

                  I'm thinking the revolution is more realistically about 1-4 centuries in the future, after the current system collapses and fragments. I've given up on trying to change things and just report the collapse. (Complaining is just what us curmudgeons do. ;))
                  Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                  snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                  Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

                    Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                    I'm thinking the revolution is more realistically about 1-4 centuries in the future, after the current system collapses and fragments. I've given up on trying to change things and just report the collapse. (Complaining is just what us curmudgeons do. ;))
                    I would never try to stop your right to bitch. That is a sacred right.

                    I just want to see a revolt. Your leaders would be Ron Paul and Sara Palin. That would be GREAT reality TV!
                    Im not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

                      Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                      I would never try to stop your right to bitch. That is a sacred right.
                      Even that is slipping away.

                      I just want to see a revolt. Your leaders would be Ron Paul and Sara Palin. That would be GREAT reality TV!
                      Add Ralph Nader and you'd have a good 3-way fight.
                      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

                        Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                        Everybody should just give up the idea that the USA is a collection of individual states with an overriding federal oversight to enable states to interact. It hasn't been that since the North beat the South in the civil war. At that point the national government gained control and the states lost most their independence.

                        You want states to gain some of that back? Go win a civil war.
                        No, that is an outrageous notion. The rights of individual states is one of the core principles of our democratic republic. The Federal government has exercised it's authority over the states in many situations - some good, some bad - but the Federal government should not be viewed as our benevolent counselor and saviour. Their primary role is to protect our individual rights and liberties as outlined in the Constitution. There is meant to be balance in this approach, not to impose sweeping authority over the states.

                        States' rights

                        Commerce Clause

                        Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

                        Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

                        Equal Protection Clause

                        Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                        So the only thing you and all the others that think the government is bad can do is revolt. Pick up your arms while you can and claim your own little piece of North America for yourselves. But if you are going to revolt do it soon. Your complaining about the government is getting rather tiresome. :)
                        You may have said that in jest, but that's part of the problem. What's 'tiresome' is the constant acceptance of everything big and government. Many of the pro-government crowd in the Sandbox always leave out one small minute detail. How are you going to pay for all this government? Many of you have been more than slack in this regard and routinely ignore the national debt and deficit spending as if it will just magically go away on its own somehow.

                        Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                        I would never try to stop your right to bitch. That is a sacred right.

                        I just want to see a revolt. Your leaders would be Ron Paul and Sara Palin. That would be GREAT reality TV!
                        Sarah Palins politics are rooted in neoconservatism, therefore making her irrelevant to any reasonable discussion. My support for Ron Paul is based on a few key issues that are important to me, his advocacy for individual liberty and his opposition to an interventionist foreign policy and the War on Drugs. After that I must part ways with Mr. Paul as he appears to be a super capitalist grounded in the Ayn Rand school of thought, although his sound monetary policy opinions do get an honorable mention.

                        Strict regulation on banks and financial markets is neccessary. Some think this goes against free market priciples, but you are not regulating the markets themselves but rather the people who participate in them. It's obvious that without this regulation greed would rise above the common good - this has become apparent in recent history. As the Apostle Paul once said; For the love of money is the root of all evil.

                        When you say 'your leaders' by including Sarah Palin you mean to discredit any argument against big government as nonsense - because of her radical neoconservative views. This attempt to categorize by association is meritless and does no service to those that speak out against the policies of our government. My opinions are my own, there is no need to lump everyone together with Palin. Let me explain.

                        I support some government social programs such as Social Security. These types of programs are neccessary in a free market capitalist society like the United States. Why? It's obvious that over time the gap between the rich and the poor becomes too wide. There has to be some redistribution of wealth when 5% of the population has more wealth than the lower 95% combined. If social programs did not exist Wall Street would look like the Green Zone in Baghdad with the peasants outside it's walls protesting in armed insurrection. This is just the nature of capitalism.

                        I have libertarian views on some issues but liberal views on others, I'm also a fiscal conservative. I don't believe the government should keep growing unopposed. Balance the budget, pay off the debt, cut or eliminate wasteful agencies and departments, and then lets talk about a voluntary national healthcare plan for everyone. Or, keep giving the government carte blanche by not speaking up against it's lavish spending and see where we end up.
                        |TG-X| mp40x



                        Register for the Forums! | Get on Teamspeak! | Play Squad! | Join Discord! | Support Tactical Gamer!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Alternative to the Income Tax

                          Originally posted by mp40x View Post
                          No, that is an outrageous notion.
                          Why outrageous? Do you have any indication that it is wrong?

                          Maybe as a civilization grows it can't do anything but adopt a more homogenized type government.

                          There are no more frontiers that individuals can escape to. Technology means that today New York is just as close to Beijing as New York was to Washington DC back in 1776. Maybe even closer.

                          Is there any reason to think that states can maintain the same independence today as they did when the country was founded? Besides tradition and ideology that is.
                          Im not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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