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Willisms

« 'The Voice Of God' | WILLisms.com | Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 100 »

America = Federal Government?

So much for the pioneer spirit of independent self-reliance, I guess. Just pay your taxes unblinkingly with a huge smile on your face, or, according to Matt Stoller, you are unAmerican!

"And I suppose, if you hate democracy, as the right-wing does, then taxes are the price for paying for something you really don't want. Personally, I find banking fees, high cable and internet charges, health care costs, and credit card hidden charges much more abrasive than taxes, because with those I'm just being ripped off to pay for someone's summer home."

Yep. If you in any way express support for the idea of lower taxes, you hate democracy! I guess that means John Fitzgerald Kennedy hated democracy. That's not all - wanting to cut taxes makes you 'deeply unpatriotic and immoral' and a 'charlatan' on top of it, especially if you are Grover Norquist. As if you have the democratic right to question how the public's money is spent.

Isn't this blog post just the precise type of thing that liberals claim to hate so much about McCarthyism? Who is Matt Stoller to proclaim that anyone is 'unAmerican' or 'deeply unpatriotic'? You can make your points without making extreme claims about the patriotism, morality, sanity, intelligence, etc., of your enemies. Not that the points he tries to make without ad hominem attacks aren't without their flaws: in addition to thinking that the federal government is the reason America exists, Stoller thinks that taxes somehow equal democracy. How America became a thriving democracy for over one hundred years before the creation of the income tax, Stoller does not explain.

(h/t Patrick Ruffini)

Posted by Ken McCracken · 16 April 2007 06:17 PM

Comments

if you hate democracy, as the right-wing does
The counter argument to this would be "If you hate the constitution, as the left-wing does". I find it interesting that the web site where Mr. Stoller is publishing his post is called "MyDD :: Direct Democracy". Apparently the idea is to eliminate our Republican form of government and replace it with a "direct democracy". The only way the left can actually, legally, accomplish that though is to amend the Constitution.

Article IV, section 4 of the Constitution says:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

And don't get me started on Mr. Stoller's "definition" of Patriotism.

Posted by: Perri Nelson at April 16, 2007 07:16 PM

Wow, what a confluence of bad logic. The Republic was founded by tax protestors. Jefferson listed the King's tax collectors as his chief grievance in the Declaration of Independence. Further, a form of government, whether democracy or republic, is independent of the extent to which the people thereof inflict taxes upon themselves. What a turd.

Posted by: zsa zsa at April 16, 2007 08:16 PM

Jefferson listed taxation without representation as one of many grievances against King George.

I notice you completely missed the point about a direct democracy being unconstitutional in the U.S. It's not that the right-wing hates democracy.

Rather it's that the right-wing understands that a "pure" democracy, rather than a representative democracy, or a constitutional republic which is the form of government we have, is a sure way to the tyranny of the mob.

Posted by: Perri Nelson at April 16, 2007 08:35 PM

By the way Zha Zha, are you really from http://willisms.com as the link associated with your name implies, or are you simply another anonymous coward from the left?

Jefferson listed about 26 grievances against King George in the Declaration. Of those, only one mentioned taxation at all.

Posted by: Perri Nelson at April 16, 2007 08:51 PM

Perri, I was disagreeing with Stoller, not you. Re the Declaration, I was talking about the part where the King sends out his officials to eat out our substance - I always took that to mean tax collectors. Sorry for not being more clear - I agree with your post...

Posted by: b from t at April 16, 2007 08:55 PM

My apologies then. I obviously assumed you were responding to my comment. How's that for ego? :-(

Stoller is definitely wrong in many ways.

Posted by: Perri Nelson at April 16, 2007 09:05 PM

Perri - chill out. You have to read more closely here and not just start kicking people you wrongly think disagree with you.

Stoller's comment is revealing in other ways as well. That "paying for someone's summer home" crack is pure class-warfare stereotype. Anytime a business charges you anything, someone is getting rich off your poor back, eh? Yeah, it's all just a racket, Matt. No one out there does any real work or provides a real service except the government.

The direct democracy part of DD is also amusing. Because thoroughgoing liberals, who amount to about 19% of the population, form coalitions with other groups to elect Democrats by a bare majority, they somehow conclude that the nation agrees with them and it's all some plot that they aren't ruling, as they deserve. Ah - I've got it! They don't listen to anyone else, and so think they're a majority.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at April 16, 2007 09:06 PM

By the way, I am not b from t. that was my husbands computer and I forgot to change the name. Sorry!

Posted by: zsa zsa at April 17, 2007 06:54 AM

Wow, that statement is idiotic on so many levels (who wants to bet this guy doesn't even pay much in taxes anyway?).

And I suppose, if you hate democracy, as the right-wing does

Does the left even bother to use the term "democracy" appropriately any more? Apparently to them, "democracy" means "anything I agree with," while "fascist" means "anything I disagree with". Now, personally, I don't love direct democracy, and that's because it allows idiots like this to join together and impose their idiocy on me.

Personally, I find banking fees, high cable and internet charges, health care costs, and credit card hidden charges much more abrasive than taxes

Personally, I don't (and this statement is what makes me think this guy doesn't pay much in taxes since, for me at least, all those expenses combined cost less than my taxes last year). But I have the choice of whether or not to pay most of these. Don't want hidden charges on your credit card? Don't have a credit card, change companies, or use it sparingly. Likewise, you don't need cable or internet serice. And perhaps paying for cable or internet service wouldn't be so onerous if your taxes weren't so high (again, if he even pays much in taxes).

because with those I'm just being ripped off to pay for someone's summer home.

As opposed to Ted Kennedy's summer home, I suppose? Or dozens of pork projects named after Robert Byrd?

But of course, all this fool really wants is to have someone else pay for all his stuff.

Posted by: Jason at April 17, 2007 08:33 AM

Does anyone know if Robert Byrd still has a statue inside the State Capitol building of himself? OR did they make him take it outside?

Posted by: zsa zsa at April 17, 2007 08:49 AM

Two more things: In a follow-up post, this Matt Stoller character makes the following claim:

It's axiomatic among right-wingers that the market always represents a certain form of truth, and that money paid for a good or service equals the value of that good or service.

Has he even ever met a right-winger? No right-winger I know of believes any such thing. The price of something simply represents how much the seller would like to make off of a product or service. The value of something is highly personal, which is why we don't all spend our money on exactly the same things.

Second thing: Despite demonizing right-wingers about being unpatriotic or "unAmerican" for wanting lower taxes, it seems to me that it's practically required of leftists to expect more out of government than they pay in (or, at the very least, make a claim to represent those who do). That's why they drone on and on about "the rich not paying their fair share" regardless of how much the rich actually pay.

Posted by: Jason at April 17, 2007 11:01 AM

Quoting JFK? I guess Ken would be pleased to raise the top tax bracket to ~70% as it was in JFK's era.

Stoller's article is absolutely correct; the rightwing wants a lot of things--they're just unwilling to pay for them. There's a word for someone who takes things without paying for them.

Posted by: Jadegold at April 17, 2007 11:20 AM

The Republic was founded by tax protestors.

Baloney. It's a nice myth but not true.

In reality, this country was founded by those wishing to avoid state-sponsored religion. After all, these "tax protestors" certainly made tax assessment and collection a constitutionally-protected duty of the federal government.

Posted by: Jadegold at April 17, 2007 11:30 AM

Stoller's article is absolutely correct; the rightwing wants a lot of things--they're just unwilling to pay for them. There's a word for someone who takes things without paying for them.

You mean the right wing wants massive transfer payments via the entitlement system to the poor to fight poverty, crime, drugs, etc? You mean the right wing wants the top 10% of earners in this country to pay 67% of the taxes, but somehow these same folks don't want to pay their own way? These folks that pay 67% of the taxes want a lot of things but are unwilling to pay for them?

http://www.willisms.com/archives/2007/04/trivia_tidbit_o_438.html

Don't be a douche.

Posted by: Justin B at April 17, 2007 12:08 PM

HA!... Way to go, Justin...

Posted by: zsa zsa at April 17, 2007 12:42 PM

Personally, I think I'm paying for a lot of things I don't want...

Posted by: Jason at April 17, 2007 12:50 PM

Me too!...

Posted by: zsa zsa at April 17, 2007 01:38 PM

I hate to keep harping on this, but I just have to point out one more thing. He states:

I don't like having less money to spend, of course, and the complexity of the process is really upsetting.

Um, I'm not tax expert, but isn't it only really complicated if you take deductions? Surely though, someone with such pious talk about paying for democracy, doing his patriotic duty, and whatnot wouldn't take all the deductions he could get his grubby little hands on, would he?

Posted by: Jason at April 17, 2007 03:33 PM

AND...Paying for democracy? Does that include supporting our military? The Dems don't seem too eager to contribute to democracy to me???

Posted by: zsa zsa at April 17, 2007 04:00 PM

Poor Justin. Much as I dislike taking the poorly-educated to task, it's a guilty pleasure.

You mean the right wing wants massive transfer payments via the entitlement system to the poor to fight poverty, crime, drugs, etc?

Before I take on Justin's "massive transfer payments" to "the poor" misrepresentation, let's take a look at poverty, crime, drugs, etc.

Justin pretends p,c,d,etc. affects only the poor. In reality, however, p,c,d, etc. cuts across all economic classes. Since Justin likes his quickie statistics, here's one: In 2003, the FBI estimated the cost of burglary in the United States was $3.5 billion, $4.9 billion for larceny-theft, and $8.6 billion for motor vehicle theft. That's about $17B per year for what would be considered street crime. Yet, in 2003, so-called "white collar crime" cost nearly $250B.

Think about the comparative damage caused by a Ken Lay as compared to the crook who steals your 2002 Camry.

Justin also pretends the rich are unduly burdened in terms of wealth transfer. Of course, this also isn't true. Justin may not understand this-- lower income families pay a much larger share of their income in payroll taxes than do richer families. Remember, payrolls are taxed at a flat rate, and there’s a salary cap of $97,500 for taxes that support Social Security. That makes for a regressive tax: low- and middle-income families pay about 9% of their income on payroll taxes compared to 2% for those in top 1%.

You mean the right wing wants the top 10% of earners in this country to pay 67% of the taxes, but somehow these same folks don't want to pay their own way?

To whom did the tax cuts go, Justin? I know I got them. But the rightwing wants more cuts for people like me.

There's a reason why the wealthy pay more in taxes and why they should: we use more of the services. After all, If I own a Mercedes, I should expect to pay more in terms of insurance or repair costs than if I owned a Kia. As someone in the top 2-3%, I use services that someone near the poverty line will never utilize. For instance, I have a lot of money in the market. As such, I benefit disproportionately by having an SEC that protects investors such as myself. If I own a business--my products may be protected by patents or trademarks or copyrights. The list goes on.

Posted by: Jadegold at April 17, 2007 06:29 PM

Justin also pretends the rich are unduly burdened in terms of wealth transfer. Of course, this also isn't true. Justin may not understand this-- lower income families pay a much larger share of their income in payroll taxes than do richer families. Remember, payrolls are taxed at a flat rate, and there’s a salary cap of $97,500 for taxes that support Social Security. That makes for a regressive tax: low- and middle-income families pay about 9% of their income on payroll taxes compared to 2% for those in top 1%.

Oh, that 9% of taxes that they pay for Social Security that they get back later in life combined with the complete lack of income tax for the lower 50% of wage earners translates into a higher tax burden as a percentage of income than the 37.5% top marginal tax rate, the 15% dividends tax rate, the capital gains tax rates...

Yeah, 9% of total income is a lot more than 37.5%. Sure, there is a cap on social security taxes. Boy, that really screws the little guys.

If social security paid out based on how much you paid in, then the wealthy should pay more in and get more back. But if it is capped on the payout, but not on the payin, that is hosed dude. Social Security is not a tax, but a retirement program that everyone is entitled to with a giant lockbox in DC, right? Get your Democrat talking points straight. If you want to reform the system of paying in to Social Security, how bout reforming Social Security.

Use a better example.

Posted by: Justin B at April 17, 2007 06:46 PM

After all, If I own a Mercedes, I should expect to pay more in terms of insurance or repair costs than if I owned a Kia.

Entitlements are 54% of spending and Defense is another 20%.

There's a reason why the wealthy pay more in taxes and why they should: we use more of the services.

You mean the wealthy use more medicare, medicaid, social security and defense spending than everyone else? That the top 10% of families use 67% of the national defense services, medicair, medicaid, etc.?

Good logic. Please clarify how big the SEC budget is in comparison to defense spending. Waht was your other example--the patent and trademark office? Nice examples. Come back to reality dude.

Posted by: Justin B at April 17, 2007 06:52 PM

Posted by: Justin B at April 17, 2007 06:53 PM

http://www.cbpp.org/3-7-03bud.htm

Sorry, won't take images.

Posted by: Justin B at April 17, 2007 06:54 PM

Jadegold:

I don't know how you got to be wealthy, since you don't seem all that bright, but if you want to pay more in taxes, don't let us stop you. Hell, if you want, you can send checks directly to me if it makes you feel better.

There's really no need for you to argue with us about how you should be paying more taxes. Just pay them. And if you still don't think you've paid enough, donate to charity. But please don't tell us right-wingers what we want and what we're willing to pay for because you obviously have no idea.

Posted by: Jason at April 17, 2007 11:04 PM

Heck, Jadegold, I would let you pay my taxes IF that would make you feel good??? XOooo Love ya man!

Posted by: zsa zsa at April 18, 2007 08:29 AM

Oh, that 9% of taxes that they pay for Social Security that they get back later in life combined with the complete lack of income tax for the lower 50% of wage earners translates into a higher tax burden as a percentage of income than the 37.5% top marginal tax rate, the 15% dividends tax rate, the capital gains tax rates...

Poor Justin, he can't help displaying his ignorance for all to see.

Rich and poor receive SS benefits, though Justin implies only the poor get them. Further, Justin then pretends the top tax rates still apply to those over 65 and receiving SS which simply is untrue.

Moreover, Justin asserts SS is a retirement program. Again, this is a misrepresentation. Even the SSA admits SS isn't a retirement plan and tells those who can read that if SS is your only retirement plan--you're not going to have a great retirement. Of course, SS provides an insurance program--again available to rich or poor--that will cover children and surviving spouses in the event a breadwinner dies or is incapacitated.

Justin also likes to talk entitlements. So do I.
Justin pretends entitlements only go to the poor. Of course, Justin doesn't mention one of the biggest entitlement programs is the home mortgage deduction. Again, a quickie stat for Justin: the top 0.5% wealthiest receive almost 20% of the home mortgage deduction benefits.

In reality, wealthier citizens receive the bulk of entitlements--largely via the tax code. Which brings up another point--I'll bet no wealthy person pays the maximum tax rate. Why? Because there are virtually no shortage of ways to limit tax exposure. If they do, they're probably in Justin's IQ percentile.

WRT defense, again, I win on points. Justin presumes the cost of defending one US citizen is the same as defending another. An utterly ridiculous assumption; who has more to lose--Bill Gates or Joe Sixpack?

Posted by: jadegold at April 18, 2007 10:53 AM

Justin pretends entitlements only go to the poor. Of course, Justin doesn't mention one of the biggest entitlement programs is the home mortgage deduction. Again, a quickie stat for Justin: the top 0.5% wealthiest receive almost 20% of the home mortgage deduction benefits.

As well as this combined:

Rich and poor receive SS benefits, though Justin implies only the poor get them.

Deductions are simply not the same as things like earned income credits. Deductions allow one to reduce what they owe to government, so to allow an individual to keep more of what they earn is clearly not the same as to redistribute the earnings of someone else back to them. Deducting the cost of owning a home or doing business are "entitlements". Keeping what you earn is an entitlement.

In reality, wealthier citizens receive the bulk of entitlements--largely via the tax code. Which brings up another point--I'll bet no wealthy person pays the maximum tax rate. Why? Because there are virtually no shortage of ways to limit tax exposure. If they do, they're probably in Justin's IQ percentile.

Because wealthy people get "deductions" for things like owning real estate and investing and running a business? You mean that business owners should not get to deduct their investments into their business or legitimate business expenses like automobiles and travel and equipment and supplies?

It is silly to say that no wealthy person pays the maximum tax rate and at the same time not acknowledge that the bottom half of tax payers pay no tax at all and most receive an earned income credit on top of not paying any taxes at all. What entitles one person to not pay any tax at all and get a net redistribution back but forces another to pay a progressively larger and larger tax burden?

The goal of society is to increase the opportunities and provide a framework for economic prosperity for all. That is only achieved through economic expansion, not through forced government redistribution. As we progressively seek to increase taxes on the rich, we slow the economic expansion that benefits rich and poor alike.

Is the purpose of higher taxes to increase government revenue or to increase the fair distribution of wealth to the poor? It seems that the two of us fundamentally disagree on the sole purpose of taxes. My belief is that they are there to pay for the operation of government and should be as limited as possible. That government and the tax system's role is to pay for the necessities of government, not to social engineer "fairness" and "equality" between rich and poor.

Posted by: Justin B at April 18, 2007 11:18 AM

sorry, missed a blockquote

Posted by: Justin B at April 18, 2007 11:20 AM

Deductions are simply not the same as things like earned income credits. Deductions allow one to reduce what they owe to government, so to allow an individual to keep more of what they earn is clearly not the same as to redistribute the earnings of someone else back to them. Deducting the cost of owning a home or doing business are "entitlements". Keeping what you earn is an entitlement.

Despite Justin's badly mangled paragraph, the crux is plain. Justin seems to believe deductions and entitlements are vastly different.

They are, of course, not.

Let's take the home mortgage deduction for an example. Let's say I buy a $1M home. I put $200K down and take a mortgage for $800K. That mortgage costs money; the lender is going to charge you interest and fees for the use of that $800K for the mortgage period. Yet, thanks to the home mortgage deduction, Uncle Sam subsidizes part of the cost of that mortgage for you. Further, should your home appreciate and/or you pay off the mortgage--you receive 100% of any appreciation despite the fact Uncle Sam was subsidizing your loan for the past 20 or 30 years.

Similarly, when a business owner buys or upgrades equipment for the business, he or she does so with the expectation it will increase profits for the business. Regardless of whether profitability is achieved, Uncle Sam subsidizes the cost of these business purchases.

Is the purpose of higher taxes to increase government revenue or to increase the fair distribution of wealth to the poor?

Neither. The purpose of taxes is to pay for goods and services provided.

Posted by: Jadegold at April 18, 2007 01:10 PM

Yet, thanks to the home mortgage deduction, Uncle Sam subsidizes part of the cost of that mortgage for you.

Funny, but I get a 1099 for interest on my investments. So what you want is the Mortgage company to pay taxes on the interest income on their end and the homeowner to also pay taxes on his income that he is using to pay interest.

Mortgage income is taxible income by the investor that lends the money. Did you not realize that or are you in favor of taxing the same dollar every time it changes hands? Uncle Sam is not subsidizing anything, it is that the company receiving interest income is paying taxes on it and allowing the party that pays the expense of mortgage interest on a PRIMARY OR SECONDARY RESIDENCE to deduct that interest.

The mortgage deduction only applies to first and second residences and encourages home ownership by providing an incentive to own as opposed to rent.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html#d0e538

For you to take a home mortgage interest deduction, your debt must be secured by a qualified home. This means your main home or your second home. A home includes a house, condominium, cooperative, mobile home, house trailer, boat, or similar property that has sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities.

The interest you pay on a mortgage on a home other than your main or second home may be deductible if the proceeds of the loan were used for business, investment, or other deductible purposes. Otherwise, it is considered personal interest and is not deductible.

Are you proposing to completely eliminate the mortgage interest deduction or put a cap on the amount of interest one can deduct? What is that cap? Why should someone that pays for a $50M house be taxed on their mortgage interest and someone else with a $50,000 house not? Is your cap based on income of the individual or the size of the mortgage?

Provide some specifics here.

Posted by: Justin B at April 18, 2007 07:24 PM

Justin elects to obfucate the issue beacuse he understands he's wrong. So he throws a little smoke to mask his retreat.

Funny, but I get a 1099 for interest on my investments.

Makes no difference, a 1099 is merely a reporting device. Your mortgage lender provides a similar reporting device to you and the IRS.

Mortgage income is taxible income by the investor that lends the money

So what? It's income. As in, you know, 'income tax.' Sheesh.


The mortgage deduction only applies to first and second residences and encourages home ownership by providing an incentive to own as opposed to rent.

Again, so what? Why does the Govt. offer this incentive? Hint: it has to do with home development lobbies pouring big bucks into campaign coffers.

Are you proposing to completely eliminate the mortgage interest deduction or put a cap on the amount of interest one can deduct?

More smoke. Let's try to remember the issue, Justin. Remember that it was your contention that the poor were getting all the benefit from those unfortunate rich folks who are paying taxes?


Posted by: Jadegold at April 19, 2007 01:03 PM

Remember that it was your contention that the poor were getting all the benefit from those unfortunate rich folks who are paying taxes?

No, quite the contrary. Your original statement was:

Stoller's article is absolutely correct; the rightwing wants a lot of things--they're just unwilling to pay for them. There's a word for someone who takes things without paying for them.

My response was:

You mean the right wing wants massive transfer payments via the entitlement system to the poor to fight poverty, crime, drugs, etc? You mean the right wing wants the top 10% of earners in this country to pay 67% of the taxes, but somehow these same folks don't want to pay their own way? These folks that pay 67% of the taxes want a lot of things but are unwilling to pay for them?

There is no way to justify 90% of the people contributing only 33% of the total taxes and 10% contributing 67%. None. And the percentage that the "Right Wingers" or the Rich pay continues to rise.

You come back and claim that the rich get all these deductions and credits, but even with those credits and deductions, the top 10% still pay 67% of the taxes. Your argument is that the top 10% need to pay even more. Maybe 70% or 75% of the burden. At what point is the current distribution of taxes no longer equitable?

The author of the article stated that he takes pride in paying his taxes. I believe that every American should be given the same opportunity to contribute a portion of their income to paying taxes, but that portion should be as small as possible for everyone and as fair as possible for everyone. The highest earners pay a larger proportion of their total income to taxes no matter how you slice it.

In reality, wealthier citizens receive the bulk of entitlements--largely via the tax code. Which brings up another point--I'll bet no wealthy person pays the maximum tax rate. Why? Because there are virtually no shortage of ways to limit tax exposure. If they do, they're probably in Justin's IQ percentile.

If the wealthy have so many ways to avoid paying taxes, why is it that the top 10% still pay 67% of income? Why do you have a problem with wealthy Americans keeping some of what they earn? You want to increase the proportion of total taxes that the top 10% pay by eliminating "entitlements" that the rich have like mortgage interest deductions.

You can continue attacking my ignorance for my understanding of the tax code or whatever you are attacking. We simply have a fundamental disagreement on the way that the tax burden of supporting this country should be distributed. If you think we should raise taxes on the rich, fair enough. Leave it at that.

Posted by: Justin B at April 19, 2007 04:35 PM

BTW, is there a reason why you troll here? Is there something you hope to gain by insulting me or the other readers? Aren't there better places to display your intellect and make friends and influence people than by trolling on a right wing blog?

It is a sad state when you blog with a bunch of hatemongers.

Posted by: Justin B at April 19, 2007 04:39 PM

Hahhhhhaaaha! Justin, you are too funny!

Posted by: zsa zsa at April 19, 2007 06:00 PM

There is no way to justify 90% of the people contributing only 33% of the total taxes and 10% contributing 67%. None

That's been explained to you; again, the wealthy use more in terms of goods and services. And as I've demonstarted the wealthy disproportionately have access to entitlements.

Your argument is that the top 10% need to pay even more. Maybe 70% or 75% of the burden. At what point is the current distribution of taxes no longer equitable?

A thoroughly beaten Justin resorts to lying. Nowhere did I say the "top 10%" should do anything.

Why do you have a problem with wealthy Americans keeping some of what they earn?

More dishonesty from Justin. Some? The true test of fairness is on an individual basis. That is, what percentage of taxes does one pay in relation to one's income. Again, the wealthy use far more goods and services--plus they have access to entitlements that aren't available or aren't readily available to the poor. Yet, Justin is pretending everyone has the same access and use the exact same services.

BTW, is there a reason why you troll here? Is there something you hope to gain by insulting me or the other readers? Aren't there better places to display your intellect and make friends and influence people than by trolling on a right wing blog?

Is there a substantive difference between "trolling" and acting like a cheerleader waving pom-poms in support of the latest rightwing goofiness? I think not.

The real question you should be asking is why you fear having your misinformation questioned. Let's remember: you're the one attacking a leftwing blogger's article. The truly honest way--if honesty is your motive--to confront that which you disagree with would be to comment on the leftwinger's site. But I suspect you understand your poor grasp of the issue would be met with derision. So, you retreat to the friendly confines of a rightwing site where you have parrots who won't question your misinformation and dishonesty.

Posted by: Jadegold at April 20, 2007 08:21 AM

Ater reading this interesting argument, I want to thank Justin for not adopting a superior, condescending attitude. Ken's original point is expressed by the title of his post. The US and the federal government are not the same. Democracy is not the same as a tax regime. Justin also has summarized the debate well - what is the best way to administer a tax system? Jadegold believes that those with higher income or wealth or something should pay more in taxes because they receive more from the govt. or society or someone and that he has demonstrated that. After review, I do not find the demonstration, and I disagree with the idea that Americans are undertaxed, whatever income or wealth category they have earned their way into.

Posted by: zsa zsa at April 20, 2007 06:52 PM

That's been explained to you; again, the wealthy use more in terms of goods and services. And as I've demonstarted the wealthy disproportionately have access to entitlements.

Let me summarize:

As someone in the top 2-3%, I use services that someone near the poverty line will never utilize. For instance, I have a lot of money in the market. As such, I benefit disproportionately by having an SEC that protects investors such as myself. If I own a business--my products may be protected by patents or trademarks or copyrights.

But there is more:

Of course, Justin doesn't mention one of the biggest entitlement programs is the home mortgage deduction. Again, a quickie stat for Justin: the top 0.5% wealthiest receive almost 20% of the home mortgage deduction benefits.

OK, so your logic for raising taxes on the wealthy is that they receive "one of the biggest entitlement programs"--the home mortgage deduction.

The wealthy's entitlement is that they get to deduct their mortgage expense from their taxes while all other Americans get to deduct their mortgage interest from their taxes. So clearly the wealthy get the home mortgage "entitlement" and because they get this "entitlement" they should pay more in taxes to fund this "entitlement". Oh, yeah, and they have the SEC and the Patent office that they should pay for too.

Despite the 10% of the top wage earners paying 67% of the taxes, they should pay more because they receive the mortgage interest deduction. They should pay more because they receive an "entitlement" to pay less.

Your logic astounds me good sir. I am dizzy from going around in your circular logic. Just cut to the chase--the wealthy don't pay enough in taxes and we need to strip them of their mortgage deduction and tax them more because they need Defense Spending and the SEC and the Patent Office more than the average American and already get the benefit of the Mortgage deduction that allows them to pay less than their fair share and only pay 67% of the taxes.

Damn dude. Just say it. Don't pull that BS of trying to confuse the issue. Just say what you mean to say. The wealthy should pay more than their 67%.

Posted by: Justin B at April 20, 2007 08:37 PM

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