« Cranks | Main | My New Hero »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The only non-socialist tax plan is a true flat tax (where every person pays the same AMOUNT). What the Republicans tout is a flat RATE tax, which still puts a bigger tax burden(dollar-wise) on the wealthy.

A flat(amount)tax treats everyone equally and does not redistribute wealth. If there is such a thing as a fair tax, a flat (amount) tax would be it. The only thing better would be no taxes at all.

It's not tax policy specifically that makes us call him a socialists. It's the fact that he wants to wield the tax policy like a weapon to soak "the rich" (which is an ever changing target) to pay for any number of "free" services for the "poor", all in the name of social justice. That, my friend, is socialist.

If I had my dream tax plan, it would be a straight 16% for everyone, whether you made $1 or $1 billion.

SO you'd tax the first dollar? You'd tax people into poverty?

Run on that, Frank. See how electable you are.

I didn't say it would be popular, but that is the only "fair" tax there is. It will never happen, because no one has the balls to stand in front of the American people and say it. That being said, I believe in a much flatter system than we have now.

All of this highlights what our biggest economic problem is in this country. It's not fair to tax the first dollar. It's not fair that some people are less fortunate or don't plan well for their retirement. But most politicians don't have the balls to also say it is not the job of government to provide fairness. It's not the government's job to take care of everyone.

What did people do for all those years before social security and medicare and prescription drug benefits? Their families took care of them. And the church. And charities. But Obama and those like him don't see the inherent goodness in people. They see a society that will leave people to rot, therefore the only way to help them is by using the government to force people to take care of each other. I think a good example of this thinking is comparing the charitable giving of most Democrat leaders to that of most Republican leaders. Republicans far and away donate more money to charity, because that's who they believe should be taking care of these social ills. Obama has donated very little to charity compared to his income, but is more than happy to announce that he will take money from "the rich" to help out those less fortunate. He won't voluntarily give his own money, but he'll voluntarily give everyone else's money.

That is the problem I have with the tax code and with entitlement spending. I believe in the basic goodness of humanity and that given the chance we will take care of each other. Obama and those like him don't.

Well said Frank.

In this instance, equal is being taken as the same as fair. A flat tax starting at the first earned dollar is certainly equal taxation. (Does interest on summer homes-cum-investment properties, a perk not available to the poor and middle-class, count as an expense?) Now ask about fairness and equity. Scholarship money? To all, or only to those who would otherwise be unable to continue their education. For an extreme and ridiculous example but one that should get you away from the idea of equal=fair: Chemotherapy, why is it only for the ill? Where's my slice of sub-lethal toxin? In the flat tax-private charity system, those with discretionary funds are societally "asked" to help the needy. In a progressive tax system their money is appropriated by government to do so. They may not like it. their option is to vote in an administration and legislature that addresses the problem. I have had the same discomfort with defense spending but I haven't begun advocating for funding our military by those only those who are moved to do so by the goodness of their hearts. We all have personal lists of areas we feel are the province of government. Work to get your representation elected, don't tell me MY list is wrong.
Note: This is a lot easier to write knowing that at least some of my electoral goals are probably coming to fruition next Tuesday but for the last 8 years my mantra has been, "I didn't do enough." This time I started early, worked hard and will finish up volunteering at 9 PM, November 4th. And, yes, we will march on the White House if he lets us down.


the difference in your analogy is that our constitution specifies that national defense is one of the jobs of the federal government. Making sure everyone has a retirement income is not. There are some things that fall specifically under the jurisdiction of the federal government and some things that don't.

When discussing a flat tax what I gave was the most simplistic answer available, of course there are a million nuances to it. What, exactly, do we count as income for income tax purposes, including capital gains, rental income, spousal support, etc., etc., the list goes on forever. Those are details that would need ironing out in a final plan. That being said, I am still all for the flat tax, and I am far from wealthy. In fact, after you deduct the insanely large child support checks I write every month as well as the 15%-20% of my gross income that I give to charities, I live on less than $25k a year.

You are right, equal does not equal fair. But as I stated earlier, so what? Life is not fair. People need to start realizing there is no guarantee of fair. We all have equality of opportunity, but there is no guarantee of equality of outcome. Personally, I like that. I've started a side business which brings in very little income right now, but takes a lot of work. At some point it may blossom into something which becomes my main source of income, but then again, it may not. I'm rolling the dice, investing money I really can't afford to lose, all on the chance that I'll work hard enough and be successful enough to recoup that investment. If not, I'm not going to ask the government to bail me out or to raise the taxes on my neighbors to pay the bills that are mounting up for me, because they are my responsibility. Mine. Too many Americans have never uttered those words in their lives. They blame their parents, their lousy childhood, the school system, racism, sexism, homophobia and just about anything else for the fact that they aren't "successful". To fix it, they want to elect someone who promises to take away from those who have worked their asses off and become successful and give the money to those who haven't. They don't want a President, they want a daddy who will give them a sufficient allowance and make sure they have health care and plans for their retirement.

This country was founded on one overriding principle, freedom. The freedom to achieve and the freedom to fail. For the most part people in this country have achieved. We have the richest poor people in the world. And also the biggest bunch of whining babies in the world. They have an actual home with a real roof over their heads, they have cars and microwaves and dishwashers and cell phones and things that the poor in most country could never even dream of owning. Now they want their free retirement and free health care and free prescription drugs, and even larger welfare checks are part of Obama's "tax cut" plan that cuts taxes for people who don't pay taxes.

I could go on about this forever, but the one underlying message I have for most Americans is this; Grow the fuck up and take responsibility for your own lives. You will always be infinitely better off with what you can do for yourself than anything the government is going to give you.

In the American system of governance, Frank, it's the government's job to do what the people think the government should do, within limits. Those limits are usually of the "government can't" variety, designed to protect minority rights.

There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that precludes or discourages the government setting up a Social Security system, if that's what the people want.

A fundamental disagreement between conservatives and liberals is the validity of government as a tool to accomplish certain societal goals.

Your nostalgia for the days of yore when, in a less populous and largely agrarian America, family and charity were sufficient to provide for the needs of society's most desperate, is touching, really. But most people choose a society with some government safety nets not because they, themselves, intend to use the safety net, but because they want to live in a society where people don't freeze to death in winter and street corners aren't the domain of beggars.

You may disagree with that; you're certainly free to do so. But don't couch your disagreement in language that implies your opinion is the correctly American one. This country was, indeed, founded on the idea of freedom -- "freedom" being a word that has been re-defined over the centuries not to fit the need of a particular ideology, but to fit the beliefs of the people who are governed.

Because of that, slavery is illegal, women can vote, and the poor get help instead of time in debtors prison. You may regret that. You may think the old days were better. I think that flexibility to change is something to be proud of.

Finally, your statement about tax rebates to people "who don't pay taxes" is factually wrong. I suspect you're talking about people who don't pay income taxes. As you certainly have noticed, there are other types of taxes as well.

this is why I read the comments. The point about what is Constitutionally directed is well taken as is Tom's government by the people concept. Now I need to think about this.

Nowhere did I say I wish that we still had debtor's prisons or women should not be able to vote or any of that other nonsense. Twisting what I said to try to paint me as some sort of racist or elitist is a nice way to change the discussion without really addressing what I said, though. And yes, the people can vote for the government to do whatever they please. And they have done so. And in the not too distant future we'll all be relying on a small upper class to provide enough revenue to the government to take care of everyone else, and eventually the entire system will collapse. Not next year, probably not in the next decade, but one day it will happen.

Hell, Ben Franklin saw this coming in the beginning.
"When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

And yes, people pay taxes other than income taxes. However, the taxes we were discussing were income taxes. If you want to get into Social Security taxes and property taxes and sales tax and everything else, that's an entirely different discussion. But since you opened it up, does this mean you're in favor of refunding all taxes that the poor pay? And how do you intend to track how much sales tax each person pays in order to get their refund? Or are you just going to come up with some magical formula that averages what you think each person probably pays in each of these taxes and then send them a check. And are you really going to take that revenue away from the states, further depriving the same poor from vital government services, or depriving states the money they need for repairing bridges and paving roads and everything else they do?

I speak the way I do because I think I'm right. Just as you present your ideas because you think you're right. I never said that Wally was un-American because I disagree with him, I stated what I believe to be my best case to support why I believe what I do. Others have alternate viewpoints. We're probably not going to change each other's minds, but it's still a good discussion to have none-the-less.

I still believe that local charities, churches and the like are better equipped to deal with people in their neighborhoods who need help than some government bureaucracy. Too many times the government blindly hands out money whether someone truly needs it or not, and denies benefits to others who really do need it. Localizing control, IMHO, is the best way to ensure that people who truly need the help receive it.

Frank's right on the money--again, and as usual. He wrote what is possibly the most sensible thing ever written here, or on just about any blog:

"You are right, equal does not equal fair. But as I stated earlier, so what? Life is not fair. People need to start realizing there is no guarantee of fair. We all have equality of opportunity, but there is no guarantee of equality of outcome."

In response to which Tom set up ludicrous strawmen and bowled thme over with his morally-superior position. Frank pointed out how absurd Tom's alleged rebuttal was.

The real problem is the dichotomy between Frank's and Tom's views of historic America. Like most conservatives, Frank sees the historic America as a fundamentally good place, where people were free to succeed, or fail, based on their abilities and efforts. I imagine he also sees historic America as a place, where, imperfect though it was (not least because humans were involved), great achievements were made in all aspects of human endeavor.

On the other hand, Tom, like all good liberals, appears to see only the negatives about historical America. According to this warped world view, it was a backwards, primitive place, where women and minorities were "oppressed," where all so-called "achievements" are tainted with the racism, sexism, intolerance, homophobia, and homogeneity of the Old Bad Order. (How else could he have come up with those irrelevant, negative comments?) Bringing up those "issues" was yet another instance of Tom's anti-American bigotry rearing its ugly, nasty head.

Such a shame that a talented writer like Tom lets his writing get tainted with such poison. I think the election season is bringing out the worst in him; thankfully, it'll be over soon.

Squid, it's like you wake up in the morning and say to yourself: "How can I be ignorant and offensive today?"

Do you read my blog? Are you so illiterate that you can't see how much I take joy in this country, and how much a part of it I feel? Are you so twisted that "My country, right or wrong" has become, in your mind, "My country, always right"?

Frank, I brought up slavery and women's suffrage not because I imagined you to be some kind of troglodyte who'd be against progress, but because they're obvious ways in which the original intent of the Constitution's writers was ignored for the better. I'm sorry if it seemed an accusation.

And Squid, it's exactly that evolution that you fear and loathe. You confusion, well expressed, is that this country is a geographical or ethnic entity. It's not. People have said that America is an idea, and I disagree with that, as well. As wrong as Frank is about almost everything, he's got one thing right, at least by implication: America is a quest for liberty. Buying into that quest is all one needs to be an American.

Our quest is imperfect, certainly, but everything human is. Still, it's the thing that defines us. In its original incarnation, we sought liberty only for land-holding white men, but in the more than 200 years since, liberty has spread to be almost all-encompassing. All along the way, people have argued against the quest. Whatever the next group is is somehow not worthy of liberty. Thankfully, we ignored them.

The mention of that progress isn't negativity; it's celebration. The acknowledgment that we've not yet succeeded fully isn't a declaration that we're a backward, primitive place; it's an expression of faith that we're going to get there, to the next step, the next level of freedom.

I'm trying to be polite here, Squid, but sometimes you're such an idiot I can hardly believe you're not a fictional character created by Wally to drive me nuts. Believe me, I've searched IP addresses to figure out who was playing a prank on me. It shocks me every time that you seem to be real.

You call me a "talented writer," but apparently I'm not. If you can read this blog without understanding how much I enjoy America and Americans, and how seriously I take the quest for liberty, I'm doing something horribly wrong.

Leaving aside the cheap ad hominems for the moment, here's the most crucial element:

You confusion, well expressed, is that this country is a geographical or ethnic entity. It's not. People have said that America is an idea, and I disagree with that, as well. As wrong as Frank is about almost everything, he's got one thing right, at least by implication: America is a quest for liberty.

It is a sadly common misconception that America is somehow an abstraction, divorced from the reality of its land, culture, and people. (I quoted Federalist #2 on this point some moons ago.) Here's the long and short of it: without the historic people who created the West in general, and America in particular, there is no reason to expect that the culture they created and propagated will continue.

In other words, the reason that other cultures and civilizations have not achieved the highest levels of technology on their own, nor created the greatest works of art and music, nor invented socio-political systems that create the greatest health, wealth, and prosperity the world has ever known is that they are not peopled by the unique European race.

I believe you when you say you love America, but I don't think your conception of America is congruent with the continuation of any America that we would recognize or love. This is why those of us who hew to the traditional (and, I believe, correct) conception of America as including its land and people are so concerned about non-white immigration. Most prominent is the Mexican invasion of the Southwest in general and country as a whole. Turns out they (like other non-whites) are not like us: they don't value education the way we do; they don't value marriage and family they way we do; they don't value our political ideals; and they plainly don't value our laws or culture. As the reconquista plays out and whites become a minority in the US (not least due to the perfidious, lying, bloviating killer Ted Kennedy), we will see either our repression and eventual extinction, or whites will rise up and restore themselves. Either way, there will be blood shed, and our descendants will curse us for putting them in that situation.

If we act now, we can reverse the course. All I want is for all the peoples of the world to have their own lands, places where they can form communities with others like themselves, where they can propagate themselves and their cultures in peace. This is what every single accursed multiculturalist wants for the yellow, red, brown, and black peoples of the Earth; I hold it is the greatest hypocrisy not to accord it to whites as well.

(Anyone who sees that as "supremacism," "hate," or "intolerance" is so far to the left that I will ignore anything they have to say, for no dialogue is possible when the desire to survive as a people is seen in such a light.)

And yes, I'm a real person; yes, I really believe what I write; and no, I'm not hate-filled or mentally unstable. (I actually have an enormous personal investment in a non-Western culture, and my current livelihood depends on that culture.) I merely have a Weltanschauung so far removed from your own that it's a wonder we can communicate at all.

The comments to this entry are closed.