First, a little housekeeping;
Recent comments by Wilderness and Live to Learn prompted me to refer to an old thread by My Esoteric.
The motivating comments related to what a "Fair" taxation structure should be.
I now believe that out current 'progressive' income tax structure is one that at least one of our Constitution writers would approve of.
Important note: At the time of Hamilton's writing, tributary did not mean an off-shoot of a body of water, it meant an offering of value. (I initially tripped over this change in meaning and sounded dumb in my reply)
I also now believe that in dealing with the realities of national life, a nation's needs, and not the unrealistic rigidness of some principled convictions; a progressive taxing structure is a "fair" structure. Citing the analogy of one person paying more than another for a loaf of bread is an unrealistic perspective - as I see it.
So, here is the thread that changed my mind:
Do You Agree With Alexander Hamilton's Position on Taxing the Rich?
For explanation, I refer to a couple of the posts in the thread.
The OP that set the stage;
http://hubpages.com/politics/forum/1363 … ost2813658
The perspective that I then held is illustrated by this post response;
http://hubpages.com/politics/forum/1363 … ost2813922
... and here is where my perspective changed;
http://hubpages.com/politics/forum/1363 … ost2814121
So, with all that set-up, and considering that I think there is validity in the thought that our Constitution writers, (aka our Founding Fathers), did understand the plight of the poor and the need for the rich to 'step-up' and be the primary support for our nation - do the Conservative's principles of 'fairness' allow for the thought that a "progressive" taxing structure is the fairest way to finance our nation?
1. You can't pay if you don't have money.
2. Taxes are paid for things everyone can benefit from (unless you want to include "entitlements.")
3. If taxes are not paid on a progressive schedule, how would we pay for education, infrastructure, salaries for gov't employees (maybe there are too many) and other things paid for by taxes.
If is a fair system; however, there are too many loopholes for those who can afford highly paid tax attorneys.
I do agree about the "loopholes" in general - they usually amount to the government's attempts at social-engineering, or purchased privileges. Which I also see as generally failed efforts, but I can see instances where they are desirable in a society grown as large and complex as ours.
We might not be able to make the camel drink, but sometimes moral imperatives insist that we must at least make the try. Civil Rights legislation comes to mind as a good example. So does business tax incentives for innovation or global competitiveness. At least in my perspective.
True! There are some deductions that are beneficial to the community @ large. A well prepared return, though fraudulent, can facilitate unworthy actors getting fake deductions.
If you use TurboTax you are are less likely to be audited that if you have Joe Doaks do your return.
Assuming you're discussing the federal income tax I think a graduated, progressive tax schedule is necessary (surprise!). It's obviously not "fair", but that's only a quibble, and one that doesn't matter a lot when the existence of the country is at stake.
But that doesn't mean that half the nation pays nothing while others pay as much as 90% of their income. Any time we decide it is "necessary" to hit someone that hard it becomes obvious it is not for the needs of the country, for no country must demand that kind of percentage of the wealth of the nation just to survive.
Personally, I think that something in the range of 35% maximum is more than enough as long as we aren't on a total war footing such as was done in WWII. Any more than that just isn't necessary. And of course another 15% or so in FICA, state income and sales taxes brings the total well over 50%. Indeed, when all the fees, licenses, specialty taxes like that on gasoline etc. are added in some of our citizens are already giving as much as 75% of their income to the country, and that's more than should be required of anyone regardless of personal wealth.
Well, damn wilderness, and here I thought this might be a subject we could argue about. So yes, I am slightly surprised.
Even worse, I agree, almost point-by-point, with your response. My original post was directed specifically at income taxes. As you indicate in your comment; all these other item-specific taxes are a different matter. I could really make a meal out of a discussion about this new wave of "soda" taxes.
tobacco tax could fund the medical treatment smokers will obviouosly need.
Instead the tobacco tax paid for a multi-million dollar restoration of the Idaho Statehouse. A small, politically powerless group of people was taxed to pay for something the state wanted but couldn't pay for. And it was advertised as a great thing!
Hmmmm! Gotta check that out.
The lottery was allowed in California to provide money for education. Guess what? We STILL need money for education.
"The 2005 Legislature revived hope for the interior restoration by extending the cigarette tax so that a portion of the revenue collected, beginning in FY07, is deposited into the Permanent Building Fund. The annual amount, estimated at $20 million, is earmarked for the repair, remodel, and restoration of the Capitol and state facilities pertaining to the Capitol restoration."
Obviously? About 10 % of smokers develop lung cancer. About 25% of all people in the United States will develop some type of cancer. According to statistics from the American Cancer society it appears that about 18% of people worldwide develop cancer.
Maybe cigarettes are no more dangerous than just living. is.
A % is attributed to 2nd hand smoke. I hate to see moms blowing smoke around their babies. It's ratched!
Yes, well sitting in judgement of others behavior is always fun.
Tsk. Tsk. Live to Learn. While I do agree with your negative opinion of judging others, you just did it yourself.
Diane's point was sincere and valid. I can't imagine anyone but a Neanderthal that would consider blowing smoke in a baby's face to be OK. Even if I don't agree with her continued effort to defend a previous position.
So lighten-up and say you're sorry.
I tried to remember why I reeally like you. Now I know! Thanks GA!
Hey Live.....I'm waiting!!!!
Well, let's think about the statement. I've always been negative when I hear people exaggerate in order to attempt to gain consensus. 'Blowing smoke in a baby's face'? Really? What that boils down to is seeing a woman smoking within eyesight of her child. Not the same. I doubt anyone has seen a woman leaning over a baby and blowing smoke in its face. Although, those who acquiesce to demands by kids for a Happy Meal every day are probably in far more danger of doing permanent damage to their children's health. We don't demonize them. We kind of feel sorry for them. I wonder why?
I have a 32-year old niece who was disabled because my sister smoked while she was pregnant. I have definitely seen mothers smoking while they held newborn babies. When they smoke while playing with their babies, what do you think happens.
You must remember, there are people who are offended when asked to put out a cigarette on an airplane, in a restaurant or a grocery store line.
Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it isn't true. I wish it weren't.
"You must remember, there are people who are offended when asked to put out a cigarette on an airplane, in a restaurant or a grocery store line."
And you must remember that there are people who are grossly offended because another person chooses to smoke in the open air, 50' away from them. Any tolerance at all seems to have been lost - the 100 acre park not far from me is now a "no-smoking" area, presumably from the enormous danger of cigarette smoke, filtered through a pair of human lungs and a football field away.
Nicotine addiction is one thing. The desire for that tobacco tax revenue is another.
Why do you think the mad rush to legalize marijuana? I say to generate revenue lost by demonizing cigarette smokers.
Some old lady driving a smoking Lincoln who bathes in Estee Evinrude turning her nose up to a smoker, while trying to decide how tobacco tax is best served is funny. Pot is better grown in the backyard than giving money to Columbians or Mexican Cartels. Sad, there is more to life than being stoned.
I've seen more than a few comments from legislature bemoaning the loss of tobacco revenue and debating how to recover it.
And now I'm hit with another $100 per year tax on a hybrid car because I'm not paying as much gasoline tax as I should be. Gotta have that money!
I would like to see the undeniable evidence that the disability was caused by none other than cigarette smoke.
I'm sorry. I have seen too many people die from many, many causes. These deaths could have been avoided, in my opinion, if we didn't insist on poisoning our food supply and our environment. But, lets all blame it on the smokers. I know of no disabled children where anyone has claimed, or implied, that cigarettes were the cause. Granted, most women I know quit while pregnant but I did know a girl who didn't . Her kid seemed perfectly healthy during the time that I knew them (other than the handicap of having a schmuck for a father).
I would never deny that it would be more healthy not to smoke. I will deny that it is quite as dangerous as the fervor pitch I hear. And, I do think that the larger problem is the rude manner in which it allows people to feel that they are obliged to conduct themselves. I would never walk up to a fat person and explain to them the dangers of over indulgence. I would not walk up to a person with a beer in their hand and complain about the side effects of drinking. You do have a valid right to ask that no one smoke in a manner which would cause you to have second hand smoke inhalation but with all of the health problems in America, brought about by the American lifestyle, it does seem tragic that we insist on singling one out as if life would be grand without cigarettes. It wouldn't People would still get cancer in about the same numbers. People would continue to die. Those who didn't would still continue to need medical treatment. It is a shame that some can poison themselves and somehow garner respect while others can do the same and they are somehow more guilty than the next.
One can get shot and not die. The average sane person wouldn't shoot someone on a dare.
My niece came to live with me at the age of 7. She had problems adding. I tried to line pennies up to give her a visual. She tried to line them up and couldn't make a straight line. I took her to a doctor. He told me that she will never have the spatial analytical ability. He asked, "What happened? Did her mother smoke or take drugs?" She has temporal lobe damage and Turner's Syndrome. The average height of women in my family is 5'5"/5'6". My niece is not 5 feet tall.
I've heard testimonies at church and cases at hairdresser and work where kids suffered from fetal alcoholic syndrome.
Many women are uneducated about the risks to their children and, unfortunately, some don't believe it until it happens to them.
I wish it weren't true.
Are you falling into the trap that because two events happened in sequence that the first caused the second?
Hi Live to Learn,
Ok, you got me. I did succumb to the current trend of hyperbole. Sorry. I will dust myself off, and try to maintain my balance in the future.
But... I don't think Diane's statement referencing second-hand smoke was intended to be at the other end of my hyperbole either - as in including smoking in the basement when the kid is on the third floor. I like your description of "within eyesight." That is the perception I got from her statement.
See, that cost me nothing, and I feel much better. Your turn.
Oops! I can see from your subsequent replies to Diane that this "smoking" issue is one, on which you have serious and firm positions. Don't mind me. I will just slip off to the side. Just pretend you didn't even see me.
I can't pretend that you were chivalrous and now you are not!!!!
And I can't pretend that I know what you are talking about.
Come on GA!!!
www.lung.org > Stop Smoking > Smoking Facts
Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard causing more than 41,000 deaths per year. It can cause or make worse a wide range of damaging health effects in children and adults, including lung cancer, respiratory infections and asthma.
The American Lung Association has more information available on laws protecting the public from exposure to secondhand smoke.
Key Facts about Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease each year.1
Between 1964 and 2014, 2.5 million people died from exposure to secondhand smoke, according to a report from the U.S. Surgeon General. The report also concluded that secondhand smoke is a definitive cause of stroke.1
There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke and even short-term exposure potentially can increase the risk of heart attacks.
Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.2
Secondhand smoke can cause heart attacks; even relatively brief exposure can trigger a heart attack, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine.
Secondhand Smoke in the Workplace
Secondhand smoke costs our economy $5.6 billion per year due to lost productivity.1
The health of nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work is at increased risk. Levels of secondhand smoke in restaurants and bars were found to be two- to five-times higher than in residences with smokers, and two- to six-times higher than in office workplaces.
Being employed in a workplace where smoking is prohibited is associated with a reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked per day and an increase in the success rate of smokers who are attempting to quit.
Casino workers in particular are exposed to hazardous levels of toxic secondhand smoke at work, including tobacco-specific carcinogens that increased in their bodies as their work shifts progressed, according to a report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Secondhand Smoke and Children
Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to young children. Secondhand smoke is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children under 18 months of age, resulting in between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations each year. It also causes 430 sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) deaths in the U.S. annually.
Secondhand smoke exposure may cause buildup of fluid in the middle ear, resulting in 790,000 doctor's office visits per year, as well as more than 202,000 asthma flare-ups among children each year.7
More than 24 million, or about 37 percent of children in the U.S. have been exposed to secondhand smoke.
Learn about the American Lung Association’s programs to help you or a loved one quit smoking, and join our advocacy efforts to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. Visit Lung.org or call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872).
http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smokin … oogle.com/
I think you guys are picking on me. Live does it all the time. U 2????
Diane, Am I to understand that you think I am not "chivalrous" because I did not stand with you on your position against smoking? If so, then I think you misunderstand the reality of public discussions.
I did initially stand with you regarding the intent of a statement you made - and you thought I was a good guy for doing so. And yet, because I didn't go further with you as you continued your point, you now think I am not "chivalrous." I think you are wrong. And I can prove it! I once got a "chivalrous" Award. It's right here beside me as I type.
I do understand that when your statements are challenged - you feel you are being picked on. But once again, I think you are wrong.
It is never my intention to "pick-on" anyone. There are some posters that I "challenge" more than others, but if you can't defend your statements, or consider, and address criticism in the vein it was offered, or, if you aren't willing to adjust your opinions or thoughts when presented with credible reasons to do so - then Political and Social Issues forums will be a long and tough road for you.
You flipped on me. It took 2 seconds to change your mind.
No Diane, I did not "flip" on you. While I do agree with your statement about smoking around kids, I don't agree at all with your continuation of your "smoking" point.
Even though I am more closely aligned with Live to Learn's perspective than yours, my response to her about "stepping aside" was only to note that I wasn't going to get into that discussion any deeper than my comment that she was a bit hard on you for your first statement.
From there on - you two could carry the point however you wanted. And you did. And I think I might have ended up on the sharp end of the stick.
I think I can legitimately hold both positions; agreeing with your point about smoking around kids, and Live to Learn's point about personal decisions. Once more I think you misunderstood me.
No worries though, if we ever meet, rest assured that I will hold the door for you, and offer my coat if you are cold. ;-)
Picking on you? What a strange assessment of a difference of opinion.
If stating my opinion is, in some WAY, offensive my advice would probably be get over it.
Thought you might find this article interesting.
http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/healtht … smsnnews11
Here's a quote from it's opening paragraphs which will explain why I thought you'd be interested.
Random mutations are the single biggest factor in causing cancer, researchers reaffirmed Thursday.
About two-thirds of the genetic mutations that lead to cancer happen simply because of random errors made as cells divide and not because of diet, chemicals or inherited genes, the team at Johns Hopkins University said.
Live, did you read all of the article?
"It is well known that we must avoid environmental factors such as smoking to decrease our risk of getting cancer. But it is not as well-known that each time a normal cell divides and copies its DNA to produce two new cells, it makes multiple mistakes," said Tomasetti.
There were a couple of other parts I started to copy but....
If I jump out the window, there may be a 5% chance of me dying. I will not jump out of the window because I won't be 5% dead.
Do you smoke? Be honest now!
Of course I will say I smoke. I'm surprised you even asked. Considering the nature of an online conversation where we are not face to face, and my pro smoking stand; whether I smoked or not would be a moot point. I have to claim it because it is assumed by you.
We do all know that certain lifestyle choices increase risks. My problem with the smoking debate is that it is singled out.
I think my biggest problem is the hypocrisy of it all. If we are serious about a healthy population smoking is not our biggest problem. Smokers are fair game for any comments anyone chooses to make. We can't talk about overweight people. They are at a higher risk for many health problems which they have a higher chance of experiencing. But, I assume since a larger percentage of the population is obese then it is not only not acceptable to comment but it is politically incorrect to do so. It appears we are now attempting to glorify women who are obese.
If we are serious about a healthy population then why are we (while demonizing smoking) moving toward the legalization of marijuana?
Honestly, I do believe the issue simply gives people a comfort zone in which to be judgmental and less than courteous to others. Although I have noticed that people who are discourteous on this issue are pretty much the same on others. Courteous people tend to accept that one vice is as bad as another and we all have vices. Whether we choose to admit it or not.
(I know I am too old to use that, but I love its symbolism anyway)
"...Courteous people tend to accept that one vice is as bad as another and we all have vices."
Damn Right!, (except me of course - I have absolutely NO vices). ;-0
Live to Learn, I like your perspective. Not that it matters a whit, but just wanted to say so.
They are fairly firm. I believe in live and let live and I find that philosophy sadly lacking in inter personal relationships these days. It's funny to
me in a lot of ways. I'm quite allergic to many ingredients in some aerosols. I get physically sick. I don't say anything because my experience has been I'm ignored or ridiculed for complaining so I simply make quick and lame excuses why I have to vacate the area.
Most people I know who claim allergies to smoke are, oddly, ex smokers. Worse are the people who claim intolerance until their life style changes and suddenly they are smokers.
Many people who badger clearly have health issues brought about by their own life style or fall into a high risk group because of it.
And, worst of all, my observation thus far has been non smokers are more likely to be on prescription medication (less healthy than smoking, in my opinion), more prone to time lost from work due to illness and shockingly more likely to have a cancer diagnosis. Statistics may prove otherwise but that is what my exposure to those in this community has been.
I am curious what we will, as a nation, choose to pretend is the root of most evil next.
Not all the time BUT, definitely, some times!
Smokers pay a lot in taxes. If they smoke a lot all their life they die early and quickly. Healthy people that dont smoke and live to 102 use benefits for years. Some state or gov worker could work from 45 to 62-65 ie 20 years and then get benefits for 40 years. Meanwhile private sector gotta pay them for life.
No such thing as a fair or good tax. Giving money to the gov is like giving heroin to a junkie and saying save it for later or put it to good use, as well as contributing to inflation.
Everything should be privatized. There should be no taxes on food or real estate. We dont own a house despite paying 200k for a 75k house, we just rent it from the government property tax monster junkie.
For funding an ultra lean gov, have a sales tax on luxury items. If you wanna 125 million dollar yacht pay 25 million in taxes.
"Everything should be privatized."
No thank you. I do NOT want a private military. Or police. Or park rangers. Or anyone else authorized to use force.
Yeah, the small, specific taxes are becoming the wave of the future - a method to pay for politicians projects without "raising taxes", much like the airlines have done with their own little add-on fees over the years.
Haven't got the bill yet, but apparently the license "tax" on my plug in hybrid car will go up nearly $200 this year. $70 along with everyone else's and an additional $100 because I don't use much gas in an effort to promote clean air. These little "additions" just keep coming - the political appetite for more money is insatiable.
The freemasons and ptb are probably pleased that they no longer have to think of ways to enact taxes when the populace will think of ways to tax themselves. The same as wages, if you are not thinking of ways to reduce, keep low or end taxes, you are playing their game. By they I mean the people that print it, governments, elite, monarchs , presidents etc.
" the evil rich dont pay enough taxes or get away with not paying any"
The evil rich invented taxes. Figure it out.
by GA Anderson16 months ago
Much is heard of a demand that corporations and the wealthy pay their "fair share" of taxes, but I have heard little of what that share should be.With only a single restriction; that the discussion is about...
by Susan Reid4 years ago
Wow. 500,000 households making more than $100K per year and 7,000 millionaires paid no income tax in 2011.Do they consider themselves "victims" do we suppose?Are they lost causes who will never...
by Tony Lawrence5 years ago
Is nobody going to call Peter Schiff on his "I pay 50% tax" crap?Recently, Peter Schiff marched into OWS and confronted demonstrators, claiming that he pays 50% of his income to taxes. Unfortunately, the...
by Nick Lucas5 years ago
I don’t understand this concept that Obama and many liberals keep clinging to…..So allow me to make it simple. If everyone is taxed at say 10% people who make more do pay more as 10% of a greater amount is...
by Cassie Smith5 years ago
Only half of all Americans are paying their taxes because they are still employed. The unemployment rate isn't going down any time soon as much as the media wants to spin it so it looks like the taxpayer half will...
by Brian6 years ago
I was talking with a group of friends the other day. and I suggested that there should be a national tax, where the money collected should be distributed evenly among every U.S. citizen, and I was labled as a...
Copyright © 2017 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.