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feck
08-06-2007, 11:32 AM
Sorry if this sounds stupid, but could someone show me the actual law where US citizens are required to pay income tax.

Neil Mick
08-06-2007, 01:03 PM
Sorry if this sounds stupid, but could someone show me the actual law where US citizens are required to pay income tax.

It's not a stupid question, because there isn't one. The IRS gets around this using a number of sneaky methods.

I tried to point this out in previous threads, but I gave up after the 2nd or 3rd round of incredulous "what-are-you, crazy?" responses.

You can lead the horses to knowledge...but you can't make them think. :cool:

cserrit
08-06-2007, 08:53 PM
Sorry if this sounds stupid, but could someone show me the actual law where US citizens are required to pay income tax.

Originally, income taxes were voluntary. Only (wealthy) white land owners were asked to contribute to the federal government...then we had some wars that needed to be paid for and Congress would levy a direct tax and have to vote on it (voluntarily paid)...

the 16th Amendment of the US Constitution (1913) has given the US Congress the power to levy and collect taxes...it was in the 1940s that employers were required to take them out of the paychecks of their employees.

In a variety of US Government, textbooks, authors still say that paying taxes is voluntary, but we all know what happens if you don't (hunt us down like dogs for every last penny + interest).

There is an idea about abolishing the income tax and having a national "sales tax."

http://www.fairtax.org

Would be interesting to see that happen. Not sure if it will.

Just my .02˘ (or .0067˘ after taxes) :grr:

-C

tarik
08-06-2007, 11:34 PM
It's not a stupid question, because there isn't one. The IRS gets around this using a number of sneaky methods.

http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/jsiegel/Personal/taxes/IncomeTax.htm

...and if anyone is interested in very detailed relevant legal arguments and case law references:

http://www.irs.gov/taxpros/article/0,,id=159932,00.html

You can lead the horses to knowledge...but you can't make them think. :cool:

And I ain't gonna suck on the horses ass to make him drink, either! :eek:

Regards,

Kevin Wilbanks
08-07-2007, 12:07 AM
http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/jsiegel/Personal/taxes/IncomeTax.htm

...and if anyone is interested in very detailed relevant legal arguments and case law references:

http://www.irs.gov/taxpros/article/0,,id=159932,00.html



See, that's where you went wrong: looking up facts, laws, and case references for yourself. The correct procedure is to disregard all that boring stuff and just watch an inflammatory documentary on the subject. This will render you an expert and entitle you to be as smug and dismissive of others' points of view on the subject as you see fit.

tarik
08-07-2007, 02:23 AM
See, that's where you went wrong: looking up facts, laws, and case references for yourself. The correct procedure is to disregard all that boring stuff and just watch an inflammatory documentary on the subject. This will render you an expert and entitle you to be as smug and dismissive of others' points of view on the subject as you see fit.

Damn, I never get this stuff right.

Michael Varin
08-07-2007, 03:01 AM
I am not one who would argue the case that the income tax is un-Constitutional post-16th Amendment. It seems like a waste of time and resources to do so, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't oppose taxation.

Let's be straight, taxes are immoral.

If a society deems a government to be necessary, there will most likely have to be some form of taxation. When the Constitution was written the "preferred" form was excise taxes on luxury items. They are not directly imposed on any citizen and everyone has the ability to opt out.

The income tax was never about anything other than redistribution of wealth.

The income tax was the result of a movement that began not long before the Civil War and had begun to pick up momentum in the early 1900's. This "Progressive" movement resulted in shameful amendments (16, 17, 18) to the Constitution (at least back then they knew they needed to amend the Constitution, today they don't bother) as well as the creation of the Federal Reserve System. Inflation followed, unnecessary foreign wars followed, the stock market crash followed, increased centralization followed, decreased freedom followed.

Withholding began during WWII as a wartime "expedient;" it never went away. Without withholding the income tax could never have been raised to the current level. Wars are the most effective way to increase the size and power of the government.

As far as the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the constitutionality of the income tax, that fact does not make taxation moral. The Supreme Court upheld laws that institutionalized slavery and segregation (thank the Progressives again).

"Our government is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction; to wit: by consolidation first and then corruption, its necessary consequence. The engine of consolidation will be the Federal judiciary; the two other branches the corrupting and corrupted instruments." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1821

I do believe that taxation is a form of slavery, and civil disobedience will probably be a necessary part in eliminating it. But anyone who chooses that route should be well aware of the potential consequences.

FairTax is not the answer. It is revenue neutral and will not help at all. The Federal government is too big, spends too much money, and operates in areas that were never intended by the Constitution. It has to be reduced and our inflationary monetary policy has to come to an end. If these two steps are not taken, nothing will really change.

Charles
08-07-2007, 04:48 AM
Strictly speaking, it is not a crime to not pay your taxes. You won't get tossed in jail; they will simply help you meet your obligation by taking the money from you with interest and penalties.

It is a crime, however, to fail to correctly report your income. This will get you tossed in jail; they need to know how much to take from you.


And if you are serious about a smaller government there is only one way to get one—make the country smaller. We can have two progressive coastal countries and something else in the middle.

Hogan
08-07-2007, 07:16 AM
Hey Michael - isn't this your buddy Ron Paul??

I particularly love this quote:

"Reducing earmarks does not reduce government spending, and it does not prohibit spending upon those things that are earmarked."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292334,00.html
"Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul — who is campaigning as a critic of congressional overspending — has revealed that he is requesting $400 million worth of earmarks this year.

The Wall Street Journal reports Paul's office says those requests include $8 million for the marketing of wild American shrimp and $2.3 million to pay for research into shrimp fishing.

A spokesman says, "Reducing earmarks does not reduce government spending, and it does not prohibit spending upon those things that are earmarked. What people who push earmark reform are doing is they are particularly misleading the public — and I have to presume it's not by accident."

Neil Mick
08-07-2007, 02:17 PM
You can lead the horses to knowledge...but you can't make them think. :cool:
And I ain't gonna suck on the horses ass to make him drink, either! :eek:

Regards,

And that's why you'll always fail...not enough dedication. You're not down here in the trenches, sucking away with the rest of us.

Poser. :D

Michael Varin
08-08-2007, 05:19 AM
Hey Michael - isn't this your buddy Ron Paul??

I particularly love this quote:

"Reducing earmarks does not reduce government spending, and it does not prohibit spending upon those things that are earmarked."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292334,00.html
"Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul — who is campaigning as a critic of congressional overspending — has revealed that he is requesting $400 million worth of earmarks this year.

The Wall Street Journal reports Paul's office says those requests include $8 million for the marketing of wild American shrimp and $2.3 million to pay for research into shrimp fishing.

A spokesman says, "Reducing earmarks does not reduce government spending, and it does not prohibit spending upon those things that are earmarked. What people who push earmark reform are doing is they are particularly misleading the public — and I have to presume it's not by accident."

Don't bother clicking the link. Those three short paragraphs were the whole report!

John,

Be careful of the "news" you get from FOX. That is a snippet of a story with a statement by a spokesman, not Ron Paul, out of context.

To me this is very good news. They're paying attention to him now. They're trying to dig up "dirt."

You have to remember Ron Paul is a US Representative. It is his duty to pass his constituents' requests along to the appropriations committee. They are taxpayers after all. What FOX doesn't tell you is that even if the committee approves the requests, he will vote against the appropriations bill that contains them. The only appropriations he votes for are veterans' benefits (http://vote-smart.org). They also neglect the fact that Dr. Paul is one of the few members of Congress who makes his earmarks available in a very clear list. If this is the worst they can find, God help the other candidates.

Ron Paul is an intelligent man. From what I can see he has truly good intentions. He knows how government works better than most of us ever will. He has been involved with it for twenty years, and yet has not been corrupted by it. That is a result of his level of honesty and integrity. It makes no sense to be cynical about this man. Take some responsibility, and look into him for yourself.

I don't want to speak for Dr. Paul, so allow me to refer you to his own writings:

Earmark Victory May Be A Hollow One

June 18, 2007

Last week's big battle on the House floor over earmarks in the annual appropriations bills was won by Republicans, who succeeded in getting the Democratic leadership to agree to clearly identify each earmark in the future. While this is certainly a victory for more transparency and openness in the spending process, and as such should be applauded, I am concerned that this may not necessarily be a victory for those of us who want a smaller federal government.

Though much attention is focused on the notorious abuses of earmarking, and there are plenty of examples, in fact even if all earmarks were eliminated we would not necessary save a single penny in the federal budget. Because earmarks are funded from spending levels that have been determined before a single earmark is agreed to, with or without earmarks the spending levels remain the same. Eliminating earmarks designated by Members of Congress would simply transfer the funding decision process to federal bureaucrats rather then elected representatives. In an already flawed system, earmarks can at least allow residents of Congressional districts to have a greater role in allocating federal funds - their tax dollars - than if the money is allocated behind locked doors by bureaucrats. So we can be critical of the abuses in the current system but we shouldn't lose sight of how some reforms may not actually make the system much better.

The real problem, and one that was unfortunately not addressed in last week's earmark dispute, is the size of the federal government and the amount of money we are spending in these appropriations bills. Even cutting a few thousand or even a million dollars from a multi-hundred billion dollar appropriation bill will not really shrink the size of government.

So there is a danger that small-government conservatives will look at this small victory for transparency and forget the much larger and more difficult battle of returning the United States government to spending levels more in line with its constitutional functions. Without taking a serious look at the actual total spending in these appropriations bills, we will miss the real threat to our economic security. Failed government agencies like FEMA will still get tens of billions of dollars to mismanage when the next disaster strikes. Corrupt foreign governments will still be lavishly funded with dollars taken from working Americans to prop up their regimes. The United
Nations will still receive its generous annual tribute taken from the American taxpayer. Americans will still be forced to pay for elaborate military bases to protect borders overseas while our own borders remain porous and unguarded. These are the real issues we must address when we look at reforming our yearly spending extravaganza called the appropriations season.

So we need to focus on the longer term and more difficult task of reducing the total size of the federal budget and the federal government and to return government to its constitutional functions. We should not confuse this welcome victory for transparency in the earmarking process with a victory in our long-term goal of this reduction in government taxing and spending.

Impressed? Go to http://www.ronpaullibrary.org for more.

And here is an article by George Will (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17200494/site/newsweek/):

Rep. Ron Paul says he can find in the Constitution's enumeration of the federal powers—Article I, Section 8—no reference to rice.

Feb. 26, 2007 issue - Some rice farmers from Congressman Ron Paul's district were in his office the other day, asking for this and that from the federal government. The affable Republican from south Texas listened nicely, then forwarded their requests to the appropriate House committee. It may or may not satisfy their requests in some bill dispensing largesse to agricultural interests. Then Paul will vote against the bill.

He believes, with more stubbornness than evidence, that the federal government is a government of strictly enumerated powers, and nowhere in the Constitution's enumeration (Article I, Section 8) can he find any reference to rice. So there. "Farm organizations fight me tooth and nail," he says, "but the farmers are with me." Of course they can afford to indulge their congressman's philosophical eccentricity because lots of other House members represent rice farmers, so rice gets its share of gravy. Still, Paul is a likable eccentric, partly because he likes his constituents while disliking what he considers their incontinent appetite for government. Why, "If you ignore what they say about rice, they are nice people." He would help them by ending the trade embargo with Cuba, to which they used to sell a lot of rice.

Hogan
08-08-2007, 05:49 AM
Don't bother clicking the link. Those three short paragraphs were the whole report!
Read the WSJ from where the report referenced if you, like John Edwards & Neil Mick, are afraid of FOX.

... It is his duty to pass his constituents' requests along to the appropriations committee. They are taxpayers after all. ....
Yes, the taxpayers made him do it.

...They also neglect the fact that Dr. Paul is one of the few members of Congress who makes his earmarks available in a very clear list.
Ooo, that excuses his waste.

..He knows how government works better than most of us ever will. He has been involved with it for twenty years, and yet has not been corrupted by it.
Now that is funny. Yes, he certainly knows how to work the system.

.. That is a result of his level of honesty and integrity...
Yes, earmarks are known for their integrity.

Impressed?
Nope.

Tell me, he says he finds no reference in the Constitution for rice.... where is the reference for shrimp farming?

You may claim he will vote against his shrimp requests, but where does it say that? Especially when his spokesman says, "Reducing earmarks does not reduce government spending, and it does not prohibit spending upon those things that are earmarked."

I wonder if I can use that on my family... "Excuse me honey, I may have spent $30,000 to buy this new car, but if I didn't spend that money, it would not have reduced our spending, donchya know, so let's just accept it - Ron Paul says so!".

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-08-2007, 05:50 AM
And if you are serious about a smaller government there is only one way to get one—make the country smaller. We can have two progressive coastal countries and something else in the middle.

Are you convinced of that? Or is that only in the case where the government does not trust the people to do a lot of stuff themselves?

Interesting thread! The world is not fair, and the people with an unfair share of ability will dominate those that do not. Simple. That creates more problems and instability though (and frequent purges, since those with ability in wielding swords tend to use it on those with greater ability in depriving them of money). So some appearance has to be created whereby those that have more ability get to exercise it, while at the same time those that don't have a chance to live without feeling completely exploited. It doesn't quite work, but I think modern Western society has found a pretty good balance between protecting the "rights" of the weaker parties and taking out grievances in mostly non-physical ways (the damage remains financial, but it is regulated). Taxes play an important part in this process, no matter how "immoral" some people might think that is. The alternative is to have powerful people take by force or greater duplicity from those that don't have power, because the money must come from somewhere. You can't have something without giving something.

Just my 2 yen worth. At the end of the day though, it boils down to the same thing: there is no law for the rich.

tarik
08-08-2007, 09:52 AM
I am not one who would argue the case that the income tax is un-Constitutional post-16th Amendment. It seems like a waste of time and resources to do so, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't oppose taxation.

I disagree in principle but agree in spirit.

Let's be straight, taxes are immoral.

I don't agree at all unless you are referring only to the form of taxes that puts money in ruler's pockets and renders all tax payers slaves. More on that below. In my mind, it's how our taxes are spent that is immoral, not the taxation even itself.

I do believe that taxation is a form of slavery, and civil disobedience will probably be a necessary part in eliminating it. But anyone who chooses that route should be well aware of the potential consequences.

Real consequences. However, I do not agree that taxation is slavery per se, not in the sense it once was. It is an obligation in a society that wishes to accomplish anything on greater than an individual basis to find a way to pay for it. That it is abused is an unfortunate facet of human nature, but that doesn't mean we should not always be striving to repair those abuses.

FairTax is not the answer. It is revenue neutral and will not help at all. The Federal government is too big, spends too much money, and operates in areas that were never intended by the Constitution.

I'm more in favor of usage fees myself, for those services that society insists are necessary.

Regards,

tarik
08-08-2007, 10:03 AM
And that's why you'll always fail...not enough dedication. You're not down here in the trenches, sucking away with the rest of us.

Poser. :D

I pick my battles carefully. You will never find me so engaged. :straightf

Hopefully.

Neil Mick
08-08-2007, 12:22 PM
Read the WSJ from where the report referenced if you, like John Edwards & Neil Mick, are afraid of FOX.

Fear does not = Refusing to open your mouth and swallow their proferred media-pablum, whenever they command the viewer to "Say ahhh."

Outfoxed (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7798.htm)

But you have to laugh at someone who directs you to check out the WSJ reference to a Fox story (a reference not linked, you need a subscription to read the whole story). I wonder if next year--when the WSJ will become wholly subsumed by the Murdoch empire--will John direct us AGAIN to the WSJ as a 2ndary source of Fox...WITHOUT once noting the irony...??? :freaky:

Michael Varin
08-08-2007, 03:27 PM
... It is his duty to pass his constituents' requests along to the appropriations committee. They are taxpayers after all. ....Yes, the taxpayers made him do it.
No taxation without representation. Does that ring a bell?

I wonder if I can use that on my family... "Excuse me honey, I may have spent $30,000 to buy this new car, but if I didn't spend that money, it would not have reduced our spending, donchya know, so let's just accept it - Ron Paul says so!".
Your analogy is off a bit. It is more like your family has decided to spend $30,000. It could be on a car, or any combination of other goods, but that amount of money was going to be spent one way or the other.

Did you even read Dr. Paul's essay, or check his voting record? All of this information is easy to access these days.

And I have never said to just accept what Ron Paul or anyone else (media included) says. Research it for yourself.

Michael Varin
08-08-2007, 04:30 PM
Let's be straight, taxes are immoral. I don't agree at all unless you are referring only to the form of taxes that puts money in ruler's pockets and renders all tax payers slaves. More on that below. In my mind, it's how our taxes are spent that is immoral, not the taxation even itself.
It has been said that the power to tax is the power to destroy (sorry, I can't remember who's words those are). The government is coercive force. It creates nothing. Everything it has is taken from others. I believe that taking someone's property by force or the threat of force is immoral; maybe we diverge on this opinion.

I do believe that taxation is a form of slavery, and civil disobedience will probably be a necessary part in eliminating it. But anyone who chooses that route should be well aware of the potential consequences. Real consequences. However, I do not agree that taxation is slavery per se, not in the sense it once was. It is an obligation in a society that wishes to accomplish anything on greater than an individual basis to find a way to pay for it. That it is abused is an unfortunate facet of human nature, but that doesn't mean we should not always be striving to repair those abuses.
We have to be careful when we talk about what society wants. Society is an abstraction. There is no entity called society, only interacting individuals.

Do you truly believe that nothing great can be accomplished without taxes? I guess if you are referencing "great wars" I would agree, but private charity does wonderful work all over the globe, which would be enhanced with less taxation. Not to mention that since taxing and creating money bypass the economics of profit and loss, there is no rational way to direct the use of resources. This insures waste, foolish projects, and unsatisfied citizens.

I'm more in favor of usage fees myself, for those services that society insists are necessary.
I'm in favor of usage fees, too. If everyone pays for what they use, that begs the question, Are taxes necessary at all? And why should it be for "those services that society insists are necessary"? Don't you how to best spend your money for you and your family?

Hogan
08-09-2007, 07:20 AM
...
Your analogy is off a bit. It is more like your family has decided to spend $30,000. It could be on a car, or any combination of other goods, but that amount of money was going to be spent one way or the other....

Do you actually think it works that way? They approve $1 billion dollar limit & then leave it up to their members to fill in the blanks to get to that amt? Um, nope, it is not.

Prez submits a budget, say $100, then House approves $150, then Senate approves $130. Then House & Senate get together & approve $140, then Prez signs. Prez submitted $100 & final version if $140 - guess what the extra $40 is most likely?

"It's going to be spent one way or another". Good lord, what a comment.

Might as well spend $1 trillion, it's gonna be spent one way or another. HA!

With that logic, why do we have deficits? Why don't we just approve a budget that contains that 'overspend' & call it even? It will be spent anyway, right?

Hogan
08-09-2007, 07:23 AM
...No taxation without representation. Does that ring a bell?....

We were talking about pork - what does that comment have anything do do with wasting taxpayer money?

dps
08-09-2007, 06:59 PM
Fuel for the fire.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707130321

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KjBy_qp4Zc&mode=related&search

David

Michael Varin
08-09-2007, 07:38 PM
Do you actually think it works that way? They approve $1 billion dollar limit & then leave it up to their members to fill in the blanks to get to that amt? Um, nope, it is not.

Prez submits a budget, say $100, then House approves $150, then Senate approves $130. Then House & Senate get together & approve $140, then Prez signs. Prez submitted $100 & final version if $140 - guess what the extra $40 is most likely?

John,

But where do the earmarks come in?

Here's my brief summary. The executive submits a budget (before the 1920's the budget originated in the House) which Congress has to approve and they can make changes. The budget contains mandatory and discretionary spending. The discretionary spending requires appropriations bills, which come after the budget has been approved. These appropriations bills are where you find earmarks. I could be wrong; I'm not an expert on these things.

I can tell you that earmarks amount to somewhere between $20-60 billion (Iraq costs that much every 3 months), which while a lot of money is nothing compared to the entire budget which comes in somewhere around $2.5 trillion. The ballooning is due mostly to the executive branch and its bureaucratic agencies. And that does even begin to address monetary policy, which our most serious and least discussed problem.

I'm not sure what you want, John. Do you want to argue the federal budget process? What do you want? Who do you want to see as the next president? What direction do you want the US to take? What do you want from your government? How should they spend, and collect revenue?

*Sorry, for straying from the tax law topic.*

jennifer paige smith
08-09-2007, 08:11 PM
Hey, I saw a huge renegade "Who's Ron Paul?" flyer draped on a local overpass.

Just like one stray to follow another. Back to topic. talk amongst yourselves. I'm a bit verklempt (sp?).

tarik
08-09-2007, 11:48 PM
I believe that taking someone's property by force or the threat of force is immoral; maybe we diverge on this opinion.

I think we can agree on that.. but there are still some challenging issues. It's easy to simplify things with a statement like you made, because it's very difficult to disagree with it.. in fact, I cannot disagree with it.

However, I am willing to take away someone's freedom based on their behavior. Is that so different? We agreed to that as a society (of interacting individuals).

Most taxes are passed by a 2/3 majority of votes. Is that really force or threat of force? I mean, people are free to leave our society and go live anywhere else that will take them, right? So even those who were overruled have a choice.

We have to be careful when we talk about what society wants. Society is an abstraction. There is no entity called society, only interacting individuals.

An abstraction makes it easier to talk about, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Societies and communities are real and are made up of 'interacting individuals'.

Don't we as individuals have a responsibility to our communities? This is usually expressed to individuals, but also to organizations within the community.

What about those mentioned above who don't want to participate? How do we accomodate them?

What about those who don't want to participate and want to harm the community in some fashion?

Is it entirely inappropriate for a community to decide to find ways to protect themselves and to improve the group as a whole instead of only on an individual basis?

I, for one, think that people should be allowed to opt out of participation if they wish to.. but I think that they should be required to completely opt out, if that's the case. They can't use roads, services, or anything else paid for by those of us who contribute.

Or is that unreasonable also? Perhaps. Certainly it isn't very compassionate.

Do you truly believe that nothing great can be accomplished without taxes?

I never even suggested that.

I'm in favor of usage fees, too. If everyone pays for what they use, that begs the question, Are taxes necessary at all? And why should it be for "those services that society insists are necessary"? Don't you how to best spend your money for you and your family?

The fact is, however, that this isn't the road that we've chosen to go down. If I were in charge or in a circumstance where I could participate in setting up social and political structures, I'd do a lot of things more differently than we can today.

It's a choice of working within the system (evolution) for change or working outside the system (revolution).

Regards,

jennifer paige smith
08-12-2007, 11:35 AM
Tarik wrote (and, thanks for the spring board by the way of conversation)
"It's a choice of working within the system (evolution) for change or working outside the system (revolution)."

Or perhaps it is the "third way" where evolution ( linear progression) meets revolution ( re-circling) and becomes an evaluation of the two interlacing phenomena (dynamic-spiral).
In my view of community I can and do participate in setting up the social and political structures through my participation both within the system as it is currently and the improvements I can influence from a change of perspective and method. Sometimes we need to buck a system that no longer ( or never) served it's intended purpose while maintaining a method of provision meanwhile.
The degree to which an individual participates in this process relates to the balance they are able to maintain between form and freedom. The degree to which a society participates in this is often relative to it's size. A larger body has more difficulty managing minutia, but is overall very strong. While a smaller body can manage more detail but can't bare so much weight. So, it is a choice of how big you want to describe your community as and how much community one is attempting to maintain. I prefer smaller community and this woud drastically re=arrange our society. I am in favor of that change in a process that can be powered down rather than collapsed ( please forgive buzz word potential. I am not a technical advocate of other ideology that use this language also). I believe a downward spiral will be accentuated soon if the current conditions do not evolve and revolve conciously. I advocate for a reduction of federal government as a provisional step in this direction.

A note about my political leanings: My central 'politicaI' practice is aikido because it is a model for functional, harmonious, systems that adapt to anyone. I specifically, if apparently randomly, choose my issues and candidates based on a sense I have about the 'element' they are bringing to 'the mat' . Candidates rarely represent all things, or many things, to me. As a result of this realization, along with others, I choose people who often have a strong statement regarding an element. for example, while I don't much care for Ralgh Nader, I appreciated the increase in vocabulary in debate while he was active in the previous races. Yes, vocabulary. That was enough in that balance. He brought accuity where there was dullness. Now, Ron Paul is bringing back vivid discussion of the constitution and also advocates for a reduction in troop involvement in a 'community' we can never manage. Ironic that he should represent the' balancer' for me.
Who knows what is next.

Michael Varin
08-14-2007, 12:31 AM
Do you truly believe that nothing great can be accomplished without taxes? I never even suggested that.
It [taxation] is an obligation in a society that wishes to accomplish anything on greater than an individual basis to find a way to pay for it.

I don't mean to nit pick, just showing you why I asked the question.

I think we can agree on that.. but there are still some challenging issues. It's easy to simplify things with a statement like you made, because it's very difficult to disagree with it.. in fact, I cannot disagree with it.

However, I am willing to take away someone's freedom based on their behavior. Is that so different? We agreed to that as a society (of interacting individuals).

Most taxes are passed by a 2/3 majority of votes. Is that really force or threat of force?

Tarik,

Laws are force, and using the threat of force is government's normal mode of operation. What does the IRS do if you don't pay your taxes? That is the threat of force. The better we understand where this force is derived from the more appropriately we can direct it.

You are correct. A society could set up their government and use it any way that they agree upon. They could, for instance, agree that 51% of the people could vote to force the other 49% to pay taxes that they would rather not pay. They could agree that a 67% majority vote could enslave a certain segment of their society. They could agree that 90% of the population could vote to put the other 10% to death. This is the inherent danger of a democracy, and precisely the reason that the US was not intended to be a democracy.

You must have a foundation for your beliefs. For me, it's Natural Law. That concept is too mystical for some, but it is the only system that holds up to reason and inquiry. It is also the foundation on which America was built; sadly so many of us have forgotten or never learned that. I believe that the closer a society's laws approximate Natural Law the more peaceful and prosperous it will be.

Human Nature requires social order for our happiness. The basis of social order is justice and the fundamental aspects of justice are respect for person and property. From Natural Law comes Natural Rights. One of which is the right to self-defense, this is the only situation in which force is appropriate. Therefore, the only time it is moral to take away someone's freedom is when they have aggressed against you first, in other words, they were attempting to take away your freedom.

The proper domain of the law is to protect life, liberty, and property.

I get the feeling that we could have a long discussion on this topic. Luckly, I recently learned about a short video that elegantly presents these ideas in only eight minutes. Everyone should watch it.

http://www.isil.org/resources/introduction.swf

tarik
08-15-2007, 12:52 AM
I don't mean to nit pick, just showing you why I asked the question.

It does appear to be inconsistent, doesn't it? My mistake.


You must have a foundation for your beliefs. For me, it's Natural Law. That concept is too mystical for some, but it is the only system that holds up to reason and inquiry.

For you. While it has an impressive line of reasoning and inquiry, it's fatally flawed to me because one cannot question it's basic premise upon which the rest of the reasoning and inquiry is based upon.

That said, it provides an interesting approach, but not one that seems likely to have a any realistic impact on the modern day. Perhaps, if as some believe, revolution is truly on the horizon, the pain of this type of overhaul could be born, but I doubt the fortitude of the country to seriously consider more than a few good ideas offered by the philosophy.


The proper domain of the law is to protect life, liberty, and property.


Sadly no society has ever existed wherein law restricted itself to these minimum standards.

I get the feeling that we could have a long discussion on this topic.

I suspect an enjoyable one, actually, however I confess to not having the time to go into detail. I do find Natural Law fascinating and interesting, but with my busy life, I have to pick and choose my philosophical discussions.

Regards,

HL1978
10-01-2007, 09:28 PM
interestingly enough 1/3 of all filers don't pay any income taxes or pay negative amounts of tax.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/1410.html