Tax reform as easy as 1, 2, 3

posted at 2:41 pm on August 10, 2012 by Rob Bluey

Republicans have promised to finally overhaul America’s tax code next year. Reform is long overdue. Now it’s a matter of what direction lawmakers should take.

While some of the GOP’s pragmatists have already balked at being bold, now is exactly the time to take that message to the American people. They’re looking for solutions, not excuses. And there’s one plan that stands out: the New Flat Tax. It features one rate, two credits, three deductions. It’s that simple.

The plan is part of The Heritage Foundation’s comprehensive solution for fixing America’s debt problem and restoring prosperity. As a Heritage employee, I’m naturally biased. But my personal preference for the flat tax predates my tenure at the think tank. It was 16 years ago, as Steve Forbes pursued the presidency, when the flat tax first appeared on many people’s radar, including my own.

There are few chances to fundamentally transform policy in Washington. The last major tax reform came in 1986 under President Ronald Reagan. So if Republicans are serious about tackling the tax code, they need to start preparing Americans now. (Lest we forget about the botched attempt at Social Security reform in 2005.)

Before we get into the details of the New Flat Tax, it’s important to first understand why tax reform is necessary. Heritage’s J.D. Foster explains:

America’s federal tax code is complicated beyond imagining. The arrival of personal computers and tax software has permitted the creativity of policymakers in Washington to run amok, creating tax complexities far beyond what even tax professionals could manage unaided by electronics. There are a multitude of credits, exemptions, and deductions, many of which are subject to special rules and phase out over different levels of income. As if this was not bad enough, there is a parallel tax called the Alternative Minimum Tax, and yet another in the payroll tax that funds Social Security and part of Medicare. And, all of this complexity imposed on individual taxpayers is relatively minor compared to the tortuous rules and exceptions businesses great and small must suffer.

That complexity is something almost all lawmakers will acknowledge. Last week, as the House voted on a plan to make tax reform a priority in 2013, differences began to emerge about how to fix the broken system.

“If you were to distill down the single adjective that was to describe what members are looking for in tax reform, it would be bold,” Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Yet the same story revealed that Republicans are already ruling out bold ideas. The GOP’s set of tax-reform principles would apparently make it impossible to implement a flat tax. Some of those principles include reducing the number of individual tax brackets from six to two, lowering the top rate of 35 percent to 25 percent and abolishing the problematic alternative minimum tax.

By contrast, the New Fair Tax creates a single rate that ensures individuals are taxed only once on their income. That rate, around 28 percent, applies to wages and salaries. Remember, the New Flat Tax abolishes payroll taxes, so this rate is much lower than the combined income and payroll tax rate the middle class pays today. And the rate would decline over time so the new tax code never raises more than the current code has raised on average historically. Importantly, savings would be taxed only when spent, encouraging more Americans to save money now rather than rely on the government later in life.

Simplicity is the selling point for a flat tax, and this plan honors that principle. There are just two credits: a $3,500 health insurance tax credit for low-income and middle-income families as well as the current Earned Income Credit.

The plan has three deductions: one that lets taxpayers deduct expenses for higher education, another that preserves deductions for charitable contributions, and a third that makes the home mortgage interest deduction optional.

Think for a moment what this truly means. No longer would your paycheck have separate line items for Medicare and Social Security. And the money you save is not taxed until you spend it.

There’s more detail in Foster’s paper, but here’s the whole plan explained in under two minutes:

Lawmakers will have a choice next year on tax reform. If they want to go bold and set America on a path to prosperity, they’ll make substantive changes like the New Flat Tax.

Rob Bluey directs the Center for Media and Public Policy, an investigative journalism operation at The Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @RobertBluey


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Is government necessary to have morals? Is government necessary for a belief in God or for religion to exist?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Yes.
Religion is, in a sense, a form of government.
Morals are nothing more than a form of law.
Who defines morals or laws?
Who enforces compliance with those morals or laws?
You can have all the best morals in the world, but one person without those morals can make you non-existent – along with your morals.
Government (of some form) prevents or at least reduces the chances of that happening.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Rule Of Threads very much in force. A few hundred more comments and we’ll be talking about Rebecca Black.

ConservativeLA on August 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Rule Of Threads very much in force. A few hundred more comments and we’ll be talking about Rebecca Black.

ConservativeLA on August 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM

You just did

o_O

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Who enforces compliance with those morals or laws?
You can have all the best morals in the world, but one person without those morals can make you non-existent – along with your morals.
Government (of some form) prevents or at least reduces the chances of that happening.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Not at all. If someone were to break into my house and kill me, how did government’s existence prevent or reduce the chance of that happening? It didn’t. All government can do is to forcibly seize the person’s property and incarcerate him.

But my possession of firearms, or my hiring a security firm, prevents and reduces the chances of that happening.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:33 PM

If I block the bridge and start demanding tolls with my gang who stops me?

If there isn’t some level of handcuff-backed statist power, then who is going to stop me?

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 5:15 PM

For me, the arguments against anarcho-capitalism boil down to this point. Would private defense firms be just to all citizens? If they were just, what about the threat of remote or nuclear attack from another country? What prevents an unjust monopoly arising amid the more just private defense firms? These are my questions about anarcho-capitalism.

Nephew Sam on August 10, 2012 at 5:37 PM

The free market participants do. Again, anarchy means without ruler. It does not mean without rules. Protection and security can be addressed solely through the private market, as many examples of private security firms exist under our republican government. In regards to self-defense, there are many examples and studies that demonstrate more guns, or the increased frequency of guns, equals less crime. So there would be basic rules, such as no one able to acquire property except through original appropriation or voluntary exchange, and that no one has the privilege to tax or expropriate. And no one could not prohibit someone else from using his property to compete in the market. Pretty simple.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:16 PM

And in a dispute between individuals, or their private security firms, or their “posses” – who is the arbitrator? Who decides which side is right or wrong? Who enforces the rules?
Despite your claims, you still have never answered those questions other than weak attempts at circular logic.

When a “posse” is required, who coordinates it? Who decides whether it is right or wrong for them to go after someone? We’re back to the same point of my posse against your posse. You keep changing the words, but saying or not saying the same thing.

Yes – your point is simple – but completely unrealistic.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

But my possession of firearms, or my hiring a security firm, prevents and reduces the chances of that happening.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:33 PM

So, everyone must have their own posse to protect their right to their property.

If everyone needs a private security firm or a posse, then you admit to the exist of human nature… that someone out there will want to take your property by force because they want it and think they can take it.

So now I am a very evil selfish guy who wants everyone’s property. So, I put together the largest and best armed posse around, capable of defeating everyone else’s posse.

That sounds like fuedal warlordism to me. He with the biggest posse makes the rules.

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Yes – your point is simple – but completely unrealistic.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Dante lives under the suicidal delusion that everyone would magically agree to live under his definitions and rules. Ten Thousand years of documented human history prove that his fantasy is nothing less than a suicidal delusion.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Flat tax is simple and fair, so of course it will NEVER freakin happen.

Next Thread.

jsunrise on August 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Taxation is inherently unfair. It is theft at the point of a gun.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

How would you pay for the military?
Border patrol?
SEC?
NASA?

Etc?

KMC1 on August 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

and interstate highways system …
food inspection …

conservative tarheel on August 10, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Not at all. If someone were to break into my house and kill me, how did government’s existence prevent or reduce the chance of that happening? It didn’t. All government can do is to forcibly seize the person’s property and incarcerate him.

But my possession of firearms, or my hiring a security firm, prevents and reduces the chances of that happening.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:33 PM

The fact that you are still alive proves my point.
And after the government throws that person in in jail – or executes him, he cannot do again what he did to you. That provides the incentive for others to not commit crimes.

And as I said before, in your scenario, if I have a bigger security force than you have – you lose.
The alternative is, we all agree to live under one big security force who protects all of us equally from wrong-doing. And that security force that we all agree to use is paid for with something we call taxes.
Is it perfect? Obviously not as we do actually have crime and wars. But it is better than a free-for-all anarchy – despite your unrealistic utopian claims that ignore the real world.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Is it perfect? Obviously not as we do actually have crime and wars. But it is better than a free-for-all anarchy – despite your unrealistic utopian claims that ignore the real world.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Exactly, which is why our Founding Fathers chose to set up a Representative Constitutional Republic. Because it was their learned opinion that it was the only form of government capable of being controlled by the people themselves while still being powerful enough to provide the basic services and protections to it’s citizens.

Government For the People, Of the People and By the People.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 5:58 PM

They would exist.

My gang now cuts that road at a bridge crossing and takes a cut of everything that goes through and a few of the pretty girls as well.

Who ya gonna call Mr Anarchist?

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:34 PM

until MY gang which is more heavily armed and even more brutal removes your gang intotal and does the same thing …

conservative tarheel on August 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Steve Forbes’ campaign also got me thinking about tax reform. All these years later, I’m now for no federal tax on individuals at all. Taxes at the state level only, then have the states pay a per capita “fee for services” to the feds. Obviously, this would require work at the level of constitutional amendments. So, it’s practically impossible. But there are so many reasons why this would be a good thing — restoring the power of the states, shrinking the size of the central government, simplifying taxes, saving businesses — the list goes on and on.

Armorica on August 10, 2012 at 6:05 PM

until MY gang which is more heavily armed and even more brutal removes your gang intotal and does the same thing …

conservative tarheel on August 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Precisely.

We call it Somalia.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

f we had a Flat Tax Rate what would happen to all the IRS agents and Tax Accountants, Tax Software companies and Paper companies. All those people out of work, what we do then? (sarc)

EVAmom on August 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Throw a PARTY !!! :D

conservative tarheel on August 10, 2012 at 6:18 PM

You just did

DOH!

ConservativeLA on August 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

The Demonrats will never go for it, it disables their ability to carve out favors for their pet projects and their favored groups that donate back to them (some Repubs as well)

Not-a-Marxist on August 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

elfman on August 10, 2012 at 4:48 PM

excellent point … lets get spending under control
everything else will follow …

conservative tarheel on August 10, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Precisely.

We call it Somalia.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

and it works soooo well /s

conservative tarheel on August 10, 2012 at 6:31 PM

No.

Consumption tax is the only tax to limit the size of government.

LaughterJones on August 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM

The flat tax is punitive upon retired folks who have no way of making money.

Shifting away from the income tax will just increase sales tax or property taxes, which also (disproportionate to income) hurts retirees

The problem isn’t the unfairness of the income tax. It is just that they take too much from the income earner, who then passes it on by demanding ever increasing wages which gets passed on by the manufacturers (see GM)

It’s simple!

The problem with taxes isn’t. It’s the problem with spending.
The problem with spending is simple–vote buying politicians, who are rewarded by spending on their voters.

If you think the method of taxation will solve that baby, then I’m afraid you don’t know people, without that consideration all finance discussion and decision is fruitless..

Don L on August 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM

The fact that you are still alive proves my point.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:47 PM

No it doesn’t. The fact that we have government, yet murders still take place completely destroys your point.

Just to be clear on some things:

People who are arguing for the “need” of government, or for the existence of government, are arguing for force and coercion, because government is inherently force and coercion.

People who keep asking about crime, keep this in mind: when you are robbed, the government isn’t being robbed. There was no crime against government. Yet it is the government who takes away property, life, and freedom because you were wronged.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 7:18 PM

We call it Somalia Chicago. .

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

FIFY

BacaDog on August 10, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Just to be clear on some things:

People who are arguing for the “need” of government, or for the existence of government, are arguing for force and coercion, because government is inherently force and coercion.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Human being inherently resort to force and coercion and that is reflected in the governments they institute. When no government exists individuals and small groups battle it out for supremacy.

At no point will you banish violence, or the implied threat of violence from human affairs.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Don L on August 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM

True Dat on spending. I think anything less than the Fair Tax (national sales tax) is a sham because the illegals (in my hood) don’t pay squat under any system that is residency/citizenry based (Flat, screwed up, whatever). When it’s purely on consumption, the burden is on EVERYONE that is part of the system, illegal or not. Watch them scurry back to whence they came when their non-taxed income gets whacked.

SkinnerVic on August 10, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Your distortions of reality know no bounds, do they?

Like I suggested for you earlier: Leave all government behind and live in the woods all on your own; make your own way. Heck! Start a commune, and see how that works without any form of coherence.

But you wouldn’t dare, would you? You couldn’t even if you tried.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Human being inherently resort to force and coercion and that is reflected in the governments they institute. When no government exists individuals and small groups battle it out for supremacy.

At no point will you banish violence, or the implied threat of violence from human affairs.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 7:23 PM

You keep offering up straw men. I have never suggested that force or the threat of force would be eliminated. For at least the third time, this is why I say private law would exist; this is why people would arm themselves like they do today.

Human existence is not inherently force. Government is inherently force and coercion.

It’s funny how some of you try to charaterize anarchy or an anarcho-capitalist system as being one that would rely on force, yet the one guy who is arguing for such a system is against initiating force, including initiating force against other nations, while the “conservatives” are arguing FOR force and trying to justify initiating and using force against others.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 7:43 PM

You keep offering up straw men. I have never suggested that force or the threat of force would be eliminated.

You say government is inherently force and coercion as if there exists some alternative to that when there isn’t.

For at least the third time, this is why I say private law would exist; this is why people would arm themselves like they do today.

So they wouldn’t use force and coercion? They wouldn’t have towns that outlaw any behavior?

Human existence is not inherently force. Government is inherently force and coercion.

History and human nature informs us otherwise.

It’s funny how some of you try to charaterize anarchy or an anarcho-capitalist system as being one that would rely on force, yet the one guy who is arguing for such a system is against initiating force, including initiating force against other nations, while the “conservatives” are arguing FOR force and trying to justify initiating and using force against others.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Conservatives don’t believe in Utopian systems.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Dante, you are falling for the fallacy that entirely too many Libertarians go for.
You are confusing civil rights with natural rights. All of the rights you claim to have, you only have due to society granting them. The only natural right, as in the only one you have total control over is your person integrity. The right to limited contract, in other words. That is the only thing no one can take from you.
Right to live? Ask the quarter billion that Communism killed over the years how strong that ‘right’ is.
Right to own property? Without a society to help you hold that property, there will always be a bigger and badder force to take it from you.
Right to self defense? Nope, even in the West the area of greatest personal freedoms this is truncated to such a state that it is largely a joke.
Right to freely express yourself? Try that anywhere but the mid part of the North American continent and tell me how things work out. Of course you will likely be calling me from prison or from beyond the veil.

All of those ‘rights’ exist because of the social construct that we live under. ALL can be taken from you.

The only thing that you cannot have taken from you is your personal integrity. You control what agreements you enter in and those you break, everything else can be controlled by forces other than you.

I despise the authoritarian system that our government has become, but I realize that to maximize the civil rights and freedoms we must have “a” government. Organized and monopolized force, which is what government is, will give you longer lasting freedoms than any utopian everyone will play fair idiocy.

Nathan_OH on August 10, 2012 at 8:45 PM

For me, the arguments against anarcho-capitalism boil down to this point. Would private defense firms be just to all citizens?

Nephew Sam on August 10, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Plus, what happens when that private defense firm you hired gets offered more money by someone who wants to kill you and take your stuff?

AngusMc on August 10, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Dante seems to have read page 1 of John Locke where he describes the state of nature, but stopped reading before page 2 where Locke explains that without government to enforce and defend those rights, all the rights in the world are utterly useless when someone with more guns comes to kill you and take your stuff.

AngusMc on August 10, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Dante, you are falling for the fallacy that entirely too many Libertarians go for.
You are confusing civil rights with natural rights. All of the rights you claim to have, you only have due to society granting them. The only natural right, as in the only one you have total control over is your person integrity. The right to limited contract, in other words. That is the only thing no one can take from you.

Nathan_OH on August 10, 2012 at 8:45 PM

I’m doing no such thing. You are confusing infringement and transgression for taking away. A government or a person can infringe upon my rights, but they can’t take away the right at large. My property may be stolen, but my right to property – the right to property – has not been taken away. So the examples that followed are meaningless.

Rights do exist without society. These rights would exist even if there were only two people in the world. Even if there were only one person on a deserted island cut off from the rest of the world. I think you need to reevaluate what you think natural, unalienable rights are and what that means, because your examples are lacking.

Organized and monopolized force, which is what government is, will give you longer lasting freedoms than any utopian everyone will play fair idiocy.

Your utopian mischaracterization aside, do you even begin to realize the ridiculousness, the inherent contradictions, of your statement?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Plus, what happens when that private defense firm you hired gets offered more money by someone who wants to kill you and take your stuff?

AngusMc on August 10, 2012 at 8:58 PM

If someone offered you money to kill someone, would you do it?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 9:14 PM

If someone offered you money to kill someone, would you do it?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Yeah, if it was the right someone.

Other folks are less picky.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Yeah, if it was the right someone.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 9:21 PM

I mean right now, real life conditions. If someone offered you money to kill someone, would you do it?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 9:38 PM

I mean right now, real life conditions. If someone offered you money to kill someone, would you do it?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Depends on who, how much, and if I would be prosecuted for it.

If it was legal and say getting paid a bunch of cash for whacking terrorists or drug gangs, then yes, I would.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 9:44 PM

suggestions for a Romney speach on tax reform -

”fair share’ is the rhetoric of class warfare Marxists and socilalsts. Our tax system is UNfair and confiscatory and stands in obscene contrast to the core principles of the AMERICAN Dream. It has been that way ever since Progressives shoved thru the Individual Income Tax a century ago. Why should HALF our nation pay nothing, while the top 5% pay the vast bulk of our taxes. EVERYONE should share the burden of our government costs. Only in this way will there be any incentive to curtail government spending. When it is your OWN money involved, you won’t be so quick to spend it. Furthermore, our nation unnecessarily employs a legion of tax collectors, billions of dollars and literally 1-1/2 MILLION MANYEARS every year, just preparing our taxes. This is outrageous and MUST be changed. To that end my administration will make it a priority to implement a Flat Tax and a massively simplified tax code. Flat taxes have been proven to work and to provide similar revenue as our current confiscatory ‘progressive’ system. Russia – RUSSIA – uses a Flat system and it works. How is it that we in AMERICA have a more punishing tax system than RUSSIA? I’ll tell you how – Democrats, progressives, Marxists, tax cheats all, like the Secretary of the Treasury Geitner, the former Chairman of the taxation committee, Rangel, as well as SEVERAL of President Obama’s picks for Cabinet and ‘czar’ positions, who like Geitner had to hastily pay their tax arrears in order to assume their offices.

‘Furthermore, the Left’s politicians, party hacks and media – particularly those that are all three at once – MUST be challenged on their gross lies regarding things like the Bush Tax Cuts. They LIE when they pretend those cuts were any sort of government giveaway -THAT money was never the government’s in the first place. Additionally records prove that Federal Tax Revenue INCREASED in the opening years of those tax rates, as Americans willingly reported more income and thus more tax revenue. That’s the Laffer Curve my fellow citizens and it WORKS. A reasonable NON-confiscatory tax rate yields HIGHER total tax revenues. This is PROVEN, no matter how much the Left lies about it and whines for ever higher taxation to feed their ruinous spending and vote-buying schemes.

Finally there is the matter of our leftists’ persistent floating of confiscatory schemes regarding hard-working Americans’ 401k and IRA deposits. Several degenerate Leftists in our government hold hearings – Brad Sherman amongst them – airing plans whereby they would force the early tapping of the trillions of dollars which Americans have spent entire careers accruing, following ‘the rules’ as laid out decades ago. Only now these wasteful Leftists wnt to change the game at the eleventh hour and STEAL the wealth these hard-working have put away for their promised retirements. These Leftists want to commit the same sort of criminal theft by conversion that was wrought against the hard working people of Argentina, by their degenerate Leftist government, hich is so busily destroying heir economy.

Ladies & Gentlemen, we must confront these ruinous leftist policies and call them what they are – antithetical to a prosperous America, an America founded on free market capitalism and liberty, free to benefit from the fruits of our own hard work. We WILL be that.

rayra on August 10, 2012 at 9:55 PM

If I read this correctly, a business will not be allowed deductions for business expenses — its owner will be taxed on its gross income — as will every employee. And, if I read this even more correctly, the concept of a corporation goes away — all profits must be distributed to individuals who are then taxed at the aforementioned 28%

No deductions for taxes paid to other entities. No deductions for home interest — which means that the earnings going to pay said interest get taxed against the payer, and again against the recipient — rather than just being taxed as income by the recipient as it is now.

The problem with a flat tax is that many people have made investment decisions (including buying a home) based on the current graduated tax, and quite a few of those would suffer if the rules were changed to a flat tax — no matter how sane those new rules may appear to be to Mr. Bluey.

There’s a lamentable method of doing business called 6sigma, which has many things wrong with it, but the one thing it gets right is something called stakeholder analysis — in which a desired way of doing business is adjusted such that all (or nearly all) stakeholders (customers and suppliers and employees) “buy in”. Any other way of doing business will have a substantial number of stakeholders “opt out” — which will make it harder to follow the desired rules.

The one thing that must happen to reduce the size of Government, no matter how the tax system is designed, must be that everyone must pay some tax. There can be no 47% without a stake in leaner Government, for such a group will always vote in favor of increasing taxes — for they have no reason to reduce expenses, since they sip from the till of excess we currently have. The problem is to convince more than half of the electorate that smaller Government is better, and the smallest Government is one where any increase in its size hurts everyone equally. Now, that can be accomplished via a flat tax (which I think few voters will vote for), or it can be accomplished via a graduated tax similar to the one we have today, but with no exemptions from paying some tax.

unclesmrgol on August 10, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Depends on who, how much, and if I would be prosecuted for it.

If it was legal and say getting paid a bunch of cash for whacking terrorists or drug gangs, then yes, I would.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 9:44 PM

One of the more brutal truths in life is that if you wear the right uniform, not only can you get paid for killing people but you can get all kinds of honors for doing so. The catch is that you can’t be TOO enthusiastic about it; otherwise you risk being discharged and/or tossed in a psycho ward.

I still haven’t entirely come to terms with that…God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change.

MelonCollie on August 11, 2012 at 1:54 AM

One of the more brutal truths in life is that if you wear the right uniform, not only can you get paid for killing people but you can get all kinds of honors for doing so. The catch is that you can’t be TOO enthusiastic about it; otherwise you risk being discharged and/or tossed in a psycho ward.

I still haven’t entirely come to terms with that…God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change.

MelonCollie on August 11, 2012 at 1:54 AM

All true enough. Human beings didn’t exactly get to the top of the food chain by being nice guys. We were the toughest SOB’s on the block and history is a very long saga of the best killers taking over, getting soft with easy living, until the next group of killers came along.

sharrukin on August 11, 2012 at 2:01 AM

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Had a fairly long response, but forgot to type it up in a program outside of the response box, and the auto-refresh ate it. Going with a shorter one.

If you cannot control a right, it is not a natural right. The only things you have complete control over is what decisions you make in your own mind.

All other rights have grown because of our being a Post-Enlightenment Judeo-Christian society. Outside of the cultures that share that background, your versions of rights would be considered laughable.

As to my statement RE the need for “a” government. How would you stop the wolves from killing the sheep or stop the protectors from deciding to shear them?

Nathan_OH on August 11, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Taxing income is stupid and counter-productive. Withholding is evil. Voluntary taxation is the next stage in self-government. The consumption tax/Fairtax is what is needed for advancing liberty.

ceruleanblue on August 11, 2012 at 8:53 AM

You already asked this and it was already answered.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:17 PM

This is where he goes when he is cornered. Dante fails to grasp that simple violence is necessary to the enforcement of any rule in any society, in any organization, in any gathering of men. Whether that violence is as subtle as excluding someone else from the group or as overt as a 230gr lead projectile. In his laughable “Private Security Firm” answer he assumes that merely by paying a private security firm, that firm can then go out and violate someone else’s rights (Violence by Proxy). But he will argue that the property taken was originally “his”. “Really?” says the other, “Prove it or Otherwise you are the violent aggressor merely trying to take my property.”

Which being in the concept of Justice and arbitration and trial. All of which have to be run by laws agreed upon by the culture, ie. Government.

The best micro society for Dante to study is the Amish, a respectable people who live under their interpretation of God’s law and almost no “Government”. However, they are Hot House plants and could not exist outside in the real world. Both the Quakers and the Amish share this problem, that to live, they must exist within the borders of a tolerant, benevolent, violent culture else they be overrun. The Amish exist because rough men stand ready to violence on their behalf. Both the Quakers and the Amish have had very little success transplanting their ideas to the world outside the USA because of the threat of outside invasions (the Quaker colony in Europe was wiped out by the Nazi’s).

Now, Flat tax. Yea. It would break the ability of the state to monitor our lives. Do it.

Bulletchaser on August 11, 2012 at 2:56 PM

no deductions for anything for anyone.
10% tax on income whether its payroll or investment.
no progressive tax code.
everyone pays 10%.
no exceptions.

dmacleo on August 12, 2012 at 7:16 PM

dmacleo on August 12, 2012 at 7:16 PM

That’s been my view for years.

As another poster put it, usually we cannot have both fairness and freedom at the same time. But I ask you all – what could possibly be more fair and more free than that kind of tax system?

MelonCollie on August 14, 2012 at 8:45 PM

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