Taxation, raising it and seeking new things to tax, is the answer to all government problems when it comes to budget deficit, it rarely occurs to politicians that when they talk about taxing more (and more) upon the “rich”, they are hindering what makes the economy flow and it always snags the middle class into the fray. In addition, this ignorant attitude chases away money that could be used here in the homeland – both in the move of corporations overseas, to the wealthy putting their money into places like the Cayman Islands.
Taxation is nothing new in America, indeed the founders pondered about what could be fair and reasonable even as the Constitution was being created and finalized. At that time the newly formed United States, its founders, had no real model to follow – only a sense of what not to do when American colonists were under the jurisdiction of a monarchical government.
A great debate occurred at the time over the articles of the Constitution, which included taxation.
Freeman’s Journal, Philadelphia; September 26th1787:
Sect. 9. (22nd clause) “No Capitationor other direct tax shall be laid, unless” … I confess here a great disappointment. … I did not doubt that the poll-taxwould share the fate of ex post facto laws and bills of attainder. … For a Capitation Tax is impolitic and unjust; it is a tax upon population and falls indiscriminately upon the poor and the rich; the helpless, who cannot work, and the robust, who can. The poll taxes of the Eastern States, have forced many thousands of their valuable citizens to emigrate, and made those disaffected who staid behind.
The poll tax, head tax, or capitation tax is a uniform tax with a fixed amount and goes far back into history used by ancient Egypt (earliest recording of this tax), mentioned also in the Bible (Exodus 30:11-16), Roman Empire, et cetera. In the case of the Roman Empire, it is why there was an annual consensus taken in order to collect the tax. This also is mentioned in the Bible’s New Testament.
Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of the United Kingdom, tried it with disastrous results. Often, in history, governments imposed this type of taxation to cover the cost of wars; but more times than none, failed to revoke it when the war ended.
In America, poll taxes were levied from time to time until after the American Civil War, which then were only adopted by the southern states as a way of circumventing the 15thAmendment to the US Constitution, which guaranteed former slaves the right to vote. The same sort of tax for political reasons was also enacted with the annexation of Texas in 1848, the end of the Mexican-American War, where “Tejanos” (Texans of Mexican descent) lost their property rights and political power and the tax kept the Mexican population who helped free Texas from Mexican government oppression were part of the bottom of the new political/social establishment.
As you can see, this type of taxation was used for political disenfranchisement, as with Mexican American veterans and the newly freed slaves. Canada did the same to Chinese immigrants in the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885. The gist of the problems with this type of tax is that although it is an equal tax it must be drastically lowered in order for the poorest citizens to be able to pay it; as well as being abused by politicians.
The United States has a varied system of taxation now – a long list: Ad valorem tax, consumption tax, corporate tax, excise tax, gift tax, income tax, inheritance tax, property tax, sales tax, tariffs, and value-added tax.
Presently there is a fight to either reform or end the present income tax system for varied reasons but mostly because it is unfair, not transparent, and intrusive upon individual rights of American citizens. In addition, it is a progressive tax, meaning that it rises as one’s income increases and corporations (most of them who do not get tax breaks) are paying the highest percentage than any other nation in the world. So when you hear the lies from politicians that are blaming corporations for going overseas – our government, its politicians, its elected officials, are to blame initially. An aggressive tax system is not beneficial to either the populace or the government – the latter losing revenue it was trying to gain.
The present tax system also is a double tax system. First the government takes its desired share of taxation from your paycheck (excluding Medicare and Social Security for these are payments toward a benefit). Then you bank whatever you have left to spend on things we decide to spend our earnings on. However, when we purchase something that money that is left over from the first tax, is now taxed again. In the case of income, the more you make the higher the percentage, when it should be a flat tax for everyone with no deductions allowed, except for those with a “poverty level” income. They pay very little or no tax at all – after considering what they get in income tax returns from taxes taken from their wages. So what has happened is that the higher taxed citizens are paying for the ones who are not paying taxes.
There is a better way, but Congress has not and seems to not want to change this. An added burden or rather an entity of government that has become too powerful is the IRS. Ask anyone what agency of government is the most hated and immediately the reply is the IRS. That agency circumvents constitutional law and oppresses the rights and liberties of the American people. They can put a hold on your bank accounts and lien mortgaged property, as well as seize personal property before there is a fair trial to determine if you actually committed a wrongful act. And, if the IRS decides you have not paid enough, they can slap a fine AND charge interest upon the amount owed. Including the consideration of how costly in paperwork and personnel required to impose and manage this tax system – it is inefficient, as well as intrusive, unfair, and it can be used for purposes of blackmail or persuasion.
By not having a flat tax, a fixed income for the government, it also encourages the attitude that pervades the federal government that they need not attain fiscal responsibility and keep a responsible budget through less spending – they just increase existing taxes or create new ones.
Why aren’t more Americans writing letters of complaint and tying up the phone lines in Congress about this?
It may be that Americans have become self-centered and flat out selfish. Too many Americans pay taxes out of their wages, but then get most of it or all of it back when the year ends.
All those types of taxes that the federal (and state) government collects, our nation is still heading for financial disaster.
What does it take for Americans to step up to the plate and make politicians listen?
Anyone with an inkling of logic knows that any government requires funds to operate, and if that nation is to be in the top bracket of technology and modernization, it requires funding. Certain social programs can be of good use to help American help themselves, but bureaucracy and corruption has made the cost unacceptable, and some social programs should never have existed. For example, HUD. If people want to own their own homes let them work for it like the rest of us. And that would certainly be more possible if government wouldn’t hinder economic well being in the private sector by using its unconstitutional powers to intrude upon it.
So once again, it is not the politicians who are going to enact upon reformation required, it is We the People. It is only when We the People change our human nature from selfishness to caring for others as well and American society as a whole, unification, that the problems of the present taxation be resolved by forcing those that enforce it to do the right thing.
Another ugly side of taxation is using it to conform the populace, social engineering; and when initiated by a minority special interest group (that politicians listen to) it is also used to punish certain sectors of the population. Overtaxing, taxing more than other products, like tobacco is wrong. They justify it by saying that smokers end up costing government in health care. Yet, insurance companies charge smokers more for life and health insurance premiums – and that can be expected; but not by the government. So much has been collected by the so-called “sin tax” that those who pay it are paying for other citizens health care as well. The state governments are just as at fault as the federal in using tax for social engineering and punishment.
Look at the fuel tax. That continues to increase, but the politicians continually tell you that it is the oil industries fault.
It is high time that politicians owe up to their lies and misrepresentations – and that goes for the mainstream media as well.
If We the Peopledo not demand change and make sure reformation occurs – who will?