A Little Tax Day Reading....

Posted by GaltsGulch 5 months, 1 week ago to Government
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Ayn Rand wasn't the only one with a thing or two to say about taxes.

Dr. Edward Hudgins, of The Atlas Society, has penned a number of articles on the topic that are definitely worth a read on tax day.

On Tax Day, Pretend Like It’s Your Money and Get Mad

Two Proposals to Stop the Government Looting

On Tax Day, What if Atlas Shrugged?

Tax Codes Reflect Moral Codes

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  • Posted by  $  DrZarkov99 5 months ago
    The spending philosophy in DC is madness, and would infuriate taxpayers nationwide if the principles were more widely advertised. First, every agency has a belief that every dollar they're allocated must be spent or programmed to be spent, because they believe that they won't get as much in the next budget if they have any left over at the end of the fiscal year. No agency ever refunds a surplus, and I'm not sure the Treasury would know what to do with it.

    Next, the budget planning process is what's called "Baseline budgeting." What that means is you start with the amount an agency received the previous fiscal year and bump it up for the next year by an agreed upon percentage. This is supposed to account for inflation, but the percentage bump is always bigger than the official inflation rate. The excess is supposed to reflect increasing population. This constant increase without a rational justification is the primary cause of inevitable deficits.

    The way to fix this obscenity is to require zero-base budgeting, meaning every dime requested has to be justified up front. The other fix is mandatory accounting at the end of the fiscal year, and an automatic IG audit for any agency that can't fully account for its budget.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 1 week ago
    Well, it is easy to agree with the sentiment, but taxes are how we pay for the services we want. Dr. Hudgins slid past the salient point: we do want some services. His premise - widely shared - is that if the government were limited to proper functions of protecting rights, then we would not need taxation. Government could be paid for with voluntary subscriptions.

    Ayn Rand suggested a fee for enforcing contracts. Others, citing even George Washington, as I recall, have offered a lottery. Simple charitable support from patriots could be enough, perhaps, as we Americans are habitual donors to very many causes. I suggested renting out national treasures such as the Declaration of Independence (several true copies exist). Bill Clinton gave a night in the White House to those who contributed to his political campaigns; and that opens some possibilities, also. Perhaps several of these or others could all be done. Each would bring in some money, and all combined might pay for the entire budget of a limited government.

    But each of those is, at best, a rubric, a headline to title a discussion. I believe that each of those has problems - costs and barriers - that leave them less attractive, or perhaps wholly unworkable. Perhaps we can discuss them in detail.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 months ago
      "voluntary subscriptions."
      I'm intrigued by this idea. Your response is about the philosophy of taxes. My issue is with the amount of taxes. I think gov't spending would be much lower if there more immediacy: a) no borrowing and b) tax payers received their money and had to go to a separate office (like EFTPS site) to pay taxes. It's illogical, but I think of taxes every time we do a tax deposit, but employees probably don't look at and think about their paystubs. If we gave them a little stack of 1/10th oz gold coins and then set aside a quarter of them for taxes, it would be more immediate. It would be clearer people give us more little gold coins than we spend because of the hard work we do, and then the gov't takes a quarter of the coins. On the other side of this lower-earning taxpayers get almost all their withheld money back; yet some of them feel like they pay high taxes. We need more clarity and immediacy.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 5 months ago
    Everyone knows that the collection of income tax is grossly unfair. Everyone knows there is gross waste of tax money. Everyone knows that the allocation of tax money is often horribly stupid. So, why doesn't everyone rise up against the way it's done? Because once its been done for a hundred years it seems to be, "that's just the way it is." It's that sort of thing that made me nuts when I was younger. Rand had a belief that there is a basic nobility in mankind that will eventually move toward her philosophy. Sorry, I don't think so. The very reason the Galts and Roarks are heroes is because of their rarity. But then, at my age, I'm no longer in the game and so long as I'm left alone I can get by. The future is my grandkids. One is a carbon copy of me. One is a Bernie voter. One is nothing at all.33% isn't too bad, I guess.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 5 months ago
    One of the biggest things I think would lead to wholesale tax reform is to stop taking taxes out of people's paychecks and force them all to pay SS, Medicare, etc. along with their end-of-year income taxes. By hiding these in the paystubs (a diabolically clever plan), people tend to gloss over the amounts of those taxes which they will never see again.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 5 months ago
    The history of George Harrison's (of Beatles fame) enlightenment on the progressively destructive income tax, as illustrated in "Taxman", is further delineated at Wikipedia.

    Taxman is now the state song of Virginia.
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  • Posted by mccannon01 5 months ago
    Tax day reading? How about a little tax day viewing of the I-Hate-Trump crowd demanding he disclose his tax return? IMHO, I hope he NEVER gives them the satisfaction. The circus of collectivist wag-tongues and gossips are going apoplectic over this and their mental melt down is a lovely sight to see, LOL! All they want is more fodder for sneering, sniping, snarking, and feeding the dumbed down useful idiots massive doses of their Kool-aid.

    I'm no fan of the convoluted tax system we're saddled with, but as long as we have it the only "entity" that should judge and be satisfied with ANYONE'S return is the IRS. The rest of the populace be damned.

    OK, with that said, has anyone seen or heard of any links to the celebrities that are part of the protest disclosing THEIR returns? It would seem to me if they are going to use their fame to sway an election in favor of their candidate and pick up a microphone in public and start spewing political rhetoric, then they should be held to the same standard they foist on others.

    Also, yeah, I may have jumped off topic here. My apologies. Couldn't help what popped into my head and had to vent after what I just saw on the news this morning while on the tread mill.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 months, 1 week ago
    Proposal #2 from Two Proposals is key. He talks about having people pay yearly, as he says, throwing the system into chaos. Why not just have workers get all their money and be required to go in to that lovely EFTPS site and remit their taxes within a week of payday, just as employers do now? People who currently think of taxes as that time where you get refund that pays for a spring-break trip would suddenly see taxes for what they are.
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    • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 1 week ago
      It used to be that way in that taxes were paid annually by those who owed. During World War II Milton Friedman suggested the payroll withholding system.

      I know that Milton Friedman talked a lot about capitalism, but he was inconsistent, incomplete, and incorrect on many points because he did not have an integrated philosophy.

      The broadest errors are revealed in his "monetist" theories. He wanted the government to manage the money supply to ensure a steady 3% growth. By that he meant that he wanted the money supply to increase by 3% per year to keep up with the economy. Such egregious error only underscores how a supposed friend of the free market could propose the income tax payroll withholding system.

      (BTW, later in life, he said that he was sorry about the income tax...)
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