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    Posted by j_IR1776wg 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    The three most prominent milestones on the road to the destruction of Individual Rights began with the ten commandments of Karl Marx...

    1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

    5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

    6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

    7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

    8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

    9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

    10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.

    and continued with the words of Theodore Roosevelt

    “Personal property . . . is subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.”

    and

    “I have always believed that it would be necessary to give the National Government complete power over the organization and capitalization of all business concerns engaged in inter-state commerce.”

    concluding with the 16th Amendment

    "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

    Manifesto of the Communist Party
    Theodore and Woodrow Andrew Napolitano
    U.S. Constitution

    These were all that were necessary to destroy Individual Rights. They are so deeply ingrained in the minds of the majority that no mere words will serve to dislodge them. The current debate over the divvying up the spoils would be laughable if not so tragic.
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    • Posted by DrZarkov99 1 month, 2 weeks ago
      Entirely correct! However, I do remember the old Chinese saying, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." Any movement to restoring individual freedom, even if it's very minor, should be encouraged. Unwinding the authoritarian, communal approach to society will take generations, but like trying to convince a child to eat healthy food, it takes tiny tastes to convince people of the benefits of Objectivism. If this tax rejiggering results in the economic growth I expect, each successive step will be made easier, as people look forward to an increasing return from their willingness to change. Given the mantra of sacrifice for the greater good branded into the minds of Americans by religious and secular institutions, the idea of enlightened self interest will take a while to sink in. I share Esceptico's trust in Rand Paul, and if Rand sees this plan as a positive step, I'm willing to give it a chance.
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      • Posted by j_IR1776wg 1 month, 1 week ago
        While part of me wants to believe that gradual implementation of enlightened self-interest will suffice, I cannot shake off the reality that America, France, and Russia could only unshackle themselves from monarchy through violence and blood.
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  • Posted by  $  Ben_C 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    For me taxing production is inherently wrong. It is a disincentive and justifies the self righteousness of the looters and free loaders. It also lends itself to abuse by those who tax. Taxing consumption levels the playing field a bit more. Everyone has skin in the game. The sales tax on a private jet should be the same as a bicycle. A value added tax is a bad idea because it taxes production and assigns a hypothetical value to an incomplete goods. The debate in Congress would be about the sales tax percentage. A one page bill - not 500+ Consideration could be given to the destitute but charity begins at home. "If you can't hunt we will care for you, if you can hunt you are on your own." I like the KISS principle
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    • Posted by CaptainKirk 1 month, 2 weeks ago
      Income Tax IS Slavery.
      Where your master determines the Percentage of YOUR WORK that you can keep!

      Which is slavery.

      Tax other things. If you read the tax law close enough, if you grow your own food, and eat it, you owe tax on that! It's the same thing!
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      • Posted by  $  Ben_C 1 month, 2 weeks ago
        Agreed - that is why I am opposed to taxing production - for whom are we producing? WE do need a military and infrastructure. WE don't need Welfare, Dept of Indoctrination aka Education, EPA etc. Taxes are a necessary evil. Its not the taxes, its the amount and how it is achieved. .
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    • Posted by Storo 1 month, 2 weeks ago
      All that you say about taxes being a disincentive, etc. is true. The root of taxation (say in the Middle Ages or the Roman Empire) was to tax the people, property or goods and services so that those in power can get money to do the things they want to do, like fighting wars, building castles, living the good life, etc.
      Today it is not much different, only under our system those in power tax to get money to do the stuff that will bring them votes of those who benefit when the tax dollars are handed out.
      All of that begs the question as to do we need taxes at all?
      The answer, of course, is yes.
      Our civilization needs roads, schools, courts, police, fire protection, sewer, water and the other things we take for granted in our lives. But these are LOCAL services, provided by LOCAL governments.
      In terms of Federal services, the Founders got it right in the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8. These are the ONLY services of the Federal Government for which taxes should be collected in order to defray the cost of same.
      The issue to me is not whether or not taxes are necessary. The issue to me is whether the taxes we pay are 1) reasonable, 2) applicable to the powers allocated to the Federal government under the Constitution, and 3) being spent judiciously and prudently. My answer to all three of these questions is a resounding NO!!
      Perhaps the worst misuse of Federal power, and the most unconstitutional taxation, is the application by the Congress, the President, and the Judiciary of the so-called "welfare clause" in the very first sentence of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. The result is that over 60% of Federal spending is for things related to powers or services NOT DELEGATED to the Federal Government under the Constitution, and add another 6% for interest on the debt and you have two-thirds of Federal spending going for things that the government does not have the delegated powers to perform. in addition, all of the spending on these things are considered to be "mandatory spending", while the spending associated with the actual powers delegated to the Federal Government under the Constitution are considered to be "discretionary", and thus are subject to all of the tempestuous politics we see each year when funding bills are passed.
      So as far as the current tax bill is concerned, I favor anything that reduces taxes on ordinary people, businesses, and the services we use and pay for. This bill purports to do that, but we will need to wait and see whether the result will be any new reform. Meanwhile this bill adds another $1.4 TRILLION to the national debt, and I see nobody willing to propose budgets or other legislation that will do anything about that. I also see nobody who wants to face reality and actually fix our fiscal problems.
      I oppose most taxation for the non-delegated and unconstitutional powers and services the government has taken on. If our government spent on the basis of delegated powers only, the government would need only about $1.3 Trillion per year instead of the $3.8 Trillion it spent in 2015. Perhaps that’s why I support an Article 5 Convention of States to propose Amendments to the Constitution that would 1) require a balanced Federal Budget like all States are required to have, 2) propose an amendment that would define the so-called Welfare Clause and cut the legs from under the spendthrift policies it allows out representatives to concoct, 3) propose an amendment that would spell out the steps the Federal Government would need to take whenever a Public Debt is accumulated beyond a certain level, and a process that would be put in place to address how the government borrows and for what purposes.
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  • Posted by term2 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    In our political system, the government takes whatever IT CAN from each and every group of people. If you have little political power, you tend to pay more. If you are in a politically powerful group, you pay less. Its pretty simple actually.

    Votes are "bought" thru tax breaks and handouts iin a "democracy".
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Great article. If the standard for taxation were based on individual rights, the Sixteenth Amendment never would have been passed. It was taxation via the Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, and more that caused the American Revolution. It is also notable that there were no provisions for a Federal Income Tax for more than 100 years after the Founding because the Founders literally revolted against any such.

    As a side note, I would also point out that the power to tax is also the power to control, and there is no greater threat to free speech than the personal income tax.
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  • Posted by mia767ca 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    all taxation is theft....big govt doesn't work...

    you do not reduce taxes without a dollar for dollar reduction in govt
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    • Posted by Storo 1 month, 2 weeks ago
      A better question at the moment may be "Do you reduce taxes without a proportional reduction in the Government's debt?"
      Thomas Jefferson is credited with having said that the single greatest threat to Liberty is the Public Debt. If that's true, and I believe it is, we are over our heads in DooDoo and the politicians just keep piling it on "for the greater good". we'll see how that works out after the collapse.
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      • Posted by mia767ca 1 month, 2 weeks ago
        in the 3 prior collapses of the Fed Reserve, we were an agrarian economy...when the 4th Fed (our current one) collapses our industrial economy will see a 90% death rate within 30 days...

        according to book by Geitner (Secretary of Treasury under Obama) we came within 48 hours of the govt shutting down all ATMs across the country...were you ready for the collapse in 2009....or would you have been dead in 30 days...
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  • Posted by chad 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    The question of the tax bill is who will be looted the most or at best if the looting can be reduced slightly causing the economy to shift not toward efficiency but how to protect property and still try to earn a profit. The debate is how to divide the spoils rather than to quit using the threat (and use of) violence to achieve an immoral act of theft by government with a promise to be kind. Would I choose a kinder slave master? Only if I thought it might provide a better opportunity for escape, not because it was a move in the right direction toward freedom.
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  • Posted by Esceptico 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Of course it is not ideal. The question is it better than what we have. I have not read the proposed law, and I doubt anyone else in the public has either. Rand Paul says it is as good we can reasonably expect, and he supports it. I join Rand.
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    • Posted by 1 month, 1 week ago
      The centerpiece is the slash in corporate taxes. And that was a #1 Trump campaign promise. That is really ALL the tax bill is about, which is why the national socialists are hysterical. Surely that cut in corporate taxes will mean something for production?
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      • Posted by Esceptico 1 month, 1 week ago
        I sure do agree the bill is not tax "reform" as promised, but mere tinkering. Reform would be something like the flat tax or the FAIR tax. That will come just after Hell freezes over. In the meantime, rather than pine for perfect, I'll take tinkering if it heads in the right direction.
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  • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    If the standard is individual rights, then the tax bill should be judged by whether it is more invasive or less invasive of individual rights than the tax laws it replaces. The answer is not necessarily clear-cut, but the standard is.
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    • Posted by 1 month, 2 weeks ago
      Well, Objectivists, of course, assert that the standard should be individual rights. The tax bill and the debate over it had no real reference to rights, and you are correct, it would be difficult to say if individuals rights came out better or worse after 515 pages of new legislation.
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      • Posted by term2 1 month, 2 weeks ago
        I would say that "property rights" as a concept is pretty much dead in the USA. If they take less money from me in taxes, I retain slightly more of that right. If they take more from me, I lose more of my rights.
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  • Posted by Storo 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    The tax bill that is working its way through Congress is, I suspect, a mixed bag, just like all "compromise" legislation is. Yes, it will reduce some tax bracket rates, it will reduce corporate taxes to a better level, but the devil is in the details and it is yet to be seen what those details are. Then there are the unintended consequences, but that's another post.
    as always the politicians roll out this "massive", "historic" bill, and they tell us only what they portray as the up side.
    So in the end, it becomes what it becomes and we must live with it until the next time, or until Democrats regain control of the Government, at which time you will be told the "need" for massive, historic tax increases.
    Thank you, Two Party system.
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  • Posted by fosterj717 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    The problem as I see it with this tax bill is that it is essentially window dressing that covers everyone's sorry backsides! This is not necessarily Trump's fault as much as it is the Denizens of the Swamp, both R's and D's (not to mention the clowns in the Main Stream Media).

    If Trump were serious about this gambit, he would have had the other side of the equation covered as well. Meaning, cutting the budget BEFORE pushing for bogus (yes, bogus) tax reform. If he pushed both and stayed the course, the American people would have stood behind him regardless of the garbage that comes out of Congress! That is holding the Moral High Ground and taking the hits from all who are champions of the "status quo".

    The promises that are worth keeping are the one's that are worth fighting for and not just taking whatever one can get in order to declare victory! This Tax bill will come back to haunt everyone! That you can bet on.......
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  • Posted by wiggys 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    To ask by what standard are we judging the tax legislation suggests that there are more than one standard to chose from. There are no standards to begin with therefore the question need not be asked.
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    • Posted by 1 month, 1 week ago
      Well, the national socialists/leftists are applying a standard: redistribution of wealth. And the Trumpists are applying a standard: Give an incentive to corporations to return to the U.S. or stay here. And Objectivists apply a standard: reduce the size and costs of government as rapidly as possible toward a theoretical zero point. Those ARE standards, but not all of them are standards that can be supported by facts and logic.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    By what standard?...certainly not by the 'small' government standard.

    It's dizzying, all these percentages. I think government, the only entity that should be 'Altruistic" should use all it's so called investments, other than tax revenues listed in it's CAFR, (Comprehensive annual financial report) and pay for the only things it's supposed to be doing; like, protecting our boarders and keeping idiots and their idiotologies out of our country.

    Maybe we should add a weekly class on: "How to behave yourself".
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    • Posted by 1 month, 2 weeks ago
      Yeah, a lot of percentages. But the implication, really, of all of them, is that talk about the "lowest income" group getting screwed and the upper income brackets making out like bandits is ridiculous. Half of all Americans who file tax returns are essentially irrelevant to the outcome; they aren't even in the game except for getting tax credits--tax related welfare.
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      • Posted by cranedragon 1 month, 2 weeks ago
        You can always tell the bias of the commentator in the news articles by how they refer to tax cuts -- they rarely comment that the successful or hard-working get to keep more of what they make; they always speak as though a tax cut is taking money out of the pockets of those who earned it and transferring it to those who didn't .
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