I want to talk a bit about my views on taxation. Ever since Jesus saw Caesar’s picture on the coin and said “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” He is saying go ahead and pay your taxes. In fact he then says “Give unto Heaven what is Heaven’s.” Separating the church and state.
There was big political struggle between the common people and the elite then as there has always been. The Christians were oppressed under Caesar. He was being challenged by the public and set the tone for Christianity and it’s relationship to the state. It is the Christian ethic to pay your taxes.
We have a society and we have a culture originally, where the founding fathers were trying to avoid the taxation thing. They were taxed by England.
Exploited as were all British colonies. The early federal government did not tax directly. The union was poor as it was dependent on contributions from states.
Early on, the White House was poor. Some of the president’s didn’t even live in it from what I recall. It got run down. And by that time Lincoln’s got there, it was you know. It was kind of in shambles.
The White House hasn’t always been stately place that it is. Well, nothing has always been stately, but it hasn’t always been treated well and one of the things is that there is no money.
A lot of things have happened to the country as a whole, so the ability to a raise taxes, to tax, and to a keep budget is a very important.
So the debate has always been much taxes would you pay, and if you are going to pay taxes, would you pay them to the state or to the union?
There’s a lot stuff going on and all that, a lot of layers there. But the main idea here is that we need to have a good strong society.
What’s happening is there is been a large fiction about taxes, several ideas that have been put forth that don’t historically show true. One is that lower taxes on the wealthy produces a stronger economy. There is no statistic to support that. It does not hold true historically when you look at the tax rate on the top earners and the top income people.
Another thing is that if you tax the wealthy people, they won’t invest their money in making more money. That doesn’t hold true either. The economy has increased to when the taxes on the wealthiest have been the highest. We have some fictions been perpetrated.
What we have in the United States today is an economy where the taxes and therefore the benefits are levied heavily on the lower portions on the economy. There is a breaking point at which the wealthier you are, the easier it is that less taxes you pay.
So, we have, for instance, a cap on social security where above the certain income you don’t contribute to social security anymore and that means that the social security is being run out of money, but we have been reluctant to have a social security tax on the higher income which in itself will do more to support the lower two-thirds of the population than any other program at this point.
We just goof around about that and don’t deal with it so we allow those with a lot of money to keep a larger portion of their money. It’s because the way social security was set up originally.
There were a large number of producers and a small number of people drawing on it and that’s not going on now, but there was so much of the social security surplus that they allocated some of the money for other things and that’s been a problem.
For accidents, often what that means is that they reallocate the existent taxes that they’re taking in.
There’s even a portion of the political makeup that we would like to eliminate government as much as possible. I can see some merit to it. Obviously you don’t want frivolous government employment.
That’s one of the problems that they had recently in Greece when their economy was in trouble, but they continued to have a large top heavy government structure that had a lot of ways to abuse in that system and you certainly you don’t want that.
However, as a society, we need the society where we want and how we’re going to pay for it. Because right now, the top incomes are paying smaller portion, they’re paying capital gains tax. They have a lot of ways to hide income and to enjoy a lot of luxuries that simply aren’t taxed because of the way they move their money around.
I don’t think most people even realize how little tax they actually pay on the income, and because they deduct everything, everything is a business expense. It winds up being so little tax that they actually pay. It’s kind of ridiculous in proportion to their income.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have business allowances on things I’m not saying that at all, all I’m saying is that we need to get the biggest, strongest engines of our economy working in the economy and funding it in a different way.
That’s a problem, if we allow these big, strong economic engines of the ultra-wealthy to go untapped as a source to really strengthen and bolster our economy. We’re going to wind up not having very much of an economy. People are afraid to tax people with money, and therefore the people with large amounts of resources are treated frivolously.
I remember when this subject came up, a lot of people coming on TV and said, “look I’m wealthy I don’t think that I pay enough taxes they should charge me more taxes”. There were many celebrities and other people who had the same kind of sentiment. Apparently they understood “give unto Caesar” Current research suggests that about $75 000 is about the amount to this point that one needs to make in order to feel comfortable, in order to not feel financial pressure.
We need to tap those engines. We need to get that flow happening. Because they’ve got the most income, we need them to pay their fair share in taxes. We can either eliminate the capital gains tax, increase the social security contributions.
One of the things that we do need to do about all of this is we need to get a grip on our medical expenses. Maybe we should not have our medical expenses dictated by our insurance companies. There’s kind of a consortium of businesses here that are interrelated. There’s a big pharma, there’s the hospital conglomerates, the hospital chains, there’s the A.M.A., and there’s the insurance companies. All of these folks are making money and the prices keep going up.
There’s really no regulation on big pharma in the US and there’s no point where you could easily insert regulation, unless you do like single payer in competitive bidding. It’s possible to do that and that might actually be a way to make the insurance system work. The US pays and the rest of the world has negotiated a lower price.
What we have in the US right now is a kind of a runaway train. Modern healthcare is motivated to make money on illness. It can create illness if needed. Think “irritable bowel syndrome”.
Health and happiness are closely related.
I think if we are trying to resolve one issue of the world, human health might be number three, number one being global warming and number two being over population.
I do think that the number one thing about taxes is to make so much money you don’t mind paying them. The more you give unto Caesar the merrier!
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