I know you know this:
The U.S. has long been a semi-socialist country. A progressive tax code is part and parcel to the American dream - it's part of what makes America great. Republicans and Democrats both engage in socialism. The percentage varies but they are both on board with this system. So it sounds to me that you really aren't on board with either Democrats, Republicans, or the U.S.A.
You are correct - I am not on board with present-day Democrats or Republicans. What's the difference? When considering the scale of the problems we face as a nation, the differences between the Republicans and Democrats are virtually non-existent. In this election, we have a choice between the most liberal Democrat Senator and the most liberal Republican Senator. Oooooh, exciting! I don't think it matters much for the future of our nation which one we choose -- either one will give us a bigger government that we don't need and can't afford.
Yes, I agree we've been becoming more socialist for the last hundred years or so, but I think that's exactly why we're in such bad shape. And this past week or so we've taken a huge step further down the drain.
The progressive income tax has been with us for awhile, but our country has spent more time without it than with it, so don't pretend that's what the founding fathers had in mind, or that's it's been the norm for our nation since it's inception.
You are on board with yourself, period. Which calls into question your own morals and understanding of Constitutionality, not to mention patriotism. But at least you and your buds have something to salivate over when you lay blame for everything under the sun on those evil liberals.
That's not cool, man.
Here's what I believe:
1) Individuals know best how to spend their own money, and individuals are more charitable when they are allowed to keep their own money.
2) Private charities and organizations solve problems more efficiently than government.
Therefore, I believe my family, my neighborhood, my community, and society as a whole is better off when tax rates are lower and there is less government interference in all aspects of our lives.
Quick hypothetical: If "they" returned $10,000 of the taxes you paid last year, you might keep it all for yourself and your family. I doubt that, though. We know you wouldn't give any to a church, but I bet you'd spread some of it around to local charities like Boys & Girls Club or organizations like Wounded Warriors. I also know you would not donate even $1 of it to the CEO of Lehman Bros to bail him out of trouble.
If you, as an individual, think it's a better idea for the government to steal that $10,000 from you and give it directly to Lehman Bros, then I think something is wrong with you. I can understand why you, as a politician, would like to take other people's money and distribute it as you see fit, and that's the evil of politics. But, I don't see how they convince you as an individual to go along with that plan.
I think it's no coincidence that Conservatives are more charitable than Liberals. Liberals love to solve problems using other people's money (no strings attached there, right?). But they aren't so keen to step up to the plate with their their own money. Conservatives believe in personal responsibility and the ability of each individual to make the right decisions, both for himself and for society as a whole. Call me crazy, but you just have to read a newspaper to see that your way isn't working.
And please note, I'm talking Conservative vs. Liberal, NOT (R) vs. (D). I believe 99% of Washington (not just the Dem party) is operating on the liberal end of the spectrum as it relates to this conversation.
I wonder, how do you feel about the head of Lehman Bros., who's average compensation for the 14 (?) years that he was in charge was...(drum roll, please)...$17,000 per HOUR? Do you think it is "moral" that the leaders of large companies make that kind of money? I don't. They are writing their own checks while they lay off people who have two kids at home and are living paycheck to paycheck. There is nothing moral about that and it goes on in almost every large corporation. Yet good people (I call them fools) support this system because of some hardass, unrealistic theory about income redistribution and how unfair it is. Give me a break! They are taking you to the cleaners along with the rest of us. And now we've got a Congress that is nearly as elite as the CEO crowd. They are writing laws to benefit them more than us - yet we are the majority. When are people going to wake up in this country and demand change in Washington? If you've heard the saying, "it takes money to make money", you'll have a leg up on understanding this. Congress and big business are in bed together and we ain't gettin' any. It's high time people like the Lehman dick pay a good 50% tax, maybe more. He actually earned a tiny fraction of what he received. This country is on a dangerous path in terms of compensation and wealth inequality.
I agree with Rocky Mt - those guys should be burned at the stake. Well, they should at least be scared to show their faces in public, and they should never be able to collect another paycheck. But, of course, we're not letting nature take it's course, are we? (Who in their right mind would put any of these guys back in a leadership position? I guess we, the taxpayers will...)
And I think you're making a mistake with your logic. What does the source of income have to do with the proper level of taxation?
Sure, some people make a lot of money in dishonest ways. But many good people make a lot of money doing good business. Neither scenario is a justification for increasing tax rates. Bill Gates has made a lot of money, but you don't think he's a criminal, do you? (I mean before Vista.) He's probably the most charitable person in the world, and somehow he's able to do that without some government managing his money for him. Do you think the government should take even more of his money in taxes, and thereby reduce the amount that his charity has to work with? Does Bill Gates owe you something? I think not.
Joe Biden recently said it was "patriotic" to pay more taxes. Don't we all have the option of voluntarily paying more income tax than the minimum required? I wonder how much extra money Joe has been sending the IRS lately? I have a feeling he's more like Charles Rangel than Mother Teresa. He certainly isn't giving anything to charity:
Joe Biden and American Charity by Byron York on National Review Online
(What a douche. That guy should be embarrased - he makes Obama and Kerry look generous! Like Al Gore trying to change the way YOU live instead of the way HE lives -- Biden has plenty of ideas when it comes to spending YOUR money, while he's awfully stingy with HIS OWN money!)
If you're honest about it, the "rich" are the only ones who really pay taxes anyway, and they pay well more than their "fair share". Raising the tax rate on anybody is always a bad idea. I know it doesn't make sense, but the rich are actually paying more taxes now than they were before W's "tax cuts for the rich". (Actually, it makes perfect sense once you admit that it wasn't really a "tax cut for the rich"):
Regarding the most recent bailouts, I once again agree with Dr. Paul. While everyone else in Washington is tripping over themselves trying to pin the blame on the "free market" failings, he explains that it was (and is) another case of too much government intervention that got us here in the first place, and will continue to make it worse:
Commentary: Bailouts will lead to rough economic ride - CNN.com
I'd encourage you to spend $10 and two hours of your time to read Paul's book, "The Revolution: A Manifesto". It's a quick read and a good history lesson, and I bet you'll agree with more than you want to admit! I'm sure we agree on most things - I just don't see the difference between the two parties anymore, or the need for such a large ineffective debt-ridden nanny-state government.
:twocents x 3