A participant at the RV Dreams forums commented on my last blog post about what the Bible says about profiting on the suffering of others. His comment, with questions as well, mostly related to the last paragraphs in regards to taxation and universal health care. To be fair to all, I will first copy his comment to my blog and since it also applies to some of the comments on the RV Dreams forum, I’ll also provide some of those in an effort to remain “in context” of the overall discussion topics.
Comment from JCW on May 18, 2011 at 6:01 AM
“Really? You equate paying taxes with slavery? Would you have us pay *no* taxes, or just not have to pay taxes for things we disagree with? And why do you ignore my analogy with cops and firemen? Should cops only help those who pay them? Should firemen only respond to calls from people who have paid their fire insurance? And your comment about government only worsening peoples lives...would you abolish all government? These are silly arguments. The government is not the enemy. The government is us. We pick our leaders. We tell them what we want them to do while in office. And if they don't do that, we 'fire' them. So, in the end we the people end up with the government we asked for. I ask that this government enforce a minimum wage. I ask that this government offer unemployment insurance (which we all pay into). I ask that this government offer a guaranteed retirement program (which we all pay into). And now, I ask that the government make sure that everyone has access to affordable health care (that we all pay into). The individual can NOT do everything by him or herself. Sometimes we need to collectively do things for the good of us all. Or would you like to be responsible for that section of road out in front of your house and let your neighbor take care of that section of road in front of his house? Or, better yet, why don't you pick up a gun and head on over to Afghanistan and hunt down your share of Taliban fighters?”
Now, allow me to break down the comment portions so I can address each one in turn. Let’s first look at this part:
“Really? You equate paying taxes with slavery? Would you have us pay *no* taxes, or just not have to pay taxes for things we disagree with?”
I said nothing about paying “no” taxes, nor did I say anything about only paying taxes for those things with which I agree. Any reasonable person knows that there are functions of government that should be financed through taxes. The Constitution and many city Charters and state Constitutions are similar in that they specify those things which government is to provide for the citizens. However, government should be limited as it was intended by the founders and enumerated in the Constitution.
In regard to taxes, we constantly hear from some that everyone should pay their “fair share” (meaning the rich should pay more), but our current tax codes are not fair. If you look at Table 1 at the link below, you can see the percentages of the overall federal taxes that is paid by those in various income “percentages.” That site is The Tax Foundation and can be found (with a whole lot more information) at this website:
Looking at the bottom two lines of the chart, one can see that it lists a line for those who are a part of the top 50% of the income earners and those that are a part of the bottom 50% of income earners. Note that the percentage of all federal income taxes paid by those in the top 50% is 97.3% of the overall tax burden while those in the bottom 50% only pay 2.7% of the overall tax burden. (Note also that the source of the information is the Internal Revenue Service.)
(The chart title is “Summary of Federal Individual Income Tax Data, 2008 (Updated October 2010).” I would have included it within the text of this post, but when I tried, Live Writer messed up the table. Sorry that I couldn’t make it more convenient.)
If we really want to be fair, perhaps we should all look at a system of taxation that would actually be fair? A suggested system might be in the form of a “flat tax” or what is called the Fair Tax. I won’t attempt to explain the Fair Tax, but I do suggest anyone interested to check it out in books or at this website:
My issue with government is with excessive government, and truthfully, I should have worded it that way in my blog. An excessive one is one that dictates that we all have to participate with a program that we don’t necessarily like. Are you aware that there are U.S. citizens who do not want to be required to purchase health insurance? Some of those people are the ones that leftists claim to want to help. The thought that people choose to not have coverage is troubling, but is it my “right” to tell them that they must purchase a “product” that they don’t want?
Excessive government has raided the Social Security system. In the past, our Congress and Presidents have decided that it was a source of funds just ripe for the taking. Just this week, it was announced that both Social Security and Medicare would run out of money sooner than anticipated. In reality, Social Security is already a losing proposition in that it pays out more than is taken in by taxation, thus leading to a quicker loss of all Social Security funds.
Any talk of a Social Security “lock box” such as certain past leaders referred to is a myth. If there was a “Lock Box,” all that would be there are IOU’s issued by the government to the Social Security Administration. As Social Security needs money in order to pay out benefits, they have to go to the government and “cash in” some of those IOU’s. The government pays that, and then to compensate for that loss in available funds, it turns around and borrows from somewhere to replace it.