By Bastiat's definition, I guess all forms of taxation are legal plunder.
Had an individual boarded a ship in 1790 and demanded payment of a tariff upon
threat that the ship's goods would be impounded, the individual would have
been guilty of a crime. But Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution
gives Congress the power to imposes taxes and tariffs. So, apparently, Bastiat
disagreed with the drafters of the Constitution.
"I oppose this act because it would be considered a crime"Ah, So now raising taxes is a crime?House vote - 257
Representatives voting in favor and 167 voting againstSenate vote - 89
Senators voting in favor and 8 voting againstLooks like most of our
congress should be in jail (according to you). Or is it just Obama?Do you really hold that it is a crime "if the law benefits one citizen at
the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without
committing a crime." So much for school taxes for those without
children.So much for a Tax for roads for those without a car.So much
for (add yours here) The list could go on and on.
My wife grew up in a socialist European country. She was a pretty tepid
political moderate until one summer day. She called and asked if I could get
out of work a couple of hours early so we could go swimming at the YMCA with our
son. I said I couldn't, I had to work. She went anyway. While in the
pool, she overheard one woman (whose male companion was also in the pool) say to
another "Well, I could work, but then I would lose my welfare check".
She became a hardcore conservative from that second.You get what you
subsidize. If the government subsidizes people not working we should expect
people not to work. I seem to remember comments about the "dangers of the
dole".My wife chose to go back to school to become an engineer.
She teaches Math and takes Chemistry during the day and Physics at night. I go
to pick her up at 10:00 pm at the college, after I have worked at my job. We
are sacrificing fun and leisure for our financial future. But will it be worth
it after the extra taxes we will have to pay?
"My wife chose to go back to school to become an engineer. She teaches Math
and takes Chemistry during the day and Physics at night. I go to pick her up at
10:00 pm at the college, after I have worked at my job. We are sacrificing fun
and leisure for our financial future."....so what happened to
that son you couldn't spend time with?Pathetic to allow a
single overheard conversation convince you that you should sacrifice your life
in pursuit of financial gain.I overheard a banker in the sauna
talking about responsibility one day...
I cannot comment or respond while I work, so allow me to proactively respond to
some of the highly predictable comments that will surely come:- I
have nothing against immigrants. I was twice an immigrant to Europe, (not
counting mission) I am married to an immigrant and 75% of my work team are
immigrants - they are intelligent, hard-working people. If anything we do not
allow enough immigrants in. What I do not like are benefits (food stamps, extra
school programs, welfare) that are given to immigrants. Don't break the
law, pay your own way, and we're good.- Like Milton Friedman, I
am not against government spending per se, as long as it is as close to the
local level as possible. Utahns should not pay for Texas highways, and Texans
shouldn't pay for Utah schools.- I am not against public
schooling or even increased spending for schooling per se, but schools have
morphed into social service centers rather than places of learning. More money
will not mean better learning under this model.- The taxpayer should
not bail out corporations.
Sooooo... I'm confused...This letter writer would rather attack
fellow Americans? Saying that those earning less need to be "plundered?"
What about folks like Mitt Romney and Corporations like GE who pay
near zero?What about EXXON mobile which is STILL being subsidized
despite making record profits into the billions?I guess it's
just easier to attack the poor and middle class than to advocate big corp and
richies to pay their fair shares. While the rest of us have struggled the last
few years they have flourished.
Mr. HereticMy wife was a stay-at-home mom until our son went to
school. She doesn't work or go to school during the summers. The pool
conversation didn't affect her decision to go to school, rather it affected
her attitude towards the welfare state. Taking money from one person to give to
another under threat of prison and house confiscation is wrong. She saw the
damage the welfare state did to her home country which is perennially broke.
We don't have a babysitter, or leave him alone. My wife
doesn't teach full time. She picks him up from school. He is either with
one of us, or at school. He is getting straight A's, and talks about
physics. He asked me last week if when matter is converted to energy if it
loses information. After my answer, he said, "well, that wasn't how you
explained relativity to me. You said Einstein taught. . ." In fact Mr.
Heretic, at age 11 I think he is doing pretty well.The three of us
do everything together. Grocery shop, read, movies, my wife's charity
work, field trips, lunch, . .
Poor sad multi millionaires. Its so terrible for them that a temporary tax cut
expired and now they have to pay taxes at the same levels that they did under
Clinton. How can they possibly survive? I think we should start a
new political party comprised mainly of poor and middle class people who sre
dedicated to the sole purpose of protecting tax breaks for millionaires and
billionaires. Oh wait...
Although I consider myself to be fairly conservative, my patience is wearing
thin when it comes to the whining about how terrible multi-millionaires and
billions have it. The rich seem very capable of taking care of themselves.
I'm not a socialist, but I do agree with Obamaa in the need to "spread
the wealth around." CEOs shouldn't be making hundreds of times more
than their average employee. In a perfect world, they wouldn't.
What a silly letter. Taxation is not plunder.
This letter only makes sense to me when I remember that when conservatives use
the term “the people” they really mean “the business
"We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some
of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those
loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible
for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of
his salary, and that’s crazy. [...] Do you think the millionaire ought to
pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?" - Ronald
ReaganDo you also "oppose this act because it would be
considered a crime?"Criminal? I think not. I doubt you do
More silliness from the far right.Now all of a sudden taxation is
"plunder?" What do you nutcakes want? No taxes at all? Go
live in Afghanistan then. Sheesh
I would voluntarily pay more taxes if it were an offset of the national debt.
Unfortunately, there is little likelihood that would happen. Politicians have
never seen someone else's dollar they didn't want to spend.
All should read "The Proper Role of government" written by Ezra Taft
Benson when he was both a cabinet member and a member of the LDS quorum of the
twelve apostles. To be short, his essay is in harmony with the letter
writer's opinion. I can not legally "take" half of my
neighbor's cows, just because my neighbor owns 10 and I own none. It is
also not just to ask the sheriff (ie. the law of the land, congress, etc) to
take half of my neighbors cows and "redistribute" them to me. An
essential element of freedom is the right to own individual property.
One post cited Article 1, Section 8, but that poster did not tell us that
Congress has power to tax us ONLY for the enumerated duties listed in that
one-sentence Section. We gave power to Congress to tax us, but we did not give
them unlimited power to tax us. We listed the duties (services) that we expect
the Federal Government to perform. Those duties are very limited. All other
duties (services) we reserved for the States or for ourselves (Amendment 10).
Transferring wealth is not an authorized duty of the Federal
Government. Taxing one person at a higher rate is not authorized by the
Constitution. Those who twist the Supreme Law of the Land to include
legislation from the bench need to rethink the reason that we limit government.
They need to rethink the word "freedom". They need to rethink what it
means to have agency and responsibility.The Government is not our
nanny. We are responsible to our Creator to use our lives productively and to
take care of our own responsibilities without crying to government to feed us,
to clothe us, to house us. We are responsible.
Ezra Taft Benson was an extreme conservative influenced by the Cold War and
Cleon Skousen. I have a hard time believing that modern-day prophets
like President Monson would advocate raising the taxes on the poor, cutting food
stamps, cutting medicine for cancer patients, and food on wheels so that folks
like Mitt Romney can still pay near zero on their taxes. Or so GE can pay zero.
Or so EXXON Mobile can receive their subsidies.In fact, President
Kimball was pretty clear in his view AGAINST our defense spending. All should
read, "The False Gods we Worship.""We are a warlike
people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the
Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods
of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and
depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become
antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God"Even when the army
itself states that they don't want certain tanks, repubs say YES and stuff
them down their throats.What we need to do is listen to a
prophet's voice. Listen to the savior. STOP WORSHIPING MONEY!
@ 4601Apparently you missed Clinton's Presidency. He actually
had a surplus. Then along came the GOP's champion, George W. Bush. And
well... Our debt is now in the trillions.
Bastiat's philosophy is a giggle. Equating piracy with constitutional,
representative taxation "to promote the general welfare"? Not exactly
Maverick,We know from you saying that 49% is a majority that you have a
problem with math. You are further showing your math problems by
claiming Clinton had a surplus. Clinton never had a surplus - he was still
borrowing from Social Security to meet general government expenditures. Gross
federal debt INCREASED every year during the clinton administration.Yeah, after slick willy came bush, then BO. BO's deficits are LARGER
than bush's. Gross federal bdet increased more in 38 months under BO than
it did in 96 months under bush. Do you REALLY want to compare?And
you are really showing gullibility by claiming anyone has been proposing raising
taxes on the poor so wealthy folk have to pay less. the bush tax cuts reduced
marginal rates for the middle and lower class more than the wealthy. but
you've never been one to let the truth interfere with your ideaology.
Sorry, Mike Richards, wrong again. Commerce clause, General Welfare clause.
Government can do anything not specifically banned.
Restoring the top 1% tax rates to pre Bush dissaster status, is not a tax
increase. It is fixing a collosial mistake, George Bush. The budget can be
balanced. HOW? By restoring the tax rates on the rest of us to the Clinton
rates. The GOp will and have called that the biggest tax increase in american
history. I call George Bush the biggest mistake in american history. The
solution is so simple, Even simple minded republicans should understand it!
I'm sure future generations think we're plundering them for refusing
to pay for the services we get...
@ Mike Richards:Try to stay focused on the issue. The original
letter said taxation is plunder. But Article I, Section 8 allows taxation and
tariffs. Your frequently stated view is that government can only make
expenditures for ennumerated purposes. That view does not bear on the question
of whether taxes are plunder. (And your view has been repeatedly
rejected by all three branches of government.)
This is one of the silliest letters I've read in a long time.Lets ask ourselves a few questions:#1 In the past 20 years, has
CEO pay risen or decreased? If so, how much? #2 In relation to labor, how
much has CEO pay increase or decreased?#3 In the past 20 years, has the
middle-class grown or shrunk? #4 In the past 20 years has the wealth
distribution in this country become more equal or less equal? Where has it gone?
#5 Are we seeing, over the past 20 years, the rising tide raising all
boats (as promised by Reaganomics) or are just a few?#6 Under Bush, we saw
a tax cut given to the upper classes. Has this country gained or lost jobs from
2000-2008? #7 In the past 20 years have unions been strengthened or
weakened?#8 In the past 20 years, has big oil been given more or fewer
subsidies?There ya have it folks. I challenge any
conservative/republican to answer (truthfully) the questions above. I then ask the question, who is really being plundered? The rich? Or the
Eric,Sorry, you are wrong again - 10th amendment precludes the massive
expansion of power you say exists under the preamble and commerce clause.Homebrew,nope, a restoration to the clinton rates, which would
raise rates MORE on the middle and lower class than on upper incomes would not
balance the budget. The budget was not balanced under slick willy and that was
before Obamacare and Medicare Part D.Gross federal debt at the end
of fiscal year (millions):1998: 54781891999: 5605523 INCREASE of
1273342000: 5628700 INCREASE of 23177Nope, no surplus when
gross federal debt is increasing.
"Nope, no surplus when gross federal debt is increasing."Bottom line is that if we had the "Clinton deficits" since he was in
office, our country would be in MUCH better shape.Certainly looked
like great compared to what we have had since.So, quibble if you
want. But we would all love those deficits today and under Bush.
By a raise of hands, how many think that the Federal Government has authority to
do whatever it deems necessary under the "General Welfare" clause or the
"Interstate Commerce" clause or the "Santa" clause?Read Article 1, Section 8. Read the entire SENTENCE. Yes, it is just one
sentence. How many think that "foregoing Powers" extends beyond Section
8? Apparently too many had trouble in their English class. The "foregoing
Powers" clause is dependent on the rest of the sentence. It does not stand
alone. It cannot be used to expand "power" beyond Section 8. That is
exactly why we have Amendment 1: to restrict the Federal Government's
authority and power.Twisting and turning the words is a favorite
pastime game where liberals get together and see just how far they can go before
people who have actually read the Constitution catch them. They howl whenever
someone tells them that, until amended, the Constitution prevents 90% of what
they want to do. They want us to think that General Welfare extends to Personal
Welfare and that they have the right to take from one person and to give to
another. Nonsense! Pure Nonsense!
Egg on my face. "Amendment 1" should be "Amendment 10". Sorry.
I agree with James. Most of what we pay at the state liquor store is nothing but
plunder. Power to the people.
Mike RichardsBy a show of hands? Awesome, let's do that. Since
every major constitutional scholar over the last fifty years, plus everyone who
works in government agrees that you're wrong, let's by all means have
a referendum. Lost in DC,Not an expansion of federal powers.
Actual federal powers. I know y'all love the tenth; doesn't mean you
@Eric,I'll bet Mike Richards is having a good laugh at your
expense. That was a "trick" question. How many times has he referred
to pure Democracy as "mob rule"? It doesn't matter how many people
are for something unless those people get together and convince 75% of the
States to amend the Constitution. Some of you seem to think that
you can "vote" to put Uncle Sam's hand in your "rich"
neighbor's pockets (as long as he doesn't put his hand in your
pocket). That's just not the way that it works. With a flat rate tax, the
"rich guy" will always pay a larger amount of taxes than you or me. With
a graduated tax or a tax that punishes that "rich guy" for working hard,
just how long do you think that he will be Obama's "patsy"? Let me put some words in Mike's mouth, "By a raise of hands,
how many of you think that we live in a Democracy where you vote for the
President"? I'm looking for a good laugh to finish off my day.
Re:LostPublic debt, includes all debt borrowed by government and
held by investors through T-notes and other securities. Gross federal debt,
includes public debt plus debt held by the government. The most notable forms of
debt held by government are the trust funds for SS and Medicare. Public debt rose during the first 4 Clinton years, then fell from a 1997 peak
to a 2001 trough.From 1993-2001, gross federal debt increased,
because the increase in money in government trust funds exceeded the annual
decreases in the federal budget deficit.The discrepancy between
gross and public debt occurred because of program surpluses and the rapid growth
of reserves held by the various trust fund accounts, such as SS. SS surpluses
are invested in government bonds; the proceeds of these purchases go into the
general treasury, and when the bonds mature, the treasury is obligated to pay
back the SS trust both principal and interest.The growth of
surpluses meant government didn't have to issue as much debt to the public.
The government paid off more of its old debt than it issued new debt to the
public. Therefore, net federal debt held by the public declined."(Politifact)