Civics Lesson

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Betruger
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:54 am

Post by Betruger »

I'm just seeing so many people used to govt presence, and tax cuts would reduce that. I expect some withdrawal. Suppose it could be possible, somehow, to make it happen, then it could be just a short while of rough complaining till they realize they can take care of themselves on their own... But I don't see it happening in the first place, short of .... the govt itself forcing it on them. The govt itself reducing govt size? :lol: I just don't see this happening.

MirariNefas
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Post by MirariNefas »

ravingdave wrote: People who pay taxes should be apportioned votes in accordance with how much they pay into the public treasury. People who pay no taxes should STFU and get a job.

I have long said that elections should always be held on April 15, and your ballot should be the back of your tax return.
It's a nice idea, a distribution of power with more legitimacy than something more arbitrary, but with stability issues. The rich voters could too easily vote in measures that enhance and stabilize their own capacity to accumulate wealth. They'd get the most money and pay the most taxes without actually contributing any more to society. In the end, just another oligarchy. Similar to our current system with the political donations and lobbyists, but more direct.

BSPhysics
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Post by BSPhysics »

"The govt itself reducing govt size? I just don't see this happening."

Ahh, the slippery slope of government expansion. It's like a drug addiction or may I quote Yoda. "Once you go down the path of the dark side, forever will it rule your destiny." I don't mind legitimate debate on the merits of expansion/contraction of government but I can't stand it when the government expansionists accuse the reductionists of being uncompassionate. George W. Bush used the expression "Compassionate Conservative" back in 1999 and I cringed. Government expansionists don't own the moral high ground on compassion. It simply negates all dialogue.

BS

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

MirariNefas wrote:
ravingdave wrote: People who pay taxes should be apportioned votes in accordance with how much they pay into the public treasury. People who pay no taxes should STFU and get a job.

I have long said that elections should always be held on April 15, and your ballot should be the back of your tax return.
It's a nice idea, a distribution of power with more legitimacy than something more arbitrary, but with stability issues. The rich voters could too easily vote in measures that enhance and stabilize their own capacity to accumulate wealth. They'd get the most money and pay the most taxes without actually contributing any more to society. In the end, just another oligarchy. Similar to our current system with the political donations and lobbyists, but more direct.


This is the response which is offered to me every time I mention the idea to someone. The wealthy will end up running the system, unlike of course, what we have now.


According to Wikipedia, there are 469 billionaires in the USA, and between 9 and 16 million millionaires, and apparently 173 million taxpayers.


Somehow I don't think the Rich (defined as how much money?) are going to be able to do anything too troublesome to the rest of us.


Apart from everything else, Only Taxpayers voting was pretty much the law until the good intentioned but wrong headed 24th amendment was passed. It went too far in saying "or other tax."


David

Helius
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Location: Syracuse, New York

Post by Helius »

ravingdave wrote: Somehow I don't think the Rich (defined as how much money?) are going to be able to do anything too troublesome to the rest of us.
David
Our political system is already skewed by way of campaign finance such that we simply continue to do things wrong.

This is why I have to use H&R Block or Turbo Tax rather than just HTTPS to an IRS web site, clearly the cheaper and simpler way to go. The paper shuffle industry wouldn't allow it.

Look at the DoE web site: Everything is "in the mix" .... They will not allow new forms of Nuclear Energy to destroy big Coal, or even the existing forms of Nuclear Power. Why did they kill the IFR in 1994?

Anyone whom doesn't see our current state of Campaign finance as the equivalent to cash bribes, simply doesn't understand the fungibility of money.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Helius wrote:
ravingdave wrote: Somehow I don't think the Rich (defined as how much money?) are going to be able to do anything too troublesome to the rest of us.
David
Our political system is already skewed by way of campaign finance such that we simply continue to do things wrong.

This is why I have to use H&R Block or Turbo Tax rather than just HTTPS to an IRS web site, clearly the cheaper and simpler way to go. The paper shuffle industry wouldn't allow it.

Look at the DoE web site: Everything is "in the mix" .... They will not allow new forms of Nuclear Energy to destroy big Coal, or even the existing forms of Nuclear Power. Why did they kill the IFR in 1994?

Anyone whom doesn't see our current state of Campaign finance as the equivalent to cash bribes, simply doesn't understand the fungibility of money.
“America is a nation without a distinct criminal class...with the possible exception of Congress." - Mark Twain


It is not a new problem.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MirariNefas
Posts: 354
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Post by MirariNefas »

ravingdave wrote:The wealthy will end up running the system, unlike of course, what we have now.
Well, I didn't say the second part at least.
ravingdave wrote: According to Wikipedia, there are 469 billionaires in the USA, and between 9 and 16 million millionaires, and apparently 173 million taxpayers.


Somehow I don't think the Rich (defined as how much money?) are going to be able to do anything too troublesome to the rest of us.
I don't understand. You say that there are millions of millionaires - a significant voting block even with one man one vote - and yet you think they woould be largely powerless if you multiplied their votes? How do you figure?

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

MirariNefas wrote:
ravingdave wrote:The wealthy will end up running the system, unlike of course, what we have now.
Well, I didn't say the second part at least.
ravingdave wrote: According to Wikipedia, there are 469 billionaires in the USA, and between 9 and 16 million millionaires, and apparently 173 million taxpayers.


Somehow I don't think the Rich (defined as how much money?) are going to be able to do anything too troublesome to the rest of us.
I don't understand. You say that there are millions of millionaires - a significant voting block even with one man one vote - and yet you think they woould be largely powerless if you multiplied their votes? How do you figure?

I didn't mean to imply they would be powerless, just that their power will be balanced by the far greater number of taxpayers. I also meant to show that there are a LOT of millionaires, and that a Million dollars is no longer such a great sum of money.


Let's suppose someone earning a million pays a 100k in taxes. Okay, he's got a 100 thousand votes. Suppose the median average taxpayer pays 5K in taxes. It only takes 20 of them to equal the clout of a millionaire. (Median income assumed to be (50k)

Of course this is overly simplistic because nobody pays ten percent.


Of course the NEED to balance presumes that all the rich people are going to vote the same way, and exclusively for their own personal best interests. I think the idiot wealthy (People who came by their wealth easily, such as Movie Stars, Inherited wealth, etc.) will very likely vote for people who reflect their idiot notion that money is so easy to come by that the government should spend it like water, while the sensibly wealthy (those who achieved wealth through hard work) will continue in their efforts to restrain governmental excess.


The difference between this and what we have now is that the people who are paying the bills would have input commensurate with their contributions to the nations treasury.

This is, in my opinion, as it should be.


David

hanelyp
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Post by hanelyp »

Dave, what you're talking about giving voting power in proportion to taxes paid: might it practically be implemented by abolishing all taxes except a vote tax, each citizen deciding how much government to pay for, and accordingly how much say they have over that government?

Never mind for the moment that poll taxes have been declared discriminatory and unconstitutional. And that the common man will never willingly allow such government control by the wealthy, even if they are paying for the operation of government.

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

hanelyp wrote:Dave, what you're talking about giving voting power in proportion to taxes paid: might it practically be implemented by abolishing all taxes except a vote tax, each citizen deciding how much government to pay for, and accordingly how much say they have over that government?

This is coming too close to direct democracy for my tastes, I would just prefer that elected officials (Representatives, Senators, and President) be elected and then THEY should decide what a reasonable amount of taxation is necessary to run the Necessary functions of Government.

The natural inclination of those people who become part of the Government is to ever expand their power and influence, so they tend to favor more and higher taxes, while those people who pay the taxes prefer to pay as little as possible. Since the expansion of government is inherent, we have always needed a counterbalancing force to reign it in, and hence the taxpayer voter idea.

With taxpayers voting for people who will refuse to increase taxes, the system will come into equilibrium at a sensible point.

I liken the idea to the old story about how to divide a piece of cake between two kids. Have one cut it, and the other one picks the piece he wants. With each side keeping their eyes on the other, the system becomes incredibly honest and fair.


hanelyp wrote: Never mind for the moment that poll taxes have been declared discriminatory and unconstitutional. And that the common man will never willingly allow such government control by the wealthy, even if they are paying for the operation of government.


Let's face it. The idea will never see the light of day, but it is fun to imagine "What if .... ? "

Perhaps after the apocalypse.


David

JohnSmith
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Location: University

Post by JohnSmith »

I would just prefer that elected officials (Representatives, Senators, and President) be elected and then THEY should decide what a reasonable amount of taxation is necessary to run the Necessary functions of Government.

The natural inclination of those people who become part of the Government is to ever expand their power and influence, so they tend to favor more and higher taxes, while those people who pay the taxes prefer to pay as little as possible. Since the expansion of government is inherent, we have always needed a counterbalancing force to reign it in, and hence the taxpayer voter idea.

With taxpayers voting for people who will refuse to increase taxes, the system will come into equilibrium at a sensible point.
This is what we do now, isn't it? And it doesn't do what you say it does. Lying about cutting taxes has never prevented a politician from getting reelected.

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

JohnSmith wrote:
I would just prefer that elected officials (Representatives, Senators, and President) be elected and then THEY should decide what a reasonable amount of taxation is necessary to run the Necessary functions of Government.

The natural inclination of those people who become part of the Government is to ever expand their power and influence, so they tend to favor more and higher taxes, while those people who pay the taxes prefer to pay as little as possible. Since the expansion of government is inherent, we have always needed a counterbalancing force to reign it in, and hence the taxpayer voter idea.

With taxpayers voting for people who will refuse to increase taxes, the system will come into equilibrium at a sensible point.
This is what we do now, isn't it? And it doesn't do what you say it does. Lying about cutting taxes has never prevented a politician from getting reelected.

It is what we do now, and that's not the part that's broken. The part that's broken is that people are voting for people who believe it's okay to give away other peoples money. If the voting were restricted to the people who were paying the bills then it would be less like stealing and more like people doing their civic duty.

It would also likely result in a complete and permanent absence of democrats in office. As Obama's many nominanees illustrate, Democrats don't pay taxes. No wonder they don't mind raising them on the rest of us.

Another issue that is near and dear to my heart is the idea of disenfranchising stupid and or ignorant voters. If you don't know anything at all about the candidate you are voting for then you are just screwing up the process for the rest of us who actually know what we're doing.

Obama's election is a perfect example of what i'm talking about. The country was so enamored with the idea of electing a black president, that they didn't care that he was really a moron who mumbles like an idiot without someone pulling his strings and putting words in his mouth with a teleprompter. Nobody did due diligence on this guy, and so we elect the first black president and he turns out to be a horrible embarrassment, just as those of us who actually looked at his record and associates said he would.


Image

It's too late to fix now. If technology doesn't save us, the only thing I see in our future is a crash. (that's what happens when you let idiots drive a bus. )



David

JohnSmith
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Post by JohnSmith »

Another issue that is near and dear to my heart is the idea of disenfranchising stupid and or ignorant voters. If you don't know anything at all about the candidate you are voting for then you are just screwing up the process for the rest of us who actually know what we're doing.
And that sir, is why I hope to God that you never, ever get near the kind of power that would let you do it.

Betruger
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Post by Betruger »

The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter.
-Winston Churchill

KitemanSA
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Post by KitemanSA »

JohnSmith wrote:
Another issue that is near and dear to my heart is the idea of disenfranchising stupid and or ignorant voters. If you don't know anything at all about the candidate you are voting for then you are just screwing up the process for the rest of us who actually know what we're doing.
And that sir, is why I hope to God that you never, ever get near the kind of power that would let you do it.
I kind of like Heinlein's tongue in cheek suggestion. To vote, enter poll booth, deposit one oz of gold or similar value in government fiat, take short test in elementary logic and/or simple mathematics. If you pass, you get to vote and get your money back. If not, you walk away without voting and without your money.

For the Darwinian amoungst you, he also submitted for your consideration a slightly harsher scenario. If you fail, a trap door opens beneath you and you are never heard from again. Think of it a evolution in action.

Yes, I have read a bit of SF in my day. Heck, I came here thru Analog SF&SF.

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