Author Topic: What Is A Tax?  (Read 413 times)

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Offline Hondo69

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What Is A Tax?
« on: March 20, 2017, 04:01:47 AM »
We spend a lot of time these days twisting words into meanings never intended.  It's our way of avoiding the truth by seeking out grey areas.  Any old grey area will do.

The other day four of us were sitting around debating the meaning of the word "tax".  All of us being relatively conservative I assumed it would be a short debate.  I was wrong, by a long shot.

We could agree on a few basics.  For example when you buy a car you pay sales tax.  See right there, the name itself says "tax" so it must be a tax.  And when you pay income tax the name again is a dead giveaway.  It is a tax.  But that's about the extent of the agreement among us four.  We were split 50/50 from there on out.

If that car you paid sales tax on when you bought it happens to need gas you fill it up at the station.  And if you want to park that car somewhere downtown you pay to park by feeding the meter.  And you pay again to get a car inspection, and pay a disposal fee for replacing your old tires, and you pay an admission fee to drive that car into public park to do some fishing.  Which requires a license.

Uh oh.

Is a fee a tax?  Is a license a tax?  Now things are getting dicey.  Personally, I would make the case they are all taxes, some just go by different names.  I don't care if you want to call them a fee, license, giraffe, or koosie those are just labels we whip up.  Labels that all equate to "tax" at the end of the day.

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To simplify, so far we've identified Level One taxes that boldly state exactly what they are right there in their name such as a sales tax.  Then we have thinly disguised Level Two taxes that go by sneaky names such as fees and licenses.  And as mentioned above, there is some debate over these Level Two taxes being quasi-taxes, or in the ballpark taxes.  That's one debate.

Here's another.  I used to pay a dollar a pound for hamburger and I remember it very well.  Fast forward to today and I pay three times that amount - only a tiny fraction of that increase is due to inflation.  The bulk of that increase has to do with ethanol subsidies.  Now I'm going to skip over the connecting the dots part, just take my word for it for the sake of argument.

So now we get into Level Three taxes or what I call Hidden Taxes.  These are things we pay more for than we should due to the interference of some governmental agency.  And Hidden Taxes are everywhere.  You can't twitch a muscle without bumping into a Hidden Tax.  That $ 1.20 can of beans would cost 30 cents if it were not for the government.  That $ 6 box of nails used to cost $ 1.80 a few short years ago.  Don't tell me the increase in cost is just bad luck.  Dodd/Frank, ObamaCare and mountains of regulations affect the manufacturer's overhead, which gets passed down to guess who?

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Turns out swatting a bee hive is less dangerous than bringing up the topic of taxes, even among conservatives.  Maybe I use the term "conservative" too loosely, I don't know but that's a topic for another day.  Regardless, I'm sticking with my theory that we pay taxes in every way imaginable, and some not so imaginable, all due to big government. 

That is my idea for the day.  And I would put a picture of a light bulb right here, but we don't have light bulbs anymore.

Offline Smokin Joe

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 04:25:35 AM »
What people don't seem to understand when they want the government to take it out of 'the rich Big corporations' pockets' is that those expenses will not only be passed on to the consumer, but the cost of compliance and sending any money to the Government will be billed to the consumer on a cost-plus basis.

We're all in the same boat, here, and shooting holes in the other end doesn't make the boat ride higher.
How God must weep at humans' folly! Stand fast! God knows what he is doing!

And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. Nehemiah 4:14 (KJV)

About the only "Big" Liberals don't revile is "Big Government"

Offline DB

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 04:45:56 AM »
What people don't seem to understand when they want the government to take it out of 'the rich Big corporations' pockets' is that those expenses will not only be passed on to the consumer, but the cost of compliance and sending any money to the Government will be billed to the consumer on a cost-plus basis.

We're all in the same boat, here, and shooting holes in the other end doesn't make the boat ride higher.

In short people want someone else to pay for what they want. Politicians spend their time coming with ways to making that happen - or at least appear to make it happen. As long as the illusion of someone else paying is upheld, they get the votes. Never mind the actual consequences.

If people don't have health insurance, force someone else to pay for it. Problem solved.

The constitution was supposed to protect us from those type people/politicians. But the majority has willfully ignored it and it has become "common knowledge" that we're a "democracy" where the majority can take what it wants because, well, they voted for it. That's all the moral authority they need. The well has been poisoned and there's no going back it seems.


Offline Smokin Joe

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 07:17:41 AM »
In short people want someone else to pay for what they want. Politicians spend their time coming with ways to making that happen - or at least appear to make it happen. As long as the illusion of someone else paying is upheld, they get the votes. Never mind the actual consequences.

If people don't have health insurance, force someone else to pay for it. Problem solved.

The constitution was supposed to protect us from those type people/politicians. But the majority has willfully ignored it and it has become "common knowledge" that we're a "democracy" where the majority can take what it wants because, well, they voted for it. That's all the moral authority they need. The well has been poisoned and there's no going back it seems.
Yep. If you thought an aspirin that only cost twice as much as the whole bottle was expensive when you were in the hospital, just wait until they have to bill the insurance company the government required to pay for it. Not only will your co-pay be more than that original aspirin, but you will feed bureaucracies, too. If you try to pay out of pocket, they'll fine you for that.

Until we can wake the people up and get them to realize that more government is the problem, not the solution, it won't change. As long as people sit googly-eyed and lap up the dog vomit the politicians hand them in between doing what they bloody well please in DC and state capitals and city/county commissions and even township boards, they will keep getting screwed. Like Mrs. Thatcher said: "Sooner or later they will run out of other people's money."
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 07:22:21 AM by Smokin Joe »
How God must weep at humans' folly! Stand fast! God knows what he is doing!

And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. Nehemiah 4:14 (KJV)

About the only "Big" Liberals don't revile is "Big Government"

Offline Oceander

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 08:10:30 AM »
A tax is a compulsory levy to the extent that you do not get a well-defined benefit in return. 

Offline EasyAce

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 05:17:41 PM »
Taxation is nothing more than organised robbery and there the subject should be dropped.
---Frank Chodorov.

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 05:28:03 PM »
Yep. If you thought an aspirin that only cost twice as much as the whole bottle was expensive when you were in the hospital, just wait until they have to bill the insurance company the government required to pay for it. Not only will your co-pay be more than that original aspirin, but you will feed bureaucracies, too. If you try to pay out of pocket, they'll fine you for that.


"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem. ... Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them." Ronald Reagan

Offline Smokin Joe

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 07:12:51 PM »
"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem. ... Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them." Ronald Reagan
I miss that man.
How God must weep at humans' folly! Stand fast! God knows what he is doing!

And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. Nehemiah 4:14 (KJV)

About the only "Big" Liberals don't revile is "Big Government"

Online Bigun

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 11:35:40 PM »
What people don't seem to understand when they want the government to take it out of 'the rich Big corporations' pockets' is that those expenses will not only be passed on to the consumer, but the cost of compliance and sending any money to the Government will be billed to the consumer on a cost-plus basis.

We're all in the same boat, here, and shooting holes in the other end doesn't make the boat ride higher.

@Smokin Joe

 :amen: And well said!   888high58888
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 11:47:50 PM by Bigun »

Online Bigun

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2017, 11:42:17 PM »
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

Frederic Bastiat

Online Bigun

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2017, 11:46:21 PM »
"The State acquires power... and because of its insatiable lust for power it is incapable of giving up any of it. The State never abdicates."

Frank Chodorov

Offline Frank Cannon

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2017, 11:49:40 PM »
What Is A Tax?

Everyone is wrong. A tax is a small nail used to hold down carpeting.
People like Hillary Clinton are the reason we have middle fingers.

Offline Hondo69

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2017, 04:33:58 AM »
When ObamaCare was being presented to the Supreme Court the administration flip flopped several times before settling on the argument "it's a tax".  If you will remember their other arguments were failing.  Questions being asked by the Justices kept Obama's lawyers shifting strategies throughout the process.  Reading the tea leaves caused the lawyers to settle on the tax strategy primarily for the reason no one disputes that Congress has the power to tax.  No grey area there.

As a country we almost never get into national debates that cut right down to the heart of the matter.  Emotion and white noise usually suck up all the oxygen.  And while this was true to a large extent with ObamaCare the eventual Supreme Court ruling focused on that one single idea - yes, ObamaCare is legal because it is a tax.

Today we're still sorting out the ramifications of that Supreme Court ruling.

Regardless of your opinion of the ruling I would maintain that the key elements argued by Obama's lawyers were never properly settled by the Supreme Court.  To put a fine point on it, the idea boils down to the word "penalty". 

On one hand it may sound like word games to interchange the words "penalty" and "tax".  Yet there is a narrow but important distinction between the two words as they represent two totally separate ideas.  Yes, Congress has the power to tax but do they have the power to dictate penalties?  Especially when those penalties are tied to not doing something, like not buying insurance.

Our new Supreme Court nominee is getting ready to go through the grinder. Keep this concept of "penalty" in mind during the process as I expect nothing will generate as much controversy.  The "penalty" questions will surely be asked thereby opening old wounds.  And I also fully expect our old friend Sandra Fluke to emerge from the woodwork to explain once again why nuns need to pay for her birth control pills.

Offline DB

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2017, 05:01:10 AM »
When ObamaCare was being presented to the Supreme Court the administration flip flopped several times before settling on the argument "it's a tax".  If you will remember their other arguments were failing.  Questions being asked by the Justices kept Obama's lawyers shifting strategies throughout the process.  Reading the tea leaves caused the lawyers to settle on the tax strategy primarily for the reason no one disputes that Congress has the power to tax.  No grey area there.

As a country we almost never get into national debates that cut right down to the heart of the matter.  Emotion and white noise usually suck up all the oxygen.  And while this was true to a large extent with ObamaCare the eventual Supreme Court ruling focused on that one single idea - yes, ObamaCare is legal because it is a tax.

Today we're still sorting out the ramifications of that Supreme Court ruling.

Regardless of your opinion of the ruling I would maintain that the key elements argued by Obama's lawyers were never properly settled by the Supreme Court.  To put a fine point on it, the idea boils down to the word "penalty". 

On one hand it may sound like word games to interchange the words "penalty" and "tax".  Yet there is a narrow but important distinction between the two words as they represent two totally separate ideas.  Yes, Congress has the power to tax but do they have the power to dictate penalties?  Especially when those penalties are tied to not doing something, like not buying insurance.

Our new Supreme Court nominee is getting ready to go through the grinder. Keep this concept of "penalty" in mind during the process as I expect nothing will generate as much controversy.  The "penalty" questions will surely be asked thereby opening old wounds.  And I also fully expect our old friend Sandra Fluke to emerge from the woodwork to explain once again why nuns need to pay for her birth control pills.

Tax is a penalty on work. The more you work, the bigger the penalty... The less you work the lower the penalty... Work minimally or not at all and be rewarded with the work of others. The lefty way...

Offline Hondo69

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2017, 10:46:27 AM »
If you choose to buy a Coke at the store you also choose to pay its associated taxes.  Or, put another way, you accept the associated taxes as part of the package deal whether or not you agree with tax portion of the arrangement.

The Black Market is alive and well in America and those who participate in that market pay no taxes.

If we could plot a trend for the Black Market it's a pretty safe bet the market is larger than it was 10 years ago, and it will be even larger 10 years from now.  We also know law enforcement generally ignores Black Market activity since they have neither the manpower or budgets to put a serious dent in that activity.  What happens when the Black Market becomes so large it takes a serious bite out of the precious tax stream flowing to state and federal governments?


Offline EasyAce

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2017, 06:48:31 PM »
What happens when the Black Market becomes so large it takes a serious bite out of the precious tax stream flowing to state and federal governments?
Sanity? ;)

Offline Wingnut

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Re: What Is A Tax?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2017, 07:24:23 PM »
What Is A Tax?

Everyone is wrong. A tax is a small nail used to hold down carpeting.




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