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Why punish the rich with more taxes? AKA equal taxes or none at all!

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posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 10:54 PM
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Consider this; The budgets of the Fed, the states, the counties, and the local put together equal 75% of the gross national product. On top of that, consider that little to no federal tax is paid by the wealthy. So that is picked up by the middle class, not the poor. Take a wild guess; how much do you think our tax is? A rose by any other name.




posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 11:07 PM
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reply to post by GodshipForAll

Therein lies the crux of my argument. When a person (or corporation) profits to such a point that no labor is required in order to make an income, they are effectively perverting the capitalistic system that has rewarded them with the ability to gain their wealth. We see it all the time in today's world, primarily (IMHO) because the last few decades have seen the exact opposite of regulation of runaway capitalism. Instead we have social aid programs tailored to keep the poor, poor, and business deals with government intended to keep the rich, richer.

TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 11:08 PM
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reply to post by they see ALL
 
If our government actually followed the law, our Constitution says the Federal Government is the only body with the right to issue currency. However, our currency is issued by a private British bank, the Federal Reserve. So we end up paying that interest to the bank. Duh? What's wrong here? We had massive inflation during the 70s. Very little of it issued by the Fed. Most was counterfeited by the banks, trillions, by writing ficticious amounts 'loaned' into peoples accounts. Loans that were not in existance until the banks 'created' them. If they had a printing press, they would be in jail. But forget the press, too many costs, like paper and ink. Just write in to accounts, and you can put on a smile, and pretend to have dignity. Now that all these mortgages went belly up, the money supply has taken a nose dive. $700 Billion wont' come close. We are in deflation now, not inflation like everyone wants to think. But to do that, you have to pretend that the banks did not issue 'fiat' money, or what I call counterfeit money. Everyone knows that the banks are creating money, but noone wants to call that spade, a spade. Send them to PRISON. STOP the TRILLIONS of fraud and theft. What? No candidates addressing that, but only trying to get that scam running again? I almost wish I didn't know what they are doing. The scum calling themselves 'representatives' have been bribed by those gangsters, thru PACs. So now they politely turn the other way, and profess ignorance. Scum.
And believe me, they do know what they are doing. And they are not even giving us free petroleum jelly.




posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 12:16 AM
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reply to post by they see ALL
 


I like a use tax rather than a fair tax. That way people who consume the most energy, goods, food, etc will be taxed accordingly. Right now the tax bracket for the ultra wealthy is 15%. The masses are anywhere between 28% and 35% depending upon whether or not you are self employed. The problem here is that the rich can afford lawyers to find loop holes and investments that make their gains look like losses. They already pay a smaller percentage which becomes significantly smaller considering the above. We, the majority of America cannot afford such advantages and thus are penalized. A study last year, initially printed wrong in the USA today, suggested that the very rich only pay 8% annually almost half of what they are supposed to. Thats almost equal to someont making 200,000 a year who is self employed. And thats rediculous. A use tax is the only fair tax



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by they see ALL
 




Why should the rich be punished (and I do see it as a form of punishment) with a greater amount of taxes simply because they are wealthier than most of us "regular" people?


The answer is quite simple. Because they are rich. Who else are you going to tax?

We have built a huge civilization on this planet. This system we have, which (btw) enabled the rich to get rich, cannot thrive without pumping wealth back into it. Cause --> Effect.

Nothing gives back like cold hard cash does. People say the rich give the rest of us jobs. Don't punish them yada yada... My repsonse is do you think these folks would be that wealthy if they didn't have people working for them? It is a two-sided coin my friend.


If you want to get down to hard math I will give you an example. Under GW Bush rich folks (in the US) are taxed about 35%. That means if your gross income is half-million dollars per year you take home $325,000. When that "socialist" Bill Clinton was in office these people were taxed at 39%. This translated into them taking home $305,000....

....oh the poor rich folks. What a hard life... I feel so sorry for them. [/sarcasm]



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 10:29 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Simple flaw in your logic IMO:

Just because the rich can afford to be taxed at a higher rate, doesnt necessarily mean its moral to do so.



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by Scramjet76


The answer is quite simple. Because they are rich. Who else are you going to tax?



There aren't enough rich people to pay all the taxes needed to provide for the welfare state. You are confusing static wealth (like a family farm, valued at a million dollars), with high income, like a professional athlete who makes 5 million a year. The family farm may not be profitable, while the athlete is making a definite 5 million.

Yes, the top few percent own most of the wealth. They own farms, businesses, savings bonds, etc. Most of which have a highly variable income from one year to the next.

Taking away those farms from the people who know how to make a profit isn't going to magically produce more wheat, or more money in the federal coffers to spend on welfare and government pensions (the vast chunk of the federal budget, by the way, even in the middle of a war).

Someone mentioned the deficit, and hit the nail on the head.

You may be learning, from your household budget, that it is much easier to cut spending than it is to phenomenally increase your income. It's a lot less work, too.

Howabout a 20% tax on everyone. NO loopholes. NO exceptions. (and no cpa's, either!)

Taxing people differently is TREATING them differently. What's next, separate tax rates for minorities, gays, christians, muslims, accountants, lawyers, etc.....?

Capitalists, as morally repugnant as they may be, are the goose that lays the golden eggs of our economy. Harm them, or cook them for a quick meal, and we all starve to death next month.

How many of you have ever been hired by a poor man? How many of you have ever been employed by a homeless guy? For some reason, it takes....capital.... to run a business and employ people.

It's really sad that we quit requiring civics classes of our high school graduates. There's a generation of young people who literally have no clue where money comes from.

(hint: the government and the lawyers who run it don't make a penny. They TAKE money from one person and give it to others. It is only business people TAKING OUT LOANS that actually creates more money. It is people MAKING stuff that creates wealth. Lawyers don't produce anything. politicians don't produce anything. They take. Except for Obama, that his. He makes .... change.

I hope you can buy groceries with Obama's change.)


all the best.



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 10:38 AM
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I'd love to see a flat tax.

Everyone pays the same percentage regardless of how much they make.

This tax should apply to all income including welfare, social security and any other entitlement.

Get rid of the 25,000 pages of tax law and make it simple and fair.



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by they see ALL
 


Since the 80s and the income bracket introduced by the government to tax income the only ones that are been gouged by it is the middle income class.

As we all know the wealthy in the nation has the means to by pass taxes in one way or another.

I have no problem with those that make more money to pay more taxes.

And now that the very wealthy is benefiting from the tax payer with the bail out and give away money I will love to see the ones profiting from this bail out to pay back what it has been handle to them in a silver platter with not sweat at all.



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 





When a person (or corporation) profits to such a point that no labor is required in order to make an income, they are effectively perverting the capitalistic system that has rewarded them with the ability to gain their wealth.


A simple analysis and effective argument. I gave you a star for that one RedNeck.



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by Wildbob77
I'd love to see a flat tax.

Everyone pays the same percentage regardless of how much they make.

This tax should apply to all income including welfare, social security and any other entitlement.

Get rid of the 25,000 pages of tax law and make it simple and fair.


I agree. Vehemently.

But that will never happen because of the Kennedys. That family receives more income than your descendants will for generations. But they own treasury bills they bought in the financial panic of 1979---which Teddy helped to cause. And those T-bills are tax free. What Ted makes aside from his salary as a Senator is peanuts. Most of his income is not taxable.

He has billions set up in "charitable trusts." He gets to use the money until he dies, but gets a tax write of NOW for the money that will eventually go to the charity. But as long as he spends no more than 90 percent (!) of it now, he gets a tax deduction.

But hey, that's the complications of a progressive tax code.

Meanwhile, a waitress owes a minumum of 15% on the tip you leave her; and that's if she's the poorest of the poor.

I think she and Teddy should pay the same amount. If Ted did pay just 15%, it would revolutionize the state coffers of Massachussets.

But he's AGAINST a flat tax. Because it "wouldn't be fair to the poorest americans."

Lovely, isn't it?



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by Scramjet76
reply to post by TheRedneck
 





When a person (or corporation) profits to such a point that no labor is required in order to make an income, they are effectively perverting the capitalistic system that has rewarded them with the ability to gain their wealth.


A simple analysis and effective argument. I gave you a star for that one RedNeck.


I have to disagree with both of you. If I speculate in the stock market, you don't define that as "labor," do you? But I am taking a risk and I stand to lose money if I'm wrong.

I should be rewarded for taking risks. And speculation is critical to an orderly flow in the market. The problem with NYMEX these past two years in the oil market is purely and simply this: no one could be found who would take a risk that oil would go lower. Now, it had nothing to do with taxes. But my point is, you need speculators, or you get a lopsided market.

And when government provides automatic reward with no risk (a.k.a bailouts), or punishments with no reward ( a.k.a salary caps) it warps the orderly flow of trade, and creates inequities--it makes it profitible to do something besides buy low and sell high--which ultimately harms consumers and employees.

I believe in a flat tax "on all income, however derived."

Because every time you legislate, you create unintended consequences. The absolute bedrock of our financial system is people buying government bonds. And while no one on ATS will believe it, I will tell you that our current economic collapse comes purely and simply from the US government and its agents "effing" with the yield curve. You cannot do that without imbalancing the economy and sending it careening it out of control.

if you punish speculators, you will find that there is not enough food to feed the people. Because storing wheat in a granary is....speculating that you can sell it for more later.

One last time: planning for the future is called "assuming risk." And risk is work. If you punish people for taking risks, you won't have any future at all.



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by 44soulslayer

Just because the rich can afford to be taxed at a higher rate, doesnt necessarily mean its moral to do so.

A very apt point.

However, you have to look also at why the rich became rich. They did so because the same capitalistic system we have allowed them to prosper and flourish. Is it so immoral to expect them to support the very system that allowed them to prosper?

I am not advocating a tax rate high enough to somehow 'punish' a person for the 'evil' act of becoming prosperous. Both would be ridiculous; wealth is what we are all trying to achieve. I personally believe all taxes should be lower than they presently are. But the sad fact is that our elected leaders have somehow sold America a bill of goods that states that we need to spend every possible penny the government can lay claim to as fast as possible. When one spends money, they have to have the money to spend. That is self-evident. The government produces no goods, sells nothing, and therefore makes no profit as the private sector does. Yet they seem to think they are more adept at handling huge sums of cash than those who have demonstrated their ability through the private sector, witnesses by the fact they are wealthy. And so, our tax rates have risen drastically during the last half-century, as has our collective National Debt.

Ironically, it is the wealthy who have the influence. I am sure Ross Perot or Bill Gates could arrange a private meeting with any Congressman they wanted, or that either could get an audience with the President himself. I cannot. I am lucky to get a nice form letter back from my Congressman, and I would probably have a heart attack from shock should I ever get to speak within earshot of either George Bush, Barack Obama, or John McCain, much less hold a quick conversation with them. So I doubt seriously if the truly wealthy are being 'gouged', or that they will be in the foreseeable future. So how can it be immoral to tax the wealthy as they are being taxed, when they and they alone have the power to say how much they should be taxed?

TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Indeed I think the distinction comes between fair and punitive taxation.

To me, a tax rate between 20-25% is fair. I disagree with the moral premise of all taxation since I believe it is essentially enforced taking, but I would view it as a necessary evil.

I believe that a government's role should be to place a floor upon which a country may build itself. I believe this entails a responsibility to enforce secure borders, maintain law and order, protect the environment and maintain public infrastructure systems (airports, roads). Additionally, I believe that a government should provide a good level of education to all children, and provisions for emergency healthcare. Additionally, I believe that a government should provide temporary fiscal sanctuary to a person who has been laid off from work/ ill etc. So I envisage a government which maintains a stable infrastructural base and helps a person who has had bad luck.

However I despise governmental spending when it is done outside this remit. The UK government spends horrendous sums of money on quangos, social welfare programs that reward the non-working class, asylum seeker support etc etc. In order to do this, the UK government has enacted what I believe to be punitive levels of taxation upon the rich. 40-60% taxation (income tax, VAT, fuel excise etc) is wholely unacceptable in my opinion.


So I guess Im a classical conservative. Small governmental spending can mean lower tax rates. I would, despite being a rabid fiscal libertarian, live with 20% taxation because I believe that this rate is fair. I am not a heartless monster after all, and I believe that the proceeds of my tax money should be used towards providing the basic necessities for all my fellow citizens, so that any one of them may reach their potential. Furthermore, I would like to see a very high treshold on the base rate of taxation. I believe that any person earning under £20k should not be taxed at all.

I believe that the UK government is essentially out of control. They are spending obscene amounts of money on programs that stifle optimism and aspiration because they punish the rich and reward the non-working. In short, the UK has become an environment where the non-working class are more highly remunerated than the over-taxed working class.

A fair tax code for all would be a flat 25% tax for those earning above a basic salary. This would be more than sufficient for the remits of a true, non-tyrannical government.

Sorry if that was a bit rambling and convoluted, its hard to be concise on tax issues



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 11:17 AM
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The first reason I see it as "right" to tax the wealthy more is that, by virtue of their wealth, they have access to the finer benefits of our society.

For example, someone who is wealthy has the opportunity to live in the "better" parts of town, with better roads, better schools, more effective law enforcement and fire protection, nicer stores, services, health care, etc.

Basically, wealthy people enjoy a higher quality of available services paid for by our taxes, so they SHOULD pay more.

The second reason is that the basic necessities of society life (shelter, food, gas, electricity, etc) cost the same, whether you make $18,000 a year or $300,000 a year. A loaf of bread or a gallon of gas costs the same for these people. Therefore, the cost of living is a much higher percentage of a regular person's paycheck than it is of a wealthy person's paycheck.

Thirdly, currently, the wealth is grossly mis-apportioned. For many years, the rich have been getting richer and the poor have been getting poorer and the middle class is disappearing altogether. To put it bluntly, they can afford it. And if we, AS A COUNTRY, don't do something to correct this gross distribution of the wealth in our country, the middle class WILL disappear, the poor will die and the rich will have no one to work in the factories and WalMarts and be the working force of this nation, which is one thing that made us great and made it so people could become wealthy in the first place.

One of my favorite videos to illustrate this:



I don't see it as punishment. I see it as the wealthy have been living pretty well for a long time. If they want to continue to live well and provide for their families with European trips and private planes, they had better chip in to help keep the rest of us alive. Or our economy will continue to fail and they will fall as well.




posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 11:24 AM
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reply to post by dr_strangecraft

I should be rewarded for taking risks. And speculation is critical to an orderly flow in the market.

True, on both points. I cannot disagree.

My point, however, is not that you should be punished for taking risks, but that you should be taxed in some measure based on your ability to pay. If you take a risk and are rewarded, you should be taxed appropriately, not punished, because the system that is taxing you is the same system that has allowed you the opportunity to invest and profit. On the other hand, if such is to be considered fair, then a loss in investments should offset any other income you may have when considering taxation. And it is my understanding it does indeed offset other income (if I am wrong there, I may have some serious trouble with the IRS
).

Your post illustrates my point about the ease of making income when wealthy. You do indeed take a risk when you invest, and that risk should be rewarded. It is necessary to have investment in order to allow companies to expand, innovate, or in many cases (which I am probably about to become intimately familiar with) to simply come into being. Speculation in the commodity markets do indeed tend to stabilize the markets and make them operate more efficiently.

But how much of your time do you spend investing? Are you able to hold a job while simultaneously investing? Yes, you are. Many people do just that. Are you able to hold a job while simultaneously working a job? Obviously no; a person may only be in one place at any given time. So the fact that you have available money to invest means that you have the ability to make a second income, an ability that the average waitress does not have access to.

All a person has to do to create a portfolio is spend a few minutes a week checking their portfolio. Yet the return can be many times the average salary of an average laborer who puts in 2080 hours per year. So even with the increased risk, the investor is able to make much more income in a much smaller span of time than the laborer. That is why people take the risk to invest; not so they can hide money form taxation. As such, any return on investment should be taxed as though it were earned income, at the tax rate that our progressive system specifies. As it is now, investment returns are taxed based on 'capital gains'. That (IMHO) is wrong, as it can be used to punish investment. Taxing investment income as regular income would be a much more prudent method that equalizes the contribution of risk and labor.

So you should have a choice, based on resources of course: work a 'normal' job and receive a low-risk income in exchange for your time; invest capital to retrieve an income, thereby accepting higher risk but freeing up personal time; both, sacrificing personal time and assuming high risk for increased income. But regardless of this, if you have great success, is it so terrible to give some of that success back to maintain the system you are using to achieve it?

Again, I am not talking about 'punishment'. I am talking about paying your fair share. When you drive down the highway, do you not expect your tax dollars to pay for that stretch of nice smooth (unless you live in LA, MO, AK, or New England
) stretch of asphalt? Of course you do. If there had been no money to pay for it, it would not exist. When you go to the mall, are you not aware that by making purchases there (usually at a slightly higher cost than in a run-down warehouse in the bad section of town) you are paying for the nice environment you enjoy? So how different is it to expect that one should support the system that has rewarded them with the ability to profit in the first place?

TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 11:30 AM
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reply to post by dr_strangecraft
 


Hi Dude,



It is only business people TAKING OUT LOANS that actually creates more money. It is people MAKING stuff that creates wealth.


This seems to essential point of your argument. I would counter that by saying there are people who take out loans (aka risks) and lose. Should we let these folks flouder in poverty to the point where they become frustrated and commit crimes, have unwanted pregnancies and basically engage in activities which will ultimately cost the taxpayers more money? Not everyone can lay a golden egg. That is not realistic. However we can aim for a happier (and therefore) healthier civilzation. Like I said in my previous post, nothing brings a smile to people's faces more than cold hard cash. That said, I'm definitely not for taking anyones farms away and giving it to some couch potatoe. As long as humans need to eat, farming will be profitable. We should place more value on those who produce something (like wheat), as opposed to those who can run fast and catch a ball.




to spend on welfare and government pensions (the vast chunk of the federal budget, by the way, even in the middle of a war).


I disagree. If you add 16.6% to the 5% (global war on terror) you get 21.6%. Unemployment/Welfare/etc come to 11.2%.



It's really sad that we quit requiring civics classes of our high school graduates. There's a generation of young people who literally have no clue where money comes from.


I agree. Not just civics but business and psychology. I attended US public schools in a rural community and it was a joke. It's amazing to me that a nation who promotes business and capitalism like the US didn't have a business class (or three) in high school.



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 11:31 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


I respectfully disagree.

1. The rich live in the best towns because they have built the towns up to that level. Large houses are not created by taxpayer's money and then somehow magically gifted to the rich. There may be a lower density of people in better areas, which leads to a lower crime rate and better service coverage but that is inconsequential.

2. Its also irrelevant that commodity costs are the same. By that logic I could argue that the rich spend more on food such as champagne and cigars, and that their costs are thus higher and they deserve a bigger tax break.

3. Yes, inequality is rising but only because population size has been increasing. The rich aren't somehow concentrating down their wealth into a core; its just that they are being vastly outbred by the middle and lower classes. Now why should a rich family have to divest or diffuse their wealth across a wider population just because the poor tend to have more children?



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 11:32 AM
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reply to post by they see ALL
 


Do the rich actually pay (income) taxes? Even if their gross income puts them in a certain tax bracket, by the time all of their deductions are figured in, do they really pay anything?

Let my tell you about one 'for instance'....and I doubt that this guy was the only instance.....

A woman I worked with helped her former boss with his taxes.....he'd always relied on her to organize his records and receipts....and he continued to do so even after she'd (amicably ) left his employment....this was in the late '90's.....

His income ( gross) was well over $100,000. By the time his deductions for 'business expenses' ( he had several small, money-losing, pseudo side business....his lake cabin was 'listed' as one, his luxury motor home was listed as an 'office', his expensive, top of the line mowing and only personally used landscaping equipment was shown as another ) were added up and all expenses were deducted from his gross, he only paid taxes on $17,000 net income!!

When she showed me this, her comment was, " He pays less taxes than I do working as a secretary! ( her income was roughly $19,000 that year...)

Why is it so evil to expect the 'rich' to pay taxes? Why shouldn't they share the upkeep of the country that they live in? Don't they get a 'share' of the services that the government provides?? ( My better off neighbors will get 6 or 8 squad cars when they call, I will get one or 2....so when there's a wreck out front, I get them to call 911..)

When the general population is well educated ( federally funded via income tax or locally by county property tax ), and they stay above the poverty line with some higher educational funding or healthier with government funded hospital and disease preventing health facilities, doesn't the upper crust then have a safer, better country/community to live in??

Doesn't a 'higher' level of economic 'water' lift all boats when it flows in from the bottom, rather than just 'sprinkles' down from above??




[edit on 31-10-2008 by frayed1]



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 11:47 AM
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reply to post by 44soulslayer

I believe we have more in common than in difference on this subject. I would like to see the USA adopt a tax rate ranging form 0% on those making under $20K ($30K for families) to maybe 20% on those making over $300K ($500K for families). IMHO, that should be sufficient to handle all the legitimate needs of government, with a bit left over to help those in true need to become productive members of society (not sit on their couch all day and fill out forms once a year). But this will not cover a comprehensive socialistic system that allows people to decide not to work but still receive rewards through a monthly check. It will not allow some scientist to make ten times a normal salary while studying the mating habits of homosexual Tse-Tse flies. It will not provide for bridges to uninhabited islands. It will not be capable of financing undeclared bankruptcy of the largest private corporations. And it will not provide for 24-hour surveillance of every citizen. These are not legitimate needs of government.

We must also stop with the maze of deductions available for special interests. For an example, there are numerous ways I could get the government to pay for a $20-$30K investment in energy-efficient systems for my home. But in order to get these benefits, I must be able to plunk down that $20-$30K for the system and wait until April 15 to even send in my request for that tax break. i cannot do that, but someone making $100K up per year probably could. So they get the tax break and I sit here burning kerosene for heat all winter. Now, can we talk about fair?


The tax code should be a way to finance the government, not a way to financially implement programs the government wants. But enough ranting. A star for you.

--------------------------------

reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

Great post! A star for you as well.


TheRedneck



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