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[A spectator starts a new topic by asking about whether or not the corporate income tax is a good thing or not.]
Blackstone: The corporate income tax is a poor way of raising revenue; for one thing, coming up with definitions for income across the entire spectrum of American business, while doing it in a way that’s comprehensible, precise, and uniform is impossible. The tax code is extremely over complicated for a reason: markets are complex. Our tax code is literally impossible for any human being to comprehend, yet it is not complex enough to handle it’s present demands. The other reason why it’s a bad idea was already pointed out by [name of spectator] in the question: you shouldn’t tax production. Instead, taxing consumption is better in general. I believe that we can learn a lesson from the anti-federalists. Perhaps the Federal government should tax the states instead of the people directly? That would be more voluntary and democratic, plus the competition between the states would create a better system overall. Of course, we could always use direct taxation during a war or other crises. As a default however, perhaps we should let the states collect the taxes, letting the Federal government take its portion from the states? Wouldn’t you like to live in that kind of system? It could extremely easily work if the Federal government slashed the budget down to its constitutional restrictions.
Pedro el Communist: Sure? Well, I’m no constitutional buff, and all I know right now is what I have learned from U.S. history this year, but the reason why income tax’s came was during WWI and WWII when the government NEEDED to get bigger to fight off world powers, and it got ever increasingly big since. So, to get rid of income taxes, that would mean eliminating most programs including Social Security, Medicare, and the military. Nearly every thing about government would disappear (which depending on the opinion is good or bad).
Blackstone: The income tax has existed at many times since the ratification of the Constitution, like the War of 1812, or the Civil War. This of course was unconstitutional, but it did happen a few times. When the 16th. amendment was ratified in 1913, it wasn’t because of a war. It was partially because we had an income tax at that point as well: the Constitution was so often ignored in this area that many figured an amendment wouldn’t change much other than making the Constitution easier to follow. But at this time, the rational for the tax itself was social justice. This is pretty much what the argument was, “oh don’t worry, the income tax will never go above 2 or 3 percent and it’ll only be on the rich.” The truth is that the tax shot up almost to 80% in less than 10 years, helping initiate a worse depression than the Great Depression. The Libertarian Warren G. Harding then took office, cut the income tax and budget in half, decreased regulation, and raised interest rates. In just a couple of years the roaring twenties came, right after the depression. Then the interventionist Herbert Hoover came in and screwed everything up with raised interest rates, tax hikes, pre-new deal programs, horrible monetary regulation, etc.. I know what he said about Mellon in his journal by the way, that has been taken out of context as supposed proof of Hoover being a laissez-faire guy. But remember that on the next page of the journal, he said he rejected his treasury secretary’s advice, instead going with unprecedented government intervention. Anyway, the income tax was increased a little to help fight those wars, but it was nothing major since it was already quite high. Also, the proposition that it got bigger over time is also not true: the rates and conditions of the tax have jumped around like crazy, it hasn’t been gradually rising. What have they teaching you in school?
Both individual and corporate income taxes provide less than half of our budget, plus when you lower income taxes, governments take a lot more in with other forms of taxation because people can keep more of their money. Not to mention income taxes can be replaced with other taxes altogether. So while it’s true that we would need to cut some of the budget (not like we don’t need to anyway), it would certainly not involve cutting nearly everything to get rid of income taxes.
Cutting government power in certain ways isn’t a good or bad thing depending on opinion, for its dependent on the natural law. Anyone whose thinking is not done according to the natural law is going straight to Hell, for Hell is a place consisting of broken laws. How could it be any other way?
I have some questions for you. What if we ought to obey the laws of the land, and the supreme law of our land is the Constitution? What if, since most of what the federal government is doing is unconstitutional, what if we then have an obligation to get rid of these things in order to obey the law? What if states could take over government responsibilities in the absence of the Federal government’s doing them? What if property is an area of man’s agency, and it’s important because we spend a lot of time on it? What if property is a part of our stewardship to God? What if such stewardships had to be managed by the individual in order for that individual to have fulfilled their responsibility to the Creator? What if the premise of welfare and other entitlement programs is wrong, because you can’t help people by taking their money, spending most of it on bureaucracy, and then giving back a small portion to the people you just legally plundered? What if government only got its money by forcefully taking it from people instead of creating its own? What if it’s against the nature of freedom to have most of the sweat of your brow forcefully taken from you? What if the reason we seperated from Great Britain was largely because of a couple tiny taxes, mostly aimed at the rich? What if God sent us to Earth so we could exercise free agency? What if God cares even more about us having control over our own lives, than he does about the results of our choice? What if God cared so much about free agency that he allowed murders and other atrocities to happen just so people could exercise their free will? How much is freedom worth to you? How much is freedom worth in general? How much have people sacrificed for liberty? How much are you willing to sacrifice for the same cause? Isn’t freedom the thing that gives us the choice to be virtuous? Isn’t freedom then the foundation of virtue?