June 11, 2009

The Most Fundamental Thing

Many of our opponents (those opposed to Liberty & Freedom i.e. Progressives/Liberals) say that us Right Winger KOOKs (Constitutionalists, Libertarians, and Reagan Republicans) are Single Issue voters.

Well I will not make the argument that Feminists and Environmentalists are too. Everyone has one or two issues that are closest to their heart.

I have not been sharing much philosophy and history lately, but I was inspired by Clay over at BBCW with the last couple of his posts. I have several issues that are near and dear to my heart. But if I had to pick one, and I have been thinking about this, Clay’s posts sealed the deal.

The most important issue are Taxes. They were the most important to our Founders, they were what Reagan won with, and it is what we will win with again. Our Tax system Sucks, but there are alternatives.

It is the most Fundamental thing. Let’s review really quick.

The collection and distribution of taxes in the United States predate the American Revolution. The Colonists fled Europe mostly for two reason, Taxation and Religious Freedom. They did as much as possible to avoid the taxes that they were burdened with by the British. The straw that broke the camel’s back leading to the Revolution was Taxation.

Do not misunderstand, The Constitution gives Congress the power to “lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” For our first hundred years as a nation, most tax revenues came from import tariffs, excise taxes, etc. From my reading the Founders believed three things, 1)Federal Taxes should only be to provide for the common defense and other things the states could not do on their own 2) They should be mostly temporary to pay for wars and such, and 3) we should pay for our expenses in the generation that they were spent by.

The first federal taxes were enacted in the late 1790s, and they were basically estate and personal property taxes. President Jefferson terminated direct taxes in 1802; and until the outbreak of the Civil War, the government relied on import taxes for revenue. During the war, Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1861, which reinstated former excise taxes and instituted a 3 percent tax on annual incomes of $800 or higher. In 1862, a cash-strapped Congress levied new excise taxes on various goods and made several reforms to the income tax legislation, including allowing a standard deduction and creating a two-tiered rate structure. Most taxes were repealed in the years following the Civil War; the income tax was abolished in 1872. For the next forty years, the government relied mainly on excise taxes for revenue.

Disagreements between states regarding tariffs and excise taxes eventually led to the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1913 (Progressives), giving Congress the authority to levy income taxes nationwide. Soon after, Congress enacted a variable income tax rate of between 1 and 7 percent (double the taxes of only 50 yrs prior) for the highest earners.

WWI and WWII made higher taxes a necessity. The 1916 Revenue Act raised tax rates to between 2 and 15 percent (5 times more than only 55 years before, and doubled in 3 years) and instituted an estate tax. Further laws passed in 1917 and 1918 increased the tax burden, lowering exemptions and raising tax rates. Due to the great economy of the 1920’s (postwar) the US experienced a series of tax cuts.

The Depression caused federal revenues to plummet. The New Deal (Progressives) thought the best way to make up for the loss was to raise taxes to exorbitant heights make up for the shortfall, Congress passed the controversial Tax Act of 1932, which imposed much higher tax rates. By 1936, this and other tax reforms had increased the lowest tax rate to 4 percent; the highest earners were subject to a 79 percent tax rate( 25 times higher in 75 years) . In addition to that hijacking of people’s earning the Social Security Act in 1935 added a 2 percent tax to fund entitlement programs. In addition to all of this they lowered the minimum level of income at which taxes were imposed which resulted in a sharp increase in the number of taxpayers.

In the decades following World War II, tax rates remained relatively stable, but rising inflation during the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s ( Great Society = Progressives and the Misery Index) increased the tax burden, creating strains on the economy. Endorsed by President Reagan (Ronaldus Magnus), the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 provided an across-the-board 25 percent reduction in marginal tax rates and increased economic tax incentives for businesses and individuals. This and other tax cuts enacted during the 1980s (most notably the Tax Reform Act of 1986) operated on the assumption that high tax rates diminish incentives for additional work, discourage saving and investing, and create the impetus for people to find ways to avoid paying taxes or seek out tax shelters.

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, tax rates and policies shifted mainly along political lines, with rate hikes during the Clinton years, followed by tax cuts enacted by the current administration.

It is like I said before. If it exists, Progressives believe it exists only to be taxed. They view earning differently. What you earn is theirs and what you take home is what they graciously allow you to keep. We have been getting a break all this time with them not taxing beer, cigarettes, 4x4s, big TVs, potato chips, sodas, The Internet, cell phones, mileage, water, air, being fat (I mean Obese), etc. They might as well tax us for being poor. All money is theirs to begin with in their minds.

Now for my final piece of ranting/philosophy, this is the ultimate affront to our Liberty and Freedom. Why? Simply put, a person trades their time for money, that is what Work is. Time is finite, and it is all that we have of our life. Our time is our life. The more money they confiscate from us, the more of actual Life they are sucking out of us. We are guaranteed Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness (Property), but if they take all our money, they are taking all of our time, and therefore all of our life. Without Life, we have no Liberty, or no ability to Pursue Happiness.

Taxation is THE ISSUE. Taxation is what allows them to do all the fun things they want to do, so as soon as we can cut the umbilical cord we will be able to start having some Liberty again.

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