Quote Originally Posted by Water Closet View Post

You're missing my point a bit. First, the statistic I was referring to was, in 2006, the top 5% (threshold only $153k) paid 60% of federal taxes (see here). This, or a similar statistic, is often recited by outraged conservatives who make $50k a year. My point is that to whine so loudly, shouldn't you have some real skin in the game?
What makes you think that they don't? Even if someone making $50K (about half of what I make, so I'm certainly in the top 20%) doesn't have the same tax bite, the draining of funds from his boss, who is probably in the upper 5% means less money to spend on him when it comes time for a raise, less to spend on his job, which might increase his productivity and expand his value to the company (giving him more time off or a higher salary as he produces more) and less to spend on his benefits. That top 5% of income earners employs the rest of America, even the public sector, since we'd be nowhere without their taxes. So taxing the employer impacts directly on the employee, and also limits the upward mobility of the latter. That's the real lesson of Joe the Plumber, that you can start out with very little and work your way up to owning your own business, and that's why the left loathes him instinctively. They cannot abide people who seek to use their freedom to get ahead, instead of depending on them for favors. Joe already redistributes most of his wealth, by starting a business and employing others who may one day find that they, too, can start a business. And that's where the financial impacts begin to break into the social arena.

The social impacts of federal largesse are seen every day in neighborhoods where welfare has replaced work. Any law-abiding, decent person who lives in a poorer neighborhood "has skin in the game," because the government's poverty subsidies make their neighborhoods hell on Earth. Those neighborhoods are deadly (both physically and mentally), and difficult to escape, and it's instructive that most government programs for the poor are designed to keep them poor and dependent. This corrupts our politics and changes our government from a servant of the people into our master.

The creation of permanent class of tax-receivers empowers the governing elite at the expense of the rest of us. This changes the debate on the proper functions of government, to include its limits, into a zero-sum game of gimme gimme gimme. Those who pay the most are told that they are selfish if they object, while those who pay nothing are told that they are entitled to "get something back." Liberals who argue that taxing the most productive to support the least productive know that this robbing of Peter to pay Paul may not sit well with Peter, but the real impact is that it sure guarantees Paul's vote, and once a significant segment of the population chooses to expropriate wealth instead of earning it, then the longterm prognosis for the health of that population is wretched. Think Rome, circa 350-500 AD.

Our tax code isn't simply about numbers, it's about how people are forced into groups and put at each others' throats by the conflicts that it creates. That's something that every American has a right to object to, no matter how much he puts down on the 1040.

Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dawg View Post
Does anyone remember the Widow's Mite?
The poor widow gave out of her poverty, i.e., when it hurt..... while the wealthy pharisee gave much more in its raw amount but it was out of his wealth and ease.
And it was the Widow who actually gave more.
If the highest 'producers' cease to value the contribution of those of lesser stature, then at some point, those 'mites' may cease to be given.
Somehow I think that this would make a difference, even to the wealthy and powerful.
It also makes a difference to the widow, who no doubt saw herself as a free woman who could support herself and contribute to helping others, instead of a supplicant to an arrogant elite. That's what our governing elites object to, that people who master their own fates don't need them to chart their own course through life. A guy who makes enough to pay his bills, cover his family's needs and doesn't take a handout from the government
Quote Originally Posted by Constitutionally Speaking View Post
This is not constitutional but I have often thought that if you are not paying any income tax, you should not be able to vote on issues or for people that will raise the taxes of other people. There HAS to be a way of preventing people with nothing to lose and everything to gain from saddling those with little to gain and everything to lose with higher taxes.
As to your earlier point, as long as you are working and supporting yourself, you are not mooching.
That was the logic behind poll taxes, which were paid if you didn't meet the property qualifications for voting. I'd prefer to see every voter bring an income tax form, filled out for the previous year, as part of their identification (along with a photo ID). Even if you paid nothing, it would still be proof of employment, and I'd consider that the basic qualification to vote. If someone applies for public assistance, then they've pretty much told the state that they can't manage their own affairs, so they have no business voting on how to manage the rest of ours.