An Income tax is just Giving? You mean it is voluntary? - Granite Grok

An Income tax is just Giving? You mean it is voluntary?

We are lucky in that in the Lakes Region, we have two daily papers for the Lakes Region and one weekly specifically for our town. It has given me ample opportunity to write, as there are quite few Liberals that write in with ideas that they wish to champion. Like the old days in bowling when there were real humans resetting the pins, they set ’em up and I knock them down. Even though some of the Letters may be old, the topics are still relevant almost all the time.

As in this case way back in 2002, the idea of an income tax here in New Hampshire was again being flogged. The background is that we have no sales or income tax here and the race for the next Governor has already already begun. Thus, it is also time for the years old argument for and against implementing an income tax.

This Liberal, however, put a REAL different spin on it, using the word GIVE…..


Liberal Writer:

I am amazed and sorry that we have so many folks in this state who seem to focus on one thing, and one thing only, when voting, and that is income tax. It seems that while voting the majority of folks only had one thing on their mind, to avoid income tax. So there was a landslide for candidates who don’t support such a need.

An income tax would have been a much fairer way to handle the state’s various needs as that would take a percentage of each person’s earning. Those those make more would give more and those who make less would give less. Rather, we are going to see property taxes rise to the point that only the wealthy can afford to stay in their houses. At the same time the price for rentals will also go up and folks will have to leave the state since they can’t afford to live here. And for the icing on the cake, you can forget about help for the homeless, the elderly, and the handicapped, etc. and education will depend on whether your town can afford it.

I have never seen the use of the word “give” EVER used in this context. One doesn’t GIVE money voluntarily as taxes, they are TAKEN. In fact, I have suggested multiple times that people who wish to raise taxes for others should consider donating their own monies to the level of government that they wish to support. With the clamor about raising taxes, one would expect to see those accounts to be much fuller – leading by example! Sadly, history has shown that accounts set up for this purpose never receive any kind of meaningful receipts from anyone. It just seems so easy for some to offer to take someone else’s property to give to someone else….

Thankfully, those that were espousing on implementing an income tax were foiled at the ballot box. My response was:

Anyways, the thrust of [this] letter is that [the writer] is "amazed" at the fact that "so many people" disagree that an income tax is a "much fairer way"; those that earn more should give more. And if that doesn’t happen, the elderly will be thrown out of their homes, and woe to the homeless, the handicapped, and anyone else that needs assistance. And the usual about education being left in the hands of the local towns.

Rubbish.

Given the political outcomes, an outright majority of NH citizens already feel they are overtaxed – adding another tax seems silly. I do a lot of business traveling to other states and most folks are incredulous that we have no sales or income tax. They all wish their states would adopt our (formerly?) frugal principles. They all have property taxes. And a sales tax, an income tax, and a whole host of other taxes that we don’t. All adding up to financial burdens much higher than ours. Have all those ways of taking money from their citizens solved their financial and education problems? Hardly; most states’ budget deficits are far larger than ours on both a percentage and an absolute dollar amount basis.

If the campaign rhetoric is to believed, state spending doubled in the space of six years [1996 to 2002 -Skip] Taking out a fudge factor (due to that rhetoric) still tells me that a similar amount was also raised in revenue [NH has to have a balanced budget – Skip]. Thus, we don’t have a revenue problem, but a prioritization and spending project to be managed.

[The Letter writer] sees an income tax as being inherently fairer than a property tax. Additionally, many who wish an income tax believe it fairer still to have one that increases the percentage taken from other citizens as their income goes up is fairer still. I still have yet to discover the logical reasoning behind this; I have NEVER understood the fairness of discriminating against those in the population whose only negative criteria is that they have succeeded in life (gee, wasn’t that the American dream at one time; study hard, work hard, have a little luck, get rewarded?). WHY do we wish to continue to penalize success? Is it envy or revenge on the part of those that haven’t succeeded?

[SNIP]

Instead of adding another tax, I sometimes have this fantasy of deleting ALL taxes (and loopholes) except for one tax with which to fund government (alright, I’ll allow one for each level of government). Everyone pays it with A MANUALLY WRITTEN check on a regular basis so that all citizens have to see how much their government really costs them. And more importantly, EVERYONE pays something. This way, everyone has an incentive to pay attention to governmental affairs and to better appreciate what the services are provided (as opposed to what seems to be the pervasive attitude of many recipients that these services are entitled and owed to them). In this suggestion, everyone who benefits from government pays for it. What could be fairer?