Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We're being taxed into oblivion

From the NY Post:

A typical New Yorker pays more than $85 each month in taxes tacked onto bills for living expenses like gas, electricity, phone, cable TV and transportation, The Post found.

Taxing big businesses and utilities -- which pass the cost on to millions of customers -- is a stealthy way for the feds, state, city and the increasingly desperate MTA to fill their coffers, experts say.

"They've turned these private businesses into collection agencies for the state," said Louis Manuta, senior attorney for the Public Utility Law Project, an Albany-based group that advocates for low-income consumers.

Taxes add as much as 37 percent to a telephone bill, Manuta calculates.

Taxes and surcharges make up 27 percent of every Con Edison electric bill, and 27.9 percent of cooking-gas tabs, the company said.

National Grid, which supplies gas to Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island, said taxes take 19 percent of residential bills in the city and 15 percent in Long Island.

The MTA bailout plan that hiked subway, bus and cab fares last May also imposed a new tax of 34 cents for every $100 of payroll on all employers in NYC and seven surrounding counties.

But giant utilities like Con Ed and some municipalities have added surcharges on bills to recoup the cost from its customers or residents. The MTA added about 1 percent in taxes to a Con Ed bill, a spokesman said.


Anonymous said...

the federal universal connector fee of $2.10 x 300,000,000 (approx .) U.S. phone users,was forced on At&t by
the Clinton Administration. it pays for all the internet
connections, of every library computer and public school computer, in the U.S.

Clinton and Gore initially tried to force At&t not to detail the charge on your bill,but At&t refused.

the largest campaign contributions for A.Gore in the 2000 election came from the Internet Companies.

at the time i was not going to pay this charge, for i had not ordered this service. i was told that they would turn off my home phone service.

taxation without representation... .Taxation Enough Already....TEA PARTY EXPRESS.......

Anonymous said...

The real Tea Party was started by Ron Paul again, and its not the Tea party express which is a GOP operative who doesnt care about wasteful spending if its their side. You will be taxed from both sides as always. Its just lip service they offer you.


Tax Protest Origins: Ron Paul Supporters Make Case On Rachel Maddow (VIDEO)

Lino said...

"it pays for all the internet
connections, of every library computer and public school computer, in the U.S."

This same monowatt lame brain posts the same AM radio propaganda on nearly every topic here. I'am sure he could find some left wing conspiracy in the pigeon crap on statues.

If you are looking to the republicans for leadership in economic issues, just bear in mind who took a modest surplus left by the Clinton adm and, with two wars and a a deregulation mania, gave us the biggest deficits in our history.

Answer: Republicans.


I might add that this person is also a mean spirited jerk for for complaining about offering the internet free to educational institutions. Just an angry old man who would deny an essential tool in today's age. Too-bad there is nothing you can do about it.

You and palm-cribber Palin are peas in a pod.

Anonymous said...

Politicians again stealing and spending....

Anonymous said...


...god help us all.

Anonymous said...

I love how they don't increase taxes - they just add new taxes and then increase them to make the sound harmless - 'we're just adding .3875% to the 'tying your shoes' tax to keep you safe. Reform wont solve this problem. Only revolt will.

Anonymous said...

Clinton did a great job signing Republican authored budgets. Truthers are a wird species. They are ignorant people who believe they are smart bc they have visited a few websites created by people who are equally as dumb. Somehow, then, they believe they are all physicists, engineers and the like. They are a conspiracy short of finding someone involved in the conspiray. Go back to finding tiny green martians at Roswell.

Queens Crapper said...

I like how the same guy/gal has had something derogatory to say about my readers on every post here this morning. It seems that someone's kinda sensitive about government criticism. Tough shit, pal.

Ridgewoodian said...

So let's get rid of all taxes and have no government and no government services at all - no cops, no firemen, no Army, no public schools, no highway construction crews, no mass transit, no courts, etc. etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else experience an increase in fees to Time Warner Cable for 2 months in a row? I called in January to complain and was shocked when I saw the bill go up again in February. I dropped all of my premium channels to save money and now the monthly charge is at the same level! What a croc! Is FIOS any better?

Anonymous said...

I don't mind paying taxes. I don't. I know they go to help run the country, even when i don't see direct results.

HOWEVER, what i object to, is the taxation of the SAME DOLLAR MULTIPLE TIMES.

Earn a dollar? taxed. Take whats left of that dollar and spend it? taxed again. Use the change to put into a savings account? taxed again.

Tax ONCE and be done with it. Make income tax 50% and let it be the end of it. Everything you do with that money after that, enjoy!

Im sick and tired of hands being put into my pocket every time i turn around.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to Ridgewoodian, who apparently loves paying taxes and feeding into the government trough that is used to tweed, to say something stupid. If pols didn't have pork barrel spending, we wouldn't be in this predicament. If pols didn't waste money on boondoggle projects like Willets Point while firehouses are faced with closure, we wouldn't be having this problem. If we didn't pay people to be lifelong government benefit recipients, we wouldn't have this problem. I suppose I could go on but why bother when you're addressing a dolt.

Queens Crapper said...

The lion's share of the fees are state and city fees, not federal. So your taxes are not helping the country, but rather going into Malcolm Smith and Christine Quinn's pockets.

Anonymous said...

Yep, and none of this is EVER going to go away-- it's just gping to get worse-- until we are Sweden or Denmark and pay 70% of our earnings to the Government. Obama will see to this, be assured. The solution is to get off the grid as much as is possible. That's all we can do.

Anonymous said...

Makes me feel like a genius. No cable TV. No Cell phone plan -it's pre-paid. I buy a card as needed, and only pay sales tax, which is more than enough anyway, but it's no 20%. Sorry libraries & schools.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind that my taxes are going to some poor, black, inner city youth so he can go update his obnoxious myspace account.

Anonymous said...

Everyone talks about taxing the rich more, but in reality the middle class is getting squeezed more and more with all these layers of taxes. This article is one example of the numerous stealth taxes that you have to pay each day. Everyone should be paying fewer taxes across the board.

I hope the tea party is not co-opted by the republicans. They are equally distasteful as the Democrats are equally as proficient in wasting taxpayer money and running up deficits. We need a third party committed to the principles of a small and efficient government and rooting out waste inefficiencies and fraud. Republican are not it and neither are the Democrats.

Anonymous said...

We need to know where all these taxes are going and whose pockets are being lined. People are taxed to the max and can't afford it. What is worse is that they are little amounts than people don't notice on their bill unless they really read them. How much more do we have to pay to exist? Where is the Public Advocate? What about the Consumer Rights Groups? Does anyone out there have our back?

Anonymous said...

There is a role for government. No one is saying that there should not be any taxes, but anyone doing research on the matter knows that tax dollars are wasted in so many ways. Literally trillions are pissed away each year lost on fraud, programs in which no standards exist to evaluate their effectiveness, duplicative programs run by different arms of the government where one hand does not know what the other is doing, or silly expenditures which have no redeeming social value (i.e. a the museum of teapots, or the bridge to nowhere). We already spend more than we take in. You can only extort so much from the people. Eventually the house of cards will fall apart and god help us then. This country can be great again, but it will never happen until the people demand it, so while I’m no believer in the tea party, I support it, because it’s the closest thing out there to the revolution in thinking that needs to happen to right the course this country is on.

Anonymous said...

RE: Lino ,the liberal loyalass,

there you go again.....demonize...demonize..... never argue the facts. because you can not refute them.

do you really believe global warming is caused by too
much snowfall or too little snowfall ?

if i do not order a service,i do not want to pay for it. it is that simple. no president ( democrat) should be able to force me to pay, or lose my phone service.

Anonymous said...

"it pays for all the internet
connections, of every library computer and public school computer, in the U.S."

Sure - just like the payroll deductions for social security are only used to pay for social security. Oh wait they aren't... Each year the lawmakers raid the social security system to pay for other spending excesses. Now the entire social security system is on the brink of collapse once the boomers start retiring. We are already being asked to contribute more to social security by Obama. People are being lied to. If you think anything more than a few pennies are getting to schools and libraries you are a fool. this is just a backdoor tax to add to the slush fund.

Anonymous said...

Taxes are fine if they are useful, like helping the people paying it to make their lives better.

But in NYC, that is not the case for it helps the developers while your services go down hill.

Remember this the next time your taxes goes to finance a developer's project,

be it Con Ed (for new capacity while your block rots)

to tax breaks from the city (that's ok, you have money to pay for the services while he needs his for alimoney payments to wife #2)

to City Planning just roaring along fully staffed like the Socerer's Apprentice just adding more people when your block cannot handle the people already there (they can do that because they take the money away from hospitals and schools)

Anonymous said...

"Holly" from Washington Heights. Right.

Babs said...

Lino said - "I might add that this person is also a mean spirited jerk for for complaining about offering the internet free to educational institutions."

TOTALLY agree Lino -

Anonymous I also doubt the validity of your allegation that the Clinton Administration tried to "force AT&T not to detail the charge on your bill" - WHY does this make sense to ANYONE?

AT&T have been ripping people off for YEARS - you thought they were Mother Teresa?

You must have been born yesterday -

Babs said...

Anonymous - "do you really believe global warming is caused by too
much snowfall or too little snowfall ?"

"Snowfalls" have NOTHING to do with anything - frequent STORMS and particularly violent ones are the key words - which is WHY scientists DO concern themselves with snowstorms and "snowfall".

Anonymous said...

When we don't have enough storms, they worry. When we have too many, they worry. It's time they study something else because weather is not predictable and never has been.

Babs said...

Ridgewoodian said: "So let's get rid of all taxes and have no government and no government services at all - no cops, no firemen, no Army, no public schools, no highway construction crews, no mass transit, no courts, etc. etc. etc."

LOL - THAT is actually a Libertarian's dream (or an Independent's - I believe they are calling themselves now) - stupid isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"LOL - THAT is actually a Libertarian's dream (or an Independent's - I believe they are calling themselves now) - stupid isn't it?"

Actually, it's not. That's more of an anarchist's dream. Libertarians understand the need for taxes to pay for essential services like roads, sewers, cops, firefighters, public schools and parks. What we object to is having to pay for other's poor planning, poor judgement, irresponsible behavior, etc.

John from Conn said...

Anyone who believes that DIRECT Federal taxation is acceptable is simply holding an immoral position. Direct Federal Taxation of "the people's" income is against the intent of the founding fathers and is a societal cancer created by the Progressive Movement with the advent of the 16th Amendment. That Federal Power Grab was in Response to the Supreme Court's 1895 Pollock v. Farmer's Loan & Trust which upheld the Founding Father's and rejected Direct Federal Taxation.

The founders intended for the allowance of voluntary consumption taxes when certain basic foundational necessities are warranted. The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the military, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law.
The source of the government’s authority is “the consent of the governed.” This means that the government is not the ruler, but the servant or agent of the citizens; it means that the government as such has no rights except the rights delegated to it by the citizens for a specific purpose. This purpose does not include the creation of special rights or privileges for a "certain segment of the population." There are NO "GROUP" rights. "Rights" are sanctions for "individuals" to act and to keep the products of their own actions and labor. "Rights" are NOT unearned claims to the actions or products of others!!

Morally and economically, the welfare state creates an ever accelerating downward pull. Morally, the chance to satisfy demands by force spreads the demands wider and wider, with less and less pretense at justification. Economically, the forced demands of one group create hardships for all others, thus producing an inextricable mixture of actual victims and plain parasites. Since need, not achievement, is held as the criterion of rewards, the government necessarily keeps sacrificing the more productive groups to the less productive, gradually chaining the top level of the economy, then the next level, then the next.

georgetheatheist said...


Klink Cannoli said...

*Stands and applauds John from Conn*

It's great to hear people get it.

Babs said...

John from Conn. said: "Morally and economically, the welfare state creates an ever accelerating downward pull."

WHICH welfare state? Corporate or citizen?

Libertarianism - as a political philosophy - judges EVERYTHING in economic terms. The ONLY judgment that matters is the judgment of the marketplace. MORALITY never enters into it. It aspires - like you are doing - to reduce social life to economics.

The ONLY genius thing about the philosophy is that it makes its followers feel MORAL and thus SUPERIOR.

Babs said...

". . . . the government necessarily keeps sacrificing the more productive groups to the less productive"

you're being too hard here on Wall Street.

John from Conn said...

Babs Must have missed an earlier post which debunked her "Naderism."

Outrage at the wealthy is simply called "envy." I never saw a poor man hire anyone or create a good or service to better anyone's life...People who use their mind's to advance in the free market on the merit of their efforts should be applauded...and most of all....thanked!

We as conservatives desire “Free Competition” without government favoritism. We oppose anyone or any corporation that looks to get in BED with government and create, rules, laws, subsides, or monopolies that favor them at the expense of small businesses. Any Corporation that avoids FREE competition in Favor of political favoritism using lobbyists to buy politicians and create barriers to protect themselves are acting immorally and must be stopped. “Corporatism” (or Corporate Welfare Bab's) is a LEFT WING phenomenon, created ONLY through government meddling in the economy. Advancement in our system should be restored to the "merit of achievement" as people earn things through the value of their efforts and thus are allowed to enjoy the fruits of their own ideas and labor.

Our founding fathers, the wise men that they were, moved beyond barbaric tribal collectivism. During the first 150 years of America's history, people were free to live their lives in any way they chose as long as their actions did not entail violence, coercion, or fraud against others. Americans could engage in any economic enterprise without permission or regulation ... accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth without political interference ... do whatever they wanted with their money ... and travel anywhere in the world without a passport or other evidence of governmental consent. This unique way of life was what distinguished the United States from all other nations in history. It was this way of life that became known as one of "free enterprise." PEOPLE COULD NOT be forced to HELP or SERVE others. Man, for the first time in history was not a sacrificial animal to others. The result was NOT DESPAIR for the common man, but, freedom and an entry way to the opportunity of a better life. The other result was the most charitable nation in the history of man (without government's help or Bab's Bleeding Heart!).

Babs said...

"Outrage at the wealthy is simply called "envy."

Tell that to Warren Buffet who has been very outspoken against corporate abuses.

I can assure you that I am no bleeding heart, but there are those in our society that need help temporarily - and of couse there are those who are disabled whether mentally or physically that need support their entire lives. Not only would it be morally wrong to turn our backs on these people but it is STUPID. A bunch of angry poor people historically has led to Socialism and/or anarchy.

But government support for the poor is only the tip of iceberg - we have PROFESSIONALS involved in Medicare/Medicaid fraud who are draining the system MORE than the immigrants in our country.

NO ONE can live on welfare BTW - it pays THAT little today. Your philosophy is OLD - the ONLY welfare QUEENS today are in Corporate America.

Your philosophy looks only at one SMALL piece of the puzzle which is why it is FLAWED.

Babs said...

"Advancement in our system should be restored to the "merit of achievement" as people earn things through the value of their efforts and thus are allowed to enjoy the fruits of their own ideas and labor."

This is the MOST idealistic statement you have made thus far - today anyway.

You should try standup comedy - the statement also is a hoot and a holler if there every was one.

Babs said...

oh and BTW - allow me to "debunk" what you have to say as "nuts".

Libertarians are political cultists - and you fit the stereotype.

Also "John" - you and George seem to be the only ones that are "bolding" their comments or - in George's case - using italics.

Using the same computer are ya'?

Queens Crapper said...

It's quite simple to use bold or italics in comments. It even shows you the tags below the comment box.

Babs said...

Well I can't Crappy - maybe I just don't know how.

Babs said...

" . . . . Americans could engage in any economic enterprise without permission or regulation . . . accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth without political interference"

yes John - child labor laws fkd it all up.

Anonymous said...

The title of this post is that we are being taxed into oblivion. This is a position I tend to agree with. You say that it would it be morally wrong to turn our backs on the unfortunate. I do tend to agree, however how can you continue to give and give and give when it is breaking the back of this country??? All these handouts corporate and social are bankrupting the country, and are not making a dent in the problems that they are supposed to solve. Do you continue to throw good money after bad? Do you bankrupt the nation, chasing these social goals? Medicare, Medicaid, Social security, welfare, secion 8, farm subsidies, job training, corporate bailouts, bridges to nowhere... Its all killing us. You don't need to be a republican to see that.

Babs said...

"All these handouts corporate and social are bankrupting the country"

Agreed - AND of course the war didn't help the situation either.

Good night - I'm out.

georgetheatheist said...

"Its all killing us."

It's either Ayn Rand or Mussolini.

Anonymous said...

RE:Babs,who sometimes babbles,

to check the accuracy of my comment, write a letter to
your phone company . ask them to detail this charge on your bill.ask them why you are being charged for a service that you did not order. who authorized this service? tell them to deduct the fee,or you will on the next payment.

good luck,sucker.....

you can check algores campaign finance donations for the 2000 presidential election. i do not lie,like the liberal's do. internet ,trial lawyers,U.F.T.,Occidental Oil etc,etc,.

Babs said...

Anonymous - you're putting words in my mouth.

I do not doubt the accuracy of the tax breakdown that was given in the NYPOST -

What I said and I quote: "I doubt the validity of YOUR allegation that the Clinton Administration tried to "force AT&T not to detail the charge on your bill" -


KG2V said...

Now, let's go back to civivs 101 - Congress, NOT the President sets the budget - Now, during the Clinton Administration, who set the budget? Since 2006, who has set the Budget?

Klink Cannoli said...

Babs wrote:
Anonymous - you're putting words in my mouth.

It's good to chew your food before you swallow. ;@)

Babs said...

Klink said: "It's good to chew your food before you swallow. ;@)"

cute . . .


John from Conn said...

If you took a second to actually comprehend what I wrote you would understand there is no such thing as "Corporate Welfare" in the system I described. Just FREE Competition..."Government" is the only thing that can screw up the purity of the free market. Laws are made by the will of the public, to stop any individual or corporation from hurting, coercing, or defrauding anyone else.

Those in "society" that "need help" are to be lifted as they were for the first 150 years of our country....Those needy souls are "free to ask" for "Voluntary Help" by the willing hearts of mankind. 19th Century America was the most "freely" giving country in history to that point. Government was not needed "to force" people to be charitable!

Libertarians are "Right Wing" pacifist hippies with No Moral foundation for their beliefs in Freedom. Giving Civil rights to terrorists and wanting to abolish standing armies...lol...pleezze.

We do not have a TRUE Capitalist system today. But, Modified Government Regulated Capitalism....similar to that of Weimar Germany (with a fortune and respect for individualism unlike Germany, which is why it fell sooner then we will.) Under TRUE Laissez Faire Capitalism, Warren Buffet would have no special government loop holes to protect him from competitors. He would have to compete under objective laws on the Free Market against those who would attempt to provide a better service. We realize Laissez Faire is the only way to save this country.

Child labor laws...lol....the typical progressive war cry. Compare the work conditions under the "Captains of Industry" in the 19th Century (under Capitalism) as compared to the of the rest of the world's Non-Capitalist nation's of the time and "your cry's" are exposed as foolish....Parents or Guardians should be the arbiters of their children's activities and at what age they are able to handle a job....But, just take a look at the pre-capitalist Feudalist systems that sent children out in the fields to slave and die as soon as they could walk and your thoughts are again exposed as foolish. The proportion of those born in London dying before the age of five fell from 74.5 in 1730-49 to 31.8 percent in 1810-29. (Read Mabel Bauer, Health, Wealth, and Population in the early days of the Industrial Revolution to learn more.) Children who hitherto would have died in infancy now had a chance for survival thanks to capitalism. Thus, disproving the progressive medievalist lie that the condition of the laboring classes were progressively deteriorating during the industrial revolution. The need for the first child labor laws predated the industrial Rev. and had to do with Chimney sweeps...not Industrial Factories! Factories when they arrived were like pristine sanctuaries with much easier labor as compared to the children who grinded their fingers to the bone on a hand loom or feudal pick and shovel. Just remember! Under Capitalism we have NEVER had a famine....unlike every other socialist state in history which combined industrialization and famine!

You seem like an innocent and well meaning person. But the fact is, you are historically deficient and do not believe in Individualism or Freedom. Your are envious and covetous of those smarter and more productive than you. As most bottom feeders are...

Klink Cannoli said...

Babs wrote:
cute . . .

Of course. And cuddly too. ;*/

I know you're intelligent enough to understand the meaning behind it. Digest the words being given.

If you swallow them too fast, you'll get indigestion, burp out a foul odor and still be malnourished.

Eesh, now I'm getting hungry.

Babs said...

John said: "You seem like an innocent and well meaning person. But the fact is, you are historically deficient and do not believe in Individualism or Freedom. Your are envious and covetous of those smarter and more productive than you. As most bottom feeders are..."

go fu*k yourself John - you too Klink -

I can tell by the condescending tone in your voice that you are one in the same.

I'm out of this thread - I see you'd rather talk to yourself.

Lino said...

"you can check algores campaign"

BUZZ! Another limbaugh dittohead-dunce.

BTW: His audience median is now 67 nationwide.

Anonymous said...

Yes Babs its no surprise the folks who preach Rand and Milton Friedman would stoop to name calling without refuting some of the points you made so to speak or belittle you by saying you dont know any history.

Those two "economic philosophers" are what molded the Wall St boys for decades if not much longer. Greenspan loves Rand and so do all the current and former Wall St billionaires who have gone unchecked from their blatant exploitation for many workers as well as environmental pollution and destruction without a care of someone else's land or country.

Those on here who love that excuse Atlas go to Wall St and do some census of the guys down there and ask how they feel about their hero.

Capitalism is good, but totally unregulated capitalism is what the Rand and Friedman crowd love to glow in and use to scoff at morals or trampling on others to get their mass of empire.
Rand thinking promotes a mixture of idiocy, opportunism, and cynicism but pretends to like democracy, or laws for that matter unless its the laws they put on others.
Thanks Scalia for now recently deeming a corporation to have rights just like an individual so they can do want they want as usual and just maybe ? pay a fine for damage done be it medical, pharma, big oil etc.

*Look at the states with a surplus right now. One has a great cooperative state operated bank that actually finances public works and infrastructure.
Put your trust in credit union banks also people.

John Said.
We oppose anyone or any corporation that looks to get in BED with government and create, rules, laws, subsides, or monopolies that favor them at the expense of small businesses.

Are you serious? I can think of numerous right wing huge corporations as described by themselves and whom they work for that are Rand disciples who have received corporate welfare subsidies. Corporate welfare has been exposed by the left for the last thirty plus years.

Anonymous said...

RE:the lying liberal loyalass Lino,
do you deduct the FICA taxes from the illegal alien food delivery bicycle riders , that you command?
i forgot you only pay in cash.....

how many pedestrians have they run into this month?

John from Conn said...

Welcome Comrade! (I knew I could shake one out of the weeds...lol) Glad to see a member of the Socialist Labor Party finally arrive....lol. A proud member of Marxist.org (real site lol)....

Recruitment! Recruitment! Recruitment!

If you are interested in joining our friend and share his fondness for: American Marxism (1870s-1940s), the Soviet Union (1917-1941), British Marxism (1870s-1940s), the Comintern, the Hungarian and Finnish Revolutions. Primary plan on working on libertarian socialist organizations and people. Especially interested in history of socialism in the United States, and repression of socialist groups by the United States government.....Please join him at:

WikiProject Socialism! (YES...LOL) It seeks to improve Wikipedia's articles on all aspects of socialism. This includes coverage of the different socialist philosophies and alternatives, as well as socialist political action, parties and candidates worldwide. It also seeks to improve wikipedia articles on political and economic subjects that are sorely lacking in analysis of how government policies negatively effect society, using reliably sourced material from socialist-oriented academics and experts, as well as relevant material published in mainstream sources.

Its tasks:
1)Achieve better categorization of socialist-related articles!
2) Get more socialist-related articles to GA and FA status
3) Get reliable sources were needed on any socialist related article.
4) Create a "Socialist Reliable Sources" page similar to this one or this one.
5) Fill in Portal:Socialism and Portal:Communism.

Stop wasting your time here at Queens Crap...Recuit Bab's and get to work!! LOL

Anonymous said...

Looks like this john the con and George have all the answers which means they are insane. Its become cliche these days to quote Rand with people frothing upset about Obama when like little kids you cant acknowledge Bush put you beloved apple pie americana in debt beyond any ones control. Thts cute this John guy thinks money and business have morals all by themselves.
What intellectually bankrupt people.

God knows why the Village Voice cares about a blog that shuts others views down.

Anonymous said...

Fox news Queens Crap inc.

Queens Crapper said...


Whose view was shut down here? There are 57 comments. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

BTW, what happened to "AIR AMERIKA ? could you tell us the audience median that it reaches ?

LIBERALISM is an illness.

Ridgewoodian said...

John from Conn: Direct Federal Taxation of "the people's" income is against the intent of the founding fathers and is a societal cancer created by the Progressive Movement with the advent of the 16th Amendment. That Federal Power Grab was in Response to the Supreme Court's 1895 Pollock v. Farmer's Loan & Trust which upheld the Founding Father's and rejected Direct Federal Taxation.

Incorrect. On a number of points.

(1) The Constitution as drafted in Philadelphia made provisions for the imposition of direct taxes, namely:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…” Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 (Emphasis added.)

“No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.” Article I, Section 9, Clause 4 (Emphasis added.)

So Congress clearly had the power to impose direct taxes, subject to apportionment. And, of course, it had and has the power, “To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” provided that, “all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States…” Article I, Section 8, Clause 1

Ridgewoodian said...

(2) The term “direct tax” is not fully defined in the Constitution. A capitation (i.e. a poll or head tax, that is to say a tax of a fixed amount charged to each and every person) is mentioned but whatever other forms direct taxes might take are not spelled out explicitly in the instrument.

We do, however, have the opinions of many of the Founders.

Here’s Supreme Court Justice William Paterson (a signer of the Constitution) writing in 1796 in the case of Hylton v. United States:
“What are direct taxes within the meaning of the Constitution? The Constitution declares, that a capitation tax is a direct tax; and, both in theory and practice, a tax on land is deemed to be a direct tax….. Whether direct taxes, in the sense of the Constitution, comprehend any other tax than a capitation tax, and tax on land, is a questionable point….. I never entertained a doubt, that the principal, I will not say, the only, objects, that the framers of the Constitution contemplated as falling within the rule of apportionment, were a capitation tax and a tax on land.”

Here’s Justice Samuel Chase (a signer of the Declaration of Independence) on the same case: “I am inclined to think, but of this I do not give a judicial opinion, that the direct taxes contemplated by the Constitution, are only two, to wit, a capitation, or poll tax, simply, without regard to property, profession, or any other circumstance; and a tax on LAND. I doubt whether a tax, by a general assessment of personal property, within the United States, is included within the term direct tax.”

In the case that they were deciding they ruled that Congress had not exceeded its power in laying a tax on carriages - payable by citizens directly to the United States - without regard to any apportionment. In other words, they read the direct taxation clauses narrowly. Their ruling stood uncontested for almost 100 years.

(Interesting to note, if those two justices - and other legal minds of the time who concurred with them - were right and there are only a very few forms of direct taxation, well, then we don’t actually pay any direct taxes at all. There’s no national poll tax, no national property tax. Both could probably be imposed but politically they’d be unacceptable.)

Ridgewoodian said...

(3) James Madison was one of the driving forces behind the Constitution. In 1815, when he was President, his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Dallas, proposed an income tax to help pay for the War of 1812. Congress received the idea coolly and it was never imposed, but there seems to have been no question as to its constitutionality.

The first income taxes were first imposed during the Civil War and stayed in place until the 1870s. In 1880, in the case of Springer v. United States the Supreme Court ruled that, “Direct taxes, within the meaning of the Constitution, are only capitation taxes as expressed in that instrument, and taxes on real estate,” and, “the duty which the internal revenue acts provided should be assessed, collected, and paid upon gains, profits, and incomes was an excise or duty, and not a direct tax, within the meaning of the Constitution.”

In the early 1890s Congress decided to revive the income tax. That eventually lead to Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. which almost no one thinks was decided very well. If you’re interested there’s an extended discussion of the case in David E. Kyvig’s Explicit & Authentic Acts: Amending the U.S. Constitution 1776-1995 (University of Kansas Press, 1996) pp. 194-208. Basically, a couple of Wall Street power brokers got a Massachusetts man who owned shares of the New York Farmers’ Loan and Trust to sue the board of directors to keep them from paying the new income tax. The case was quickly heard by the Supreme Court which, setting aside a century of precedent dating back to the days of the Founders, ruled that taxes on income from interest, dividends, and rents were direct and so had to be apportioned to be constitutional. What the court DIDN’T rule was that the income tax per se was unconstitutional. In fact, a tax on WAGES was allowed to stand. This was as popular a ruling in its day, apparently, as Kelo is in ours. Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World called it, “a triumph of selfishness over patriotism,” and continued: “Great and rich corporations, by hiring the ablest lawyers in the land and fighting against a petty tax upon superfluity as other men have fought for their liberties and their lives, have secured exemption of wealth from paying its just share toward the support of the government that protects it.”

Ridgewoodian said...

A movement then began to reverse the decision via constitutional amendment. The idea was so popular with the broad public that by the 1908 Presidential election both William Howard Taft’s Republicans and William Jennings Bryan’s Democrats, not to mention Eugene V. Debs’ Socialists, supported an amendment, which eventually passed Congress in 1909 and was ratified in 1913.
This is the text of the 16th Amendment: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” What was innovative about it was NOT that Congress could tax income - Congress had had that since its very beginning - but rather that taxes on certain incomes were no longer subject to the apportionment requirement that Pollock had imposed. In effect, the amendment returned the Constitution to the state it had been in pre-1895. Wrote Chief Justice Edward Douglass White in the case of Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co. (1916): “…the Sixteenth Amendment conferred no new power of taxation, but simply prohibited the previous complete and plenary power of income taxation possessed by Congress from the beginning from being taken out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belonged, and being placed in the category of direct taxation subject to apportionment by a consideration of the sources from which the income was derived -- that is, by testing the tax not by what it was, a tax on income, but by a mistaken theory deduced from the origin or source of the income taxed.” Wrote Justice Pierce Butler in the case of Bowers v. Kerbaugh-Empire Co., (1926): “It was not the purpose or the effect of that amendment to bring any new subject within the taxing power. Congress already had the power to tax all incomes. But taxes on incomes from some sources had been held to be ‘direct taxes’ within the meaning of the constitutional requirement as to apportionment. The Amendment relieved from that requirement and obliterated the distinction in that respect between taxes on income that are direct taxes and those that are not, and so put on the same basis all incomes ‘from whatever source derived’.”

To sum up: the Founders DID in fact provide for the imposition of direct taxes. Direct taxes have been narrowly understood for most of our history and there are NONE currently in effect on the national level, nor have there been for many decades. The Founders had no scruples imposing taxes on citizens payable directly to the federal government. The power to tax income existed, at least potentially, from the very beginning of the Constitution. The first income tax long preceded the Progressive Era. Taxes on income have always been understood as indirect within the meaning of the Constitution - as excises or duties - and so have never been subject to the apportionment requirement, EXCEPT during the period 1895-1913 and even then only on taxes on incomes derived from certain specific sources. The 16th Amendment was framed so as to correct the (willful) mistake of Pollock.

So, John in Conn, your historical analysis is one big stanky pile of fail. Bravo.

John from Conn said...

All Cut and pasted from WikiProject Socialism articles (see above)...Good Job!

(Do your fingers hurt?...Jeese Louise...and I thought my messages were long...lol)

You are a prime candidate for recruitment in their writers division!

The Constitution was a compromise document between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists...The Federalists won in some areas...There were plenty of mistakes made and those "loop hole" compromises have us in the state of decay we are in now. Jefferson is spinning in his Grave...

We can clearly see where the mistakes are now. The only way to settle this peacefully is to have an Article 5 Constitutional Convention to correct all those previous errors made during those compromises...It may happen soon...and when it does I will see you there! and I won't be quoting insignificant Supreme Court Justices who liked to Legislate from the Bench...When I need to I will be quoting the BIG GUYS! lol

georgetheatheist said...

This site is s-o-o-o edgeyoukashinal.

Ridgewoodian said...

John from Conn: All Cut and pasted from WikiProject Socialism articles…

Actually, no.

WikiPedia can be useful but I would never rely on it as a primary source. If you must know these are some of the sources I consulted:

Anastaplo, George: “The Amendments to the Constitution: A Commentary” (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995)

Farrand, Max (ed.): “The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787” (Yale University Press, 1966) 3 Volumes

Hamilton, Alexander; Jay, John; Madison, James: “The Federalist - The Gideon Edition” (The Liberty Fund, 2001) ed. George W. Carey & James McClellan

Hutson, James (ed.): “Supplement to Max Farrand’s ‘The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787’” (Yale University Press, 1987)

Kurland, Philip B.; Lerner, Ralph (eds.): “The Founders’ Constitution” (The University of Chicago, 1987, published by the Liberty Fund) Vol. 2 - Preamble through Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4.

Madison, James: “Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787” (W.W. Norton & Company, 1987)

Tucker, St. George: “View of the Constitution of the United States, with Selected Writings” (The Liberty Fund, 1999)

In addition, I found various Supreme Court decisions at http://supreme.justia.com/

You’ll perhaps notice that three of the books I consulted were published by the Liberty Fund, which is far from a socialist institution.

John from Conn: Jefferson is spinning in his Grave......

What does Jefferson have to do with anything? As I’m sure you know, he wasn’t in Philadelphia in 1787 and didn’t take part in writing the Constitution or winning its ratification. His name is invoked time after time and, yes, he laid down the very axioms and postulates upon which we’ve attempted to build our government, and for that he’s immortal - but the way he himself developed them turned out to be, well, wrong. We don’t live in an agrarian Jeffersonian republic. We’re not all yeoman farmers. Still, since you brought him up here’s something he had to say about taxation:

“The taxes with which we are familiar class themselves readily according to the basis on which they rest. 1. Capital. 2. Income. 3. Consumption. These may be considered as commensurate; Consumption being generally equal to Income, and Income the annual profit of Capital. A government may select either of these bases for the establishment of its system of taxation, and so frame it as to reach the faculties of every member of the society, and to draw from him his equal proportion of the public contributions; and, if this be correctly obtained, it is the perfection of the function of taxation.” (Emphasis added.)

Now, he goes on to write that having chosen a basis for taxation, the government should stick to it exclusively - so tax income but not consumption, or vice versa, except in case of great need. But your Big Guy seemed not to have a philosophical problem with the idea of an income tax. (Although in his time the means didn’t really exist of effectively imposing one.)

Another Big Guy thought it should be, “a fixed point of policy in the national administration, to go as far as may be practicable in making the luxury of the rich tributary to the public treasury, in order to diminish the necessity of those impositions, which might create dissatisfaction in the poorer and most numerous classes of society.” And what socialist was that? Alexander Hamilton.

Anyway, you can debate taxation and how it should be accomplished - that’s policy. But you don’t get to cloak yourself in the mantle of the Founders or claim the Spirit of ’76 with your rantings, because it’s clear that you’re just wrong.

I shudder to think what madness you’d try to work at an Article V convention.

John from Conn said...

Like all Liberals, you shudder when any "individual" dares to stand up against the mob and fight for liberty. You refuse to see that it is the coercive power of your beloved collectivist federal government administrators that has us on the brink of economic and moral collapse.

You sift through the things you have been spoon fed without questioning them. You regurgitate your footnotes without understanding why our country was so thoroughly unique when starkly compared to every other country in history that preceded ours.

Yeah, I guess your right, what does Jefferson have to do with the Constitution?...He was merely serving as the Minister of France at the time....and then there was John Adams, he wasn't there either....he must be meaningless in the process too, he was the Minister of England. And Patrick Henry, yeah he missed it as well...you know that "ranting" -aggressive- "Give me Liberty or Give me Death!" guy. He didn't attend because he didn't approve of the Federal Monolith Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists were pushing. For that matter, I guess I shouldn't quote anyone from Rhode Island because they boycotted the convention entirely for the same reasons.

Here is "ONE" cut and paste I know you will hate...

Jefferson believed that each individual has "certain inalienable rights." That is, these rights exist with or without government; man cannot create, take, or give them away. It is the right of "liberty" on which Jefferson is most notable for expounding. He defines it by saying, "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."

Letter to Isaac H. Tiffany, April 4, 1819

Hence, for Jefferson, though government cannot create a right to liberty, it can indeed violate it. The limit of an individual's rightful liberty is not what law says it is but is simply a matter of stopping short of prohibiting other individuals from having the same liberty. A proper government, for Jefferson, is one that not only prohibits individuals in society from infringing on the liberty of other individuals, but also restrains itself from diminishing individual liberty. He also advocated that the national debt should be eliminated. He did not believe that living individuals had a moral obligation to repay the debts of previous generations.

Your yeoman farmer comment is a typical talking point for the socialists. He may not of anticipated the ends of the Industrial Revolution, but, the economic and philosophical principles he espoused were consistent with Laissez Faire Capitalism.

The Articles of Confederation had it right from the start. They gave NO taxing power to the Federal Government! As with the modern progressives, the Federalists couldn't resist the chance at centralization once a "good crisis" materialized.