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Another Reason To Kill The Mortgage Bailout

It's not as though it needed another one. But check this out:

At a time when concerns about both identity theft and government spying are paramount, Congress wants to create a new honey pot of private data that includes Social Security numbers. This bill reduces privacy across America's payment processing systems and treats every American small business or eBay power seller like a criminal on parole by requiring an unprecedented level of reporting to the federal government. This outrageous idea is another reason to delay the housing bailout legislation so that Senators and the public at large have time to examine its full implications.

You know, the revolutionaries in Boston had it right. Time to revive tar and feathers.


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Jardinero1 wrote:

A lot of this financial snooping has two causes. 1. The government is overly reliant on income tax as a source of revenue so it becomes all the more zealous and tyrannical in collecting it. 2. The income tax is overly complex and takes too big a chunk of the individual earners money compared to other taxes. Thus the taxpayer develops a desire and is provided a means to pay less than the government wants to take from him.

Without getting into how big the government should be or where the money should be spent, the federal government could collect revenue more efficiently, with less snooping and less cheating if it did not rely so heavily on income and payroll tax.

Ideally, the feds would rely on a broader combination of low income tax, low estate tax, low sales tax, low property tax, low capital gains tax, et al with no deductions or allowances. The US GDP is about 14.5 Trillion and the US Federal Budget is 2.9 trillion. Basically, you could tax everything at less than twenty percent(estates, property and capital gains don't count towards GDP and so reduce the amount you tax everything else) to pay for the goverment. An individual taxpayer, faced with a broader series of low taxes and no deductions would have less incentive and less means to cheat.

Basically, you have to figure a balance of those

kurt9 wrote:

I just wrote my congress critter asking them not to support anymore mortgage related legislation. I believe the threat that the mortgage problem posed to the global financial system has been largely eliminated by the recent actions of the FED by Ben Bernanke. Congressional legislation is no longer necessary.

This is so yesterday's news.

David A. Young wrote:

Considering how low popularity is for our Congress-critters, and how little they seem to care about it, one can only conclude that they have grown utterly complacent. If we don't do SOMETHING soon to refocus their minds upon who is the master and who is the servant, then they WILL BE the masters. What that SOMETHING might be, I leave unspecified, though the Tar and Feathering certainly captures the flavor of it.

ken anthony wrote:

I think the tar would be enough. Feathers would just make them look ridiculous and we don't want our politicians to look ridiculous do we?

Carl Pham wrote:

Why tax income at all, Jardin? You tax what you want less of, unless you're an idiot or a Democrat (but I repeat myself).

Tax consumption. Double tax consumption that's bad for the environment. I imagine you'd find business opposition to a carbon tax would vanish if it replaced the corporate income tax. Folks might not object to a massive gasoline tax (for the purpose of funding "green" energy) if it replaced income taxes. Tax building on wetlands (to make Duncan Young happy). Tax building on flood plains (to reduce FEMA's budget). Tax oil and gas exploration to whatever extent is necessary to pay for any required mitigation.

Taxing income is not only bonehead stupid, inasmuch as it discourages the very thing you need most (income generating activity), but also morally corrupt. The principle behind taxation is (or ought to be) that you should pay indirectly through taxes for that which you receive from society (clean air, security, laws and roads) but for which you don't pay directly. But income does not represent what you take from society, it represents what you give. Income is a massive IOU from society to you, in exchange for the labor you've given. Consumption is when you turn in those IOUs, when you demand things from society in exchange for your previous labor. That's the only time it's morally justified to add in the indirect cost of fulfilling those IOUs.

Jardinero1 wrote:

Carl, I made the disclosure: "Without getting into how big the government should be or where the money should be spent...", I should have also said "and what the government should even do".

I wasn't trying to make a point about what the government should do. All I wanted to say is that if you want to encourage compliance and decrease the amount of coercion required then your tax base should be a mile wide and an inch thick. Currently, it's an inch wide and a mile thick, since it relies almost exclusively on income and payroll taxes.

Personally, I don't think the government should involve itself in any of the things you mentioned taxwise or enforcement wise, because, I am a civil libertarian and a market anarchist.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on June 19, 2008 12:49 PM.

What Is He Saying? was the previous entry in this blog.

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