"Could America exist without an income tax? The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of its history. Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes, and property taxes, without ever touching a worker's paycheck...."
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Each and every year on April 15th, everyone I know becomes a libertarian for the day. All the government programs and federally funded programs don’t mean jack when it comes time to cut a check and pay for it out of their own salaries.
Using the same logic, one could challenge the right wing to a similar challenge. During tax day, use only the government services you'd be willing to pay for. We have some nice unpaved dirt roads, free of tolls, in Osceola County you can try out. After you drive to the end of said barely-navigable road, you could build a house without any city utilities, buy a shotgun to keep out the gators and robbers, teach your children yourself and then set fire to a bedroom so you can try to put it out yourself.
Do you trust banks to safeguard your money? Do you trust manufacturers to monitor what they pump into the air you breathe and the water your family drinks? Are you and your neighbors willing to pay for all of the damage caused by the next hurricane (or flood or fire or earthquake) that destroys the community you live in? Do you trust developers and the timber industry to set aside land for parks and wilderness? Do you trust peanut suppliers to ship only the product that they know is safe and fit for human consumption?
@Juliana, great challenge! I agree with you that it probably sounds absurd to do away with taxes completely- and I'm very certain that they WON'T ever go away. But I wonder what where we would be today if our government had decided against an income tax and reigned in programs and spending appropriately? Just like average Americans, spending usually increases with increased income. Obviously, Congress (and the last President "whose name must not be spoken") have spent even MORE than the taxes they collected. Maybe we wouldn't have this Multi Trillion Dollar Debt hanging over our country if we hadn't decided to go this route.
Nathan about selfishness: Have you read Ayn Rand's 'the virtue of selfishness'? I've yet to pick it up but I suspect she would echo much of what you've said.
@ Seth- I agree with you that there's some danger to "Lassez Faire Capitalism" gone wrong. But, one of the worst contributors to the Great Depression was actually the introduction of a new Central Bank (called the Federal Reserve) and a move away from sound money. When the Central Government keeps feeding private institutions money at "lower than normal interest rates"- it's a manipulation of the private market.
12/9/2010 03:33:20 pm
If we should ever accomplish anything in life, let us not forget that we must persevere
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Nathan Key likes to think about faith and philosophy and talk about it with others. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. He doesn't always refer to himself in the third person.