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Voting & Taxes Should you be required to do one to do the other?


Marksmu

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Over a heated conversation with my sister in law came the following topic....Should you be able to vote in FEDERAL elections if you do not pay any FEDERAL taxes? (IGNORE LOCAL ELECTIONS) Do we need a reverse tea party? No representation without taxation? I say yes!

When you look at it objectively (hard to do for some) it makes sense to me - that if you do not have an actual stake in the outcome you should not have a say in the decision. This does not include something to recieve....you must have something to lose, something that is not already a handout...One must pay to play so to speak. Redistribution of wealth has become a very hot topic recently, and what truth is there to the statements that it is occurring? Well, Obama actually ran on this exact redistribution of wealth during the election; promising more to those who have not, and more taxation for those who have. At what point is enough, enough? Do the "Wealthy" consume more services in relation to what they pay in?

Remember - Corporations are taxed separetly from the individual in many cases. Small business owners are the hardest hit, when they must file their business income as their own personal tax return.

When is enough enough? Can there be a cut off in the right to vote for Federal officials? This is Democratic Socialism, Socialism via Democratic process. People voting themselves access to the earnings and property of others.

Some Objective numbers as up to date as I can find from tax year 2006:

Taxes paid

Top 1% - 39.89% of all taxes ($388,000+)

Top 5% - 60.14% of all taxes ($153,542+)

Top 10% - 70.79% of all taxes ($108,904+)

Top 25% - 86.27% of all taxes ($64,702+)

Top 50% - 97.01% of all taxes ($31,987+)

I for one am sick of it, and I say enough is enough - no right to a federal official, unless you pay something in taxes to the government. If you dont make enough to have to pay taxes, you should not be allowed to vote for officials to legally do that which you could not do on your own, that is - Steal from your neighbor.

Edited by Marksmu
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You better start listing reasonable exceptions or you won't get very far without getting bombarded in this thread. Start with students. Also, unemployment is not always a choice, sometimes it's an unwanted transition from one job to another. So basically I'm saying no.

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Currently that is the law in Hong Kong, left over from British rule.

In Hong Kong there are virtually no taxes. The only substantial tax is on real estate transactions, which is where the regional government makes its money to keep basic services working.

There is an income tax, but very very few people have to pay it -- pretty much only the richest people. At the same time, pretty much only the richest and most well-connected people are allowed to vote.

As part of re-joining China, Hong Kong is supposed to enact policies which will allow everyone to vote, but it's a bumpy road.

If everyone is allowed to vote, then the people deciding what happens to tax money aren't the same people who actually pay taxes.

The alternative is to impose some form of tax on everyone, but this is incredibly unpopular. A few years ago a sales tax was enacted, and it was repealed almost immediately.

Back on topic -- since you were speaking of America -- I don't think restricting voting to people who pay taxes would hold up in court. One reason is the 24th Amendment to the Constitution:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
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So just throw out that whole "Of, By and For the People" way of thinking out the window... Of by and for those who pay taxes only you say? Doesn't seem very American to force people to have to pay to participate in their country.

I can agree on multiple levels, your frustrations on how your taxes go to pay for someone who doesn't pay at all... but this idea would be taking it too far.

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Yes, please address exceptions that may apply (or not). Students, current unemployed, adults that live in a single income family. Does your connection (marriage) to an earner give you the right to vote? Does previously working and paying taxes, even if you're unemployed at a current election, give you some leeway? If you are disabled or elderly and do not work, does that repeal your right to vote? Do you get a double whammy if you are receiving $ from the government?

Also, from your other posts, I'm fairly confident you are addressing the long-term unemployed but able-to-be-employed population - perhaps these folks, whoever they are:

"I understand exactly WHAT made them poor at a young age, WHAT keeps them poor at their current age, and the reasons WHY they will remain poor. So I can fully identify with and understand their situation. The problem is that many of the truly poor are unable to defer what they want in order to achieve what they need."

How would you separate/identify them from everyone else? Longitudinal observation? And do you have numbers on those voting habits?

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yeah stay at home parents, disabled veterans, retired people - if I'm smart enough and work hard enough to amass a pile of beans big enough to not have to work any more, I'm doing it. I can't see why that would possibly disqualify me for voting.

Now having to pass a test to vote...there's an idea. I think at the very least even citizens should have to pass the test they use to grant citizenship every so many years in order to vote. I'd love to make it harder but seeing as most people in Harris county can't graduate high school I'm sure that would never fly. I don't see the correlation between making money to voting, but to being well-informed and not a complete moron, that argument has some legs.

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Yes, please address exceptions that may apply (or not). Students, current unemployed, adults that live in a single income family. Does your connection (marriage) to an earner give you the right to vote? Does previously working and paying taxes, even if you're unemployed at a current election, give you some leeway? If you are disabled or elderly and do not work, does that repeal your right to vote? Do you get a double whammy if you are receiving $ from the government?

Also, from your other posts, I'm fairly confident you are addressing the long-term unemployed but able-to-be-employed population - perhaps these folks, whoever they are:

"I understand exactly WHAT made them poor at a young age, WHAT keeps them poor at their current age, and the reasons WHY they will remain poor. So I can fully identify with and understand their situation. The problem is that many of the truly poor are unable to defer what they want in order to achieve what they need."

How would you separate/identify them from everyone else? Longitudinal observation? And do you have numbers on those voting habits?

Clearly there would have to be lots of exceptions....students, retired, short term unemployed, married stay at home parents whose spouse qualifies, etc. Im just thinking there has got to be a better solution than what we have...we literally without any exaggeration had lots of people vote this election for the sole reason that they thought they would get free things under this administration and that the super rich would be paying it. Unfortunately - what super rich is defined to be is a joke, and even more unfortunately - is that it is actually going to happen.

There has to be a breaking point perhaps better solutions could start with:

1) term limits on senators, & representatives

2) drug tests when picking up welfare & unemployment checks

3) actually verifying immigration status when collecting essential services...

There is a major problem with the system when the majority of the people are not contributing, yet they are taking from the rest, usually in disproportionate amounts.

If you have to pay more in taxes you should at least get some form of better treatment. Different lines at the DMV, preferrential tax preparation, Less audits instead of more - SOMETHING. Instead its actually viewed that having money makes you a target.

Edited by Marksmu
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Make getting a voting card just like getting a drivers license, you have to be able to pass some sort of civil competency test. And if you let it lapse over a number of years, you have to re-take the test. Now if you served a day in the service and were honorably discharged, you should have the right to vote, no matter if you work or not, disabled or whatever. You bought that vote with placing your life in harms way, or at least gave yourself the potential to have to either way.

On the other hand, if you are registered to vote, you should be held accountable to do so. Use it or lose it so to speak. Cast some sort of vote, even if it is for a write in candidate. I believe it is your civil duty to vote, people died to give you the right to do so. If you chose not to vote, don't register. So you would have the freedom not to if you don't want to. Just don't register.

Of course you know we have just stretched the Constitution beyond all recognition.........

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Obviously to many exceptions for paying taxes and voting. I support the idea of a competency test. Doesn't have to be difficult but when you live in a nation where only 1/3 of the population can name the three judicial branches that tells me we have way to many ignorant people voting without any understanding of what the hell they are voting for.

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Obviously to many exceptions for paying taxes and voting. I support the idea of a competency test. Doesn't have to be difficult but when you live in a nation where only 1/3 of the population can name the three judicial branches that tells me we have way to many ignorant people voting without any understanding of what the hell they are voting for.

I would love to see a competency test - unfortunately I know those wont work b/c such a test has a disparate impact on minorities. You dont even have to be able to read to vote. Just know the shape of the letters O B A M A

I remember in Con Law when they talked about that. There was a point in time if I recall correctly you actually had to demonstrate that you could read to vote. That was declared unconstitutional if I remember correctly - and its been a while so I may not be remembering correctly.

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I remember in Con Law when they talked about that. There was a point in time if I recall correctly you actually had to demonstrate that you could read to vote. That was declared unconstitutional if I remember correctly - and its been a while so I may not be remembering correctly.

You're remembering correctly. Combined with poll taxes, it kept a lot of blacks and poor white folks out of the voting booths in the South until the 1960s and let legal segregation reign down there for a long time.

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Do the "Wealthy" consume more services in relation to what they pay in?

Actually, I am glad you brought this up. The wealthy DO consume more services than the poor, both directly and indirectly. They also DEMAND more services than the poor. Starting at the top, the $750 Billion spent on the military is disproportionately beneficial to the wealthy. The US military has been used to protect and expand our economic footprint for decades. The poor do not need an expanded footprint. They have no economic footprint. That's why they are poor. The defense component is also disproportionately weighted to the wealthy. The reason we have all of these enemies is because we are the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. It is in the interest of the wealthy to stay that way.

The biggest federal agency? Homeland security. See above.

Police, prisons? Protection of the wealthy from the great unwashed. Ever priced a small security detail from Blackwater?

Fire Department? Protection of the property of the wealthy.

Roads and highways? Transportation for the wealthy and the products sold by their businesses.

There are numerous examples of countries that operate with small federal governments around the world. Take a look at Africa. There are plenty of countries there where the federal government is molded to the vision of Ron Paul and the Libertarians. Go study a few of them and report back which one works best for you.

The wealthy are very much coddled and protected in this country. But, being wealthy does not make one intelligent. Look at the current financial crisis for proof. The fact is, the wealthy simply do not want to pay for all of the services that they consume, so they have created this 'class warfare' charade and somehow have convinced middle class people like yourself to jump on their bandwagon.

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Actually, I am glad you brought this up. The wealthy DO consume more services than the poor, both directly and indirectly. They also DEMAND more services than the poor. Starting at the top, the $750 Billion spent on the military is disproportionately beneficial to the wealthy. The US military has been used to protect and expand our economic footprint for decades. The poor do not need an expanded footprint. They have no economic footprint. That's why they are poor. The defense component is also disproportionately weighted to the wealthy. The reason we have all of these enemies is because we are the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. It is in the interest of the wealthy to stay that way.

The biggest federal agency? Homeland security. See above.

Police, prisons? Protection of the wealthy from the great unwashed. Ever priced a small security detail from Blackwater?

Fire Department? Protection of the property of the wealthy.

Roads and highways? Transportation for the wealthy and the products sold by their businesses.

There are numerous examples of countries that operate with small federal governments around the world. Take a look at Africa. There are plenty of countries there where the federal government is molded to the vision of Ron Paul and the Libertarians. Go study a few of them and report back which one works best for you.

The wealthy are very much coddled and protected in this country. But, being wealthy does not make one intelligent. Look at the current financial crisis for proof. The fact is, the wealthy simply do not want to pay for all of the services that they consume, so they have created this 'class warfare' charade and somehow have convinced middle class people like yourself to jump on their bandwagon.

Wow. I must be a rich SOB because I actualy enjoy having police and fire protection and being able to drive. I did not know poor people didn't enjoy the same "luxuries".

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Actually, I am glad you brought this up. The wealthy DO consume more services than the poor, both directly and indirectly. They also DEMAND more services than the poor. Starting at the top, the $750 Billion spent on the military is disproportionately beneficial to the wealthy. The US military has been used to protect and expand our economic footprint for decades. The poor do not need an expanded footprint. They have no economic footprint. That's why they are poor. The defense component is also disproportionately weighted to the wealthy. The reason we have all of these enemies is because we are the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. It is in the interest of the wealthy to stay that way.

The biggest federal agency? Homeland security. See above.

Police, prisons? Protection of the wealthy from the great unwashed. Ever priced a small security detail from Blackwater?

Fire Department? Protection of the property of the wealthy.

Roads and highways? Transportation for the wealthy and the products sold by their businesses.

There are numerous examples of countries that operate with small federal governments around the world. Take a look at Africa. There are plenty of countries there where the federal government is molded to the vision of Ron Paul and the Libertarians. Go study a few of them and report back which one works best for you.

The wealthy are very much coddled and protected in this country. But, being wealthy does not make one intelligent. Look at the current financial crisis for proof. The fact is, the wealthy simply do not want to pay for all of the services that they consume, so they have created this 'class warfare' charade and somehow have convinced middle class people like yourself to jump on their bandwagon.

Red - that is a very weak argument - (where is Niche to tear this one apart?) the poor consume just as much as anyone else, with the exception of POSSIBLY military defense of US owned FOREIGN interests. Here at home, on US soil the services are equally dolled out to the rich and to the poor without any form of discrimination.

First - Business, regardless of who OWNS it, is a completely separate tax payer, unless its a small business owner filing under their own social security number. Thus - the business is paying its own way for the resources it consumes, not the taxpayer. Businesses if they do consume more should be able to consume more - they pay a ridiculous sum of money in taxes - many of them pay huge sums more than they could ever consume.

Second - Police & Fire are not to protect the rich - they are to protect everyone and they absolutely do protect everyone. Some more affluent areas may get more patrols, but that is the case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. Crime is more common in lower income areas, so they are reported less frequently than crime in affluent areas. Police only combat crime they know about. And given the fact that the higher income people are paying more property tax as they live in the more expensive homes, they should get better services - they pay disproportionately for them - they should demand more.

Third - how bout health care - name even ONE middle, upper middle, or upper income tax payer that goes to a free clinic paid for by tax dollars for their health care....they dont - they pay for it out of their pocket or through their health insurance. The poor do not carry health insurance, they use the emergency rooms for basic care b/c they can.

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of services used by the poor and the poor only - programs geared only for them - that the wealthy do not consume, in fact - can not consume. I have no statistic for it, and you have not provided one, but I will venture to make an educated guess, that anyway you look at it - the poor are consuming much more, and contributing much less back to society than the middle, upper middle, and upper class taxpayers.

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Obviously to many exceptions for paying taxes and voting. I support the idea of a competency test. Doesn't have to be difficult but when you live in a nation where only 1/3 of the population can name the three judicial branches that tells me we have way to many ignorant people voting without any understanding of what the hell they are voting for.

Three Judicial branches? Don't you mean the Three Branches of Government... one being the Judicial Branch? Sorry, it was killing me not to point that out... we'll just put that in the brain flub department and forget all about it. :lol:

And we can't have a competency test for voting... then all the stupid people will be complaining about how their right to vote has been taken away. Masses of the stupid people can be powerful, unfortunately.

Like it or not, its every American Citizens' right to Vote.

We can however have a competency test for Drivers! Something beyond the written driving test... maybe you did good enough on the test to make the car move from point A to B... but should you really be given a license? Think of how much traffic it would alleviate!

Edited by Geoff8201
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Red - that is a very weak argument - (where is Niche to tear this one apart?) the poor consume just as much as anyone else, with the exception of POSSIBLY military defense of US owned FOREIGN interests. Here at home, on US soil the services are equally dolled out to the rich and to the poor without any form of discrimination.

The poor do NOT consume as much as the rich. Services are NOT doled out equally, though I am not surprised that you believe so.

First - Business, regardless of who OWNS it, is a completely separate tax payer, unless its a small business owner filing under their own social security number. Thus - the business is paying its own way for the resources it consumes, not the taxpayer. Businesses if they do consume more should be able to consume more - they pay a ridiculous sum of money in taxes - many of them pay huge sums more than they could ever consume.

Businesses are owned by the wealthy, not by the poor. After tax deductions, businesses pay even less taxes than taxpayers. But, regardless, businesses consume copious amounts of services.

Second - Police & Fire are not to protect the rich - they are to protect everyone and they absolutely do protect everyone. Some more affluent areas may get more patrols, but that is the case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. Crime is more common in lower income areas, so they are reported less frequently than crime in affluent areas. Police only combat crime they know about. And given the fact that the higher income people are paying more property tax as they live in the more expensive homes, they should get better services - they pay disproportionately for them - they should demand more.

I'll take my 22 years in the criminal law field over your refusal to see how the real world functions. It is a common misconception. You are not alone.

Third - how bout health care - name even ONE middle, upper middle, or upper income tax payer that goes to a free clinic paid for by tax dollars for their health care....they dont - they pay for it out of their pocket or through their health insurance. The poor do not carry health insurance, they use the emergency rooms for basic care b/c they can.

Would you prefer no health care at all for the poor, and try to figure out how to go out in public with rampant disease throughout the community? Imagine just for a moment if the cooks, janitors and dishwashers at all of your favorite restaurants and workplaces had no healthcare at all, and carried TB, HIV, SARS, hepatitis, and influenza. How often would you go out? Isn't it a bit better to go ahead and treat the wretched poor than risk dying yourself?

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of services used by the poor and the poor only - programs geared only for them - that the wealthy do not consume, in fact - can not consume. I have no statistic for it, and you have not provided one, but I will venture to make an educated guess, that anyway you look at it - the poor are consuming much more, and contributing much less back to society than the middle, upper middle, and upper class taxpayers.

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Three Judicial branches? Don't you mean the Three Branches of Government... one being the Judicial Branch? Sorry, it was killing me not to point that out... we'll just put that in the brain flub department and forget all about it. :lol:

And we can't have a competency test for voting... then all the stupid people will be complaining about how their right to vote has been taken away. Masses of the stupid people can be powerful, unfortunately.

Like it or not, its every American Citizens' right to Vote.

We can however have a competency test for Drivers! Something beyond the written driving test... maybe you did good enough on the test to make the car move from point A to B... but should you really be given a license? Think of how much traffic it would alleviate!

My bad. Obviously if there was a test I would not be voting.

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Bull. Look at where the high crime areas are and tell me police don't spend more time there than other areas. Same with the Fire Department.

Some significant part of both police and fire department work is protecting property. The more property you have, the more you benefit from these services.

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Bull. Look at where the high crime areas are and tell me police don't spend more time there than other areas. Same with the Fire Department.

Who gets more benefit from the fire department, you in your half million dollar home, or the owner of a $50,000 dwelling? And who owns that $50,000 dwelling, the poor family, or the wealthy slumlord? In Houston, less than 50% of the population owns their dwelling, meaning that there are a lot of wealthy people who want the FD to protect their investment.

Let's talk PO-lice, shall we? Why do you think it is that the wealthy uniformly praise the police, while the poor are criticizing them? Could it be that the police are rounding up the poor for victimless drug crimes? Why is it that we lock up petty thieves for months or years, yet "pro-business" politicians are loosening restrictions and laying off SEC investigators? Crimes by the wealthy are applauded, while crimes by the poor bring stiff sentences. There is a lot of money in narcotics and in law enforcement, and the wealthy don't want the gravy train to stop.

Remember, just because YOU are not making money from government money doesn't mean that some other wealthy person is not. Section 8 housing? That voucher never touches the poor person's bank account. Goes straight into the apartment owner's account. Healthcare? Hospitals, pharmacies, doctors...all wealthy...all bagging big money. NASA? Outside of TANG for poor people who cannot afford fresh orange juice, what's in it for them? Name me a government program, I'll show you a wealthy person making a killing.

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Who gets more benefit from the fire department, you in your half million dollar home, or the owner of a $50,000 dwelling? And who owns that $50,000 dwelling, the poor family, or the wealthy slumlord? In Houston, less than 50% of the population owns their dwelling, meaning that there are a lot of wealthy people who want the FD to protect their investment.

Let's talk PO-lice, shall we? Why do you think it is that the wealthy uniformly praise the police, while the poor are criticizing them? Could it be that the police are rounding up the poor for victimless drug crimes? Why is it that we lock up petty thieves for months or years, yet "pro-business" politicians are loosening restrictions and laying off SEC investigators? Crimes by the wealthy are applauded, while crimes by the poor bring stiff sentences. There is a lot of money in narcotics and in law enforcement, and the wealthy don't want the gravy train to stop.

Remember, just because YOU are not making money from government money doesn't mean that some other wealthy person is not. Section 8 housing? That voucher never touches the poor person's bank account. Goes straight into the apartment owner's account. Healthcare? Hospitals, pharmacies, doctors...all wealthy...all bagging big money. NASA? Outside of TANG for poor people who cannot afford fresh orange juice, what's in it for them? Name me a government program, I'll show you a wealthy person making a killing.

Your full of it Redscare. Both the police and fire department spend more time in the poor minority areas than in the "wealthy" areas. And who pays the most taxes? Who has to pay out of their own pocket for more protection in their own areas? The poor may criticize them more but they are the first to cry when the police or fire is not at their doorstep immediately when they call so your argument is pointless. Obviously your 22 years in the criminal law field taught you nothing.

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Some Objective numbers as up to date as I can find from tax year 2006:

Taxes paid

Top 1% - 39.89% of all taxes ($388,000+)

Top 5% - 60.14% of all taxes ($153,542+)

Top 10% - 70.79% of all taxes ($108,904+)

Top 25% - 86.27% of all taxes ($64,702+)

Top 50% - 97.01% of all taxes ($31,987+)

I don't understand these numbers, particularly the % of all taxes. Shouldn't they add up to 100%?

Perhaps we at least start with allowing only those who have to/choose to FILE a tax-return as those who can vote. That would be more fair and just as all of us who have to file a tax return can vote, and all those who don't have to, but still choose to, allow themselves to the right to vote.

I think that would be more than fair, and cover your competency requirement.

EDIT: Also, I do think the wealthy benefit more from the police and fire. The police tend to spend more time protecting with wealthy where as they typically spend more time enforcing laws against the poor. As for the fire department, all the fires in the ghettos they fight tend to be apartments, who are owned by landlords, who in spite of the condition of their complexes, are wealthy.

Edited by Jeebus
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I was a precenct election judge for 20+ years. I can't tell you how many times, we would sit around waiting for people to come in and vote at general elections (1980s-1990s). Most elderly folks would take the time. Younger working folks would show up around closing time. Out of 3000-3500 registered voters in my precent, we were lucky to get 12% participation, including early voting.

This past election, 2008 was an exeption. I was told it was 50%.

What I'm saying is, even if you get the right people registered (taxpayers only), you can't force them to vote. They're just not interested.

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Which is why I say that you should only need two things to vote: 1. Driver's License/State Id (which EVERYONE in my humble opinion should be required to have in this post 9-11 society) and 2. previous year's income-tax return (which is free to file at any public library via e-file).

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...we literally without any exaggeration had lots of people vote this election for the sole reason that they thought they would get free things under this administration and that the super rich would be paying it.

There is a major problem with the system when the majority of the people are not contributing, yet they are taking from the rest, usually in disproportionate amounts.

If you have to pay more in taxes you should at least get some form of better treatment. Different lines at the DMV, preferrential tax preparation, Less audits instead of more - SOMETHING. Instead its actually viewed that having money makes you a target.

OK, let me get this straight?

First, you assume that the only reason Obama won is because welfare mothers everywhere rushed out to the polls? Can we get some basis in fact for this claim? I voted for Obama and I pay taxes in the top 2% bracket.

Speaking of, would I be able to vote? I just sold my small business after 8 years and am currently unemployed. I do have a trust fund though. Would a trust fund qualify folks to vote in your new America or only if they voted for McCain/Palin?

See, here's the heart of the matter, you want to change the rules because you don't like the outcome. Well, that's NOT how a democracy works. Poor people have basic rights in this nation. It's part of what makes this such a great country.

Now, as for your last paragraph, I just have to chuckle a bit. Do you seriously think the rich don't get special treatment? Really? You can't think of any thing that rich folks get to enjoy that poor folks don't?

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We can however have a competency test for Drivers! Something beyond the written driving test... maybe you did good enough on the test to make the car move from point A to B... but should you really be given a license? Think of how much traffic it would alleviate!

With the less competent drivers off of the road, we could be like Germany and have sections of highway with 80+mph speed limits! Of course, Montana tried that and it didn't last for long. http://www.us-highways.com/montana/mtspeed.htm

Now back to your original programming. Talk taxes guys. -_-

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Actually, I am glad you brought this up. The wealthy DO consume more services than the poor, both directly and indirectly. They also DEMAND more services than the poor.

What you've said is true. I can't deny that, but it is perhaps missing the point. There's a balance between what you and Marksmu are talking about, and it revolves around the word "disproportionate". But even that, by itself, is inadequate to address the whole issue.

Public schooling is fertile ground for applicable examples supporting both your and his viewpoints. On the one hand, it is a service that comprises a very large part of total government spending and that is disproportionately provided to the children of poor households, on the other hand it is incredibly beneficial to rich folks that their poor neighbors' kids understand the world well enough to adapt to it rather than undermine it with criminal behavior or pesky revolutions. But within schooling, a very large amount of funding is spent on the bottom 2% of the student population, which--let's face it--has no future and isn't capable of doing very much harm to society, even if they are cognitively functional enough to desire to. These are resources that could've been spent on the population of kids that either do have a future or that pose a realistic threat to the stability of society. And if society really wants the best bang for its buck, additional resources ought to be spent nurturing the top echelon of students. Even if those students are already destined to be paid relatively well, it's beneficial to society for them to be more capable of discovering new scientific principles or inventing new technology.

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Completely agree with you, Niche. The fact is, in most all of these expenses, both "sides" benefit, some more directly than others. It is only MarkFromSMU's posts, as well as lunatic fringe's post, that forced me into direct rebuttal. There are many programs that lunatic and mark support that I cannot stand, but unlike them, I recognize that in a democracy there will be programs that my taxes pay for that do not directly benefit me. Also unlike them, I am not so self-centered as to think that ONLY those programs that I agree with, or that directly benefit me should be funded. This probably explains why I am generally a happier person than they are.

One of these days when I have the time to dig through the budget, I will point out in more detail those programs that have little benefit to the poor.

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As for the fire department, all the fires in the ghettos they fight tend to be apartments, who are owned by landlords, who in spite of the condition of their complexes, are wealthy.

I agree with you about the slumlords but apartment fires are a very small proportion of the fire department's daily work you are seeing. It's just more high profile. And it's not the landlords setting them on fire and it's not the landlords the fire department is risking their lives to save. Fact is it's the poor that use and abuse the system on a daily basis. Just ask anyone with HFD or HPD how their work load greatly increased after the Katrina evacuees arrived.

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OK, let me get this straight?

First, you assume that the only reason Obama won is because welfare mothers everywhere rushed out to the polls? Can we get some basis in fact for this claim? I voted for Obama and I pay taxes in the top 2% bracket.

Well, I have a theory as to why you and all the other people in the top 2% tax bracket voted for him, but that's neither here nor there.

What is debatable is that I'd be willing to be that the number of registered African American and Hispanic voters compared to the 2004 and the 2008 election would more than over-compensate for the eight million total vote increase from 2004 to 2008. Without the push from ACORN and other groups, all these people who had no incentive to vote before, would have continued to not vote in this election. Why else were minorities coming out of the woodwork and publicly praising Obama on how he was going to end their poverty by erasing their self-accumulated debt, pay their past-due ARM mortgages, get them a better paying job, get them free social-services, and buy them a car?

Who filled their heads with this stuff? Why would a Democrat suddenly be able to deliver this promise to them? If it wasn't the color of his skin then tell me, from one mature, educated, intelligent adult man to another, why did minorities who have never voted before, never cared to vote before, suddenly register in droves just to vote for this Democrat?

And if you say: "because he is a good speaker", you lose all credibility.

Speaking of, would I be able to vote? I just sold my small business after 8 years and am currently unemployed. I do have a trust fund though. Would a trust fund qualify folks to vote in your new America or only if they voted for McCain/Palin?

Sure, under my plan all you have to do is show that your competent enough to vote by filing an income tax return - you might not have made any money, but its a form of accountability. It says to the government, I'm here, I'm counted. If you want to live off the grid and not be counted, then you don't need to vote.

Obama might have still won under this policy, but unlike the ACORN driven voter registration fiasco, instead, you would have more accountability at the polls: One State ID, One Federal Income Tax Return, One Social Security Number. Why should someone without all three be allowed to vote!?

See, here's the heart of the matter, you want to change the rules because you don't like the outcome. Well, that's NOT how a democracy works. Poor people have basic rights in this nation. It's part of what makes this such a great country.

Why else are rules changed? Perhaps if you said someone wanted to cheat because they don't like the outcome, then you'd have something.

Now, as for your last paragraph, I just have to chuckle a bit. Do you seriously think the rich don't get special treatment? Really? You can't think of any thing that rich folks get to enjoy that poor folks don't?

Special treatment is not special when you pay for it, eg: premium health services compared to free health services. On the other hand, any treatment is special when you don't have to pay for it.

So, who's getting the special treatment? The rich who not only pay for their goods & services, but also the poor's free and reduced services? Or the poor, who simply show up and get things for free, or at a reduced rate?

Edited by Jeebus
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I agree with you about the slumlords but apartment fires are a very small proportion of the fire department's daily work you are seeing. It's just more high profile. And it's not the landlords setting them on fire and it's not the landlords the fire department is risking their lives to save. Fact is it's the poor that use and abuse the system on a daily basis. Just ask anyone with HFD or HPD how their work load greatly increased after the Katrina evacuees arrived.

I like that. Very easy and simple solution.

When did I say that? I was merely disagreeing with your assessment that the police and fire department primarily cater to the rich. I spent over 27 years as a public servant and I know that is not the case.

I like requiring ID - and a Tax Return to vote - it would cut out the illegals who vote and dont pay taxes. That would be a great start...but its not a fix.

I understand how a "democracy" works - but there is a HUGE problem with a system that allows people to simply vote to steal from their neighbor. With the government welfare programs that currently exist there is very little incentive for lots of people to get off their butt and go looking for a job. People either think the job is below them, or the pay that they would get from the job is so low that its not worth it to them to actually have to work...they would rather just sit at home, watch tv and collect a check for doing nothing.

The big problem here is that the non paying portion of society now OUTNUMBERS the paying portion. If they want to maintain a status quo of just not working and taxing the snot out of those that are working, the only thing they have to do is get off their butt one or two days out of an entire year, and push a straight ticket Democrat button. It doesnt even take a minute for them to do.

Im not saying that people who have money didnt vote for OBAMA - clearly there were lots of them who did. I personally dont understand their motivation to do so - b/c he has clearly declared war on those who have money - but for whatever reason they did so it was their right to do it. I am merely saying that MORE of the productive members of society did NOT vote for Obama.

If you look at the distribution of voting in the US - not the States, but the County by County voting you will see there is a very clear line. Large Cities voted for Obama, and the rest of the country voted against him. The huge areas which have been hardest hit are those who are deciding the fate of the rest of us.

Also - something driving me absolute nuts is the complete and total inability for the government to make cuts. In a time where every company in the US is downsizing, and cutting costs, the Government thinks it needs to tax more and spend more, and add more employees. If there is less money in general - you need to offer less services, not more - but their answer to the downturn? Tax the rich more - they can afford it. Lets take a vote....ah yes, mroe people than rich - so the rich lose. Thats not a "fair" system - its democratic socialism.

Well, I have a theory as to why you and all the other people in the top 2% tax bracket voted for him, but that's neither here nor there.

What is debatable is that I'd be willing to be that the number of registered African American and Hispanic voters compared to the 2004 and the 2008 election would more than over-compensate for the eight million total vote increase from 2004 to 2008. Without the push from ACORN and other groups, all these people who had no incentive to vote before, would have continued to not vote in this election. Why else were minorities coming out of the woodwork and publicly praising Obama on how he was going to end their poverty by erasing their self-accumulated debt, pay their past-due ARM mortgages, get them a better paying job, get them free social-services, and buy them a car?

Who filled their heads with this stuff? Why would a Democrat suddenly be able to deliver this promise to them? If it wasn't the color of his skin then tell me, from one mature, educated, intelligent adult man to another, why did minorities who have never voted before, never cared to vote before, suddenly register in droves just to vote for this Democrat?

And if you say: "because he is a good speaker", you lose all credibility.

Sure, under my plan all you have to do is show that your competent enough to vote by filing an income tax return - you might not have made any money, but its a form of accountability. It says to the government, I'm here, I'm counted. If you want to live off the grid and not be counted, then you don't need to vote.

Obama might have still won under this policy, but unlike the ACORN driven voter registration fiasco, instead, you would have more accountability at the polls: One State ID, One Federal Income Tax Return, One Social Security Number. Why should someone without all three be allowed to vote!?

Why else are rules changed? Perhaps if you said someone wanted to cheat because they don't like the outcome, then you'd have something.

Special treatment is not special when you pay for it, eg: premium health services compared to free health services. On the other hand, any treatment is special when you don't have to pay for it.

So, who's getting the special treatment? The rich who not only pay for their goods & services, but also the poor's free and reduced services? Or the poor, who simply show up and get things for free, or at a reduced rate?

Great post Jeebus - I agree with everything you said. Something for nothing is EXTREMELY special service if you ask me.

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Completely agree with you, Niche. The fact is, in most all of these expenses, both "sides" benefit, some more directly than others. It is only MarkFromSMU's posts, as well as lunatic fringe's post, that forced me into direct rebuttal. There are many programs that lunatic and mark support that I cannot stand, but unlike them, I recognize that in a democracy there will be programs that my taxes pay for that do not directly benefit me. Also unlike them, I am not so self-centered as to think that ONLY those programs that I agree with, or that directly benefit me should be funded. This probably explains why I am generally a happier person than they are.

One of these days when I have the time to dig through the budget, I will point out in more detail those programs that have little benefit to the poor.

But see, since there can be mutual benefit from disproportionate economic allocations between socioeconomic classes, then some kind of system of proportionate voting based on income actually seems more justified. If it is in the interest of earning people to spend a disproportionate amount of tax money on the poor and destitute, as we've established that it is, then they'll do it.

Leaving aside the constitutionality issue, I like Marksmu's idea, only not at all for the same reasons as he does. The premise that people who get to decide how to spend society's resources ought to be providing proportionate representation based on who is contributing those resources is really appealing. It is a classic 'no taxation without representation' argument that also mixes in certain aspects of the Platonian republic...without going overboard.

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Leaving aside the constitutionality issue, I like Marksmu's idea, only not at all for the same reasons as he does. The premise that people who get to decide how to spend society's resources ought to be providing proportionate representation based on who is contributing those resources is really appealing. It is a classic 'no taxation without representation' argument that also mixes in certain aspects of the Platonian republic...without going overboard.

But we already have a system that lets dollars vote. It's called "lobbying", and it plays a much larger role in public policy than voting does.

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I don't understand these numbers, particularly the % of all taxes. Shouldn't they add up to 100%?

They are cumulative totals. For example the top 5% totals include the top 1%, the top 10% totals include the top 1and 5% totals and so on.

Edited by west20th
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Y'all are funny.

For hundreds of years, honkies have been voting for other crackers who speak their own economic interests but when people of color get the first opportunity to do the same, then the system must be changed!

Hilarious.

Of course, what's even funnier is the universal theory put forward that the only reason Obama won is because of minority voter turnout largely due to the fact persons of color were all gonna get new rims for their Escalades!

Never mind that the three WHITEST states in the Union all went for Obama (Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire). Over 95% of the population in these states are white. I am sure the 4% minority block really tilted the scales in the rough streets of Burlington, Concord, and Portland.

Never mind that in the 23 states in which whites make up over 80% of the population, Obama WON the majority of them.

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But we already have a system that lets dollars vote. It's called "lobbying", and it plays a much larger role in public policy than voting does.

That's very inefficient. In my fantasy world, I'd prefer to cut out the middle man and keep things at least somewhat more transparent.

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I was merely disagreeing with your assessment that the police and fire department primarily cater to the rich. I spent over 27 years as a public servant and I know that is not the case.

What I said is that the wealthy derive a disproportionate BENEFIT from fire and police protection. I, like you, have spent many years in public service, and just because you see more poor people at the courthouse does not mean they are getting a benefit. They are the ones who have been arrested for stealing from the wealthy. And your house does not have to burn to receive the benefit of the fire department. The protection is there regardless, like insurance.

But, this is local, and because local services are primarily property and sales tax supported, the disproportionate benefit is paid by those receiving the benefit. My house being worth more than the one in the ghetto, I pay more tax for the protection I receive. The argument in this thread was primarily federal. But, even here the benefit is disproportionately to the wealthy, justifying that the wealthy pay more of the tax to support it. And, nowhere is the benefit greater to the wealthy, and lesser to the poor than the military spending. As mentioned before, all of the threats to the US requiring military force are derived from actions of the wealthy or actions of the government on behalf of the wealthy. The poor in the US are hated only by its own citizens. Even Hugo Chavez gives free heating oil to the US poor, while railing against the US government and its policies on behalf of the rich. And what does that military cost? In the 2009 budget, technically the military got $515 billion. But, that does not include emergency and supplemental spending which added $136 billion, nor does it include $33 billion for Veterans Affairs or $9.3 billion for our nuclear programs, which are funded through the Department of Energy. Add in about $170 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and interest on the debt of past wars and you have approximately $1 Trillion in spending for defense...over 1/3 of the 2009 budget.

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And, nowhere is the benefit greater to the wealthy, and lesser to the poor than the military spending. As mentioned before, all of the threats to the US requiring military force are derived from actions of the wealthy or actions of the government on behalf of the wealthy.

False. You really shouldn't use the word "all" because it just completely invalidated your statement. You're an accomplished lawyer, man. You shouldn't put yourself in the embarrassing position to be lectured on really simple logic by a 24-year-old layman.

The poor in the US are hated only by its own citizens.

I would posit that there is a difference between hatred for the poor, as you put it, and indifference, fear, or distrust, along with all kinds of mixed feelings about economic injustice. Not all of society's attitudes towards the poor are justified, by any means, but I don't think that anybody hates them--it wouldn't make sense. Why would a rich person hate the person that mows his lawn? They're fortunate to have the lawn mowing guy around; that doesn't mean that the rich person should or would want to live next door to the lawn mowing guy and his noisy 7-person household or that he shouldn't be outraged if government determines that the lawn mowing guy and anyone like him doesn't have to pay taxes.

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Y'all are funny.

For hundreds of years, honkies have been voting for other crackers who speak their own economic interests but when people of color get the first opportunity to do the same, then the system must be changed!

Hilarious.

Of course, what's even funnier is the universal theory put forward that the only reason Obama won is because of minority voter turnout largely due to the fact persons of color were all gonna get new rims for their Escalades!

You're right, I found it funny that for the first time neighborhood voter registration groups actually got out and registered new voters - but only in the primarily minority areas, showed no discretion in letting people register multiple time without checking any credentials, and openly campaigned for Obama as they registered people. (I watched multiple stories on both local and national news about it - perhaps is was all conservative propaganda?)

I found it funny that Blacks and Hispanics allowed themselves to be interviewed and proclaimed things like how Obama was in essence, going to take care of them - and then to have white educated people, who voted the same, laugh in my face when I point out that this was occurring. I guess again the news was spreading conservative propaganda?

I found it the funniest however, that no Democrat in the past seemed to garner the support of the minority masses, but suddenly, a minority candidate emerges and everyone mobilizes. From minority aimed community action groups to liberal voters with the chance to wash away the white guilt of their anscestors clean, Obama made people jump for one reason - he was Black. The majority wanted a Black president, and their actions leading up to the election along with the results prove it.

The only other reason could be that he's such a proven leader that he was the obvious choice as the Democratic candidate - which is why minorities voted for him - for his proven leadership, and not the color of his skin. Based on everything I've read, watched, and experienced, that is NOT the case.

Can you honestly prove to me that minorities would have mobilized for a white man, or even a white woman? If so, then why didn't they do it last election, or the election before? Were those Democrats such lame ducks that they couldn't get minorities to the polls?

Answer that one with out changing your stance while having to resort to racist remarks about whitey, crackers, and honkeys, and I will be impressed.

Never mind that the three WHITEST states in the Union all went for Obama (Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire). Over 95% of the population in these states are white. I am sure the 4% minority block really tilted the scales in the rough streets of Burlington, Concord, and Portland.

Never mind that in the 23 states in which whites make up over 80% of the population, Obama WON the majority of them.

Yes, all three which have gone to Democrat canidates the last FIVE elections! Talk about a prediction! I'm too lazy to look up the 23 other states, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the results. What I would be surprised to find is if more than eight million new Hispanic and Black voters voted in this election. That would validate the 8 million vote margin Obama won by.

--

As for changing the voting laws, I wanted them changed long before Obama came along. And I don't think there's anything legally wrong with everyone wanting to vote for someone who is a certain anything, be it gender, race, political stance - whatever. Elections are popularity contests. I just want to see more educated voters to help curb the desire to vote for what one would feel is the most popular, and rather the most capable.

My reasons have nothing to do with Obama, but Obama proves my point.

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I just want to see more educated voters to help curb the desire to vote for what one would feel is the most popular, and rather the most capable.

My reasons have nothing to do with Obama, but Obama proves my point.

Really? 53% of college graduates voted for Obama. Only 45% voted for McCain.

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Over a heated conversation with my sister in law came the following topic....Should you be able to vote in FEDERAL elections if you do not pay any FEDERAL taxes? (IGNORE LOCAL ELECTIONS) Do we need a reverse tea party? No representation without taxation? I say yes!

When you look at it objectively (hard to do for some) it makes sense to me - that if you do not have an actual stake in the outcome you should not have a say in the decision. This does not include something to recieve....you must have something to lose, something that is not already a handout...One must pay to play so to speak. Redistribution of wealth has become a very hot topic recently, and what truth is there to the statements that it is occurring? Well, Obama actually ran on this exact redistribution of wealth during the election; promising more to those who have not, and more taxation for those who have. At what point is enough, enough? Do the "Wealthy" consume more services in relation to what they pay in?

Remember - Corporations are taxed separetly from the individual in many cases. Small business owners are the hardest hit, when they must file their business income as their own personal tax return.

When is enough enough? Can there be a cut off in the right to vote for Federal officials? This is Democratic Socialism, Socialism via Democratic process. People voting themselves access to the earnings and property of others.

Some Objective numbers as up to date as I can find from tax year 2006:

Taxes paid

Top 1% - 39.89% of all taxes ($388,000+)

Top 5% - 60.14% of all taxes ($153,542+)

Top 10% - 70.79% of all taxes ($108,904+)

Top 25% - 86.27% of all taxes ($64,702+)

Top 50% - 97.01% of all taxes ($31,987+)

I for one am sick of it, and I say enough is enough - no right to a federal official, unless you pay something in taxes to the government. If you dont make enough to have to pay taxes, you should not be allowed to vote for officials to legally do that which you could not do on your own, that is - Steal from your neighbor.

Not sure where the conversation has gone since your original post, but I don't think voting should be tied to how much taxes you pay.

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False. You really shouldn't use the word "all" because it just completely invalidated your statement. You're an accomplished lawyer, man. You shouldn't put yourself in the embarrassing position to be lectured on really simple logic by a 24-year-old layman.

I shall wait for an enumerated threat caused by the poor before I respond.

I found it the funniest however, that no Democrat in the past seemed to garner the support of the minority masses, but suddenly, a minority candidate emerges and everyone mobilizes. From minority aimed community action groups to liberal voters with the chance to wash away the white guilt of their anscestors clean, Obama made people jump for one reason - he was Black. The majority wanted a Black president, and their actions leading up to the election along with the results prove it.

Did you find it as funny as Evangelicals mobilizing for George W. Bush? Do I need to explain the parallels, or can you see them...or would it ruin your point?

As for changing the voting laws, I wanted them changed long before Obama came along. And I don't think there's anything legally wrong with everyone wanting to vote for someone who is a certain anything, be it gender, race, political stance - whatever. Elections are popularity contests. I just want to see more educated voters to help curb the desire to vote for what one would feel is the most popular, and rather the most capable.

I think the voting laws should be changed, too. They should start by making everyone with a DL or ID card eligible to vote, then subtract out those who are ineligible, such as felons. Since the GOP led Congress passed the RealID Act, making only US citizens eligible for DLs and IDs, it should be easy to use these databases as voting rolls. Anything else is an attempt to disenfranchise voters.

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Having a college degree doesnt make you educated. I think that is at least one thing we can all agree on.

While it's possible to be educated without getting a college degree, it's impossible to get a college degree without being educated.

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