Over the Christmas holidays I had to stop mid-conversation for fear of exciting a close family member. He’s a lifelong Democrat and there is no hope for saving him from that ailment. He also has heart trouble and tends to get overly excited if you disagree about things political so, I don’t talk about it much over there. Not that politics isn’t discussed at his house, it is. It’s just a one sided conversation and I usually have bite marks on my tongue before I leave. Such is the life of a robot.

I dropped out of the aforementioned conversation when I heard this from another family member:

I’m against Obama but when I see the Republicans giving tax breaks to the rich I just don’t think I can support them either.

This seems to be the mindset of a lot of people who cling to the Democrat or Independent label, and it’s an illogical mind twister. This is the type convoluted thinking that Statists like Obama want to promote and what we Conservatives/Restorationists should strive to overcome.

Now, let’s examine that sentence. When you say “I’m against Obama” are you against everything Obama does? Since you’re not here to answer that, let’s say for the sake of brevity and hopefulness that you are.

So that brings us to the other half of the sentence, “Republicans giving tax breaks to the rich”. This has class envy written all over it. It also tells me you’ve been buying into at least some of the Obamedia rhetoric.

First off, the term “giving” is misused here. It says that it’s the government’s money to give. It is not. It also implies that you accept the flawed premise that the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes.  What is most disturbing to me is the lack of understanding of the God given right to personal property. When you shift ownership of property from the individual to the government, it soon devolves into tyranny.

John Adams said:

The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.

We have been on that road for a while now. It is time to stop.

Assuming everything the federal government does is *cough* worthwhile: military, infrastructure, postal service, social programs, and so-on, let’s focus on who pays Federal Income Tax and how much, as a percentage of the total. (You can find the dollar amounts by clicking the links.)

Who pays taxes?

According to Scott A. Hodge, President of the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C., there were nearly 142 million Americans filing tax returns in 2009, roughly half the population.

Who doesn’t pay taxes?

There were 42.5 million, or 32.4% of filers in 2004 that didn’t pay taxes, which was up from an average of 22% for the previous 5 decades.

Contrast that with 2008, under a Republican President and a Democrat controlled congress:

Two Records Set in 2008: Most Nonpayers and Highest-Earning Nonpayers
Nonpaying status used to be a sure sign of poverty or near-poverty, but Congress and the President have changed the tax laws to pull much of the middle class into the growing pool of nonpayers. The income level at which a typical family of four will owe no income taxes has risen rapidly, now topping $51,000.

As a result, recently released IRS data for the 2008 tax year show that a record 51.6 million filers had no income tax obligation.[1] That means more than 36 percent of all Americans who filed a tax return for 2008 were nonpayers, raising serious doubts about the ability of the income tax system to continue funding the federal government’s ballooning expenditures.

Who pays the most?

The top 1% of taxpayers has the largest burden. In 2008, those filers carried 38% of the total tax income and that percentage is consistent with past results. One problem as I see it, and as noted in the quote above, is the shifting demographics.

Who pays the least?

The bottom 50% of taxpayers pays the least or 2.7% of the total income tax accumulated, which is down from a 1999 figure of 4%. That’s half of the filers paying little or next to nothing. I’d say that this one statistic is enough to warrant a flat tax, that is, if I wasn’t against the Federal Income Tax altogether, but if we’re going to have one. Make it a flat consumption tax.

Who gets a subsidy?

What? A Subsidy!?

Yes. An interesting reminder came out of my reading for this post. I had forgotten that under President Bush (Progressive, but not as bad as Obama by a long shot), the IRS was given new responsibilities: encouraging poverty.

In a nutshell, single mothers under a certain income threshold get a subsidy for each child. We are paying poor folks to have babies!

Our benevolent benefactors might as well open up an ‘Uncle Sammie’s Home for Wayward Wimmin’ on a corner in every major metropolitan city for cryin’ out loud!

Government funded charity distributed through the welfare system hasn’t been replaced; it’s been expanded and enhanced! We now offer subsidies to people to breed more poverty. Yea! Keep in mind, this doesn’t include food stamps, social programs etc., which are funded from the Social Security system and are also expanded due to the greater need now that there are more poor babies being born (see how that works?), we are talking about the IRS being used as a redistributive tool.

Again, from Scott A. Hodge and the Tax Foundation:

Of the 42.5 million tax returns that pay no income taxes, 52.9 percent [‘bot – 22.5m] received some form of a refundable credit – either the EITC or the child tax credit. In 2004, Uncle Sam paid out about $33 billion in “refundable” checks to the families and single individuals who qualified for the Earned Income Credit and another $9 billion to families who were eligible for the child credit.

Broadly speaking, the 42.5 million zero-tax filers are: low-income, young, female-headed households, part-time workers, and beneficiaries of the $1,000 per-child tax credit or the Earned Income Credit.

And the situation isn’t improving:

In 2008, 25 million tax filers received $51.6 billion in EITC benefits. Of this amount, $50.5 billion was refundable in excess of their income tax liability. Also in 2008, some 25.3 million filers received $30.7 billion in child tax credit benefits, with more than 18 million of these filers getting $20.5 billion in refundable checks. Many families are eligible for both the EITC and the child credit. These are not refunds of overpaid tax; they are payments to people who have already gotten back everything that was withheld from their paychecks during the year.


What’s the solution?

Less government. Duh! Reign in the social spending. We can no longer afford (and never could afford), to offer government charity using the IRS or any social program to re-distribute our money/property. It is killing our nation and promoting a mindset of entitlements that is bankrupting and destroying our society. We are squashing people’s will to achieve and succeed by taking from those who will work and giving to those who will not. It is our duty, out of compassion for them and our working countrymen to cease these destructive social programs by systematically phasing them out.

How?

Continue the commitments we have made thus far, but put a dead end date on them. We need to elect like minded Conservative/Restorationist politicians who understand these things and will fight to get these destructive policies reformed and repealed.

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

~ Benjamin Franklin

November was just the beginning. We have to fight ever harder to retake our country from the hands of the Statists. If we do not, well, that alternative is the worst imaginable for the individual, for America and for the world.

Further reading:

Tax Cuts and Class Wars

Rhetoric Rides Again

H/T The Classic Liberal and Motor City Times.

Addendum: I understand this is only one part of a larger, multifaceted problem of high taxes and excessive government spending on all fronts. I only bring it up to refute what the media and the Statists want to program you with through sheer repetition.

Some say, and I agree, that the spending comes before the taxes as a method to justify more taxation.  It’s the spending, stupid! Yes.

Therefore, a real, measurable and verifiable shift in thinking and action by our lawmakers needs to occur to stop the downward slide or our country. The only way to accomplish this is through education and activism. A majority of the voters need to make that same shift in their thinking with respect to private property. Our personal property and our earnings should be sacrosanct, untouchable by the Federal monster unless a last resort. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Some, like my family member have given up, thrown up their hands and said, “There’s nothing we can do. We can’t change Washington, so why bother?”

To him and them I say, look at what you, your children and your grandchildren lose if you don’t! Yours and their freedom, or what’s left of it, that’s what.

Will you sell them into slavery by ignorance and inaction?

You already know my answer.

It’s well beyond time to answer for yourself and your family.

Happy New Year, Comrades!

—————————————-

UPDATE:

Linked by:

The Lonely Conservative – Many thanks, Milady.

Big Fur Hat @ iOwnTheWorld – Much Obliged, Sir.

Bride of Rove – Sharing a life – lol – Thankyouverymuch

Doug Ross – Makes my day.

Linked by a Pixie! – How cool is that?

Comments
  • Chris Wysocki December 31, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Well put. I’ve had similar conversations with friends and family, with typically similar results. Their reaction – “You’re cold.” “You don’t care about poor people.” “You want children to starve.”

    As if.

    To a one they don’t give a dime of charity. Not even to their churches. And when they see me supporting Catholic organizations they mock me – “the Catholic church is rich enough!”. So’s the government.

    • robot December 31, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      “So’s the government.”
      Amen, Chris.

      Happy New Year my friend!

  • Bob Prokop December 31, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Continuing to spend, and adding to the debt and deficit, was politically advantageous for Democrats, whose social spending became more valuable as the economic crisis worsened. As you point out, the rich have the heaviest tax burden, Bush tax rates included. The demonization of the wealthy was a simple ploy to free up money to mollify and shore up the Dems’ support base. Not only was the American dream of financial success deemed expendable, but the administration turned it into something shameful while lowering the bar between wealthy and middle class. Here’s to a better 2011. November put our foot in the door, but now we have to act.

    • robot December 31, 2010 at 3:53 pm

      Spot on, Bob. Time is not on our side either. The hardest thing in the world to do is roll back a government entitlement. We’ll need God’s help on that methinks.
      Thanks for commenting! Hope you have a great New Year. Cheers!

  • HTLIT December 31, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I can only try to guess of whom you speak of in the lead-in Cuzbot… none-the-less… Great article! I am blessed that the vast majority of my family, that I see regularly, believes as we do. If the liberal amongst us would take the time to put in some eyedrops to clear the clouds, read the Costitution and understand it, realize taxes belong to them, not the government, they may be able to form an educated opinion.

    I am still of the opinion that liberalism is a product of ignorance and blind faith that the government will take care of all things without any work by the people. It is a mental disorder that removes all thing logical and reasonable.

    HTLIT

    P.S. send me an email with the digits Cuzbot… love to catch up with you.

  • […] Numbed Robot: Bigger Government Encourages More Poverty (Ain’t that the […]

  • steve December 31, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Great post!

    How’s that saying go… Socialism works until you run out of other peoples money. And we are quickly running out of other peoples money.

    Happy 2011!

    • robot January 1, 2011 at 12:51 am

      Heh, In this case it might be “they are running out of our money and we’re getting sick of it.”

  • Trestin Meacham January 1, 2011 at 2:31 am

    I’m afraid they will print more money.

    • robot January 1, 2011 at 11:38 am

      Hey Trestin! Great to hear from you. Hope your assignment is going well and you are out of harms way. Happy new year, my friend.

      As to the money being printed, well, they already are. We need them to stop it, and quite a few other things.

  • Optimists Club at Bride of Rove January 1, 2011 at 9:40 am

    […] Mind Numbed Robot and I must be sharing a life. I can SO relate … Over the Christmas holidays I had to stop mid-conversation for fear of exciting a close family member. He’s a lifelong Democrat and there is no hope for saving him from that ailment. He also has heart trouble and tends to get overly excited if you disagree about things political so, I don’t talk about it much over there. Not that politics isn’t discussed at his house, it is. It’s just a one sided conversation and I usually have bite marks on my tongue before I leave. […]

  • sig94 January 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    The socialists ignore the words of Chief Justice John Marshall who stated in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) that “the power to tax involves the power to destroy.” The government is destroying the most productive segment of the US economy through wealth distribution tactics.

    And the fools wonder why jobs have fled the country.

    • robot January 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      And the fools wonder why jobs have fled the country.

      You must be speaking of the ones who voted for this obamanation. I think the Dems in power know exactly what they are doing. It’s Cloward+Piven on steroids and the worst of it hasn’t even begun to be implemented.

      In Reagan’s era, we needed to tighten our belts. This time around, I think its going to take a lashing to break the spending habit.

      All that aside, Happy New Year, Sig! 🙂

  • […] Bigger Government Encourages More Poverty […]

  • kc January 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Thanks for this insightful and extensive – not to mention ‘easy for me to understand’ – analysis! Really good.

    “So’s the Government.” Yeah, baby.

    WOLVERINES!

  • […] the Mind-Numbed Robot, a post you really ought to read. Very insightful, easy-to-understand analysis of who pays what in […]

  • Frank Koza January 2, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Everything you’ve written is true, with regards to income taxes, but to single out income taxes in this way obscures the fact that the poor do lose a substantive portion of their incomes to the government through many other complex tax vehicles. Just because the Federal income tax is skewed in their favor, it doesn’t mean that they’re getting a totally free ride. First of all, FICA starts out taking 15.3% of their income (even though the employer matches the employee’s contribution to FICA, it should be considered an integral part of the cost in employee compensation package of employing that person). Federal unemployment insurance takes out another 6.2% up to the first 7k in pay, but again, that’s imposed on the employer so most employees are ignorant of the fact that is also part of their overall compensation package for supplying labor. That puts just the federal tax burden alone up to 21.5% of each employee’s paycheck without even adding on the federal income tax yet.

    As my dad used to tell me in the 60’s when the government puts a dollar in your pocket, they’re reaching around to take two out of your other pocket to keep one for themselves. The increases over the years in payroll taxes have more than offset the ‘tax cuts’ they keep saying they give us on income taxes over the last 40 years. They haven’t ‘given’ us a thing.

    Add in 15-35% of Federal corporate tax rates that ultimately get passed on to consumers, so there is a ‘hidden tax’ in everything we buy. Then there are taxes on real estate, fuel, and utility bills. All that isn’t enough, so there are also user fees and even inflation. Costs imposed on companies by federal regulation also must be factored in because those are all ultimately paid by the consumers. Many of those regulations redistribute wealth from one business sector to another by taxing one and subsidizing others and we all pay for it on both ends.

    The system is so complex by design to keep people from ever figuring out what their real tax rates are.

    Then in many locales there is a sales tax on top of all that. Since corporate, real estate, fuel taxes and regulation compliance costs are just passed off to consumers by being included in the retail price, the government has the wonderful power of imposing taxes on taxes so the more hidden taxes they can sneak into the retail price, the more they screw us out of with sales taxes on top of those hidden taxes making that overall tax burden even higher.

    The most blatant example is with excise taxes on cigarettes. When the state governments were hitting up people for buying smokes on-line to avoid their individual state excise, the bills clearly showed that they impose the excise tax first, then a sales tax on top of the overall price to include the excise tax. But we always hear about these taxes separately. So when they say it’s a 100% excise tax and a 7% sales tax, that sales tax effectively doubled because of the tax on the price of the product and on the excise tax.

    And then there’s the cost of litigation. When the government took on big tobacco that resulted in the Master Settlement Agreement, you know that the huge monetary penalties were all passed on to customers. Philip Morris didn’t pay one red cent to the government, customers did. Sales taxes are added on top of that too which compounds their effect. But the real crime is that there really is no private tobacco industry anymore. Handing over regulatory authority to the FDA was the crowning glory to impose such excessive costs to competition and help what’s left of big tobacco to maintain their market share. Thus, they’ve effectively nationalized that industry with nary a peep from the masses. More like cheers.

    That all said, I wholeheartedly agree that this ‘tax the rich’ mantra and mentality of the left is simply disgusting. It’s no different than an armed robber sticking a gun in their face. It’s pure armed robbery by the guys in suits, pure and simple. Don’t pay your taxes, there comes the knock on your door by ‘officials’ with guns. But I’m equally ashamed at the counter-arguments that are out there alleging that the poor don’t pay their fair share because there is no mistake, we all are getting hit — hard.

    One last point, since you referenced Dr. Sowell. He’s often commented on mobility between the tax brackets which people normally fail to acknowledge. Many of those in the lower income brackets in the bottom two quintiles are those just entering job markets or college students gaining skills needed for future employment who are working part time jobs. They may not pay in as much through income taxes today, but they tend to move up in the income brackets later in life where they do end up playing more income taxes. Had to add it, because I rarely hear that discussed in the rich vs poor taxation arguments. Nearly all of us started out like that, I don’t know why we tend to forget it.

    So yes, the poor do pay taxes. Perhaps not what many believe should be their ‘fair share’ in the way of income taxes, but they get hit pretty darn hard.

    What we need is not more class warfare rhetoric, but rather a much simpler, more transparent tax code.

    • robot January 2, 2011 at 10:51 am

      Hi Frank. Umm. Do you have a blog? I’d like to read it every now and again. All very good points. It’s almost impossible to discuss the “who gets taxed how much” issue without getting into a rich vs. poor debate. That was not my intention, although it did swerve over there didn’t it? My main point in bringing it up was to point out the forgotten fact that we are subsidizing people to have babies, which adds to our overall burden of entitlement. Charity and welfare is not within the charter of the federal government according to the constitution of our founding. Cloward and Piven knew this and so does the ruling class.

      As to the tax structure, yes the poor get taxed, except those are not just taxes on the poor, they are taxes on us all, so to say they are an offset is not quite accurate. That being said, you wont get any argument from me on the intense complexity of taxation. It is obfuscation at its very best. Which is why I said in the article that I don’t like any form of federal income tax. I think it is and has been unconstitutional from the start, but if we’re forced to have one, make it a consumption or a flat tax, both of which I think could and would be manipulated over time, just as out current system. If man is in charge, it will be flawed, no matter what “it” is. The bottom line to me is the immorality of seizing personal property for redistribution by the government, which must stop if we are going to survive as a nation. I’m pondering a post on natural law and personal property at this moment, actually. I find it sadly disconcerting that as a people, we are forced to rediscover these concepts when they should have been taught to us as children along with a thorough understanding of our constitution. *sigh*

      I don’t claim to be an expert by any stretch, Frank. I just found some facts I thought worth sharing. Thanks for taking the time to respond in a thoughtful manner. Here’s hoping the New Year brings you many blessings.

      • Frank Koza January 2, 2011 at 7:32 pm

        Thanks for the honor, but no, I don’t have a blog. There are so many good ones out there that I prefer to post a comment now and then on other people’s than to do the day to day drudgery to continuously post new content on my own to keep viewers coming back. Like yours, which just got put into my favorites so be forewarned, I may cruise back through from time to time to see what you’re working on. 😉

        Natural law and personal property would make a great subject. As much as I’ve seen written about it, no example stands out in my mind that adequately exposes the whole picture and it’s sad because I see people say they support property rights, however they tend to pick and choose which ones they support and which they don’t, for example, the mosque by the 9/11 attack site. Just because the idea is personally repugnant to many, including myself, because it can be perceived as a victory monument among other things, does that mean that it’s a valid reason to make an exception to the rule of law to deny those specific owners the right to do what they want with their legally acquired property because it might offend others? The same thing happens to strip clubs, bars, factories with the ‘not in my neighborhood’ or the ‘not anywhere where I can see it because this stuff shouldn’t exist’ mentality. Where does it stop? I’m not smart enough to know the answers to any of that, but I do know that’s the root cause of many of our perceived ‘problems’, because in this country no laws are applied equally to all people even though that’s the whole premise behind our constitutional rule of law and concept of all people being equal “under the eyes of the law” in the first place.

        May I assume that when you say personal property that in addition to targeted taxation for wealth redistribution you’re also thinking about the travesty of eminent domain abuse as illustrated by the SCOTUS ruling in Kelo vs New London? Another example that I often point to that is a more subtle ‘taking’ of property is legislated smoking bans as effectively stealing property owners’ rights to use their own property as they see fit because it’s a shame that many who are outraged by Kelo think nothing is wrong with supporting a legislated moral restriction that limits property use in the name of the public good. You can see some of my comments on the latter at The Lonely Conservative, who btw brought me here to you. 🙂

        In there, you can see how one government agency (EPA) stepped into the authority of another government agency (OSHA) through the prodding of special interests to try to bully them to take away private business owners rights through workplace safety regulation based on insufficient scientific data and failing that, they resorted to providing ‘propaganda’ supporting legislative actions.

        http://lonelyconservative.com/2010/07/oh-great-now-the-epa-is-jumping-on-the-social-justice-bandwagon/comment-page-1/#comment-52873

        Have fun and good luck with it. I’m interested in seeing what you come up with.

        Happy New Year to you as well. This revolution is far from over. Keep fighting the good fight. It’s really wonderful for me to see more informed people like you out there doing your thing. Thanks!

        • theCL January 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm

          Frank,

          I’d follow your blog (if you had one). Good stuff!

        • robot January 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm

          Frank, after reading the comment over at TCL’s place, I have to agree with The CL, you need a blog. One doesn’t have to post every day in order to get traffic and you certainly bring something worthwhile to the conversation and you present it in an easy to follow manner.

          Just some food for thought. Have a great day, sir.

          • Frank Koza January 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm

            Idk what to say other than I’ll consider it. Thanks, guys.

  • […] Mind Numbed Robot: Bigger Government Encourages More Poverty […]

  • Linda January 3, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Great post, great quotes. Family, yeah, ya sure can’t choose ’em.

    • robot January 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      Thanks Linda for stopping by. Happy new year!

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