Monday, July 04, 2011

July 4 reading

Worth reading again today. . .

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

To read the entire document click here. 


Anonymous said...

Found this quote on a comment list to an article:

The Founders wanted folks with "Skin in the game" to run America.

That's easy to accomplish - one Constitutional Amendment would do it.

If you get one penny from the government, in the form of Social Security, Medicare, whatever you can't vote in the next election.

It's a conflict of interest; you can't allow voters to vote themselves rich.

So simple - if you want to collect a penny from the government during the last election cycle, you can't vote in the next election. We have the computers to easily keep track of this.

That's all the Founders were worried about.

Of course this will never be done since it's too late folks.

The bottom 50% of "Tax payers" pay just 3% of the taxes - and forced the top 50% to pay 97% of the taxes.

Americans have learned that its easy to vote in politicians and judges who will steal for you - and legally. Upgrade your standard of living by just taking the money from the other 50% - those evil rich folks.

Sadly there is no way out of the mess but total collapse of America - which will happen..........

Larry James said...

Incredibly misguided and historically inaccurate. Taxes are payment on debt for all the "we the people" decide to do, through elected officials, together. Following your irrational logic there would be no highways, no public education, no law enforcement, no courts, no public life or commitment. Here's some advice. Get a good, middle of the road American history textbook and read it. Of all the amazing comments I've received over the years here, this one could be the most amazing in terms of its general lunacy. By the way,my money is on the fact that, by your own standard, you can't vote in the next election.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I want to make fun of you for failing to read the preface to the post, or simply expose your weak analysis.

Larry James said...

What "preface"? You provide no link to anything else.

Try this from Benjamin Franklin:

The remissness of our people in paying taxes is highly blameable, the unwillingness to pay them is still more so. I see in some resolutions of town-meetings, a remonstrance against giving Congress a power to take as they call it, the “people’s money” out of their pockets though only to pay the interest and principal of debts duly contracted. They seem to mistake the point. Money justly due from the people is their creditors’ money, and no longer the money of the people, who, if they withhold it, should be compelled to pay by some law. All property indeed, except the savage’s temporary cabin, his bow, his matchcoat, and other little acquisitions absolutely necessary for his subsistence, seems to me to be the creature of public convention. Hence the public has the right of regulating descents and all other conveyances of property, and even of limiting the quantity and the uses of it. All the property that is necessary to a man for the conservation of the individual and the propagation of the species, is his natural right which none can justly deprive him of: But all property of the public, who by their laws have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the welfare of the public shall demand such disposition. He that does not like civil society on these terms, let him retire and live among savages. He can have no right to the benefits of society who will not pay his club towards the support of it.

— Benjamin Franklin, 1783

Anonymous said...

This preface: "Found this quote on a comment list to an article:"

In other words, I didn't write it.

The actual author's point is that individual recipients are not personally accountable to pay the debts they incur upon the people. This idea is an attempt at keeping those who would vote themselves out of a job and onto the dole from doing so on a continual basis. It's a starting point for me. I do think it contains flaws, such as defining what is a tax benefit, and surely there would be much lobbying and "politic[k]ing" to obtain a definition of benefit that is most beneficial. However, in general, I happen to find the concept intriguing as a long-term method for controlling entitlements. Perhaps something similar to it could work.

This passage by Franklin is often quoted by those who want to restrict property rights. And I want to restrict property rights, too. For example: air, not property; fetus, not property; etc. But just like the issue of what is a govt. benefit, the concept of property has been lobbied, "politic[k]ed,"(and actually bought and sold).

Your personal attack hasn't gained much for you. I read a good book now and then. And I also pay more taxes than any random sample of 100 of your clients pay combined.

It is interesting that the liberals have only one solution to everything - tax, borrow and spend, spend, spend. Any idea that requires all parties to be held resposible for the outcome of a spending plan is evil and derided. Now that's lunacy!

Larry, there is a goose. It has laid a golden egg. And you and your liberal friends are preparing the pot for a sumptuous last meal.

Anonymous said...

The top 20% of income earners take home 50% of the nations's total income. The bottom 15% (those in poverty) take home 3.4% of the income.

I am reminded of the response by the bank robber when asked why he robbed banks. His answer: "that's where the money is." For the government to raise tax dollars, they have to get it from people who actually have money. The rich do. The poor do not.

And it seems appropriate to me to ask the rich to pay significant taxes. Quite simply, they benefit the most. From infrastructure. From order. From markets. From society as a whole. They benefit from 'the system', and should pay proportionately to support it. I'm with Franklin on this one. And with Alan Greenspan, not exactly a raving liberal, who has repeatedly expressed his concern about the threat the growing income gap may have on the stability of our representative democracy.


Anonymous said...

So what is the appropriate tax rate distribution? I agree that those who benefit most should pay more.

According to (note the 2007 date)

"What income group pays the most federal income taxes today?

The latest data show that a big portion of the federal income tax burden is shoul­dered by a small group of the very richest Americans. The wealthiest 1 percent of the population earn 19 per­cent of the income but pay 37 percent of the income tax. The top 10 percent pay 68 percent of the tab. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent—those below the median income level—now earn 13 percent of the income but pay just 3 percent of the taxes. These are proportions of the income tax alone and don’t include payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.

But didn’t the Bush tax cuts favor the rich?

The New York Times reported recently that the average family in America with an income of $10 million or more received a half-million-dollar tax cut, while the middle class got crumbs (less than $100 shaved off their tax bill). If we examine the taxes paid in a static world—that is, if we assume that there was no change in behavior and economic performance as a result of the tax code—then these numbers are meaningful. Most of the tax cuts went to the super wealthy.

But Americans did respond to the tax cuts. There was more investment, more hiring by businesses, and a stronger stock market. When we compare the taxes paid under the old system with those paid after the Bush tax cuts, the rich are now actually paying a higher proportion of income taxes. The latest IRS data show an increase of more than $100 billion in tax payments from the wealthy by 2005 alone. The number of tax filers who claimed taxable income of more than $1 million increased from approximately 180,000 in 2003 to over 300,000 in 2005. The total taxes paid by these millionaire households rose by about 80 percent in two years, from $132 billion to $236 billion."

Nothing is free people. When people are motivated to invest, they do. When you tax higher income earners and corporations, they quit spending. That is what is going on right now - the slowest recovery since the Great Depression, if you believe the press, and possibly a continuation of the recession.

The middle class is finding out what it means to be "rich" by experiencing unreported inflation.