Tired of being taxed

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 03, 2009 3:34 PM GMT
    First post. . . .

    I'm sick of everyone wanting to tax me as an individual more.

    TAX THE CHURCH

    then come ask me for more money.

    Free income, free business, free property and then they contribute to political causes with tax free money.

    Sick of it, why do Americans keep putting up with it?
  • SolidRanger

    Posts: 108

    Aug 03, 2009 3:38 PM GMT
    jakenoh saidSick of it, why do Americans keep putting up with it?
    As sad and ass backwards as it is, the majority of the United States still believes in some sort of religion, and as such supports tax-exempt status for their religious institutions. Its only something like 14% of the country that identifies as non-religious, so the believers basically have the control in this area.
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    Aug 03, 2009 4:53 PM GMT
    I've read that the top 1% of earners...pay 38% of total income tax in the USA
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    Aug 03, 2009 5:12 PM GMT
    US churches are both tax exempt and prohibited from engaging in politics. However, they have increasingly learned, especially during the Bush Administration, that the laws preventing their political activity will not be enforced. We saw this during the Prop 8 fight in California, where every conceivable Federal law against political campaigning by tax-exempt religious groups was violated.

    After 8 years of this indulgence it would now be political suicide for any elected official from either party to push for it to stop. Citizen interest groups do try to bring lawsuits, but with no support from Congress to prompt the bureaucracy to action, and a Federal Judiciary now heavily influenced by Bush appointees, I don't see how this will be stopped in the short-term.

    Perhaps when Obama has influenced the Federal bench enough, likely not until his hypothetical second term, will the Justice Department feel confident enough to actively pursue this issue in the courts. Expect no action from Congress ever; going after organized Christian religion in America would be total political suicide for the Democrats, obviously the only party that would consider it. The Republicans are the beneficiaries, so naturally they would help to crucify the Dems over it. (please forgive the lurid wordplay)
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    Aug 03, 2009 5:40 PM GMT
    MsclDrew saidI've read that the top 1% of earners...pay 38% of total income tax in the USA


    They also own approximately 34.3% of America's wealth. 1% scaring the 19% (top middle class, who owns approximately 50.3% of private wealth) into NOT caring for the actual wage and salary workers, the remaining 80% who have to squabble over the remaining 15% of America's wealth in the effort to keep the 1% rich and happy.

    Wealth2004.gif

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    http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

    http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/faculty/hodgson/Courses/so11/stratification/income&wealth.htm

    I mean.. who cares right? The Limo needs more gas, and the helicopter has to be serviced soon, not to mention I need to buy a new hotel down in Barbados.
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    Aug 03, 2009 6:33 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidUS churches are both tax exempt and prohibited from engaging in politics. However, they have increasingly learned, especially during the Bush Administration, that the laws preventing their political activity will not be enforced. We saw this during the Prop 8 fight in California, where every conceivable Federal law against political campaigning by tax-exempt religious groups was violated.


    Hmmmm... and the wonderful Maine Catholic Disocese donated $100,000.00 to try to prevent Mainers like me from getting married to people of the same sex.

    A religious organization, not satisfied enough with controlling religious dogma and the minds of many religious people, has to jump into the political arena to make sure their religious view of marriage holds true. Except, marriages today are no where near the Catholic ideal marriage, and it never will be.

    Tax'em
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 03, 2009 7:04 PM GMT
    I know quite a few pastors who can barely keep their churches open. The church nearest my home has one of the largest soup kitchens in the city, a community center that anyone can use, the only playground in that part of town, a gym for low-income people, and the host dozens of meetings like AA or NA.

    I am an atheist and I don't use any of the services that church offers, but I recognize just how valuable they are to the community. So ya, let's tax all churches, even poor churches into extinction.

    And I would like you to take a look how much people pay in taxes in other countries before complaining about the pittance we pay.
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    Aug 03, 2009 7:10 PM GMT
    (parenthesis: if you didn´t have to pay such HUGE insurance premiums for health care then you would have more money to pay taxes. Remember, the artificial prices created by the hospitals and insurance companies mean it´s more expensive for EVERYONE. According to the Economist, the USA government pays more per citizen in tax dollars for health care than any other country as a result of the artificially high prices.

    Bottom line: the USA needs a market where there is either (1) real competition in insurance or (2) free care at point of use for everyone (which would cost less, eg the veterans health care)
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Aug 03, 2009 7:19 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    And I would like you to take a look how much people pay in taxes in other countries before complaining about the pittance we pay.


    That's like saying gays shouldn't complain in the U.S. for how they are treated because gays in other countries are treated much worse..

    We get taxed WAY TOO MUCH.
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    Aug 03, 2009 7:25 PM GMT
    Anto saidThat's like saying gays shouldn't complain in the U.S. for how they are treated because gays in other countries are treated much worse..

    We get taxed WAY TOO MUCH.


    That would be true if homophobia = taxes. But, they are two entirely different things.

    But tell me, what is the appropriate amount to be taxed? What alternate ways will we pay for programs?
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    Aug 03, 2009 7:42 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said

    But tell me, what is the appropriate amount to be taxed? What alternate ways will we pay for programs?


    Never I'd expect.

    And hey, do you know the prices of hotels in Barbados? I need to save a bit if I also want to buy and privatize a strip of beach nearby and donate to some random charity to bolster tourism.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Aug 03, 2009 8:01 PM GMT
    I'd much rather be taxed on what I spend vs. what I make.
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    Aug 03, 2009 8:06 PM GMT
    In 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant's message to Congress included a 900-foot petition containing 35,000 signatures stating, "We demand that churches and other ecclesiastical property shall be no longer exempt from taxation."

    "I would," said Grant to Congress, "also call your attention to the importance of correcting an evil that, if permitted to continue, will probably lead to great trouble in our land....it is the accumulation of vast amounts of untaxed church property....In 1850, the church properties in the U.S. which paid no taxes, municipal or state, amounted to about $83 million. In 1860, the amount had doubled; in 1875, it is about $1 billion. By 1900, without check, it is safe to say this property will reach a sum exceeding $3 billion....so vast a sum, receiving all the protection and benefits of government without bearing its portion of the burdens and expenses of the same, will not be looked upon acquiescently by those who have to pay the taxes....I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church or corporation."

    Unfortunately, Grant's warning went unheeded by Congress. By 1971, the amount of real and personal property owned by U.S. churches had ballooned to approximately $110 billion.

    In New York City alone, the amount was $750 million in 1969, $1 billion in 1982, and $3 billion in 1989.

    In Wisconsin, hotels, pay parking lots, farms, and communion wafer bakeries are among the church holdings that are tax exempt. Overall, about $4.2 billion in tax-exempt religious property now exists in that state.

    In 1993, there were 3,000 parcels in Clearwater, Florida worth about $1.2 billion are off the tax rolls because they are owned by religious organizations.

    The case for taxing religious property today is stronger than ever. The financial power of religious organizations has grown astronomically, despite rather modest growth in church membership (church attendance has hovered around 40 to 45 percent of the total U.S. population for the past several decades). In addition to the growth in the value of religious property, religious income has grown to the point where a 1986 estimate showed religious income in that year of approximately $100 billion, or about five times the income of the five largest corporations in the U.S. (the figure can only be a rough approximation due to the immense difficulty associated with determining unreported religious income).

    In 1968, the assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury stated that no reliable estimates are available to determine the extent of religious investments and business operations. He noted that most religious organizations were no longer dependent on charitable contributions and membership fees. With tax exemptions, they had developed funds that multiply through investment, and any investment they make usually bears no relation to the community's evaluation of the churches' supposed role in the community. The economic growth of religious organizations today, according to the secretary, "is limited only by the financial acumen and commercial skills of its managers."

    Religion, in other words, had become big business.