What do you think of Socialism?

United States
September 10, 2008 5:09pm CST
Do you think that our government should eliminate income taxes for individuals, and replace that by raising the tax rates for certain corporations? Do you think that every American should recieve a check once a year for just being an American? Do you think that we should tax the excessive profits of the big oil companies? I am just wondering how you feel about this.
7 responses
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
10 Sep 08
I'm not sure that what you're talking about is socialism but to answer your questions, sure I would love to see income taxes go away but I don't believe that businesses should foot the bill for replacing the funds that our infrastructure would lose. You can't tax certain businesses and not others so small businesses as well as large would have to contribute. As much as I could use extra money, giving me a check every year just for being an American feels like welfare to me and I'm not too comfortable with handouts. And, as much as I detest the outrageous profits the oil companies are reporting, this is a free country and we unfortunately buy what they sell. I would like to instead see more alternative fuels and sources of power made available in order to even the playing field,
2 people like this
• United States
10 Sep 08
Thanks for your response, I will let you know why I asked this question soon.
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
11 Sep 08
Sure, keep us in suspense. I really hate that!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Sep 08
Spalladino, all of these are ideas that Sarah Palin has enacted as Governor of Alaska. I don't understand how it is that a party that that hates Socialism so much, is in love with a Socialist
1 person likes this
@xfahctor (14111)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
11 Sep 08
And I know where your going with this. I am well aware of what Palin did in alaska with the oil rebates.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Sep 08
Congrats X, you guessed exactly where I was going with this one. So why is it that republicans HATE Socialism, but love a socialist?
2 people like this
@evanslf (485)
11 Sep 08
Sending cheques in blanket fashion to all the people is a waste of government money, since what you are doing is simply 'churning', ie taxing on the one hand and returning the money in the form of cheques on the other. Instead, if you are going to tax the oil companies, then use that money either fore key priority spending programmes or use that money to reduce the tax take when people get their weekly or monthly paycheque. The admin involved in sending out these cheques must be really wasteful. That said, the above doesn't make Palin a socialist, though I understand that there is a quixotic republican socialist who is running for a Senate seat somewhere (though not much chance of getting elected as I understand that senate seat is a Dem stronghold). What Palin is doing is simply something to garner popularity, I doubt socialist ideology has anything to do with it. Sending people cheques is a very visible way of doing something for the electorate and of course, no doubt, it helps at election time (cynical laugh)! But unless Palin believes that capitalism is fundamentally broken and that the government, on behalf of the people, should own the commanding heights of the economy and move gradually to a socialist non-profit economic model, I don't see how she qualifies as being a socialist.
• United States
12 Sep 08
Hey TGD, taxes are an important part of our economy. I know people don't like to pay them, including me, but how much more American can you get than being able to pay taxes instead of them just taking them in brute force or by financial domain. I think that the IRS needs to be restructured in a way that allows Americans to decide what they want their taxes to be spent on. For instance, roads. If a road needs to be fixed or replaced, lets talk state roads, then the people who drive on that road should have their taxes diverted to the local company who bids on that job. If its a federal highway then the government needs to pay for it through the correct appropriation of funds. Let the Senator decide who gets the job and all financial information should be public record. That would curb the taxes in this country and give people a better understanding of how their money is spent. As for taxing corporations who make large profits, they do pay taxes, to have insurance for their employees, unemployment, and taxes on expenses. Let's not spit in the face of the people who control our resources, that's why we have a global economy, I wouldn't get kicked repeatedly and still ask for more.
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8115)
• United States
12 Sep 08
Good points. I think few people realize that employer have to match the taxes of all its employees along with all the other expenses.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Sep 08
Great post Git, now explain to me why Sarah Palin slapped a windfall profits tax on the oil companies? Explain to me why Sarah Palin increased the corporate taxes on big oil companies so that the people of Alaska don't have to pay income taxes. And, I would love for anyone to explain to me why MY Tax dollars are being used to fund essential needs for Alaskians, when they don't want to pay for it them selfs. I think that the IRS should receive three to five time more funding, and they should have one division of the IRS that spends all of it's time investigating funds moving from the United States to other countries to hide funds. I don't understand why it is that people feel that it is ok for them to avoid paying income taxes, and then they are shocked when the IRS comes after them. Everyday I listen to FOX news, and it amazes me how many commericals are for people that are avoiding taxes, and the IRS is going after them to pay the money that they owe. I am sure that you feel that a person who steals money should be punished, so what is the difference between this person, and one who is avoiding taxes. Do you realize that if every American paid what he owed in taxes, the US budget would be balanced in four years.
• United States
13 Sep 08
I hope you don't mean with Barry at the helm. I usually don't give ammo to my counterpart but you forgot to mention Florida and Texas being no tax states and how the Bush brothers were in charge there. Look, I know that taxing giant corporations is what the dems want to do because they hate big business. It can't be regulated, its sneaky and whoa do they make a lot of money. So what, I'd rather have an economy built on hard work and ingenuity than government handouts and misappropriated funds. I've seen those commericials about tax relief on the liberal network tv stations too. I think you have to realize that Palin is smarter than your average polar bear, she knows the money coming in for the oil is there, at least she doesn't try to stick in little ear marks to get some silly statue built of herself.
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8115)
• United States
10 Sep 08
I'm not sure these excessive profits are just going to the big oil companies. There are shareholders to consider. If we tax a corporation too high we also run the risk of the company being more apt to cut jobs. On the other hands sometimes a company should just be allowed to fail. It shouldn't be up to the tax payer to foot the bill.
1 person likes this
@pmenard (139)
10 Sep 08
I see your point I, but I think that excessive profits are excessive profits.
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8115)
• United States
10 Sep 08
I suppose it depends on your take on what is obsessive.
1 person likes this
@xfahctor (14111)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
10 Sep 08
Sure, and I think just because I am an american I am entitled to a new car every few years too.. OHH OOHH and I want a house too, I deserve one, the government owes it to me, I want the one next door to me, that guys got too much money already and he doesn't deserve it, **pff...so he worked for it....so what I deserve a house too.
1 person likes this
@pmenard (139)
10 Sep 08
I do think that we should tax excessive profits of the big oil companies - especially when everyone is in agreement that the cost for the end user is too high.
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
12 Sep 08
Hello Thegreatdebater, In answer to your questions: 1. Yes, I absolutely DO want to see income taxes eliminated!!! Instead of having the fruits of our labor taxed, I would much prefer to see the taxation paying field levelled with a 'Consumption Tax'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumption_tax Also, it might surprise you to learn that the legality of the IRS remains dubious. [i][b]"1040 Checkmate? DOJ Dismisses Felony Tax Prosecution -- With Prejudice -- After PRA Defense Raised... Evidence OMB Complicit In Income Tax Fraud - DOJ & IRS Petitioned To Explain"[/b][/i] http://www.givemeliberty.org/RTP2/UPDATES/Update2006-06-09.htm "Jury acquits pilot, who questioned IRS, of tax-evasion counts" http://www.givemeliberty.org/RTPLawsuit/Update08-09-03.htm [i][b]"IRS loses challenge to prove tax liability Lawyer is acquitted after arguing income levy lacks legal foundation"[/b][/i] http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56855 http://www.wtfnonline.com/articles/IRS/irsloses-kuglin.htm 2. Yes, every citizen should receive a check back from the government every year. As I see it, the income generated for last calendar year should be divied up to pay for budgetary categories. If any monies are left over after that calendar year's obligations, then the reserve should be divided in half. Half directly to the national debt, and the other half back to every tax payer, proportional to the percentage that he or she paid. Meaning that those who paid 35% tax should receive a greater return that those who paid 10%. 3. No we should not add a secondary tax to any company's profits. Similarly, the citizen should not pay the full burden of the infrastructure costs which allow any business to singularly benefit. For example: Currently the taxpayer foots the whole bill for the construction and maintenance of oil infrastructure, including most obviously the pipelines. Since the oil companies singularly profit from the use of oil pipelines, they should share in the burden of the depreciable costs of construction, and the necessary maintenance costs of that infrastructure. Lastly, to address your last sentence: I don't feel anything about these three questions/issues. Instead I have thought long and hard about what is most fair and equitable with respect to these issues. I'm sorry but I simply do not see the value in attaching emotional reactions to intellectual issues.
• United States
13 Sep 08
Luna, so are you really saying that you would like to see the entire personal income tax elminated, and just raise the corporate income tax for big oil, and borrow money from China, to make up the difference? This is what Sarah did. See Sarah gave every Alaskian a $1,200 check to pay for the raising cost of energy in her state, plus the they received a check from the oil royalties for about $1,600 (Now this number is do to the high price of oil, which is where the money came from for the $1,200). So they received $2,800 for breathing in Alaska. What do you mean, you don't think that we shouldn't tax the windfall profits of big oil companies? Are you really saying that the almighty Sarah Palin was wrong in doing this? YOU MUST BE WRONG.
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
14 Sep 08
Hello Thegreatdebater, No! In fact, I am saying precisely what I have already stated. I absolutely do favor the disollution of the Income Tax structure in lieu of a National Sales Tax structure. Correction: The additional tax that lead to the extra $1200/year to Alaska residents is most certainly NOT a 'windfall profits' tax! In point of fact, it is a 'progressive tax'. It would be helpful for all parties who are discussing this issue to be clear in their presentation of the Palin tax proposal of 9/4/2007. [i]"`It doesn't divide profits into windfall and other profits,' he said. Under Palin's plan, called ``Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share,'' oil company profits are taxed at a 25 percent base rate, up from the previous 22.5 percent. When the price rises to $30 over cost, or about $52 a barrel, the tax rate rises 0.2 percent for each dollar."[/i] http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aYdZoyTvFrTc&refer=home To be clear, I do not agree with the Alaskan tax structure. Alaska does not have a state income tax, no state property tax, nor a state sales tax. Instead, the state relies exclusively on resources revenue and matching funds. What's more, the state funding structure long preceeded Governor Palin's emergence onto the scene. Would I have preferred that she had focused her tax restructuring energies elsewhere? Yes, I would have. Though, I also recognize that her efforts to sever the unholy alliance between the Oil Industry and previous Alaska politicians required a 'punitive' measure to be levied against both -- which she did. Until the basis of the Alaska tax structure is addressed, working within the confines of the existing 'Progressive Tax' is the only way for Governor Palin, or any Alaska Governor to preemptively deal with rising inflation, which has a far greater impact on outlying states like Alaska and Hawaii. The taxation system in our country is, in my honest opinion, irreparably broken. If you read the legal precedence angle of the links that I sited in my first response, you will see reference to legal argument that outlines the unconstitutional nature of the government taxing a citizen's labor. You will also see that when challenged the IRS lost in a duly authorized court of law on the merits of this argument. Do I support a windfall profits tax? No, never!!! I don't care whether it is suggested by the Democrats, or the Republicans. The business that is the target of a 'windfall profits tax' has already paid its share of taxes. The 'windfall' aspect of the measure singles out a specific type of business or industry and levies an extra tax on only that business. That is neither fair, nor just. And, it disincentivizes businesses so that making the decision to relocate their corporate offices to an 'off-shore' site becomes that much easier! Although, as I pointed out, it also isn't fair that the taxpayer foot the bill for infrastructure that is singularly beneficial to a specific industry. At this point, within the confines of the existing convoluted tax & funding structure, there is no way to set this 'wrong' right without stepping on some toes. Given the enormous task that Governor Palin faced in attempting to plan for Alaska's needs in the ever-increasingly tough environment of rising inflation, I'd say that the 2.5% base-line tax increase to the Oil Industry was probably the most feasible course of action that Governor Palin, or any Alaskan Governor could have taken. In fact, what she did is precisely what the Federal Government must do! Which is to begin to make the shift from 'credit funding' to funding based on cash reserves!!! Our federal government (and most of the state governments) have structured themselves based on anticipated revenue. Whereas the American Citizen structures their household budget based on cash reserves, not what they think, hope, or dream of making annually. Raising the Oil & Gas tax base-line (the only tax revenue source for the state of Alaska) by 2.5% allowed Gov. Palin to build up the necessary cash reserves to operate the state in 'the black' for calendar year 2007. And yes, I wholeheartedly support government bonding initiatives. Although, I am compelled to point out that bonding must only occur within the confines of responsible funding. It simply needs to be tempered, and weighted slightly toward revenue 'rainy day' focus. Yes, the key is to rein in spending, limit new foreign distributions, pay off old debt, limit new debt to bonding initiatives (not foreign borrowing) and limit foreign ownership of U.S. resources. Then and only then will we see the dollar rise to desireable levels in the absence of a gold (tangible valuation) standard. Although these suggestions won't make a hill of beans worth of difference until the USA increases its short-term, domestic oil & natural gas production, and long term sustainable energy production! We simply cannot afford to continue to send $700 billion of hard-earned USA citizen and corporate income overseas!!! Doing so is bankrupting our nation!
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
15 Sep 08
Hello Thegreatdebater, You said: “Explain to me the difference between a progressive tax that taxes the company when they make more money, and a windfall profit tax?” The answer is as close as your keyboard. According to Wikipedia (the first site that came up in a browser search for the phrase ‘windfall profits tax’), the definition is: “A windfall profits tax is a tax on profits that ensue from a sudden windfall to a particular company or industry” In other words, the company pays its obligatory taxes, then when they have an extraordinarily prosperous season, quarter, or year – an unexpected tax is levied against that business, above and beyond what they are already expected to pay. Contrarily, a progressive tax is outlined ahead of time. The progressive schedule is a known factor. It isn’t just levied against the business out of the blue by greedy legislators The difference between the two is distinct and dramatic. Oh, and if you re-read my first and second responses you will find that nowhere have I stated that “the state of Alaska was in such grave financal danger”. I realize that you are very passionate about this issue, but I will ask you to refrain from putting words in my mouth, or my responses as it were. Thank you. For clarifications sake: The Oil & Gas tax in Alaska was in place long before Governor Palin took office. Let us again be clear: A governor does not write the law. Nor can a governor vote for or against legislation. That is the duty of the state legislature or assembly. If the proposal to raise the base-line tax rate from 22.5% to 25% passed, which it did, then it did so with a majority of support from the state legislature. One last point: You said: "... stop taking federal earmarks to get her state out of the red? That is what every other state in the union does..." WHAT??? Are you talking about the United States of America? If so, I am compelled to ask you to support your baseless statement. In point of fact, every state gets earmarks!!! "In United States politics, earmarks refer to congressional provisions that direct approved funds to be spent on specific projects, or that direct specific exemptions from taxes or mandated fees." Moreover, taking federal earmarks (which is a terribly abused practice by the overwhelming majority of legislators) would NEVER have any direct bearing on a state budgeting itself out of 'the red'. [i]"While some Members of Congress attempted to undermine the FY 2007 reforms within weeks of the moratorium's enactment, members of both the House and Senate appropriations committees are openly soliciting other Members for earmark requests for the FY 2008 budget. On February 7, 2007, the Republi­can staff of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies of the Senate Committee on Appropriations sent Repub­lican Senators an e-mail announcing that: The Labor-HHS deadline for all requests will be April 13, 2007. This deadline includes any pro­grammatic funding, project funding, bill or re­port language requests that your Senators would like to submit for the FY2008 LHHS bill. Please submit all requests by e-mail and deliver a hard copy to SD-156.[3] At about the same time, Representative David R. Obey (D-WI), chairman of the House Commit­tee on Appropriations, advised Members that they have until March 16 to request earmarks, al­though the dollar amount available is expected to be half of what the previous Congress attempted to spend in FY 2007.[4] Combined with the timid lobbying and earmark "reform" rules and legislation that both the House and Senate passed in January (H. Res. 6 and S. 1), the promise by one committee to do no more than temporarily modify the scope of the problem sug­gests that Congress is returning to business as usual and that the lucrative market for earmarks will soon be back in full swing as lobbyists, campaign con­tributors, Members and staff, and influential con­stituents line up to buy and sell project privileges financed by taxpayers' dollars. While many things could explain this about-face, the chief reason is probably that most Members of Congress never believed that it was much of a prob­lem in the first place, although they briefly pretended to oppose earmarks when such a pose offered elec­toral benefit. With the election over and the tempo­rary reforms presented as a mission accomplished, Congress can now revert to its historical role as "a broker in pillage," with "every election…sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods," as journalist H. L. Mencken wrote 70 years ago."[/i] http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/bg2016.cfm