Happy (er, strike that) Tax Day

In our ongoing series on holidays and special days throughout the year, we had better not forget this one. Otherwise, we could land in the slammer. Taxes are due! Don’t forget to mail them in!

This is a day of lamentation, not only that we have to pay so much to our governments but that we may not approve of so much of that we pay for. Nevertheless, paying taxes is one of the few civil obligations particularly and specifically enjoined upon us by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. That has to limit some of our anti-tax sentiments to some degree–perhaps we could focus on the good Romans 13 uses of government expenditures–though I’m sure the angst will remain.

So how should we mark and celebrate (probably the wrong word) the meaning of THIS day?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.parentalrights.org Rich Shipe

    How’s this for the most simple tax reform proposal?

    1. Require Congress to prepare their own taxes. They will not be allowed to hire anyone for preparation or consultation and no one may volunteer their time to prepare the Member’s taxes.

    2. Members will not be allowed to START working on their taxes until 7 A.M. on April 15 each year.

    3. ALL Members of Congress will be automatically audited each year and again they will not be allowed to receive any help of any kind in working through the audit.

  • http://www.parentalrights.org Rich Shipe

    How’s this for the most simple tax reform proposal?

    1. Require Congress to prepare their own taxes. They will not be allowed to hire anyone for preparation or consultation and no one may volunteer their time to prepare the Member’s taxes.

    2. Members will not be allowed to START working on their taxes until 7 A.M. on April 15 each year.

    3. ALL Members of Congress will be automatically audited each year and again they will not be allowed to receive any help of any kind in working through the audit.

  • http://www.parentalrights.org Rich Shipe

    Sorry for going off your discussion topic there, Dr. Veith.

    To answer your question… Maybe it is a day to celebrate the role of authority (specifically government) in God’s created order? See:

    Matthew 22:21 – “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    Romans 13:1-7 – Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

    1 Peter 2:13-14 – Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

    Tax day certainly is a test of our submission to government!

  • http://www.parentalrights.org Rich Shipe

    Sorry for going off your discussion topic there, Dr. Veith.

    To answer your question… Maybe it is a day to celebrate the role of authority (specifically government) in God’s created order? See:

    Matthew 22:21 – “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    Romans 13:1-7 – Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

    1 Peter 2:13-14 – Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

    Tax day certainly is a test of our submission to government!

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    We just suck it up and pay it. It is a crime what middle class Americans are paying in taxes. We paid enough to support another family and yet we are still at the median income for our county. YIKES!

    Today is also my husband’s birthday, so we are going out to the ballpark :-)

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    We just suck it up and pay it. It is a crime what middle class Americans are paying in taxes. We paid enough to support another family and yet we are still at the median income for our county. YIKES!

    Today is also my husband’s birthday, so we are going out to the ballpark :-)

  • Joe

    I celebrate it by knowing that I filed my tax return months ago. I feel no reason to let the gov’t keep my refund any longer than necessary, time value of money and all that.

    I also celebrate the day by asking people – not how much they got back – but home much they paid in. In an effort to change the mind set. Many people think of their refund as some sort of a bonus, but really it represents Caesar having taken what is not his and using it without interest.

    If you want to finally have a real conversation about taxes and spending, end withholding and require people to write out a check for their taxes at the end of the year as we do with property taxes. Then maybe we’ll have a real debate about the role of gov’t and its proper function.

    We are required to submit to the gov’t, but we also have the unique right to change and shape our gov’t.

  • Joe

    I celebrate it by knowing that I filed my tax return months ago. I feel no reason to let the gov’t keep my refund any longer than necessary, time value of money and all that.

    I also celebrate the day by asking people – not how much they got back – but home much they paid in. In an effort to change the mind set. Many people think of their refund as some sort of a bonus, but really it represents Caesar having taken what is not his and using it without interest.

    If you want to finally have a real conversation about taxes and spending, end withholding and require people to write out a check for their taxes at the end of the year as we do with property taxes. Then maybe we’ll have a real debate about the role of gov’t and its proper function.

    We are required to submit to the gov’t, but we also have the unique right to change and shape our gov’t.

  • Bror Erickson

    Joe,
    There a plenty of people who write out those checks, very few wait till the end of the year. It’s much less shocking to write them out quarterly, and less painful too.

  • Bror Erickson

    Joe,
    There a plenty of people who write out those checks, very few wait till the end of the year. It’s much less shocking to write them out quarterly, and less painful too.

  • Mary

    It can remind us that we are community. That we belong, and can rejoice in, corporate entities. We are not alone, but joined together by streets, sewers, electricity wires, and law. People living and interacting together, whether we want/know/appreciate it or not. Happy State and Fed Day.

  • Mary

    It can remind us that we are community. That we belong, and can rejoice in, corporate entities. We are not alone, but joined together by streets, sewers, electricity wires, and law. People living and interacting together, whether we want/know/appreciate it or not. Happy State and Fed Day.

  • Joe

    Bror,

    I realize that self-employed folks (pastors, small business owners, etc.) have to do their quarterly estimated payments but the vast majority of filers do not. Instead, they float along with the gov’t taking their money every pay check and then when they get a refund (i.e. the gov’t gives back the money it should never have taken in the first place based on its own ridiculously complicated laws that are designed push forward the gov’t social agenda) everyone jumps up and down like they won the lottery.

    It is my opinion that if everyone was had to write out quarterly checks or a check at the end of the year we would be able to have a national conversation about taxes, spending and the role of gov’t that moved beyond the abstract and philosophical and into reality.

    What is worse, I can’t choose to not withhold. I can mess around with my dependants to try to keep my withholding as close to accurate as possible but I still lose the time value of that money while it is sitting in DC.

    It is already hard enough to have a true debate on taxes and spending because of the break down of who actually pays taxes. (The top 50% of wager earners pay about 95% of all federal income taxes). Then if you add withholding in you get a combination of folks who are not paying in and folks who are not really feeling the burden of gov’t because the gov’t has figured out a way to take a little bit at a time.

  • Joe

    Bror,

    I realize that self-employed folks (pastors, small business owners, etc.) have to do their quarterly estimated payments but the vast majority of filers do not. Instead, they float along with the gov’t taking their money every pay check and then when they get a refund (i.e. the gov’t gives back the money it should never have taken in the first place based on its own ridiculously complicated laws that are designed push forward the gov’t social agenda) everyone jumps up and down like they won the lottery.

    It is my opinion that if everyone was had to write out quarterly checks or a check at the end of the year we would be able to have a national conversation about taxes, spending and the role of gov’t that moved beyond the abstract and philosophical and into reality.

    What is worse, I can’t choose to not withhold. I can mess around with my dependants to try to keep my withholding as close to accurate as possible but I still lose the time value of that money while it is sitting in DC.

    It is already hard enough to have a true debate on taxes and spending because of the break down of who actually pays taxes. (The top 50% of wager earners pay about 95% of all federal income taxes). Then if you add withholding in you get a combination of folks who are not paying in and folks who are not really feeling the burden of gov’t because the gov’t has figured out a way to take a little bit at a time.

  • Don S

    We have to submit, but we don’t have to like it. We are also free to work to have the taxes we are commanded by Christ to pay reduced.

    I agree with Joe — everyone should pay their taxes periodically by writing a check — withholding should be abolished. Americans have no conception that, combined, governments are taking over 40% of GDP.

  • Don S

    We have to submit, but we don’t have to like it. We are also free to work to have the taxes we are commanded by Christ to pay reduced.

    I agree with Joe — everyone should pay their taxes periodically by writing a check — withholding should be abolished. Americans have no conception that, combined, governments are taking over 40% of GDP.

  • S Bauer

    I would suggest that we spend the day thinking about all the blessings God has showered on us through the government we’ve been privileged to live in, with and under, on our lifestyles in comparison with the rest of the world, on the fact that God asked His people living in a subsistence economy (Israel) to give 10% of their livelihood. Then read the prophets (Amos 5, Jeremiah 5 & 7, Isaiah 5, etc.) and the letter of James. Maybe if we were exercising our vocation to love and serve our neighbors in their need, there would be less pressure on the government to step in. Of course, we would then probably be less wealthy then we are now after the taxes we pay. OR, we could think of how our generous support to the needs of people through the taxes we pay may be one of the ways we are fulfilling our vocation. Then maybe giving to Caesar the things that are Caesars wouldn’t be an onerous duty we have to do because Jesus says we have to do it.

  • S Bauer

    I would suggest that we spend the day thinking about all the blessings God has showered on us through the government we’ve been privileged to live in, with and under, on our lifestyles in comparison with the rest of the world, on the fact that God asked His people living in a subsistence economy (Israel) to give 10% of their livelihood. Then read the prophets (Amos 5, Jeremiah 5 & 7, Isaiah 5, etc.) and the letter of James. Maybe if we were exercising our vocation to love and serve our neighbors in their need, there would be less pressure on the government to step in. Of course, we would then probably be less wealthy then we are now after the taxes we pay. OR, we could think of how our generous support to the needs of people through the taxes we pay may be one of the ways we are fulfilling our vocation. Then maybe giving to Caesar the things that are Caesars wouldn’t be an onerous duty we have to do because Jesus says we have to do it.

  • Patrick Kyle

    Also note that tax day is as far away from election day on the calendar as it can be. I say we should change it to preceed our national elections by one day.

    It is very hard for me to find much to rejoice in regarding paying my taxes. Two things in particular have incensed me. The first is all this talk of a “homeowner bailout.” I recently received a small inheritance(which was taxed) and used it to pay off debt. I have been resposible in paying on my school loans. I sacrifice to live within my means. When friends and neighbors urged us to take advantage of unwise and unsound loans to obtain a house or buy investment property(like they all were doing) we refrained and continued to stay in our too small (but affordable)apartment with our children. I warned these people that they were risking financial calamity. Now some of these friends and relatives are in dire trouble. One in particular is in the process of losing three houses including his families’ primary residence. Now our government wants to use my tax dollars to bail them out and save the banks that made these stupid loans. I am penalized for being responsible. The government is creating a dis-incentive to make responsible decisions and rewarding fools and crooks for their behavior, and doing it all with my tax dollars.

    The second thing that really irks me is the government program to help people buy the converter to convert their TVs to the HD format that will become universal this fall. So now the government is using my tax dollars to pay people so they can continue to watch TV. What kind of sweetheart deals do the manufacturers and broadcasters have to get this kind of public subsidy?

    I know what the Scriptures say about paying taxes and submitting to the government. I do it, but hate it with every fiber of my being. We are being governed by crooks and thieves, and I have become very disillusioned. They are rigging the system to keep hard working honest people at a constant disadvantage, and rewarding indolence, foolishness, and greed.

  • Patrick Kyle

    Also note that tax day is as far away from election day on the calendar as it can be. I say we should change it to preceed our national elections by one day.

    It is very hard for me to find much to rejoice in regarding paying my taxes. Two things in particular have incensed me. The first is all this talk of a “homeowner bailout.” I recently received a small inheritance(which was taxed) and used it to pay off debt. I have been resposible in paying on my school loans. I sacrifice to live within my means. When friends and neighbors urged us to take advantage of unwise and unsound loans to obtain a house or buy investment property(like they all were doing) we refrained and continued to stay in our too small (but affordable)apartment with our children. I warned these people that they were risking financial calamity. Now some of these friends and relatives are in dire trouble. One in particular is in the process of losing three houses including his families’ primary residence. Now our government wants to use my tax dollars to bail them out and save the banks that made these stupid loans. I am penalized for being responsible. The government is creating a dis-incentive to make responsible decisions and rewarding fools and crooks for their behavior, and doing it all with my tax dollars.

    The second thing that really irks me is the government program to help people buy the converter to convert their TVs to the HD format that will become universal this fall. So now the government is using my tax dollars to pay people so they can continue to watch TV. What kind of sweetheart deals do the manufacturers and broadcasters have to get this kind of public subsidy?

    I know what the Scriptures say about paying taxes and submitting to the government. I do it, but hate it with every fiber of my being. We are being governed by crooks and thieves, and I have become very disillusioned. They are rigging the system to keep hard working honest people at a constant disadvantage, and rewarding indolence, foolishness, and greed.

  • http://www.tlchh.org Pastor Brett Snider

    If anyone is looking into a better tax system, we are obligated to pay- as someone has already mentioned, but that doesn’t mean we cannot look into other alternatives for paying our taxes. One of the best ideas out there is the Fair Tax. (www.fairtax.org) This is a tax system whereby if you earn $500 a week, that’s what you get- no gov’t taking your money. When you buy a new good, you make up what you could by in taxes. But if you are buying used goods (homes, cars, clothing), no tax. Thus prices come down. If you didn’t know, when you currently purchase something, you are paying at least FOUR levels of taxation- not just your local sales tax, but all corporation taxes that are imbedded in the price of all goods. Go to fairtax.org for more info.

  • http://www.tlchh.org Pastor Brett Snider

    If anyone is looking into a better tax system, we are obligated to pay- as someone has already mentioned, but that doesn’t mean we cannot look into other alternatives for paying our taxes. One of the best ideas out there is the Fair Tax. (www.fairtax.org) This is a tax system whereby if you earn $500 a week, that’s what you get- no gov’t taking your money. When you buy a new good, you make up what you could by in taxes. But if you are buying used goods (homes, cars, clothing), no tax. Thus prices come down. If you didn’t know, when you currently purchase something, you are paying at least FOUR levels of taxation- not just your local sales tax, but all corporation taxes that are imbedded in the price of all goods. Go to fairtax.org for more info.

  • http://www.parentalrights.org Rich Shipe

    Well put, Patrick.

  • http://www.parentalrights.org Rich Shipe

    Well put, Patrick.

  • saddler

    Joe has hit his head on the nail. I too have suggested this idea of eliminating withholding. There would be a revolt such as this country has never seen. Also, if more people were self-employed, many more would understand how money works in our economy and the role of government.

  • saddler

    Joe has hit his head on the nail. I too have suggested this idea of eliminating withholding. There would be a revolt such as this country has never seen. Also, if more people were self-employed, many more would understand how money works in our economy and the role of government.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Must businesses withhold? Or is this something that businesses voluntarily do? If not a volunteer, but a federal mandate, could a state opt out of such laws? Just wondering.

    Withholding does make it hurt less, I think. And it also helps Americans think less, too. As a Lutheran I’m always in favor of cross-formed reason.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Must businesses withhold? Or is this something that businesses voluntarily do? If not a volunteer, but a federal mandate, could a state opt out of such laws? Just wondering.

    Withholding does make it hurt less, I think. And it also helps Americans think less, too. As a Lutheran I’m always in favor of cross-formed reason.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    For those who complain about “Caesar having taken what is not his” with regards to tax overpayment, you can adjust your exemptions so that your withholding will never result in a refund (my wife and I learned this the hard way). Of course, you should be careful not to have too many exemptions, or else you’ll have a penalty for failing to make the minimum quarterly payments. I am not a tax lawyer.

    Those who think our nation would be better served by having people write out tax checks yearly (or at least quarterly) may be interested to know that Milton Friedman — who initially supported withholding as a measure to support World War II — similarly regretted its becoming a part of the national lifestyle, once the government grew bigger than he’d envisioned.

    That said, I can’t agree with Don s, who said (@8) “We have to submit, but we don’t have to like it.” What sort of Christian attitude is that? Would we say that we have to love our neighbor, but we don’t have to like it? Or that I have to read my Bible, but I don’t have to like it? This is a poor understanding of the (third) use of the law. In contrast, I think S Bauer’s understanding (@9) is much better in this regard.

    I may not like all the many things my tax money goes to support, but I recognize that by working in my vocation and paying taxes on my salary, I do help my neighbor. And I am thankful for living in a country that has such freedoms and allows me to make as much money as I do. I’d rather pay taxes and enjoy the opportunity of America than pay less taxes and live in a country with much less opportunity.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    For those who complain about “Caesar having taken what is not his” with regards to tax overpayment, you can adjust your exemptions so that your withholding will never result in a refund (my wife and I learned this the hard way). Of course, you should be careful not to have too many exemptions, or else you’ll have a penalty for failing to make the minimum quarterly payments. I am not a tax lawyer.

    Those who think our nation would be better served by having people write out tax checks yearly (or at least quarterly) may be interested to know that Milton Friedman — who initially supported withholding as a measure to support World War II — similarly regretted its becoming a part of the national lifestyle, once the government grew bigger than he’d envisioned.

    That said, I can’t agree with Don s, who said (@8) “We have to submit, but we don’t have to like it.” What sort of Christian attitude is that? Would we say that we have to love our neighbor, but we don’t have to like it? Or that I have to read my Bible, but I don’t have to like it? This is a poor understanding of the (third) use of the law. In contrast, I think S Bauer’s understanding (@9) is much better in this regard.

    I may not like all the many things my tax money goes to support, but I recognize that by working in my vocation and paying taxes on my salary, I do help my neighbor. And I am thankful for living in a country that has such freedoms and allows me to make as much money as I do. I’d rather pay taxes and enjoy the opportunity of America than pay less taxes and live in a country with much less opportunity.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    No, I don’t have to like it.
    In fact, I despise it, and it’s Pollyanna-ish, not Christian, to think otherwise. Christ never told me to like Caesar’s government, nor to think it wonderfully wise.
    I am thankful that I can say that with impunity.
    I dont’ despise taxation itself, nor just the awful code, but the notion that politicians–and taxpayers!–operate under: that it’s not money that works until it’s tax money. It’s downright Tetzelian.
    I despise the notion that taxes have to be raised to meet the spending schemes Congress comes up with.
    I personally spent the day remembering the American Revolution, and the unjustness that taxation so often is, and how we now are such willing participants in our own economic doom.
    I find myself more thankful for the America that was, than the America that is.
    And I didn’t owe the government a dime this year.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    No, I don’t have to like it.
    In fact, I despise it, and it’s Pollyanna-ish, not Christian, to think otherwise. Christ never told me to like Caesar’s government, nor to think it wonderfully wise.
    I am thankful that I can say that with impunity.
    I dont’ despise taxation itself, nor just the awful code, but the notion that politicians–and taxpayers!–operate under: that it’s not money that works until it’s tax money. It’s downright Tetzelian.
    I despise the notion that taxes have to be raised to meet the spending schemes Congress comes up with.
    I personally spent the day remembering the American Revolution, and the unjustness that taxation so often is, and how we now are such willing participants in our own economic doom.
    I find myself more thankful for the America that was, than the America that is.
    And I didn’t owe the government a dime this year.

  • allen

    When it was established in 1913, one had to earn $3,000 in a year just to qualify to pay federal income tax. Adjusted for inflation, that would be something over $63,000 today. Obviously, the federal government does more today than then. So, the tax rates would have to be raised. But why was $63,000 per year (in today’s dollars) regarded as a reasonable bar then but not today?

  • allen

    When it was established in 1913, one had to earn $3,000 in a year just to qualify to pay federal income tax. Adjusted for inflation, that would be something over $63,000 today. Obviously, the federal government does more today than then. So, the tax rates would have to be raised. But why was $63,000 per year (in today’s dollars) regarded as a reasonable bar then but not today?

  • Anon

    I prefer the fair tax, too, with essential goods not being taxed (food, gas, medical care, stuff like that).

    I don’t think that the Bible requires or even allows us to call bad or criminal government, good, just as we have the example of prophets and apostles for specific ultra vires commands of the government.

    We -are- the government in this country, the powers and principalities in Washington City are our delegates and servants (and need to be reminded of this periodically). Thus, it is our duty to inform the civil governance what Christ requires of it.

  • Anon

    I prefer the fair tax, too, with essential goods not being taxed (food, gas, medical care, stuff like that).

    I don’t think that the Bible requires or even allows us to call bad or criminal government, good, just as we have the example of prophets and apostles for specific ultra vires commands of the government.

    We -are- the government in this country, the powers and principalities in Washington City are our delegates and servants (and need to be reminded of this periodically). Thus, it is our duty to inform the civil governance what Christ requires of it.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Susan (@16), you said “Christ never told me to like Caesar’s government, nor to think it wonderfully wise,” but neither did I say those things — it’s a twisting of what I said, in fact.

    God tells us to pay our taxes and to submit to and respect our government — that is his will. Should we only follow God’s will grudgingly? No, if we do it but “despise it”, we’re not doing God’s will at all. We can complain “with impunity” about God’s will that we pay taxes, but that impunity is with respect to our government, and not with respect to God. As Jesus pointed out repeatedly in his Sermon on the Mount, we are accountable for our thoughts as well.

    Christians want to do God’s will because of all he has done for us — notably forgiving all our sins in Jesus, but also the many blessings he has given us in our country and its government. This appreciation does not lead to “if I have to” action. Christians who can vote will also want to love their neighbor by voting in such a way to take care of him — including voting to change the government so as to best help their neighbor — but Christians will disagree how best to do this.

    Even if you aren’t so much, I am still very thankful for all that God has blessed me with in America — I did nothing to be born here, and it’s a far sight better than many other countries I could have been born in. I think that on any day besides April 15, you would agree with me. Trust me when I say it is a day like any other.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Susan (@16), you said “Christ never told me to like Caesar’s government, nor to think it wonderfully wise,” but neither did I say those things — it’s a twisting of what I said, in fact.

    God tells us to pay our taxes and to submit to and respect our government — that is his will. Should we only follow God’s will grudgingly? No, if we do it but “despise it”, we’re not doing God’s will at all. We can complain “with impunity” about God’s will that we pay taxes, but that impunity is with respect to our government, and not with respect to God. As Jesus pointed out repeatedly in his Sermon on the Mount, we are accountable for our thoughts as well.

    Christians want to do God’s will because of all he has done for us — notably forgiving all our sins in Jesus, but also the many blessings he has given us in our country and its government. This appreciation does not lead to “if I have to” action. Christians who can vote will also want to love their neighbor by voting in such a way to take care of him — including voting to change the government so as to best help their neighbor — but Christians will disagree how best to do this.

    Even if you aren’t so much, I am still very thankful for all that God has blessed me with in America — I did nothing to be born here, and it’s a far sight better than many other countries I could have been born in. I think that on any day besides April 15, you would agree with me. Trust me when I say it is a day like any other.

  • Don S

    S. Bauer @ #9, if you are saying the tax rate should be 10% rather than the 40% of total GDP our government confiscates, I’m all for it! :)

  • Don S

    S. Bauer @ #9, if you are saying the tax rate should be 10% rather than the 40% of total GDP our government confiscates, I’m all for it! :)

  • Don S

    tODD @ #15 — I would fall over in shock if you ever said “I totally agree with Don S ………….” :)

  • Don S

    tODD @ #15 — I would fall over in shock if you ever said “I totally agree with Don S ………….” :)

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Don S (@21), er, I agree with you that you would probably fall over in shock if I ever said I agree with you. :)

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Don S (@21), er, I agree with you that you would probably fall over in shock if I ever said I agree with you. :)

  • fw

    #19 Todd #10 Pat Kyle

    I am with Todd here. one of the marks of sanctification is to delight in the law of God. To delight in doing his will. so yes, his will is for us to pay taxes. and his will is not to have a corrupt government.

    I believe that means, wierdly, that we should delight in paying taxes, and in respecting all government officials, we should be sad at misuse of government power and tax moneys and work to change those things.

    We should repent when we fail at doing any of this. Repent for those things done and left undone.

    I admit to a tinge of “yeah! let em have it Pat Kyle! Go get em!” when he talks about taxes and politics. I repent for that attitude and pray, with God´s help, to do better.

    for someone to actual seem to boast about “hating” to do God´s will seems somehow wrong. With all respect to my dear dear brother Pat.

  • fw

    #19 Todd #10 Pat Kyle

    I am with Todd here. one of the marks of sanctification is to delight in the law of God. To delight in doing his will. so yes, his will is for us to pay taxes. and his will is not to have a corrupt government.

    I believe that means, wierdly, that we should delight in paying taxes, and in respecting all government officials, we should be sad at misuse of government power and tax moneys and work to change those things.

    We should repent when we fail at doing any of this. Repent for those things done and left undone.

    I admit to a tinge of “yeah! let em have it Pat Kyle! Go get em!” when he talks about taxes and politics. I repent for that attitude and pray, with God´s help, to do better.

    for someone to actual seem to boast about “hating” to do God´s will seems somehow wrong. With all respect to my dear dear brother Pat.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    I submit that:
    1. we could pay a lot less in taxes,
    2. be much more fairly taxed,
    3. our government could spend lots less, and
    4. we’d still be helping our neighbor and our country.
    I further submit that we can:
    1. despise the actions and the course of our politicians and government,
    2. lament that taxes are not only wasted in amount spent but in how they’re spent,
    3. hold that our tax code and spending schemes, as well as much legislation, are aimed at curbing our freedom, and offend our beliefs and sensibilities,
    4. and that we can believe these things and still be a Christian.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    I submit that:
    1. we could pay a lot less in taxes,
    2. be much more fairly taxed,
    3. our government could spend lots less, and
    4. we’d still be helping our neighbor and our country.
    I further submit that we can:
    1. despise the actions and the course of our politicians and government,
    2. lament that taxes are not only wasted in amount spent but in how they’re spent,
    3. hold that our tax code and spending schemes, as well as much legislation, are aimed at curbing our freedom, and offend our beliefs and sensibilities,
    4. and that we can believe these things and still be a Christian.

  • Joe

    Todd wrote: “I’d rather pay taxes and enjoy the opportunity of America than pay less taxes and live in a country with much less opportunity.”

    Paying less taxes does not = less opportunity. To argue otherwise you have to assume that gov’t creates our opportunities, which is not true in very many cases. It also assumes that in those instances where gov’t does create an opportunity (i.e. small business loan administration, etc) that it is doing it better than the private sector could.

    Europe is a good example to look at right now. In the last few years the Scandinavian countries have engaged in a tax reformation of sorts. They have slashed tax rates and in some cases adopted flat taxes. The result has been more (not less) mobility and economic success for their citizens.

    I do agree that gov’t must do some things and some of those things will cost money and I have a duty to chip in on that, but I am suggesting that gov’t can and should do things more efficiently and that currently the gov’t is involved in more things than it should be.

  • Joe

    Todd wrote: “I’d rather pay taxes and enjoy the opportunity of America than pay less taxes and live in a country with much less opportunity.”

    Paying less taxes does not = less opportunity. To argue otherwise you have to assume that gov’t creates our opportunities, which is not true in very many cases. It also assumes that in those instances where gov’t does create an opportunity (i.e. small business loan administration, etc) that it is doing it better than the private sector could.

    Europe is a good example to look at right now. In the last few years the Scandinavian countries have engaged in a tax reformation of sorts. They have slashed tax rates and in some cases adopted flat taxes. The result has been more (not less) mobility and economic success for their citizens.

    I do agree that gov’t must do some things and some of those things will cost money and I have a duty to chip in on that, but I am suggesting that gov’t can and should do things more efficiently and that currently the gov’t is involved in more things than it should be.

  • S Bauer

    Don S, @20.
    I am saying that if we took seriously the Scripture’s admonition to love our neighbor as ourselves, we would be giving at least 50% of our wealth away to those “poor you will always have with you.” At 40%, the deal you’re getting from the government is a bargain.

  • S Bauer

    Don S, @20.
    I am saying that if we took seriously the Scripture’s admonition to love our neighbor as ourselves, we would be giving at least 50% of our wealth away to those “poor you will always have with you.” At 40%, the deal you’re getting from the government is a bargain.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Susan (@24), agreed.

    Joe (@25), I didn’t actually say that opportunity is commensurate to paying taxes. What I said was that America affords many opportunities, and as such, I am all the more glad to pay the taxes it requires.

    If all you care about is paying less taxes, there are many countries you can move to that will give you that opportunity. Let me know if they give you as many other opportunities as America does.

    And your example of a government-created opportunity is rather narrow. Is the only opportunity you see in our country (and government) one in which the government pays you money? What about your ability to speak freely? Or start your own business? Or to be (relatively) free from government corruption in your daily life? Or the freedom offered by our military’s protection? Or the opportunities afforded by a nation of laws, not men? Many of these things are not tax-dependent, but nations with fewer taxes also frequently do not afford these things.

    Nobody here thinks our country or government is perfect. But it clearly provides great opportunities — there are a few rich people here and there, yes? Those same people would not have been so rich had they been born elsewhere.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Susan (@24), agreed.

    Joe (@25), I didn’t actually say that opportunity is commensurate to paying taxes. What I said was that America affords many opportunities, and as such, I am all the more glad to pay the taxes it requires.

    If all you care about is paying less taxes, there are many countries you can move to that will give you that opportunity. Let me know if they give you as many other opportunities as America does.

    And your example of a government-created opportunity is rather narrow. Is the only opportunity you see in our country (and government) one in which the government pays you money? What about your ability to speak freely? Or start your own business? Or to be (relatively) free from government corruption in your daily life? Or the freedom offered by our military’s protection? Or the opportunities afforded by a nation of laws, not men? Many of these things are not tax-dependent, but nations with fewer taxes also frequently do not afford these things.

    Nobody here thinks our country or government is perfect. But it clearly provides great opportunities — there are a few rich people here and there, yes? Those same people would not have been so rich had they been born elsewhere.

  • Another Kerner

    Whoa there…..

    Are we getting the two kingdoms entangled?

    Scripture’s imperatives to “feed the hungry” and “clothe the naked” are acts of charity impelled by a love which wears the mask of God as it helps neighbors.

    Scripture also recites what government is ordained to do….that is, to be a restraint on evil doers.

    The US Constitution tells us what government does, in this case, levy taxes for purposes of maintaining a just government with the consent on the governed.

    The police power of the IRS uses coercion to collect monies. Surely we can agree on this point, no?

    Charity springs from the regenerated heart, as the Lord “loves a cheerful giver”.

    Should we be inclined to help our neighbor as an act of Christian love, we reach into our own pocketbook and so do.

    It is ours to give.

    Our neighbor’s pocketbook is *not* ours to give, even if we vote to take it from him using the IRS as the collection agency.

    May I suggest that when we help our neighbor it should be a matter of private, personal charity.

    Once again…….

    If we plan to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, we can almost always depend on Paul’s help and certainly on his vote in a forthcoming election.

    Perhaps we should rehearse the concept of “legal plunder” as put forward by Frederick Bastiat.

    “When plunder is orgainized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter—- by peaceful or revolutionary means—–into the making of laws……. Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder or they may wish to share in it. Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails……”

    “Under the pretense of organization, regulation, protection or encouragement, the law takes property from one person and gives it to another.”

    The IRS did not exist until the 20th century.

    Some citizens propose *abolition* of a heavy progressive federal graduated personal income tax.

    Karl Marx proposed such a tax in his Manifesto.
    See his Plank 2 on how to effectively socialize a nation.

    We might like to consider the possibility that contributions to the church may be low because some of our citizens may already believe they are contributing much to the poor via the tax dollar.

  • Another Kerner

    Whoa there…..

    Are we getting the two kingdoms entangled?

    Scripture’s imperatives to “feed the hungry” and “clothe the naked” are acts of charity impelled by a love which wears the mask of God as it helps neighbors.

    Scripture also recites what government is ordained to do….that is, to be a restraint on evil doers.

    The US Constitution tells us what government does, in this case, levy taxes for purposes of maintaining a just government with the consent on the governed.

    The police power of the IRS uses coercion to collect monies. Surely we can agree on this point, no?

    Charity springs from the regenerated heart, as the Lord “loves a cheerful giver”.

    Should we be inclined to help our neighbor as an act of Christian love, we reach into our own pocketbook and so do.

    It is ours to give.

    Our neighbor’s pocketbook is *not* ours to give, even if we vote to take it from him using the IRS as the collection agency.

    May I suggest that when we help our neighbor it should be a matter of private, personal charity.

    Once again…….

    If we plan to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, we can almost always depend on Paul’s help and certainly on his vote in a forthcoming election.

    Perhaps we should rehearse the concept of “legal plunder” as put forward by Frederick Bastiat.

    “When plunder is orgainized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter—- by peaceful or revolutionary means—–into the making of laws……. Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder or they may wish to share in it. Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails……”

    “Under the pretense of organization, regulation, protection or encouragement, the law takes property from one person and gives it to another.”

    The IRS did not exist until the 20th century.

    Some citizens propose *abolition* of a heavy progressive federal graduated personal income tax.

    Karl Marx proposed such a tax in his Manifesto.
    See his Plank 2 on how to effectively socialize a nation.

    We might like to consider the possibility that contributions to the church may be low because some of our citizens may already believe they are contributing much to the poor via the tax dollar.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    tODD, you jump the shark.
    I didn’t read Joe as saying all he was interested in was paying less taxes, and you do him a disservice and his comments a dishonor by contruing them so.
    We know what you think. Bully.
    Now be more careful in understanding what others think, and less clumsy in assigning meanings. I believe Joe was perfectly clear; no need to presume anything else is being said than what’s been said.
    Just curious: how much more are you willing to pay in taxes, and to what end? How much will you rejoice over higher taxes, for the ‘benefit’ of our country? How many agricultural, biological, social, etc. studies are you willing to underwrite–involuntarily–and be so grateful for?
    Another Kerner is spot on: to equate taxation with charitable giving–with giving at all!–is a grievous error and a pernicious thought.
    And to mistake a disdain for taxes–a disdain on so many other levels than the amount owed/paid–for a lack of Christian charity or civic pride is likewise unwise, not to mention an uncharitable thought itself.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    tODD, you jump the shark.
    I didn’t read Joe as saying all he was interested in was paying less taxes, and you do him a disservice and his comments a dishonor by contruing them so.
    We know what you think. Bully.
    Now be more careful in understanding what others think, and less clumsy in assigning meanings. I believe Joe was perfectly clear; no need to presume anything else is being said than what’s been said.
    Just curious: how much more are you willing to pay in taxes, and to what end? How much will you rejoice over higher taxes, for the ‘benefit’ of our country? How many agricultural, biological, social, etc. studies are you willing to underwrite–involuntarily–and be so grateful for?
    Another Kerner is spot on: to equate taxation with charitable giving–with giving at all!–is a grievous error and a pernicious thought.
    And to mistake a disdain for taxes–a disdain on so many other levels than the amount owed/paid–for a lack of Christian charity or civic pride is likewise unwise, not to mention an uncharitable thought itself.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Perhaps a look at Proverbs might help us understand our view of government. Yes, paying taxes for essential functions of government is a holy obligation. At the same time, the prophet/priest Samuel warned Israel of the consequences of having a king, and Proverbs notes that when a king is wicked, the people groan.

    In the same way, most of the books of history and prophecy in the Old Testament clearly speak of the wickedness of most of the kings of Israel and Judah. Somehow, the voice of the Holy Spirit is capable of saying what’s wrong with a government.

    Finally, let us never forget that Jesus Himself referred to Pilate as “that fox,” did He not?

    As such, I would suggest that it may not always be appropriate to cheerfully pay taxes when we know that they are being used for wicked purposes.

    And that’s the rub; it’s not that they’re too high, but rather that they’re being used for bad purposes.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Perhaps a look at Proverbs might help us understand our view of government. Yes, paying taxes for essential functions of government is a holy obligation. At the same time, the prophet/priest Samuel warned Israel of the consequences of having a king, and Proverbs notes that when a king is wicked, the people groan.

    In the same way, most of the books of history and prophecy in the Old Testament clearly speak of the wickedness of most of the kings of Israel and Judah. Somehow, the voice of the Holy Spirit is capable of saying what’s wrong with a government.

    Finally, let us never forget that Jesus Himself referred to Pilate as “that fox,” did He not?

    As such, I would suggest that it may not always be appropriate to cheerfully pay taxes when we know that they are being used for wicked purposes.

    And that’s the rub; it’s not that they’re too high, but rather that they’re being used for bad purposes.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Good grief, Susan! For someone so concerned about my misreading comments and falsely assigning meanings, you’ve managed to do just that to me (@29). Please reread my response to Joe (@27). Pretend (for a moment) that I’m somehow not a jerk. Pretend that someone you love has said these words. Might there be a more charitable way to read them than what you did?

    I will explain my intent. Please listen to these words and believe them without presuming an ulterior motive behind my explanation or seeing me trying to weasel out of something without apologizing.

    I (@27) didn’t accuse Joe (@25) of only being interested in paying less taxes. As you can plainly read, I said, “If all you care about is paying less taxes, there are many countries you can move to that will give you that opportunity.” That word “if” is there for a reason, and it is important. It is not merely a sneaky way to backhandedly accuse Joe of something.

    I forgive you for accusing me of these things, Susan. I do not hate you, or anyone else here. In fact, I enjoy discussing things with you. I wish you enjoyed it, too.

    Now, in partial response to your question, those of us in Multnomah County here passed a 2-year tax recently to support our schools. Our state has a foolish “kicker” law that refunds any tax money not spent in a given year, instead of saving it in a “rainy day” fund. Everyone loves the kicker because, hey, I get my money back. But the state is left unable to cope with any downturn. So it was that, several years ago, our state was so strapped that it could not fund our schools. They had to lop days off the end of the school year, giving Oregon (one of?) the shortest school year(s), and leading to us being lampooned in Doonesbury, among other outlets. People in Portland decided they wanted to fund our schools, but the (Republican) rest of the state didn’t want to raise taxes, so we raised our own taxes for a short period — I also voted for it. I was glad to see the tax sunset when the immediate need had passed, of course (though the kicker is still foolish), but I was happy to pay for public education, even though I had no children at the time (still don’t).

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Good grief, Susan! For someone so concerned about my misreading comments and falsely assigning meanings, you’ve managed to do just that to me (@29). Please reread my response to Joe (@27). Pretend (for a moment) that I’m somehow not a jerk. Pretend that someone you love has said these words. Might there be a more charitable way to read them than what you did?

    I will explain my intent. Please listen to these words and believe them without presuming an ulterior motive behind my explanation or seeing me trying to weasel out of something without apologizing.

    I (@27) didn’t accuse Joe (@25) of only being interested in paying less taxes. As you can plainly read, I said, “If all you care about is paying less taxes, there are many countries you can move to that will give you that opportunity.” That word “if” is there for a reason, and it is important. It is not merely a sneaky way to backhandedly accuse Joe of something.

    I forgive you for accusing me of these things, Susan. I do not hate you, or anyone else here. In fact, I enjoy discussing things with you. I wish you enjoyed it, too.

    Now, in partial response to your question, those of us in Multnomah County here passed a 2-year tax recently to support our schools. Our state has a foolish “kicker” law that refunds any tax money not spent in a given year, instead of saving it in a “rainy day” fund. Everyone loves the kicker because, hey, I get my money back. But the state is left unable to cope with any downturn. So it was that, several years ago, our state was so strapped that it could not fund our schools. They had to lop days off the end of the school year, giving Oregon (one of?) the shortest school year(s), and leading to us being lampooned in Doonesbury, among other outlets. People in Portland decided they wanted to fund our schools, but the (Republican) rest of the state didn’t want to raise taxes, so we raised our own taxes for a short period — I also voted for it. I was glad to see the tax sunset when the immediate need had passed, of course (though the kicker is still foolish), but I was happy to pay for public education, even though I had no children at the time (still don’t).

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I do not disagree (Another Kerner @28, et al.) that it would be best if loving our neighbors were something that Christians were so good at, there would be no need for our government to attempt to get involved, and therefore no need for taxes to pay for it.

    I also think it is rather obvious that Christians have failed to live up to God’s will that we love our neighbors as ourselves. Some will argue that this is due to the high level of taxation. More on that in a second.

    But I do think it is silly to argue — if, indeed, anyone is — that paying taxes does not help our neighbor. It clearly does. I suppose I will be “jumping the shark” if I wonder (casually) if many of our taxes are a sort of punishment for our greedy, unloving ways.

    However, I don’t agree that “contributions to the church may be low because some of our citizens may already believe they are contributing much to the poor via the tax dollar.” Christians who understand God’s mercy and who also understand the reason we put money in the offering plate are not swayed by high or low taxes — they give for wholly unrelated reasons. Christians who do not give cheerfully, who withhold giving generously to God, will continue to do so even if they pay no taxes, simply because their heart is wrong. Lower taxes do not bring about a change of heart.

    If we truly love our neighbors as ourselves, we will not say “I pay too much in taxes, I cannot give to this charity,” and then turn around and pay for a meal out for ourselves, or for new clothes. And yet, I do this myself. It’s obvious a lot of other Christians do, too. Again, the problem isn’t the level of taxation, it’s the level of love. Fewer taxes doesn’t create more love.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I do not disagree (Another Kerner @28, et al.) that it would be best if loving our neighbors were something that Christians were so good at, there would be no need for our government to attempt to get involved, and therefore no need for taxes to pay for it.

    I also think it is rather obvious that Christians have failed to live up to God’s will that we love our neighbors as ourselves. Some will argue that this is due to the high level of taxation. More on that in a second.

    But I do think it is silly to argue — if, indeed, anyone is — that paying taxes does not help our neighbor. It clearly does. I suppose I will be “jumping the shark” if I wonder (casually) if many of our taxes are a sort of punishment for our greedy, unloving ways.

    However, I don’t agree that “contributions to the church may be low because some of our citizens may already believe they are contributing much to the poor via the tax dollar.” Christians who understand God’s mercy and who also understand the reason we put money in the offering plate are not swayed by high or low taxes — they give for wholly unrelated reasons. Christians who do not give cheerfully, who withhold giving generously to God, will continue to do so even if they pay no taxes, simply because their heart is wrong. Lower taxes do not bring about a change of heart.

    If we truly love our neighbors as ourselves, we will not say “I pay too much in taxes, I cannot give to this charity,” and then turn around and pay for a meal out for ourselves, or for new clothes. And yet, I do this myself. It’s obvious a lot of other Christians do, too. Again, the problem isn’t the level of taxation, it’s the level of love. Fewer taxes doesn’t create more love.

  • Don S

    S. Bauer @ #26 — I would rather give my resources directly to the poor among us, rather than through a highly inefficient and politicized government. I want to give my resources in accordance with my Christian priorities rather than according to the priorities of a secular, anti-Christian government. I don’t want my resources to support abortion clinics, drug needle give-away programs, anti-God education curricula and many other of the things which government imposes on our population and which are sinful. I want to be a cheerful giver, not one from whom resources are confiscated involuntarily. Because the government confiscates 40% of what I earn, I have much less available to give voluntarily. I resent that. It is not what the founding fathers intended, and it is not what Christ intended when he said we should help the poor.

  • Don S

    S. Bauer @ #26 — I would rather give my resources directly to the poor among us, rather than through a highly inefficient and politicized government. I want to give my resources in accordance with my Christian priorities rather than according to the priorities of a secular, anti-Christian government. I don’t want my resources to support abortion clinics, drug needle give-away programs, anti-God education curricula and many other of the things which government imposes on our population and which are sinful. I want to be a cheerful giver, not one from whom resources are confiscated involuntarily. Because the government confiscates 40% of what I earn, I have much less available to give voluntarily. I resent that. It is not what the founding fathers intended, and it is not what Christ intended when he said we should help the poor.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    ‘Fewer taxes doesn’t create more love.’
    Nor do more taxes create more love. (let us debate the benefits more taxes bestow, let alone create.)
    Last time I looked, the government was given 0% charge over love–it neither creates nor dispenses it.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    ‘Fewer taxes doesn’t create more love.’
    Nor do more taxes create more love. (let us debate the benefits more taxes bestow, let alone create.)
    Last time I looked, the government was given 0% charge over love–it neither creates nor dispenses it.

  • Another Kerner

    tODD at #31…….

    Please consider this:

    An individual’s love for a person *is* clearly demonstrated when it admonishes, no?
    When it corrects a wrong and attempts to right it?

    Organshoes may have just displayed great love and longsuffering, in bringing your attention to an oversight.

    I suppose when discussing the IRS , it is not altogether inappropriate to bring up local school taxes, so………

    Hurray for the ” (Republican) rest of the state” who thought you and your fellow *local* citizens ought to pay for their own *local* school system.

    There are some Christian folk who think that the government schools, *do*, in fact, indeed have a
    religion……… and it isn’t theirs: Hence the home schooling movement and the growth of Christian Day Schools, elementary and secondary, supported by Christian congregations.

    An Aside:

    Incidentally, Karl Marx’s Plank 10 in his Manifesto for socialism, is a government run *free* education for all children in public schools.

    So far you are batting two out of ten.

  • Another Kerner

    tODD at #31…….

    Please consider this:

    An individual’s love for a person *is* clearly demonstrated when it admonishes, no?
    When it corrects a wrong and attempts to right it?

    Organshoes may have just displayed great love and longsuffering, in bringing your attention to an oversight.

    I suppose when discussing the IRS , it is not altogether inappropriate to bring up local school taxes, so………

    Hurray for the ” (Republican) rest of the state” who thought you and your fellow *local* citizens ought to pay for their own *local* school system.

    There are some Christian folk who think that the government schools, *do*, in fact, indeed have a
    religion……… and it isn’t theirs: Hence the home schooling movement and the growth of Christian Day Schools, elementary and secondary, supported by Christian congregations.

    An Aside:

    Incidentally, Karl Marx’s Plank 10 in his Manifesto for socialism, is a government run *free* education for all children in public schools.

    So far you are batting two out of ten.

  • Anon

    The Bible’s view of the civil governors is rather more complex than some here seem to think.

    The Hebrew midwives.
    The official who protected the prophets, lying to the king and disobeying him to do so.
    David when Samuel was king.
    Peter, James, and John.

    One might go forward to Luther’s response to the Pope and the HRE, the behavior of the Evangelical Movement during the Leipzig Interrum, etc.

  • Anon

    The Bible’s view of the civil governors is rather more complex than some here seem to think.

    The Hebrew midwives.
    The official who protected the prophets, lying to the king and disobeying him to do so.
    David when Samuel was king.
    Peter, James, and John.

    One might go forward to Luther’s response to the Pope and the HRE, the behavior of the Evangelical Movement during the Leipzig Interrum, etc.

  • Another Kerner

    Anon at #36.

    Rightly so, finally we obey God not man…….and resist evil, as did faithful Rahab.

    I think most of us limited the scope of the discussion to IRS taxes per the 15 April due date.

  • Another Kerner

    Anon at #36.

    Rightly so, finally we obey God not man…….and resist evil, as did faithful Rahab.

    I think most of us limited the scope of the discussion to IRS taxes per the 15 April due date.

  • Another Kerner

    tODD…..

    Charity does not use force.
    Taxation is Law……..
    Not love.

  • Another Kerner

    tODD…..

    Charity does not use force.
    Taxation is Law……..
    Not love.

  • Joe

    I really don’t know how to make this simpler. I want to have a debate about the level of gov’t intervention into the lives of Americans (whether it be for good or evil), the proper role of our gov’t and the manner in which it spends our money. I even acknowledge that we do have to all chip in for some things that are proper for gov’t to do.

    My belief is that if we continue to have withholding the vast majority of people will never pay attention to the issue because withholding creates the false impression that you get something kind of a bonus from the gov’t when they refund the money they over taxed you.

    As for tODD’s specific responses/questions:

    “What I said was that America affords many opportunities, and as such, I am all the more glad to pay the taxes it requires.”

    My point is we are paying more than is required for two reasons. One, many of the opportunities provided by our gov’t and not within the proper scope of the gov’t. Two, our gov’t is horribly inefficient thus we almost allows even up paying more than “it requires.” Additionally, many of the opportunities we have hear have nothing to do with gov’t revenue. Allowing me the right to open a business doesn’t require a gov’t expenditure.

    “If all you care about is paying less taxes, there are many countries you can move to that will give you that opportunity. Let me know if they give you as many other opportunities as America does.”

    You stated that you were not implying that all I care about is paying taxes. Despite my first reaction, I believe you. But, you again link paying taxes to our opportunities in this country. Again, many of our opportunities don’t cost anything. Further, the lack of civil rights in Russia really has nothing to do with whether I should be paying taxes to build a bridge that connects two Alaskan communities with a total population 8,950 people.

    “And your example of a government-created opportunity is rather narrow. Is the only opportunity you see in our country (and government) one in which the government pays you money?”

    No. That’s why I used “etc.” but the opportunities that do not involve the gov’t giving you money or otherwise subsidizing some thing you do are the ones that really don’t require paying much in taxes either. What part of my taxes (aside from paying the salaries of judges) goes toward funding the first amendment? Just because we live a very good life in this country does not mean I should just shut up and unthinkingly pay my taxes. I understand my obligation to submit to the gov’t, but we pick our leaders and those leaders have ideas about how to spend our money – so do I and I would like if we could discuss it objectively. My belief is that until people are faced with the actually costs of gov’t through the elimination of withholding we will never have this discussion. I also think the current break down of who pays taxes will hamper I our ability to engage in this debate.

  • Joe

    I really don’t know how to make this simpler. I want to have a debate about the level of gov’t intervention into the lives of Americans (whether it be for good or evil), the proper role of our gov’t and the manner in which it spends our money. I even acknowledge that we do have to all chip in for some things that are proper for gov’t to do.

    My belief is that if we continue to have withholding the vast majority of people will never pay attention to the issue because withholding creates the false impression that you get something kind of a bonus from the gov’t when they refund the money they over taxed you.

    As for tODD’s specific responses/questions:

    “What I said was that America affords many opportunities, and as such, I am all the more glad to pay the taxes it requires.”

    My point is we are paying more than is required for two reasons. One, many of the opportunities provided by our gov’t and not within the proper scope of the gov’t. Two, our gov’t is horribly inefficient thus we almost allows even up paying more than “it requires.” Additionally, many of the opportunities we have hear have nothing to do with gov’t revenue. Allowing me the right to open a business doesn’t require a gov’t expenditure.

    “If all you care about is paying less taxes, there are many countries you can move to that will give you that opportunity. Let me know if they give you as many other opportunities as America does.”

    You stated that you were not implying that all I care about is paying taxes. Despite my first reaction, I believe you. But, you again link paying taxes to our opportunities in this country. Again, many of our opportunities don’t cost anything. Further, the lack of civil rights in Russia really has nothing to do with whether I should be paying taxes to build a bridge that connects two Alaskan communities with a total population 8,950 people.

    “And your example of a government-created opportunity is rather narrow. Is the only opportunity you see in our country (and government) one in which the government pays you money?”

    No. That’s why I used “etc.” but the opportunities that do not involve the gov’t giving you money or otherwise subsidizing some thing you do are the ones that really don’t require paying much in taxes either. What part of my taxes (aside from paying the salaries of judges) goes toward funding the first amendment? Just because we live a very good life in this country does not mean I should just shut up and unthinkingly pay my taxes. I understand my obligation to submit to the gov’t, but we pick our leaders and those leaders have ideas about how to spend our money – so do I and I would like if we could discuss it objectively. My belief is that until people are faced with the actually costs of gov’t through the elimination of withholding we will never have this discussion. I also think the current break down of who pays taxes will hamper I our ability to engage in this debate.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Another Kerner (@38), I didn’t say that charity uses force or that taxation is love. Are you replying to me or to a strawman whose name is also tODD?

    And love is demonstrated when we admonish lovingly, yes. When we misread or misconstrue, wrongly impart sinful motives, and toss off the label “bully”, the word “love” is not the first to spring to mind.

    As for your take @35 on the “(Republican) rest of the state”, would that they, and they alone, did pay for their local schools. But they don’t. I, as an Oregon taxpayer, pay for rural schools as well. In fact, I and my fellow Portlanders pay disproportionately more into our state’s coffers than we get out for our schools. Would that Portland schools did not have to subsidize them, so that those of us who support public education did not have to pay for those who do not, and yet get our money anyhow.

    And “guilt by association” (cf. your comments on Marx) is a pretty lousy way to assess if an idea is good or not. Do you like weekends and child labor laws? You’d better not — socialists like those things, too! Booooooo! Please. Let’s discuss the actual merits of the ideas or the lack thereof.

    I have no idea what you’re counting with the “two out of ten” remark, by the way.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Another Kerner (@38), I didn’t say that charity uses force or that taxation is love. Are you replying to me or to a strawman whose name is also tODD?

    And love is demonstrated when we admonish lovingly, yes. When we misread or misconstrue, wrongly impart sinful motives, and toss off the label “bully”, the word “love” is not the first to spring to mind.

    As for your take @35 on the “(Republican) rest of the state”, would that they, and they alone, did pay for their local schools. But they don’t. I, as an Oregon taxpayer, pay for rural schools as well. In fact, I and my fellow Portlanders pay disproportionately more into our state’s coffers than we get out for our schools. Would that Portland schools did not have to subsidize them, so that those of us who support public education did not have to pay for those who do not, and yet get our money anyhow.

    And “guilt by association” (cf. your comments on Marx) is a pretty lousy way to assess if an idea is good or not. Do you like weekends and child labor laws? You’d better not — socialists like those things, too! Booooooo! Please. Let’s discuss the actual merits of the ideas or the lack thereof.

    I have no idea what you’re counting with the “two out of ten” remark, by the way.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    ‘I and my fellow Portlanders pay disproportionately more into our state’s coffers than we get out for our schools. Would that Portland schools did not have to subsidize them, so that those of us who support public education did not have to pay for those who do not, and yet get our money anyhow.’
    Where’s the cheerful giver — i.e. taxpayer — in that statement?

  • Susan aka organshoes

    ‘I and my fellow Portlanders pay disproportionately more into our state’s coffers than we get out for our schools. Would that Portland schools did not have to subsidize them, so that those of us who support public education did not have to pay for those who do not, and yet get our money anyhow.’
    Where’s the cheerful giver — i.e. taxpayer — in that statement?

  • Joe

    Okay, I obviously need a gov’t program to teach me how to type and spell. Sorry.

  • Joe

    Okay, I obviously need a gov’t program to teach me how to type and spell. Sorry.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Susan (@41), I feel like you’re trying to play a “gotcha” that doesn’t work. First of all, I didn’t complain about paying my state taxes. I paid them, realizing that some good would come of them.

    Furthermore, you said (@24) that “we can … lament that taxes are not only wasted in amount spent but in how they’re spent,” to which I agreed (@27). Are you disagreeing with what you wrote?

    Finally, I was correcting Another Kerner’s mistaken congratulations (@35) of rural, Republican Oregonians “who thought [I] and [my] fellow local citizens ought to pay for [our] own local school system.” I was pointing out that such rural people do not apparently think that one should pay taxes only for what one gets, since they’re happy to take (disproportionate amounts of) my tax money to pay for their schools. They just don’t want to raise taxes to pay for it themselves, much less proportionately. If they did want to reduce my taxes by paying a fairer amount, I would welcome that. But of course that is not the world I live in. So I pay my taxes even if I, like you, lament that I get less for my tax dollar than some people in my state do.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Susan (@41), I feel like you’re trying to play a “gotcha” that doesn’t work. First of all, I didn’t complain about paying my state taxes. I paid them, realizing that some good would come of them.

    Furthermore, you said (@24) that “we can … lament that taxes are not only wasted in amount spent but in how they’re spent,” to which I agreed (@27). Are you disagreeing with what you wrote?

    Finally, I was correcting Another Kerner’s mistaken congratulations (@35) of rural, Republican Oregonians “who thought [I] and [my] fellow local citizens ought to pay for [our] own local school system.” I was pointing out that such rural people do not apparently think that one should pay taxes only for what one gets, since they’re happy to take (disproportionate amounts of) my tax money to pay for their schools. They just don’t want to raise taxes to pay for it themselves, much less proportionately. If they did want to reduce my taxes by paying a fairer amount, I would welcome that. But of course that is not the world I live in. So I pay my taxes even if I, like you, lament that I get less for my tax dollar than some people in my state do.

  • S Bauer

    I pretty much agree with tODD in this discussion. I wish I would have had the time to back him up these last couple of days (not that he needs my help).

    As I see it, many of our present government-run and tax-supported social institutions that are criticized as being outside the bounds of what government should be doing, stand as legacies of a long period during the 19th and 20th centuries in which a large number of observers of and writers about the human condition such as Dickens, Hugo, W. E. B. DuBois, Sinclair Lewis, Steinbeck, to name but a few, noted the despicable conditions and attitudes many were forced to endure with through no fault of their own. During this period government was largely hands off. Christians and the church had the opportunity to take care of these problems on their own, of their own free will, and motivated solely by divine love. Many Christians did try to address these needs and founded hospitals, orphanages, schools, etc. But, for what ever reason, it was not enough. Further, in far too many instances, these church-founded institutions were poorly funded, laxly regulated, and not integrated into the daily life of Christians and the church. People were shoved out of sight, out of mind, so that Christians didn’t have to deal with them on a personal level – not exactly what Jesus had in mind, I submit. Sometimes this led to conditions even worse then the circumstances these institutions were founded to alleviate.

    If certain government programs can be criticized as being inefficient, many church-run endeavors (I can point to any number of congregations today) can be criticized for being “penny-wise and pound-foolish.” Inefficiency, in and of itself, is not a sufficient argument against the government being legitimately involved with something, otherwise we should disband the federal military and contract national defense out to Blackwater.

    Now I am not addressing my critique to any particular individual. If you are living your vocation by loving in deed and not just in word, if you are using your livelihood in helping your neighbor “improve and protect his property and business, if you are doing whatever it takes to make sure you “help and befriend [your neighbor] in every bodily need, God be praised and the Lord bless you. I wish I could get to that point. I’m not judging anybody. The fact remains Christians either can’t or won’t do the job that is required. We need some help. God will see that His will gets done, however imperfectly, and government remains one of His instruments in doing so. If one wants to consider government involvement (and the taxes one pays to support it) in programs that are “outside its proper functions” as part of God’s judgment on human sinfulness, there’s plenty of biblical warrant for that. I prefer to look on the arrangement as tODD does, as another avenue through which to pursue my vocation as a servant to others.

    An inalienable right to the “pursuit of happiness” and a function to “insure domestic tranquility” seem like pretty broad boundaries for government to work within to me.

  • S Bauer

    I pretty much agree with tODD in this discussion. I wish I would have had the time to back him up these last couple of days (not that he needs my help).

    As I see it, many of our present government-run and tax-supported social institutions that are criticized as being outside the bounds of what government should be doing, stand as legacies of a long period during the 19th and 20th centuries in which a large number of observers of and writers about the human condition such as Dickens, Hugo, W. E. B. DuBois, Sinclair Lewis, Steinbeck, to name but a few, noted the despicable conditions and attitudes many were forced to endure with through no fault of their own. During this period government was largely hands off. Christians and the church had the opportunity to take care of these problems on their own, of their own free will, and motivated solely by divine love. Many Christians did try to address these needs and founded hospitals, orphanages, schools, etc. But, for what ever reason, it was not enough. Further, in far too many instances, these church-founded institutions were poorly funded, laxly regulated, and not integrated into the daily life of Christians and the church. People were shoved out of sight, out of mind, so that Christians didn’t have to deal with them on a personal level – not exactly what Jesus had in mind, I submit. Sometimes this led to conditions even worse then the circumstances these institutions were founded to alleviate.

    If certain government programs can be criticized as being inefficient, many church-run endeavors (I can point to any number of congregations today) can be criticized for being “penny-wise and pound-foolish.” Inefficiency, in and of itself, is not a sufficient argument against the government being legitimately involved with something, otherwise we should disband the federal military and contract national defense out to Blackwater.

    Now I am not addressing my critique to any particular individual. If you are living your vocation by loving in deed and not just in word, if you are using your livelihood in helping your neighbor “improve and protect his property and business, if you are doing whatever it takes to make sure you “help and befriend [your neighbor] in every bodily need, God be praised and the Lord bless you. I wish I could get to that point. I’m not judging anybody. The fact remains Christians either can’t or won’t do the job that is required. We need some help. God will see that His will gets done, however imperfectly, and government remains one of His instruments in doing so. If one wants to consider government involvement (and the taxes one pays to support it) in programs that are “outside its proper functions” as part of God’s judgment on human sinfulness, there’s plenty of biblical warrant for that. I prefer to look on the arrangement as tODD does, as another avenue through which to pursue my vocation as a servant to others.

    An inalienable right to the “pursuit of happiness” and a function to “insure domestic tranquility” seem like pretty broad boundaries for government to work within to me.

  • S Bauer

    Now a Real World example of what I am talking about. I know an individual who has a debilitating injury that prevents that person from working or functioning well in a large number of social situations in which we have no problem handling, although that person is perfectly able to manage on a personal level, if left to him/her self. This individual lives in one of the richest cities in the US – Boulder, CO – but is homeless. His/her condition precludes being able to handle the typical homeless shelter. This person has spent the last three years living in various motels throughout the area, spending hour upon hour calling churches to collect enough to pay for one more night’s stay. When funds run out, he/she gets kicked out of one motel and has to scramble to find another – during the summer the rates go up over $100. This person has contacted every single church in Boulder, they all know the circumstances, and he/she often has to go to churches in Denver (such as ours) for help. Now, here is the kicker – not one single church in Boulder has found it necessary to take up this person’s cause, aside from giving a few bucks to pay for another night in a motel. Simply from a stewardship standpoint, $100 a month for a month is $3000. A church (or churches) could rent an apartment for this person for less than half of that, if anybody gave half a whit about this person. That’s why I say, “Laissez Les Charges Fiscales Roulez.”

  • S Bauer

    Now a Real World example of what I am talking about. I know an individual who has a debilitating injury that prevents that person from working or functioning well in a large number of social situations in which we have no problem handling, although that person is perfectly able to manage on a personal level, if left to him/her self. This individual lives in one of the richest cities in the US – Boulder, CO – but is homeless. His/her condition precludes being able to handle the typical homeless shelter. This person has spent the last three years living in various motels throughout the area, spending hour upon hour calling churches to collect enough to pay for one more night’s stay. When funds run out, he/she gets kicked out of one motel and has to scramble to find another – during the summer the rates go up over $100. This person has contacted every single church in Boulder, they all know the circumstances, and he/she often has to go to churches in Denver (such as ours) for help. Now, here is the kicker – not one single church in Boulder has found it necessary to take up this person’s cause, aside from giving a few bucks to pay for another night in a motel. Simply from a stewardship standpoint, $100 a month for a month is $3000. A church (or churches) could rent an apartment for this person for less than half of that, if anybody gave half a whit about this person. That’s why I say, “Laissez Les Charges Fiscales Roulez.”


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X