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Old 26 February 2010, 06:44 AM
fitz1980 fitz1980 is offline
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Such talk has been so ubiquitous though, I really am surprised that there would be any question about it, at least from anyone who lives in the USA
To be honest it sounds more like the kind of thing that people like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck would attribute to those evil "big government" types.

Originally Posted by wanderwoman View Post
I have to learn to look at the dates on posts!
Me too.
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Old 26 February 2010, 06:58 AM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
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Location: Marietta, GA
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Originally Posted by TAX EXPENDITURES: A REVIEW AND ANALYSIS Vice Chairman Jim Saxton (R-NJ)
Joint Economic Committee United States Congress August 1999
One measure of the federal government’s impact on the economy is its annual budget,which expresses the totals of revenues, outlays, and surpluses or deficits. Congressional consideration of the budget is influenced by the procedures and elements of the budget process, some of which are quite controversial. For example, the idea of “tax expenditures” - tax provisions that are presented as equivalent to governmental outlays - has evolved as part of the budget process in recent decades. However, the notion of “tax expenditures” is controversial because tax payments are viewed from the viewpoint of the government as opposed to the viewpoint of taxpayers. The “tax expenditure” concept rests on the assumption that tax rates should be applied to an expansive definition of taxpayer income so as to maximize tax revenue at any given tax rate.

Thus, tax provisions that shield components of this broad definition of income are
viewed as depriving the government of its rightful revenues; these lost revenues are
regarded as properly belonging to the federal government. Tax provisions that shield
taxpayer income, expansively defined, from exposure to prevailing income tax rates a
Originally Posted by NRO, 2d paragraph quoting from a federal budget report
The very concept of tax expenditures implies that any income that is not taxed due to a tax preference belongs to the government. In an unusual case of candor, President Reagan's FY1984 admitted this fact. The section on tax expenditure includes this paragraph:

[The term "tax expenditures] is . . . unfortunate in that it seems to imply that Government has control over all resources. If revenues which are not collected due to "special" tax provisions represent Government "expenditures," why not consider all tax rates below 100% "special," in which case all resources are effectively Government-controlled?

See also: - in Part I of which, the House Ways and Means notes that the concept of tax expenditures as discussed above is written into the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974

I hope this is sufficient. Frankly, the concept is so ubiquitous, I would suspect disingenuousness in the objections if they were raised by others.
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Old 26 February 2010, 09:06 AM
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htonl htonl is offline
Join Date: 20 July 2006
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
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Your examples are talking about "tax expenditures" as the term used for tax breaks. Your links don't back up the claim that:
Originally Posted by the OP View Post
the IRS in their internal communications, refers to the money taxpayers do not pay in taxes as "goverment grant" or "subsidy." In other words, the internal language used at the IRS suggests that all the money you make belongs to the government and the government graciously allows you to keep 85% of it (the number depending on your tax bracket).
The term "tax expenditures", as used, is quite logical: to produce some policy result, instead of spending money from the budget, the government gives a targeted tax break. The net effect on the federal budget is the same either way.
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Old 27 February 2010, 04:44 AM
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Mickey Blue Mickey Blue is offline
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Right, because if the municipal government slashed taxes to zero and had to eliminate their police and fire departments entirely, there would be no cost to anyone as a result -- just a boon for residents who would regain a rightful claim to keeping all their money.
There could still be fire departments, just they'd have to charge and poor people wouldn't get to use them.

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Old 27 February 2010, 05:13 AM
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Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
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Interesting thought - if fire departments were pay only.

If my house catches fire, then left unattended the blaze could easily spread to my two next door neighbours houses. There is maybe twelve feet max and six feet min either side.

Now say I'm not prepared to pay to have my fire put out, but my neighbours are. However it's not really possible to contain the damage to their houses without putting out the fire in my house - otherwise my flaming property just reignites theirs.

So do I just point blank refuse to pay for a service I didn't request?
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Old 27 February 2010, 02:10 PM
fitz1980 fitz1980 is offline
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
So do I just point blank refuse to pay for a service I didn't request?

Can't you just see that at the next tea-bag march?
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Old 27 February 2010, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Mickey Blue View Post
There could still be fire departments, just they'd have to charge and poor people wouldn't get to use them.
That's how Marcus Licinius Crassus used to operate - when properties in Rome were burning, he'd show up with his army of slaves to offer to put out the fire ... for a price. Those who refused to hire his firefighters saw their properties burn to the ground, after which Crassus would buy the destroyed properties for a song.
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