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Author Topic: Who Pays Taxes in America?  (Read 49589 times)

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Offline Dunamite

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2008, 08:04:21 AM »
The American dream is not a myth.  I am living it.  Rags to riches still happens in the USA the greatest nation on earth.
You miss the point. If there are winners, there must be losers. Your American dream was coming true is at the expense of someone else, actually probably lots of other people. I am not saying that you can't get ahead in America. I am saying that you get ahead on the backs of someone else.

It is easy to create contrasts and extremes. If you create conditions ripe for exploitation then you should not be surprised when exploitation occurs. That is what America is about.

The myth of the Americans dream is that America produces wealth. In reality, it just redistributes wealth, and it does it unfairly. It goes to where the wealth is and takes it. It is about pillaging the environment and taking from others, not producing. The country was taken, by force. Repeatedly and systematically. From the Indians. From the Mexicans. Slavery was used to leverage advantage. Industrial wealth was created through child labor, sweatshops, and lack of concern for the safety and welfare of others. Now we are more careful and do our exploitation offshore, but it is still the same thing and the beneficiaries are the same. We have replaced those jobs with low wage service jobs domestically. Whatever, scenario you care to look at it is the same thing.

There is a cost to this wealth. America is a study in contrasts. For every wealthy person there are dozens of people living in poverty. We blame to poor for their lot. It is there fault that they live that way. They too could be like me if only they had my ... But that is the unspoken lie. Not everyone can be rich. If everyone was rich then we wouldn't be rich, would we? Wealth requires that others live in poverty. It is just a question of who gets the dirty end of the stick. That is the American dream. Do it to someone else or you will have it done to you.

Jesus had a heart for the poor, for widows, and for the sick. He asked that we have the same concern. How can a rich Christian live with his wealth and faith? It is a challenge, like a camel fitting through the eye of a needle. Remember? James said:

1Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.[a] 6You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you. (James 5)

We are all rich, by the standards of the world. Even the poorest of us is rich compared to the lot of someone living in poverty in Africa or Asia. That is the cost of our wealth. Rich nation exploits poor nation, just as a rich person exploits a poor person. We can close our eyes to what is happening around us, but that does not change the circumstances.

There is a great danger in trying to justify our wealth. There is great danger in watching our money grow while others starve. We can grow hard hearted because we see the poor and do not want to be like them. We fear losing our wealth so we hold onto it more tightly. We justify the indefensible, so that we can go on living as if nothing has changed. But something has changed. We will all stand before God in judgment someday.

I am a professional. I live a comfortable, privileged life in a clean, secure and prosperous country. I came from working class parents, educated myself and got ahead. I have paid lots in taxes over the years, but have never resented it. In fact, like Warren Buffett, I think that my taxes should be higher. I think that others deserve a break. Still, I don't think that this gets me off the hook with God.

I feel helpless in face of a monumental problem. The gap between rich and poor has been widening for decades now. The middle class is a myth. People live in middle class comfort and a great deal of debt. Both parents now work to make ends meet. We are guilty of living too high, but that is another story.

Middle class workers are the new serfs. They are being bombarded with advertising by corporations who want you to buy everything under the sun, so that they can get rich. People are told to consume and they do. But they live in servitude, not to lords of the medieval era, but to banks. They are on a treadmill and they must always do more to get less. People don't have to live this way, but this is what the economy is built around, consumption. If they stop consuming everyone loses. Or do they?

Is there an alternative? Have we built a house of cards that is going to come crashing down? The Bible says that it will all end some day. As James said, what good will our wealth be then? Much of what we do is wasted effort. Living a comfortable life now will only come back to bite us in the end.

By helping others we help ourselves. By giving away some of what we have, we can make a difference. By creating a level playing field we can do away with privilege and sloth. It doesn't have to be painful, but it should be. Jesus told us that giving from our surplus is not the same as giving something of value.

What we don't need is apologists for exploitation of the poor. I can't see how any Christian in good conscience can do this. I am a voice in the wilderness, I know. I am a minority, especially as long as people hold onto myths, like the American dream.

Blessings,
Dunamite

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2008, 08:04:21 AM »

Offline Johnb

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2008, 11:36:53 AM »
There is no sin in being successful.  With it comes the responsibility to help those in need.  That is what Matt. 25 is saying not that you have to be poor or give everything away.  It is putting your faith in riches that is wrong.  I refuse to feel guilty for being successful.

Dunamite that is the biggest bunch of dribble and cop-out I have ever heard.  It does not follow that if one person is successful someone else must fail.  It is not a sum total situation.  I understand both failure and success. There was a time that I cut firewood for a living and had to use a child's sled and pull firewood out of the woods over a foot of snow for my own family because I had sold all I had to buy food.  I have met the Electric Company at the meter and paid my bill with a check that I could not cover at that time. I have been the only guy with 2 post graduate degrees working the tail end of a sawmill because I had gone broke in business. But I never once received welfare or ask or expected someone besides me to take care of my family. 
   We are in a world economy.  If there is no new wealth how does the GNP increase above inflation year after year.  I believe we should help those truly in need and those unable to work.  I feel no need to support those who refuse to work and believe they are entitled to part of everyone else’s income even if they refuse to work.

By the way the American dream is to have a good standard of living and own their own home not for everyone to be rich.  That is possible.  The exceptions are those who are unable to work because of physical or mental conditions or life’s circumstances. These we have an obligation as a nation to help.  We as Christians have an obligation to help those in need.  If Christians fulfilled their obligation we would not need the government to extort money from some to help others.  We need to quit blaming the government for not helping and help others as Christians.  When was the last time the congregation you worship at paid someone’s house payment or electric bill or bought clothes and food for the month for a family in need?  Not only does the small church I attend do this on a regular bases I do it personally almost every month.  If you don't have the ability to do that yourself, either work harder and be successful or get enough Christians together to do this and quit expecting the government to do our Christian duty.  Later Johnb

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2008, 11:36:53 AM »

Offline Nevertheless

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2008, 01:32:25 PM »
You go Johnb!!

Offline spurly

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2008, 02:59:17 PM »
The American dream is not a myth.  I am living it.  Rags to riches still happens in the USA the greatest nation on earth.
You miss the point. If there are winners, there must be losers. Your American dream was coming true is at the expense of someone else, actually probably lots of other people. I am not saying that you can't get ahead in America. I am saying that you get ahead on the backs of someone else.

...

Blessings,
Dunamite

Dunamite, one person's success does not equal the failure of others.  One does not have to step on others or keep others down in order to be successful.  Where did you get your economics education?

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2008, 02:59:17 PM »

Online Mere Nick

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2008, 07:21:28 AM »
If there are winners, there must be losers.

Bull butter.  Not a dollar changes hands in the free market until both sides of the transaction consider themselves as winners.  When I buy a jug of milk, it is because I would rather have the milk than the $3+ in my pocket and the grocer would rather have the $3+ in my pocket than the jug of milk.

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2008, 07:21:28 AM »



Offline Johnb

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #50 on: January 15, 2008, 06:13:22 AM »
"Well all righty then."

Offline Dunamite

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2008, 10:36:22 AM »
If there are winners, there must be losers.

Bull butter.  Not a dollar changes hands in the free market until both sides of the transaction consider themselves as winners.  When I buy a jug of milk, it is because I would rather have the milk than the $3+ in my pocket and the grocer would rather have the $3+ in my pocket than the jug of milk.
We aren't going to come to an agreement on this and that is okay with me. I will continue to rail against the world because I know that the world is corrupt and evil. I don't think that it is selective in its corruption. I don't think that any part is redeemable. That is why Jesus will return and make it anew. I am sure that we can come to some agreement on this.

My dilemma re: capitalism is found in the book of Revelations, chapter 13. Christians will not be able to buy and sell in the last days. It says that nobody will unless they have the name of the Beast on them. So exactly when does this so called free market become corrupted by the Beast?

I think that it has already become corrupted, hence my criticisms of capitalism. I also take seriously James' warning not to become "polluted by the world" (James 1: 27) and john's admonishes not to become enamored with the world and worldly ways (1 John 2: 15 - 17). In fact he tells us to reject "everything" of the world. I am afraid that I do not have the luxury to be selective. John did not leave that option open to me.

John and James are both writing about what makes an authentic Christian. He tells us that there are counterfeits among us. John says that there are antichrists and false prophets among us now. He tells us how to discern truth from deception.

I refuse to pimp for capitalism. I refuse to bow down at their altar of greed and accept it. I recognize that the objective of corporations is world domination. I also see that governments are playing along with them. National borders are being erased as ever larger trade groups emerge. Communism should be feared. It is insidious, but it is on the decline. What is on the ascendancy is capitalism. I do not fear it because I know that this is what the Bible predicts. I also am not so foolish to ignore it.

People have said that it is okay to be successful. They clearly measure success with a different yardstick. You cannot take any of your worldly wealth with you. It is a hindrance to your entrance into Heaven and it a distraction from all that really matters. Wealth and privilege are not God's way. You can chase after whatever dreams you wish, but you cannot justify it. If wealth is so good, then James was wrong.

James 5:  1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

Wal-mart is a good corporate citizen. It has several lawsuits against it for its mistreatment of workers. Burger King has opposed giving basic benefits to migrant workers. Nike has used child labor and had women in the  third world working in sweat shops. Microsoft has been found guilty of using unfair business practices. The EU continues to investigate them for new unfair practices years after they were found guilty. Worldcom, Enron. the list goes on and on.

My message is not popular. Nobody wants to believe that they are being duped. I don't have many allies here, but I do have many allies elsewhere. Here are some of my allies. Notice the trend goes back centuries and cover the complete political spectrum. It isn't a new message, but it is one that has been repeated in the past. Nobody heeded then either. Most of you will skip over this part because you do not want to listen. That is your choice. God gave us free will.

Only Americans can hurt America. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Now those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny: Barry Goldwater

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its  reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.   --President Abraham Lincoln, 1865

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." : Thomas Jefferson

We’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy.

Offline Johnb

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #52 on: January 19, 2008, 07:09:36 AM »
When the Jews made up their mind how God would fulfill His prophecy they missed the comming of the Son of God.  The book have Rev.  Has been used in an attempt to prove every kook idea that comes along.  I will let God (like He needs my premission) decide how and when He will fulfill His prophecy.  Your theory is so off the wall it doesn't deserve further comment.  Later johnb 

"Rev. Good guys win bad guys lose.."

Offline Dave...

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #53 on: January 24, 2008, 05:11:28 AM »
Quote
Your theory is so off the wall it doesn't deserve further comment.  Later johnb 

Exactly! That stuff is so typical of what is being taught in schools today. Even in college, believe it or not. Communism must be more fair, right? The war, indians....sigh! It's all the fault of capitolism, right? Red flags everywhere...who will take the time to go over all these things with a person that allowed themselves to get to that point to begin with?

Not me...

Offline Johnb

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2008, 06:39:26 AM »
Dave
was that quote from this thread?  I can not find it. 

OK I found it.  Thought it might be something I said about one of your posts.  ( One of those senior moments I guess). 

You are right.  I once got a B in a political science class because I disagreed with the teacher.  I would answer her questions with all the points she had made in class then I would add but here is what I think.  Even though I regurgitated every point she wanted she would take off  because I added my thoughts.  She was not intellectually honest enough to tolerate one who disagreed with her and I was to stubborn to not disagree with her.  Later Johnb
« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 06:51:44 AM by Johnb »

Offline admin

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #55 on: January 27, 2008, 03:06:07 PM »
Dunamite misses it is in many ways. The idea that to be wealthy someone else has to be poor is simply incorrect.

When you have money, you spend money. Rich people don't bury their money in buckets in the backyard. They build houses, buy food, cars, computers, televisions, books, phones, paint, vacations, clothing, soap, jewelry, paper, gas, electricity, toys, etc. And who gets that money? Other people who provide those products and services. Money does not just sit still.

If anything, the more wealthy someone is the MORE others benefit from them. This is because wealthy people hire stock brokers, accountants and financial consultants to make sure their money is WORKING and not lying around. So in addition to employing the financial experts, they invest their money into start up companies, charities, established businesses, new ideas--all of which employee people and provide new jobs and opportunities.

The idea that when one person pops out on the rich side another person pops out on the poor side is just simpleminded and inaccurate. The vast majority of wealthy people do not step on the backs of others or "exploit" others to be wealthy. Quite the opposite. They become wealthy by providing services and products to people. There is a well known saying among people starting small businesses. It says, "If you want to live with the masses, serve the classes. If you want to live with the classes, serve the masses."

Basically, the wealthy have found a way to provide something that the masses want or need. Just the opposite of exploitation. People with political motivations have tried to create class envy and hatred, where the poor are jealous of or just plain hate the rich. That is the wrong attitude and shows just how shallow that person's politics really are.

Offline admin

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2008, 04:46:19 PM »
Here's an example of a man who never made more than $11 who was wise with his money, lived within (or below) his means and reaped the benefits. He is a millionaire who didn't "exploit" anyone. He merely invested his money. We use that phrase "invest" a lot, but when you invest what you are really doing is investing in other people's businesses and in fact investing in other people because it helps those businesses further the products they offer and the jobs that come from those.

Anyway, the liberals would have you believe that you are born rich or poor and it's not based on your efforts. But this man is proof that, in America, it's possible for you to make a mediocre income and become wealthy. The Story

Online Mere Nick

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2008, 09:30:47 PM »
Dunamite misses it is in many ways. The idea that to be wealthy someone else has to be poor is simply incorrect.


Dunamite said "If there are winners, there must be losers."

Well, I bought lunch today down at Pastabilities.  Lasagna, salad, and a Newcastle beer.  Give us the boxscore, Dunamite.  I want to know who won and who lost.

Offline janine

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2008, 03:26:04 AM »
The people who had to wash your dishes and clean your table?

Offline janine

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Re: Who Pays Taxes in America?
« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2008, 03:26:44 AM »
'Cause, like, everyone knows honest labor for an honest buck is just The Man taking advantage of the downtrodden.