College Conservatives Maranatha Chapter is a Registered Student Organization dedicated to providing information on candidates, office holders, ballot measures, and current event issues to the students, faculty and community surrounding Maranatha Baptist University.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You have the Right to Remain Silent

Exercising the Right to Silence 
Written by Dan Steinbach
News Alert: New Yorkers have found a solution to solve America’s debt problem: “End the War! Tax the Rich!” 
Over the last week, demonstrators dressed as zombies have flocked by the hundreds to march around the New York Stock Exchange. A group of protestors consisting of college students and middle-age employees are displaying their discontentment with our current economic situation.
Across the nation discouraged Americans are expressing their displeasure with the nation’s financial deficit. Protests have surfaced in Chicago, Oakland, Boston, and St. Louis. These protestors liken themselves to the recent Tea Party movement. 
On October 1st, 700 New York protestors were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and blocking public areas. The response to the arrests from Oakland, California resident Wiljago Cook, in NY to join the protests, is one of many dripping in outrage: “Exposing police brutality wasn’t even really on my agenda, but my eyes have been opened.” 
Yet the majority of accounts show that police did not use excessive force or brutality—they simply did their job. The protestors, however, claim the NYPD’s response effectively silenced their rights of speech and assembly. Since when did arresting protestors on charges of disorderly conduct and blocking public areas equal excessive force or brutality? Not to say the two are mutually exclusive—but are they mutually inclusive? 
Back to the reason for these protests: The main fallacy of simply “taxing the rich” is the rich are taxed enough as it is. The top 10% of the income bracket pay 68% of income taxes. It is easy for us to say that the solution is to tax the rich more—but how often is the easy solution the right solution?

14 comments:

James said...

Honestly, I don't know where to start on this post. I've been following this extremely closely, so I feel I have some knowledge worth sharing that you might not have heard on Fox News.

1st: About the police: Yes, there has been quite a bit of police brutality. One man came up to a group of peaceful protested and pepper sprayed them for no reason the quickly walked away. There were videos from several angles and there is no denying it's what happened. The police have arrested journalist for filming, they hit journalist with their clubs thinking they were with the protesters. The police allowed the protesters onto a bridge only to close it off and arrest everyone they had just let on the bridge. Police offices have been quoted as staying "My nightstick is going to get a workout tonight." So saying police are just doing their job is not really accurate.

2nd: Taxing the Rich: The reason for occupy Wall street isn't for raising taxes of the rich, though it would be a good idea, its about fighting corruption in Wall street and the government. For fighting corporations that have been paying the lowest taxes in history, getting the highest profit in history and still laying off worker, and saying they need more tax breaks. It's for corporations that have bought politics.

This isn't a left wing movement. There are democrats, republicans, progressive, and conservative all in NY and around the country protesting this corruption. (http://www.americanindependent.com/197706/harkin-warns-against-ignoring-occupy-movement)

Note: Your 68% of income tax is quite misleading because your forgetting to add payroll tax and add capital gain. Warren Buffet has admitted that he has to be less in taxed (percentage) than all his employees. (http://www.opposingviews.com/i/money/personal-finance/investing/warren-buffett-raise-taxes-rich-people-me)

James said...

Another great article explaining the tax thing: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html

Dan Steinbach said...

Thank you for these thoughts James,

In response to your first point about the journalists being part of the "police brutality," this is a common risk that those in the media must face. Media people such as journalists and broadcasters put themselves into difficult situations. They must realize that whatever or wherever they are reporting from, there is some danger. In a crowd of hundreds of people it is not always possible to distinguish the media from the protestors.

To statement #2- I am not saying that they occupied Wall Street to raise taxes. They did themselves. It was in their slogan of "End the war, Tax the rich." I understand that the protestors weren't all Democrats or Liberals. They were a blend of all people from all walks of life. My point is that taxing the rich is not a solution or the solution to our current economic dilemma.

James said...

Fair enough, I still disagree as I believe that taxing the rich as much as all the rest of are taxed will certainly help the economy. Historically, times when corporations and the wealthy were taxed more than the middle class, america was very economically prosperous(and were fighting to get it even). But now, when the corporations and the wealthy are being taxed at an all time low the economy is getting worse and worse. Currently the wealthy pay, in some cases, less that half of what the middle class pays, as a percentage (when you include all taxes, income and loopholes for the wealth). GE for example payed 15% taxes in 2007, in 2008 it was lowered to 5.3? and is set to be even lower. Now those saving aren't being translated into increasing work force (which would help the economy), nor increasing employee compensation (which would also help the economy), it's being turned in to the highest profits in history.

I don't think is terribly responsible to be giving the wealthy, billions of dollars to buy airplanes, while we're cutting programs to help the poor and needy. That would certainly help the economy. Giving teachers jobs, and workers job, rather than allow a hedge fund manager to avoid paying taxes would help the economy. Honestly, it erks me know no end to know that, mostly like, every dollar I spend in taxes will to a tax break given to a rich guy, so he can avoid paying as much taxes as I do.

James said...

As for you first point wasn't trying to point out that journalist were being beaten, but address the point that you had made that no one was being beaten.

JoelJoseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoelJoseph said...

James, I agree that tax revenues should increase however, I don't think raising taxes are the answer. There are many loopholes that both the rich and corporations use to avoid paying taxes. I think that getting rid of loopholes will be better than raising taxes on the highest taxed people in our country. My main reason is this, if you raise the taxes by 10% on an individual that is already avoiding paying them, because of loopholes, then he will continue to avoid paying the increase in taxes as well. People that don't pay taxes now won't pay them later if you don't go after the loopholes.
Also, to assume that taxing the rich more is going to help fix our economy without altering anything else is not a proper way to look at the issue. I think we can all agree that there is too much spending going on in this government and until we start eliminating useless spending we are going to continue to go down this dismal path were on.

James said...

I can respect that, though I disagree. I believe that the wealth should pay at least the same if not a bit more in taxes (the closing of tax loops included in that), don't get me wrong I've not say what corporations or the extremely wealth should pay a ridiculously high effective tax of 50% or anything like that, but I'm in a higher tax bracket that people who make less than I do, and I don't think it's unreasonable for people who make more than I do (especially when that is a 7 or 8 digit difference), to be in a higher tax bracket than me

I don't believe that it is a quick fix, nor do I believe that it it the only step that need to be taken. I very much agree that spending should be cut, though we probably disagree in the area where cut should come from, but that's not really the point of the article and I got in trouble for going off topic before :)

Dan Steinbach said...

James,
I can see how you say that taking the richer will help get more revenue. However, the rich are being taxed greatly as it is now. Each individual/company should pay a certain rate, a flat tax. Since each taxpayer would be giving the same rate, those who make more would be paying more. Simply taxing the wealthier more is not the solution. The idea of a Robin Hood (take from the rich to give to the poor) is a great idea, but it is not reasonable to those who are putting their time and effort into earning that money.

James said...

Could you please give me the source that says the wealthy are being taxed greatly? Warren buffet is quotes as paying 17.5% and Mitt Romney is paying an estimated 14%, how is that paying a great deal? Over 30% of my meager salary, that work my butt off for, is being taken from me in taxes, what to I have to pay more so much more then them?

Even if we had to play a flat rate at (or even under) what the middle class pay, the taxes on the wealth would increase, so do you disagree with yourself about raising the taxes on the wealth?

This has nothing to do with Robin Hood, it's about social responsibility (not socialism). We all have to pay our part...even the wealthy.

Dan Steinbach said...

Here's the article
http://www.american.com/archive/2007/november-december-magazine-contents/guess-who-really-pays-the-taxes

James said...

I read the article, an interesting read, but it doesn't really take a look a the whole picture. It does a good job of explaining that the top 1% do indeed pay more that the rest of us in income taxes, but it fails to address the rest of the taxes that make up our yearly tax bill.

Honestly, I don't know why you won't take the word of man in that top 1% who says that he pays far less in taxes then his employees (17.5% as apposed to 35%-41%). But here is an interesting article that explains the big picture: http://www.askquestions.org/articles/taxes/ This articles a bit old the rates have changed a bit but the concepts haven't. Here is another article that explains the current effective tax rates: http://www.quickanded.com/2010/02/effective-tax-rates-of-the-richest-400-americans.html

Another important thing to remember is that AGI is vastly different then real income. AGI is after deductions, write-offs, exemptions and loopholes, etc. I believe the article you cited used AGI as opposed to real income, which is important for IRS, but in our discussion slants things a bit.

Zachary Guthrie said...

I think taxes should decrease for everybody in this economy. People need to be able to spend money to get everything back up to speed. If they have it taken away from them, they can's spend the money. Plus, a percentage is merely another way of putting a fraction. For instance, 25% is another way of saying one-fourth. If one person has an income of $100 and another guy has an income of $1000, the $100-guy pays twenty-five bucks in taxes and the $1000-guy pays $250 in taxes. The guy that makes more money pays more money at the same rate. If taxes are raised, the percentage gets raised not an arbitrary fixed-amount of money. I know 25% rate of taxes is an absurd percentage and the tax laws are incredibly difficult to interpret but that is what gets raised.

James said...

Ya, I think in an ideal world, we should play a fixed rate, lower and middle classes go down and wealth raised to a fixed rate. The only issue is that the uber wealth don't make all their income as a paycheck. They, in some cases, get as much as 50% of their income is stocks, dividend and the like (which is why it's important to know the difference between Real income and AGI). This is a whole 'nother can 'o worms. Do you tax stocks and dividends as income? But then what about people who don't get these as income but are purchased with their post-tax dollars?

The whole system a mess and unfortunately there is no easy way out. But we do need to balance it, though. Right now it's heavily skewed to the Middle class paying the most (as a percentage) and it be balanced out. I personal don't don't have a problem with the poor paying a low to no income tax (they still pay payroll and other taxes though) but that a personal choice(though, I would REALLY like to see a living wage, but that another article).