Sep 062012

I come from a family of arguers. We love to sit around and dispute almost any old thing. So Facebook has become my favorite place to hang out, as people are always itchin’ for a fight there. I’ll never reach the level of the late, great Hitchens (who is a hero of mine), but you can still enjoy a pick-up game even if you’re not Michael Jordan.

I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like, because I do my best not to be friends with dickbags. But some of my friends don’t have those same qualms, so I can get into arguments with THEIR friends on THEIR threads. Much fun ensues! Here’s the latest such exchange.

Originating Post:

That we have tasked our government with the responsibility of humane treatment of animals, protecting the purity of our food and water, guaranteeing safe working conditions, protecting the environment, and guaranteeing a safety net for the poor, the sick, and the elderly, is not an infringement on your rights — it is a measure of how compassionate a society we choose to be. If you benefit from living in this country, you should not begrudge the responsibilities that come with it.

Him: Given that over 90% of the taxes are paid by less than 50% of the population, no, all of the above is NOT “a measure of how compassionate a society we choose to be”, it is a measure of willing a majority are to force OTHERS to do the heavy work of their compassion for them. Forcing others to expend their resources on objects of benevolence is *not* compassion, no matter how pretty the words are. 

This is the perfect elaboration of the dictum that Democracy is “two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to have for dinner.”


Me: Hi ——. That is a dirty lie, and you should know it. I’m about to gift you the truth, so you have the benefit of the doubt today.That number counts only the Federal Income Tax, which is a minority of the taxes that almost any random taxpayer pays. Unless you are rich, payroll taxes are a greater percentage of your tax burden. From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: ” Tax Policy Center data show that only about 17 percent of households did not pay any federal income tax or payroll tax in 2009, despite the high unemployment and temporary tax cuts that marked that year.[5] In 2007, a more typical year, the figure was 14 percent.”

“Most of the people who pay neither federal income tax nor payroll taxes are low-income people who are elderly, unable to work due to a serious disability, or students, most of whom subsequently become taxpayers.”
“even these figures greatly understate low-income households’ total tax burden because these households also pay substantial state and local taxes. Data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy show that the poorest fifth of households paid a stunning 12.3 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes in 2011″Repeating the 90%/50% figure in the future will mark you a liar, as you now know the facts.You are also slandering the working poor. How much “heavy work” does Mitt Romney or Warren Buffet do? Whereas “61 percent of those that owed no federal income tax in a given year are working households”. Families that often work 2-3 jobs at a time just to pay the bills.Even disregarding this – the Top 1% own 34% of all the nation’s wealth. The bottom 50% own 1.1% of all the nation’s wealth. Given that over 98% of all the wealth is owned by less than 50% of the population, perhaps the taxes they are paying are fairly proportional. And, again, that’s only if you completely ignore the highly regressive payroll taxes, and all state and local taxes.

Him: Eneasz: Screw you. You could provide the correction without the invective. Yes, I was referring to federal taxes, and that is a worthwhile correction.I always, btw, find “payroll taxes” an amusing euphemism, since in other contexts, Lefties like you will hasten to make the point that since people are paying into Social Security what they get out of it, SS is therefore NOT the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

How much ‘heavy work’ does Mitt Romney or Warren Buffett do?” I honestly have no idea – and neither do you; you simply assume the default class warrior nonsense about the idle rich. The fact is, though, that ROmney earned every penny he has. Again, government largesse is NOT COMPASSION, since it is by and large paid for by other people; you don’t get to feel all compassionate and kind by holding a gun to my head and forcing me to give to the poor; that is far more dshonest than you are accusing ME of being.

Piss off.

Me: Regardless of how the government does its accounting, if you count Social Security as part of what you’re being “forced” to pay for than you have to count how it’s actually paid for. You don’t get to say “look at all these programs we’re being taxed to provide!” and then completely ignore the major mechanism used to fund them.

“you simply assume the default class warrior nonsense about the idle rich” – O’RLY? *I* am the one who introduced the default warrior class narrative? *I* am the one who made claims about the poor who “force OTHERS to do the heavy work […] for them”? Excuse me Mr Kettle, but it seems like you were quite happy to beat up on the defenseless as long as no one was swinging back. As soon as someone points out you’re full of shit it’s all “Oh wah, wah, I can’t take any push-back, you culture warriors are so mean and aggressive!””

The fact is, though, that ROmney earned every penny he has ” – LOL!

you don’t get to feel all compassionate and kind by holding a gun to my head and forcing me to give to the poor” You have an immensely inflated sense of importance. You can whine about being forced into slavery all day, and people will laugh at you. Or you can put on your big-boy pants and join a conversation about the problems we face as a society, and how to best address those problems with the tools we have. I haven’t complained about people holding a gun to my head and forcing me to kill babies in Iraq since I was in Middle School. You know why? Because I’m not a retard.

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