Riddle me this.

“If having one’s government benefits cut is a reason for riot…isn’t having one’s taxes raised also a reason to riot?”

About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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31 Responses to Riddle me this.

  1. crosspatch says:

    The problem is when you have less than 50% paying taxes and more than 50% collecting benefits of one sort or another, the size of the riot is different.

    • wormme says:

      And if it ever came to that, the nature of the “riots” would be different. Tea wasn’t just arbitrarily dumped into Boston harbor. Rioters have no General Washington.

      So if push came to shove among the two groups, I wouldn’t necessarily beat on the majority. In fact, probably the opposite. Most of the spoiled left would collapse like a house of cards if they really feared the Tea Partys.

      • MG says:

        The “left” doesn’t really command a majority. Germanic Socialism is very developed at creating the appearance of one, but it usually isn’t there.
        Because of the electoral college, and the split chamber of congress, the creation of that appearance simply doesn’t have the same power in the US.

        IMO, part of what’s wrong is how much power our nation actually has. We have so much money and power it’s hard to decide which things shouldn’t be done. We are amazingly close to being able to do it all, and for many foreign nations, have allowed them, via aid and loans, to pretend they could.

  2. Some Guy says:


    Because there is no excuse for a riot.

    And looters should be shot. With actual, copper jacketed, lead bullets. On sight.

    • wormme says:

      I’d prefer not killing them unless innocent life is threatened. Some of them, maybe, might eventually repent.

      That’s why it’d be nice to have a secular authority that doesn’t keep making excuses for them. Not helping.

      • Some Guy says:

        You never have to kill many, one or two will usually do the trick. En toto, not shooting them cost more life than shooting them would. They are looters, not insurrectionists, they are in it for the loot, the spectre of getting shot is usually enough.

  3. DefendUSA says:

    We’re smarter than the idiots in the UK, aren’t we? Er, I mean those of us who understand simple economic principles and pay taxes…so the rioting may well happen here for the same reasons it happened there–people who have gained off the backs of others will never want to work for it until you tell them they will work or starve.
    I am so tired of the rich being blamed for what happened in the UK and the rich here. Make no mistake: those who are blaming the rich will be helped more by such people than any damn wealthy democrat on the planet. As most democrats I know eschew organized religion, A faithless man will not offer you charity, unless he will be sent to jail to save his ass. With them, it is every man for himself.

    • wormme says:

      If someone’s doing “charity” to avoid jail, I’d rather not call it charity at all. It’s “mandatory community service”.

      If someone contributes to a worthy cause and publicizes that information, it’s “public relations”, not charity.

      And fiscal conservatives should be hammering this point against the leftist platform every moment of the day.

      • crosspatch says:

        As I always say, charity at the point of a gun isn’t charity. And if you don’t believe that it is at the point of a gun, refuse to pay your taxes and see how long it takes for the people with the guns to show up. They will, eventually, and they will take everything you own.

    • Mountainbear says:

      “As most democrats I know eschew organized religion, A faithless man will not offer you charity, unless he will be sent to jail to save his ass. With them, it is every man for himself.”

      I tend to disagree with this. It’s a horrible generalisation. I’m an atheist. I’m against organised religion because it is ultimately fascist. Look at the monotheists and tell me they’re not. I’ve been told by Christians that I’m an infidel and will go to hell. The mohammedans take it a step further and have the idea of “submit, join or die.” Basically, IMO, organised religion exists to execute power over people. You have a “holy book” (which was of course written by humans, and usually is full of errors), you have special rituals, you have a small caste of “priests” and only those can perform all those rituals. And you have a huge mass of absolutely rightless peons. Take the “election” for the pope as a perfect example. Who votes? The highest echolon gets a vote and we don’t know if they even vote on him anyway. For all we know they could have a party in that chamber and burn black smoke just for shits and giggles, because the new pope is already decided for the old pope only moves people into cardinal positions who follow his ideas. It’s all politics.

      That and the entire history of organised religion speaks a pretty clear word. How many people have been murdered in the name of “god”? Millions. Even today soldiers are sent to war for “god and country”. Really? For god? Hmm… Says who? God? No, of course not. But rather politicians and clergymen, people who want and care only about thing: power.

      That said, yes I’m an atheist. And, hmmm… I’m a voluntary paramedic. Hmmm… My parents are atheists too. Yet… hmmmm…. strange. My father is donating money to charity. Hmmm… And this is a pattern through the entire mother’s side of my family. Even though we’re all faithless. Strange!

      Faith has nothing to do with anything. It’s irrelevant IMO. And that said, if god exists, I seriously doubt it’ll judge me by what tree I barked at. Religion has turned into party politics and every religion claims to have the truth, which is, let’s face it, impossible. They can’t all be right. They can, however, all be wrong. Because if god exists, then this thing is so highly developed that we can never understand what it wants from us. It’s simply not possible. Pick up an ant and give it an order. It won’t obey, because it won’t understand you. Same applies for humans should god exist.

      Maybe god exists, maybe not. I don’t think it’s important. We have more pressing issues on this planet. We have fascism on the rise. We have guys planning new Holocausts. That is more important.

      God, if it exists, will judge me by my deeds and not by which party membership I had.

      That said, you can believe in whatever you want. You can pray to whatever you want. However, the fun stops the moment you start shoving your belief into my face, threatening me with eternal damnation if I don’t join your specific group (or worse), and when you start demanding special rights and treatment because of your belief. At that moment, the gloves come off.

      • Rana says:

        “A faithless man will not offer you charity, unless he will be sent to jail to save his ass. With them, it is every man for himself.”

        I agree with Mountainbear. I am not an athiest per se, a little (well quite a) bit disenchanted with my own “religion,” mostly because of who I see parading around as the “followers” of said religion who make my hair stand on end because you’re either “with them or against them,” and I find that to be too general.

        The sad part I see is so often among the religious right they are so preoccupied with the “damn democrats” they will blindly follow “the rich” because that’s what they have been trained to do, even though they themselves are no where near a line of wealth. It’s an interesting dynamic: “no don’t tax the rich, my Republican brothers are really rich and they don’t want to pay higher taxes and one day I will be rich because well, this is the land of opportunity, so I still have hope, ergo I will follow them even if it is to my own destruction, just like I follow my religion…” Almost as if they can’t help themselves.

        • Not wanting further taxes on the rich, even though one is not rich himself. Yeah, that’s me. I’m sticking to principles of liberty, even if it does not immediately benefit me. It has nothing to do with “I hope to be rich like them one day.” So I’m one of those “religious right” types that you assume are “blind followers” who “can’t help themselves.” You assume wrong.

        • wormme says:

          I love having you guys comment here. Have I thanked you lately?

          The whole “left/right” thing just exhausts me. Here’s my entire political philosophy: “maximize liberty”. That’s a legitimate government’s only job.

          So am I on the left, or the right? Yes. Or no. It depends on your hang up. You can find me to the “left” of communists and to the “right” of Birchers.

          And yet those beliefs fit together seamlessly. Well…there’s ONE seam. That sole political belief. That’s what stitches my positions together.

      • wormme says:

        Boy, I hope I’m not giving the impression that I sit in judgement of atheists!

        No, I sit in judgement of government statists. If they acknowledged a god, I’d let God deal with him and them. As they don’t, I’d feel ashamed to ask the Almighty for help to deal with such pitiful opposition.

        But when you say things like “faith has nothing to do with anything”, I feel we’d have to start defining terms.

        Honestly, based on my understanding of Scripture, I have less worry about self-professed atheists who live loving lives than for swaggering “Christians” who act like beasts of the field.

        “By their fruits, you shall know them,” my Lord said. Given that, mb, you’re probably in better shape than me.

  4. MG says:

    All things are cause for a riot to those who wish to riot.

  5. thepi says:

    No, because you greedy a-holes need to pay your “fair share”.

    The formula to calculate this share is: SHUT UP.

  6. Pingback: Those voices in my head aren’t actually in my head. | World's Only Rational Man

  7. Rana says:

    Only if they are paying their fair share of taxes in the first place, although I have to say Donald Trump or say General Electric (corporations are people too remember 😉 ) were to riot in the street they’d look a little silly.

    • MG says:

      I think one of the real intellectual issues in the debate is the term ‘fair share’. It’s painfully subjective without definitions around it; which are not provided in the political conversations.

      What is fair exactly? Just saying one person has more and should be compelled to provide half of it sounds good superficially, but, adding in the detail of ‘has more’ equals ‘has one fish but can’t fish’; it doesn’t sound so good. It’s morally nice, but is it right? Are there enough details for that series of decisions?

      Of course, people would laugh at me and try and say: ‘we mean the rich!’ But then, what is rich? And going from there, ok, Buffett, how much do you think he ‘makes’?
      He is worth a lot, but, he has built the company so that he is paid a limited sum, thus, his ‘income’ is something silly like 500k a year. There are no massive billions in income to tax that are his, yearly.

      In the end, a lot of tax discussions boil down to fundamental problems with the tax system, and, mistakes in comprehension of progressive taxes and how they work. Percents ARE progressive, you don’t need DIFFERENT percents because they’re…percents! Thus, while sometimes vilified, flat taxes are good and are, in fact, progressive in practice; they also can often be set lower and applied to everyone with a smaller effect on the people. Also, properly done (which no one has), VATs which permanently replace income taxes could be very effective and valuable.

      • Rana says:

        There are plenty of definitions for those who wish to see them. No one is asking for 50% of anything, that is merely right talking points. The definition is simple, the top 1% of earners actually paying taxes which fall in line with those who make much less. Go look up historical tax brackets in the US, notice when we are about to fall into the gutter, like say the Great Depression or the Reagan Era, tax brackets for the top earners dropped significantly, which happened also very recently in our history with The Bush tax cuts and you’ll see the pattern, if you care to. 😉

        • MG says:

          I somewhat feel like what I wrote was taken personally; that was not intended, if it was.

          Definitions, which clarify “fair share”, in a way that can be codified, aren’t present in politicians speeches. Take the frequent 250k marker. It isn’t effective for policy setting. People making over that 250k are very often not getting block payments which are attachable as ‘cash’ for income tax (and those that are, already pay a higher tax rate than you or I). They’re using or receiving investments, and other things, as a source of income, or placement of income, to control the tax rate they pay on ‘cash’; the answer isn’t to say we have to punish them, and obtain money they put in other places, doing so is a net negative and only encourages expatriation of wealth.
          The system is broken, just adding more percents on top will make it worse, not better, especially with the cumulative effect of percents.
          As far as the top 1%, it’s a problematic issue all its own. Discussions of Federal taxes don’t address the issue of state and local taxes and marginal rates; California, in the decade, could, for ‘the wealthy’, see a combined rate of 77% (rolling all the state, local and Federal into a ball)! In discussions of taxes in America, politicians often forget that the Fed is just one of many cogs, and simply turning the Federal cog without thinking about, addressing, or dealing with the others is not a good idea. As Federal rates go down, very often, state and local rates go up; maybe not by as much as the Fed did, but at times and in some places, more.
          As far as raw numbers: the top 1%, in 2007, paid 40.42% of Federal PIT. 2008 shows 38.02%. 2009 I can find, seems to have those receiving over 200k (Bit larger group than the top 1% but less than the top 5%) paying 50% of total PIT while they received ‘only’ 25% of AGI; in other words, the people who received 25% of the nation’s total adjusted gross income paid 50% of the nation’s tax income.
          Now, here’s where a problem with percents comes in, and many on both sides miss it: As long as percents are in use, even with a flat tax, the people with the largest income will represent more raw percent of total payments to the government. With that said, the percent, I do believe, is too high; punitive taxes are not effective, are not wise, and harm growth and development. With percents in use, you should not punish people with different percents, except as a criminal penalty process. If we continue to penalize success we should expect to fail as a nation; we should expect our best and brightest, and wealthiest, to leave.

          Returning to whether it’s cash; during the financial collapse, one of the banks that fell actually had hard assets that could have paid their debt. Due to the wealth punitive tax code, if they had tried to move that to liquidity to do so, it would have been preemptively taxed at something like 60%. The result was the bank falling, not because they weren’t worth it, but because the taxes prevented them from being worth it in the real world. That’s terrible policy, and bad for the economy. (No I don’t remember which one, IIRC they’re suing over the Fed transferring their assets in a fire sale currently.)

          Now, somewhat because of that wealth punitive system, and due to the way modern money products work, there are definite tastes of regressive taxation in our current system. When comparing a wealthy person’s complete tax filing to a median income worker, and summing their worth, it can appear the wealthy pay less, as a percent of the total, because of the nature of taxes attaching to money in their current design. But, making the wealthy cash out stocks, or what have you, to pay taxes because they over performed isn’t a wise choice; you’re simply going to concentrate the wealth in a smaller and smaller group who have learned to game the system more, like Buffett.

          So, wrapping again to my personal premise: The system is broken, completely. Tinkering with percents, or wealth punitive rules, will not help. We need a new, planar percent application, which has a “low enough to be painless for the poor” rate, that allows taxation of a larger swath of the economic activity of the nation, without the need for shielding and obfuscation of wealth, and without punishing success and wealth.

          • wormme says:

            Yep, making things more complex is worse than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Flat rate tax with a single universal deduction. I wouldn’t mind if that deduction was as high as minimum wage x 2080, or as low as 0.

            What you subsidize, you get more of. What you tax, you get less of. We subsidize poverty and tax productivity. That levels the playing field, all right.

  8. crosspatch says:

    Mark Steyn says:

    “In Britain, everything is policed except crime.”

    And I believe him.

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