Thursday, April 26, 2012

Redistribution: The Hollow Value

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Each year, for the past 4 years, Young America's Foundation has held a student video contest. Students are asked to produce a video that makes a point about public policy.

This year the focus of the project was on "fairness" through taxing the wealthy and redistributing it to those who are not wealthy.

Many have already begun sending me reports as to how you are doing in gathering signatures for both R-74 and I-1192. Thank you. This is very helpful. If you have not yet responded please do. You can give the information to your Faith and Freedom area coordinator or send it directly to me by email.

I, as you, have been watching the Occupy movement over the past year as they have illegally occupied public parks, streets, etc. and generally disrupted business in cities across the country, sometimes inflicting considerable property damage at taxpayer expense and always demanding that the 1% give them---the 99%, their fair share.


I recall one anxiety ridden student last fall in Seattle, looking into the camera and saying, "Do you realize I have almost a hundred thousand dollars in student loans? Who is going to pay for them?"

Many youth support the concept of redistribution of wealth, because it seems fair.

Well they support it in theory, but maybe not so much in practice.

Young Americans at Carthage College asked students if they were willing to redistribute their grades---their GPA, helping to raise the GPA of other students who for various reasons, had lower grades.

Webster defines the word hollow as, "Having an empty space or only air within it." In this case it seems to be hot air.

Most kids said no. Some said, "I worked hard for my grades," or, "I don't want my GPA taken away from me if I have a A". But those with low grades said, "Why not, I'm down." Or "Sure, why not."

I have linked the winning video here. Hopefully, some kids will have a different view of redistribution.

No one has the "right" to take from someone what he has worked hard to attain in the name of fairness or social justice.

Biblical Christianity teaches a better way. Jesus called it charity. To whom much is given, much is required.

Those who have much are taught to give much. The government is not the escrow account. Nor is it a power base for those seeking to exploit the poor and disadvantaged. People are to give to people through religious and humanitarian charities or directly. The government has a limited role, but that isn't it.

Let's hope a bit of enlightenment and moral understanding happened around this project.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.


  1. Redistributing grades, huh? That's a nice emotional analogy. But it doesn't pertain to the reality of our tax system. Our tax system has been gamed to redistribute money, alright. It's redistributing from the poor and middle class to the rich. We've seen a huge transfer of wealth to the rich since Reagan. It's time for our progressive tax system to self correct.

    You want an analogy. How about the game of monopoly. Did you ever get an entire side of the board and then put hotels on everything. It was guaranteed big cash every time someone went around the board and it was just a matter of time until they were out of the game because you had all the money.

    Well, that's what it's like for the rich right now. Adjusting the rates on our tax system can help keep the rest of us in the game.

    It's not right that Mitt pays a lower tax rate than I do (partly because he was able to offshore a bunch of money for some hidden tax dodge) when I'm struggling to put two kids through college. Paris Hilton pays a lower tax rate than I do simply because she makes her income by waiting for checks at the poolside (capital gains) and I have to work for my money.

    I'm really sorry to see organized religion in bed with the money changers.

  2. I guess if you repeat things long enough , people will believe them . Yoy have a deluted understanding of economics . You do not make wealth by redistributing it . If someone has hotels on a street , it is in no way impeding you to build hotesl on another street . One way for it not to happen is if the government restricts your ability to do with burdensome regulations or tax you in such a way you can not invest and build a hotel . Or the government borrows so much money that it makes it almost impossibe for buisnesses to secure loans . . Wealth is created , it is unlimited in the amount that can be accumulated , it has nothing to do with how much someone eles has . Only when socialistic or communistic economies does such logic have any basis . Then it is already too late for anyone . Basically we all need to start paing taxes , including the almost 50 percent who pay nothing in Income taxes , in fact get somethign regardless who is in office , who they vote for , and what kind of economy the rest of us have to endure . We all need to pay , and 50 percent pulling the other 50 percent is not going to be able to be sustained very much longer . In fact eben a vast amount of middle class tax payers also get goodies from the Feds .

    Here's our tax code at work. Figures are from the IRS and 2010:

    The top 1% earned 20.70% of the income, but paid 38.02% of all income taxes.
    The top 5% earned 34.73% of the income, but paid 58.72% of all income taxes.
    The top 10% earned 45.77% of the income, but paid 69.94% of all income taxes.
    The top 25% earned 67.38% of the income, but paid 86.34% of all income taxes.
    The top 50% earned 87.25% of the income, but paid 97.30% of all income taxes.
    The bottom 50% earned 12.75% of the income, but paid 2.59% of all income taxes

    I don't know where you all fit on this, but the top 25% marker starts at $67,280 and the top 10% line starts at $113,799.

    Given the fact that 47% of households pay no income tax whatsoever, it looks like half of us in , being at 25% and above, are subsidizing ALL federal government services already.

    Vote For Mitt!!!! Or your Grand Kids will be stuck with the bill

  3. Thanks Gary , this use of putting Americans against Americans by the use of envy based on distortions is catching up to the left . 10 million more Americans have fell into the poverty range with this philospy . Talk about bearing false witness. The hard facts (readily available from the Internal Revenue Service) not only expose the false Democratic claims about “the lowest tax rates in 50 years” but also give the lie to any suggestion that wealthy taxpayers contribute less than their fair share. The most recent numbers (updated in October 2010) show that the top 1 percent of tax returns covered an amazing 38 percent of all income taxes—nearly doubling the share of the total income they earned (20 percent). The top 5 percent of taxpayers (earning above $159,000) earned 35 percent of all income, but paid the big majority of all income taxes—59 percent.
    On the other side of the economic divide, the bottom 50 percent of all taxpayers (who filed nearly 70 million returns) covered only 2.7 percent of the taxes, though they earned 12.8 percent of the nation’s total adjusted gross income. The bottom 50 percent of filers paid taxes at an average rate of just 2.59 percent, but the top 5 percent paid at a rate more than seven times higher: 20.7 percent.

    No wonder that the OECD (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, representing the world’s 34 most prosperous Western and Asian nations) reported that the United States tax system counted among the most progressive in the world—relying more heavily on the wealthiest taxpayers and applying lighter obligations on the poor and middle class

  4. @ 1026 People who invesrt in the stock market like the majority of all Americans who have 401 K plans do it with money they already paid taxes on. If you wish to take away the incentive to invest in America Businesses , the investors will use investment safer . The vast majority of Americans who are targeted as the evil rich pay a higher percentage of their income then middle class by far . Romneys Tax rate even if was actually only 14 percent would mean he pays a higher percentage then 97 percent of Americans . Thats right , look at your taxes to income after you deduct everything , we have a progressive tax code .

    Example For Dummies for Liberals

    Say, for instance, our income is $120,000. This would put us in the 25 percent bracket. If the U.S. had a flat rate tax system (and no deduction), we would pay 25 percent of $120,000 in tax, or $30,000.However, under our marginal tax system we pay 10 percent on the first $17,000, or $1,700. We then pay 15 percent on the next band of income up to $69,000, or $7,800. We then pay 25 percent on the marginal amount over $69,000, for another $12,750 in taxes. When we total the taxes paid on these three bands of income it comes to $22,250, for an average (or effective) tax rate of 18.5 percent.

    Now its easier to listen to obama say he wants to pay higher taxes ," did you know he deducted a gift of 12,000 to each of his kids this year "

    Millionaires go through the same process, meaning they pay 10 percent on the first band of income, 15 percent on the next band, and so forth based on the most recent IRS data for 2009, the average tax rate (after deductions) paid by all Americans is 11 percent. It is also clear that millionaires pay an average of 25 percent, while virtually every taxpayer earning under $100,000 pays an average rate of no more than 8 percent of their income in taxes.

  5. Great, you've all been taking notes on talk radio.

    10:24pm, actually personal income taxes only fund about half the federal government, not all. Over 30% comes from employment taxes. And about 15% comes from corporate taxes (could be higher for me).

    10:51pm, thank you for the explanation, but I already understood how tax brackets work. Based on your explanation, you should understand that we're only talking about raising taxes on the portion of income OVER $250k. Far, far above the necessities of life levels that a progressive tax system is designed to protect.

    And if you're going to be snarky, it's best to do it when you're not making a fool of yourself with misinformation.

    For example, money in 401k's hasn't been taxed as income. That's kinda the point of 401k's in the first place, they reduce your taxable income while saving for retirement. Yep, a lot of money in investments has been taxed, but we don't tax that money again. We only tax the new money (profits) generated by the investments. That's why it's called income.

    I'm well aware of the percentages of taxes paid by the different income classes. The percentage of income and overall wealth of upper extreme has grown tremendously in the last decade while it is flat or shrinking for the rest. It is past the point of income class differentiation by talent and ability and is working toward a society of haves and have nots with a permanent underclass. You quote that the top 1% makes 20% of the income, but a more telling number is the they control 40% of the wealth and it's growing. Let's go back to the tax rates we had when America was growing and strong. They worked pretty well. But then the rich declared class warfare on the rest of us and got huge tax breaks that caused most of the deficit. If you want people to invest in America, give them incentive, but stop the rewards for offshore investments as in China.


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