It's tax time!

Here are just a few of my thoughts on the current US Tax Code.

 Congress uses the tax code too affect our behavior.  They encourage us to get married, to buy a house, to save for retirement.  They discourage us from drinking alcohol, or smoking.  There is a whole panoply of activates where congress seeks through the tax code to affect your behavior.  It is none of the government’s business what I do.   So, they shouldn’t be taxing me to tell not to do something, or subsidizing to tell me to do something.  I have a mother and a wife for that.  

12 Comments
13 Comments
Posted by l4wd0g

Here are just a few of my thoughts on the current US Tax Code.

 Congress uses the tax code too affect our behavior.  They encourage us to get married, to buy a house, to save for retirement.  They discourage us from drinking alcohol, or smoking.  There is a whole panoply of activates where congress seeks through the tax code to affect your behavior.  It is none of the government’s business what I do.   So, they shouldn’t be taxing me to tell not to do something, or subsidizing to tell me to do something.  I have a mother and a wife for that.  

Posted by RecSpec

I wouldn't have saved up for this huge ass tv on my own, so thanks taxes.

Posted by Example1013
@l4wd0g: Are there actual tax breaks for not drinking and not smoking?
Posted by beej
@example1013: I think he's referring to the fact that cigarettes and alcohol are subject to a "sin tax".
Posted by OllyOxenFree

THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH

Wait, what?

Posted by Example1013
@beej: Well, cigarettes and alcohol are the two nonessential commodities that people will always buy, so taxing them gives the government a fairly reliable source of income. I don't think it's a sin tax as much as it is just a "we-like-money" tax, because the Whiskey Rebellion was about moonshine taxes, and I don't think the anti-alcohol movement came around until the mid-1800s.

Also, cigarettes are an easy target since they quite literally create their own demand.
Posted by Wolverine
@l4wd0g:  I don't mind tax incentives. They aren't forcing people to do anything, they are just encouraging people to live a more sufficient life style. For example, environment friendly tax incentives are great. They financially help those who want to install a solar panel on their roof or buy an electric car to do so. These incentives are helping the environment. I think having a "sin tax" on things like cigarettes is fine. I just think its wrong to outlaw smoking at certain places. For example, smoking has been banned at my college. People should be allowed to smoke, they should just be encouraged to stop.
Posted by Example1013
@Wolverine: No, it's stupid. Even the "environmentally friendly" ones are stupid. I'll run down a list of the worst ones:

Homeowner's break: this is dumb as hell. It's just not reasonable to expect everyone to own a home. Not everyone can afford one. This dumbshit idea people (including Bush) had that everyone could own a home is what led to the housing bust that preceded the recession, and it's part of the reason why we're at where we're at. Think about it. Yeah, the banks sold off shitty mortgage aggregations, but if the people who had those mortgages hadn't signed for something they couldn't afford, the issue would've been quite a bit smaller.

Electric Car break: Electric cars don't help the environment at all; they shift nonrenewable fuel being burned, but they in no way help. Instead we'll just start using up more coal. Something like 70% of the US's electricity is still generated from coal burning, and electric cars will only worsen the problem. Then there's the battery issue. Let's say the 100 million drivers get electric cars. Okay, so in 5 years, when the batteries die, what are we going to do with them? They contain toxic waste, so it's not like they can just be dumped. It's entirely possible that a battery-operated car will have a larger overall environmental footprint than an internal combustion car (though maybe not a carbon footprint, which is all that matters, right?).

Solar panel tax break: solar panels are expensive to make, expensive to buy, and expensive to use. Fossil fuels are used in just about every step of the process, and that's not about to change either (besides the cost to purchase one). So while they're certainly a step in the right direction, current solar panel technology isn't going to solve the issue, and giving a tax break for something that's expensive (in more ways than one, because there are installation costs), and that may be obsolete in 20 years is dumb as hell, especially because then people will have to eat the uninstallation cost as well. Solar panels may not turn out to be cost-effective or environmentally friendly.

I'm not even going to get into the class issues (beyond homeowner's break) or other issues with electric cars, because that would make for an even bigger wall of text. But suffice to say tax breaks aren't really all that great.

Posted by l4wd0g
Posted by chrissedoff
@OllyOxenFree said:
" THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGHWait, what? "
you are the fucking man! hell yes the rent is too damn high! ain't nothin' else to talk about!!
Posted by LovermanOwens
@example1013 said:
"


Homeowner's break: this is dumb as hell. It's just not reasonable to expect everyone to own a home. Not everyone can afford one. This dumbshit idea people (including Bush) had that everyone could own a home is what led to the housing bust that preceded the recession, and it's part of the reason why we're at where we're at. Think about it. Yeah, the banks sold off shitty mortgage aggregations, but if the people who had those mortgages hadn't signed for something they couldn't afford, the issue would've been quite a bit smaller.                  

                "


Clinton actually started the whole, everyone should own a home thing.  They told the banks that if you don't relax your lending standards there is a good chance we will make it harder for you to do business.
Posted by LovermanOwens
@l4wd0g said:
"

                    @example1013:

They have a 'sin tax' levied against them. Soda is next on the list as it is "unhealthy"

                   

                "

Don't be too surprised to hear that being fat will be the next target of sin taxes.
Posted by melcene

You don't really get a tax incentive for getting married.  It's called the marriage penalty for a reason :P  Otherwise I completely agree with you.


Sin taxes are the most fucking ridiculous thing out there.  If it's such a sin, just make the thing illegal.  Otherwise, leave it the fuck alone.  Here in WA, we just last year were able to repeal a sin tax on candy, soda, and bottled water.