[Vision2020] Taxpayer Rights

Donovan Arnold donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com
Fri May 11 17:26:32 PDT 2007

  Thank you for that long and interesting note. I think it is always interesting to see what is going on inside the minds of other people. 
  However, I think you missed the point I was trying to communicate to you. 
  I don't disagree that those that don't want to pay taxes don't get to skip them because they voted against them. My question is a question of if you believe that there should be limits on the power of the simple majority in there ability to just take property from others?
  Do you think, for example's sake, that it would be unfair for 51% of the population to vote to take the property of the other 49%, kick them out of their homes, and say "Tah tah."? I mean isn't that what the democratically elected Nationalist Socialist Party in German did to the Jewish people, by majority vote, can they take everything away in the name of rebuilding the Fatherland? 
  See, I think that although the majority can vote to raise needed revenue to build community needs, I also think that individuals have the right not to have the majority of their property taken away from them, or so much property taken away from them they can no longer sustain a quality life. 
  I think that when the government, or a tyrannical majority begins to push others out of their homes, and taking the majority of their property they are being violated unless there is a clear and present reason why the government MUST take all their property, such as an invading army, or if perhaps their wealth was of such great excessive means, such as a billionaire or multi-mega millionaire. 
  In my opinion, there is balance between individual rights, and community needs. Never letting people EVER vote on a fair tax levy I think is a violation of individual rights. They are not a part of the community if they are EXCLUDED from ever voting to decide the needs of the community. 
  I don't think that Dr. Weitz will comment on his motives and beliefs for the obvious fact that it could significantly impact his pending civil case. I would imagine that his lawyers have advised him not to publicly speak about the case. 

Paul Rumelhart <godshatter at yahoo.com> wrote:
  Donovan Arnold wrote:     The Wietz lawsuit raises some important questions in my mind, particularly regarding taxpayers and their rights. 
  Is it fair, first off, to have a vote to pay taxes for an indefinite amount of time? Seems rather unfair, voting to tax people in the future that have not been given the right to decide what tax level they feel is fair. Being told, "People in the past already voted and so you don't get to decide, ever, unless of course you want to raise the tax rate."--hardly seems reasonable to me.

These new people would be people that have moved into the area, right?  Is it fair for them to say "I wasn't here to vote for the taxes in this county, I shouldn't be required to pay them?" 

  Second, at what point is the minority tax payer able to rebel against the taxes levied upon him/her by the majority? What rights do they have to protect them from out right exploitation and thievery by the tax levying democratic majority?

The "minority tax payer" voted against the tax and lost.  Sucks to be them.  I feel their pain - I voted against our current President twice and lost both times.  However, I don't see how they could argue that since they voted against the tax but lost that they shouldn't be obligated to pay it.  There is always a winner and a loser.  A system where only the winners have to abide by the rules they voted on would obviously not work.  You might as well just skip straight to anarchy.

  Third, are property taxes even fair or just? Taxing people on where they live, even knocking those on fixed incomes right outta their homes?

This one I'm not so sure about.  I think the reasoning is that the property owners have a fixed stake in the area and are therefore less transient.  

  Finally, placing the entire burden of running schools, the largest expense, squarely on the back of property owners seems rather harsh, is not greatly unjust. 
  What do you think? Am I wrong to think that there should be some limits placed on what the democratic majority can do to the minority taxpayer that just feels completely robbed and stripped of the fruits of their hard labor? Is it possible Gerry Wietz and other feel the same way?

I don't know how Gerry Wietz feels, but he's perfectly capable of telling us if he felt we ought to know.  I'm also quite sure that the entire burden is not on the backs of the property owners.  However, I think you're looking at the whole tax thing from the wrong angle.  We aren't a bunch of individual islands here, we are a community.  We don't just happen to live near each other - we depend upon each other.  We have decided to gather our resources and, instead of simply doing what we want with our own resources, we have decided to give a portion of them to a central group that uses those resources for the betterment of the community.  Instead of every person having to find a way to get water to their dwellings, we have a system that everyone chips in to pay for that provides that water (at least where we are clustered closest together).  Instead of each person hacking a path through the woods to get where they want to go, we pool resources to provide common paths that
 are much finer than most of us could provide on our own.  Instead of each person having to educate their kids individually, without other resources, we provide a central place where professionals in the field of education can teach our children.  These centers of education also gain knowledge on their own (at least at higher levels), and give it back to the greater community.  I don't have to come up with the best way to purify water or to grow crops or to fight disease on my own - I can gain from the knowledge that others have provided and the experiments they have performed instead of having to reinvent it all on my own.

Yes, taxes can be hard on the poor.  But so is living on your own without the benefits of society.  The poor rely upon the largess of the more wealthy - without it, they wouldn't be poor they would be statistics.  The richest few can afford to run their own water mains, build their own roads, pay our best and brightest to educate their kids, and fund their own research and keep it to themselves.  It's the poor that benefit the most from the pooling of resources, so why shouldn't they give what resources they are able to give?

The problems come in when you have more than one idea about how to educate our kids, where best to use our pooled resources, etc, etc.  The simplest and somewhat intuitive way is to simply ask everybody and see if there is a consensus.  However, I don't see how someone who voted in the minority can think they have the right to stop giving resources to the pool and still use the water that is pumped to them, drive on the roads, send their kids to school, and use the knowledge others have gained.  I guess if the minority tax payer feels completely robbed, then they can simply wander off into the woods and survive as they may.  If they don't think that this whole pooling of resources thing is working out, then they can eschew all the benefits of it and do as they please.

Being somewhat of a liberal and living in this neocon country, I've lost more elections than I've won.  However, I'm still benefiting from our society and it's resources.


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