Is There Hope?

Richard Swerdlin swerdlin at GTE.NET
Sat Jun 7 20:37:38 MDT 1997

> From: Dennis Putnam <dap at ILINKS.NET>
> Subject: Re: Is There Hope?
> Date: Saturday, June 07, 1997 8:44 AM
> At 10:07 PM 6/6/97 -0500, you wrote:
> >
> >        Taxes support basic services.  It is not feasible for each
> >to maintain a personal army, personal interstate police investigations,
> >personal airports, personal higways, etc.  Thus  Amendment XVI is
> >
> Join the real world Richard. Only a small percentage of taxes are going
> these items (<15%). I take it then you support a tax reduction and
> elimination of the other 85%. I'm glad to see you agree that taxation in
> US is 'confiscatory.' As far as the 16th is concerned that is not the
> way to get money for the items you support but does provide an abuse rich
> environment as we have seen over the last 50 years. One has to be very
> to think the ravages left in the wake of the 16th are sensible.

> Dennis Putnam
> Loganville, Ga.

        The word "confiscatory" is being diddled with, when a person pays
income tax.  This is comparable to claiming that each "cold" is
"pneumonia", or that there is little difference between a "pimple" and a
"cancer".  By further analogy, a poor detective would accept another
"confession" or "eye witness" account, without seeking corroboration.  The
"suffering" experienced by what you call "confiscatory" taxation ignores
the reality of looking out the window.  It is not verified by the life
style of the complainers.

         Pragmatism runs against you.  Amendment XVI was passed around
1913.  Something that "terrible" could have been repealed by now.  In
contrast, Prohibition was disposed of much faster.

          A broader tax base is more reliable as a revenue source, than a
narrower one.  This characterizes the tax scene in the national and state
pictures.  I have no deluxe crystal ball or black mirror to see into the
future, but feel it is unlikely that Amendment XVI will be repealed in my
life time.

           Most citizens have favorable opinions of trial by jury, as
opposed to a trial judge also making a decision.  However, their abstract
or spoken support is not reflected commensurately, when it comes to a
matter of actually serving.  Comparably, many people simply do not want to
pay taxes of any kind, but cannot bring themselves to admit same openly.
The Helmsley's were perhaps a fairly recent and classic case.  Their
attitude was expressed poetically by words to the effect that only fools
pay taxes.

            Taxes should be used wisely, not frivolously.  Ultimately there
is attention to public complaints or criticism  of using taxes.  For some
reason, lawmakers in both political parties do not like a hidden or even
open video camera detailing their movements in the course of
"investigations" via "junkets" to spas and other fabulous places.  On a
local level, even in Dallas there is now a ceiling on school board members
expenses at out of town meetings.

Richard Swerdlin
(swerdlin at

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