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[Comments] (6) On taxes: Though I don't have the Code with me, it does say in there that we owe taxes. I'll have to look it up when I get home. There was actually a court case (also at home, but I can reference it later) wherein a very liberal man on talk radio said that he would pay $10,000 to anyone who called in referencing that we owe taxes. Anyway, the case sided with the lunatic liberal, because the guy called in the next day, which was ultimately out of context. However, offer and acceptance did exist, and a valid unilateral contract was formed (though the statute of limitation had ultimately passed). I think Warren Burger said it best when he noted that that it is our duty to pay what we owe, but not more or less. I emphatically agree!

I guess I should explain this is a side note to Sumana's recent taxing musings. Though I would be interested to read that book!


Posted by Sumana at Mon May 03 2004 08:26

Lots of tax protestor arguments here. I'll have to find out who that talk radio guy was - tax protestors usually aren't "liberals" as "liberal" is commonly defined in the US, as far as I know; they are waaaay left or waaaay right. Moderate liberals support the income tax because its progressivity offsets the regressivity of the payroll and sales taxes, etc.

Sounds like he didn't feel like being "liberal" where "liberal" = generous!

I enjoyed "Confessions of a Tax Collector" although it got a little melodramatic at the end. I think you would like it, John. I borrowed it from the public library; probably you could too.

Posted by John at Mon May 03 2004 08:44

Right, normally liberal politicians favor raising the income tax. I guess having two definitions of liberal, one being someone extreme in their views, the other denoting a political standing, this guy was in the former definition. Going into a Tax Minimization career (though thank goodness NOT doing anything with ties to the IRS), I find the subject fascinating, obviously.

Posted by Sumana at Mon May 03 2004 14:35

It is really a fascinating topic. Do you mean to say that you won't work for the IRS, or that you'll never have to deal with the IRS? I assume it's the former.

Huh, I've never heard "liberal" as a straight synonym for "extremist of any persuasion". "Generous," "left-wing," "classical Adam Smith type" (for free markets and against government intervention in private life), but I had to look up some definitions to make the leap to "licentious". "Unconstrained" certainly lends itself to extremism.

You and your old missionary friend Tim and I could have a nice chat about death and taxes sometime.

Posted by John at Mon May 03 2004 15:40

Oh the firms work with the IRS all the time, but mostly in the form of lawsuits. I have nothing against the IRS, but since most people do, I think I would find the work to be, on the whole, unpleasant. It's funny that you described the classical Adam Smith type as liberal, since it is a more Republican stance to seek free market operations. Maybe that's because thinking of free market operations often reminds me of Alan Greenspan, and he and the Fed are very Republican in nature. Anyway, I'm still "wet behind the ears" in my political knowledge/terminology. All I know is that in tax class we often discuss that Democrats often raise taxes, while Republicans normally seek to lower them (in general).

Posted by Sumana at Tue May 04 2004 13:19

Yancey certainly does point out how socially isolating it can be to work for the IRS.

Once upon a time, back when Locke and Smith were broaching the topic, a "liberal" was someone who wanted to change the existing system in Britain so that the government gave private enterprise more leeway.

"a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets"

This was back before, say, the American Revolution. That's why we call that position "classical liberalism". That position also opposed government impositions into private life in general.

"In England — in many ways the birthplace of liberalism — the liberal tradition in politics has centred on religious toleration, government by consent, personal and, especially, economic freedom." is great for this sort of thing.

Anyway, support for civil liberties and economic liberties used to go together a lot more than they do in the US today.

These days it seems like Democrats are just trying to put the brake on Republicans' attempts to lower taxes and jack up the deficit. But certainly in recent memory Democrats have tried to raise taxes and Republicans have tried to stop them. I'd say Greenspan strikes me as a conservative, and the Republican party has left him behind, because he cares about deficits and Bush doesn't.

Posted by John at Tue May 04 2004 14:21

You are right about Greenspan and Bush. Greenspan champions a balanced budget, as these deficits (among many unpleasant side-effects) cause inflation. But Greenspan does believe in limiting taxes. I'm impressed that you know that.

That, of course, is the problem with having fiscal policy (run by politicans) being uncoordinated with monetary policy (run by the Fed), something that politicians scream about when the Fed does its own thing.

But in my opinion, that's a small price to pay. Thank God the Fed is an independent entity, since politicians are so short-sided that they can hardly see past the edge of their own noses. The inflationary bias would be out of control otherwise, among other scary thoughts.

But now to my main comment: I went to check out the book but it is checked out until May 12. I suppose I'll just have to read something else in the car on the way to Bakersfield.

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