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[Comments] (7) Welcoming November 2: I am excited to vote for President for the first time ever. I didn't vote in Hong Kong--absentee ballots are the stupidest things. Could they make the process more difficult? Only if they turned it over to the IRS's jurisdiction.

I also welcome November 2 because by then my next round of tests will be over. In my major, we are required to have each class for 3 hours a week (hence a three credit hour class). By my teachers reserve the right in our schedules to instruct us for 4.5 hours a week. This leaves them with more flexibilty to do research, go to training meetings with the Big 4, etc. Right now I am hating it. I am being way overworked. But come November 2, the tests end and two of my tax classes go on hiatus until after Thanksgiving. That will be wonderful. Susie and I can go play everyday!

I just took a survey stating that I am more likely to vote for John Kerry (45% for him, 43% for Bush). Hmmm.... But after last night's debates I am feeling a little wary of Kerry. He wants to raise the minimum wage and at the same time increase job growth. It is my understanding, however, that the two proposals contradict each other. Maybe Senator Kerry could use a refresher in Freshman Econ. But over all, I am still an undecided voter.

Now onto my view of taxes vs. tithing. Tithing is a commandment, yet it is voluntary. Tithing is a faith-promoting experience that is all inclusive. You make income, you pay 10% of that income, regardless of whether it entails millions of dollars or only a widow's mite, so to speak. The blessings are the same in magnitude, regardless. We have a lay clergy in the church who support themselves, thus the tithes are strictly for building buildings, supporting missionaries, and overall "furthering the work of God" to us. Tithing is simply to raise funds. There are no deductions in computing tithing owed, AGI, AMT, etc. It simply is what it is.

Then there are taxes. Taxes too are a law, but could be seen as voluntary. For example, the early colonists wrote into law that not filing a tax return can send you to prison. Not paying, however, cannot. This has ties to English common law and the colonist's disgust with pauper's prisons. Taxes are not only a vehicle for raising revenue. They drive social policy. Those in favor of a flat tax are short-sighted. With a flat tax, much of the "altruism" in our nation would shrivel and die. Many individuals and corporations give to charity partly because of the tax deduction. Take that away in a flat tax environment, and you can kiss the United Way good-bye. Credits for environmentally safe companies go away, and the environment deteriorates. Having a graduated rate shows that our country still has a preference to having one spouse (normally the female, though in my family it was my father) stay at home and rear children, because there is a tax penalty, so to speak, for earning too much income. The penalty is an increased rate of tax, when you file jointly.

Taxes are not just to raise revenue. Intent underlies every rule. Thus, taxes are also a vehicle to keep society within bounds we set. That is, unless our elected officials don't follow us. But that's another can of worms.

OK, back to "work."


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