Traffic for 2004 October 14 (entry 0)

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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."


Comments:

Posted by Susie at Thu Oct 14 2004 18:42

You're so smart! Listen to you talk like you know everything.

Posted by Sumana at Thu Oct 14 2004 19:49

Thanks for the explanation. I'm not quite sure what you mean by "faith-promoting experience" unless that's another way of saying that the church uses the money to further the aims of the church. (Another way to read "faith-promoting experience" is that the act of tithing promotes faith in the tither. Tithing person? Man, what's the noun for "person who tithes"? Tithe-payer, I suppose.)

Good luck with the tests!

Posted by John at Fri Oct 15 2004 16:02

That's why I noted it is all inclusive. In my mind, it acheives both aims that you mentioned.

Tithe-payer is the noun.

And I hope you realize that my religion doesn't believe people born before Christ, or that do not believe in him, are damned to hell. How could it possibly be that simple? That's the easy way out for that minister--he's already saved without doing anything. What a view on life.

Posted by Sumana at Fri Oct 15 2004 16:31

Thanks for clarifying the "faith-promoting" phrase.

Yes, I do know that LDS doesn't condemn them to hell. (Explanations I've heard tell me that LDS condemns no one to hell.) "Salvation by grace/faith" or "salvation by works" or "kinda both" - what a fascinating disagreement. Certainly one danger of "salvation by faith" doctrines is the temptation to fall off the good-behavior wagon.

Posted by Frances at Fri Oct 15 2004 16:46

Don't you think a genuine faith would inspire one to good behavior though?

Posted by Susie at Fri Oct 15 2004 17:23

Yeah, genuine faith. Some religions believe that as long as you proclaim faith at least once in your life, you are automatically saved, so you don't have to worry about it, and therefore not be faithful.

Posted by John at Fri Oct 15 2004 23:43

Ah, I see you've watched Billy Graham. Did you put your hand on the TV screen and get saved?


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