Time to tax churches and NGOS. — Brooklynian

Time to tax churches and NGOS.

come you make money!!! should be treated no different.

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Comments

  • I agree that if we are going to tax them, we should tax both.

    If you just tax churches, they will all become NGOs.

    If you just tax NGOs, they will find someway that they believe in some mild form of god in order to not be taxed.

    both are pretty powerful in this country. However, you might have a better chance of taxing churches and NGOs over taxing the rich.

    The rich seem untaxable

  • they'll tax the rich, cause they actually get mentioned lol, but you won't hear about religion or ngos or military in any of the cuts and taxes etc...

  • Oh man can you imagine the revenue...

    Good God... goldmine.

  • Explain why.

  • whynot_31 said:

    However, you might have a better chance of taxing churches and NGOs over taxing the rich.

    The rich seem untaxable

    The top 1% in this country pay more federal income tax than the bottom 95%. I don't think "untaxable" is the word you're looking for.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/top-1-paid-more-in-federal-income-taxes-than-bottom-95-in-07/

  • armchair_warrior said:

    come you make money!!! should be treated no different.

    I guess that separation of church and state thing was just a joke?

  • BrooklynBoyyee said:

    Explain why.

    Because it's something that isn't already taxed, and so they want to tax it. That's how things go around here. If they can hurt something they hate in the process, so much the better.

  • Can you guys explain why churches shouldn't be taxed? How does taxing churches erode the separation between church and state?

    If not full on taxation, there should be some kind of requirement for churches to dedicate x percentage of money to charitable/philanthropic causes. There are a lot of churches that completely exploit their congregations that should be taxed as the for-profit operations they are.

  • Cool The Kid said:

    Can you guys explain why churches shouldn't be taxed? How does taxing churches erode the separation between church and state?

    I'd appreciate it one of you would explain why we should tax churches. Beyond "because it's there" please.

    As for church and state, what's to stop the government from introducing excessive taxes on a particular church or religion? There are other good reasons not to do this, but let's deal with that one first.

    If not full on taxation, there should be some kind of requirement for churches to dedicate x percentage of money to charitable/philanthropic causes.

    Who gets to pick the causes? And one could easily make the case that many churches themselves are charitable causes.

    There are a lot of churches that completely exploit their congregations that should be taxed as the for-profit operations they are.

    Without any evidence to back this claim up, I'll have to take you at your word on this - regardless, again, who gets to make the distinction? The government?

  • Separation of church and state doesn't apply, churches are like everyone else, they aren't special, they should pay like everyone else. The government isn't going to say oh you can't do this and that with your religion, they'll be saying you'll just have to pay! they still can do what ever they want as long as they pay. That's truly separation of church and state, other wise church is above state and people.

    The whole church shouldn't get tax thing is a joke, I could start my own church called pay no real taxes church. I'll buy everything under that church and make all my family members join. get salaries through the church and do business through it. Anyone who wants to work for us, they'll have to join the church! how bout them ideas huh. I hope every freaking company and small business start doing to to show how ridiculous the exemptions are.

    This would wined up just like other tax exemptions only people who can't get these exemptions are middle class like other tax loop holes.

  • Jimmy said:

    I'd appreciate it one of you would explain why we should tax churches. Beyond "because it's there" please.

    In other words, you can't answer his question of why we shouldn't. Cool, just say that next time.

  • Jimmy said:

    The top 1% in this country pay more federal income tax than the bottom 95%. I don't think "untaxable" is the word you're looking for.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/top-1-paid-more-in-federal-income-taxes-than-bottom-95-in-07/

    "Rich" refers to a lot more than the top 1%, my friend.

    Jimmy said:

    I'd appreciate it one of you would explain why we should tax churches. Beyond "because it's there" please.

    Because they collect money. Because they have investments and turn profits. Because the Catholic Church is the single biggest private land owner in Manhattan.

    As for church and state, what's to stop the government from introducing excessive taxes on a particular church or religion?

    Please. As if an American government would EVER unduly tax Christians above other groups.

    There would literally be riots in the streets, led by Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachmann.

  • churches have hundreds of billions of dollars in investments and property etc... makes some of the big companies jealous.

  • If we are going to tax NGO and churches, I think we should start with capital gains due to the sale of non-real estate investments. Such things can be measured objectively, so we would not have to endure claims of being against one religion more than another.

    Although they could represent substantial revenue for the tax coffers, let's leave the yearly profits (aka Net Income) and real estate holdings alone at least for a while, because valuing them is more difficult and could lead to significant church vs state problems.

  • Boygabriel said:

    "Rich" refers to a lot more than the top 1%.

    What's your point? He said "the rich" (offer a definition if you want) are "untaxable." That's blatantly false, and nothing more than silly class-baiting. The bottom 50% in this country famously pay basically no federal income tax. That's "untaxable."

    Please. As if an American government would EVER unduly tax Christians above other groups.

    And what about mosques? Or temples? As a thought exercise, let's say Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin or Rick Perry is elected president. Would you trust them with power to levy taxes fairly on mosques? Do you think Muslims should be asked to trust them?


    There would literally be riots in the streets, led by Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachmann.

    I assume from your tone that you think civil disobedience against government-sponsored religious persecution is unwarranted? Interesting.

  • WhyFi said:

    In other words, you can't answer his question of why we shouldn't. Cool, just say that next time.

    Because of the separation of church and state. Because it would allow the government to levy taxes on different religions in order to persecute a particular religion. I did answer it, you just chose to ignore it, apparently.

  • armchair_warrior said:

    Separation of church and state doesn't apply, churches are like everyone else, they aren't special, they should pay like everyone else. The government isn't going to say oh you can't do this and that with your religion, they'll be saying you'll just have to pay! they still can do what ever they want as long as they pay. That's truly separation of church and state, other wise church is above state and people.

    The whole church shouldn't get tax thing is a joke, I could start my own church called pay no real taxes church. I'll buy everything under that church and make all my family members join. get salaries through the church and do business through it. Anyone who wants to work for us, they'll have to join the church! how bout them ideas huh. I hope every freaking company and small business start doing to to show how ridiculous the exemptions are.

    This would wined up just like other tax exemptions only people who can't get these exemptions are middle class like other tax loop holes.

    If your point is that you want to throw out separation of church and state, then say so. Don't say it doesn't apply to taxation of churches. That's ridiculous.

  • when debating a unreasonable man you just give up.

  • AW-

    Correct, taxing some of the earnings or holding of churches would not assure a state sponsored religion was in our future. ...that's a simply a classic, unproven, slippery slope, fear-mongering technique.

    As to the "untaxable rich": For better or worse, I think the rich have now organized themselves to the degree that further taxes can not be placed on them.

    The disparate religions and NGOs may be the low hanging fruit.

    (When one ignores the present grandstanding of the Republicans, I become convinced that cutting spending isn't going to happen.)

  • armchair_warrior said:

    when debating a unreasonable man you just give up.

    Giving the government the power to levy taxes on churches opens the door for religious persecution through unequal taxation. If you think that's unreasonable, I'd welcome your explanation to the contrary.

  • Jimmy said:

    What's your point? He said "the rich" (offer a definition if you want) are "untaxable." That's blatantly false, and nothing more than silly class-baiting. The bottom 50% in this country famously pay basically no federal income tax. That's "untaxable."

    Actually discussion of class is something this country doesn't do enough of. We currently have a division of wealth not seen since since the 1930's. We have the same wealth distribution as EGYPT. And you think we don't have class issues to discuss? Please.

    The poor not paying income tax is a great talking point, but it is used as a sleight of hand. The poor pay plenty in taxes, just not INCOME tax b/c they don't even make enough to pay it.

    The implication that the poor aren't pulling their weight w/r/t to taxes is a joke.

    And what about mosques? Or temples? As a thought exercise, let's say Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin or Rick Perry is elected president. Would you trust them with power to levy taxes fairly on mosques? Do you think Muslims should be asked to trust them?

    You're concern trolling. Do you really think we're incapable of treating various religions equally? Do you think taxation is the one thing that will create a dangerous opportunity that doesn't exist already?

    I assume from your tone that you think civil disobedience against government-sponsored religious persecution is unwarranted? Interesting.

    Don't assume. We can have an honest discussion, or you can make poor assumptions, which you won't need me for.

  • whynot_31 said:

    I think the rich have now organized themselves to the degree that further taxes can not be placed on them.

    So all that talk on the left about "taxing the rich" is just grandstanding that should be ignored?


    The disparate religions and NGOs may be the low hanging fruit.

    Sigh. In other words, "Because we can."


    (When one ignores the present grandstanding of the Republicans, I become convinced that cutting spending isn't going to happen.)

    We probably won't know if it's grandstanding, since the left won't even consider cutting spending. But hey, let's blame the Republicans for even mentioning the idea.

  • I consider the world to consist of more than two types: Left or right.

    ...but I enjoy it when people try to fit me in a box, and they try to make me defend one party or the other.

    I think I am pretty critical of whoever at the moment can't see the other side, or thinks one of our two pathetic political parties is somehow without blame.

    Neither Ayn Rand or Karl Marx ever inhabited the world I live in.

  • Boygabriel said:

    The implication that the poor aren't pulling their weight w/r/t to taxes is a joke.

    No, the implication that the rich aren't pulling their weight w/r/t to taxes is a joke. As is the idea that "taxing the rich" would realistically do anything at all to alleviate our current situation.


    Do you really think we're incapable of treating various religions equally? Do you think taxation is the one thing that will create a dangerous opportunity that doesn't exist already?

    Yes, to both.


    Don't assume. We can have an honest discussion, or you can make poor assumptions, which you won't need me for.

    Your assumption was that unfair taxation of churches would lead to right-wing led riots in the streets. That doesn't sound like someone who's interested in an honest discussion.

  • whynot_31 said:

    I consider the world to consist of more than two types: Left or right.

    ...but I enjoy watching people try to fit me in a box.

    amen brother!!! but those who don't fit is sadly the minority in when it comes to party politics. there are so few these days.

  • Jimmy said:

    Because of the separation of church and state. Because it would allow the government to levy taxes on different religions in order to persecute a particular religion. I did answer it, you just chose to ignore it, apparently.

    If persecution is your main concern, would you support it if all churches were taxed equally?

  • whynot_31 said:

    I consider the world to consist of more than two types: Left or right.

    ...but I enjoy it when people try to fit me in a box, and they try to make me defend one party or the other.

    I enjoy it when people spend the majority of their effort on a forum attacking the right, and then try to escape discussions by feigning some kind of above-it-all condescension.

  • Jimmy said:

    Your assumption was that unfair taxation of churches would lead to right-wing led riots in the streets. That doesn't sound like someone who's interested in an honest discussion.

    Correct - the churches, and threats to their holdings, have never led to violence.

    /S

  • WhyFi said:

    If persecution is your main concern, would you support it if all churches were taxed equally?

    My main concern is this never-ending search for new sources of tax revenue instead of focusing on cutting spending.

    But in this instance - No, I would not, because I have absolutely zero faith that all religions and churches would be taxed equally.

  • Jimmy said:

    My main concern is this never-ending search for new sources of tax revenue instead of focusing on cutting spending.

    But in this instance - No, I would not, because I have absolutely zero faith that all religions and churches would be taxed equally.

    Do you believe that all people are taxed equally? If not, should that be done away with, too?

  • WhyFi said:

    If persecution is your main concern, would you support it if all churches were taxed equally?

    doubt it, everyone should be treated equally, i already wrote that, but people would make every excuse under the sun not to get taxed.

    if they are going to come up with something to help the country. everyone should pull their weight even the churches(mosque, temples etc..)

    cut military spending(don't have to fire military guys), but surely they don't have to have all those newest planes/boats etc...(stated on many threads)

    no more tax exemptions aka loop holes that rich and politicians themselves are using to get away.

    being what the country is too many entrench institution and groups feel like they are special and shouldn't be treated like everyone else.

  • WhyFi said:

    Correct - the churches, and threats to their holdings, have never led to violence.

    /S

    In this country? Led by right-wing political figures?

  • Jimmy said:

    No, the implication that the rich aren't pulling their weight w/r/t to taxes is a joke.

    <

    You are obviously free to disagree, but it's demonstrably not a joke at all. The rich are paying some of the lowest tax rates of the past 100 years, and that doesn't include the myriad loopholes they use to effectively pay even fewer taxes.

    There are other taxation systems that are at least worth of discussion.

    So no, it's not a joke.

    As is the idea that "taxing the rich" would realistically do anything at all to alleviate our current situation.

    What situation?

    Changing the tax code could create jobs. It could prevent the dramatic cuts we're seeing in public programs like public health or job training. It could do a lot of things, actually.

    Your assumption was that unfair taxation of churches would lead to right-wing led riots in the streets. That doesn't sound like someone who's interested in an honest discussion.

    I know you are but what am I? Is that what you're arguing?

    My point is that I can't possibly envision a situation in which Christians are persecuted or unfairly taxed in this country.

    You know how many atheists we have in Congress?

    Zero.

    Muslims?

    One.

    So, yeah. No.

  • WhyFi said:

    Do you believe that all people are taxed equally?

    Of course not.


    If not, should that be done away with, too?

    Sure. Institute a flat tax, I'd be fine with that.

  • Jimmy said:

    I enjoy it when people spend the majority of their effort on a forum attacking the right, and then try to escape discussions by feigning some kind of above-it-all condescension.

    Please give examples of me attacking the right, or avoiding a conversation.

  • Jimmy said:

    My main concern is this never-ending search for new sources of tax revenue instead of focusing on cutting spending.

    What administration are you referring to?

    Obama and the Democrats have done virtually nothing but cut taxes, and he is about to cut medicare and medicaid and maybe defense, if we're lucky.

  • Boygabriel said:

    Obama and the Democrats have done virtually nothing but cut taxes, and he is about to cut medicare and medicaid and maybe defense, if we're lucky.

    Ha - Is as polite as I can be. And I'd hate for you to have to start threatening people with your mod status.

  • whynot_31 said:

    Please give examples of me attacking the right, or avoiding a conversation.

  • I could tell you for a fact :p whynot 31 is not a lefty and lol boyabriel is lol.

  • Jimmy said:

    Ha - Is as polite as I can be. And I'd hate for you to have to start threatening people with your mod status.

    It doesn't fit the Republican narrative, I know.

    But facts are stubborn sometimes.

  • armchair_warrior said:

    I could tell you for a fact :p whynot 31 is not a lefty and lol boyabriel is lol.

    It's all true.

  • Boygabriel said:

    It's all true.

    You people are going to make Jimmy look silly as he tries to categorize me as an absolutist.

    ...then he will have to actually engage in a thoughtful conversation, and I won't get to sit here and shake my head all morning.

    stop it.

  • quiet - you communist.

  • whynot_31 said:

    You people are going to make Jimmy look silly as he tries to categorize me as an absolutist.

    ...then he will have to actually engage in a thoughtful conversation, and I won't get to laugh all morning.

    stop it.

    I didn't call you an absolutist, I called you a leftist. You're advocating the taxation of churches, I'd call that attacking the right. You refer to the Tea Party as a bunch of ranters, while deploring the lack of a third party. You dismiss GOP calls for spending cuts as "grandstanding," ignoring that the only reason they aren't allowed to move forward with those cuts is because the Dems are blocking them. Somehow, in your mind, that's the GOP's fault. And then when I ask you direct questions, you ignore them and rise above the fray.

  • Boygabriel said:

    quiet - you communist.

    I'll be quiet once the communist party accepts people who are proud capitalists.

  • Jimmy said:

    My main concern is this never-ending search for new sources of tax revenue instead of focusing on cutting spending.

    except discretionary spending hasn't increased in 10 years.

  • Boygabriel said:

    It doesn't fit the Republican narrative, I know.

    But facts are stubborn sometimes.

    "Facts" from Paul Krugman don't count.

  • Jimmy said:

    The top 1% in this country pay more federal income tax than the bottom 95%. I don't think "untaxable" is the word you're looking for.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/top-1-paid-more-in-federal-income-taxes-than-bottom-95-in-07/

    Income Tax, is vastly different than payroll tax. Of course the rich pay more income tax because they make most of their money through income, (dividends, interest) not their paychecks.

  • vidro3 said:

    except discretionary spending hasn't increased in 10 years.

    A supporting source would be nice, but assuming you're correct, so what? It doesn't have to. Social Security, Medicare - at their current rate of spending, they'll be gone in our lifetimes. We need to make cuts and grow the economy, not just find new taxes to plug gaps in unstainable programs until the next election cycle.

  • whynot_31 said:

    I'll be quiet once the communist party accepts people who are proud capitalists.

    there's a communist party in this country? Are they allowed on any opinion to shows to actually argue their side?

  • Jimmy said:

    I didn't call you an absolutist, I called you a leftist. You're advocating the taxation of churches, I'd call that attacking the right. You refer to the Tea Party as a bunch of ranters, while deploring the lack of a third party. You dismiss GOP calls for spending cuts as "grandstanding," ignoring that the only reason they aren't allowed to move forward with those cuts is because the Dems are blocking them. Somehow, in your mind, that's the GOP's fault. And then when I ask you direct questions, you ignore them and rise above the fray.

    There are no leftist churches? MLK was dude on the right?

    The Tea Party is a bunch of ranters, as are the union members who think the government has an an obligation to bring union, manufacturing jobs back to Ohio.

    I would love a third party, and would love it if the party could somehow keep out the racists that are attracted to angry, populist movements.

    I would like the Tea Party to focus on its founding purpose (Fiscal responsibility), and remain pretty quiet on social issues. I believe the Tea Party would triple in size if would only shut up on the social issues.

    I would like the Tea Party to get a leader, so it is not constantly thwarted by every idiot who has $12 to buy a "Don't Tread on Me" flag.

    If you feel the need to categorize me, think of a fiscal conservative - social liberal. Have you ever heard of Bloomberg?

    ....now lets get back to taxing churches.

  • vidro3 said:

    Income Tax, is vastly different than payroll tax. Of course the rich pay more income tax because they make most of their money through income, (dividends, interest) not their paychecks.

    You're correct - but my point was that the "rich" (as of yet undefined in this thread) are indeed "taxable," contrary to WhyNot's claim.

  • Boygabriel said:

    there's a communist party in this country? Are they allowed on any opinion to shows to actually argue their side?

    Of course not; we don't even listen to the Working Families Party.

    BTW, how come no one has pointed out that churches and NGOs consume resources, yet don't make an equitable contribution to the cost?

    ...in this way, we can avoid the whole "the wealthy already contribute more than they consume" argument as we discuss this issue. [damn, it must suck to be wealthy in the US ...sarcasm]

  • Jimmy said:

    Sure. Institute a flat tax, I'd be fine with that.

    So a flat (%) tax on churches would be okay?

  • whynot_31 said:

    There are no leftist churches? MLK was dude on the right?

    Per his niece, yes - http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/biography/5934-niece-calls-mlk-pro-life-social-conservative

    "...judged by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin..." sounds pretty right-wing to me, pretty much in direct contrast to affirmitive action programs, "social justice," etc.

    But my larger point on that is that advocating new tax sources - regardless of the source - is an inherently leftist position.

    But I'll admit, in reading back through some of your posts, you are more fair-minded than my initial impression, I apologize.


    I would like the Tea Party to focus on its founding purpose (Fiscal responsibility), and remain pretty quiet on social issues. I believe the Tea Party would triple in size if would only shut up on the social issues.

    If you paid attention to the Tea Party, that's exactly what it's trying to do. As you say, any populist movement will attract fringe characters. But it's central goal is, and always has been, fiscal responsibility. I was at an early rally in which a woman was booed off the stage when she tried to pray, which was fine by me. But the MSM and the left insist on trying to paint the Tea Party as religious nutjobs and dominated by social conservative idealogy, because that's exactly what people don't like.

    I'd categorize Bloomberg as a social liberal and a fiscal centrist, but primarily as a big government advocate for ever-increasing intrustion into our privacy, which nullifies any redeeming qualities he may have, IMO.

  • WhyFi said:

    So a flat (%) tax on churches would be okay?

    &*$!@. No. Because I don't trust that it would remain flat. All it does is open the door to governmental oversight of religion.

  • whynot_31 said:

    BTW, how come no one has pointed out that churches and NGOs consume resources, yet don't make an equitable contribution to the cost?

    I would argue that members of churches already do contribute, through individual taxes. In addition, churches contribute significantly to communities through charitable acts, financial giving, food banks and shelters, etc.

    On a related note: I would guess that taxation of churches would be, in many cases, a regressive tax, hitting low-income families through the decrease of those services mentioned above. If anything, those low-income families would be asked to contribute more through donations (which I assume we're not talking about taxing?).

  • Jimmy said:

    &*$!@. No. Because I don't trust that it would remain flat. All it does is open the door to governmental oversight of religion.

    So, as Boygabriel said, fear is your only answer?

  • Jimmy-

    "...judged by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin..." sounds pretty right-wing to me, pretty much in direct contrast to affirmative action programs, "social justice," etc.

    is this the part where you imply that only the right truly understands the work ethic, and those not on the right think everything should be free and provided by a magical government? (yawn) This is the same two party, left-right rhetoric.

    But my larger point on that is that advocating new tax sources - regardless of the source - is an inherently leftist position.

    Is it better to spend and not tax?

    But I'll admit, in reading back through some of your posts, you are more fair-minded than my initial impression, I apologize.

    Life gets even harder if you realize both US parties are full of crap. Instead of just attacking the other party, I believe that the nation's thinkers largely spend their time holding their noses prevent stench of both parties. It makes it tough to cast a ballot, but we manage.



    If you paid attention to the Tea Party, that's exactly what it's trying to do. As you say, any populist movement will attract fringe characters. But it's central goal is, and always has been, fiscal responsibility. I was at an early rally in which a woman was booed off the stage when she tried to pray, which was fine by me. But the MSM and the left insist on trying to paint the Tea Party as religious nutjobs and dominated by social conservative idealogy, because that's exactly what people don't like.

    The Tea Party needs a leader. Its fringe chapters are bringing it down, and both the Democratic and Republican parties crack a smile when they see it implode over and over. You seem to think the Tea Party is only disliked by those on the left; I disagree...

    I'd categorize Bloomberg as a social liberal and a fiscal centrist, but primarily as a big government advocate for ever-increasing intrusion into our privacy, which nullifies any redeeming qualities he may have, IMO.

    Have you considered liking the Facebook page of Ron Paul or the John Birch society?

  • there have been a few charts floating around the past few days showing non war related discretionary spending is basically flat over the last 10 years. I can't seem to track it down at present.

    I would consider a modest tax on all "profits" retained by religious groups at a City level. I think the best result would be not too much money was collected but more money would be plowed back into the Church itself.

    That is, you don't want to pay tax? Fine. Double the size of your soup kitchen. Open a new program for at-risk teens.

    Don't replace the marble floor at St. Patricks's

  • vidro-

    All good ideas.

    ...but I take it my take it my tax on investment capital gains isn't considered sexy?

    (maybe I should put it in a bikini and in front of a classic car)

  • no, i like your idea. but i also have to question why you want to punish the Catholic church for their astute acquisitions of valuable real estste.

    /S

  • WhyFi said:

    So, as Boygabriel said, fear is your only answer?

    Call it a lack of faith. What you're asking is for Americans to trust politicians to keep their word. No way in hell.

  • vidro3 said:

    I would consider a modest tax on all "profits" retained by religious groups at a City level. I think the best result would be not too much money was collected but more money would be plowed back into the Church itself.

    To be clear, are you considering donations and tithing as "profits" for the purpose of this exercise? Because I think that's a non-starter.


    That is, you don't want to pay tax? Fine. Double the size of your soup kitchen. Open a new program for at-risk teens.

    Don't replace the marble floor at St. Patricks's

    But why should the government have this power? Where does it get the right to do anything remotely close to this?

  • But the MSM and the left insist on trying to paint the Tea Party as religious nutjobs and dominated by social conservative idealogy, because that's exactly what people don't like.

    Please. There hasn't been a movement in recent history which was given more coverage or a bigger platform for its views, despite its small size, than the tea party.

    I am a major consumer of liberal non-traditional media coverage and I can say conclusively that the tea party is always mentioned within the context of their (quixotic) attempts at fiscal austerity (as empty as such attempts may be).

    People also rightfully document the other uglier movements that occasionally joined forces with the tea party, such as xenophobes and bigots, but the anti-govt mantra of the tea party is always front and center in any coverage of them.

    The Tea Party talks a big game on govt spending, but has no concrete platform, no specifics, and no coherent policy. Even the Repubs they recently sent to Congress are already falling into bad graces among the Partiers that got them there b/c ranting against evil big govt isn't actually a governing policy.

    Governing actually requires details and specifics that, so far, the Tea Party has been unable to enunciate or put into practice.

    The Tea Party's tide has already ebbed, and it will fade into history like all the other "populist" movements that just happen to crop up whenever a Democrat is elected.

    Remember all the ones we had when Clinton was first elected? Yeah, not many other people do either.

  • whynot_31 said:

    The Tea Party needs a leader. Its fringe chapters are bringing it down, and both the Democratic and Republican parties crack a smile when they see it implode over and over. You seem to think the Tea Party is only disliked by those on the left; I disagree...

    Not sure this is accurate. In the 2010 elections the tea party was completely co-opted by the Republican party for electoral gain.

    Not only that, but most things the Tea Party stands for are traditional Republican boilerplate anyway.

    Smaller govt.

    Taxes.

    "Keep the gov out of my (gov-provided) medicare."

    I hate govt programs until it's time for me to live on social security...

    Etc Etc

    The Tea Party was heavily funded by the wealthiest Republican donors in the land (The Kochs), and it is simply a populist mask for the same old Republican philosophy.

    Bush passed Medicare Part D and spent a trillion dollars on two wars, but other than that, there's not much in the Repub party the Tea Partiers are rebelling against.

    There's a reason that a vast majority of Tea Partiers vote republican:

    They ARE Republicans.

  • whynot_31 said:

    is this the part where you imply that only the right truly understands the work ethic, and those not on the right think everything should be free and provided by a magical government? (yawn) This is the same two party, left-right rhetoric.

    You seemed to be arguing that MLK was on the left. I offered the quote as a rebuttal, that his most famous quote was in direct contrast to a sacred cow of the left.

    Is it better to spend and not tax?

    Nope. I'd be much more open to taxes to balance the budget if they were matched by permanent, significant spending cuts. But that never happens.

    You seem to think the Tea Party is only disliked by those on the left; I disagree...

    No, I know the establishment right is afraid of the Tea Party as much as the left fears it. We targeted/knocked off nearly as many GOP incumbents in 2010 as we did Dems. And it wasn't over social policies.

  • vidro3 said:

    no, i like your idea. but i also have to question why you want to punish the Catholic church for their astute acquisitions of valuable real estste.

    /S

    If I get my wish and we tax investment capital gains, I predict the churches of all varieties will buy lots more real estate to dodge "my tax".

  • Boygabriel said:

    But the MSM and the left insist on trying to paint the Tea Party as religious nutjobs and dominated by social conservative idealogy, because that's exactly what people don't like.

    Please. There hasn't been a movement in recent history which was given more coverage or a bigger platform for its views, despite its small size, than the tea party.

    I am a major consumer of liberal non-traditional media coverage and I can say conclusively that the tea party is always mentioned within the context of their (quixotic) attempts at fiscal austerity (as empty as such attempts may be).

    People also rightfully document the other uglier movements that occasionally joined forces with the tea party, such as xenophobes and bigots, but the anti-govt mantra of the tea party is always front and center in any coverage of them.

    The Tea Party talks a big game on govt spending, but has no concrete platform, no specifics, and no coherent policy. Even the Repubs they recently sent to Congress are already falling into bad graces among the Partiers that got them there b/c ranting against evil big govt isn't actually a governing policy.

    Governing actually requires details and specifics that, so far, the Tea Party has been unable to enunciate or put into practice.

    The Tea Party's tide has already ebbed, and it will fade into history like all the other "populist" movements that just happen to crop up whenever a Democrat is elected.

    Remember all the ones we had when Clinton was first elected? Yeah, not many other people do either.

    It's amusing being told what I stand for by someone like you.

  • Jimmy said:

    It's amusing being told what I stand for by someone like you.

    Ad hominem AND no substantive points or response.

    Good work, as usual.

  • Boygabriel said:

    Not sure this is accurate. In the 2010 elections the tea party was completely co-opted by the Republican party for electoral gain.

    Not only that, but most things the Tea Party stands for are traditional Republican boilerplate anyway.

    Smaller govt.

    Taxes.

    "Keep the gov out of my (gov-provided) medicare."

    I hate govt programs until it's time for me to live on social security...

    Etc Etc

    The Tea Party was heavily funded by the wealthiest Republican donors in the land (The Kochs), and it is simply a populist mask for the same old Republican philosophy.

    Bush passed Medicare Part D and spent a trillion dollars on two wars, but other than that, there's not much in the Repub party the Tea Partiers are rebelling against.

    There's a reason that a vast majority of Tea Partiers vote republican:

    They ARE Republicans.

    Yes, the Tea Party has been crushed by an influx of republicans who feel their party is not conservative enough. The Tea Party is likely beyond repair as a result.

    But I think a party that avoided social issues and focused on fiscal discipline could attract a large swath of the population if it had a good leader. Sadly, I can identify no leader that fits the bill.

  • Jimmy said:

    To be clear, are you considering donations and tithing as "profits" for the purpose of this exercise? Because I think that's a non-starter.

    profits would be the positive difference between Revenue and Expenses of the organization as a whole, not per church, or Synagogue, or parish, or diocese.

    If they would prefer not to pay the tax they could add to their expenses by reopening a closed school or something.

  • vidro3 said:

    profits would be the positive difference between Revenue and Expenses of the organization as a whole, not per church, or Synagogue, or parish, or diocese.

    If they would prefer not to pay the tax they could add to their expenses by reopening a closed school or something.

    Would you stop making sense - it's obviously not welcome here.

  • whynot_31 said:

    Yes, the Tea Party has been crushed by an influx of republicans who feel their party is not conservative enough. The Tea Party is likely beyond repair as a result.

    But I think a party that avoided social issues and focused on fiscal discipline could attract a large swath of the population if it had a good leader. Sadly, I can identify no leader that fits the bill.

    But the tea partiers were never not (almost entirely) Republican.

    It was at the beginning, it will always be. Their platform is nearly identical to parts of the core of the Republican platform.

    The difference between the tea party and the republican party is that once you get into office, you can no longer rely on generalities and slogans.

    Also, the tea party was astroturfed by the Koch brothers. So we shouldn't treat it like some organic populist uprising that happened to coincide with a Democrat getting elected.

  • Boygabriel said:

    Ad hominem AND no substantive points or response.

    Good work, as usual.

    You seem to think I'm interested in having a discussion with you, or that I care at all about what you think. I'm not, and I don't.



  • You seemed to be arguing that MLK was on the left. I offered the quote as a rebuttal, that his most famous quote was in direct contrast to a sacred cow of the left.

    I am not going to engage is an argument over whether MLK was left or right, because I feel such characterizations are simplistic.

    I used him as an example of their being a large base of religious believers in this country to respond to your claim that any discussion of taxation on religions and NGOs is an inherent attack on the right.

    Needless to say, the NGOs in this country also vary. I'd tax the assets of the Heritage foundation, Manhattan Institute, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Earth Action, Move On etc.



    Nope. I'd be much more open to taxes to balance the budget if they were matched by permanent, significant spending cuts. But that never happens.

    so, you are an independent?

    No, I know the establishment right is afraid of the Tea Party as much as the left fears it. We targeted/knocked off nearly as many GOP incumbents in 2010 as we did Dems. And it wasn't over social policies.

    ah, you use the term "we", as is Tea Party. At what point will the brand be so tarnished that you want nothing to do with it? Can you get the leaders to go to marketing class, and then start having official Tea Party events so you effectively separate yourself from the angry heard?

    ...maybe get a few scientists to come on board?

  • vidro3 said:

    profits would be the positive difference between Revenue and Expenses of the organization as a whole, not per church, or Synagogue, or parish, or diocese.

    If they would prefer not to pay the tax they could add to their expenses by reopening a closed school or something.

    In non-profit accounting this is called Net Assets

  • vidro3 said:

    profits would be the positive difference between Revenue and Expenses of the organization as a whole, not per church, or Synagogue, or parish, or diocese.

    What about denominations? Would a small Baptist church in rural Mississippi be forced to pay US taxes because the Church of England owns valuable real state in the UK?

    And what about sects of Islam? Would a Sunni mosque be asked to pay taxes because of oil price fluctuations in Saudi Arabia?


    If they would prefer not to pay the tax they could add to their expenses by reopening a closed school or something.

    So in effect, you're penalizing religious groups for saving/investing?

  • Jimmy said:

    I would argue that members of churches already do contribute, through individual taxes. In addition, churches contribute significantly to communities through charitable acts, financial giving, food banks and shelters, etc.

    On a related note: I would guess that taxation of churches would be, in many cases, a regressive tax, hitting low-income families through the decrease of those services mentioned above. If anything, those low-income families would be asked to contribute more through donations (which I assume we're not talking about taxing?).

    Many NGOs and religious institutions are tremendous assets to their communities, but this obligation stems from the demands of their customer/members, not the government.

    The government has a right to be paid for the fire and police services required. In NYC, we all must contribute to a fund which pays for the sad comedy routine Marty Markowitz and Albany provides. If I have to pay for him, I see no reason anyone should get to be exempt.

  • Jimmy said:

    You seem to think I'm interested in having a discussion with you, or that I care at all about what you think. I'm not, and I don't.

    No no, it's quite clear you're not interested in defending your views.

  • Jimmy-



    What about denominations? Would a small Baptist church in rural Mississippi be forced to pay US taxes because the Church of England owns valuable real state in the UK?

    Only if said church was dumb enough not to incorporate separately. The whole incorporation process costs about $300 in most states. I'll provide links if you want them.

    And what about sects of Islam? Would a Sunni mosque be asked to pay taxes because of oil price fluctuations in Saudi Arabia?

    see above. Are you unclear on what a capital gain is? The gain must actually be realized.



    So in effect, you're penalizing religious groups for saving/investing?

    Only to the extent that any tax of any kind discourages saving. For example, by taxing liquor you could argue I have less to invest. I (however) could simply believe I have less to spend on liquor.

    For example, by making me pay to drive across a bridge, you could argue that the revenue over and above what it cost to maintain the bridge constitutes "theft". I however, see the exhaust from my car wafting into nearby homes and know that the public must pay for treating kids asthma stemming from my pollution.

  • whynot_31 said:

    so, you are an independent?

    ...

    ah, you use the term "we", as is Tea Party.

    I'd call myself a Tea Partier, if you insist on putting a label on me. Or perhaps a conservative libertarian, or a social liberal/fiscal conservative.

  • Boygabriel said:

    No no, it's quite clear you're not interested in defending your views.

    No, I'm happy to defend them, I've been doing so all morning, just not to you.

  • whynot_31 said:

    Many NGOs and religious institutions are tremendous assets to their communities, but this obligation stems from the demands of their customer/members, not the government.

    That hardly changes the fact that they do contribute. I'd argue that such contribution is much more noble and valuable than anything the government can do.


    The government has a right to be paid for the fire and police services required. In NYC, we all must contribute to a fund which pays for the sad comedy routine Marty Markowitz and Albany provides. If I have to pay for him, I see no reason anyone should get to be exempt.

    As I said, members of religious groups and NGOs already do contribute, with individual taxes. They aren't exempt.

  • Jimmy said:

    I'd call myself a Tea Partier, if you insist on putting a label on me. Or perhaps a conservative libertarian, or a social liberal/fiscal conservative.

    How long will you give it to get its act together? At some point, will you distance yourself from a movement that has (sadly) been taken over by idiots?

  • Jimmy said:

    That hardly changes the fact that they do contribute. I'd argue that such contribution is much more noble and valuable than anything the government can do.

    As I said, members of religious groups and NGOs already do contribute, with individual taxes. They aren't exempt.

    The same could be said for any corporate entity, profit or non-profit.

    Their customers/members/clients contribute by taxes. However, when they took the step of establishing a legal entity they gained certain legal rights. ...those rights are protected by the court system, the dept of defense, the police, the fire department, etc.

    With those rights comes the obligation to contribute to the costs.

    ....what is hard about this?

  • Jimmy to Boygabrial said:

    No, I'm happy to defend them, I've been doing so all morning, just not to you.

    do you believe you have defended your views to me?

    Is there a separate thread I am missing?

  • whynot_31 said:

    Only if said church was dumb enough not to incorporate separately. The whole incorporation process costs about $300 in most states. I'll provide links if you want them.

    ...

    see above. Are you unclear on what a capital gain is? The gain must actually be realized.

    vidro3's statement was that "profits" for this purpose were any revenue that exceeded expenses. He said nothing about capital gains.

    Regardless of the merits of this particular plan, any step down this path implicitly requires that Americans, religious institutions and NGOs simply trust that the government won't play favorites. That's totally unrealistic.

  • whynot_31 said:

    The same could be said for any corporate entity, profit or non-profit.

    Their customers/members/clients contribute by taxes. However, when they took the step of establishing a legal entity they gained certain legal rights. ...those rights are protected by the court system, the dept of defense, the police, the fire department, etc.

    With those rights comes the obligation to contribute to the costs.

    ....what is hard about this?

    The hard part is that historically, religious organizations have been implicity exempt due to the separation of church and state. A tax on religious groups would violate that.

    ...what is so hard about this?

  • whynot_31 said:

    How long will you give it to get its act together? At some point, will you distance yourself from a movement that has (sadly) been taken over by idiots?

    As long as it's doing a better job and better represents my views than do the GOP or the Dems, I'll stick with them. I'll certainly give them longer than the 2+ years they've had. It beats standing for nothing and complaining about how everyone sucks.

  • Jimmy said:

    vidro3's statement was that "profits" for this purpose were any revenue that exceeded expenses. He said nothing about capital gains.

    Regardless of the merits of this particular plan, any step down this path implicitly requires that Americans, religious institutions and NGOs simply trust that the government won't play favorites. That's totally unrealistic.

    Are you familiar with the field of Accounting? In the non-profit sector, it defines profits as Net Assets. It is a figure that shows up at the bottom of the cash flow statement each year.

    Non-profits are required to fill it out, and most churches fill it out in order to show that they engage in reputable business practices.

    It allows churches to keep the donors/customers/members who insist that they spend money on soup kitchens, schools and the like.

    You know that churches/mosques/temples etc are just small businesses, right? Like a small business, they must provide a real "in this world" value to their customers.

    The entity then retains some of their earnings, and I see no reason this should not be taxed.

  • whynot_31 said:

    The entity then retains some of their earnings, and I see no reason this should not be taxed.

    Jimmy said:

    Regardless of the merits of this particular plan, any step down this path implicitly requires that Americans, religious institutions and NGOs simply trust that the government won't play favorites. That's totally unrealistic.

    Jimmy said:

    The hard part is that historically, religious organizations have been implicity exempt due to the separation of church and state. A tax on religious groups would violate that.

    ...what is so hard about this?

  • Jimmy said:

    No, I'm happy to defend them, I've been doing so all morning, just not to you.

    Right, you make it personal, then you can conveniently not defend your spurious claims.

    It's a good game you've got going:

    Make claims.

    Get challenged.

    Instead of defending your icon-clad position, go ad hominem and pretend the questions don't exist.

    I've always wondered how people managed to convince themselves that Obama has raised taxes or the rich share an unfair tax burden.

  • Jimmy said:

    "Facts" from Paul Krugman don't count.

    Pulitzer Prize winning Paul Krugman who cites actual data when making his arguments? That guy? Do "facts" from Michelle Bachmann count? What about Tea Party fiscal policy, which isn't based on any economic theory whatsoever?

    Name the taxes Obama has raised.

    I'm waiting.

  • Jimmy said:

    As long as it's doing a better job and better represents my views than do the GOP or the Dems, I'll stick with them. I'll certainly give them longer than the 2+ years they've had. It beats standing for nothing and complaining about how everyone sucks.

    I know a lot of people who won't have anything to do with the imaginary Tea Party, the imaginary Working Families Party, the republicans or the democrats. Yet, I can't say they stand for nothing or think everyone sucks.

    Where do you meet these people? How do they feel about taxing churches and NGOs?



  • Jimmy said:

    Regardless of the merits of this particular plan, any step down this path implicitly requires that Americans, religious institutions and NGOs simply trust that the government won't play favorites. That's totally unrealistic.

    Jimmy said:

    The hard part is that historically, religious organizations have been implicity exempt due to the separation of church and state. A tax on religious groups would violate that.

    ...what is so hard about this?

    a. The part about religious orgs and NGOs being legal entities that get a free ride; I was taught every entity who benefits from government should pay for its maintenance.

    b. Your reliance on a slippery slope argument that it would result in a state preferred religion. This country has been through some pretty tough times, yet avoided that so far.

  • you guys actually humour him.

  • armchair_warrior said:

    you guys actually humour him.

    I just want him to defend his position. So far, no luck.

  • whynot_31 said:

    a. The part about them being legal entities that get a free ride; I was taught everyone should pay a share.

    Not sure where you were taught that, but it's wrong. There have always been organizations and legal entities in this country that were tax-exempt.


    b. Your reliance on a slippery slope argument that it would result in a state preferred religion. This country has been through some pretty tough times, yet avoided that so far.

    Because religious organizations have always been tax-exempt.

  • whynot_31 said:

    I just want him to defend his position. So far, no luck.

    I'm sorry that a basic tenent of our system of laws/historical precedent since the founding of our country isn't good enough for you. Not sure what else I can offer.

This discussion has been closed.