By SharperIron Aug 02 2012 TaxesSocial EthicsPovertyEvangelical group opposes GOP tax plan 3220 reads There are 14 Comments Economics Aaron Blumer - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 9:01am More evidence that failing to teach economics from a biblical (and historically accurate) perspective is having increasing consequences for evangelicals. These guys can't tell the difference between what feels compassionate and what actually helps people. But I have to say it's politically stupid for the GOP to appear to be allowing anybody's taxes to increase. Shabby ethical system Kevin T. Bauder - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 11:29am Tony Campolo is still being quoted as an evangelical? That says something about the story. And about the group. If you begin with a flawed definition of justice, you'll end up making a lot of moral pronouncements that call good evil and evil good. That's exactly what this group does. If you begin with a flawed Joel Shaffer - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 11:50am If you begin with a flawed definition of justice, you'll end up making a lot of moral pronouncements that call good evil and evil good. That's exactly what this group does. Tony Campolo's definition of social justice: Social justice is nothing more than love transformed into social policy. The question is, Should Christians love? Christians do agree that they should love, and they agree that Social Justice is love transformed into social policy. What they don’t always agree on is how to make that transformation. Very different than a Biblical view of justice, which is why Tony's view of justice can definitely lead to "making alot of moral pronouncements that call evil good and good evil." The tax code is a mess Jim - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 11:59am It needs to be radically reformed Corporate income taxes just push hidden taxes upon the populace and invite corruption. EG. Who pays for the football stadium suites? Corporations! And they deduct it as a sales expense which reduces their taxes. Thus the public pays for the corporations to own luxury suites (I've benefited by this several times ... eg Rangers baseball tickets in the 1st row right behind the dugout. I won't name the company but it is HQ'd in Dallas) Additionally corporate taxes encourage the movement of companies offshore. Examples Seagate and Accenture are HQ'd in Ireland (I have relatives that work at both) Everyone should pay some tax. 46 Percent of Americans Exempt From Federal Income Tax in 2011 I personally favor a graduated income tax (as we now have). Some favor a flat tax and I see value in that. Anyone who makes money from disparate sources knows that the tax code is ridiculously complex. Examples: Investing in a Master limited partnership? Taxpayer does not receive a 1099 but rather a K-1 Dividends! Capital gains! Foreign taxes (say one has invested in Seagate and receives dividends)! Capital gains in an IRA ... not taxed (income stream from IRA is taxed). Capital gains in a brokerage account ... taxed. Dividends in an IRA ... not taxed (income stream rule). Dividends in a non-IRA ... taxed The federal tax code is 72,000 pages long. source (Chart below) Twitter Jim's Doctrinal Statement And then there are looney ideas like this Jim - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 2:49pm US Olympic Medal Winners Get Bonuses and Tax Bill In the U.S., gold medal winners get $25,000, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. This is not government money, its paid by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Potential GOP Vice Presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (R-FLA) has sponsored a bill that medal winning U.S. athletes shouldn't have to pay taxes on the money they receive. Taxes on a gold medal could run as high as $8,986, while silver could be $5,385. On a bronze metal, the tax might be $3,500. Twitter Jim's Doctrinal Statement Jim are you saying it is Robert Byers - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 2:53pm Jim are you saying it is looney to tax them or to exempt them? Olympic taxes dcbii - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 3:02pm Actually, the information flying around on this is pretty contradictory (check out snopes as well). I think the idea of taxing olympic athletes on their medals is completely crazy, if true. However, on the amounts of money they win from the olympic committee, I can't see why they shouldn't pay income taxes same as everyone else. Dave Barnhart Looney to exclude them from taxes Jim - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 3:06pm Hey I appreciate them but they need to pay taxes on their incomes like other citizens. Twitter Jim's Doctrinal Statement They are not taxes on the medals Jim - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 3:07pm dcbii wrote: Actually, the information flying around on this is pretty contradictory (check out snopes as well). I think the idea of taxing olympic athletes on their medals is completely crazy, if true. However, on the amounts of money they win from the olympic committee, I can't see why they shouldn't pay income taxes same as everyone else. The medals themselves are basically non-valuable. The bonuses are the income Twitter Jim's Doctrinal Statement Medals vs. money dcbii - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 3:13pm Jim wrote: The medals themselves are basically non-valuable. The bonuses are the income I agree with this, but that's not all that clear in some of the "scare" headlines being written and passed around on the internet today. Of course, while the material in the medal is not worth much, that doesn't really speak to the value of the medal in the market. One athlete recently sold his gold medal for $1 million and gave the proceeds to a charitable foundation he is running. Still, even with "future value" considered, I think taxing the actual medal would be really mercenary on the part of our government, vs. taxing the bonus income, which I think is completely reasonable and normal. Dave Barnhart Other tax code ideas Jim - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 3:40pm We all love these but they make no sense: My company's cost their health care contribution to me is tax free to me. A code adjustment could be to tax it as income but provide every worker a $ 5000 tax credit to pay for medical insurance. The history of the tax exclusion goes back to post WWII when wage and price controls were in place. To get around it, companies gave free medical insurance. The mortgage interest deduction. Great for those with mortgages ... not a benefit at all to renters. The interest deduction contributed to the housing glut and bubble. No Pastor's going to like this, but the housing allowance should be eliminated. (Probably would need to be phased out). Congregations would need to adjust and pay the Pastor more but they can do it! Twitter Jim's Doctrinal Statement Love sans knowledge Aaron Blumer - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 5:50pm Social justice is nothing more than love transformed into social policy. The question is, Should Christians love? Christians do agree that they should love, and they agree that Social Justice is love transformed into social policy. What they don’t always agree on is how to make that transformation. Well, I agree that this definition leaves alot to be desired, but even "love transformed into social policy" doesn't justify ignoring actual results of social policy. I think you could have that definition and still do pretty well if you had an accurate view of how property, trade and productivity actually work. His "love" appears to mean "uninformed sentiment," but it doesn't have to.... it just needs good information. Php 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, When I was a little kid, I got rather fond of one of my mother's houseplants. I decided it needed some more love. I "fed" it copious amounts of vinegar. ... "love transformed into plant care.' “Favoring the wealthiest 2 Chip Van Emmerik - Fri, 08/03/2012 - 6:59am “Favoring the wealthiest 2 percent over working families is irresponsible public policy that fails a basic moral test,” This is a ridiculous statement on its face. First, every tax plan out there is progressive, so the wealthiest 2 percent always end up paying more. Working families are always favored. Second, since when is it favoring someone to take less of what they own than was previously taken. Tax reduction isn't government largesse favoring the wealthy, it is simply a shrinking of government intrusion. If that can be construed in any way as favoring the wealthy, it is only because the wealthy have been abused previously by the middle and lower classes. Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things? Framing Aaron Blumer - Fri, 08/03/2012 - 8:31am Yes, Liberals have succeeded in framing the public conversation about taxes as though the money belonged to the government to start with. So we have lots of talk of cuts "needing to be paid for," etc. This is backwards. It's always a tax that needs to be justified, not a cut. An "unfunded tax cut" is an oxymoron. Only spending can be "unfunded" and tax cuts are not spending.