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WaitForIt

Voting Rights

37 posts in this topic

Someone at work mentioned something today in passing when we were talking about the role of government in our lives and what it means to vote.

What do you think of only allowing people who are currently paying or have (in the past) paid taxes to vote?

I see a number of advantages. For one, if you have no 'skin in the game' and get all your money refunded every year, what possible right should you have to decide how revenue is spent?

Politicians would have to be much more prudent on spending as their chance of re-election would move inversely to how much taxation they promoted.

Retirees would still be voting as they contributed heavily during their earning years.

Why shouldn't those who fund government get to decide how it operates?

Of course this will never, ever happen.. but let's hash it out anyway.

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So, if I go to the store and buy a 25 cent bubble gum, and pay 1 cent tax, I get to vote.

What would be different?

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Starship Troopers. Only veterans of military service get to vote. If you want to enlist they have to take you.

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Wow, this one is way out there cant wait to see where it goes if it does at all. Actually dont think any good can come from this discussion but only device and [PoorWordUsage] people off.

Gees I know there are groups out there that despise the poor but to take a step backwards to deny a class the right to vote? Whats next one has to be a christian. Why let anybody vote let it be a dictatorship.

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Everyone pays taxes in one way or another, even non-residents pay taxes. Every time we buy something that is assessed sales tax, we pay taxes. Every gallon of gasoline, diesel, or other road fuel comes with taxes applied. Electricity is taxed. Anyone that owns/rents property pays taxes. Alcohol and tobacco are taxed. If you license and drive a vehicles you pay taxes.

I have an idea where you're going with this and you have it all wrong. Contrary to popular belief, the wealthy pay taxes, lots of taxes. Some may not pay taxes directly through income taxes but they pay them by the products they buy, the development they finance, and the investments they make.

There are those that don't pay income taxes because they don't earn enough money in a given year to do so. Why should they be penalized for living in poverty?

I have been there and I can tell you from personal experience that I was elated when I finally got to pay income taxes again. Sounds weird but true. Having to pay income tax assured me that I was actually making money again.

So what would you propose next? Shall our votes be weighted based on the taxes we pay? The average citizen wouldn't get much of a vote. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis in 2007 "the top 1 percent paid about the same amount of federal individual income taxes as the bottom 95 percent." In other words, for each vote by a member of that 1%, it would take 95 votes from the rest of us to negate that vote. That would really suck.

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With a comment like that you make socialism look good! Every one pays tax in one way or another.

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I do NOT think this is a good idea. Everyone has taxes taken out, some just get them all back (Then some, but thats a different discussion about tax law)

I DO think one should at LEAST have an ID and be able to answer a few basic questions before they are allowed to vote.

1) Who are the candidates?

2) What are the basis of their differences?

If you can't answer those basic questions, you do not have enough knowledge to cast a ballot, you are following the popular opinion of others.

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Quote:
I know there are groups out there that despise the poor but to take a step backwards to deny a class the right to vote?

I don't entirely equate this idea to 'despising the poor'. Nearly 40% of Americans have no state or federal income tax liability, so they may be more inclined to vote for candidates promising them ever-increasing entitlements. I hold this as definitely not a good thing. Who wouldn't vote to receive more 'free' goods and services when you aren't paying for them?

I see the issues raised with what it means to have tax liability and how a cutoff would be determined, but that is actually immaterial to the basic IDEA of the thread.

This is intended as a thought-activity. As I said, it has zero chance of happening anyway. Don't criticize me, debate the merits of the idea.

I do like the idea of at least requiring someone to have an ID, though many apologists will say that also burdens the poor unfairly.

Quote:
So what would you propose next? Shall our votes be weighted based on the taxes we pay? The average citizen wouldn't get much of a vote. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis in 2007 "the top 1 percent paid about the same amount of federal individual income taxes as the bottom 95 percent." In other words, for each vote by a member of that 1%, it would take 95 votes from the rest of us to negate that vote. That would really suck.

No, I would not favor that. Perhaps a better way to reconcile disproportionate taxation would be to eliminate the progressive tax system, but thats a whole other discussion.

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Personally, I believe that it is a responsability for every US citizen to vote. I think that it is terrible that more people voted for the American Idol than the President. That said, I do think you should have to present a valid, picture ID in order to vote. It drives me crazy to hear all of the people whining about this or that...how the govenment owes them this or that...but was so busy that they could not be bothered to vote....I tell them that if they did not vote...their opinion means nothing to me.

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One thing about voting that I think many people forget is that while it is a right it is also a duty. Unfortunately too many of us don't take that duty seriously and if we vote at all we vote not on the basis of the prinicpals for which the candidates stand but on the basis of how we think another person will vote. We put those in office that pass the laws allowing some to avoid paying some taxes but we put them there without intending to do so and then we cry foul after the fact. We've made the bed we sleep in.

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Interesting perspective, but I do have a problem with it. You are taking away our very basic right we have as Americans.

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One of the worst ideas I've ever seen on this board.

I disagree Canon Guy.

There are dozens on here that are worse than that.

grin

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Someone at work mentioned something today in passing when we were talking about the role of government in our lives and what it means to vote.

What do you think of only allowing people who are currently paying or have (in the past) paid taxes to vote?

I see a number of advantages. For one, if you have no 'skin in the game' and get all your money refunded every year, what possible right should you have to decide how revenue is spent?

Politicians would have to be much more prudent on spending as their chance of re-election would move inversely to how much taxation they promoted.

Retirees would still be voting as they contributed heavily during their earning years.

Why shouldn't those who fund government get to decide how it operates?

Of course this will never, ever happen.. but let's hash it out anyway.

One of the best user names I've ever seen on HSO/FM. Excellent.

The argument is flawed because, as pointed out already, there are a lot of ways the government exercises its power of taxation that have nothing to do with the income tax.

But shoot, with a username like yours, I'll be happy to wait for more. Got any tips on fishing, hunting or other outdoors pursuits? gringrin

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The argument is flawed because, as pointed out already, there are a lot of ways the government exercises its power of taxation that have nothing to do with the income tax.

But shoot, with a username like yours, I'll be happy to wait for more. Got any tips on fishing, hunting or other outdoors pursuits? gringrin

I totally agree. I also suggest that the whole 'skin in the game' argument is morally weak. Lots of folks would prefer to abstract from global economics. Possibly to a degree were they might barter and do local exchanges to avoid the 'sin' of the economic 'game'. Mandating a 'skin in the game' social value is a path for competition and I surmise eventually war in a resource limited world.

Capitalism is expensive politics, especially when you want to pretend it's democratic.

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Originally Posted By: Canon Guy
One of the worst ideas I've ever seen on this board.

I disagree Canon Guy.

There are dozens on here that are worse than that.

grin

Ok then, that has to be the 37th worst idea I've ever seen on this board. laugh

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you can vote if you are a legal U.S. citizen, if not no vote. IMO, ONLY.

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you can vote if you are a legal U.S. citizen, if not no vote. IMO, ONLY.

I'd add that you had to be alive and only get one vote per person, not per false name.

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I'd be all for compulsory voting, maybe give a few groups like the Amish an exemption. We could require folks to vote before they pick-up their check(s)!! eek

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What would be to gain from compulsory voting by someone that doesn't give a rip?

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The same thing that you get from people that vote one way or another based on a party affiliation or on a ridiculous issue invented to divide people.

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At least when someone votes based on the party support, they are voting based on what they believe the party stands for as a whole. It is still to some degree a vote with some idea of what they are voting for.

Forcing someone to vote by law would force some to vote whether they had any idea of a candidates views, attitudes, or whatever. In a nutshell they'd be closing their eyes and pinning on the tail.

I'd rather have someone vote party lines than vote totally and completely blind. Although there are times when one can't help but think the end result might be better.

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