Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Dialogue Between Robert and Todd (Part 3)

Robert: Stepping away from Kyoto and emissions, just anything: should the government make choices for us that we do not want?
Todd: No, by definition it shouldn't. I’m not suggesting an elitist or non-constitutional approach. I used the words "public will" deliberately. We, as the citizens, need to be more educated and more rational about how we combat harmful emissions. When we have the support of the business community and their influential dollars, this makes it easier. It's up to us, not some phantom government that is going to decide for us.
Robert: There are things that make some sense - like protecting people from being murdered for trying to vote, even though those people are in the minority. But if the vast majority of people don't want something, should the government be doing it?
Robert: One good place to start helping corporations invest more in the research you suggest: eliminate the corporate tax, which has no reason to exist in the first place.
Robert: It hinders our economy, causes inflation, hampers the job market, increases illegal immigration.... it is responsible for much of what's wrong with our country.
Robert: Put the money back in the hands of the corporations so they can do the research, they can hire the staff, they can grow the economy... I know it's not going to happen in this very liberal environment, but that's what would help the most.
Todd: I think tax relief for corporations always has that sort of bad taste to many working Americans. I don't know how you get by that, but in principle I agree with you. You have to provide a financial, profit-driven incentive to get corporations to do anything. Corporations aren't a person that has altruistic intentions; corporations need to show shareholders benefit to anything they do. And the easiest way to do that is not to hand them a check, but relieve their burden to the Government.
Todd: The less a corporation has to "render unto Caesar" the more willing they are to talk to Caesar.
Robert: Not just tax relief: tax elimination. Tell me one reason that corporations should pay taxes?
Robert: All you do by that is take money out of the hands of employers.
Robert: Corporation owners already pay taxes on dividends and gains, why should corporations pay taxes, too?
Todd: Corporations shouldn't pay taxes. The corporation isn't anything the government protects. And corporations don't pay taxes anyway. There's nobody to pay it. You and I, the customer and the employee and the shareholder pay it. So yeah, that's what I'm saying. Lessen the burden that the employee and the customer and the shareholder pay to the government, and you have relieved the American of some of his burden overall.
Robert: Then we agree on that.
Todd: That allows decision-makers in corporations to invest their money in things that help them make more money, and when that's coupled with public will (who are the customer and shareholder) you have the ability to improve a host of social and environmental ills because you are letting the market do what it does best.
Todd: In other words, you're working within industry and not trying to manipulate an industry. Robert: Exactly.
Robert: And again, exactly.
Robert: That is what people need to understand.
Robert: The government is harming the economy and harming the market's ability to respond to some of what its customers want because it is robbing the corporations of money.
Todd: Well that's kind of what taxation is all about unfortunately. The question, is there a balance? I can't imagine a taxation system that doesn't harm someone. Even the Fair Tax would do that. The issue is one of costs and benefits. If I harm the middle class worker just a little bit here, are the returns going to be that we can reduce significantly the chances of his daughter getting sick from mercury poisoning and hindering her development that makes her less productive and makes her earn less and pay less taxes and so on and so on.....

(to be continued)

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