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Will the Bailout Affect Your Tax Honesty?
Old 09-28-2008, 07:06 PM   #1
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Will the Bailout Affect Your Tax Honesty?

Obviously, the exact form of the bailout is not clear at this time. However, lets assume for purposes of this questions, that we have (IMHO) a worst-case scenario. 1) Mortgage backed securities are purchased from the present owners at above-market prices, 2) mortgagees are then given significant breaks in principles and interest rates and 3) the market still craters. You, as a prudent investor (no ownership of mortgage back derivatives, or perhaps you have a ton of cash to invest and would benefit from a stock market collapse) and homeowner (affordable mortgage on a reasonably prices home or no mortgage at all), pay the price but do not reap the benefits.

Let's further assume that you run an all cash business and have been scrupulously honest on your tax returns in the past. Would this scenario change how you would do you taxes in the future? For me, the answer I think is yes, if I believed I could get away with it. At some point I believe that I will get tired of bearing the price of the financial idiocy of the rest of the county, and I am not talked just about the most current crisis. Social Security that I will not collect in order to fund people who are collecting more than they paid (Medicare and Medicare more of the same), Unfunded Public Pension, 50% of the population not paying federal income taxes, etc. I have away been pretty moderate, agree with a progressive federal income taxes, etc, but I am starting to get pissed off.

Yes, I am whining if you have not already noticed.
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:11 PM   #2
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So it is OK if your business ethics go out the window just because you feel bitchy about not getting a slice of gummint pie?

Remind me not to do business with you.
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:30 PM   #3
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Let's further assume that you run an all cash business and have been scrupulously honest on your tax returns in the past. Would this scenario change how you would do you taxes in the future?
No. I don't pay my taxes because they are fair and I agree with them. I pay my taxes because what we do defines who we are. I am a person who pays her taxes, doesn't write bad checks, and uses crosswalks when crossing the street.

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Yes, I am whining if you have not already noticed.
Yes, I kinda did. But who among us has never whined?
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:42 PM   #4
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That's the easiest ignore yet. Culture, wouldn't that make you a deadbeat just like those you are opposed to?
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:19 PM   #5
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agree with a progressive federal income taxes
So you're peeved that someone is benefiting disproportionately from your tax payment but you agree with a progressive income tax? Seems like an oxymoron, no?
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:04 PM   #6
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Remind me not to do business with you.
I guess the questions is: At what point does the social contract break down? Never? It is my opinion that at some point the tyranny of the majority justifies civil disobedience. it is my opinion that the Bailout is the kind of event that is a total shift in the current social contract that we operate under. Privatization of profit, and socialism of risk.

Brewer, i think that I would love to do business with you if you believe it is OK for me to change the rules mid-way into the game if my circumstances change. Of course, I suspect that you do not actually believe this in regards to contract that you enter into. Why is this different?
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:07 PM   #7
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So you're peeved that someone is benefiting disproportionately from your tax payment but you agree with a progressive income tax? Seems like an oxymoron, no?
No, I am peeves that that a large voting block of people who made large mistakes is holdings the rest of the country hostage. Of course, I feel the same way about those of my Houston neighbors who built on a sand-spit and now want you to bail them out.

I am unhappy with the appreciation of my Houston area real estate (which has been at about inflation over the past 18 years), and would love the government to pump up the value. I do not think this is going to happen, and do not think it should.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:08 PM   #8
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That's the easiest ignore yet. Culture, wouldn't that make you a deadbeat just like those you are opposed to?
In a sense, absolutely.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:15 PM   #9
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Brewer, i think that I would love to do business with you if you believe it is OK for me to change the rules mid-way into the game if my circumstances change. Of course, I suspect that you do not actually believe this in regards to contract that you enter into. Why is this different?
Perhaps you are really this naive. You've never seen two or more parties to an agreement change the terms in the midst of a transaction? Happens all the time. And you bet your bippy that I would expect you to change the terms if you went BK or were about to do so (as you would presumably expect of me).

Fergawdsakes, life isn't fair. Get over it. Good people do die young. Evil bastids walk the earth untouched by the authorities. Millions of people pay into social welfare programs they will never personally see a dime from. Life goes on.
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:52 AM   #10
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Perhaps you are really this naive. You've never seen two or more parties to an agreement change the terms in the midst of a transaction? Happens all the time. And you bet your bippy that I would expect you to change the terms if you went BK or were about to do so (as you would presumably expect of me).
Brewer, I run my own business and have plenty of experience with this. However, it is one thing for you and I to re-negotiate a contract, or for a contract to be renegotiated for me by a BR judge, under laws that existed and were in force at the time we entered into a contact. it is a totally different situation for a group to use its political pull to actually change the rules in the middle of the contract.

What would you think about the the government passing a law allowing mortgage holders to raise interest rates to the current prevailing rate? Don't laugh, you may happen to know this was tried, and almost succeeded, in the late 70's. Would you just go along with this; hey, its that law, I must obey?

I guess I am just getting more pessimistic about the behavior of the public the more I see as I get older. About 80-90% of the American public is either 1) under-educated, un-educable, has no critical thinking skills and is proud of it or 2) is only concerned about getting what it theirs. These elements are running the county into the ground.

See Scott Burns column today if you want to see more of this.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:15 AM   #11
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it is a totally different situation for a group to use its political pull to actually change the rules in the middle of the contract.
I say again: it happens all the time. What do you think the bankruptcy "reform" bill was a few years ago, for example?

But I give up. You have made your decision and decided to hate 'Murica and all the 'Merkins.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:29 AM   #12
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right sanctifies civil disobedience, not wrong.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:48 AM   #13
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right sanctifies civil disobedience, not wrong.
Did Gandhi say that?
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:49 AM   #14
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Will the Bailout Affect Your Tax Honesty?

No. I don't like to lose sleep, pay fines or go to jail. I've never been in jail, but I've looked at the faces of people that are booked in for almost eight years now. They do not look happy.

But, hey...that's just me.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:00 AM   #15
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....

to change the rules mid-way into the game if my circumstances change. Of course, I suspect that you do not actually believe this in regards to contract that you enter into....
-
This was the first rule of business I learned while working for an export company. My company had all kinds of procedures in place to deal with changing laws from other countries. Most memorable was a shipment of oranges en route from San Pedro to Hong Kong, a 20-plus day voyage. The powers that be in Hong Kong suddenly required a new document that hadn't gone through our bank; this was 1975 and papers had to be original; well we found a way to meet the boat with the newly-required document. Our goal was to allow our buyers to get the oranges off the dock before they rotted there.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:33 AM   #16
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About 80-90% of the American public.......2) is only concerned about getting what it theirs.
I fit into that group.....I'm concerned about me and mine. If what's good for me, is good for others...great! If not....then let the others be concerned for themselves. That being said, and to clarify slightly......I'm for whatever is good for the majority of my peers (that being folks around 50 years of age and older.....especially retirees. When I was younger, I supported things that were good for myself and my peers in that age group.)

Besides I think your "80-90%" is a little bit off! I mean really....you actually think that there is a mere 10-20% of the population that has any education, common sense, or integrity? I know sometimes it may seem that way, but I'll give the American people a bit more credit than that.

As for SS, Medicare, Medicaid, and that sort of thing.....I'm for it regardless of whether I qualify for it or not. Is there abuse of the system? Probably. But that's the minority of the cases, not the majority. IMHO.

And as far as paying taxes.....I never cheated before....and I'll never cheat in the future. It's a simple matter of integrity and honesty......two character traits that I hold in VERY high esteem in my personal life....as well as in the folks that I choose to associate with. If taxes go up...they go up. If I don't want to pay them, I can always move to another country where life is better.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:51 AM   #17
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Nope. Nothing changes the rules for me. I will continue paying my taxes as I always have. And the rest of you should be happy because I "donate" a considerable sum to Uncle Sam every year. AMT picked up the slack for any other taxes cuts - I pay it one way or the other.

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Old 09-29-2008, 10:13 AM   #18
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I'll continue trying to pay all the tax I owe and nothing more. Except for out of state sales tax (use tax) which I don't feel is really required of me because they aren't serious about collecting it.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:16 AM   #19
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I'll continue trying to pay all the tax I owe and nothing more. Except for out of state sales tax (use tax) which I don't feel is really required of me because they aren't serious about collecting it.
From an interstate commerce point of view, I don't see how states have the authority to force sales tax payments on items purchased from entities with no "nexus" in the buyer's own state. Seems to me that's something that only Congress can provide for.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:17 AM   #20
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