Jun 292012
 

An analysis is HERE, but what it boils down to is this:

2014: Families––$285 or 1 percent of total household income, whichever is greater. Individual adults––$95.
2015: Families––$975 or 2 percent of income, whichever is greater. Individual adults––$325.
2016: Families––$2,085 or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is greater. Individual adults––$695.

Note that the poll tax does not kick in until 2014… well after the 2012 election. Thus come November, many people will still probably think it’s “free.” But by 2016, the tax will be $695 per person.

Granted, that’s not much compared to the price of private health insurance… it’s one month’s worth or so, or potentially much less. But it’s still a poll tax, something rather new in America.

Now that it has passed Constitutional muster, other poll taxes would seem obvious. The idea behind the Obamacare poll tax is that everyone needs healthcare insurance,” and thus it’s appropriate for there to be a single tax-price for every individual. Well, national defense is something that covers each American equally. That SM-3 ballistic missile interceptor that stops the nuclear missile from vaporizing Seattle protects  the homeless bum no more or less than the billionaire, the baby no less than the octogenarian. Thus, a National Defense Poll Tax would be appropriate. Since 2012 defense spending is about $1.4 trillion, and the US population is about 313 million, that means that a national defense poll tax of about $4473 per individual would be appropriate. For a family of 4, that means $17,891 per year.

Now, you can bribe your way out of the Obamacare Poll Tax by sending large sums of money to government approved corporate entities. What would be an appropriate way out of the National Defense Poll Tax? I come back to buying guns and ammo, but perhaps also crew served weapons, anti-tank ordnance, jet fighters, whatever. The law would have to be changed to allow for the purchase of destructive devices, but I’m sure that could be buried within the  two or three thousand pages of the National Affordable Defense Poll Tax law.

 Posted by at 9:13 pm
  • Bert

    Pretty weak sauce to use a deliberately confusing term, don’t you think? Probably should strive for clarity and use a Per Capita tax, or Head Tax. Head Tax sounds scary, doesn’t it?

    ” The second meaning of poll tax, namely a tax to be paid as a prerequisite to voting, is more widely known in the United States today. The term was widely used in the South at the turn of the 20th century in combination with other measures as a means of disfranchisement to bar poor people, especially blacks, from voter registration and voting.”

    Trying to piggyback on the outrage generated by racist disenfranchisement makes me wonder if maybe there isn’t enough to justify outrage in a less ambiguous term.

    • Jordan

      Nope.

    • Anonymous

      > a deliberately confusing term

      Really? The link in the post defines “poll tax” thusly:
      “A poll tax (head tax or capitation tax, per U.S. English usage) is a tax of a portioned, fixed amount applied to an individual in accordance with the census (as opposed to a percentage of income). ”

      It’s the same concept, and it’s the term I’ve always used for a “per capita tax.” If others associate it with the “voting tax,” that’s fine, but it’s not how I learned it.

      • Bert

        Yeah, and that is great if you spell it colour and eat marmite. But in America, poll taxes mean taxes on polls.

        • Anonymous

          Does it *really* matter what it’s called? It’s a tax on existence.

          • Bert

            Yeah, it does. Because a Poll Tax in America means a very specific shameful thing. Using the term makes it look like you either don’t know that, or like you were being dishonest with it.

            You can argue that the ACA is a capitation, you can argue that that is shameful. But it isn’t a Poll Tax. Not in American English as it is spoken by people who wish to make themselves clear to other Americans.

            I point it out because I think it makes you look silly to use a word wrong.

          • Bert

            When you read the 24th amendment, what do you think they are talking about when they use the phrase? Is it the thing you are talking about, or the thing I am talking about?

          • Anonymous

            > When you read the 24th amendment, what do you think they are talking about when they use the phrase?

            “poll tax or other tax” hardly redefines it to mean something more specific than “poll tax” as a set-dollar-amount tax on existence.

            To me, this argument of yours is about as important as “soda” vs “pop” vs “sodapop,” or “Kirk vs Picard.”

          • Anonymous

            > Because a Poll Tax in America means a very specific shameful thing.

            It means “a tax on each individual in the same dollar amount.” That was the education *I* got. Of course, I was not raised and educated in the South or any region that had recently actually *used* a poll tax; when I learned about it in school, it was described as what it means, not how Southern Democrats used it.

            Now, if you want to go back to the 1970’s and 1980’s and tell the edumacation system in northern Illinois that they need to stop defining terms the way they were generally accepted in that region, and instead redefine them to mean what they meant in some other region, be my guest.

          • Fredrick Rothburton

            I got a public education in northern Illinois in the 1970s and 1980s (and stared in wonder as John Hughes made my childhood into the center of the teenage universe), and I understand the term “poll tax” to be the same as what Bert is referring to.

            But what was so shameful about that? There are many people who say that the only way to save the republic is to restrict the franchise to people who aren’t fluffy, and one measure of that is the ability to pay a poll tax.

          • Anonymous

            > I understand the term “poll tax” to be the same as what Bert is referring to.

            Shrug. It was not an oft-covered topic in my education. My only vague recollection of it ever coming up was in a discussion of early American politics (late 18th/early 19th century), along with stuff about how voting was originally restricted to landowners. It next arose during the Thatcher administration, when it hit the news because the BritGuv attempted to institute it or something.

            > John Hughes made my childhood into the center of the teenage universe

            Molly Ringwald. Mmmmm…

            > There are many people who say that the only way to save the republic is to restrict the franchise to people who aren’t fluffy

            Not sure what you mean by “fluffy,” but I certainly wouldn’t object to a federal voting law that gives each American citizen one single vote for every 10% of their income that they pay in federal income taxes, with blocks in place to restrict the franchise from those who live on the public dole.

      • Bert
  • Murgatroyd

    … What would be an appropriate way out of the National Defense Poll Tax? I come back to buying guns and ammo, but perhaps also crew severed [served?] weapons, anti-tank ordnance, jet fighters, whatever.

    The latter would clearly pass Constitutional muster, since Article 1 Section 8 lists issuing letters of marque and reprisal as one of the enumerated powers of Congress — privateers could not function if they were armed only with pistols and muskets.

  • Glen

    > thus it’s appropriate for there to be a single tax-price for every individual.

    oh, no, this won’t stand. There are too many people who believe in a “progressive” tax for anything like a flat tax to exist for long.

    And like our current tax system, there will be people who will buy themselves a loophole to not pay the taxes.

  • Peter Hanely

    Had to look up the relevant parts of the constitution on this:

    “Amendment 24 – Poll Tax Barred. Ratified 1/23/1964.

    1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

    2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

    I take that to mean they can punish you for failure to pay taxes, but they can’t stop you from voting to cast the bums out.

    This would all be moot except for

    “Amendment 16 – Status of Income Tax Clarified. Ratified 2/3/1913.

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”