14 JULY 2013 :: Taxes and Tithing

As I was going through my years of poverty and struggling to find my way out of it through various business and education options, I thought about how GOD works in our world, and in the day to day lives of Christians. Being on government assistance, and community assistance programs, much longer than I ever wanted to be, I wondered where GOD was in the process. If He was my "husband," He was a pretty nominal provider... especially when I attended churches with people who seemed to have a lot more than I in terms of money and possessions (which is a subconscious measure of their place in Christian hierarchies - where they fit in GOD's Kingdom). I kept searching for the answer, and I don't know if I have found it yet.

I am up in the wee hours tonight, and at about 2 am I made a comment on the Speaker of the House's website about the Farm Bill and food stamps. I shared some details about my life that applied to that topic...and my view that the government better put food stamps at the top of their priority list because, even when you are homeless, food stamps keep you from being desperate and heading into crime. The Farm Bill/food stamp issue never seemed to mention that the people who were going to be deprived of assistance were "violent rapists, murderers, and pedophiles" ...people we don't need desperate for food.

Writing that comment brought back years of memories... hard times... wasted efforts... and problems with the poverty systems we have in America. When I was trying to get through it, I reasoned that GOD used taxes to force people to tithe and care for the needy. Over the years, I could see the shift in the church toward sending people to the government as a solution to their benevolence problems. I discovered endless circles of information provision, searching for help and ending up worse than when I started. As Working Together formed in my life, I began to look for better options for the future. I began to realize that the Church is going to suffer greatly in the downward spiral of prophecy.

As a nation, we have to find a budget that we can live with, one that includes help for those who have no one else to care for them -- which will become more and more people as our society becomes more damaged. Here are some of my suggestions:

  • I think we need to get rid of the current tax system and change to a SALES TAX ONLY system because it is the only tax that can be applied at a global level. A 10% flat sales tax could be divided between international government (1%), federal government (3%), state government (3%), and county government (3%). Each section of the government will be responsible for separate activities. Every citizen (and visitors) will pay taxes at the same level. Poor people will pay less, and rich people will pay more. It creates a fairer support system.

    The Internet is going to require a global court and police/military system to cope with rising global crimes on the Internet. Terrorism and Dictators, disasters, and other global issues will require global interventions, too. How to maintain our national freedoms in the process of international law is going to be the challenge. Sales taxes allow each level of government to be funded.

  • Getting rid of income taxes and property taxes will greatly reduce the need for an IRS oversight. Once our homes are paid for, they will be ours. There won't be a fear of losing one's home to the tax court. Not having to pay income taxes makes our wages really our own. A flat sales tax of 10% keeps the level of government involvement in our lives at a fair level. Some programs can be operated as business options, like Social Security and Medicaid, with separate particpation fees and the option to join or not join.

  • I have always hated huge government subsidy programs, especially for farming, which is a business like other businesses. Farm subsidies aren't good...but a small farm lending program would help those who need a hand through a hard time. Farmers need help when things go wrong, not payments to keep them from growing things. Every business has to deal with making decisions about their growth. Farmers are no different than manufacturers and retailers.

  • I don't think our founding fathers expected elected officials to be in office for their entire working life. Government positions are not meant to be career positions, and their benefits are extravagant. I think we need to make them more focused on "public service" income levels. Maybe we need to tie their wages and benefits to the economic health of the country, like minimum wage and Medicaid.

  • School loans are a real sore subject with me! We need some changes in how people can finish their educations. Sometimes people can't go full time, and need to take a longer time to finish. Single parents, especially, but any family needs to balance their time and money issues. Some students need part-time school and full-time work, others need part-time work and full-time school. To get funding with the government you HAVE TO go to school full-time, even in the middle of a crisis. I think it would be better to work out the funding relationship on a one-to-one basis.

    It's not like the government doesn't have access to our financial lives. They know what we make and how we make it and take our refunds until we pay it off. Policies in the debt repayment system are ridiculous. I could have finished my education and been working for more money by now. All these years of struggle have taken my school debt from $30,000 to about $150,000 (I think), and I still can't make minimum payments. It is a really stupid system. People can't even qualify for a scholarship with school loan debts in place. If I have to live on food stamps, I should be able to qualify for student aid...as long as I am in school at least part-time. My mantra is that I hope to win the lottery and pay it off before I die!

  • I have been trying to talk the prison systems into creating a website for inmate sales options, with listing fees to cover expenses and try to make money for the various corrections systems. I think the federal government needs to establish and maintain it, with all the prisons and jails, parole and probation departments being able to link into it. I call it "eBay for Inmates". It would change the lives of so many people, and create a much better focus for both the corrections and inmate populations. The details are too many to mention here...and I am getting tired.

    I hope we can use this budget crisis to create positive change at all levels. I am sure other American citizens have ideas on how to save money instead of waste tax dollars...maybe we need a comment page for that.

    May GOD help our country to be the country we once were : strong, healthy, and brave.