I have a long memory...

spr1975wshs

Mostly settled in...
PREMO Member
Since bicycles use the public thoroughfares, how about licensing and registering these non-motorized vehicles for those who are old enough to have a motor vehicle operator's license...should they pay their "fair share" for road maintenance?
 

Dukesdad

Well-Known Member
Well one commissioner smartened up and changed his mind on the tax increases--keep up the pressure!
This commissioner will tell you it's night when it's day. IMO he has little regard for facts or truth. His agenda is his only concern and it's not to benefit anyone other than his self. Changed his mind? Not likely.
 

TCROW

Well-Known Member
Since bicycles use the public thoroughfares, how about licensing and registering these non-motorized vehicles for those who are old enough to have a motor vehicle operator's license...should they pay their "fair share" for road maintenance?
Since most bike riders pay taxes, they already pay their “fair share”.
 

LightRoasted

If I may ...
If I may ...

On the surface, that's a very reasonable argument. However, it apparently ignores the fact that certain things are practically necessary for modern life, and thus taxing them is just as forceful as taxing wages. Thus, the government is still forcing people to do something "against their will." (...or at least against YOUR will; I personally am willing to pay taxes and have the option of moving if I disagree.) There are many things people think are necessitates, when in fact they are not. It is not forceable taxation. But in these instances, people can decide for themselves if they want the items that are taxed at the point of sale.

So if you only proposed to tax true luxuries, your argument would be more compelling. Most everything that cannot be made for personal use by the end user, is subject to tariffs, and excise and sales taxes. Need a bolt of cloth to make some dungarees? A Sunday best dress? Taxable at the country store in addition to having an excise tax made at the manufacturing level and a tariff if imported. Make the cloth yourself using your homemade loom and thread spun from the wool of sheep using a homemade spinning wheel stitched together with a wooden or homemade needle? No tax.

But even that is not as simple as it first appears. Yes. It pretty much is.

Is food a luxury or a necessity? Everyone must eat. A necessity and not subject to sales taxes already, except prepared and packaged foods.
If food is a necessity, what about all items related to preparing the food properly? Can't have one without the other. Luxuries. Hard goods are taxed.
Is toilet paper a necessity? Nope, though convenient, sure isn't. Also taxed at the point of sale.
If so, is Charmin a luxury simply because it's softer? A luxury. Also taxed
Is a car a luxury or a necessity, if you need to get to a job? Many jobs simply cannot be reached with a bicycle. A luxury. Also subject to sale tax, road user fees and gas taxes, excise taxes and tariffs. Just because we've been accustomed to them, over time, does not make them a necessity.
If a car is a necessity, then gas and related consumables and parts are also automatically a necessity. Answered above.
If a car is a luxury, is a bicycle or walking shoes a necessity or luxury? Luxuries and taxed at point of sale.
Is a road a luxury or necessity? If you've allowed that a car or even a bicycle are necessities, how can a road be a luxury? Roads are built, supported, and paid for by user fees and other taxes.
Are clothes a necessity or luxury? Luxury, when purchased. Why? Because people can make them themselves as was done in the past.
Is a cell phone a luxury or a necessity? Luxury and taxable.
Is a house a luxury? If only basic living quarters are a necessity, where do you draw the line between luxury and necessity? A house/home/abode/domicile that is the primary is a necessity. A second house is a luxury.
Is deodorant a luxury or necessity? Luxury and taxable. Wash those stinky areas before you go somewhere.
How about an electric razor? Do we draw the line at an old straight razor, or maybe at disposable safety razors? Luxuries and taxable.

When you start winnowing the list down like this, about the only things left as taxable are jewelry and higher-priced versions of items. All taxable

If you start worrying about how expensive or premium an item is, now the government is in the position of setting standards for luxury. "Everything is free, but only if you get the basic item. Otherwise, we're imposing a luxury tax." That starts to sound awful socialist. As a matter of fact, that's an awful lot like it goes in communist Cuba. That seems to violate the very heart of your viewpoints. When your labor wages aren't taxed, when your home is not taxed, you'll have more money to spend, about 35-40% more. But you decide how to spend it, not the government.

Even if we could solve that, then as soon as you only tax the luxury items, you'll have to heavily tax them to make enough money for all the necessary services. When you do that, people mostly stop buying the items with unfair tariffs, and the revenue stream goes away (c.f. "the law of unintended consequences"). Now you have no choice but to tax other items. Everything traded in commerce can, and is subject to, be taxed.

Also, note that unfair tariffs was one of the original complaints of the founders of our nation. Do we really want to go there again? Unfair tariffs? "Original complaints"? Since this Nation's founding, after Constitutional ratification, the Federal Government was funded through tariffs. There was no "income (labor wage) tax". It's what paid the bills. Tariffs were one of the main sources of all Federal revenue from 1790 to 1914, in addition to excise taxes. Read some history will ya?

So I would stipulate that your proposal is an unworkable one. Ok. If you say so.
Click to expand the above.

I the past, people were self reliant. Making and building the things they, and their families, needed to live for themselves. Once you start making things for others to purchase, including the manufactured materials used to make things, now you have entered commerce. Things in commerce can be taxed. Take liquor or beer. Make some for your own personal consumption, good to go. But once you start selling it to others, you damn well better have that tax stamp on those bottles.

I have no problem with government collecting revenue at the point of sale. and/or/in conjunction with, establishing excise taxes at the manufacturing level. But I get to choose whether I purchase or not, or to instead go with out, or to make whatever it is for my own use, if practicable.
 

LightRoasted

If I may ...
If I may ...

Since bicycles use the public thoroughfares, how about licensing and registering these non-motorized vehicles for those who are old enough to have a motor vehicle operator's license...should they pay their "fair share" for road maintenance?
I'd probably say no. Road maintenance is needed due to the weight of the vehicles over time that cause damage to the roads. Bikes do not cause damage. However, since the advent of all these new bike lanes being installed and those signs that now say "share the road" all over the place warning drivers to give 3-feet when passing a bike, I see no reason why an added excise tax on bikes cannot be established to help defray those costs.
 

Goldenhawk

Well-Known Member
I see no reason why an added excise tax on bikes cannot be established to help defray those costs.
Well, there's the simple fact that no reasonable amount of excise tax on bikes would even begin to touch the costs.

Let's play a little numbers game. According to a little research, the US owns about 100 million bikes. Based on per capita, that means Marylanders own about 1.8 million bikes. Assume one bike lasts 10 years (probably hyperconservative, since most bikes are only purchased for kids), that means that about 180K bikes are sold each year. If we impose an absolutely confiscatory $50 fee for each bike purchase, which would more than double the cost of most kids' bikes, or we impose a 50% tariff on all bikes, which is about the same net amount, we make a wonderful $9 million dollars per year.

That's 0.16% of the state's overall transportation budget. That will buy you a mile or so of roadway.

Congratulations, you just solved our budget problem.

Any other bright ideas?
 

Goldenhawk

Well-Known Member
Have you? And to which form of economics do you refer? Traditional, command, market or mixed?
You didn't answer my question. From that non-answer, I'll infer that you in fact do not have any training in economics.

But I'll answer your question anyway. Yes, I do have training in economics, a non-trivial amount of it.
 
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LightRoasted

If I may ...
If I may ...

Well, there's the simple fact that no reasonable amount of excise tax on bikes would even begin to touch the costs.

Let's play a little numbers game. According to a little research, the US owns about 100 million bikes. Based on per capita, that means Marylanders own about 1.8 million bikes. Assume one bike lasts 10 years (probably hyperconservative, since most bikes are only purchased for kids), that means that about 180K bikes are sold each year. If we impose an absolutely confiscatory $50 fee for each bike purchase, which would more than double the cost of most kids' bikes, or we impose a 50% tariff on all bikes, which is about the same net amount, we make a wonderful $9 million dollars per year.

That's 0.16% of the state's overall transportation budget. That will buy you a mile or so of roadway. Congratulations, you just solved our budget problem. Any other bright ideas?
Stretching it out to the enth degree I see. I said, "to help defray those costs". Meaning to add, to contribute, to the total amount used for roads. Not to fund in the entirety all things roads bike related. In addition, it would give those that ride bikes on the roads skin in the game. They might even start to follow all traffic laws too.
 

LightRoasted

If I may ...
If I may ...

You didn't answer my question.
Can't read between the lines I see. My question, to which of the form of economics you have training, "Traditional, command, market or mixed", was in fact the answer. Indirectly, answering yes, since I know well enough to ask you in which of the forms of economics you have training.
 

LightRoasted

If I may ...
If I may ...

No, I am quite certain people who own a bicycle pay the exact same taxes you and I pay.
Well, duh. If in Maryland, that would be a 6% sales tax. A customer would not see the tariff, in any product, since that is built in to the price prior to arriving at the store.

P.S. Wait a minute. I think I took a different train at that last station. When you said, "Since most bike riders pay taxes, they already pay their “fair share”." When I answered I was referring to the purchase of a bicycle, and I think you were referring to income and other taxes. However, even though I was incorrect in relation to your post, I am correct on what I thought it was. See what I did there? 😎
 

Goldenhawk

Well-Known Member
Can't read between the lines I see. My question, to which of the form of economics you have training, "Traditional, command, market or mixed", was in fact the answer. Indirectly, answering yes, since I know well enough to ask you in which of the forms of economics you have training.
Your non-answer has no value. By that measure, I know karate, kung fu, judo, jujitsu, and several other Oriental martial arts.

Knowing a few names of economy types does not mean you actually know anything other than that those four words somehow relate to economics.

Again I ask explicitly, do you have any training in economics? If so, what kind, and how much? I'm curious whether your views come from learned knowledge, with some credentials behind the instruction.
 

Goldenhawk

Well-Known Member
Thank you. Then I guess our varied training (in my case a full year at a large and well-known state university with a fairly conservative bent and at the time thankfully free from socialism and political correctness) led us to dramatically different views of economic activity. That, plus what I've seen in many years since that training, leads me to believe that your views are too simplistic, and don't take into account human nature. Your answers consistently sound like poorly-supported talking points from various websites written by and for proponents of ending the Fed and going back to 1700s governmental structures. They fail to take into consideration how the world has changed or how the underpinnings of economic activity have changed; they are generally attractive to certain young people until given a fair amount of careful thought. At least you're not talking socialist nonsense, which would be a far worse thing.

At any rate, I have other things that demand my attention, and am disinclined to continue this discussion much further.
 

LightRoasted

If I may ...
If I may ...

Thank you. Then I guess our varied training (in my case a full year at a large and well-known state university with a fairly conservative bent and at the time thankfully free from socialism and political correctness) led us to dramatically different views of economic activity. That, plus what I've seen in many years since that training, leads me to believe that your views are too simplistic, and don't take into account human nature. Your answers consistently sound like poorly-supported talking points from various websites written by and for proponents of ending the Fed and going back to 1700s governmental structures. They fail to take into consideration how the world has changed or how the underpinnings of economic activity have changed; they are generally attractive to certain young people until given a fair amount of careful thought. At least you're not talking socialist nonsense, which would be a far worse thing.

At any rate, I have other things that demand my attention, and am disinclined to continue this discussion much further.
And therein lays another problem. Fundamentally the world has not changed. Human nature, economics. Through poor eduction and propaganda, perception has changed. You must be a supporter of Keynesian economics then, as well a a supporter of "the Fed". Both of which are detrimental to this nation and the people within only benefiting those at the top. And yup, I'm pretty much disinclined as well to continue. No amount of logic regarding the freedom and liberty to control one's, or this Nation's, destiny, will change your thoughts on the matter.
 

Goldenhawk

Well-Known Member
And therein lays another problem. Fundamentally the world has not changed. Human nature, economics. Through poor eduction and propaganda, perception has changed. You must be a supporter of Keynesian economics then, as well a a supporter of "the Fed".
You are correct that human nature has not changed, and I don’t believe that economics itself can really change - only our interpretation of the influence of human nature on how money changes hands in response to goods and services and needs, so in a sense it cannot change either. However, the nature of the goods and services and the availability thereof certainly CAN change, and your views do not seem to account for that particular aspect of change.

You are absolutely incorrect in believing that I support Keynesian economics. I find it fundamentally loathsome, in particular because it inserts the federal government into the private lives of citizens in unnatural and intrusive ways. I would describe myself as believing that Reaganomics is the best recognition of the nature of natural and effective human economic activity, that leads to the most vibrant and strong economy that benefits the most people possible in the most sustainable manner over the long run.
 
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