Wouldn't taxing the churches go a long way toward balancing the federal budget?  Shouldn't we atheists be pushing for this?

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I am not sure what the point of this question is.

The tax--including the "employer's share" that you never even see, but is a cost to your employer of having you work for them, and which therefore ought to be considered part of your compensation--is not enough to pay for the program, and this disparity is only going to get worse with time unless something is changed.

Social security does not actually put your money into a savings account with your name on it; rather, it promptly sends it out the door to someone who is already retired, somewhere.  By about 2050 there will only be two people working for each retiree, and you can imagine what it will be liked to be taxed half of what his or her benefit check is, plus the overhead of the program itself (the people running social security themselves need to be paid).  If this money is not somehow taxed, it will have to be borrowed (resulting in bankruptcy) or created from nothing (resulting in inflation, which will only result in larger COLAs for people on social security, so it's not even a short term solution).  So at some point--without severe benefit reductions or some sort of phaseout plan the program will collapse.  It's not a matter of IF but rather of WHEN.

SteveInCO, we think alike.

When you retire, your kids (or your neighbors) cook and eat you.

(Or when you can no longer afford health care.)

How is pointing out the *fact* that the system is going to go bankrupt if nothing is changed somehow tantamount to wanting to eat seniors? 

You don't offer a solution, you don't attempt to refute my arguments, you just impugn my motives.

Easy. When your kids have eaten you, you're no longer a financial burden on them.

Properly seasoned and cooked, as Jonathon Swift suggested in his Modest Proposal, you might be a tasty dish.

There's another benefit too, part of you will always be with your offspring.

Taxes will have to go up if the US wishes to be a (social) welfare state. The problem in the US is that people are scared shitless of taxes, but are (apparently) willing to pay shitloads of money for private healthcare....

The deficit needs to be solved by higher taxes, especially on the higher incomes.

A church tax is a tax imposed on members of some religious congregations in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, some parts of Switzerland and several other countries. The Austrian tax is an interesting one.


The Yearly Cost of Religious Tax Exemptions in America: $71,000,000,000 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_tax The Yearly Cost of Religious Tax Exemptions: $71,000,000,000 http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/06/16/the-yearly-...

Just think of the businesses that some of these religions have - the mormons with their knickers and tops 


Beehive Clothing is listed on manta.com as having revenue between $100 - $500 million dollars. Even though manta.com won't show you the revenue data if you don't subscribe, you can see this info without signing up by simply by going to their "clergymen's vestments" category and checking "filter by 100 - 500 million" in the sidebar and there it is! 

Any other business that cannot pay its taxes, is put out of business.  Why would a church not be in the same position?  If these are tiny churches with tiny congregations, their taxes would no doubt be tiny too.  Why should they have a special status that "John and Jane's family bakery" shouldn't enjoy?.  If you tax the churches, you are simply aligning them with the rest of society.

And I'm pretty sure that John and Jane, my fictional bakers, would agree.

If you want to add other things to this, do so by all means.  But treating churches as exempt is not right.  Business is business, whether you are giving people their daily bread literally or spiritually. 

Business is taxed.  Taxes go to the benefit of all, not just to the benefit of those who paid them.  I think we should look long and hard at all tax exemptions.  And then instead of exempting, you could do tax rebates when and where you felt it was economically and socially viable.

The cuts that Romney and Ryan proposed were so savage that even the crackpots at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said it was immoral.

You said it quite well here.

Still laughing....

Sarah, is your reasoning ideological or rational?

If you will identify your monetary interest in this matter, we will know whether to take your view seriously. Are you self-employed, providing for your retirement? Are you an employer wanting to reduce payroll costs?

Surely you know that before FDR and the Social Security Act, generations of Americans failed to properly plan their retirements.

BTW, does your reality include women in politics? "NEITHER party, democrat or republican has enough balls [or ovaries] to say that out loud and be truthful with the American people."

Gallup's Mirror, the GOP (the Party) has not pushed hard for Creationism.

Evangelical xians, who Reagan invited into the GOP and who now control most state GOPs, are pushing hard and creatively. Their most recent legislative efforts are prose art forms.

Blocked by courts from mandating "design" or "the controversy" in science classrooms, their legislation now permits local school boards to add these to their curricula but leaves school districts (the taxpayers) to pay the legal fees when they lose in court.


America has not spent into oblivion. Starting with Reagan and continuing with both Bushes, the GOP has borrowed us into oblivion.

Clinton, who joined the GOP in repealing Glass-Stegal (sp?), left a surplus. Bush Two spent that surplus.

Wall Street gambling addicts crashed the economy, leaving a mess for Obama to clean up.

You know who are making out like bandits, but you are so loudly shouting the GOP myth that you hear no one else.

Exactly Tom. When the Wall Street criminals were rubbing their hands together over how much money they made, but then were found out - it put the world into a spin, and dragged so many other countries down with it. And the same thing would have happened again, had Romney become - shudder - president. I feel sorry for Obama, having to deal with so many fronts, that George W. left in his wake, while Romney continues on, making millions, while sending his money to safe tax havens.

So, churches shouldn't be taxed, because it wouldn't be enough to cover the deficit - or as Erin said, either be taxed or shut up.


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