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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) When has Government Ever Worked? (Read 1670 times)
Snarky Sack
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Re: When has Government Ever Worked?
Reply #220 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 11:09am
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Jeff wrote on Oct 10th, 2018 at 10:59am:
I see, and Hamilton convinced Congress to pass this tax and the President to sign it because they wanted to reward big distillers and punish people on the frontier.

Is there evidence that the big distillers supported the tax?

Also from what you quoted in wiki-

" However, historian Thomas Slaughter argued that a "conspiracy of this sort is difficult to document".[20]"

I think it was an ill considered tax, and that Congress and the President were focused on paying the debts of the new government, and simply failed to consider the effects the tax would have.


Well,  yes Jeff.    That’s what politicians do when you give them that kind of power.  How many times does the same thing have to happen before you notice a pattern?

Quote:
Maybe if I have time, I'll try to see if there is a record of debates in Congress over the tax before it was passed. That could be interesting...

You're contention is that the government wanted to get cronyism started almost immediately? That Hamilton was lying about most everything he said in the Federalist Papers?

How did Hamilton supposedly benefit by having the big Eastern distillers gain an advantage? Was it just a philosophical thing with Hamilton, that he thought big businesses were better? Or maybe he just wanted farmers on the frontier to fail?


He wanted to encourage the big manufacturers because he saw the beginnings of the industrial revolution and realized that Americans were ideal to lead it.  So he would not have wanted to tax big distillers 25% because that would slow their growth.  Farmers distilling enough whiskey to use as currency did not interest him nearly as much.  Their going out of business would only encourage the big distillers to develop transportation to the new market that the failures of western small distillers would open up.

Not a bad idea once one accepts that government is responsible for picking winners in the economy.

Of course, no libertarian accepts that so you must decry the lack of uniformity in the Whisky tax.
  

"I think I'll backtrack." - Jeff
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Jeff
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Re: When has Government Ever Worked?
Reply #221 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 12:27pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Oct 10th, 2018 at 11:09am:
Well,  yes Jeff.    That’s what politicians do when you give them that kind of power.  How many times does the same thing have to happen before you notice a pattern?


He wanted to encourage the big manufacturers because he saw the beginnings of the industrial revolution and realized that Americans were ideal to lead it.  So he would not have wanted to tax big distillers 25% because that would slow their growth.  Farmers distilling enough whiskey to use as currency did not interest him nearly as much.  Their going out of business would only encourage the big distillers to develop transportation to the new market that the failures of western small distillers would open up.

Not a bad idea once one accepts that government is responsible for picking winners in the economy.

Of course, no libertarian accepts that so you must decry the lack of uniformity in the Whisky tax.
I couldn't find a record of any debates that might have occurred in Congress, but I did find this-

http://www.congressionalresearch.com/RL30238/document.php

If you scroll down a bit, you'll find this about the tax law-

From 1789 to the Civil War: Two Short Lived Taxes and
a Whisky Rebellion7
The first excise tax on distilled spirits was enacted in 1791. It was part of a8
program urged by Alexander Hamilton as a means of meeting budget deficits, when
import duties adopted in 1789 failed to produce enough revenue to pay the interest
on the debt ($2,239,000) and provide operating revenues ($600,000) for the new
government. As enacted, the law imposed taxes ranging from 9 to 25 cents per gallon
on spirits made from materials produced in the United States (rye and corn whiskey)
and from 11 to 30 cents on spirits made in whole or part from foreign materials (rum).
Rates varied according to proof. For small domestic content stills located outside of
cities, towns, or villages, the owners had an option of paying a tax of 60 cents per
gallon of the still’s capacity or 9 cents per gallon on the amounts actually produced.

There was considerable opposition to the tax, particularly in the southern and western9
areas of the new nation. The law was revised in 1792. Rates on domestic content
spirits were lowered to range from 7 to 18 cents, according to proof, and on foreign
content spirits the rates were from 10 to 25 cents. Small distillers (less than 400
gallons capacity) were classed with country distillers and given an option of paying
taxes at 54 cents per gallon of capacity or 7 cents per gallon actually produced.


I bolded the pertinent parts, which show clearly that the small distillers were given an option to pay at the lowest rates on what they actually produced.

That pretty much debunks the conspiracy theory that Hamilton wanted to help the big distillers.

Here are references to the actual tax codes.

IRC §§ 5006, 5041,5051; 27 CFR §§19.523, 24.270, 24.271, 25.159, 25.164.5
IRC § 5061(e).6
  
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Snarky Sack
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Re: When has Government Ever Worked?
Reply #222 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 12:45pm
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Jeff wrote on Oct 10th, 2018 at 12:27pm:
I couldn't find a record of any debates that might have occurred in Congress, but I did find this-

http://www.congressionalresearch.com/RL30238/document.php

If you scroll down a bit, you'll find this about the tax law-

From 1789 to the Civil War: Two Short Lived Taxes and
a Whisky Rebellion7
The first excise tax on distilled spirits was enacted in 1791. It was part of a8
program urged by Alexander Hamilton as a means of meeting budget deficits, when
import duties adopted in 1789 failed to produce enough revenue to pay the interest
on the debt ($2,239,000) and provide operating revenues ($600,000) for the new
government. As enacted, the law imposed taxes ranging from 9 to 25 cents per gallon
on spirits made from materials produced in the United States (rye and corn whiskey)
and from 11 to 30 cents on spirits made in whole or part from foreign materials (rum).
Rates varied according to proof. For small domestic content stills located outside of
cities, towns, or villages, the owners had an option of paying a tax of 60 cents per
gallon of the still’s capacity or 9 cents per gallon on the amounts actually produced.


Well, that part makes no sense at all, which makes me question the validity of that entire quote.

Given that choice, why would anyone want to pay a large tax on a still’s capacity instead of a small tax on what is actually produced?  It would make sense if it were the opposite.  If I have a thousand gallon still and I only produce seven hundred gallons, why would I want to pay .60 x 1,000 instead of .09 x 700?  Either your article gets it wrong or it’s just one more example of government absurdity.

Quote:
There was considerable opposition to the tax, particularly in the southern and western9
areas of the new nation. The law was revised in 1792. Rates on domestic content
spirits were lowered to range from 7 to 18 cents, according to proof, and on foreign
content spirits the rates were from 10 to 25 cents. Small distillers (less than 400
gallons capacity) were classed with country distillers and given an option of paying
taxes at 54 cents per gallon of capacity or 7 cents per gallon actually produced.


I bolded the pertinent parts, which show clearly that the small distillers were given an option to pay at the lowest rates on what they actually produced.

That pretty much debunks the conspiracy theory that Hamilton wanted to help the big distillers.

Here are references to the actual tax codes.

IRC §§ 5006, 5041,5051; 27 CFR §§19.523, 24.270, 24.271, 25.159, 25.164.5
IRC § 5061(e).6




Small and large distillers also had the option to pay a flat tax instead of a per gallon tax.    That option brought down the per gallon cost of the tax for large distillers,,, but not for small distillers.

But I don’t see why you don’t just say, “any tax is fine as long as there’s a reason for it that I, Jeff, agree with.”  That at least would be honest.

  

"I think I'll backtrack." - Jeff
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Re: When has Government Ever Worked?
Reply #223 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 1:02pm
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Since you are always asking my opinion as a mind scientist, you may be interested in this:  We educational mind scientists know that giving a child a choice is a great way to control him or her.  How?  By asking him which of two ways he would like to do a non-preferred behavior.  Such as "are you going to do these math problems with a mechanical pencil or a wooden pencil?"*

It sounds silly, but you would be surprised how often a defiant child will say, "mechanical!" with a triumphant tone and actually start working on the math.  You get good results from that method with much greater frequency that telling him, "start on this worksheet."

The founders used the same method with the whiskey tax.  They said, "do you want to pay __ per gallon of capacity or ____ per gallon of production?"  (fill in the numbers when you find out what they really were)

My point is that whiskey distillers and today's producers of whatever aren't children and government is not their nanny.  Not in a free country.

  

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Re: When has Government Ever Worked?
Reply #224 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 1:59pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Oct 10th, 2018 at 12:45pm:
Well, that part makes no sense at all, which makes me question the validity of that entire quote.

Given that choice, why would anyone want to pay a large tax on a still’s capacity instead of a small tax on what is actually produced?  It would make sense if it were the opposite.  If I have a thousand gallon still and I only produce seven hundred gallons, why would I want to pay .60 x 1,000 instead of .09 x 700?
It was your option. If you had a small still and ran it all the time, you might pay less by paying sixty cents times the 5 gallon capacity...

Of course that goes to the root of another of the reasons the farmers West of the mountains were making whiskey- there wasn't enough money in circulation, so they were using whiskey as money, but they would have had to pay the $3.00 tax on their 5 gallon still with money...
  
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Re: When has Government Ever Worked?
Reply #225 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 2:02pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Oct 10th, 2018 at 12:45pm:
But I don’t see why you don’t just say, “any tax is fine as long as there’s a reason for it that I, Jeff, agree with.”  That at least would be honest.

I think you're being dishonest in saying that.

I'll tell you again, I think taxes (provided they are levied legally) that are used for legal purposes are moral.
  
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Re: When has Government Ever Worked?
Reply #226 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 3:30pm
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Jeff wrote on Oct 10th, 2018 at 2:02pm:
I think you're being dishonest in saying that.

I'll tell you again, I think taxes (provided they are levied legally) that are used for legal purposes are moral.


Are you going to stick with that position?
  

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Re: When has Government Ever Worked?
Reply #227 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 3:42pm
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Jeff wrote on Oct 10th, 2018 at 1:59pm:
It was your option. If you had a small still and ran it all the time, you might pay less by paying sixty cents times the 5 gallon capacity...



I think that you (and maybe the founders if your article is valid) have the wrong idea about how whiskey is produced.  You don't just pour ingredients into a still and a steady flow of whiskey comes out the other end.  Making whiskey is a slow process.  My assumption was that the tax on "capacity" meant what it means everywhere else, a tax on the amount that could be produced if the distillery ran at full production instead of what the distillery actually produced.  Maybe you and the founding taxers thought that a distiller's capacity really was measured by how many gallons of corn mash all of his stills could hold at one time. 

Gosh.

It's almost like your beloved federal government knew less about whiskey making than whiskey makers.  Hm.

Quote:


Of course that goes to the root of another of the reasons the farmers West of the mountains were making whiskey- there wasn't enough money in circulation, so they were using whiskey as money, but they would have had to pay the $3.00 tax on their 5 gallon still with money...


I think the article I posted hit the nail on the head.  Hamilton was indeed spoiling for a fight.  How better to start one than to pass a tax that is not only unfair, but actually impossible from some of the people it is levied on to pay it (because they don't have any currency)?  Then say the whole area is "in rebellion" because the small batch whiskey making farmers couldn't pay.

How was all that a good thing, again?

  

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Re: When has Government Ever Worked?
Reply #228 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 5:23pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Oct 10th, 2018 at 3:30pm:
Are you going to stick with that position?
In broad view of the facts, yes.

Let's look at it broadly.

The federal government had just recently been authorized to exist, and it was being organized and beginning to try to fulfill its assigned duties.

It had just been given the power to tax, and hadn't successfully figured out how to raise enough revenue to pay for the interest on the debt, much less get money to actually operate the government.

On the other side are pioneers who chose to cross the mountains and carve farms out of the wilderness. Bully folks!

What they were raising a cry about was that nobody else had yet been taxed to build roads for them to use (and it had been a damn year or more since those other people could have been taxed God Dammit!), and nobody in the government was making sure that they had enough circulating money to make it useful.

Both sides were right.

Both sides also did things that were both illegal and immoral.

BTW, the rugged frontier farmers were also complaining that the Army wasn't protecting them and that no one from the federal government had yet come around to organize them so they could elect representatives.
  
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Re: When has Government Ever Worked?
Reply #229 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 6:45pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Oct 10th, 2018 at 1:02pm:
Since you are always asking my opinion as a mind scientist, you may be interested in this:  We educational mind scientists know that giving a child a choice is a great way to control him or her.  How?  By asking him which of two ways he would like to do a non-preferred behavior.
Does that sort of brainwashing work?

No.

Have you found it possible to look at the issue of the excise tax on whiskey broadly?

Who do you think was right?
  
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