Yes you have to pay for an airline ticket- this is to pay for fuel, aircraft maintenance, profit for the airline, and a few fees. But, brother, if you try to tell me that the airports and the air traffic control system in this country aren't HEAVILY subsidized by the federal government I'll call you out on it.
Toll highways in this country are rare, and the tolls are almost never used for upkeep of the roads. They STARTED that way, but once the road construction had been paid off the politicians simply couldn't bring themselves to end that revenue stream. The PA turnpike is a GREAT example. trying to argue that the miniscule road tolls you pay cover the cost of the roads you use is farcical.
The government, to my knowledge, does not generally build hotels nor rent cars, and I certainly never mentioned them.
Those taxes you mentioned come out of my pay, as well, eh? Moot point.
As a thought exercise, I'll tell you what... Would you be willing to have your business pay ZERO taxes with the caveat that you could then NEVER use a public thoroughfair, airport, or subsidized utility (pay to build your own generator, find your own oil), and that all of your property would be fair game to be stolen or destroyed at will by anyone and the police wouldn't help you? And any foreign government could seize your assets if they chose to? And, to boot, you couldn't hire anyone who had attended public education or ever gotten a Stafford loan- you had to find children, raise them, and educate them to be your workers yourself?
OF COURSE NOT. Because your business BENEFITS from all of those PUBLIC services.
Honestly, I find your insistence that businesses don't benefit more from public infrastructure than do individuals to be ludicrous. I know that intelligent people can disagree, but this boggles my mind. They simply USE that infrastructure far more than any individual. If nothing else I find it hard to believe that ANY small business doesn't use FedEx or some similar shipping service far more than I do- which means roads, airports, air-traffic control, FAA oversight, highway patrol, the DMV, fuel from drilling on public land, employees who can READ the addresses, etc. And the only way that I use the port of Long Beach is when some BUSINESS ships something through there to SELL it to me and make a PROFIT.
Let me assure you, I have spent enough time in third-word s#!tholes to NOT take literacy for granted.
Yes, individuals use these government services to get around in their lives, but businesses use them to make tons of money. But what I'm saying is that a flat tax addresses this- 17% of a ton of money is indeed more than 17% of a manual laborer's income.
Certainly, yes, there are government programs that do not directly benefit businesses- I'm sure that you are thinking of welfare programs. But frankly, that's not what I'm talking about. It isn't "cherry picking." I'm compassionate enough to think that yes we do need social security and WIC and such programs, and that everyone should pay into that. That's off the table- it's just a loss that we as decent human beings have to accept. The thought of an illiterate American child with malnutrition is repugnant to me. Hell, the thought of any child being illiterate and unfed is repugnant to me, but I hope you know what I'm saying. And having them NOT die of starvation STILL helps business, because it leads to a larger workforce and thus cheaper labor.
@ Ben- you want to talk about coal? I'm originally from Pennsylvania. My paternal grandfather had black lung, and ultimately died sooner than he should have because of it.
Simple rules at least make everything transparent, and thus the righteous fury of the people can be properly focused. (DOWN WITH CITIZENS UNITED!)
I'm really not a hippie- I just worry a lot about sustainability, and get fatalist about it at times. We WILL run out of fossil fuels some day (unless we die of climate change first) and unless we have alternative energy sources ready when that happens the human race is screwed. Energy will NEVER be so cheap again. And I'm responsible enough to NOT be willing to just shove that problem off on my descendants, unlike those idiotic "drill, baby, drill" people. Or whoever pays for those "We need to develop ALL possible energy sources" commercials- which actually means "go ahead and try to develop green energy sources with the pittance we allow you, but we for damned sure want to keep our massive fossil fuel subsidies." What the HELL is "clean coal"?!? That's an oxymoron!
I love my daughter- I don't want her starving to death or dying of dysentery.
@ Brad- Getting health insurance through your employer is an odd legacy that we got stuck with. During the war when wages were frozen the only way that businesses could competitively attract workers was to offer other benefits, and health insurance became a popular one. I agree, it's an odd system.
But, hell yes, tax Twinkies. Well, certainly tax sugary soda- a "food" with absolutely zero nutritional value except for water and too many calories. It's not a "slippery slope." Governments have used taxes to try to promote good behavior since the dawn of time- I certainly support the extremely high taxes on tobacco, for example. And, as a matter of fact, yes, I should pay less for my health insurance than does an obese smoker. (Pre-existing conditions is a different issue.)
but as I said, it seems clear that we will one day have a public healthcare system of some kind, anyway.