For this Discussion Board Forum, interact in a free-flowing discussion of the biblical and constitutional parameters for the particular policy focus being discussed this module/week. In other words, you must discuss the “May” portion of the “May-Can-Should” approach to policy analysis and implementation. Engage the ideas of your classmates and the required readings and presentations in a meaningful and thoughtful manner.
Remember to provide thoughts on what government should or should not do from a biblical and constitutional perspective. Also discuss what other groups, individuals, and organizations (possibly including state and local government) should be doing within society to address the policy issues discussed in this module/week.
Defining the problem
The government of each country plays an important role in providing goods and services that are hard or expensive to be left in the hands of the private sector. Additionally, the government influences the lives of ordinary Americans by providing both internal and external security, social amenities and other important services to improve the quality and standard of life. Notably, taxes are the main government income which means that appropriate tax policy is necessary for ensuring that the government has enough to spend on the important issues in the society. The tax system affects all individuals, families, and organizations in the country (Bosanquet, 2009). Research shows that the US tax system is the primary source of government activities, it influences the return to work, and it is increasingly becoming a vehicle for achieving policy goals. Notably, for the US to remain at the top of the world economy and compete effectively in the global economy, it must change its tax policies to match those of other developed countries.
Biblical perspective – paying taxes and dues started a long way back during the time of Jesus on earth. In the book of Matthew 22:17-21, the Bible explains how the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus by asking if they are supposed to pay taxes. Full of grace and wisdom, Jesus told them that they are supposed to give Caesar what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God. This shows full support for the tax systems adopted by different governments across the globe. Additionally, the apostle Paul, Christians should pay taxes to those authorities are servants of God who dedicate most of their time to governing. Therefore, there is the need to have a fair and just tax system in a country that favors all types of people (Altmann, 2016).
Constitutional perspective – the constitution of any country should provide the necessary framework within which a country’s laws and policies are administered. It has been argued that the imposition of the US federal income tax is illegal considering that the sixteenth amendment granted the Congress the power to design and implement tax policies in the country. According to the constitution, every single working American has an obligation of paying income taxes, while organizations and companies should pay their dues accordingly (Martin, 2013). Notably, America has adopted a progressive tax system which is substantially influenced by the level of income of an individual. Therefore, the higher an individual earns, the higher the tax he or she pays.
The Sixteenth Amendment to the USA constitution allowed the Congress to have the rights and power to collect an income tax without allotting it among the states or basing it in the US enumeration. Therefore, the US Congress has the power to design and implement tax policies that can help in the achievement of the government and policy objectives and goals. In any case, this alteration exempted pay charges from the constitutional necessities concerning direct taxes after taxes on rents, profits and interests were classified as immediate expenses (Malik, Mihm, & Timme, 2017).
The constitution gives power to the government through the Congress to design and implement tax policies that are fair and just. The government should not implement policies that promote inequality regarding the poor and the rich in the country. Additionally, it should not overtax the people by implementing oppressive tax policies, but should promote fairness and equality.
Altmann, P. (2016). Economics in Persian-period biblical texts: Their interactions with economic developments in the Persian period and earlier biblical traditions.
Bosanquet, N. (2009). III TAX-BASED INCOMES POLICIES. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 45(1), 33-49. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0084.1983.mp45001003.x
Malik, S., Mihm, B., & Timme, F. (2017). An experimental analysis of tax avoidance policies. International Tax and Public Finance. doi:10.1007/s10797-017-9448-1
Martin, I. W. (2013). The Sixteenth Amendment Repealers. Rich People’s Movements, 68-89. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199928996.003.0004