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 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 4:38 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I would like to reasonably and politely respond to a DUI-related statement posed in a thread that was locked. The statement was:

"If you can point to a news story that shows police have been giving tickets to people in Florida who were not under the influence, that would be one thing. Otherwise, you're either drunk or you're not. It's either warrented or it's not."

As someone with a family member who practices law in Florida, I can tell you a few things:

1. If the cops in Florida pull you over because you're speeding or because your taillight is out, and it is after 5, they will assume you've been drinking and try to get you to breathe.

2. If the driver in the scenario described above receives a trumped-up DUI charge that is subsequently dropped, the driver STILL has to go through all of the same steps that an actual offender would have to go through, e.g., community service, AA meetings, fines, etc. No one ever contests this, because it is simply a relief not to get charged with the DUI, and it is worth it, in a warped way.

3. There are numerous studies detailing the underhanded methods that Florida and other states without a state income tax will use to supplement their income. They are worth reviewing if this is of interest to you.

Apologies if I've offended anyone - Floridians or otherwise - with this post.

 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 5:47 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

Thanks, it's always better to have a conversation than a confrontation.

I shall now respond piecemeal.


I would like to reasonably and politely respond to a DUI-related statement posed in a thread that was locked. The statement was:

"If you can point to a news story that shows police have been giving tickets to people in Florida who were not under the influence, that would be one thing. Otherwise, you're either drunk or you're not. It's either warrented or it's not."

As someone with a family member who practices law in Florida, I can tell you a few things:

1. If the cops in Florida pull you over because you're speeding or because your taillight is out, and it is after 5, they will assume you've been drinking and try to get you to breathe.


Assumption versus actual DUI are two woefully different things. As a long-time resident of Florida, I can tell you I got pulled over late in the morning after work and they accused me of being on drugs simply because my eyes were watery. I have neither taken nor ever sampled any kind of drug. There was no test, no search of the vehicle, and I was not asked to get out.
But first point I will address in my final comments in this first thread reply.

2. If the driver in the scenario described above receives a trumped-up DUI charge that is subsequently dropped, the driver STILL has to go through all of the same steps that an actual offender would have to go through, e.g., community service, AA meetings, fines, etc. No one ever contests this, because it is simply a relief not to get charged with the DUI, and it is worth it, in a warped way.

True, but remember: this is not quite the point you made in the now closed thread. You are now going an tangent in an attempt to give weight to a point that appears to have no validity.

3. There are numerous studies detailing the underhanded methods that Florida and other states without a state income tax will use to supplement their income. They are worth reviewing if this is of interest to you.

These studies are moot; Florida has a $1.1 billion surplus for 2013, it had a surplus last year, a nice trade surplus, and the business tax is possibly on the chopping block. Now we could both claim there may be funny business in the way Florida balanced it's budget, but unless we personally go through it line-by-line, we'll never really know, so it is as it appears.
Tourism provide billions each year, with one of the latest numbers being $67 billion a year (Disney claims to generate over $18 billion in Florida).

Why do I say all these things and upfront dismiss whatever study could be linked to?

Flat out put: Florida is a tourism state. It's acceptable, though wanning and needing replacing, Rick Scott has a balanced budget with surplus. Florida does not need to ding people to make up for a sales tax. It doesn't stubbornly refuse to accept what's it's doing wrong, likes some other states, it just does what any family does: live within it's budget, balance the check book. Don't spend hundreds of thousands on shrimp on a treadmill, a million on albino squirrel sanctuaries,, more hundreds of thousands on giving squirrely cocaine, money to teach Africans how to properly wash their genitals, no $1.2 million on a robot that folds laundry [poorly], and so on (no, none of these examples are NOT fake -- just you hard earned money being mispent by statists).

The assumption is that money in the state, or any state in the union, is a zero sum gain, that if you take it away one place, that place doesn't have it. This is not so when you do as described above.


And don't worry about if you offended anybody at all in Florida. It's not like we alert each other and go on a rampage. You're safe. :-)
I promise not to tattle-tale.

And I wanted to close by stating what I promise earlier:
You have not pointed to any study. Not even a news report. You pointed out a family member who practices law. Okay, that's one guy in one county whose told you what, a handful of stories? Let's see the statistics on decades, across all counties. I think the answer to what shall be found won't take Carnac the Magnificent to uncover: police are not, on any kind of sugnificant level, going out and falsely giving people DUI's. I think it would be a safe bet to assume if we took all instances that fall under what you described in point one, they'd be equel to if not lower than other instances of abuse of power, be is sexual favors, false arrest, what have you.


But in the end, after having said all that, it's all a moot point, too, really, because this was a rebuttle trying to claim Florida wasn't such a great place, because an innocent man was rightfully found innnocent in a court of law. And no, I will not be answering or partaking in any further discussion on that seperate topic.

For the sake of making sure there's no ill will (yet, but it is the interwebs -- give it time), let me say that this following statement is not directed at you in particular:

The DUI argument is an empty point. It bares nothing upon Florida. Every state has DUI arrests. It says nothing in particular about this state (as if we can judge any one state by the kinds of unlawful arrest it might be making on some kind of scale). It bares no to crimes adjudicated in the court of law. It's pretty damn dumb when you get down to it.


We all know Iowa is the most evil state in the union because the residents run over puppies on purpose. No, I can't prove, but I got a friend in animal control who says...
(get the picture?)

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2013 - 6:39 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

OMG! You have no idea how much Floridians are being taxed! The state taxes businesses instead, then the businesses pass the tax onto the citizens. (Waste management, cable, phone service, automobile service, the list goes on and on.) Are you a Floridian? Do you even read your bills? It's not meant as a business tax, its always meant as a tax on the ppl. That is why businesses can freely pass along the surcharges. I won't comment on your innocent man found innocent quip. This is a lockable thread anyway.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2013 - 7:04 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

OMG! You have no idea how much Floridians are being taxed! The state taxes businesses instead, then the businesses pass the tax onto the citizens. (Waste management, cable, phone service, automobile service, the list goes on and on.) Are you a Floridian? Do you even read your bills? It's not meant as a business tax, its always meant as a tax on the ppl. That is why businesses can freely pass along the surcharges. I won't comment on your innocent man found innocent quip. This is a lockable thread anyway.


Not necessarily. It doesn't have to be if we keep it focused on the specifics of DUI policies. Tax talk will just get EVERYONE riled up.

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2013 - 7:30 AM   
 By:   AlexCope   (Member)

But in the end, after having said all that, it's all a moot point, too, really, because this was a rebuttle trying to claim Florida wasn't such a great place, because an innocent man was rightfully found innnocent in a court of law. And no, I will not be answering or partaking in any further discussion on that seperate topic.

Smooth. Slip in possibly inflammatory remark, then off to lunch.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2013 - 7:44 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Tax talk will just get EVERYONE riled up.


As will "innocent man" talk, it seems (which I thought was sort of an odd thing to say, too).

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2013 - 4:50 PM   
 By:   Dyfrynt   (Member)

The so called budget surplus is, in actuality an unspent reserve. They are entirely different animals. Scott, as usual, is comparing apples and oranges to give the impression of his magic surplus.

What Scott had was a budget shortfall, not a budget deficit. It is impossible to have a budget deficit because Florida law requires a balanced budget every year.

If you run the figures the way Scott does, every Governor for the past couple of decades has ended his term with a "surplus".

By the way, Zimmerman is guilty as sin, but I will not talk about that again.

Just how did Scott get rid of that budget shortfall? Legislators ultimately cut about $4.5 billion in projected, additional spending from the budget -- eliminating thousands of state jobs and slashing money for schools, hospitals and other services. Combined with Scott's vetoes, the state spent about $181.2 million less then it had available in addition to the $1 billion it set aside in reserves.

That's the $1.2 billion "surplus" cited by Scott.

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2013 - 4:36 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

OMG! You have no idea how much Floridians are being taxed! The state taxes businesses instead, then the businesses pass the tax onto the citizens. (Waste management, cable, phone service, automobile service, the list goes on and on.) Are you a Floridian? Do you even read your bills? It's not meant as a business tax, its always meant as a tax on the ppl. That is why businesses can freely pass along the surcharges. I won't comment on your innocent man found innocent quip. This is a lockable thread anyway.

OMG! Every state has other taxes. Florida isn't blazing new ground here. Florida isn't charging widly different taxes or fees than other states. You want that, try some of California's taxes.

And as I said, the business tax is on the chopping block. Rick Scott has stated it's likely it will be removed all together. When you do this, you create an atmosphere that attracts more businesses. TaxFoundation.org provided a chart with the the ratings for each state based upon buisness taxes. Among the top ten with the lowest, was Florida. In fact, Florida was in fourth place. Right now because of lower business taxes, fees and state regulations, Florida and Texas were for the second year in a row the highest two states in job creation. Meanwhile states like Maine, Mississippi, Rode Island, and Wisconson were losing jobs in 2012. Delaware was flat. They had amongst some of the lowest scores on the TaxFoundation.org map.

"Waste management, cable, phone service, automobile service, the list goes on and on"

Right, which only the state of Florida has, right?

If you get down to it and look exactly at what these extra taxes are, you'll find most of them of regulatory fees, and local taxes. For example, over here if you pay your cellphone bill, you got another $10.00 tacted that isn't showing on the printed-out receipt. If you ask the clerk, assuming you get a knowledgable one, they'll explain in some light detail these are governmental regulations which impose fees, which in turn get passed down to the consumer*.
The fees imposed upon waste management companies, are much higher because of the EPA and other regulatory bodies. This is not a state issue, it is a big, flat, bloated governmental putting it's invisable fist in your wallet.

(* = your cellphone service provider, for example, collects the fees -- try telling them to suck that up instead)

And I can't name a single county in the country (that doesn't necessarily mean one does not exist) that doesn't charge local fees and taxes on businesses, which in turn pass that down to the customer. And then of course there can be union demands.

Here's a Maryland resident whom detailed for a year all the taxes she paid (she even details for the reader, if you are interested, the number of regulatory fees [by name] a phone company has to pay):
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/11/01/maryland-woman-has-kept-track-of-every-tax-on-her-in-2012-and-youre-not-going-to-believe-how-much-shes-paid-so-far/
She goes into details the prices of each and then adds it up for the total fee. Only Florida could root her like that, right?

None of this is new. None of this is just Florida deciding to be a dick. There's differences in national, state, and local taxes.

Think of what you are proposing:
You're implying that the state is doing this on prupose. The state is made of thousands of public sector employees. In turn many of those are managers, supervisors, other levels of management.

In order for you to be purposefully rooted by the entire state, everybody would have to be in on it. This is would a cover up on a scale larger than consipracies like Roswell, moon landing fakery, Boston masscre conspiracy, and so on.

You couldn't even have half of these employees in on it, because they'd be interacting with the other half. We would have had all kinds of whistle blowers and news reports about a state wide conspiracy to purposefully overtax people.



And all fees and taxes are a tax on the people. No business man in their right mind is going to eat the crap sandwich handed to them. Not all businesses prosper as you might think. Some barely get by. Many simply cannot afford to absorb the costs imposed upon them. This is not new and certainly not limited to businesses and companies in Florida.

So again, how is this the evil's of Florida? Something every state does.

Florida charges, raises, and lowers fees, taxes and any other costs not mentioned, as does every other state. Where you could point to something higher here, I could point to another state with a higher fee in another area.

Right now California, for example, does charge it's people too much. The fees and regulations are just compiling and compiling to the point now where California is loosing residents -- it's depopulating (and each year more fees and raising existing ones, are being considered). An exodus. Or as Forbes put it: "California's Reverse Gold Rush?"
Where are they going? According the exodus map, mostly states with more friendly taxes, like Florida. Even they know Florida isn't the evil tax monger painted out to be.


Discussing taxes is not a political issue and not against board rules. The thread's not going to be locked unless people here have a confrontation rather than a conversation.


I'll address other users, within reason, in due course.

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2013 - 6:32 AM   
 By:   Dyfrynt   (Member)

And according to an article on EconPost you are quite correct. Florida is among the lowest states for overall taxes.

The 10 best states for taxes and their tax rates
South Dakota no corporate tax, no individual income tax, state sales tax 4%.
Alaska top corporate tax 9.4%, no individual income tax, no state sales tax.
Wyoming no corporate tax, no individual income tax, state sales tax 4%.
Nevada no corporate tax, no individual income tax, state sales tax 6.85%.
Florida corporate tax 5,5%, no individual income tax, state sales tax 6%.
Montana corporate tax 6.75%, top individual income tax 6.9%, no state sales tax.
New Hampshire corporate tax 8.5%, individual income tax 5%, no state sales tax.
Delaware corporate tax 8.7%, top individual income tax 6.95%, no state sales tax.
Utah corporate tax 5%, individual income tax 5%, state sales tax 5.95%.
Indiana 8.5% corporate tax, 3.4%l income tax, state sales tax 7%.

http://econpost.com/taxes/best-states-for-taxes

Of course tax rates are not the entire story on quality of life. Because of tourism being so important to our income stream, a large percentage of jobs in Florida are low paying ones. Florida's teachers are one of the ten worst states for pay as well. And we have cut social services to some of the most needy, such as the handi-capped, to maintain that low tax rate.

But the fact remains that Justin is correct that Florida's taxes are very low compared to most.

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2013 - 7:08 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

@ Justin Boggan- So your argument is because other states do it too lets excuse Florida? I never said Florida was the only state that had hidden fees and surcharges. Oh and please excuse me while I wipe a away the tears because the power companies, cable companies and phone companies can't afford to absorb those fees. Hmmm, what kind of profit margins do they make???

 
 Posted:   Jul 21, 2013 - 12:52 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

@ Justin Boggan- So your argument is because other states do it too lets excuse Florida? I never said Florida was the only state that had hidden fees and surcharges. Oh and please excuse me while I wipe a away the tears because the power companies, cable companies and phone companies can't afford to absorb those fees. Hmmm, what kind of profit margins do they make???

There seems to be confusion on your part. I'm poiting out a major flaw in the argument presented to me.

It would be like somebody telling me Georgia was an evil place because they are taxing something at a very high rate. But then another person points out it is not Georgia specific and that other states charge similar rates on what ever it might be. Then you swoop in and try to claim the counter arguer is justiying something. Makes no sense.


And again, the argument is still based upon some falacy that the state is doing something wrong, on purpose, statewide.


The profit margin of any business is, like what ever margin of "profit", or left over money after you pay your bills each month, their business. It's utterly unimportant if they have a profit margin, in each company, of a trillion dollars each year. Because some governmental agency decides to reem them unecessarily, doesn't mean they have to pony up.

And now you're into class warfare. The rich don't taste like chicken, you know, they're people. And a company doesn't just sit on the profit margin. Many companies donate to charities, invest locally (such as Exxon Mobil) in various education and youth developement programs; upgrade and maintain facilities; open new facilities, transfer funds to other struggling facilities. Stock holders and higher personnel also use money for a myriad of local spending, including home repair, building, regular lawn maintenance, maid services which can employ two or more people depending on the size of their house, painters; more bulk good, specialty items like boats and even small aircraft, and so on.

Life in the U.S. isn't a series of unconnected and unrelated events and people, where there's two classes and one can't get ahead unless anotehr is taken down. There is no zero sum economy.

 
 Posted:   Jul 21, 2013 - 1:22 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

Can somebody please close down this rightwing thinktank? It has nothing to do with DUIs and everything to do with a Tea Party agenda.

Please lock the thread now.

 
 Posted:   Jul 21, 2013 - 2:25 PM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

Can somebody please close down this rightwing thinktank? It has nothing to do with DUIs and everything to do with a Tea Party agenda.

Please lock the thread now.






Emphases on the word "think". Can't have people doing that now.

 
 Posted:   Jul 21, 2013 - 2:27 PM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

When I lived in Florida it was one of the most expensive states my family had ever lived. The cost of everything is ridiculously high.

 
 Posted:   Jul 21, 2013 - 3:57 PM   
 By:   edwzoomom   (Member)

Can somebody please close down this rightwing thinktank? It has nothing to do with DUIs and everything to do with a Tea Party agenda.

Please lock the thread now.


My God yes, please do - enough said.

 
 Posted:   Jul 22, 2013 - 9:54 AM   
 By:   Dyfrynt   (Member)

Justin wrote "There is no zero sum economy."

Justin, I know that is on of your very favorite sayings. I believe you are wrong because you don't follow though with the necessary rest of the statement. That is, There is no zero sum economy UNLESS some groups have an unfair advantage. When a market is not free people use their intelligence and creativity to get around the system instead of creating value.

This is precisely the situation we see in America today. We have an entitled upper class based on wealth, who are given favor over the rest of us with lower tax rates (in percentages), special tax cutting incentives only the very wealthy can afford to participate in, not to mention the percentage that never enters into the system at all going to the infamous off shore bank accounts.

There is no arguing that the wealthy have seen their wealth explode exponentially over the last two decades, and at the same time the wealth of the middle class has declined to the point that the middle class is on the brink of extinction.

The playing field is not even. It IS a controlled economy favoring the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

 
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