I Was Just Thinking About - - - -
One of the concerns of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is suggested by a study they have been doing on: “IRS - Understanding Taxpayer Compliance Behavior: While the tax gap reflects the extent of taxpayer noncompliance, it is also important to understand why taxpayers are compliant or noncompliant.” There have been various studies undertaken that cover a broad area and include: “Econometric analyses; Lab experiments; Field or natural experiments; Other modeling.” In other words, they are developing ways and means for the administration of and compliance to an envisioned Behavioral Tax. To some degree, a behavioral tax is already in place. There is a Tobacco Tax and a Gasoline Tax (which some would like to increase greatly for “infrastructure” revisions (which was the idea behind the original tax), To control carbon emissions, one government motivation was to close down the coal industry. To accomplish this entailed increased environmental regulation and additional taxation. Two of the results are the unemployment of Coal Miners and the increased utility rates. Another discussed area is the imposition of a Sugar Tax suggesting that this will curtail certain health issues (such as, obesity and diabetes).
More than one hundred years ago, the concept of Behavioral Modification became a reality in the area of Clinical Psychology. In 1911, Edward Thorndike wrote an article on: “Provisional Laws of Acquired Behavior or Learning.” In his article, there was frequent reference to “modifying behavior” through varying stimuli. A summary of his intent was a development of: “techniques for increasing adaptive behavior through reinforcement and decreasing maladaptive behavior through extinction or punishment (with emphasis on the former). One of the assumptions of ensuing studies is: “One way of giving positive reinforcement in behavior modification is in providing compliments, approval, encouragement, and affirmation; a ratio of five compliments for every one complaint is generally seen as effective in altering behavior in a desired manner and even in producing stable marriages.” There is much more to the article and studies. For further data, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavior_modification.
When we think about the current taxing times, it conjures up the recollection of 1776 and the publication by Thomas Paine, titled: Common Sense. He communicated simply: “These are times that try men’s souls” as the American Revolution was about to take place. His broad appeal was to the common farmer as well as to the intellectuals. From a Biblical perspective, there are two considerations by which men’s souls will be assessed.
The spiritual adaptation of Common Sense has at least two components. The first is II Corinthians 5:17, where there will be a dramatic behavioral modification: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” The old things have the broad reference to the lusts of the flesh and eyes, along with the boastful pride of life (I John 2:15-17). The second is found in I Peter 1:3-9, “(God the Father)…who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,..In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” Even though there may be “Taxing Times” because of one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one will be “protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Regardless of taxing time, have faith and confidence in the Living and True God. Consider these things with me.