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Old 09-14-2008, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,380,187 times
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No, I do not think it is "fair" that those in the top income brackets pay the most in taxes.

I strongly support a flat tax with all income levels paying the same.

I would make the first, say - 20,000 of income, federally tax free - with the remainder being taxed at, say 15%, with no deductions.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:23 AM
 
31 posts, read 74,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TristansMommy View Post
... the fact of the matter is that despite the taxes those in the upper bracket pay they still have a lot of expendable income and are still better off financially then their piers in lower tax brackets.
There are lots of points being made out there but I'll start w/ this one as it seems to summarize what lots of others are echoing.

Of course individuals in higher income brackets are better off financially, isn't that the whole point of "moving up the ladder"? To try to remove this advantage through higher taxation is to undermine if not destroy our entire economic system. For if there is no increasing reward for: working harder, working smarter, being innovative, boosting efficiencies, then you remove one of the strongest motivators.

It's not fair to use a person's ability pay more tax to guide how much they OUGHT pay. This is like asking your auto mechanic: "How much for the repair?" to which she responds: "How much ya got??"

By having income taxes based on a percentage of income, that already guarantees "the more you make the more you pay". But by having the percentage RATE be based on your income goes beyond that. It takes into consideration how much a person earns as a basis for computing a tax rate. This is unacceptable w/ any other tax so why does income tax get a pass?

Sales tax rates aren't dependent on the buyer's income level nor is the tax graduated for higher value purchases (w/ few exceptions). Property tax rates aren't based on a person's income level nor is it graduated for higher value properties (at least not where I live). Motor fuel taxes don't even consider the purchase price (in most areas), they only consider the per unit rate, much less asking the buyer what their income level is.

In short I'm calling into question the fairness of graduated tax rates in the first place.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:25 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,751,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMexicanRepublican View Post
In a general context, this cannot be construed as fair.
Let's concede an unfairness. But then we must ask whether the unfairness is arising from the tax structure or from the income structure. One might assume that if income were more evenly distributed across the population, tax burden would be as well. The present argument seems to boil down to a situation where if all of the income were accruing to just ten people, their tax rates would need to be reduced because it would be so unfair that ten people were paying all the taxes while the other millions of us didn't pay anything at all.

Moral of the story: You can only tax the money. Whoever has the money will pay the taxes.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:37 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,751,244 times
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Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
No, I do not think it is "fair" that those in the top income brackets pay the most in taxes. I strongly support a flat tax with all income levels paying the same. I would make the first, say - 20,000 of income, federally tax free - with the remainder being taxed at, say 15%, with no deductions.
In simple terms, every flat tax system so far proposed boils down to a scheme to shift tax burden from the wealthy onto the middle class. The false notion that a flat rate structure that equalizes TAX over all ranges of income is fair and equitable while a progressive rate structure that equalizes TAX BURDEN over all ranges of income is not, is often used in an attempt to justify such schemes.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:48 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,751,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mraaron View Post
Of course individuals in higher income brackets are better off financially, isn't that the whole point of "moving up the ladder"? To try to remove this advantage through higher taxation is to undermine if not destroy our entire economic system. For if there is no increasing reward for: working harder, working smarter, being innovative, boosting efficiencies, then you remove one of the strongest motivators.
The question is not binary. How much incentive do heroes of industry actually need in order to keep up with their striving, and at what point on the income scale should this incentive become any stronger or weaker. Right now, many would suggest that we offer too much incentive to people in the top 10% to get into the top 5% and then into the top 1%, while offering far too little incentive (if any at all) to people the top 80% to get into the top 70%.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:56 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,751,244 times
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Originally Posted by mraaron View Post
In short I'm calling into question the fairness of graduated tax rates in the first place.
Then you feel that $500 means the same thing to a person making $35,000 a year as it does to someone making $3,500,000 a year. Not many agree with that view...
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,645 posts, read 55,374,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwynn View Post
You make it sound as though socialism is unquestionably bad or unquestionably less free. Canada and Germany both have chosen to have higher taxes and progressive tax structures which have resulted in free college education, insurance for all, and lower medical bills.

The idea that the ambition of building wealth being related to freedom has been the argument of capitalists, but are you really free if you live in fear for your possessions and family? Are you really free if you work very long hours to acquire wealth? Germany mandates that all employees (even if they are just starting at their job) have a minimum of a month's worth of vacation time. So I submit to you that acquiring wealth is senseless if you have no time to spend it because you have to spend time to acquire that wealth.

The point I'm trying to make here is that we, in America, need to reconsider how our society has developed. There are many models out there, it need not be the age old dichotomy of capitalism versus socialism. There are nuances and levels. We just have to find what works for us and understand what it is that wealth is for. Surely, money is not a goal in itself - money is just a tool to obtain the things that we truly want or need.
Yes, indeed, Socialism is inherently less free. Penalizing hard work and ambition punitively is a foundation of socialism. Rewarding sloth is another underpinning.
I think an individual has the right to assess whether money is the goal or means to a goal, without nuance.

Would you have government make that decision for citizens, determining that any unspent wealth is "useless?"
I don't buy that.
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,380,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
In simple terms, every flat tax system so far proposed boils down to a scheme to shift tax burden from the wealthy onto the middle class.
Yeah? So?

Who actually benefits more from taxes being paid?
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,645 posts, read 55,374,605 times
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Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Then you feel that $500 means the same thing to a person making $35,000 a year as it does to someone making $3,500,000 a year. Not many agree with that view...

When I go into Best Buy with $500, no one asks me how much money I made last year to qualify my $500 purchase.
$500 buys as much for the poor as it does the wealthy.
To the penny.
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:43 AM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,188,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Then you feel that $500 means the same thing to a person making $35,000 a year as it does to someone making $3,500,000 a year. Not many agree with that view...
I think that is a misrepresentation of was said.

The assertion would seem to me to be:

"Then you think $3500 means the same thing to a person making $35,000 a year that $350,000 means to someone making $3,500,000 a year."

Flat tax is running the same rate across income levels, not the same amount across income levels.
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