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Old 09-15-2008, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,603 posts, read 55,320,924 times
Reputation: 30155

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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Just a reminder that if I say that 4 out of 5 dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum, that still leaves 20% of all dentists to complain that no, they don't endorse sugarless gum at all, and who am I to be going around putting words in their mouths!!!

When you are developing tax policy and implementing legislation, you are not dealing with individuals, you are dealing with groups. Groups of high-income taxpayers, groups of middle-income taxpayers, groups of low-income taxpayers. In dealing with such broad groups as those, one needs to take cognizance of the fact that each will contain one or more outlier subgroups that while still fitting within the broader group, don't conform to the norms of that broader group in some perhaps significant ways. Such complexities are part of what make tax policy a challenging field to enter into.

At the same time, there are broad truths that have been seen to hold across wide ranges of groups and extended periods of time. Much as some might protest on an individual basis, it would silly to ignore the fact that those exist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by walidm View Post
Very interesting discussion......
Walidm, are you looking for answers from individuals.
Or should we form committees and offer group analysis?


I have two thoughts:

1. Of course it is NOT fair.
2. Of course it IS fair.

There is no definitive answer.


It probably all depends on whose vote is being bought and with whose money.

And, there are two ways to collect funds, per capita and benchmarked against some politically expedient artifice.
I used to pay a $10/year per capita tax in Pennsylvania.
Not fair. The poor paid a greater percentage of their wealth than the less poor did.

And then we had a 2.4% income tax(Yes, 2.4% shows it was a few years ago.) Not fair, for the poor to pay the same rate as the less poor.

So we can graduate the rate, so the less poor pay more.
That begs the question: Why is it fair for one man to owe $1,000 per capita, when another man only pays $500 for his head?

The fact is, vote buying is more economical, yielding more "bang for the buck," when the "marginal value" of the cash given to the voter is higher. A $billion spread among 1,000,000 people in the lowest percentiles of wealth buys a lot more votes than a $billion spread among 1,000,000 people in upper middle or upper income brackets.
Such is the impact of the "marginal value" of someone's personal wealth.
A grand to someone making $12,000 is much more likely to successfully buy their vote than a grand to someone making $80,000. It's just human nature.

We need to get away from ogling and envying pay and income to determine taxation methods, and look at consumption, thereby taxing the flexing of wealth.
HB 25, the Fair Tax would work.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:50 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,741,368 times
Reputation: 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
HB 25, the Fair Tax would work.
Any tax scheme can be made to work. The question is over whether it's any good or not, and why. The so-called Fair Tax shows little actual promise in the good-ness category...
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:15 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,187,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Any tax scheme can be made to work. The question is over whether it's any good or not, and why. The so-called Fair Tax shows little actual promise in the good-ness category...
Could you expand on that a bit?

Thanks.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:28 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,741,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jps-teacher View Post
Could you expand on that a bit? Thanks.
Yes. See this thread for various examples.

Fair Tax - Fair or Not Fair
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:55 PM
 
4,268 posts, read 13,713,973 times
Reputation: 3338
How's it go? "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the fellow behind the tree."

I'm taking a tax class right now and I found this to be very interesting from my textbook (Principles of Taxation for Business and Investment Planning 2009, Jones and Rhoades-Catanach):
Ready for a National Sales Tax? A group of business executives organized as Americans for Fair Taxation are publicly campaigning to replace the federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare employment taxes, and trasnfer taxes with a 23 percent national sales tax. The tax would apply to retail purchases of all goods and services, including food, medicine, and housing. According to AFT, this new tax would raise the same federal revenue as exsting taxes, while stimuating economic growth.
We currently have a progressive tax structure. This national sales tax would essentially create a proportionate tax structure. Fair? Unfair? We'd all be paying the same taxes regardless of the declining marginal utility of income (the less you make the "more valuable" $1 is worth; or, the more you make, the "less valuable" $1 is worth).
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:16 PM
 
7,695 posts, read 12,845,131 times
Reputation: 9599
I honestly don't know how it is constitutional.
What if they decided to tax by age or race factors??
The percentage tax method already means that
those that make more pay more.

If we need more money for Government why don't
we study how much illegals are costing us in law enforcement,
reduced wages, identity fraud, health services, education and social services.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:53 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,187,506 times
Reputation: 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly237 View Post
I honestly don't know how it is constitutional.
What if they decided to tax by age or race factors??
The percentage tax method already means that
those that make more pay more.

If we need more money for Government why don't
we study how much illegals are costing us in law enforcement,
reduced wages, identity fraud, health services, education and social services.
I'm sorry, Kelly.

You don't know how what is constitutional?

Also, they already make some adjustments in taxation based on age.

And finally, there are bunches of studies on the costs of illegals here, though I wish to note that my understanding is that the bulk of identity fraud that costs taxpayers money is not committed by illegal immigrants. Further. to the extent that they have taken on an ID that is not theirs, it is merely by giving a false SSN to an employer, whereupon more money goes into the Social Security system than should.

According to the 2008 Trustees Report on Social Security:
Quote:
According to the report, the taxes paid by other-than-legal immigrants will close 15 percent of the systemís projected long-term deficit. Thatís equivalent to raising the payroll tax by 0.3 percentage points, starting today.
(Source: New York Times and 2008 Trustees Report: Section V.A, Demographic assumptions & methods)
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:23 AM
 
7,695 posts, read 12,845,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jps-teacher View Post
I'm sorry, Kelly.

You don't know how what is constitutional?
Taxing higher earners at a higher rate than others.

Why don't they also tax people extra who save because they budget carefully.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,603 posts, read 55,320,924 times
Reputation: 30155
Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Any tax scheme can be made to work. The question is over whether it's any good or not, and why. The so-called Fair Tax shows little actual promise in the good-ness category...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jps-teacher View Post
Could you expand on that a bit?

Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Yes. See this thread for various examples.

Fair Tax - Fair or Not Fair
The Fair Tax - Fair or Not Fair thread is not very helpful, other than to point out how easy it is for those with knee-jerk reactions to something they do not understand to take to the internet and demagogue ideas.

On that trainwreck of a thread, Fair Tax detractors and even some proponents interchangeably use "fair tax," and "flat tax" as though they are synonymous.
Minimal study of the two plans is required to recognize that the terms describe completely different models, with a flat tax much more closely resembling the immoral "progressive" scheme currently used to punish Americans and to hold the poor in their place.
To muddy waters even more, a Georgia State Tax thread was merged into the Fair Tax thread.
It's just a bad thread at this point, IMO.

Better, I think, to read the Fair Tax Bills, to study it.
H. R. 25
Senate 1025

Better to visit the Fair Tax sites, or this paper, or this Wikipedia article, or to read John Linder's page, to understand the model.
Steven Covey, speaking on the Habits of Highly Effective People, says they, "Seek first to understand." That would be a very good first step to avoid demagogery of an unknown.
Then, proceeding with some basis of understanding, one may be able to proceed to a productive conversation.

Factcheck offered an analysis by "Joe Miller," originally published with an astoundingly monumental gaff.
Originally, he did not read the bill carefully, and misdescribed the "prebate." The Prebate is fundamental to the Fair Tax, and the ability to misunderstand it may cast a shadow over the credibility of his entire article.
What else did he skim over?
(Joe is not alone in this error, to be reasonable, as most Fair Tax discussion participants have little or no understanding of the Prebate.)

I really like Joe Miller's last line in the Factcheck piece, wherein he grudgingly admits, "It is possible that the FairTax would make most people better off, but much of that gain would be a direct result of making the tax code less fair."
What a non sequitor!
"Better off" is not good enough? Amazing. I would think that a result making most of the American people "Better Off" would supercede searching for subjective goals of unattainable "fairness," or destroying personal initiative through punishing "progressive" public tax policy.

Wikipedia indicates that the Fair Tax is "progressive on consumption, and regressive on income."
Ergo, we can satisfy some of the forces of taxation aspirations based in wealth envy, with a big percent consumption tax on conspicuous consumption. That should help those who focus on "fair," whose secondary concern is revenue; who need to know that the "rich" pay taxes.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:31 AM
 
4,089 posts, read 4,597,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TristansMommy View Post
The bottom line is the gov't needs a certain amount of money to run itself. Yes, if we cut back on some of the waste and curtailed spending as it should be then yes.. we'd need less and therefore taxed less. The fairness is that when the gov't needs money it can't go to someone that doesn't have it to get it. It's not wise, smart or fare to take food off someone's table to meet gov't obligations.. so therefore the solution is to go to those that have excess for what the gov't needs to run this country.

I can agree 100% that we need to cut waste and that gov't needs to run a tighter ship.
This theory is great if you are on the receiving-side of the equation. Would you be OK if I decided to raise your taxes because I considered you to have "excess"? Not likely. Who decides what is "excess"? It is subjective. Ask a working couple earning $100K with two kids in college and a house payment. Good chance they are struggling to pay the bills. To someone earning $30K, they are "rich" and have "excess". That is the inherent dilemma with the current tax structure.

Fundamentally, the nation needs to worry less about raising its income and more about controlling its costs. Since FDR, there has been a paradigm shift in the role of the government, along with expectations of its citizens. I believe it has been for the worse. The founding fathers intended to create an atmosphere free from govt. restriction so that each citizen could make his own way. If one reads the Bill of Rights, I think it is evident. There will always be a need to help those that are truly unfortunate. I believe this should occur at the STATE level.

I would abolish Social Security, welfare programs, education programs with religious-based themes, and numerous other programs of that genre. The role of the govt. should be to ensure the defense of the nation, support the common infrastructure, ensure that States abide by the Constitution, and public health programs for the greater good.

There are proposals advocating flat taxes (percentage-based), consumption taxes, and a combination of the two. I submit that there should be a minimum "unit" tax, which recognizes that each of us, regardless of income level, uses the basic services of the government in some fashion. The low-income driver on the interstate does not cause less wear than the high-income driver. At a minimum, every adult American needs to pay something, with the exception of the truly needy.

I was in New Orleans and Houston shortly after Hurricane Katrina. I was amazed at the attitude of the people there. Young kids with cell phones, expensive cars and wheels, cars with multiple video screens, and kids with thousands of dollars in jewelry glued to their teeth [ "grillz"], still receiving welfare checks. Still expecting FEMA checks to bail them out. My company offered excellent wages for non-skilled labor, and we could not find help despite the thousands of people on welfare. This is not an overstatement. Even today there is a critical labor shortage. At the same time, these same citizens are screaming about the influx of illegals to NOLA taking their jobs.

This "entitlement attitude" is why it is unfair to tax the high-income disproportionately - it is counter to the public good in the long-run as it furthers the dependence of the populace on the government and creates an expectation of entitlement. It is counter to the principles of the founding fathers: a nation of autonomous states. It erodes self-sufficiency, work-ethic, self-discipline, and sense of purpose and achievement, all of which are the cornerstones of a strong nation of free people. There should be INCENTIVE to succeed, not FAIL. If you work harder, you should be rewarded, not punished.

Each of us should pay for the privilege of living in the US. We should share in the cost of defending it. Above that, the government should have a minimal role. Nowhere does the constitution guarantee you a cell phone, shiny teeth, DishTV, and nice wheels and a Caddy with a big screen TV.
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