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Old 11-06-2008, 04:03 PM
 
Location: San Diego
2,518 posts, read 1,844,964 times
Reputation: 1298

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinegaroon View Post
I like the idea of a national sales tax because a consumption based tax would be fairer all around. If someone wants to live the high life, they would pay for it. My reservations with it are that it might discourage consumerism in this country, and encourage people to seek out the higher end items in other countries (via mail or other methods) and essentially avoid the tax. I also wonder if it would create a black market for high end items.
Every one of your points is quite valid and are all reasons why I wouldn't suggest a national sales tax as long as we are able to freely import items. However, if there was a small 1-2% sales tax to offset a decrease in income taxes, I can't think of any negatives to that.
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:11 PM
 
Location: San Diego
2,518 posts, read 1,844,964 times
Reputation: 1298
Quote:
Originally Posted by irspow View Post
Just my stupid opinion.
Got that right!

You have to have some form of tax unless we are to eliminate everything and assume that it'll somehow be done by the private sector. Defense, environmental cleanup, infrastructure, water, you know...the necessary things, are all paid for by taxes. If we have no income tax, and no sales tax, how do we have those necessary services?
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:23 PM
 
Location: The ends DO NOT justify the means!!!
4,783 posts, read 3,020,853 times
Reputation: 1335
leftydan6,

There is no mention of not having any taxes in post #18 that you quoted from. I don't understand to what you refer. I advocated either a "Citizen Fee" which would be the fairest or a Flat Sales Tax which is the fairest that this pinko nation would ever get to being fair. So I am a little lost as to why your response was what it was.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,592 posts, read 55,307,520 times
Reputation: 30150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
Ahh, so my dark past comes to haunt me. My "communist-influenced youth"? What am I, a communist now? You know, that comment you made about sweating for a buck as opposed to being in the academia was FAR more ideologically communist than anything I've said. Hehe, as if there was progressive income taxation under communism. Anyway, I grew up in a heavily dissident circle -- just so you know. Besides, invoking my youth is unfair. If the experiences of my youth supposedly have rendered me biased, who is to say that the experiences of your youth have not done the same to you? And I am fully in favor of everyone paying their fair share, even the rich (who, by the way, benefit from taxpayer-funded services to a lot greater extent than is generally believed). Somehow I don't think all those fake blonds from the Upper West Side "sweat for a buck" or work much harder than I do, and they shouldn't get any special relief from taxes just because their distant ancestors had the good sense to make a fortune selling tainted gin to pi**heads in Covent Garden. (Really, I don't think lionizing the rich is a requirement for acquitting oneself of the commie label.) It has nothing to do with anyone's charisma -- and that "ambitious leader" (say, aren't they all ambitious?) is not a communist, not by a long shot.
While we are in disagreement to the extent that I will not pursue the Fair Tax further with you, I want to clarify that you misread my intent as evidenced in the above response.
In no way did my quote disparage or mean to disparage you, or to indicate that you have any particular political intent.

You said, "However, taxing consumption does bear the imprimatur of disdain for it. Doing so makes little economic sense, so the true basis for it must be of a moral nature."

My reference was to the possibility that you were influenced in formative years to offer "the imprimatur of disdain." That is such a subjective consideration and nearly totally irrelevant that it made me think of your story of your youth as you dissected socialism and communism.
It was just a reference point to me to try to understand how one could draw the "disdain" conclusion and your insult at it was greatly tangential to my intent.
No offense was intended.

Still supporting Fair Taxation here.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:52 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,790,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinegaroon View Post
Would eliminating income tax and replacing it with a national sales tax be a good idea?
A few years ago a company I worked for made a little too much money, so they offset the gains by buying $50K-$90K 'company cars' for the owners of the company, all their kids, and their kids spouses. As I was writing a check out to the IRS at the end of the year, I thought about the half million dollars of non-taxed income used by that family to commute to and from their 'board meetings' at the local steakhouse. A national sales tax would help to level the playing field for those of us who don't have the means to shelter those millions of dollars of extra income.

Regarding a tax on houses, I would oppose one on the direct sale. Taxing the materials and labor used to build the house would be more straightforward, and would avoid penalizing the people who need to move due to employment.

I don't like the idea of a prebate, simply because it would mean that the government would need to track everyone in the country to be able to write the check every month. Other than the obvious privacy issues with that plan, it would create a giant welfare bureaucracy.

Instead of the prebate, I'd support not taxing any used items for a couple reasons:
It would raise the value of used goods and discourage throwaway behavior
It would provide a way for indigent people to avoid paying taxes
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:54 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,938,535 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
My reference was to the possibility that you were influenced in formative years to offer "the imprimatur of disdain." That is such a subjective consideration and nearly totally irrelevant that it made me think of your story of your youth as you dissected socialism and communism.
It was just a reference point to me to try to understand how one could draw the "disdain" conclusion and your insult at it was greatly tangential to my intent.
No offense was intended.
None taken. I was amused by your comment, not insulted. I would add only -- as merely an interesting fact -- that communism (at least its Russian version) did not materialize out of thin air. No ideology ever does. It was merely a repackaging of old values deeply rooted in the Russian culture. It's not as if Lenin showed up one day, said that buying luxuries is bad and everybody started believing it. You can say people were "brainwashed", but effective propaganda on a societal scale is never radical in its premise -- it always appeals to the most basic, the most familiar and the most fundamental. Prior to the Revolution, Russia was a PROFOUNDLY religious country; it remained so afterwards and remains so until this day. And with that in mind, the demonization of consumption, while a part of the communist ideology, is actually deeply rooted in the Christian ethos -- which, if I may say so, is also highly influential with a large proportion of the American public. True, most American Christians are of Protestant confessions, which do not have the Orthodoxy's tradition of ascetic monasticism, but they still share the core anti-materialistic ethos. Add to that the fact that unlike other Christian traditions, Protestantism extols working for profit and business success as virtues. So even while most Americans aren't that religiously observant in their daily lives, the culture that would characterize income as a product of virtue and consumption as a vice is definitely there. Of course, we are now in the troublesome realm of arguing about what individuals think. I don't presume to tell you what you think, but I believe I can recognize it in at least some instances when supposed "common sense" is actually founded on moralism; and to know the source of the values that animate that moralism. So while my opinion may be dismissed as merely a product of my "communist-influenced youth", you should realize that communism was but one of the permutations of a system of values that finds wide representation in this country as well.

I would take issue with some of the other things you've said, but as you have decided to end the discussion, I guess that would be futile.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:31 AM
 
1,949 posts, read 4,640,503 times
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i'd support it, depending on the rate - nothing too outrageous i would hope.

i also like the idea of a "flat tax."
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Old 11-08-2008, 10:19 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,898,658 times
Reputation: 588
I wonder if (should a National Sales Tax, a/k/a a VAT tax, ever come to be) the USA would offer a rebate program to visitors, like Canada does. Or at least, used to do; I haven't visited there in about 8 years so things may have changed. But when I did visit regularly, during the late 1990s, there was a Tax Refund Program in place whereby if you were a visitor for less than a certain number of days (30??) and made purchases on which you were charged the VAT, after you got home you could send in a rebate form along with your receipts and you would be reimbursed for the tax that you paid. This included not only retail purchases but also the tax charged on your hotel room while in Canada.

That system seems much fairer to me, and far more encouraging for tourism, than having no refund system in place. If the purpose of a National Sales Tax/VAT tax is to fund programs for residents of that country or province, then it's only fair that tourists (whose presence benefits the economy) not be required to "contribute" that way to programs that benefit them not at all. It sure would put a serious damper on the USA tourist trade if we converted to such a tax without offering any way for tourists to avoid getting socked with it (especially if it's as high as some such taxes are in other countries!). Regions that now get a lot of revenue from international tourism would likely see a huge drop in revenue if such an incentive weren't offered.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:33 AM
 
4,089 posts, read 4,597,255 times
Reputation: 1251
It would be deemed too regressive for Americans. It will never happen.
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Yootó
1,307 posts, read 3,191,691 times
Reputation: 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMexicanRepublican View Post
It would be deemed too regressive for Americans. It will never happen.
I don't know. I bet 30 years ago, people might have said a black President will never happen. Time has a tendency to change things. Change is a constant.
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