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Old 08-17-2011, 10:54 AM
 
Location: MN
378 posts, read 638,718 times
Reputation: 267

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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
1. You'd take a huge section of poor people who aren't paying any taxes now and you'd suddenly reduce their income by one fifth. Considering how loaded things have gotten in this country in favor of wealthier people this might be a formula for violence and unrest. It also is bound to reduce overall consumption of goods and services because--unlike the rich--the poor have virtually no savings. Everything they earn is spent.
Bale mentioned that the tax could kick in only after a certain amount of revenue, thus not affecting the poorest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
2. You don't make any attempt to project what the overall affect on government revenues would be. Considering many people at the top of the income scale pay far more than 20% of their income in taxes, you're almost certain to reduce overall revenues. Do you care whether government is able meet necessary defense expenditures, social security and medicare distributions, and pay the interest we have agreed to on the national debt?
What leads you to believe that current levels of government spending are desirable?

Further, the top 1% currently (2008) pay about 23% in federal income tax, after deductions. See tables 3 and 4 here. For the top 10%, it's about 19%. For the top 25%, about 16%.

These figures only look at AGI, so they don't account for money that is hidden.

I'll grant that this doesn't include all taxes, including OASDI. But the flat tax proposal might not, either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
4. You, like a few others, apparently see no important purpose being served by the incentives and disincentives established by the tax code. I, for one, have observed the difference in rental property compared to property actually owned by people living there. Owned property is in much better physical condition and is better cared for. There is less crime in neighborhoods where people own their own dwellings as compared to places that consist entirely of rental units. I would submit this country is well served by a tax system that includes a deduction for mortgage interest simply because this encourages home ownership. Do you really want to do things like prevent employers from being able to deduct the cost of hiring employees from their taxes? Hmmmm...I wonder what affect that change might have on the employment rate? What do you think it will do to charities and charitable causes in this country when money given to those entities is no longer tax deductible. Goodbye Heart Association. Goodbye American Cancer Society. Colleges are huge recipients of donations. Plan on college tuition increasing further to pay for donations they no longer will be getting.
Correlation doesn't imply causation. I wonder, what kind of people usually live in rental properties? Maybe they tend to be: more transient, less qualified for mortgages, or otherwise short on cash. Do you really think these groups of people would really be less likely to commit crimes if they owned homes?

Hiring tax credits have plenty of issues. Greg Mankiw has a good post from 2009 on the topic.

If government coercion is necessary to get people to support charity (a sad view), shouldn't the gov just tax a little higher and directly support charities?
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
5. Once again the wealthy would be the winners in this deal. Even if you did pass a law abolishing deductions, within a few Congress would pass the same laws over again and what we would see is a system where top tax rates have been reduced, but the deductions slowly creep back into place. That's how political power works. The best tax code taxes higher income taxpayers at a greater rate, but does allow for deductions for truly socially useful purposes. Putting people to work and making charitable donations are truly important purposes.
You're kidding. We shouldn't eliminate deductions because Congress will just pass more deductions in the future?

What prevents the same thing from happening now? Like, why will Congress stop perverting the tax code just because it's already screwed up?
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 78,418,746 times
Reputation: 36331
Personally, I'd prefer a national sales tax to completely replace the income tax. Tax people on what they consume, not what they produce. If you need a $50,000 car and I'm fine with a $5,000 car, please feel welcome to pay ten times as much tax as I pay. But don't punish me for earning and saving that $45,000 difference.

The downside of that is that it would reduce the Holy GDP Grail, the purely fictional measure of now many people are taking in each other's wash. America's economy would be just fine, if everyone were inspired to cut their standard of living to the bare comforts, and required only as much productivity to fill that demand.

Then, the only problem would be to disobey the God of Work, and figure out another way to distribute the national wealth so that nobody needs to beg for the essentials of a basic lifestyle with dignity, even when there is far less work that needs to be done and far fewer workers required to do it.

Think about this: 80% of our productivity is consumed by 20% of the consumers (roughly---don't hold me to those numbers). It follows the same schedule as the income distribution. How many men does it take to build a $2-million house? And the single occupant of that house expects all those workers to pay his flat tax on what they earned building it for him. And magnanimously boasts that he created all those jobs, when in fact almost nothing of any real value has been produced except mostly empty dark rooms.

Work for the sake of work is a dogmatic delusion. Cutting a tree down is hard work, but not necessarily a meritorious thing, and may add nothing to our well-being except "a job".

Last edited by jtur88; 08-17-2011 at 11:33 AM..
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:20 PM
 
85,372 posts, read 82,887,213 times
Reputation: 61125
like i always see happen , tax something if you want less of it.

putting a sales tax on a country that counts on consumer spending for 70% of gdp i think wouldnt work well at all.

i think a flat tax of say 10% with tax credits to adjust for low incomes is the way to go.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:10 PM
 
5,409 posts, read 10,331,858 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
like i always see happen , tax something if you want less of it.
m'kay. THAT sounds reasonable enough. Let's work from that.

Quote:
putting a sales tax on a country that counts on consumer spending for 70% of gdp i think wouldnt work well at all.
Dunno that "consumer" this or that is any longer any temple to be worshiped.

Looking at the US debt loads it appears we have become rather over-consumptive.

The Great Consumer culture is from the 1950's -- when US consumption was encouraged to rebuild the world's post WW2 economy. But we kept consuming and consuming until by the mid-70's we began consuming more than we were producing and been in debt, since.

So maybe some sales tax to curb some consumption -- and push US towards at least some productive behavior may be a good thing.

But most states already tend to have sales taxed pretty heavy already.

To tack another 10 to 30% on top would likely create a severe black market.

Quote:
i think a flat tax of say 10% with tax credits to adjust for low incomes is the way to go.
Going back to your starting theme -- Tax what you want less of . . . or at some folks have observed -- the power to tax is the power to destroy.

When we tax income -- that has a negative effect on . . . income. Not a good thing over all.

The only harmful incomes to the overall economy are the extremely high ones -- and that was why the original income tax targeted only high (of that era) incomes.

We all want working folks to have good paying jobs, right? So why would we tax the income or jobs of go-to-work folks, at all?

But back towards things that are harming US -- imbalanced trade. Oil. The Endless Wars. Tax those thing harsh and high and we should have less of them.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:56 PM
 
13,670 posts, read 23,834,100 times
Reputation: 13947
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post

But back towards things that are harming US -- imbalanced trade. Oil. The Endless Wars. Tax those thing harsh and high and we should have less of them.
Interesting points, all of them.

I've maintained now for a while I believe when deploying troops, the IRS should immediately institute a "war tax". Not only would this actually fund those operations, it would reinforce to the American people that we are at war. If the war is just, and needed, people wouldn't be upset with paying that tax. If the war is unjust, and unneeded, people will get upset, and end the war. Well, maybe, at least protest.

It would mean we all kinda have something in it, some skin in the game if you will. No, we're not the ones shooting out in the desert, but maybe everyone would think twice about just sending our troops to do others bidding.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,516 posts, read 21,969,821 times
Reputation: 8720
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Interesting points, all of them.

I've maintained now for a while I believe when deploying troops, the IRS should immediately institute a "war tax". Not only would this actually fund those operations, it would reinforce to the American people that we are at war. If the war is just, and needed, people wouldn't be upset with paying that tax. If the war is unjust, and unneeded, people will get upset, and end the war. Well, maybe, at least protest.
As I recall, during Vietnam there was a surcharge on top of the taxes. You figured your taxes then added 10%
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:59 PM
 
13,670 posts, read 23,834,100 times
Reputation: 13947
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boompa View Post
As I recall, during Vietnam there was a surcharge on top of the taxes. You figured your taxes then added 10%
Interesting. Well, those troops came home, amongst lots of protesting. Seems to work!
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Ohio
22,798 posts, read 15,935,395 times
Reputation: 19278
Quote:
Originally Posted by mettler View Post
I was wondering if someone could give me the pros/cons of a national flat tax and doing away with federal income tax.
Russia switched to a Flat Tax and they are raking in the dough, not to mention they lightened their bureaucracy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
What you propose is ridiculous. Its an example of someone who likes to talk a lot about theory, but understands little about how the world really works. Here are just a few of the problems with what you suggest:

1. You'd take a huge section of poor people who aren't paying any taxes now and you'd suddenly reduce their income by one fifth.
They'll get over it. Darwin at work.

Netflix or food
Netflix or food
Netflix or food

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Considering many people at the top of the income scale pay far more than 20% of their income in taxes, you're almost certain to reduce overall revenues.
And what would be wrong with that?

All of you have it ass-backwards.

You should be paying 3% of your earnings to the federal government and 15% to your State.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
3. Is this 20% tax you propose in addition too--or a replacement for--social security taxes? If the poor must pay this tax plus social security taxes many will not even be able to afford living in their homes.
And what is wrong with sharing accommodations with others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
4. You, like a few others, apparently see no important purpose being served by the incentives and disincentives established by the tax code.
Tax accountants, tax attorneys and tax preparers are not an essential part of any economy.

It is stupid for me to pay taxes just so they can toot their own horns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2018 View Post
Correlation doesn't imply causation. I wonder, what kind of people usually live in rental properties? Maybe they tend to be: more transient, less qualified for mortgages, or otherwise short on cash. Do you really think these groups of people would really be less likely to commit crimes if they owned homes?
What kind of people? People who like city-living, who like apartment living, who don't want to be burdened with the maintenance and house-keeping a home requires, who don't want to be burdened with the added costs of a home such as the 75% -125% increase in electric costs and the cost of heat, who might be physically disabled and unable to care for a home, who might be mentally ill and unable to care for a home, who may prefer to be on a bus-line so the don't need the added expense of a vehicle, who might be unable to have a valid driver's license for any number of reasons, including medical reasons who might need to live on a bus-line, who might want to live near where they work or play, and for dozens of other reasons.

So what, you're going to force people to own homes, even though they don't want to? Way to go Stalin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Personally, I'd prefer a national sales tax to completely replace the income tax.
That would actually be the best solution.
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:04 AM
 
85,372 posts, read 82,887,213 times
Reputation: 61125
the poor would cry that the rich arent paying their share because the poor would be taxed on 100% of their income just to live.

the rich would only be taxed on a fraction of their income to live.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,475,293 times
Reputation: 3712
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Interesting points, all of them.

I've maintained now for a while I believe when deploying troops, the IRS should immediately institute a "war tax". Not only would this actually fund those operations, it would reinforce to the American people that we are at war. If the war is just, and needed, people wouldn't be upset with paying that tax. If the war is unjust, and unneeded, people will get upset, and end the war. Well, maybe, at least protest.

It would mean we all kinda have something in it, some skin in the game if you will. No, we're not the ones shooting out in the desert, but maybe everyone would think twice about just sending our troops to do others bidding.
but...don't we pay for the wars with the resources we plan to take from the country when we win? i thought that was the best payment plan i've ever heard. oh, what's that? there are recent examples of that not working out so well?

ok - guess the war tax idea is the next best thing then.
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