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Old 12-17-2012, 11:13 PM
 
27,327 posts, read 56,010,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mircea View Post



Okay, then what you want is a federal sales tax, a VAT or whatever you want to call it.

That automatically takes into account the cost-of-living and how it varies so dramatically across the US.

It always amuses me these people scream about fair taxation, while there are Millions of American households skating like fat rats and not paying their "fair share."

Nowhere is this more apparent in defining what is, um, you know, "rich."

Is $150,000 "rich?"

You live in Cincinnati earning $150,000 and you want to move to the NYC/New Jersey area.

You want to maintain your current standard of living. What salary will you need?

If you ain't getting job offers for $375,000 then don't put your house up for sale.

Here we have a case where $150,000 = $375,000. And also note that $60,000 = $150,000. I ask that because some people might think $150,000 is "rich" -- and it just might be -- depending on where in the US you are living.

Some of you might want to re-think your position on what is "rich" and also this idea of Flat Taxes.

Economically...

Mircea
When I worked in Europe, I became very familiar with VAT and could easily see the appeal of living there...

A lot less worry or uncertainties... property tax was extremely low, sales or VAT was high and income tax for workers was withheld so most never filed a tax return... the money they received on pay day was 100% theirs...
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
16,012 posts, read 17,938,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
When I worked in Europe, I became very familiar with VAT and could easily see the appeal of living there...

A lot less worry or uncertainties... property tax was extremely low, sales or VAT was high and income tax for workers was withheld so most never filed a tax return... the money they received on pay day was 100% theirs...
Hmm, but how's that any different than here unless I'm misunderstanding? Once you get through Western Europe's 40-75% income tax rates and 20% VAT or so? OECD is already pushing Europe to look to expanded property taxes. For most American workers income taxes are withheld as well. Ignorance is bliss, if you don't file taxes and know about them? I can't see that being your point, however. As I said, I'm just confused.

Maybe it's simply that living in a state with higher taxes than we have can be appealing, depending on what you get in exchange for them. That's the European attitude, and I can see the appeal of that.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:58 PM
bg7
 
7,697 posts, read 8,920,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
This is the argument being used to say the 250k or alternative minimum tax penalizes people living in high cost areas... like New York City and San Francisco.

It does not seem to be getting much traction as the "Cliff" approaches.

The other thing is so much of what I read is how there are too many deductions and credits... actually calling them loopholes that need to be closed.

Actaually, behind the scenes, it did. There are a lot of people there, including Dems, that NY senators for example do not want to alientae. Now they are already talking about a $400k limit as I understand, which alienates far less electorate..
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:00 PM
 
20,950 posts, read 17,171,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
Crickets from conservatives.
That's because I couldn't care less about income disparity.

I am not ashamed about doing well.

I am not ashamed to live my lifestyle while others are having a hard time.

I didn't cause their difficulties, and they didn't help me do well.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:40 PM
 
27,327 posts, read 56,010,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Hmm, but how's that any different than here unless I'm misunderstanding? Once you get through Western Europe's 40-75% income tax rates and 20% VAT or so? OECD is already pushing Europe to look to expanded property taxes. For most American workers income taxes are withheld as well. Ignorance is bliss, if you don't file taxes and know about them? I can't see that being your point, however. As I said, I'm just confused.

Maybe it's simply that living in a state with higher taxes than we have can be appealing, depending on what you get in exchange for them. That's the European attitude, and I can see the appeal of that.
The big noticeable difference is no one I knew filed a tax return in Austria unless they owned a business.

There was no waiting for a refund check or having to pay a shortfall... also, much less work for accountants... my cousin is a tax accountant in Austria.

Property was often in the family for hundreds of years and taxes were only on specific items of benefit to the property... road maintenance, snow removal and fire equipment... most of the fire departments were 100% volunteer and they had nice fire houses and equipment.

My answer was to a specific post regarding a flat tax and the reply on a VAT.

Increasing Property Taxes to the point where a person has to sell or increasing income tax to a point where a person opts out from higher earnings or finds a to avoid them is what I was trying to contrast...

Everyone I knew that worked in Austria paid taxes... rich and poor.

When I lived there the VAT was 10% for basics, 20% for most other things and over 30% for luxury like cars and jewelry... even in Austria, they lowered the rates from when I was there.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
16,012 posts, read 17,938,592 times
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I don't really see the huge hassle in filing a tax return. Maybe if you own a business, but otherwise it's not that complicated. Plus just because you're not doing it doesn't mean your employer or the government isn't. Less tax accountants probably has to do with fewer deductions and credits resulting in a simpler tax system. For example, if we did away with all the loopholes in our tax system, it would be much simpler too.

I also don't see how our 25% tax rates are in any danger of encouraging people not to work if Austria's 50% income tax rates aren't at the same income level. Of course, you have to add in state taxes. It's also much easier to have everyone paying taxes when you have such a comprehensive welfare system as Austria does. No universal medicare, no 25% of housing being public, no two years off with pay for each child.

It's just a different attitude. In Europe, they'd generally rather pay higher taxes than see benefits cut. In America, we'd rather the benefits be cut and pay fewer taxes.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Ohio
22,584 posts, read 15,769,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Hmm, but how's that any different than here unless I'm misunderstanding?
The idea is that, how was it put?.....everyone needs some skin in the game...VAT/federal sales tax does that......and does it fairly.

That's what the left fears most...fair taxation, and the fact that once you implement a VAT/federal sales tax, you put an end to the Class Warfare Game. With a system of progressive taxation, you can constantly pit one group [in a tax bracket] against others, continuously raising the spectre of class warfare, and basically lord over people.

Seriously, look at how much time and energy Congress wastes discussing tax brackets and tax rates, instead of discussing spending cuts and using tax dollars efficiently.

A VAT/federal sales tax does not affect income, but it does affect disposable income -- the money an household has left over after it pays rent, food, health care, legal and education costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
I don't really see the huge hassle in filing a tax return.
It isn't free --- and that is an hassle. Why should I have to pay someone to explain tax law to me so I may take advantage of all income deductions and tax credits legally available to me?

You can take the credit or deduction, only if you know it's available to you, and you can only know if it's available if you get a degree in accounting then get a law degree, or if you spend 1,000 hours of your personal time each year poring over the Federal Register and IRS notices about changes in the tax laws (as if people have so much free time and nothing to do).....that's rich.

That's stupid, but it does bring up another point, and that is a VAT/federal sales tax scheme is initiated, then it will have to be phased in over time.....levy a 5% VAT then reduce tax brackets, increasing the VAT annually while reducing the tax brackets to 0% over a period of 5-7 years....to allow tax attorneys and tax accounts to move into other fields. The IRS? Loss by Attrition; have IRS workers jump to other federal job positions. The majority of IRS workers are temporary employees anyway that are hired to perform quarterly taxes or annual taxes.

Everyone talks about cutting spending....get rid of the IRS....nothing like having a useless bureaucracy that creates more problems than it solves and costs more than its worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
It's just a different attitude. In Europe, they'd generally rather pay higher taxes than see benefits cut.
Not any more.

Businesses in Euro-States have rebelled, refusing to pay higher taxes for things like health care. Even in Germany the unions have finally said "enough is enough." The people have also repeatedly voiced the need for even more health care rationing.

They have the same problem the US does....their Ponzi-Scheme Benefit Plans are failing because they have fewer workers per beneficiary. That's one reason Euro-States have been privatizing many areas of the social welfare system, especially their health care. Some Euro-States have tried to use immigration as a means of alleviating that problem with disastrous results (Europeans are largely opposed to immigration).

Differently....

Mircea
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:23 PM
 
8,382 posts, read 11,670,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
You can accomplish the same thing by extending tax relief based on WORK. I think someone earning N dollars with X hours of work should pay more tax than someone earning N dollars with 2X hours of work. Done right, you can effectively tax non-work and reward work. This is why I believe employers should be required to list employee hours worked on W-2 forms.
I like this idea.
It would work for me.
It seems that I'm taxed 2x the rate on SS,Nj unemployment,and Nj state taxes through 2 jobs vs if I had one.
I can't understand the double taxes. Does this mean I can collect 2 unemployment checks at the same time if I'm unemployed?
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:47 PM
 
4,669 posts, read 3,703,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andywire View Post
Of course income is up. Let's not forget, inflation has eaten away most of the gains made by the average American. Where is the graph showing the relationship between income growth and inflation? And the honest one... You know, the inflation rate that actually accounts for thing the average American buys like gasoline and food.

As for the poor recklessly spending their money... What money? I was "poor" once. Certainly wasn't any money left over for 200 channel television packages. I never ate out, not even fast food. I only owned 3 pair of shoes... One for work, one for going out, and one for job interviews. Only had the basic phone plan with the free phone included. Designer jeans??? What are you talking about? You get perfectly nice ones at Kohls for $20 and they look just fine. If anything, you probably figured they were designer jeans when you saw them.

I make decent money today. I still don't have TV. I use the internet as my primary source for news, programs and entertainment. I still have the basic phone service and a basic phone. I still have 3 pairs of shoes, I only own about 5 pairs of jeans, I drive an 8 year old car... I'm about as "average American" as it gets, and guess what... In order to adequately fund a 401k (10% yearly income), afford a place of my own, afford utilities, afford the various services I consume, there is not enough money to do all those things you believe the poor are doing. I could spend more, but that would require scaling back on saving for retirement. Since retirement is going to be an impossibility for a large segment of the population, I realize I have to do everything possible to ensure I will have the money I will need for the future. Since the banks are paying microscopic interest rates, and the stock market is risky, that means I have to double down on the savings to feel secure. Eventually, this system if going to experience more turbulence as people simply won't be able to consume like before. Even more reason to save now.

I have no clue where people get this mentality that all average American's problems are all their fault. No clue at all. If anything, it's an "I got mine" attitude.
If the upper class really believed their own BS about the poor being poor because they just don't take personal responsibility for their actions they wouldn't fear the unions as being the worst possible thing on the planet. It is this fear of labor's organizing that has the uppers in such a panic, that the poor do organize to leverage their collective clout, thereby taking responsibility for their own destiny, they are summarily dismissed as malcontents and worse by their "betters".

The myth of America being the home of opportunity for all has just about run it's course, most working class people today are only too aware of the lopsided benefit that their work allows, the rich are getting richer on the back of labor, and the poor are being blamed for their plight of poverty. I'm amazed at how disconnected the average well off American is when it comes to an understanding of the poor, welfare Cadillacs, stories of drowning in luxury from selling food stamps, and the now famous cry about the poor person in a grocery store buying (GASP) good food, with, (GASP) ,"our" money. Most of the American poor are actually working in low wage jobs, they do the dirty hard work that many of the well off would consider beneath them. It's a national shame that so many American's work so hard for so little.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 12-19-2012 at 12:01 AM..
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:05 AM
 
27,327 posts, read 56,010,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jertheber View Post
If the upper class really believed their own BS about the poor being poor because they just don't take personal responsibility for their actions they wouldn't fear the unions as being the worst possible thing on the planet. It is this fear of labor's organizing that has the uppers in such a panic, that the poor do organize to leverage their collective clout, thereby taking responsibility for their own destiny, they are summarily dismissed as malcontents and worse by their "betters".

The myth of America being the home of opportunity for all has just about run it's course, most working class people today are only too aware of the lopsided benefit that their work allows, the rich are getting richer on the back of labor, and the poor are being blamed for their plight of poverty. I'm amazed at how disconnected the average well off American is when it comes to an understanding of the poor, welfare Cadillacs, stories of drowning in luxury from selling food stamps, and the now famous cry about the poor person in a grocery store buying (GASP) good food, with, (GASP) ,"our" money. Most of the American poor are actually working in low wage jobs, they do the dirty hard work that many of the well off would consider beneath them. It's a national shame that so many American's work so hard for so little.
The most common way to achieve the American Dream is by starting a business and that has historically been the norm. In the SF Bay Area there are many that came here with nothing and made something.

Of course there are other ways... look at all the 20 and 30 somethings a few years ago that made a killing on Stock Options... my Godparents daughter was one on a small scale... got a part time high school summer job at small company in Cupertino called Apple... after graduating, she went full time and got stock options... in her mid twenties she cashed them in and bought a modest home in San Jose...

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 12-19-2012 at 01:02 AM..
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