View Poll Results: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share?

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Thread: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

  1. #71
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    If by "all income" you really mean ALL sources of income, then that isn't a terrible plan. I'd go further, but that would be a huge step in the right direction. It's the huge exemptions for inheritance income and the radically lower rates for investment income that are the biggest issue though, not deductions on income taxes on wages.
    That gets us deep into the accounting swamp. But I will attempt to go there with you for a bit. Obviously, for all except wage income, accounting is required to determine what the "income" is. For a business that is basically "sales minus cost of sales equals income", the devil being in those details of what is, and is not, a legitimate "cost of sales" item. As for inheritance, that is NOT income, as it must have been ALREADY taxed as income by whoever is leaving it (and much of it is passed on as non-cash assets, like a home, family farm or business). As for capital gains, interest and dividend (investment) income, that is a tricky point indeed. It can only be made by investing a portion of your "income", that has already been taxed, so it too, could be left tax free and still be "fair". I am willing to "trade" here.

    I would prefer that corporate income, not be taxed (at all) since a corporation is NOT a person (citizen) that can vote, so that creates both taxation without representation and leads (as we all know) to politcal favors (corrupton?) used to alter corporate taxation laws and drive many of them (and their jobs) off-shore. The "trade" I offer, for excuding corporate income from taxation, is this; tax all "investment" income at 1/2 the rate of wage income, by simply adding HALF of investment income to each individual's total income, and then tax that total.
    Last edited by ttwtt78640; 06-03-12 at 02:00 PM.
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  2. #72
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Of course they are. Why wouldn't they be?
    Because income is something you earn by trading one thing for another (e.g. through work or investments).

    It doesn't matter where somebody invests, it is still taxed the same whether it is invested domestically or internationally. Regardless of where you invest, if you live in the US, you have to pay taxes here.
    Then why not tax the **** out of it, say 90%? After all, if you're investing it, you ought not really "need" it in any immediate sense, so have government take it. Taxing CGs is essentially without consequence, according to your analysis.

    Or you could argue that rich people will move out of the US, but they would pay more in any first world country and most third world countries, so that doesn't work either.
    Are you sure? It certainly appears to be working for some.

  3. #73
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    If you pay any taxes you pay more than your fair share. True story.

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    I like Robert Frank's idea for a progressive tax on consumption. I think with that you could increase savings and investment while still keeping the system progressive.
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    That gets us deep into the accounting swamp. But I will attempt to go there with you for a bit. Obviously, for all except wage income, accounting is required to determine what the "income" is. For a business that is basically "sales minus cost of sales equals income", the devil being in those details of what is, and is not, a legitimate "cost of sales" item. As for inheritance, that is NOT income, as it must have been ALREADY taxed as income by whoever is leaving it (and much of it is passed on as non-cash assets, like a home, family farm or business). As for capital gains, interest and dividend (investment) income, that is a tricky point indeed. It can only be made by investing a portion of your "income", that has already been taxed, so it too, could be left tax free and still be "fair".
    The argument that inheritance and capital gains shouldn't be taxed as income because they already have been once doesn't really fly. Earned income has been taxed as income before too, just a little more indirectly. For example, I earn money at work, and pay taxes on that income. Then later I go buy some groceries, and with some of the money I spent on groceries, the grocery store pays their employees, who also have to pay taxes on that money. Would you argue that the people working at the grocery store shouldn't have to pay income taxes on their wages because that money has already been taxed as income once?
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  6. #76
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    As for inheritance, that is NOT income, as it must have been ALREADY taxed as income by whoever is leaving it (and much of it is passed on as non-cash assets, like a home, family farm or business).
    Taxes were paid on all income by previous owners. If I earn $1,000 at my job, I pay taxes on it, then I use it to hire you to build me a widget, you still have to pay taxes on it. It isn't like money is somehow made immune to taxation in later transactions. When it changes hands, you need to pay taxes on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    As for capital gains, interest and dividend (investment) income, that is a tricky point indeed. It can only be made by investing a portion of your "income", that has already been taxed, so it too, could be left tax free and still be "fair". I am willing to "trade" here.
    That doesn't really add up either. You don't pay taxes on the part you invested, just the new income.

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    I would prefer that corporate income, not be taxed (at all) since a corporation is NOT a person (citizen) that can vote, so that creates both taxation without representation and leads (as we all know) to politcal favors (corrupton?) used to alter corporate taxation laws and drive many of them (and their jobs) off-shore. The "trade" I offer, for excuding corporate income from taxation, is this; tax all "investment" income at 1/2 the rate of wage income, by simply adding HALF of investment income to each individual's total income, and then tax that total.
    Why half? Seems to me that, if anything, we ought to tax investment income more highly than wages. Wages you have to actually work to get, where investment income you don't. Seems to me that if we were to tax one more, it would be the one you don't have to do anything to get... I'm fine with taxing them the same, but I don't see any reason to tax investment income less..
    Total tax rates- People living in poverty: 16.2%. The median American: 27%. Working people who make over $140k/year: 31%. The top 1%: 30%. Super rich investors: around 15%. Help the democrats retake the house.

  7. #77
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    This would be my preferred solution as well. Every household gets a single cost of living deduction based on some percentage of the poverty level (say 150%) for their family size (and probably where they live since cost of living varies around the country) and pays a flat percentage on everything after that. And that would apply to everything. There would be no special taxes for estates, or for capital gains. All of it would be taxed as income.

    Is that too simple to actually work in the real world? Probably. But I think starting with that as a basis and adding the bare minimum of complications necessary to make it work in reality would be better than trying to fix the god-awful complicated pile of crap tax code that we have now.
    I diasgree with having DIFFERENT individual "non-standard" deductions. It is your choice whether you have children, rent vs. buying home, pay cash vs. incurring credit interest, live in a high tax state or any other personal financial decision you make. Taxation is for revenue generation, not for "social engineering" or "social justice" causes. If you want to give away taxpayer money, then do it AFTER tax collection, directly by a gov't check that all may easily see the cost of, not through a sneaky complex quagmire of tax laws, so that its true cost may never be made known.
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    The argument that inheritance and capital gains shouldn't be taxed as income because they already have been once doesn't really fly. Earned income has been taxed as income before too, just a little more indirectly. For example, I earn money at work, and pay taxes on that income. Then later I go buy some groceries, and with some of the money I spent on groceries, the grocery store pays their employees, who also have to pay taxes on that money.
    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Taxes were paid on all income by previous owners. If I earn $1,000 at my job, I pay taxes on it, then I use it to hire you to build me a widget, you still have to pay taxes on it. It isn't like money is somehow made immune to taxation in later transactions. When it changes hands, you need to pay taxes on it.
    Those are all transactions that trigger a tax. Exchanging something for another, in the form of a contract. Trade. Labor for money, and money for goods and services. Gifts and inheritance are not examples of this.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 06-03-12 at 02:15 PM.

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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Those are all transactions that trigger a tax. Exchanging something for another, in the form of a contract. Trade. Labor for money, and money for goods and services. Gifts and inheritance are not examples of this.
    But why is that distinction significant in terms of taxation? Ownership is changing hands -- it's a transfer of title, or to title, in the case of inheritance and capital gains.

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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    This is the kind of debate that is too politically correct for me. We're arguing a difference of a few percentage points. Why not argue the point that the income tax is inefficient, immoral, and the cause of our problems today? I guess this doesn't fit in the Hillary Clinton<--->Mitt Romney spectrum of allowed opinion. But in the end, you know it's true. The fact that I have basically no control over the federal government suggests that they should not be able to take any of my money. I'm much more sympathetic to the idea of taxation when I actually have a chance of influencing opinion on the subject, that is, in tiny municipalities.

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

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