View Poll Results: Which do you prefer:

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  • Income tax - no changes in the status quo

    39 19.80%
  • Flat tax - Everyone pays the same %

    67 34.01%
  • National sales tax - don't spend, you don't pay taxes

    47 23.86%
  • No tax - Unconstitutional - rely on private donations

    10 5.08%
  • Other - explain

    21 10.66%
  • Cookies!

    13 6.60%
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Thread: Income tax; Flat tax; National Sales tax; No tax

  1. #891
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    Re: Income tax; Flat tax; National Sales tax; No tax

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    fredmertz (great screen name by the way)

    Almost everybody sees it exactly the way you would hope they see it. Almost everyone believes that their interpretation of the Constitution is the correct one - or "straight forward" as you put it.
    This is true today. The reason I'm libertarian is because I fear the future. I believe there is a day coming in the next generation (I'm 25, so I'm talking about a generation not yet born) that they will knowingly pass laws that go against a reasonable interpretation. They'll see that in the past (our present) we changed the meaning of the words. That reduces the value on those words. On that path, the words will become worthless and they will not care about how it's interpreted. The future is in big trouble on the current path, IMO.

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    Re: Income tax; Flat tax; National Sales tax; No tax

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    I'm not saying that a progressive tax encourages the wealthy to commit fraud. I'm suggesting that your tax solution will encourage the wealthy to commit fraud. I'm speaking in relative terms. Relative to where we are now (a progressive system with loopholes) to the system you suggest (a progressive system without loopholes) will significantly impact the net income on the wealthy. The result is an incentive for fraud. In no way at all am I saying that they have an excuse for this fraud or that they are justified in committing fraud. I'm not saying that it will be easier to commit fraud. Please read what I'm writing. I'm spending more time explaining what I'm NOT writing because you're jumping to conclusions that I'm not trying to make. I'm just explaining what the consequences of your plan are.

    And you did write "and the wealthy do this nayway, just as they would with a flat tax. Nothing there would change." -- when I read "the wealthy" I assumed you meant all of the wealthy since you didn't have a qualifier. This is the logical conclusion. I cannot assume your qualifiers; you must state them. If you meant 'some' so be it. Correct yourself. Don't deny what you wrote. Explain what you meant - it's fine. An honest mistake. I understand now. Just because we're on different sides doesn't mean that I'm trying to attack you. I simply misunderstood what you meant because you didn't write what you actually meant.
    I rarely ever mean all. I merely mean that this is done now and that won't change. I see no reason that anyone should comit fraud, regardless of impact. At all levels we see an impact for anything done, but this doesn't excuse breaking the law.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  3. #893
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    Re: Income tax; Flat tax; National Sales tax; No tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I rarely ever mean all. I merely mean that this is done now and that won't change. I see no reason that anyone should comit fraud, regardless of impact. At all levels we see an impact for anything done, but this doesn't excuse breaking the law.
    On this, we definitely agree. If it is law, then abide by it. If you want change, elect different representatives, is my opinion. But simply because we both agree that they shouldn't commit fraud doesn't mean that they won't. I'm a realist at heart. I'm not completely against a progressive tax system without loopholes, assuming that the rates are lowered. The rich are paying (I've read multiple figures, but this is the most recurring) about 18% actual federal income tax after loopholes. That's not enough, IMO. Let's take out the loopholes and drop the written tax bracket, but put it higher than the current actual rate of 18%. Also, the bottom 48% aren't paying federal income taxes at all. They need to be. It doesn't have to be a lot, even 5% would suffice. But they need skin in the game, IMO. They don't get the benefits of government for free. Nothing is free. It's my belief that we can't tax one person and not another within the same country. I have a hard time accepting progressive tax as it is. But a reformed progressive tax would be a nice compromise. But it has to be realistic. We need everyone to see the consequences of the extremes we suggest.

    In my ideal world a flat tax would be in place. But moving to a flat tax from where we are now would be catostrophic. The hurt it would put on the lower classes initially wouldn't be worth the long term 'fairness' that I think it creates. And in the long term, I think the lower classes would rise again. But again, the cost short-term is people starving and I understand that. We cannot just jump into a flat tax.

    We can have a compromise and we must. If we take too much from the poor, they starve (if not literally, then figuratively). Too much from the rich and they will decrease costs (wages) to maintain income and the economy starves and the long term consequences will be dire. It needs to be balanced.

  4. #894
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    Re: Income tax; Flat tax; National Sales tax; No tax

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    On this, we definitely agree. If it is law, then abide by it. If you want change, elect different representatives, is my opinion. But simply because we both agree that they shouldn't commit fraud doesn't mean that they won't. I'm a realist at heart. I'm not completely against a progressive tax system without loopholes, assuming that the rates are lowered. The rich are paying (I've read multiple figures, but this is the most recurring) about 18% actual federal income tax after loopholes. That's not enough, IMO. Let's take out the loopholes and drop the written tax bracket, but put it higher than the current actual rate of 18%. Also, the bottom 48% aren't paying federal income taxes at all. They need to be. It doesn't have to be a lot, even 5% would suffice. But they need skin in the game, IMO. They don't get the benefits of government for free. Nothing is free. It's my belief that we can't tax one person and not another within the same country. I have a hard time accepting progressive tax as it is. But a reformed progressive tax would be a nice compromise. But it has to be realistic. We need everyone to see the consequences of the extremes we suggest.

    In my ideal world a flat tax would be in place. But moving to a flat tax from where we are now would be catostrophic. The hurt it would put on the lower classes initially wouldn't be worth the long term 'fairness' that I think it creates. And in the long term, I think the lower classes would rise again. But again, the cost short-term is people starving and I understand that. We cannot just jump into a flat tax.

    We can have a compromise and we must. If we take too much from the poor, they starve (if not literally, then figuratively). Too much from the rich and they will decrease costs (wages) to maintain income and the economy starves and the long term consequences will be dire. It needs to be balanced.
    I believe if they wouldn't now, they won't under any system. And if they would under a progressive tax without loop holes, they would under a flat tax. Either way they pay more actual dollars, and would resist doing so.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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    Re: Income tax; Flat tax; National Sales tax; No tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I believe if they wouldn't now, they won't under any system. And if they would under a progressive tax without loop holes, they would under a flat tax. Either way they pay more actual dollars, and would resist doing so.
    Ahhh, I see your point. That's another reason for taxing the lower 48%. Misery loves company. I think if I made $200k and my taxes were increased, but the $15k earner who doesn't produce as much still didn't have to pay taxes, then I'd be very frustrated. But if everyone has to pay something and a little more than before, then it's more a situation that the country is in and we all need to do our part. The main objection from the folks on my side of the line is fairness. If rich folks are paying more so that the poor doesn't have to, then there will be much more objection. But if we're all paying more because the nation is in trouble, then that's what we have to do.

    It won't please everyone, like you said and there will be some resistance. But this is the way of least resistance that I can think of to get to the same goal we all have: get out of debt!

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    Re: Income tax; Flat tax; National Sales tax; No tax

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    Ahhh, I see your point. That's another reason for taxing the lower 48%. Misery loves company. I think if I made $200k and my taxes were increased, but the $15k earner who doesn't produce as much still didn't have to pay taxes, then I'd be very frustrated. But if everyone has to pay something and a little more than before, then it's more a situation that the country is in and we all need to do our part. The main objection from the folks on my side of the line is fairness. If rich folks are paying more so that the poor doesn't have to, then there will be much more objection. But if we're all paying more because the nation is in trouble, then that's what we have to do.

    It won't please everyone, like you said and there will be some resistance. But this is the way of least resistance that I can think of to get to the same goal we all have: get out of debt!
    I won't argue that some won't feel that way, but I wouldn't. I make more than some, but don't need those who make less paying what I pay. I think I'm not alone either. But I do believe logically that those who benefit most and can pay more, which includes me, should.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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    Re: Income tax; Flat tax; National Sales tax; No tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I won't argue that some won't feel that way, but I wouldn't. I make more than some, but don't need those who make less paying what I pay. I think I'm not alone either. But I do believe logically that those who benefit most and can pay more, which includes me, should.
    In terms of the real compromise: I'm not saying they should pay what I pay. I'm saying they should pay more than they currently are paying as the rich will also be paying more than they are currently. Even if that change is minimal, it should be there. I make an average living at present (per national standards) and I'm frustrated that 48% of others aren't paying. I don't want them to pay the same dollar figure I do. That wouldn't be fair to them. But I don't think it's fair that I'm paying for their government and they're not. I'm not asking for an extreme. But I am asking for something.

    In terms of the 'ideal world' which was the basis of this poll, I also believe those who benefit more should pay more (which are generally the wealthy). But I'm sure we disagree here: how to determine how much more. I say that if the poor man making $15k pays 20% ($3k) then the rich man making $1,500,000 pays 20% ($300,000). This is a debate that there is no answer to that I've ever found. I just can't understand how someone thinks that 'fair' is when the rich man pays 40% in the 'ideal' world and the poor man pays 20%. But I've also found that others don't understand why I think that the rich man should only pay 20%. I know their reasons (the rich have a superflous amount above what would be unreasonable amount necessary to live on and so they can better afford a higher income rate), but I don't see at all how this is fair. Simply because they are in a position to pay more without hurting themselves financially doesn't mean we should obligate them to. They are making more because they are producing more (generally) and so I feel the government has no right in taxing them at a higher rate, despite what they can afford.

    The reason I'm telling you all of this is because I'm hoping you don't see me as an enemy by now and rather a person looking for the best solution. If you could shed any light on your way of thinking (and/or why you disagree with my way of thinking), I would appreciate it. As one person, I can't really do anything. But if we all keep trying to understand each other, maybe our leaders will follow OUR lead. This world is upside down.

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    Re: Income tax; Flat tax; National Sales tax; No tax

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    In my ideal world a flat tax would be in place. But moving to a flat tax from where we are now would be catostrophic. The hurt it would put on the lower classes initially wouldn't be worth the long term 'fairness' that I think it creates. And in the long term, I think the lower classes would rise again. But again, the cost short-term is people starving and I understand that. We cannot just jump into a flat tax.

    We can have a compromise and we must. If we take too much from the poor, they starve (if not literally, then figuratively). Too much from the rich and they will decrease costs (wages) to maintain income and the economy starves and the long term consequences will be dire. It needs to be balanced.
    Any ideas and/or suggestions on how you believe this could be done without catastrophic results?
    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice....shame on me.

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    Re: Income tax; Flat tax; National Sales tax; No tax

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGirlNextDoor View Post
    Any ideas and/or suggestions on how you believe this could be done without catastrophic results?
    of course! If it can't be a flat tax, then it must be a progressive tax. So what are the 2 problems (Glaring problems) of the current system? 1) loop holes 2) 48% of wage earners presently don't pay any federal income taxes.

    We obviously have a deficit as well. This isn't getting into how we absolutely have to cut spending. But at the same time, a tax increase is in order for the short term to pay off this debt. And whose debt is this? the Nation's debt. So we ALL must get tax increases. Even those 48% paying $0 right now. They need to be paying something, even if it is a small amount of 8% (or even less).

    So I suggest we break this down to 3 very basic, no loop hole brackets. I've read multiple numbers, but the most common is that the wealthiest pay only about 18% income tax after deductions and loopholes.

    first bracket for earners from $0-poverty line: =/< 8%
    second bracket for earners from poverty line to $XXX,XXX: 15%-17%
    Third bracket for above $XXX,XXX: 20%

    If everyone in the nation were paying 19% without loopholes, I've calculated that we would not be running a deficit (figures from bea.gov last year).

    Even suggesting a progressive tax system is hard to type out. The idea of the unfairness and inefficiency for the long run is awful to suggest. But I really think it's what would be best from this point. And these rates seem incredibly low because we're used to loopholes and higher stated rates. But the net amount going to the government will drastically increase. The below poverty earners won't contribute much, but this debt problem is as much their problem as it is anyone's. They need to contribute. You don't get all the privileges of being an American for free.

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