View Poll Results: What Should the Government Focus On, Raising Revenue or Tax Rates?

Voters
28. You may not vote on this poll
  • Revenues

    25 89.29%
  • Tax Rate

    3 10.71%
Page 11 of 18 FirstFirst ... 910111213 ... LastLast
Results 101 to 110 of 172

Thread: Is Raising Revenue More Important Than Raising Tax Rates?

  1. #101
    Doesn't go below juicy
    tacomancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cleveland
    Last Seen
    05-20-16 @ 02:42 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    31,781

    Re: Is Raising Revenue More Important Than Raising Tax Rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    you certainly have - the last time we had this discussion you merely zoomed in on the variation within the range to demonstrate that collection does, in fact, fluctuate.
    So this is going to be your attempt to get the upper hand? I have supported my arguments and if you wish to avoid that fact, go ahead.
    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    when the top rate was lowered, all rates were lowered. and your claim that "of course lowing the top tax rate is going to have some effect on overall revenues" remains unsubstantiated in the negative sense though we do have some substantiation in the positive sense:

    and the problem with that graph is that it also does not show the distribution of income, so no real parallels can be made between your two points.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    so here is the unfortunate fact. as tax rates were dramatically lowered for all taxpayers, revenue actually climbed slightly as a measure of GDP. Not enough to push it out of the historical range, but enough to push us to the upper side of it. This utterly invalidates the claim that revenues are merely a function of rates - had that been he case then revenues would have fallen as dramatically as the rates did - or at least they would have fallen at all.
    Thank you. You have actually made a claim that is supported with demonstrated data. I will have to think on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    on the contrary, our current tax code is stupid, and it is immoral. Our tax code punishes people for saving and investing (which is economically beneficial) and rewards them for going into debt in order to consume (which is economically harmful). It punishes people for getting married and forming stable families in which to raise children. It discourages new business formation and investment. It encourages malinvestment and helps to feed bubbles. On top of all that, it costs us a huge amount of money to maintain. We could fight four wars the size of Iraq and Afghanistan, and still have enough left to fund the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, NASA, and the EPA; just on the cost of compliance alone.

    It's been well-bandied about that 45% of households don't pay income taxes. Another figure - slightly less known - is that 6 out of 10 households now receive more money from the Federal Government than they pay in taxes, so the 45% actually understates the matter. Not only should I not pay my fair share of government, it seems, I should have you cover my share, and then I think I should have you pay me a little something extra on the side. The US has the most progressive tax structure in the industrialized world. (I know, it surprised me too.) Now, a progressive tax code is supposed to have the wealthy pay more than the middle class or the poor as a percent of their income. I get that, and I get the basic notion of fairness behind it. But it also strikes me that the basic "fairness" of such a system depends on the middle class and poor actually paying something. Not as much as the rich, but something. Even if it's just one percent, you should pay something on tax day rather than looking forward to it as a day when the government sends you a big ole fat check.

    Instead we've allowed our politicians to turn our progressive tax structure into a weapon of class warfare, and rewarded them for encouraging us to use it to try to take from others. Our tax code encourages dependency on government rather than self-reliance. It encourages us to turn on each other and form opposing blocs seeking to suck each other dry rather than fostering a sense of national unity and a belief that we are each helping to pay for the necessary costs of government. Look at you in this thread - you aren't pushing ways that you can earn more, you are pushing for ways that you can seek out hunt down and force more out of someone else because there are more of you than there are of them. Politicians can take advantage of people who are convinced that Someone Is Out To Get Them, and they can take advantage of people who think that They Can Get Something For Nothing; but it's harder for them to take advantage of people who are convinced that What We Need Is To Come Together To Have Responsible Governance. Our tax code doesn't just hurt our poor (who stand the most to lose from the economic losses it encourages), it doesn't just hurt our national pocketbook, it hurts our soul. It encourages greed, grift, lying, and cheating in the average man and woman. People who would never steal from their neighbor's house are tempted and encouraged by the complexity and messaging of the system to steal from him by taking advantage of the tax code to minimize their burden and increase his. It weakens what it means to be American, to be in something together, to take care of your own costs and be responsible for your own self. It weakens our sense of community by setting us against each other and putting us into a zero-sum game of I-win-You-lose. Instead of everyone seeking to combine our forces to produce good governance, the tax code has become a way for us to take from each other.
    I do agree (and always have), that a simplification of the tax code is in order, or at least using the tax code to promote things that are beneficial to society rather than special interests alone. However, that is a function of the various tax exemptions we have allowed into our tax code, rather than, the progressive nature of the income tax itself. In fact thinking about it, that may be another thing wrong with your graph, does it show these exemptions? Perhaps having a simplified code that allows for people to cheat (and there is a difference between a simple mortgage deduction or a deduction for what people do anyway in their normals lives and economic activity primarily aimed at reducing tax burden but does not help them otherwise, the latter is cheating) is the nature of the problem more than anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    well, it's probably to do with the fact that individuals pay taxes, and are effected by the tax code and the cost of business in general. for example, i know several families who will be out of work the day after the EPA passes it's own version of Cap-and-Trade (if it ever does so), and the taxes inherent in Obamacare will have a similar effect (which is why so many businesses are so eager to get exemptions). If you don't make enough to think that you are effected by it, then of course you don't look at it as a personal issue - but those who get screwed of course are.

    yeah! hunt them down right? make 'em squeal! how dare they try to minimize their tax burden, as if they were normal people, just like everyone else?

    but no. It's tax avoidance. tax evasion is illegal. we are not yet communist china, and it is not yet illegal for people to move without the permission of the government. though we shall see how the Boeing case works out.
    If people are going to benefit from a society that allows them the opportunity to benefit, then yes, they are obligated to support it. Even if it is largely their own actions that made them a success, the fact that they were born into a country with great infrastructure to support and multiply their efforts is reason alone. Because of this, we have to look at this from a macro level so that we can further enrich ourselves through good policy. So, yes, if people want to cheat from their obligation, they lose their moral right to claim they are being unduly harmed.

  2. #102
    Professor
    Bigfoot 88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Georgia
    Last Seen
    12-01-15 @ 06:31 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Libertarian - Right
    Posts
    2,027
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Is Raising Revenue More Important Than Raising Tax Rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    I wouldn't say he's an idiot. I would simply say that he has a very different set of priorities than the people who have thus far voted in this poll.
    No he isn't an idiot, neither is George W. Bush.

    They went to very prestigous colleges.
    "I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money." -Thomas Sowell

  3. #103
    Liberal Fascist For Life!


    Redress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Georgia
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:39 AM
    Lean
    Very Liberal
    Posts
    93,316
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: Is Raising Revenue More Important Than Raising Tax Rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot 88 View Post
    Pretty stupid comment you made.

    The goal is to raise revenue-to say otherwise means they want to punish someone with taxes.

    Taxes may be one method but it isn't the only method.
    Apparently the point in my comment was missed.
    We became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers - Lindsey Graham

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    Uh oh Megyn...your vagina witchcraft is about ready to be exposed.

  4. #104
    Sage
    cpwill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USofA
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 02:43 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    57,107

    Re: Is Raising Revenue More Important Than Raising Tax Rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    So this is going to be your attempt to get the upper hand? I have supported my arguments and if you wish to avoid that fact, go ahead.
    no you haven't, you have merely sought to identify holes in my own. Never have you ever attempted to demonstrate how increasing tax rates will increase revenue as a % of GDP.

    and the problem with that graph is that it also does not show the distribution of income, so no real parallels can be made between your two points.
    given that tax rates fell and rose together, the distribution is irrelevant. had we been hiking taxes for the middle class while lowering it for the wealthy, then that would indeed be a powerful argument for you, but that is not what we did. instead we slashed tax rates for all income brackets and yet tax revenues increased (though as a % of GDP, agreeably only slightly, and it is debatable whether or not it was outside the margin of error).

    Thank you. You have actually made a claim that is supported with demonstrated data. I will have to think on it.
    I hope you get back to us on it. I think that your liberal lean will - over time - be threatened by your unfortunately high level of intellectual honesty. we may win you yet.

    to aid, I looked up the tax brackets and rates over the pre-reagan, post-war decades for Married, Filing Jointly:

    Year $10,001 $20,001 $60,001 $100,001 $250,001
    1950 38% 56% 78% 89% 91%
    1952 42% 62% 80% 90% 92%
    1954 38% 56% 78% 89% 91%
    1956 26% 38% 62% 75% 89%
    1958 26% 38% 62% 75% 89%
    1960 26% 38% 62% 75% 89%
    1962 26% 38% 62% 75% 89%
    1964 23% 34% 56% 66% 76%
    1966 - 1976 22% 32% 53% 62% 70%
    1980 18% 24% 54% 59% 70%

    if you like, here is a year-by-year breakdown for pretty much everybody.

    All tax rates for all income brackets used to be significantly higher than they are today. yet, when we cut all of them, revenue did not decline as a % of GDP, and in fact, it rose (slightly).

    Now, If revenue is a function of rates, then this would be impossible.

    Revenue appears instead to be a function of GDP; certainly it is pretty easy to establish a rough ratio that seems to hold steady through all tax environments. So, if you want to raise the revenue, you gotta raise the GDP. This has a lot of other happy consequences including lower unemployment and higher wages, so I'm not really sure why people fight it so.

    I do agree (and always have), that a simplification of the tax code is in order, or at least using the tax code to promote things that are beneficial to society rather than special interests alone.
    interesting. all things being equal, would you support a move to simplify the tax code but keep revenue neutral via rate reduction? currently we spend about $431 Billion just trying to comply with our own tax code - releasing even half of that money into the economy would be a no-cost real economic stimulus that only increases private productivity (as the cost of governance stays the same but the cost of compliance is reduced) and tax revenues (as GDP increases over time). Democrats get more revenue, Republicans get tax rate cuts, and everyone gets more jobs. The Presidents' Bi-Partisan Bowles-Simpson Debt Reduction Commission suggested exactly this approach.

    However, that is a function of the various tax exemptions we have allowed into our tax code, rather than, the progressive nature of the income tax itself.
    on that I'm not so sure. Just as the business interference in politics is due to the political interference in business (they wouldn't lobby if there wasn't any money in it), I would suspect that tax code complexity and exemptions are a natural result of a highly progressive tax code. Give someone millions of dollars worth of incentive to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to effect the tax code, and that is precisely what he will do.

    In fact thinking about it, that may be another thing wrong with your graph, does it show these exemptions?
    no. however, that's a good point - it's worth noting that tax code complexity (exemptions and other fun - read, stupid - things) has exploded even as rates have come down - rather giving an even more solid backing to the claim that revenue is more generally a function of GDP than anything in the tax code. If the claim that revenue was a function of the code was correct, then we would expect to see revenues dive as rates did, and then dive even further as complexity and exemptions increase.

    However, I will say that due to the decreased compliance costs, the cost of an additional dollar squeezed from reducing complexity will probably be less than the dollar squeezed from increasing tax rates in turns of economic loss of productivity. But that's just an application of what seems to be common sense (that the loss of the dollar is partially offset by the loss of the cost of maintaining it), and I don't really have any actual work that backs it up.

    Perhaps having a simplified code that allows for people to cheat (and there is a difference between a simple mortgage deduction or a deduction for what people do anyway in their normals lives and economic activity primarily aimed at reducing tax burden but does not help them otherwise, the latter is cheating) is the nature of the problem more than anything else.
    evasion is cheating - avoidance is not. one is illegal and the other isn't. me taking my mortgage interest deduction is legally or ethically no different from someone setting up a trust for their kids - both of us are seeking to reduce our tax exposure as much as possible.

    If people are going to benefit from a society that allows them the opportunity to benefit, then yes, they are obligated to support it. Even if it is largely their own actions that made them a success, the fact that they were born into a country with great infrastructure to support and multiply their efforts is reason alone.
    I agree - and that is why I think that the poor and middle class should pay something, rather than being net benefactors of the tax system. Taxes ought to be the expense you pay for good governance, not an opportunity or temptation for you to screw your neighbor.
    Last edited by cpwill; 05-07-11 at 01:38 PM.

  5. #105
    Sage
    cpwill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USofA
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 02:43 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    57,107

    Re: Is Raising Revenue More Important Than Raising Tax Rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Apparently the point in my comment was missed.
    apparently the point in your comment is stupid :sorry - couldn't resist:
    Last edited by cpwill; 05-07-11 at 01:42 PM.

  6. #106
    Sage
    cpwill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USofA
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 02:43 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    57,107

    Re: Is Raising Revenue More Important Than Raising Tax Rates?

    hey - no fair liking my posts; i'm trying to argue you, dammit

  7. #107
    Sage
    cpwill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USofA
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 02:43 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    57,107

    Re: Is Raising Revenue More Important Than Raising Tax Rates?

    there - got you back. take that

  8. #108
    Doesn't go below juicy
    tacomancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cleveland
    Last Seen
    05-20-16 @ 02:42 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    31,781

    Re: Is Raising Revenue More Important Than Raising Tax Rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    I hope you get back to us on it. I think that your liberal lean will - over time - be threatened by your unfortunately high level of intellectual honesty. we may win you yet.
    I thanked you for this Pretty funny.

    The fact is there are so many empty arguments on either side of the spectrum that you shouldn't get your hopes up. If anything, I am moving more solidly to the center, however, I have yet to see anything attractive about high levels of fiscal conservativism. However, it does seem to have usefulness in a balance against high levels of socialistic policy.

    I will ponder your points and perhaps integrate them into my views, if I find merit in them and I especially like your last point. However, I would also very much like some real data to back up your claims, your current offerings are not convincing. Generally, my problem with many of these arguments lies in the base assumptions about human nature and how they react to various government policies, the idea of people being primarily self maximizing is in fact very counter intuitive to me and runs counter to my experience with people in general and my own reactions to things (and its not like I am some saint or anything). I am beginning to wonder if this is an aspect of human nature that varies with person to person, some people are selfish and some are not, therefore that has to be taken into account when designing any social policy and it could be that a limitation of both the conservative and liberal side is that they assume that this aspect is fixed, which is why they both end up failing when economies go way or the other too far. Certainly something to ponder.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 05-07-11 at 01:49 PM.

  9. #109
    Sage
    cpwill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USofA
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 02:43 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    57,107

    Re: Is Raising Revenue More Important Than Raising Tax Rates?

    governing systems built on anything other than the notion that people tend to seek their (and their family's) self interest tend to degrade over time and eventually fail rather dramatically. It's not the benevolence of the baker, or the butcher.....

    the trick is not to try to change human nature ( attempts to create a "new man" also tend to fail dramatically - though they tend to also include alot more blood ), but rather to design a system where people seeking their own self-interest will increase the interests of others as well. that's why i think - despite the argument i've made here - that you could get an increase in revenues off of the wealthy by popping the cap but allowing them to keep a percentage in a tax-free account, as i suggested in my social security reform proposal. because we have provided them with a powerful and positive incentive to increase their taxes (they actually stand more to gain from said tax increase up to over around - as i recall - $647,000), they will not seek to avoid doing so.

  10. #110
    Sage
    SheWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 10:48 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    24,505

    Re: Is Raising Revenue More Important Than Raising Tax Rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    How does the government raise revenue without raising taxes? Unless you're saying, "Grow ourselves out of this mess....?"

    No matter how much money we give those clowns in Washington, they will continue spending us broke. No new taxes. Cut spending. Oh, okay, maybe increase taxes on "really rich." They've got no voice. Let's git 'em!
    I agree, the question is confusing... It's like asking, what would you rather do... eat breakfast or eat something in the morning?

Page 11 of 18 FirstFirst ... 910111213 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •