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Tax Time

John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
Fred: So, people who earn more can afford to pay more in taxes. Nobody is forcing you to take that promotion/raise if you don't want it. If you don't want to pay more taxes, tell you boss to give you a pay cut - i'm sure they'll agree.
Wow, what a great taxation and economic policy, -- motivate people to earn less so that they benefit from lower taxes. Perhaps even to sabotage the company operations with the intent to bankrupt the company so that it doesn't have to pay corporate taxes?
Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Careful Eugene you might bite your toungue off.
Jeff Langr
author
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Joined: May 14, 2003
Posts: 762
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
TP: This is what you wrote:
Those at the low end of the scale pay little or nothing in taxes
I see nothing about income taxes in there at all. No matter how carefully I try to read that line I can't find the word income in there anywhere.

They pay little or nothing in taxes, period. The word income is irrelevant; that wasn't the point of the post, and yes, the non-income taxes they pay are a larger percentage of their income.
But the income tax was actually the idea of the wealthy! Look at the people who have proposed it and supported it. They know that a strong central government is good for wealthy people.

Yes, and they've gotten the majority to go along with it, those who purportedly receive the most benefits from it. As you mention, the wealthy can easily "afford" taxes; they also have more means of avoiding them. That's why it's easy for people like JOhn KErry to promote raising taxes.
TP: "Get screwed"? I'm not sure how living in the US can be described as "getting screwed" but if you really feel that way perhaps you can trade places with one of the hundreds of millions of people who would love to come here and "get screwed".

"Living in the US" or not has absolutely nothing to do with the whole discussion. This is the kind of argument that's used to rationalize any sort of inequity. It's also the prototypical redneck argument: "America: love it or leave it." You're ok with paying a higher percentage in taxes than someone who contributes far less (and no, not everyone making less money contributes less), but many of us are not. It doesn't mean I hate this country, or that I hate people who pay less taxes, or that I have no right to complain.
One of the reason millions of people want to come here is because they know they can suck up from the public trough. I resent paying for people that come here solely to take. My great grandfather came over a hundred years ago and worked his tail off to scrape by; my father lived in abject poverty during the twelve miserable years of the depression under Roosevelt. They contributed in many ways, including service to their country. They didn't demand that the government give them something they didn't deserve.
The greatness of this country comes from people who contribute. Fortunately, most of these people that came here did so because they knew they could succeed here (not always true elsewhere). Their ideals are merit, achievement, and justified reward. For some people, reward is monetary, for others it is simply satisfaction. Often, these are the same people who have the compassion to help those who are unable to help themselves. I celebrate these people, and I believe that they and our melting pot has helped make us the greatest country in the world.
Today, however, we have people who come solely for the freebies and don't contribute. Then they complain that they're not getting enough. As a result we have other people who force my "compassion."
TP: I will do so but I will ask that you try to write your posts more carefully in the future.

Thanks for that Thomas. I will.
-Jeff-


Books: Agile Java, Modern C++ Programming with TDD, Essential Java Style, Agile in a Flash. Contributor, Clean Code.
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8815
    
    5
So what if we take Fred's original idea - but phase it in - I know all the accountants / lawyers / CEOs and stuff would never let that happen...
along the same lines I'd propose the following plan for the distribution of taxes:
Segment all government program into, say, 50 categories (military, social security, etc.)
Add a new section to the tax forms, listing these 50 sections, and let everyone decide how much of their tax dollar should go to each category. In order to avoid chaos, phase-in the effect of these results over time - maybe in the first year these results would have only a 5% influence, and add 5% a year for 19 years. After a generation, we'd be getting just the government services we really want!


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Warren Dew
blacksmith
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
But the income tax was actually the idea of the wealthy! Look at the people who have proposed it and supported it.

But of course. The alternative would probably be a tax on wealth, rather than a tax on income, which would obviously be far worse for the wealthy.
Bhau Mhatre
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Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 199
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
let everyone decide how much of their tax dollar should go to each category

From each according to his taste, to each according to its lure!


-Mumbai cha Bhau
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I don't see that this is going anywhere except as an excuse to attack immigrants and the working poor so I am done.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
So what if we take Fred's original idea - but phase it in - I know all the accountants / lawyers / CEOs and stuff would never let that happen...
along the same lines I'd propose the following plan for the distribution of taxes:
Segment all government program into, say, 50 categories (military, social security, etc.)
Add a new section to the tax forms, listing these 50 sections, and let everyone decide how much of their tax dollar should go to each category. In order to avoid chaos, phase-in the effect of these results over time - maybe in the first year these results would have only a 5% influence, and add 5% a year for 19 years. After a generation, we'd be getting just the government services we really want!

But would we have a government we NEED.
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8815
    
    5

But would we have a government we NEED.

Phasing in would help that concern to some degree... I also gotta say that I'm not all that sure we're getting the government that we need right now I'd say an approach like this might trim a lot of the pork out of our current system. I really like the idea of government agencies having to prove themselves to us
Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Originally posted by Bert Bates:

Phasing in would help that concern to some degree... I also gotta say that I'm not all that sure we're getting the government that we need right now I'd say an approach like this might trim a lot of the pork out of our current system. I really like the idea of government agencies having to prove themselves to us

I think we would end up with more of a mess than we have now. Get rid of the omnibus spending bills and make each piece stand on its own and you get rid of the pork pretty fast. If you can't bury it in with needed items, you won't have all of the BS rhetoric that gets thrown around when a monster bill gets voted against.
Then take each current spending appropriation and reauthorize it on its own. How many duplicated programs could be eliminated?
Joe King
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
I wonder if we are looking at this the wrong way around. So far the debate seems to be "We are going to tax people. What is the fairest way of doing it?". This assumes that the aim of taxation is to be a fair way of taking money from people, which it isn't (although being fair is an attribute that its nice for taxation to have). Another way to look at it is "The government needs to spend X, how can the government raise that much money?".
To take a hypothetical case, lets say that everyone in the economy is taxed at the same rate, but the amount of money raised is not enough to cover the government spending. Lets also assume that we do not want the government to reduce spending. This means that we have to increase the amount gathered from taxation - this can be done by increasing the taxation for everyone, or increasing the taxation for just some people. The problem with a flat rate increase is that it makes far more difference to a poor person than to a rich person - a 5% reduction in income for a poor person could mean a significant reduction in the quality of life that they have, where as a 5% reduction in income for a richer person would probably just mean missing out on a extremely non-vital luxury. The same relative reduction in income will have a different level reduction of quality of life. As a personal example, if my income was reduced by 5%, I would probably have to leave the city where I live (and therefore probably leave my job) to find a cheaper place to live. A 5% reduction in income for my boss would probably mean him missing out on his 4th holiday of the year
Another factor in the tax debate is the usefulness of taxation as an economic tool. Governments can use changes in taxation as an effective tool for manipulating the economy. Sometimes this is a relatively micro-economic change, an example being reducing stamp tax on a particular kind of contract to boost a small area of the economy, and sometimes it can be macro-economic to boost the economy as a whole. Reducing the tax burden on the rich can boost some areas of the economy as the rich buy more luxury items, and possible do some investment, but reducing the tax burden on the poor can also improve the economy due to the poor's higher propensity to spend - give one person �1million and they will probably only spend half of it. Divide the same �1million between 300 people and it will probably all get spent. For this reason, a reduction of the tax burden upon the poor can be used to stimulate the economy in times of low consumer spending. The opposite also applies - in times of excessive spending, increasing the poorer people's tax burden can reign in this spending.
Anyway, the (vague) point of this ramble is that while fairness is all well and good, there are other equally important factors that should effect a taxation decision. Besides, I doubt there's many of us who are really qualified (ie high economic qualification) enough to make a decent decision on this one!
 
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