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Flat tax or progressive tax? Which do you prefer?

Would you support a flat tax system instead of our current progressive one?

  • Yes

    Votes: 12 37.5%
  • No

    Votes: 18 56.3%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 2 6.3%

  • Total voters
    32

Whovian

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I'm no expert, but from everything I've read, a flat tax system seems fair, and should not adversly affect tax revenue.

Economic Advantages of a Flat Tax
Flat Tax Revenues
A flat tax would seem to lower tax revenues for the government under a superficial analysis, but deeper look reveals several positive possibilities.

The economy-wide increase in production and consumption, as well as the increased productivity of individuals, can lead to higher economy-wide income, resulting in an increase in the overall tax-base. Tax evasion and avoidance would become less profitable, decreasing the number of people who do not pay their taxes, and it would no longer be possible to manipulate the deductions in the tax code to completely negate the tax burden of high-income individuals.
 

TurtleDude

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yes, a flat tax removes lots of extra-constitutional congressional power and prevents the buying of votes by promising the middle class that they can have more and more government goodies that only the rich will have to pay for
 

Boo Radley

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In an effort to offer another reading of this, I present this analysis:

Among the various proposals, the flat tax in particular has gained a following, probably because it purports to use tax reform to change politics as well as the economy. As we will see, its advocates claim too much. In fact, their analysis of the current tax system is often wrong.

PPI: Why Fairness Matters: Progressive Versus Flat Taxes by Robert J. Shapiro
 

Whovian

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Whovian

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Boo... interesting read.

Did you check out this part of my link? I'm still going over it myself, but it's pretty interesting.


Flat Tax and Economic Growth
According to a study by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA),"The Economic Effects of a Flat Tax," industrial investment is not structured to favor the most competitive and attractive industries under a progressive tax. Due to subsidies and unequal treatment of diverse industries, it can be more profitable to invest in low-growth or low-profit sectors. The study proposes that a flat tax redistributes investment away from highly subsidized industries, such as farming, towards more competitive industries, such as manufacturing. This can have the effect of increasing production in nearly every industry.
 

Gipper

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Flat is more "fair", it reduces government bureaucracy, and it is definitely less complicated.

Success shouldn't carry a monetary punishment.
 

pbrauer

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Adam Smith, who wrote in The Wealth of Nations:
The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

Progressive tax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Conservative

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In an effort to offer another reading of this, I present this analysis:

Among the various proposals, the flat tax in particular has gained a following, probably because it purports to use tax reform to change politics as well as the economy. As we will see, its advocates claim too much. In fact, their analysis of the current tax system is often wrong.

PPI: Why Fairness Matters: Progressive Versus Flat Taxes by Robert J. Shapiro
Any thoughts on how the 47% of the income earners that don't pay Federal Income taxes are going to vote? I support the flat tax and collecting something from everyone. Why aren't you supporting a reduction in Federal Income taxes so that local state government's can get that revenue for use in solving social issues?
 

Whovian

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Adam Smith, who wrote in The Wealth of Nations:
The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

Progressive tax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As long as that contribution is 'voluntary', and not 'legally mandated', I agree. It should be (and usually is) my personal choice to help others either financially, physically, spiritually or emotionally. It should not be 'required by law' that I do so.

Helping others is a moral issue, and we as a country generally fail when we try to legislate morallity.
 

digsbe

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I support a flat tax, it's the most fair. Rich people shouldn't have to pay a higher percentage simply because they have more.
 

Boo Radley

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Boo... interesting read.

Did you check out this part of my link? I'm still going over it myself, but it's pretty interesting.
It was an interesting read. I will continue to keep an open mind at this point. I suspect both sides will make this claim:

As with any simulation exercise, our results must be regarded with some caution. However, sensitivity tests indicate that our results are robust. This in turn suggests that many of the fears expressed about a flat tax are unwarranted.

;)
 

cpwill

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true. i would support no taxes on income up to the poverty line, but a flat tax after that. this way, everyone has skin in the game; i also find it to be more fair than a tax system that punishes you for doing good (intentionally did not use the word 'well').

a flat tax, furthermore, would provide a powerful boost to economic growth; which would help the poor far more than a progressive tax structure does.
 

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I support a flat tax, it's the most fair. Rich people shouldn't have to pay a higher percentage simply because they have more.
Isn't it amazing that the Bush tax cuts are demonized as a tax cut for the rich yet under the Bush tax cuts 47% of the workers in this country don't pay any Federal Income Taxes as a result of those Bush tax cuts. Further it is reported by the IRS that tax revenue from the rich has risen as a result of the Bush tax cuts. Liberals seem to have a problem with actual facts. Still support the flat tax and everyone should pay something.
 

TurtleDude

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Adam Smith, who wrote in The Wealth of Nations:
The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

Progressive tax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


so what-he has an opinion

the people who founded a nation that became the greatest in the world were against it/

their concept actually worked

I note the envious and class warfare types never address my point about the extra-constitutional power that a progressive tax gives congress and how a progressive tax means your vote can be bought by promses that what you want will be paid for by increasing the tax on others
 

pbrauer

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As long as that contribution is 'voluntary', and not 'legally mandated', I agree. It should be (and usually is) my personal choice to help others either financially, physically, spiritually or emotionally. It should not be 'required by law' that I do so.

Helping others is a moral issue, and we as a country generally fail when we try to legislate morallity.
Taxes are mandated and Adam Smith was talking about taxes, not charity.
 

Whovian

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so what-he has an opinion

the people who founded a nation that became the greatest in the world were against it/

their concept actually worked

I note the envious and class warfare types never address my point about the extra-constitutional power that a progressive tax gives congress and how a progressive tax means your vote can be bought by promses that what you want will be paid for by increasing the tax on others
This is another one of my problems with the current progressive tax system.
 

pbrauer

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so what-he has an opinion

the people who founded a nation that became the greatest in the world were against it/
Oh, really? Where in the Constitution does it say that?
 

Whovian

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Taxes are mandated and Adam Smith was talking about taxes, not charity.
Really? That went completely over my head... :rolleyes:
I understand he's talking about taxes.

It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
My comment was that I agreed that the rich should help the poor... but it should not be mandated in the form of taxes. If I want to help the poor, I will, don't FORCE me to do so by taxing me to do it.
 

Boo Radley

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This is another one of my problems with the current progressive tax system.
But that can be done with anything really. In our system, candidates have to make promises. We really don't ask them give anything like a job interview. We ask, what's in it for me? Pork, for example, gets a bad name, but see what happens to a congressman who doesn't provide some for his state. ;)
 

TurtleDude

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This is another one of my problems with the current progressive tax system.
its my major one for the following reasons

1) if people are led to believe that others will pay for what they want, they have no incentive to vote against those who make them such promises

2) sooner or later the public teat runs dry and millions will be unable to survive without their daily sucklings


3) its malignant-progressive taxation creates and expands those who vote for the pandering politicians

4) it punishes hard work and success and creates a mentality among the underachievers that achievement is bad or that somehow underachievers deserve a part of what the achievers accomplish
 

TurtleDude

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Oh, really? Where in the Constitution does it say that?
why was the 16th amendment enacted

do you ever bother to read information about the founders and their beliefs.

does your desire to loot the wealth of others preclude that?
 

Whovian

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Oh, really? Where in the Constitution does it say that?
The Constitution is not the only source of information on what the founding fathers thought, wanted, liked, disliked, etc...

U.S. Treasury - Fact Sheet on the History of the U.S. Tax System
Though social policies sometimes governed the course of tax policy even in the early days of the Republic, the nature of these policies did not extend either to the collection of taxes so as to equalize incomes and wealth, or for the purpose of redistributing income or wealth. As Thomas Jefferson once wrote regarding the "general Welfare" clause:

To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his father has acquired too much, in order to spare to others who (or whose fathers) have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, "to guarantee to everyone a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."
 

pbrauer

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My comment was that I agreed that the rich should help the poor... but it should not be mandated in the form of taxes. If I want to help the poor, I will, don't FORCE me to do so by taxing me to do it.
Smith wasn't speaking of the poor, he was speaking about the public expense. He was speaking about a progressive tax system.

It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
 

Whovian

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Smith wasn't speaking of the poor, he was speaking about the public expense. He was speaking about a progressive tax system.
The poor, as well as the 'ok' as well as the 'slightly more ok' etc, are all part of that. I have no problem paying my fair share in taxes to 'contribute to the public expense', but I simply do not believe I should have to pay a higher percentage of my income in taxes, simply because I have achieved more in my life than someone else has. If I want to help those who have not acheived as much as I have, I'll choose to do so, or not.
 

rathi

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Progressive taxation is needed for 2 primary reasons
1) Lower income people spend a far higher proportion of the money on consumer spending, which is the primary driver of our economy.
2) Lower income people tend to spend most of their money on basic needs and lowering their income would have a significant impact on social stability.

Fairness, in either income earned or taxation is a pipe dream. With an all-so fair flat tax, it still runs into issues with how to treat capital gains, inheritance, and income earned overseas.
 
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