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Taxation Poll

What Should Be Done With Our Tax System?

  • It should be made more progressive.

    Votes: 7 26.9%
  • It should be left roughly as it is.

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • It should be replaced by a flat tax (or similar plan).

    Votes: 16 61.5%

  • Total voters
    26

Arts&Sciences

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Again, without telling you my opinion (or voting in the poll) I have an interesting question to raise. Do you think that our tax system should be made more progressive, left at about what it is now or that the progressive income tax should be replaced by a flat tax or a similar system (e.g. a national sales tax, VAT or user fees)?
 

Kandahar

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A flat tax would be much better. I just gave a speech on this last night. The current tax code costs $188.6 BILLION per year in COMPLIANCE COSTS ALONE. Over 60% of Americans hire someone to do their taxes for them, because they can't understand them or don't have time to figure them out.

A flat tax would be better for nearly everyone - rich and poor. The poor would benefit from generous personal deductions (a family of four would pay no taxes on the first $46,000 of income under Steve Forbes' flat tax plan) and from cheaper consumer goods (thanks to lower corporate taxes). The middle- and upper- class would benefit by being in a low 17% tax bracket rather than the 28-35% bracket they currently find themselves in. And everyone would benefit from corporations having more money to hire more workers at higher wages.

Also, a flat tax would remove a lot of the money from our politics. George Bush and John Kerry spent over $600 million combined on their campaigns, because businesses wanted their candidate to cut their taxes. If we had a flat tax and didn't allow for deductions (other than basic personal and child deductions), the corporations would no longer have any incentive to contribute obscene sums of money to politicians.
 

Old and wise

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Flat tax, great. Maybe we could get the corporations to pay their fair share for a change.:lol:
 

libertarian_knight

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Progressive Use tax and user fees. Abolish "income tax" (especially since wages and salaraies should not be considered income, those are trades for labor and time, which is LOST forever).

The more a resident or business uses a public good or service, natural resource, or energy supply, the more they are taxed.

E.g. Tax of
0-120 cubic feet of water/mo=$0.05/ft³.
121-250 =$0.125/ft³
250-500 =$0.25/ft³
500-...

Same with natural gas, electricity, garbage, fuel and road use.
This type of tax encourages conservation of goods and public services, it also put the burden on those prone to using the most resources, the wealthy and businesses.

Of course, these are not very large revenue streams, and that would mean our government would have to stop wasting so much freakin money on extra consitutional behavior.

I wish I could remeber where it was, but there was a pretty neat budget calculator someone showed me. Deps and reps were talking about closing the deficit gaps in 5-10 years... I used the calculator and paid off the national _debt_ in 7, still retained essential military services and benefits, law enforecement and anti-terrorism... elect me.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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It's ridiculous to talk about tax structure without first requiring government spending to be restored to constitutional limits. But...

The word "progressive" is a socialist invention that impliees taking more money from one person than another is a modern hip thing to do. It's crap, and it violates the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection before the law.

As for the rest, it's pointless. There's what, 30 or 40% of the population are practically exempt from taxes, and another 30 or 40% that would have to pay more taxes in any attempted implementation of a fair tax plan, be it "flat" or otherwise.

Here's what you do if you wish to see motion happen on leveling taxes:

A) Move the income tax filing deadline to Halloween. It's a memorable date, has plenty of scary connotations that the IRS will love, and best of all, election day for the people setting the taxes is never more than nine days away. Its no coincidence that April 15 is almost exactly between elections.

B) Eliminate all government withholding of payroll taxes and require all taxpayers to file monthly estimates of tax and include the payment also. If the average Joe can pay rent or a mortgage, pay his gas bill, and always be assured of enough electricity to power up that $10,000 plasma TV he's got on his credit card, he can pay a monthly tax bill. Seeing how much of his own money he personally has to send off to those parasites in Washington will drastically increase his interest in politics.

C) People that don't pay taxes, people that receive entitlement money from the government, people who work for the government, shouldn't be allowed to vote. Government is mainly about how much gets spent on what, and if a person hasn't paid in, he really has no reason to claim a say in how it's spent. Nor should a person on the recieving end have a say in who gets what, you know, conflict of interest and all that.

A and B will get people off their rears and on their feet to find out what Washington is doing with their money.

C is just plain common sense.
 

Hoot

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I voted for a flat tax, or 'user' tax as some refer to it.

It would simplify the tax code and be far more equitable then the system currently in place.

I think food/medicines should remain non-taxable items.
 

Arts&Sciences

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I would repeal Bush's tax cuts on the upper class, but otherwise I would leave the personal income tax as it is now. To the credit of the IRS, for all of its problems, its Internet filing system is very quick and efficient (not words we associate with the IRS, I know). My complete fiscal plan is in the "My Political Platform" thread in the U.S. politics forum.
 

libertarian_knight

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Arts&Sciences said:
I would repeal Bush's tax cuts on the upper class, but otherwise I would leave the personal income tax as it is now. To the credit of the IRS, for all of its problems, its Internet filing system is very quick and efficient (not words we associate with the IRS, I know). My complete fiscal plan is in the "My Political Platform" thread in the U.S. politics forum.
One of the rather interesting roles of the IRS is not revenue collections so much, as money "destruction." Meaning, take money out of the system, to counteract monetary inflation policies of the Fed. I mean, even IRS workers are "taxed" having been paid with the money they collected. Why not just pay them 15-25% less?
 

Arts&Sciences

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I'm curious to get the feedback of conservatives, liberals and libertarians. Have any of you seen the thread entitled "My Political Platform" in the U.S. politics forum?
 

TurtleDude

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Old and wise said:
Flat tax, great. Maybe we could get the corporations to pay their fair share for a change.:lol:

corporations merely pass taxation on to people.
 

TurtleDude

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enforce the tenth amendment

flat tax or a sales tax. no estate taxes whatsoever. no gift taxes. If you liberals want progressive taxes then those paying more should be given more votes.
 

libertarian_knight

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TurtleDude said:
corporations merely pass taxation on to people.
Not really, Supply and demand, and especially the Demand elasticity determine the portion of any, and particularly an ad-valroum, tax determine who bears and in what proportion the burden of the tax is felt.
 

Arts&Sciences

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I have to disagree with the ideas of both the Constitution Party and the Libertarian Party on taxation. I am a fiscal moderate, with my personal emphasis being on paying off the national debt permanently. Peroutka and Badnarik were wrong in their beliefs that the Constitution does not authorize our current system of taxation (see Section 8 and Amendment 16). I would repeal Bush's tax cuts for the highest income bracket while at the same time cutting welfare spending in half through privatization.
 

libertarian_knight

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Arts&Sciences said:
I have to disagree with the ideas of both the Constitution Party and the Libertarian Party on taxation. I am a fiscal moderate, with my personal emphasis being on paying off the national debt permanently. Peroutka and Badnarik were wrong in their beliefs that the Constitution does not authorize our current system of taxation (see Section 8 and Amendment 16). I would repeal Bush's tax cuts for the highest income bracket while at the same time cutting welfare spending in half through privatization.
Hey, I played with a Budget Calculator, paid of the DEBT, all of it in seven years. While Cutting taxes, maintaining social services, education, military benefits, and Social security. I rule. elect me.

At the end of it, of course, I would repeal the income tax, permanantly. it's oppresive, not progressive. Besides, it has more to do with counteracting monetary inflation, than revenue collection.
 

Arts&Sciences

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Corporate taxes should be tied to corporate respect for ethics and the environment, enforced through an Independent board resembling the Federal Reserve. In theory, corporations should be giving their wealth back to the people, but instead too many (even companies that are losing money) are giving enormous salaries and expensive gifts to executives and often being downright corrupt, in my opinion. The only taxes that I would cut are those on capital gains and dividends. While I would regulate some of the more dangerous margin trading, I think that those who take risks in the stock market should get the great majority of the rewards. A national sales tax or VAT would hurt the economy by discouraging commerce. I understand that an income tax can ultimately have the same effect, but most individuals and corporations do not see it as being the same, and psychology often plays a large role in economics.
 

JustMyPOV

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Here's some ideas I've been tossing around to get the national debt and the budget deficit under control relatively quickly.

I. 5% flat tax on income that exempts full time students under age 25 and any individual making less than $18,000/year. There would also be a deduction for any family with a dependant student that makes less than $100,000/year.

II. 5% federal goods tax on all non-essentials. Food, clothing, and medications would be exempt.

III. End free trade with second & third world countries and place tarriffs on imported products so that first, American workers/manufacturers can compete, which would increase revenues, and second, so that we have a revenue stream from imports.

IV. Start a weekly, nationwide lottery drawing with 25% of the take awarded as the prize, 25% to cover overhead, and 50% used to pay off the national debt, and/or cover any budget gap.

V. Create an inefficient vehicle tax. If your vehicle is less than 10 years old and gets less than 16mpg, (A VERY reasonable figure, most SUVs meet or exceed this.), you must pay a flat $100.00 annual tax to be used for alternative energy research, exploration, etc...
 

libertarian_knight

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That's nice more tax increases :) OK so they get more revenue, and what does Congress like to do with extra money? SPEND IT, not pay bills. It's generally a good idea, if governments could be responsible with outher people's money. But, they are not never really have been.

Legislating spending reductions, Legislating Debt cieling reductions, an automatically, like they do with their raises. Spending must decrease 4% per year for 5 years. Debt must decrease 2% per year for 15 years, etc. Or cut spending down to about 1 Trillion per year, and use the balance to pay it off.

(they PRETEND it can not be done, OH HELL YES IT CAN).

GWB was the first prez to have a 2 trillion dollar federal budget, pretty early on in his administration too. now it's what ? 2.5 (EXCLUDING THE WAR!!!!) That's a 25% INCREASE in Federal Spending under ONE PRESIDENT, that's INSANE! And expected THREE TRILLION DOLLARS FY2010. THREE TRILLION DOLLARS, let me repeat that, THREE TRILLION DOLLARS. Thatover 50% increase in 10 years!!!!!!!!!! Fiscal conservative my ass.

Incidentally, couple the massive increase in federal spending, (not to mention state spending), and inflation, and this country can collapse ofver LOOSE FISCAL POLICY. In the FY2006 Budget overview, the government admits that inflation is expected to be greater than 2.1%. For a large, developed economy, that's fricken HUGE. Policy in the 1990's was to try and keep inflation at around 1%.

At this rate, do you think there will be any money left over for your grandkids?
 
H

hipsterdufus

TurtleDude said:
corporations merely pass taxation on to people.
If it's that simple, then why do US corporation like Enron, Haliburton, Goodyear set up offshore subsidairies to avoid paying taxes?

Look at this chart of Fortune 500 companies with offshore subsidaries.

http://www.citizenworks.org/corp/tax/top25.php

Some highlights:

Haliburton - 618
Citigroup 1736
Bank Of America 780
Marriott -522
Pepsi 550
Viacom -960

Enron in 2001 - 2832

You would think of all of these corporations as American entities, but they pay little or no US taxes, but send there profits to other tax haven countries with lower tax rates. Who pays - me and you of course.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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hipsterdufus said:
If it's that simple, then why do US corporation like Enron, Haliburton, Goodyear set up offshore subsidairies to avoid paying taxes?

Look at this chart of Fortune 500 companies with offshore subsidaries.

http://www.citizenworks.org/corp/tax/top25.php

Some highlights:

Haliburton - 618
Citigroup 1736
Bank Of America 780
Marriott -522
Pepsi 550
Viacom -960

Enron in 2001 - 2832

You would think of all of these corporations as American entities, but they pay little or no US taxes, but send there profits to other tax haven countries with lower tax rates. Who pays - me and you of course.
A person is not required to pay more tax than owed, neither is a corporation. Establishing off-shore subsidiaries is not only perfectly legal it's totally moral.

Rather than complain about the company's managing to escape the taxes, complain about the taxes. Most of your tax dollar is going to line the pockets of free loaders anyway.

Some Examples:
Any person on welfare.
Any recipient of agricultural subsidies.
The various forms of "corporate welfare".
Social Security recipients.
How many billions of pork was in the latest Highway feeding frenzy?

Any libertarian could and would balance the budget in one year.
 
H

hipsterdufus

Scarecrow Akhbar said:
A person is not required to pay more tax than owed, neither is a corporation. Establishing off-shore subsidiaries is not only perfectly legal it's totally moral.

Rather than complain about the company's managing to escape the taxes, complain about the taxes. Most of your tax dollar is going to line the pockets of free loaders anyway.

Some Examples:
Any person on welfare.
Any recipient of agricultural subsidies.
The various forms of "corporate welfare".
Social Security recipients.
How many billions of pork was in the latest Highway feeding frenzy?

Any libertarian could and would balance the budget in one year.
I don't think it's the least bit moral for US companies to avoid paying taxes, and I would hardly call Americans who have paid into Social Security all there lives and are now reaping the benefits of it "freeloaders" . What about the hurricane Katrina victims on welfare when there business was destroyed. This kind of callousness toward humanity is appalling to me.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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hipsterdufus said:
I don't think it's the least bit moral for US companies to avoid paying taxes, and I would hardly call Americans who have paid into Social Security all there lives and are now reaping the benefits of it "freeloaders" . What about the hurricane Katrina victims on welfare when there business was destroyed. This kind of callousness toward humanity is appalling to me.
It's perfectly moral. The money saved doesn't belong to the corporation, ultimately it belongs to stockholders, and it's the corporation's fiduciary responsibility to protect those interests. It has no authority to make random charitable contributions to the US government.

Socialist Security recipients are freeloaders. It's not their money they're getting each month, it's the money taken from the paychecks of young families struggling to get started. All ponzi schemes are inherently immoral, and FDR's Social Security is the greatest ponze scheme ever.

What about the hurricane katrina victims that weren't on welfare? At least they can claim they had jobs they couldn't walk away from.

Frankly, if someone is so useless he or she can't find a job to feed themselves, and if no one feels like voluntarily feeding them, they can go hungry. My morality doesn't include engaging in armed robbery to support the useless, which is what government assistance is.
 

JustMyPOV

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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
It's perfectly moral. The money saved doesn't belong to the corporation, ultimately it belongs to stockholders, and it's the corporation's fiduciary responsibility to protect those interests. It has no authority to make random charitable contributions to the US government.
I agree with this, actually. Corporations are money-making entities, and like most individuals, do everything within their legal ability to get out of paying as much as possible.

Socialist Security recipients are freeloaders. It's not their money they're getting each month, it's the money taken from the paychecks of young families struggling to get started. All ponzi schemes are inherently immoral, and FDR's Social Security is the greatest ponze scheme ever.
Right, and said families will be able to collect off of this same retirement plan when their grandchildren are paying in. If the idiots in Washington would stop borrowing off the fund, perhaps it'll still be solvent when that time comes. Oh, and if there ever is a Libertarian president, good luck eliminating SS. The system was created so that the elderly wouldn't have to spend their golden years begging on the streets for a handout. Also so that those who are infirm and unable to work have at least some meager means of support.

What about the hurricane katrina victims that weren't on welfare? At least they can claim they had jobs they couldn't walk away from.

Frankly, if someone is so useless he or she can't find a job to feed themselves, and if no one feels like voluntarily feeding them, they can go hungry. My morality doesn't include engaging in armed robbery to support the useless, which is what government assistance is.
I'm very glad that the VAST majority of Americans don't share your views about public assistance. The crime rate would go through the roof if you had your way. Have enough people starving and desperate enough and I don't think any of us would be safe.

I work for a living, too, and abuses of the system by low-life scum tick me off as much as they do you. However, there are some people that use it as it is meant, which is a hand up so that they CAN get out there and take care of themselves.

Tell a single mom with two jobs that still can't make ends meet that you're going to take away her only means of feeding her kids (food stamps) and I guarantee you that you'll have a hell of a fight on your hands.
 
H

hipsterdufus

Scarecrow Akhbar said:
It's perfectly moral. The money saved doesn't belong to the corporation, ultimately it belongs to stockholders, and it's the corporation's fiduciary responsibility to protect those interests. It has no authority to make random charitable contributions to the US government.

Socialist Security recipients are freeloaders. It's not their money they're getting each month, it's the money taken from the paychecks of young families struggling to get started. All ponzi schemes are inherently immoral, and FDR's Social Security is the greatest ponze scheme ever.

What about the hurricane katrina victims that weren't on welfare? At least they can claim they had jobs they couldn't walk away from.

Frankly, if someone is so useless he or she can't find a job to feed themselves, and if no one feels like voluntarily feeding them, they can go hungry. My morality doesn't include engaging in armed robbery to support the useless, which is what government assistance is.
Following your line of reason then ALL US corporations should set up shop in tax haven countries, outsource ALL American Jobs to a dollar a day worker; all to help the shareholders. Uh huh:roll:

It's the difference between profit and greed. What we have in your scenario is the ultimate in corporate greed.

Also, using your line of reasoning you would like all Americans to stop paying into Social Security?

It's a perfect example of the "Ownership Society" which tells Americans - "You're on your own!"
 

M14 Shooter

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hipsterdufus said:
Following your line of reason then ALL US corporations should set up shop in tax haven countries, outsource ALL American Jobs to a dollar a day worker; all to help the shareholders. Uh huh:roll:
They certainly have a right to make that choice.

Also, using your line of reasoning you would like all Americans to stop paying into Social Security?
All Americans should have a choice to pay into SocSec.
 

TimmyBoy

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The American people pay too much in taxes. We certainly need reform. I think by paying to much in taxes we discourage economic growth and jobs creation because people lose their incentive to take risks, work hard and to be innnovative and creative because so much money would go to the government after it is all said and done.
 
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