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QRQ 30
04-15-2004, 21:27
Folks I have changed threads since some can't seem to separate issues from personalities. I am of the placer mine persuasion: flush away enough trash and you may find something of worth.

The question is: How can we continue to increase spending while decreasing income?

There is an answer and I feel the Republicans are closest. Total taxes are not decreased. Actually by decreasing individual income taxes, spending increases and jobs are created, thus increasing sales, property, and even income taxes. The net effect of lowering the individual income tax rate can be an overall increase in total revenue.

ghuinness
04-15-2004, 21:41
Flat -tax: many countries are going that route and benefiting from the change.

The countries I can recall (off the top of my head): Russia, Slovakia, Latvia and I think Poland and Ireland. Ukraine
is supposed to adopt flat-tax reform this year I believe.

Ironically, we proposed a flat tax scheme for Iraq - 15%.

crew341
04-15-2004, 22:02
QRQ,

My young age may cause me to be misinformed, but is this not the basis of Reagan's trickle down theory in the 80's? By giving both individuals and businesses tax breaks, spending will increase and the economy will improve. Sounds like a solid plan to me.

However, I am also a true believer in the flat tax proposal. I have read that a estimated 17% tax, with few or no deductions would produce the same revenue as the current system. Hell, I am a poor college student making a few pennies from the national guard and only paying a couple hundred in taxes and I still believe in a flat tax. I do not understand why we do not change to such a simple and fair system. Just my opinion though.....

Andy

QRQ 30
04-15-2004, 22:20
Crew341, I believe you are right, about the trickle down economics.

IMHO there have to be incentives for business to operate. If it is not advantageous for a company to expand, they have every right to sit on their wealth. The result is no jobs.

Business is not philantropic. A good example would be charities. If large donations to legitimate charities were not deductable, I wonder how they would exist.

A local example would be the BMW plant. They were given vast tax breaks to locate here. As a result there have been huge increases in employment, sales and property taxes, local sales etc have soared, without hravily taxing the company. The state didn't lose money by giving BMW tax breaks, it gained.

I too am not an economist -- just an old man who likes to discuss things. :munchin

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 00:37
Originally posted by ghuinness
Flat -tax: many countries are going that route and benefiting from the change.



The problem with a flat-tax and the removal of the estate tax is that it will create an aristocracy in the Republic, the likes of which we have not seen since Newport was the playground for the Barons of Industry.

I fully understand the reasoning behind people not liking the tax system and the systemic pains it causes many people. The inherent fact is that almost every sentence of code in the tax law is there for a reason. There is a reason for the Estate Tax. It is supposed to ensure that people can't simply hand down wealth, in totality, from generation to generation so that certain families control entire empires of our country.

I'm sorry if people disagree, but our nation is supposed to be about free-will, determination, and free enterprise. How is that possible if a few dozen familes are able to consolidate their wealth and holdings to the point where we can name the familes that control whole regions and those that seek to enter free-enterprise are crushed by said familes because they control entire regions?

I know it intimately. We have a corporation locally, that is family based, that controls almost 30% of our area. The way they structure their business, if the Estate Tax was not in place they would probably control 80-90% of the region. I am not saying that is bad, perhaps they would run things well, but in a free-market system how can we say that we have such a system if one family controls the entire market.

The elimination of the estate tax would simply be a step in the direction we moved away from in the early part of the last century. It's named the "Death Tax" by many who fail to understand it's full consequence.

I have to say I can understand why some people are so against such a system. People feel if they earned their money they have every right to pass it down in a way they see fit. I have a hard time disagreeing with that, yet all I have to do is look over my shoulder and see the product of such a system. We have a system that is Socialist/Captialist. It has worked for the better part of a century. We do not allow families or corporations to have undue influence on our system because we have learned from history that it is very dangerous.

We do not want any one man to control the press, well we did, from the lessons learned by Luce. Nor do we want to allow wealth to accumulate in a family in such a way that allows such undue influence that causes a lack of innovation or entrepreneurialship.

If we impose either the Flat-Tax or we eliminate the Estate-Tax we will revist the era of Robber-Barons and an era that saw a few familes controlling the destiny of our Nation by their power and wealth accumulated over generations.

There is a reason we moved away from this type of system and have the tax-system we have, it did not work for the greater society. This may seem like socialism, yet I would beg to ask anyone to point out how we have been worse off since these introduced policies have been in action have hurt our economy. Because, under such a system we have become the greatest economic model in the known world.

We have social systems in place, many disagree with them, we have a fairly even tax system in place, many will disagree, we have a system in place that ensures that we all at least are supposed to pay an even amount into the system for the Nation we inhabit.

I will conceed that the governmental agencies have been allowed to baloon out of control and that some form of control needs to be enacted, cut-backs, and even re-thinking of policy. What I will not conceed is the fact that many of these laws are in place for a reason. Whether people want to admit it or not we have a Socialist/Capitalist system in this country. It has seen us to the heights we are at now. The greatest economic power in the world. I simply question how people seem to think that going back to a system that was proven a failure is supposed to cure the ills that do not even exist.

Our system works. Why change it?

brownapple
04-16-2004, 02:25
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
[B]The problem with a flat-tax and the removal of the estate tax is that it will create an aristocracy in the Republic, the likes of which we have not seen since Newport was the playground for the Barons of Industry.

Show evidence of that.

I fully understand the reasoning behind people not liking the tax system and the systemic pains it causes many people. The inherent fact is that almost every sentence of code in the tax law is there for a reason. There is a reason for the Estate Tax. It is supposed to ensure that people can't simply hand down wealth, in totality, from generation to generation so that certain families control entire empires of our country.

I'm sorry if people disagree, but our nation is supposed to be about free-will, determination, and free enterprise. How is that possible if a few dozen familes are able to consolidate their wealth and holdings to the point where we can name the familes that control whole regions and those that seek to enter free-enterprise are crushed by said familes because they control entire regions?

You mean like the Kennedy's? Oops, guess it doesn't work too well, does it?


We do not allow families or corporations to have undue influence on our system because we have learned from history that it is very dangerous.

Really? Prove that.

We do not want any one man to control the press, well we did, from the lessons learned by Luce. Nor do we want to allow wealth to accumulate in a family in such a way that allows such undue influence that causes a lack of innovation or entrepreneurialship.

That's why we have monopoly laws. Nothing to do with Estate tax.

If we impose either the Flat-Tax or we eliminate the Estate-Tax we will revist the era of Robber-Barons and an era that saw a few familes controlling the destiny of our Nation by their power and wealth accumulated over generations.

Oh, bullshit. Justify that with facts and not with socialist fear tactics.

There is a reason we moved away from this type of system and have the tax-system we have, it did not work for the greater society. This may seem like socialism, yet I would beg to ask anyone to point out how we have been worse off since these introduced policies have been in action have hurt our economy. Because, under such a system we have become the greatest economic model in the known world.

We have social systems in place, many disagree with them, we have a fairly even tax system in place, many will disagree, we have a system in place that ensures that we all at least are supposed to pay an even amount into the system for the Nation we inhabit.

And we are well on our way to bankruptcy, although the western European powers will beat us there.

What I will not conceed is the fact that many of these laws are in place for a reason.

Yep. To get votes and amass power.

NousDefionsDoc
04-16-2004, 02:47
I believe I have made a believer out of GH! Kick his ass GH!
Flat tax is The People's Way!

Intruder
04-16-2004, 03:45
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
... we have a fairly even tax system in place, many will disagree, ...
While I was a student making under $12k/yr I paid roughly 10% total income tax. "Joe Richguy" making $500k was paying roughly 40%. Where does the "fairly even" part come in?

brownapple
04-16-2004, 03:51
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
I believe I have made a believer out of GH! Kick his ass GH!
Flat tax is The People's Way!

I was a believer in flat-tax long before I had any idea who you were.

There are three groups of people who don't benefit from a flat-tax:

1. Politicians, since they no longer have tax exemptions and loopholes to use as bargaining chips.

2. The beauracrats of the IRS and other tax agencies who no longer have any reason for the excessive size or complexity of their organization.

3. Those who work in the tax industry, primarily accountants and lawyers, since a flat tax is simple enough for almost anyone to work out (also unlikely to get a return if your employer is simply withholding 17% of your income). Related to this group are corporate accountants and lawyers whose job is to ensure that the corporation they work for adhers to the tax code.

Simpler, fairer and in all liklihood, brings in a greater tax revenue to the government. Isn't the best solution (I think our founding fathers had the best solution), but it sure beats what we have now which is discriminatory, obviously unfair, and which impedes the economic growth of the country.

NousDefionsDoc
04-16-2004, 07:53
I was a believer in flat-tax long before I had any idea who you were.

Yes, but were you a believer before Karl and Frederick?

Before Leon and Vladimir?

Before Fidel and Ernestito?

I am but the latest incarnation in search of a Robin.

:D

ghuinness
04-16-2004, 08:14
Originally posted by Greenhat

2. The beauracrats of the IRS and other tax agencies who no longer have any reason for the excessive size or complexity of their organization.



Move them from the IRS to the INS and fix immigration. :D

QRQ 30
04-16-2004, 08:19
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Yes, but were you a believer before Karl and Frederick?

Before Leon and Vladimir?

Before Fidel and Ernestito?

I am but the latest incarnation in search of a Robin.

:D

This is a very interesting post, NDD. The truth of the matter is that at the turn of the 19th century, communism was very attractive and easily sold to the masses because it talked of doing away with the ruch and redistributing the wealth into a classless society. It was tried and didn't work. China is a prime example but perhaps more dramatic is the contrast between North and South Korea.

If it is not made attractive for the wealthy to invest their wealth and create jobs, they have every right to sit on their money and spend it as they see fit. Personally, I could live out the rest of my life quite comfortably with a cool million in the Bank of Costa Rica.

Qulte for the day: "Simple people, have simple solutions for "simple" problems"

CRS where it came from.

NousDefionsDoc
04-16-2004, 08:25
I'm just messing with GreenHat. He hates it when I talk like this. LOL

I do agree with a flat tax. If you want to hit the rich a little, a flat sales tax will work. Rich people buy more stuff.

I would go for a flat 20%.

We have IVA. Flat 16% on most everything except milk and vegatables. Works well, but they put "profit" tax on top of that. Then steal the money.

brownapple
04-16-2004, 08:28
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Yes, but were you a believer before Karl and Frederick?

Before Leon and Vladimir?

Before Fidel and Ernestito?

I am but the latest incarnation in search of a Robin.

:D

I prefer Franklin, Jefferson, Monroe and Adams.

NousDefionsDoc
04-16-2004, 08:32
'Mornin' sir.

brownapple
04-16-2004, 08:35
Originally posted by QRQ 30

If it is not made attractive for the wealthy to invest their wealth and create jobs, they have every right to sit on their money and spend it as they see fit. Personally, I could live out the rest of my life quite comfortably with a cool million in the Bank of Costa Rica.


Flat tax is attractive to the wealthy. Very attractive.

While self-employed in NYC and making a decent living, I paid a total of 52% of my income in various taxes (including SS). Now, if a flat tax reduced that load to say: 35%? I'd be thrilled.

Now maybe some of those who make higher numbers can take advantage of various tax loopholes, etc. and get their actual tax load down from where it would be based purely on their gross income... probably quite a few can. But that means they are investing a significant amount in accountants and possibly lawyers to manage those loopholes. So a flat tax still appeals to them, for two reasons.... 1. It reduces their overhead as regards those accountants and lawyers. 2. It makes it easier to plan since they can know exactly what their tax load will be.

brownapple
04-16-2004, 08:37
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
'Mornin' sir.

Evening here, Doc. ;)

NousDefionsDoc
04-16-2004, 08:39
It makes it easier to plan since they can know exactly what their tax load will be.

I agree. This is a key factor for new hires, capital purchases, etc.

NousDefionsDoc
04-16-2004, 08:40
Originally posted by Greenhat
Evening here, Doc. ;)

But Morning in the US, and that's where our hearts are, no?

QRQ 30
04-16-2004, 08:47
Well Folks: This illustrates my point on another thread yesterday. Taxes will never be cut. The source and method of collection merely changes. It's kind of like a bladder. You may push it in at one point but it will pop out at another.:boohoo

brownapple
04-16-2004, 08:54
I disagree QRQ,

I have actually seen my taxes go down, and stay down (until I chose to move). As an Army Officer who claimed residence in Ohio (because of where I went to school) during Reagan's administration, I saw my tax load drop and stay down. After I left the service and moved to NYC my tax load jumped (being self-employed in NYC will do that to anyone), but that was my doing. Of course, then GHW Bush increased taxes as well...

But I think you are missing the point. A flat tax will reduce taxes. It does so by reducing the beaurocracy required to collect taxes and reduces tax load by reducing the cost to citizens to file taxes (your tax load is not just what you pay, but what it costs you to prepare your return) and reducing the costs of refunds (as a flat tax should require very few if any refunds).

QRQ 30
04-16-2004, 09:22
Assuming you are correct Greenhat, how does one go about determining what a person's taxable worth is. It seems that one of the problems today is "hidden assets". Do we go on the honor system or do we keep the present beaurocracy in place? If we believe that a flat 15% tax against Corporation A will work, bear in mind that corporation A can raise its prices and increase "productivity" in order to cover it.

Again, they are going to get your money in one way or another -- taxes, fees, sur-charges and anything else they can put a name other than "tax" on.

brownapple
04-16-2004, 09:30
If all the beaurocracy needs to do is check on what income is, it's a lot smaller of a bearocracy than one that needs to audit and evaluate and judge the legality and appropriateness of deductions. Especially since we live in an age where movement of money is pretty much done by computer and all accessible.

As for corporations, what do you think they do now? At least with a flat tax, we aren't spending huge amounts of tax dollars doing audits on what is costs and deductable and what is profit and the corporations can actually plan for their tax load.

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 10:22
Originally posted by Greenhat
A flat tax will reduce taxes. It does so by reducing the beaurocracy required to collect taxes and reduces tax load by reducing the cost to citizens to file taxes (your tax load is not just what you pay, but what it costs you to prepare your return) and reducing the costs of refunds (as a flat tax should require very few if any refunds).

Well, assuming you set it at a certain rate. You could increase the overall tax burden with a high flat tax, as I'm sure you know.

Valhal
04-16-2004, 10:22
Originally posted by Greenhat
There are three groups of people who don't benefit from a flat-tax:

1. Politicians, since they no longer have tax exemptions and loopholes to use as bargaining chips.

2. The beauracrats of the IRS and other tax agencies who no longer have any reason for the excessive size or complexity of their organization.

3. Those who work in the tax industry, primarily accountants and lawyers, since a flat tax is simple enough for almost anyone to work out (also unlikely to get a return if your employer is simply withholding 17% of your income). Related to this group are corporate accountants and lawyers whose job is to ensure that the corporation they work for adhers to the tax code.

Simpler, fairer and in all liklihood, brings in a greater tax revenue to the government. Isn't the best solution (I think our founding fathers had the best solution), but it sure beats what we have now which is discriminatory, obviously unfair, and which impedes the economic growth of the country.

Well said GH, but what about all those unemployed accountants and lawyers, their families need to eat too. ;)

Also being self employed, it amazes me how much I have to shell out every year both to the Feds and State, not to mention the accountants bill. It makes it hard to get ahead. And then when I die what I am able to accrue will be taxed again, leaving my son to fight uphill just like dad.

A flat tax would be much more simple. But like you said the complexity of the system is a major source of lncome, in the form of penalties and interest in improper filing.

One more point, A flat tax would make it much harder for crooks to get away with tax fruad.

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 10:23
I disagree with QRQ's views on taxes never being cut, but I agree that we are spending too much money.

Valhal
04-16-2004, 10:25
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
I'm just messing with GreenHat. He hates it when I talk like this. LOL

I do agree with a flat tax. If you want to hit the rich a little, a flat sales tax will work. Rich people buy more stuff.

I would go for a flat 20%.

We have IVA. Flat 16% on most everything except milk and vegatables. Works well, but they put "profit" tax on top of that. Then steal the money.

In a statement I read today Jesse Ventura wants to run for the presidency in 2008 on that platform.

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 10:41
I have to head out right now, GH. Though, I promise before this day is out to address every question you posed and show you exactly how a flat tax will favor the rich in more ways than you are letting on. Specifically, how it only taxes certain aspects of income and does not address accumulated wealth.

If we are all ok with people in the lower tier paying the bulk of taxes and those with the ability to hide their assets and shirk the responsibility of paying the fair (fair does not always mean equal) share then yes, the flat tax is the way to go.

There is a great cost to have the nation that we reside in. We do not enjoy a $400 billion dollar military without people paying for it. Also, whether we agree with it of not, we also enjoy, after the incredibly misguided addition of prescription drugs, a trillion dollar federal health assistance program. All of these things must be paid for. Those that have ammassed and earned the wealth are always going to pay more into the system than those who cannot. Otherwise we will always be begging foreign governments to buy our debt so that we can afford the systems we currently have.

If you are advocating cutting the social systems, military budget, and broadly, the overalll budget, I will concur with you that then we can reduce our need for revenue. However, that has not and will never happen. Until that time, we need massive amounts of money to keep our system going. Unfortunate as it may seem, the wealthy are a ready source of revenue to keep our system in the black. We can see recently from the tax cuts what happens when we do not collect from them enough revenue, we live in the world of red ink.

I'll be back later on to answer all of your questions to my accusations on the flat tax.

QRQ 30
04-16-2004, 10:50
It all sounds good but I have to revert to my 1st grade arithmatic. If we spend more than we make we die. Spending is increasing so income must increase. I believe one Tomahawk costs $5 million and one JDAM is aone million. To those of you who have really experienced a cut in taxes, fees, sur charges etc. how much additional money were you able to save? On the other hand, how much did you lose in services? The Employment Security Commission in SC recently laid off a large portion of their force who were actiively seeking work for the unemployed. Now they have joined the ranks of the unemployed.

Let's get rid of the tax collecting beaurocracy. Good idea!! The govt. saves that payroll. Of course input to FUI, MediCare, Social Security also decreases. I would guess that initially 100K will become unemployed. There is already near double digit unemployment in some areas. I know a List member who was a CFO for a large company and has been unemployed for almost a year now. It hits everyone.

Less payroll equals less spending. This reduces the income of states and local government.

Less payroll means les consumer spending which leads to less need for sales personnel, which leads to further un-employment.

Less spending leads to reduced production, again increasing un-employment and goverrnment income. It's a horrible tail-spin. The solution may eventually be to return to an agrarian society. The question will no longer be: "How are you going to keep them down on the farm?"

brownapple
04-16-2004, 11:29
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
I have to head out right now, GH. Though, I promise before this day is out to address every question you posed and show you exactly how a flat tax will favor the rich in more ways than you are letting on. Specifically, how it only taxes certain aspects of income and does not address accumulated wealth.

If we are all ok with people in the lower tier paying the bulk of taxes and those with the ability to hide their assets and shirk the responsibility of paying the fair (fair does not always mean equal) share then yes, the flat tax is the way to go.

There is a great cost to have the nation that we reside in. We do not enjoy a $400 billion dollar military without people paying for it. Also, whether we agree with it of not, we also enjoy, after the incredibly misguided addition of prescription drugs, a trillion dollar federal health assistance program. All of these things must be paid for. Those that have ammassed and earned the wealth are always going to pay more into the system than those who cannot. Otherwise we will always be begging foreign governments to buy our debt so that we can afford the systems we currently have.

If you are advocating cutting the social systems, military budget, and broadly, the overalll budget, I will concur with you that then we can reduce our need for revenue. However, that has not and will never happen. Until that time, we need massive amounts of money to keep our system going. Unfortunate as it may seem, the wealthy are a ready source of revenue to keep our system in the black. We can see recently from the tax cuts what happens when we do not collect from them enough revenue, we live in the world of red ink.

I'll be back later on to answer all of your questions to my accusations on the flat tax.

Flat taxes increase federal spendable income, not decrease it. One reason is because of the reduction in expenses the gov't pays in collecting tax (any idea how large that taxpayer's burden is?). Second, it reduces the opportunity to hide income, because it eliminates all the loopholes. You seem to think that only under a flat-tax system do certain people have the wherewithal to hide assets and income. If they would have that ability under flat-tax, they have that ability now. And if they are of the bent that will do so, they are doing so now. A lot easier under the current system to hide income legally than under a flat-tax scheme.

A flat-tax is fairer. Each and every person pays a % of their gross income after a basic amount which is exempt (say first $5000). Those who make more, pay more. Let's say the rate is the 20% NDD suggests (by the way, SS is a flat tax - 15%). You make $10,000, I make $100,000. You pay $1000 tax (probably about the same as under the current tax code...but you don't have to pay H&R block and you probably don't get a return, you just kept your money in the first place). I pay $19,000. Of course, under the current system, I may choose to pay $5000 to an accountant and end up paying $6500 taxes... ($11500 cost to me, $6500 to the gov't) or I might just say the heck with it and pay $24,000. Which way do you think most people who make money choose to pay their taxes?

brownapple
04-16-2004, 11:31
Originally posted by QRQ 30

Less payroll equals less spending. This reduces the income of states and local government.

Less payroll means les consumer spending which leads to less need for sales personnel, which leads to further un-employment.

Less spending leads to reduced production, again increasing un-employment and goverrnment income. It's a horrible tail-spin. The solution may eventually be to return to an agrarian society. The question will no longer be: "How are you going to keep them down on the farm?"

People aren't guaranteed jobs. But if people are spending less on taxes, they are more likely to be investing in the economy (either by actual investment, by saving or by consumer spending).

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 16:18
GH, first off, I want to get this out of the way for those that might not know. You realise that I respect you and that this is simply a discussion of a difference of opinion. You have yours, and I have mine. Just so we have that cleared up. We would probably strangle each other over a baseball game :) but on this issue I just want to present my opinion of it as I see it.


The Flat tax ignores how the majority of big time wealth is distributed. Capital Gains, Dividends, Accumulated interest. That is the language of those at the upper tier. If someone making $28k is paying his flat tax of 17-20% how is that supposed to be "equal" to those who may make $200-50mil yet have assets in the hundreds of millions?

The guy making $28k does not have the ability to appreciate the forgiveness of a system that allows a $20 million profit on a land sale to not be taxed.

I've looked at the flat tax plans, everyone who makes their living through gains in investment are completely untouched. Perhaps that is why people like Steve Forbes advocate such a system.

Can I just relate to you that I get to see far more of the seriously rich than most people. I have been to their weddings, done their corporate events and seen the system. I've talked to the people and have seen how they skirt the system. It's almost become a game. "How much were you able to hide from the government last year?" What is even more hysterical is the fact that many of these people do not attain their wealth by wages, it is done through investment arms.

How in the hell are we going to generate the revenue we need to sustain our government if we exclude all of these sources of revenue. Payroll is BS to this class. Wow, we can tax their cheque from Goldman Sachs as 20% (flat tax) but their real wealth of land and securities are totally off limits.

I guess it sucks that those that earn more pay more, I just don't see how you wish to fund our government without those funds. It seems like we are trying that now and are awash in red-ink. I'm tired of the war argument with regards to revenue. Even Johnson raised taxes in the midst of a war. He also had his social programs to pay for, agreed, but we needed money and he raised it.

We NEED money in our governmental system right now. Deficits of the scale we are faced with are NOT good. There is no positive spin to put on it. Especially with the current state of our international paper we are not doing very well in that arena at the moment.

If we exclude people from paying susbstantial amounts of their wealth into the coffers of our system it will collapse. The funny thing is that pure capitalism would be exactly as effective as pure socialism. We have struck a balance between the two in our system. The wealthy pay more into the system, and we have what we have because of it.

I'm going to break down your questions now, but I would like you to tell me how the system is better off with Warren Buffett paying as much as his secretary under such a system because he "pays" himself a small sum and relies on his capital investments.

I know it sounds good, the flat tax, it's not. Time to break it down, bear with me as I do so.

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 16:29
OK, Ockham, we now know that you and NDD both have this bumper sticker on your cars.

I'll let Greenhat strangle you. It would take a while to respond to all of the incorrect statements you've made, and he has more patience than I do. LOL

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 16:57
Oh, what the hell. Just a few points:

1. One of the central purposes of a flat tax is to eliminate the tax avoidance you're complaining about. Most deductions would be eliminated in this system.

2. The more you tax savings and investment, the less you will see people saving and investing. Savings and investment grow the economy and create jobs. This is why, generally speaking, we should minimize taxation of savings and investment, rather than eat the rich as you propose.

3. Rich people will pay more under a flat tax system. Illustration at rate of 15%:

Income Taxes Paid
$10,000 $1,500
$50,000 $7,500
$100,000 $15,000
$1,000,000 $150,000

4. You are incorrect in suggesting that "pure" capitalism and "pure" socialism are equally "effective." Find me a socialist state in history that produced positive social results. One. Good luck.

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 17:35
Originally posted by Greenhat
Show evidence of that.


Well, under a system of the flat-tax we would wind up taxing income only at a rate of 17-20% right? Everyone pays the same? Horse poopy. It does not address capital investment and the profits derived therefrom. Therefore, people can invest in huge tracks of land, business, paper securities and pass them down each generation with absolutely no taxation on that accumulation of wealth. Therein lies the birth of an aristocracy. If this were allowed to happen we would wind up with a situation where certain families controlled entire sections of our country. Does it not even strike anyone as odd that both Kerry and Bush are cousins? We are a free Republic, we are supposed to not have iconoclastic families with undue influence. Otherwise what is the point of America? If we allow the unchecked accumulation of wealth the government will almost totally be out-checked.

We can see this even today. I'll give you a local experience. We have a company here that is family owned. They do a decent job and such. I am friends with several of them. Yet, they are able to get around local and state laws on many things simply because of their largesse. That angers me. That means the guy down the street can't compete simply because he does not have that influence of acquired wealth. That is NOT what America is supposed to be about.

If you honestly think that a flat-tax will benefit the man on the street, you are not paying attention to the systems of how wealth is really accumulated. It has NOTHING to do with payrolls whatsoever, it has to do with capital investment. Every plan for the flat tax I have seen leave capital wealth totally alone. Without that inclusion we will never be able to pay for our current system.

When you ask for evidence, this may seem to obfuscate the question, but I'm not trying to do that... Are you asking me to show you that people such as Warren Buffett make little in payroll yet have most of their wealth in accumulated form? How does a flat tax tap into that source of revenue?


You mean like the Kennedy's? Oops, guess it doesn't work too well, does it?

Wow. Well, I guess we can thank the 18th amendment for that, right? Perhaps the single most moronic amendment to the constitution ever. That amendment created the wealth of the Kennedy family. They invested it and they are where they are. I don't know if you recognised my avatar or not but it is a picture of JFK in a boat on the beach of Newport. I am a huge fan of his. As well as his brother. I hear much talk of how the Kennedy's are evil, yet aside from my own Congressman, I have never been hurt by a single action they have made whilst in public office. My congressman is an anti-depressant popping sayer of the line "I have never worked a day in my life" etc etc type of person, and does no good to our district aside from bring us pork.

The one question I would like to pose to you would be, do the Kennedy's have more or less power than they did years ago? They blew their wad many ages ago, they have fine homes and lifestyles, yet do they control an entire region? The answer is no.


Really? Prove that.

Winslow, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, William Randolph Hearst... Shall I continue? The only obsfucation that has been done is that most of the current families are now incorporated. Therefore it is called "good business" rather than aristocracy, which is what it is in actuality. Can't you see that they have adapted to the system and are using it for their own gain? Even with 60,000 pages in the tax code these "companies" shirk almost all of their tax obligations. How is that fair and equitable. Further, how would them even paying 17-20% of their "payroll wages" help to narrow that gap?

That's why we have monopoly laws. Nothing to do with Estate tax.

I guess that movement towards relaxing percentage ownership in media is a good thing? Why do you think this has anything to do with the Flat Tax? Under such a system this is a natural outgrowth. If there is to be allowed the unchecked growth of wealth there will be natural and unatural (legal and illegal) monopolies. The inherent power created by such accumulation of wealth will superceed our laws and enforcement of said laws. This is not theory, this is fact. When small numbers of people control entire regions, laws almost become secondary to their desires.

Oh, bullshit. Justify that with facts and not with socialist fear tactics.

Do I really have to? I mean seriously. You honestly believe that if there is this flat tax on "pay-rolls" that those with accumulated wealth will not soon own vast sections of our economy? There is no taxation on their wealth. They can continue to grow their empire and control entire sections of the country and economy. What more proof do I need. That man is inherently good? Why do you want to see if we learned our lessons from the past and re-impose a system that allows the minority to rule the many. This is not fear-tactics. We TRIED it before. Would you like to come over for a visit and see the fruit of their spoils. Buildings which were built on the back of .5 per hour wages? I thought we moved away from that. In fact, I thought that our current system has proven to be the best in the entire world, why would you like to change it?

And we are well on our way to bankruptcy, although the western European powers will beat us there.

Considering the gravitation of the typical American consumer to over-extend their buying power through the use of credit, I'd actually say we are closer than they are. Have you seen the consumer credit numbers lately? They are frightening. Not only that, but in reality, we have mortgaged today for tomorrow. We are seeing growth, not because of tax cuts, not because of increased employment, simply because of the increased willingness to buy now pay later. Eventually this will bite us in the ass. When I hear about the tax rebate checkes my first response to that is "how much will be allocated to repaying debt." Repaying debt does not increase the consumer economy one red cent. Some point to Europe and laugh at them with their unemplyment and defecit numbers, all the while ignoring the fact that Americans have such a high level of consumer debt that it could very well be the ruin of us all.

Yep. To get votes and amass power.

So, basically, what you are saying is that you believe if we have a flat tax there would be no accumulation of wealth and that there will be no creation of aristocratic powers that are able to usurp the laws and run things as they see fit? I'll stick to my belief that men of power ask for only one thing... more power. The flat tax would be the quickest way to get from there to here. Also, there is a reason it has been completely ignored by most in our country, it is wrong, and it will harm our country. Bad ideas sit on the woodpile, this is one of them.

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 17:40
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
[B]Oh, what the hell. Just a few points:

1. One of the central purposes of a flat tax is to eliminate the tax avoidance you're complaining about. Most deductions would be eliminated in this system.


Fascinating, does this address accumulated wealth as well as paper securities? Aside from that you are spot on.


2. The more you tax savings and investment, the less you will see people saving and investing. Savings and investment grow the economy and create jobs. This is why, generally speaking, we should minimize taxation of savings and investment, rather than eat the rich as you propose.

That is total bullshit. You are telling me that people would stop investing? What else are they going to do with their money? Stuff it into mattresses? Guess what, eating the rich pays for the country we have. I like my country. Why do you hate America? (tongue in cheek)

3. Rich people will pay more under a flat tax system. Illustration at rate of 15%:

Income Taxes Paid
$10,000 $1,500
$50,000 $7,500
$100,000 $15,000
$1,000,000 $150,000

hahahaha... That is teh funay (SIC) So, those making a million pay $150,000 what about their capital gains and dividends gains? No, nothing? Free money? They have to pay a share to continue the size of the government we have. You are talking about eliminating billions in revenue, where do we make that up?


4. You are incorrect in suggesting that "pure" capitalism and "pure" socialism are equally "effective." Find me a socialist state in history that produced positive social results. One. Good luck.

Iceland. You are welcome.

Better??

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 17:48
Ockham:

Fix your post so I can quote it and explain to you the errors in your thinking.

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 17:50
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
OK, Ockham, we now know that you and NDD both have this bumper sticker on your cars.

I'll let Greenhat strangle you. It would take a while to respond to all of the incorrect statements you've made, and he has more patience than I do. LOL

Why are you bringing NDD into this thing? He can handle himself quite well, me thinks. Is it because we have placed socialist elements into our society that have helped to further our capitalist goals? It has. Nothing you can say or do will refute that.

We have very strong socialist elements in our system no matter how many people say we are capitalist. We've found a common ground between the two that have allowed us to grow to the amazing scale that we have.

Incorrect statements? Please elaborate. Also, please tell me how we would sustain our present budget numbers under a flat-tax system. No one else before has been able to do that, so consider it a challenge.

GH will strangle me, I know how he feels on the economy as well as other things. I just happen to have some divergent views on a few things. The thing is that he realises that we can discuss things, sometimes agree to disagree, and still hold one thing true... No matter what we think, we both agree the American Economy is the greatest economy in the world and there is no damn substitute.

Though, I can only imagine the response I'll get to my reply. It's what I believe, it's what I've seen and experienced. There is a two-class system in place, and many people can't see it. A flat tax is going to simply make the top tier much more powerful than they already are.

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 17:54
Repeat, -2 gold stars

QRQ 30
04-16-2004, 18:00
Dayem!! This is better than a Soggie VS A-Team debate.

:rolleyes:

No one has as yet explained how Government income can be reduced without cutting spending. The only suggestion I have seen yet amounts to the un-employment of thousands of government employees. Hardly a solution.

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 18:01
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
Fascinating, does this address accumulated wealth as well as paper securities? Aside from that you are spot on.

We do not tax these things now. You pay taxes on an investment when you realize a gain. You want to take a percentage of people's savings accounts and investment holdings? Commie.


Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
That is total bullshit. You are telling me that people would stop investing? What else are they going to do with their money? Stuff it into mattresses? Guess what, eating the rich pays for the country we have. I like my country. Why do you hate America? (tongue in cheek)

Yes, they would avoid paying taxes by doing this kind of stuff. You've already demonstrated this to be true.


Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
hahahaha... That is teh funay (SIC) So, those making a million pay $150,000 what about their capital gains and dividends gains? No, nothing? Free money? They have to pay a share to continue the size of the government we have. You are talking about eliminating billions in revenue, where do we make that up?

I would not tax capital gains at all.


Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
Iceland. You are welcome.

Bad example. Not a pure socialist country.

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ic.html

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 18:03
The flat tax is a tax cut. It's as simple as that. Sometimes tax cuts are a good thing, yet not so good when we are increasing governmental spending, how are we supposed to pay for it?

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 18:08
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
The flat tax is a tax cut. It's as simple as that. Sometimes tax cuts are a good thing, yet not so good when we are increasing governmental spending, how are we supposed to pay for it?

You are ignoring deductions, which tend to benefit only high-income taxpayers. Earlier, you said that your rich friends aren't paying any taxes. Are you changing your position?

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 18:12
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
We do not tax these things now. You pay taxes on an investment when you realize a gain. You want to take a percentage of people's savings accounts and investment holdings? Commie.

ooooh you called me the "C" word. You are not understanding this at all. You want a system whereby all people can hand down wealth from generation to generation with zero taxation under the flat tax, I do not. I'm not talking about raiding people's accounts or holdings, simply making sure the system that is in place stays in place. Hell yes it needs reforms, though it should not be abolished. You are talking about taxing payroll and not anything else, this will generate huge shortfalls in our monetary needs.



Yes, they would avoid paying taxes by doing this kind of stuff. You've already demonstrated this to be true.


Fine, where would they put their money? The Euro? Seems as if they are already doing that now.

I would not tax capital gains at all.


Then you would wind up with a gaping whole that is called a budget deficit. Has not the tax cut proven this to ANYONE? Do you realise how much money the government has not taken in because of just such thinking? We need that money to sustain our government. Unless you are ok with our continuation to print paper debt that is passed on to future generations. Eventually, someone, somewhere is going to have to pay that back.

Bad example. Not a pure socialist country.

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ic.html

Sweden? Norway? Denmark? What more Socialist do you want?

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 18:17
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
You are ignoring deductions, which tend to benefit only high-income taxpayers. Earlier, you said that your rich friends aren't paying any taxes. Are you changing your position?

Not at all. I never said "they never pay taxes" I insinuated they did not pay their fair share. Are you losing some reading comprehension skills there counselor?

I'm ignoring deductions? WTF? Where in the flat-tax allows for deductions? I'm ignoring them because in the consideration of a flat tax there are NO deductions. It's payroll, remember?

Can't you realise that people in the top-tier actually pay less under such a system into our government? Why does 2+2=5 to you on this issue? There is a reason why the flat tax was laughed at, it makes absolutely NO sense!

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 18:21
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
I'm ignoring deductions? WTF?

Do you know what "adjusted gross income" means?

This may help you:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040.pdf

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 18:34
What does that have to do with a flat tax? If we have no deductions we have no adjusted income, right? Or are we going to totally ignore that aspect of finance?

Thanks for the help, it is much appreciated. I thought we were talking about the flat-tax system and not the current tax system. Because you seem to be combining the two. One has deductions one does not. In that model, to answer the flat-tax, it does not have any deductions because none would exist under any flat tax plan I've seen. It's all about the payroll.

Are you talking about a flat tax that actually has deductions?

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 18:47
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
What does that have to do with a flat tax? If we have no deductions we have no adjusted income, right? Or are we going to totally ignore that aspect of finance?

Thanks for the help, it is much appreciated. I thought we were talking about the flat-tax system and not the current tax system. Because you seem to be combining the two. One has deductions one does not. In that model, to answer the flat-tax, it does not have any deductions because none would exist under any flat tax plan I've seen. It's all about the payroll.

Are you talking about a flat tax that actually has deductions?

The current system allows deductions from adjusted gross income before taxes are calculated. Using your example:

AGI $200,000
Deductions $100,000
Taxable income $100,000

1st layer (15%) $3,750
2d layer (28%) $8,400
3d layer (33%) $14,850
Total tax paid $27,000

Flat tax (20%, no deductions) $40,000

Tax increase from flat tax = $13,000

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 18:48
So:

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 19:23
Why are you using the current system? The flat-tax system is totally different. We are scrapping everything, remember? There are no deductions or adjustments under the flat-tax system. Are you suggesting that we combine the two or what? Where is the inclusion of capital gains taxes?

Is there any mention of the increased state taxes that would come with such a tax plan? You save $700 at the federal level and pay $1400 at the state level. That is a cut? How does that work?

brownapple
04-16-2004, 19:42
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
[B]
I've looked at the flat tax plans, everyone who makes their living through gains in investment are completely untouched. Perhaps that is why people like Steve Forbes advocate such a system.

Rediculous. If investment generates income, it's taxed.


How in the hell are we going to generate the revenue we need to sustain our government if we exclude all of these sources of revenue. Payroll is BS to this class. Wow, we can tax their cheque from Goldman Sachs as 20% (flat tax) but their real wealth of land and securities are totally off limits.

So, you think we should tax the value of property? Mind if the IRS taxes the value of your car every year?

If we exclude people from paying susbstantial amounts of their wealth into the coffers of our system it will collapse. The funny thing is that pure capitalism would be exactly as effective as pure socialism. We have struck a balance between the two in our system. The wealthy pay more into the system, and we have what we have because of it.

Under any system, the wealthy pay more. Under a flat-tax, they pay under a fairer system, one that is more difficult to cheat. Oh, and taxation has nothing to do with capitilism vs. socialism as a balance except in regards to how we spend those taxes.

I'm going to break down your questions now, but I would like you to tell me how the system is better off with Warren Buffett paying as much as his secretary under such a system because he "pays" himself a small sum and relies on his capital investments.

You seem to be a bit confused here.

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 19:45
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
Why are you using the current system? The flat-tax system is totally different. We are scrapping everything, remember? There are no deductions or adjustments under the flat-tax system. Are you suggesting that we combine the two or what? Where is the inclusion of capital gains taxes?

:rolleyes:

If you want to determine whether there is an increase in taxes under a flat tax system, you have to determine what is paid under the current system, then compare that amount to what would be paid under a flat tax system. That is what I did.


Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
Is there any mention of the increased state taxes that would come with such a tax plan? You save $700 at the federal level and pay $1400 at the state level. That is a cut? How does that work?

Losing the first argument, he switches to a new one . . .

We are talking only about federal taxes. State taxes are a separate issue. QRQ's suggestion was that states will increase taxes when federal taxes are cut, because reduced federal support of state programs will require states to make up the shortfall. If the flat tax is revenue neutral or revenue positive, this would not happen. Furthermore, as noted by someone else above, states empirically have not always increased taxes when federal taxes were cut.

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 19:47
Originally posted by Greenhat
You seem to be a bit confused here.

And elsewhere. :cool:

brownapple
04-16-2004, 19:55
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
You are telling me that people would stop investing?

You want to take away the money that they would invest. Have you ever filed a 1040? Not an EZ, not a short form, but a 1040?

So, those making a million pay $150,000 what about their capital gains and dividends gains? No, nothing? Free money?


Capital gains and dividends are income. Pay the %.


Are you that completely unaware of our current tax code and what it allows?

You make ridiculous claims about the Rockefellers, etc. but do you really think the Estate tax touches them? Trust funds, corporate home ownership, all the other loopholes that being able to afford a competent lawyer bring means that they leave estates worth nothing.... but all their wealth continues in their family. So who gets hammered by the estate tax? Farmers and lower and middle income families. You are helping what you claim is so awful, not restricting it.

Tax exemption of certain investments, various types of holdings means that those with the money to invest and the lawyers to research it pay very little on capital gains or on dividends. The people paying tax on those things are the ones selling a home, or owning a few hundred or thousand shares.

Flat tax is simple. All income, (gross income) is taxed at a flat %. No deductions (beyond the initial amount that is tax exempt). Simple, workable, fair.

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 20:04
Originally posted by Greenhat
Capital gains and dividends are income. Pay the %.


:eek:

You feeling OK, buddy?

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 20:05
Originally posted by Greenhat
[B]Rediculous. If investment generates income, it's taxed.

Really? Under the flat-tax plan how is it taxed when the only thing considered is the payroll tax?


So, you think we should tax the value of property? Mind if the IRS taxes the value of your car every year?

Welcome to my world. I have to pay taxes on the valuation of my vehicle every single year in the state of where I live. Yes, they should tax the valuation of all property every year.


Under any system, the wealthy pay more. Under a flat-tax, they pay under a fairer system, one that is more difficult to cheat. Oh, and taxation has nothing to do with capitilism vs. socialism as a balance except in regards to how we spend those taxes.


I've already admitted that the word "fair" really does not apply here. The wealthiest will pay more, and will always do so, so that we have the revenue we need to propagate our system. The wealthy should, do, and will pay more under all systems. It is they who have the wealth to pay for the systems we have in place that make up our government. If they do not pay, we wind up losing the system that has seen America as the greatest power in the world over the last 40 years.


You seem to be a bit confused here.

How am I confused. Warren admitted this to the world when he was talking about how the system is morally corrupt. Under even the present system he paid less in taxes than his secretary. Yet we think a flat-tax system is even more fair when the currenct system does not ask the second richest man in the world to pay more into the kitty? I don't understand the logic of that. Those that have more should pay more, it allows us the great country we live in. None of us all agree on all the programs, yet they exist and must be paid for. Without the proper revenue how can we do this?

Roguish Lawyer
04-16-2004, 20:08
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
If they do not pay, we wind up losing the system that has seen America as the greatest power in the world over the last 40 years.

Ah, here's the crux of your problem. You think this country is great because of the government.

Greenhat and I (and Ronald Reagan and probably TR) think this country is great in spite of the government.

brownapple
04-16-2004, 20:28
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
Really? Under the flat-tax plan how is it taxed when the only thing considered is the payroll tax?

That's only your take on it. Haven't seen anyone else suggest that only payroll is taxed. Would be great for those who are self-employed.

Welcome to my world. I have to pay taxes on the valuation of my vehicle every single year in the state of where I live. Yes, they should tax the valuation of all property every year.

What happens if you can't pay the tax? Lose your property? Read the 5th Amendment. Actually, read the entire Constitution. The federal government does not have the right to tax property.

I've already admitted that the word "fair" really does not apply here. The wealthiest will pay more, and will always do so, so that we have the revenue we need to propagate our system. The wealthy should, do, and will pay more under all systems. It is they who have the wealth to pay for the systems we have in place that make up our government. If they do not pay, we wind up losing the system that has seen America as the greatest power in the world over the last 40 years.

You actually think that our tax code is what made us the greatest power? You need to read more history and learn a bit about what actually drives America. It isn't the government and it sure isn't taxes.

How am I confused. Warren admitted this to the world when he was talking about how the system is morally corrupt. Under even the present system he paid less in taxes than his secretary. Yet we think a flat-tax system is even more fair when the currenct system does not ask the second richest man in the world to pay more into the kitty? I don't understand the logic of that. Those that have more should pay more, it allows us the great country we live in. None of us all agree on all the programs, yet they exist and must be paid for. Without the proper revenue how can we do this?

Under a flat-tax, he couldn't pay less than his secretary. You have a basic failure here to comprehend what currently exists and what is being proposed. Funny thing is that this part of your argument supports my point, not yours.

brownapple
04-16-2004, 20:29
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
Ah, here's the crux of your problem. You think this country is great because of the government.

Greenhat and I (and Ronald Reagan and probably TR) think this country is great in spite of the government.

Bingo.

The Reaper
04-16-2004, 20:55
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
Ah, here's the crux of your problem. You think this country is great because of the government.

Greenhat and I (and Ronald Reagan and probably TR) think this country is great in spite of the government.

Concur.

To paraphrase my line from another thread, does anyone here think that the governent defines America, or do the American citizens (not subjects) do that?

The Government is the servant of the people, not the other way around.

TR

Ockham's Razor
04-16-2004, 22:20
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
Ah, here's the crux of your problem. You think this country is great because of the government.

Greenhat and I (and Ronald Reagan and probably TR) think this country is great in spite of the government.

Great! You called in the wild card and now all I have are jokers for a hand. This is not how the game is supposed to be played. I have absolutely no support and am fighting a losing battle here.

Yet, I am not going to give on this issue. I have given on almost every other issue, on this I absolutely refuse to.

You are telling me that we have become the nation that we are completely aside from the government we created? Wow. I have never heard that perspective before. I thought we won the cold war on the diplomatic and manufacturing front, on many fronts, in such a way that no one issue can be pointed to for winning, in that the system we set up worked to defeat it. That system would be the United States Government.

Agree or disagree, the State department, the intelligence arms, and the DoD won the day. Last I checked all of these are governmental arms paid for by the taxes of the citizens. Am I not correct in this inference?

Are you suggesting that Susie Q at the local soda shop won the Cold War, or the organised effort she funded with the taxes she paid, because what you suggest is otherwise.

I find it amazing that you even attempt to make the argument that it was not the government that defeated the terror that was the cold war. I make such an inferende based on the fact that you seem to downplay the significance of our government in the creation of the reality that we enjoy today.

The United States Government, as bloated and disorganised as it is, remains the greatest entity on Earth simply because it has, collectively, ensured the security and freedom of our nation from those whom seek us harm and ill-will. Nothing is perfect. 9/11 happend. OKC happend. Many other things have happend. Yet, we are the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, and you are suggesting that it has absolutely nothing to do with our governmental structure? I find this amazing. We would have acheived all of our heights without our form of government? How is that even possible?

If that were the case, then why are we trying to export our form of government?

Ockham's Razor
04-17-2004, 00:38
After a lengthy discussion with a fellow member, I would like to submit a possible truce. Can we agree on a National Sales Tax and disagree on the flat payroll tax?

Submitted with respect to all parties.

brownapple
04-17-2004, 07:10
A national sales tax and the elimination of the income tax? Absolutely. Much more in holding with the Constitution as originally written and far easier to enforce.

QRQ 30
04-17-2004, 08:40
NAH!! More money will go to Thailand.:D

The question was: "How can we reduce taxes?"

It doesn't really matter what you call it or how you collect it , or from whom, income must meet expenses. There can be no reduction in taxes without reduction in spending.

My "inaccurate and invavid" analogy stands: "Taxes are like a bladder. You may reduce them at one point but they will increase at another point, unless we reduce spending."

The Reaper
04-17-2004, 08:47
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
Great! You called in the wild card and now all I have are jokers for a hand. This is not how the game is supposed to be played. I have absolutely no support and am fighting a losing battle here.

Yet, I am not going to give on this issue. I have given on almost every other issue, on this I absolutely refuse to.

You are telling me that we have become the nation that we are completely aside from the government we created? Wow. I have never heard that perspective before. I thought we won the cold war on the diplomatic and manufacturing front, on many fronts, in such a way that no one issue can be pointed to for winning, in that the system we set up worked to defeat it. That system would be the United States Government.

Agree or disagree, the State department, the intelligence arms, and the DoD won the day. Last I checked all of these are governmental arms paid for by the taxes of the citizens. Am I not correct in this inference?

Are you suggesting that Susie Q at the local soda shop won the Cold War, or the organised effort she funded with the taxes she paid, because what you suggest is otherwise.

I find it amazing that you even attempt to make the argument that it was not the government that defeated the terror that was the cold war. I make such an inferende based on the fact that you seem to downplay the significance of our government in the creation of the reality that we enjoy today.

The United States Government, as bloated and disorganised as it is, remains the greatest entity on Earth simply because it has, collectively, ensured the security and freedom of our nation from those whom seek us harm and ill-will. Nothing is perfect. 9/11 happend. OKC happend. Many other things have happend. Yet, we are the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, and you are suggesting that it has absolutely nothing to do with our governmental structure? I find this amazing. We would have acheived all of our heights without our form of government? How is that even possible?

If that were the case, then why are we trying to export our form of government?

You really need to do some historical reading. Start with the Federalist Papers.

The government was an experiment. If it failed, initially, or ever, the intent of the Founders was that a revolt would remove the oppressive government and establish a different form more responsive to The People.

The Government does none of the things you mentioned above. American citizens, with citizen money, did all of the great things you cite, at the behest of The People.

The U.S. Government is an instrumentality of the American People and should function as an extension of their wills. When it doesn't act in that manner, for the good of The People, it should be changed.

The American People could recreate a new government. The Government could not create a new American People.

TR

QRQ 30
04-17-2004, 09:00
Alright folks: It's pistols at 20 paces.

Who was it that said that the only sure things in life were "Death and Taxes"?

I'm going out and mow the lawn with my taxed mower which runs on highly taxed gasoline.:lifter

ghuinness
04-17-2004, 09:42
Originally posted by QRQ 30
Alright folks: It's pistols at 20 paces.

Who was it that said that the only sure things in life were "Death and Taxes"?

I'm going out and mow the lawn with my taxed mower which runs on highly taxed gasoline.:lifter

Ben Franklin

brownapple
04-17-2004, 23:14
http://www.taxfoundation.org/ff/zerotaxfilers.html

QRQ 30
04-18-2004, 06:32
There are so many more taxes and my premise still stands. Federal Income tax is replaced by other taxws. Below is just a small examole of these taxes in Georgia. Did you ever buy tires ir batteries lately and notice the fee (tax) you pay for the disposal of the old?

National and local taxes are in effect in Georgia.

The following are included in National taxes:

Income Tax;
Company Profit Tax;
Value-added Tax (VAT)
Excise
Property tax
Land tax;
Tax on Ownership of Motor Vehicles;
Tax on transfer of Property;
Social Security Tax;
Tax on Use of Natural Resources;
Tax on Pollution of the Environment with Harmful Substances;
Tax on Entering Motor Vehicles onto the Territory of Georgia and Being Overloaded.

The following are the Local taxes:

Tax on Business Activity;
Tax on Gambling Business;
Resort Tax;
Hotel Tax;
Advertisement Tax;
Local Symbols Use Tax.
:boohoo

Para
04-18-2004, 09:14
Originally posted by Intruder
While I was a student making under $12k/yr I paid roughly 10% total income tax. "Joe Richguy" making $500k was paying roughly 40%. Where does the "fairly even" part come in?

Because you make the assumption that the $500k is gross income and not adjusted income. For instance, and I am going to make my explination simplistic, I take $100k and purchase a $1 million dollar apartment complex on a 10% down payment non-owner occupied loan. This apartment complex has 20 units valued at $50k per unit. With todays interest rates I am paying $7.50 per $1000 borrowed for Principle, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance (PITI).

My monthly payment is $6,750.
My monthly rents are $10,000 (if completely full).
Positive cash flow is $3,250, over 12 month's for $39,000.

But as this is a business, the IRS allows me to depreciate my assets over the usable life-span of the item. For real estate that is 15 years. For this apartment complex, the appraised value is $1,000,000, $900,000 for the building and $100,000 for the land. So for my first year, I take an asset deduction of 6.66667% of the asset (the building) of $60,000. I have just effectively showed the IRS a loss of $21,000 while actually earning $39,000 for the year. And this is just the start.

Now consider this while I am at it. You just made $39,000 from your $100,000, a 39% return on your investment. It was all tax free making your return all that much better, because you would have been taxed if that money was realized in the stock market, but here its tax-free. On top of that, you have loss against your other income. Now add the fact that your real estate just appreciated in value at a rate dependant upon the market that it was in, Fayetteville (6 to 7%), Seattle (10%), Tampa Bay (15%). Take Seattle, that 10% is not on the $100,000 investment, but the $1,000,000 purchase. Therefore, the property appreciated $100,000 on your $100,000 investment, a 100% return.

When I have more time I will actually read this whole thread.

Valhal
04-18-2004, 10:03
What's wrong with working hard and striving to be filthy rich? Most multi-millionaires not only pay more in taxes they also give substantial amounts to charity. Yes it offers a tax credit, but it is also, I would say, altruistic.

Roguish Lawyer
04-18-2004, 14:41
Originally posted by Valhal
What's wrong with working hard and striving to be filthy rich?

I like you. You need to post more. LOL

brownapple
04-18-2004, 18:58
Originally posted by QRQ 30
There are so many more taxes and my premise still stands. Federal Income tax is replaced by other taxws. Below is just a small examole of these taxes in Georgia. Did you ever buy tires ir batteries lately and notice the fee (tax) you pay for the disposal of the old?


:boohoo

So move out of Georgia.

brownapple
04-18-2004, 19:01
Originally posted by Para
Because you make the assumption that the $500k is gross income and not adjusted income.

What people do with their money should be their choice, not based on what will provide the best tax shelter.

QRQ 30
04-18-2004, 19:23
Originally posted by Greenhat
So move out of Georgia.

I don't live there!! :p It just happened to be th first state that popedf up in a Google search.

Seeing as I draw a huge disability checfk of $1199/month I don't pay income tax. But they get what little money I do have in other ways.

Ockham's Razor
04-19-2004, 22:57
Originally posted by The Reaper
You really need to do some historical reading. Start with the Federalist Papers.

The government was an experiment. If it failed, initially, or ever, the intent of the Founders was that a revolt would remove the oppressive government and establish a different form more responsive to The People.

The Government does none of the things you mentioned above. American citizens, with citizen money, did all of the great things you cite, at the behest of The People.

The U.S. Government is an instrumentality of the American People and should function as an extension of their wills. When it doesn't act in that manner, for the good of The People, it should be changed.

The American People could recreate a new government. The Government could not create a new American People.

TR

Sir,

The only true way I can clarify my argument, and it is only my own personal clarification (for my personal argument), is that the only government I have known is the one we currently have. Under that government, and our system, we have had some of the greatest prosperity in history.

Sometime the will of the people is to scrap a system, and yet those we elect choose to keep such a system in place because they see better than the masses. Not exactly the definition of democracy, but it has been proven true.

I understand my views on taxation and the government are unpopular to a great extent in this forum. I think you do, and should, hold my views as one who has not learned how the whole system works yet. I have read about how our previous systems have functioned, and for the most part they were failures at securing revenue the Republic needed to fulfill it's obligations.

I will never disagree that what makes our nation great is the people that make up our Republic, that is obvious fact. The only thing I have to disagree with is that we presently have current obligations under our laws that certain initiatives be federally funded. In order to do so we need copious amounts of revenue. A Flat Tax, in my view, would not raise that needed capital. I do believe a national sales tax would.

If we can all agree on what programs we could cut, and I have it on good authority that perhaps all of us could agree on just about a 50% slash in spending, then any other tax system would work.

The only thing I would argue with you, Sir, respectfully, is that the people do not have the same power as that of a sitting state of government in order to establish policy. We have the great commerce, international trade, environmental, and foreign policy we have to date because of the largesse of our government post 1945.

Before that date we were agrarian players. The US has been the greatest nation on Earth for only about 60 years. (In the definition of being able to affect true global power.) In that time we have greated a colossal federal government. A government that has seen us through all kinds of economic, foreign policy, and domestic times to the success we are today.

I have trouble finding fault in our present situation in the government that has been created over these past many decades. Though there is MUCH room for improvement, we can all agree to a great extent, that government has been vital in the elimination of communism and will continue to be so in the elimination of terrorism.

Sir, I recognise my views are not shared by many here. I'm sure I will learn more along the way. I truly do know the basic elemental system on which our country was based and formulated. I just also consider that we have evolved from that formation and have adapted to change as the times have seen fit.

I will never change my views after being educated on the importance of the 2nd Amendment as has been laid out, it's far too important to change. Though, on other issues I feel we have the ability and need to adapt as society and governments evolve.

Once again, I realise this is not the popular view, it is just mine as I hold it now as I continue to learn as life and situations allow me to.

Ockham's Razor
04-19-2004, 23:03
Originally posted by Greenhat
A national sales tax and the elimination of the income tax? Absolutely. Much more in holding with the Constitution as originally written and far easier to enforce.

That could perhaps lead to the most even system without a whole agency of oversight. I honestly doubt such a system would ever be put in place. Though, I think such a system would be in lines with how our National Framework was supposed to be laid out. (Even if I did argue with the mediator incessantly.)

A national sales tax would provide a lot of the equality people have been wanting for decades. IMHO.

Roguish Lawyer
04-20-2004, 07:23
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
A Flat Tax, in my view, would not raise that needed capital. I do believe a national sales tax would.

The amount of revenue raised by these taxes depends on the rate employed. It is incorrect to say that one would raise more than the other, unless you are trying to compare maximum revenue raised at the apex of the Laffer curve. I would hope that maximizing revenue is not your goal.

National sales tax? Grand idea, but I thought you want the rich to pay more? This is one of the most regressive taxes out there!

Roguish Lawyer
04-20-2004, 07:25
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
A national sales tax would provide a lot of the equality people have been wanting for decades. IMHO.

LMAO. As opposed to a flat tax? Tell me how these are different from a fairness perspective. A flat tax would be better than a sales tax from the standpoint of class warfare, even if you have generous exemptions for necessities under a sales tax.

QRQ 30
04-20-2004, 08:11
How would a sales tax work. It seems that the less affluent would again bear the burden. IMO most of the luxories enjoyed by the wealthy are more in the line of services than purchases.

Let me cite a former employer. He was a millionaire and pinched every penny he spent. Yet he had no qualms about buying a new car every year. I asked him about that once and he said that it was the pennies and nickles that added up to excess spending. Unfortunately the average middle/lower class people are caught up in the "Keeping up with the Joneses" syndrome.

The amount paid for food and other necessities by the lower income families is far greater - percentage wise - than that of the wealthy.;

Most of the proposals I have seen merely reinforce my original proposition that a true decrease in taxes is a myth. You can reapportion them and rename them but the need for revenue will remain unless we reduce spending.

Roguish Lawyer
04-20-2004, 08:26
Originally posted by QRQ 30
the need for revenue will remain unless we reduce spending.

Here we are in agreement.

Now, if we reduce spending, can we reduce taxes?

QRQ 30
04-20-2004, 08:36
RL asks if we can reduce taxes if we reduce spending.

Sure! Of course! Absolutely!! It's the only way. BUT:

Johnny and Jane can't learn without computers in the classroom. Whenever something happens we hear "Where were the cops?" Now that we have paved the country how do we keep it in repair? Not to mention defense. That's like convincing people that one TV and one car per family is sufficient.:D

QRQ 30
04-20-2004, 09:08
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
Here we are in agreement.

Now, if we reduce spending, can we reduce taxes?

Yes. SC has a law requiring a ballanced budget. When a bill is introduced requiring funds, there is a requirement that the sponser specify where those funds will come from and how they are raised. I thought something similar existed in the Federal Govt. but apparently not.

Honesty helps too! It makes me sick to see how people react to property taxes. If their property is appraised as - say - $100K they cry, shout, stamp their feet and swear up and down that their propty ly worth $50K. More often than not they win an appeal and get at least a partial redution. Next week you may see their house on the market for $200K.:confused:

Ockham's Razor
04-22-2004, 00:54
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
LMAO. As opposed to a flat tax? Tell me how these are different from a fairness perspective. A flat tax would be better than a sales tax from the standpoint of class warfare, even if you have generous exemptions for necessities under a sales tax.

It's not. Both systems are worse than our present system. I am basically saying if there is a choice between these two systems, I would go with a national sales tax system across the board. Which would also include, estate, capital gains, property, and dividend taxes.

Honestly, if you would like to return to a system whereby a handful of families control the bulk of the nations wealth (and our direction), both of these plans will allow that. If that is the stated goal, either system will work swimmingly.

If you'd like to see how such a system works, you can see the results by going to Newport Mansions (http://www.newportmansions.org)

The tax system we have in place, whilst widely imperfect, is there for a reason. We are trying to prevent the mistakes of the past from happening again. If you think the common nature of man is good, then by all means lets go back to the era of Robber Barons and the like. I am reminded on a daily basis of why we changed our tax system, in fact why we introduced the tax code.

I also know, as you do counselor, that anyone worth a mint has several hundred ways to hide earnings and wealth and pay taxes on close to nothing at all. The current system does very well by those who have the knowledge to place their revenue in certain ways to have it not even exist on paper. To say otherwise is to completely ignore the facts.

We can argue semantics all night on this issue and still wind up with the same result. A certain amount of money needs to be raised. We fell short of that by quite a few dollars this past session. We both understand that sometimes deficits are good for the economy, but never to this extent. Were we to implement either of these two systems, I would highly doubt we would even come close to our needed source of revenue.

The extent of the government we have created has ensured that we will need to raise vast sums of money from the citizenry for quite some time to come. Yet, after the wall came down and we tried to find a way to cut back on those expenditures, in the end we all paid the price.

The one fact that is very seldom heard in op/ed pieces or on the rot-box (TV) is that BOTH political sides and virtually all Americans thought we could downsize our military and intelligence services because the great war had been won. The world was safe and life can now move on with less government and lower taxes. Well, I think we all realise how wrong we were in that thinking. Some blame one man or one party on this issue. It was not such. We all thought we won the day and could rest on our accomplishments. There was no clear threat after Yeltsin stood on the APC with those silly looking bullet proof briefcases surrounding him. Yet, that was the avenue we went down.

I remember it quite well because at that age, 12-13, I wanted to be a spy like all the cool guys in the movies. Yet, everytime we watched the news as dinner was being served, for the next several years all I heard was about cuts and cuts and cuts. This was bi-partisan. Both sides wanted this.

It comes down to what type of government do we want to have. The one from 1945-1991 or the one from 1991-2001? We need massive amounts of cash for the older system. Perhaps they can manage with less, but it needs to be more than 91-01. No one argues with that. But that money needs to come from somewhere. Floating federal paper is not the answer to all our problems. An aggregate tax system is the only proven way to raise funds.

There are two arguments here. Would we have all the money we needed without the tax cuts, and no defecit? Or, would we have the defecit we have now and a weak economy? You can find the answer on many sides of a 9 sided coin on this. We have funds, but need more. We have a great economy, but what about the next 12 months?

Lots of questions very few answers. The basic theory that people will do better with money in their hands is only half right... They'd have to spend it correctly. Currently most of out expenditures are tied up in personal debt. Paying down debt does not further an economy, on the broader scale. Especially when done incrementally.

If you have a plan that will find us out of our federal debt and personal debt hold and can still lower taxes, I think you could make a mint as a presidential advisor. I have not seen this of yet, and doubt it is even possible with the numbers concerned.

If you would like to return to the old system whereby those that have money keep it, and move on with no consequence, and those without pay more percentage-wise but make such a stagnant wage that they can't move forward, what type of system is that advocating?

It was my understanding that history was supposed to teach us the errs of our ways. We learned early on that such a system is detrimental and changed it. It really seems like you wish to go back to such a system. All I ask is why?

We went from a system that allowed an aristocracy to flourish to one that did not. Do you not think there was a reason why we did that?

I know I will catch heat for my views. I honestly wish someone could point out why we changed our system from one that allowed an aristocracy to one that did not. To e it's rather obvious, as an independent Republic we did not want ruling class families dictating how life was run in the Republic. Yet, people seem to forget this actually happend. The Harriman's, the Winslow's, your modern day Hamiltons (Campbell Soup)... When they made a phone call to the White House, they affected policy. We do not want to go down that road again.

Taxation is a very important key of our society. We all want to be in that top 1%. I can tell you from the top looking down, our system already has problems, yet it raises the funds we need when we don't cut the taxes. Though, the child tax credit was a great idea.

In summation, what we have is a system that allows those with the intelligence and ability to skirt the laws to do so. If you'd like to incorporate yourself in Delaware, by all means, reap the benefits. You live most of the year in Bermuda? Well than we have this prize for you or your business, so incorporated.

RL, don't give me the line. I knew at 15 about the importance of incorporation for the benefit of taxation. This is because I live among and live within the upper levels of taxation, to put it politely. I understand just about every way to exploit the tax code, but also understand that you have to hire a very good tax attorney to keep you updated on the tax code so you can adjust your assets.

This system only prejudices those that do not understand the full level of shirking that can be done under it. Those that find the loopholes win the prize. Under eithe flat systems, the only people that benefit, because it will not include property, dividends, capital gains, etc will be those in the $150k+ crowd and you know it.

The real burden has been and will be (adjusted for inflation) on the 25k-75k crowd in this country as it has been for the past 50 years. I defer to you to explain how they will not shoulder the majority of the burden.

brownapple
04-22-2004, 03:09
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor


Honestly, if you would like to return to a system whereby a handful of families control the bulk of the nations wealth (and our direction), both of these plans will allow that. If that is the stated goal, either system will work swimmingly.

That argument doesn't hold water and never will. Because it is false and foolish.

And a sales tax is on sales, not on property (already owned) or Estates (already owned).

The difference between a sales tax and a flat tax?

A sales tax taxes spending, a flat tax taxes income. A national sales tax is more likely to favor the wealthy, but it would encourage saving.

Ian, I think you need to read some history and take some economics classes. Your entire rant above has nothing to do with reality, but it does illustrate a willingness to believe in the "workers" vs. "management" mantra of Marxists.

Valhal
04-22-2004, 10:31
OR there is an aristocracy in place now. There has always been one, there always will be one. Those that have, those that have not. A change in the tax code will never change that fact.
Our Government could go a long way in paying off our debt if it would just start with responsible spending. Washington and special interest groups thrive on pork.
Here is a solution that I am afraid will never happen. Everybody be honest and strive for the common good. Oops thats communism with all the slag melted away. It will never happen because as humans we just are not at that level of development yet.
The first tenet of Capitalism is 'Greed is Good'.
:munchin

Ockham's Razor
04-22-2004, 10:59
Originally posted by Greenhat
That argument doesn't hold water and never will. Because it is false and foolish.

And a sales tax is on sales, not on property (already owned) or Estates (already owned).

The difference between a sales tax and a flat tax?

A sales tax taxes spending, a flat tax taxes income. A national sales tax is more likely to favor the wealthy, but it would encourage saving.

Ian, I think you need to read some history and take some economics classes. Your entire rant above has nothing to do with reality, but it does illustrate a willingness to believe in the "workers" vs. "management" mantra of Marxists.

Sir, with all due respect, I not only understand our history, I live amongst great reminders of why we have the tax system that we do. The reason I amended my version of the sales tax was to keep the tax system in line with the revenues we would need to pay our debts. (Until we can cut back on them.)

If you think that I am a Marxist, than I have failed to convey my message. It has nothing to do with such a thing. It's almost as incorrect as people who actually think we live in a capitalist society. We do not. We live in a society that has the overall appearance and nature of capitalism, yet also includes many elements of socialism.

Our history on taxation is vast and deep. There is a reason that we tax as we do. Even with this vastly restrictive tax, I still see people that want to succeed and amass wealth do so. At the same time we are able to have the strong government and systems that we do.

Sir, in all honesty, if you do not think that a few families had considerable influence on the direction of this nation some time ago, than I'd suggest you see the results of the "lobbying" efforts of the Harriman's Winslow's Vanderbilt's Carnegie's Rockefeller's. You tell me that I am false and foolish, yet when I point out the families to look at, have you considered them?

There is a reason that the Populist party was formulated in 1892. It had to do with basically the same type of system that is being advocated. It does not work. We have tried it before. We wound up with a cycle of falling prices, scarce money, and debt.

I'm not sure why you don't think the Gilded Age existed, and the consequences that occured. Though, it is because of these people and what they did that caused us to have the tax system we currently do.

Sir, might I recommend a reading of Gustavus Myers' History of the Great American Fortunes (1907). It's a good account of the times and the message of the need for reform.

I have done my homework on this topic, Sir. I am neither being false or foolish. I am merely learning from our history and vow never to ever allow it to be repeated. All of the restrictive elements that we now have in government can almost be directly tied to what happened in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

We will never return to such a system. The reason for that lies in our history.

brownapple
04-22-2004, 21:04
You are correct, there is a reason we tax as we do. You are completely incorrect as to the reason.

We tax the way we do because it provides politicians with more power.

It has absolutely nothing to do with controlling an "aristocracy", unless you consider creating politicians as their own aristocracy as somehow controlling one.

The fact is that under the current tax system, the people who benefit the most (because they can afford to) are that "aristocracy" that you are so concerned with.

And the biggest blow to the "Guilded Age"? The sinking of the Titanic, the monopoly laws and World War I. Not any taxation system.

Roguish Lawyer
04-22-2004, 21:08
Yawn. :rolleyes:

I think getting out of New England is going to do wonders for you, OR. Or at least I hope so.

Ockham's Razor
04-22-2004, 23:09
Originally posted by Greenhat
.

We tax the way we do because it provides politicians with more power.

It has absolutely nothing to do with controlling an "aristocracy", unless you consider creating politicians as their own aristocracy as somehow controlling one.

That is something I have to totally agree with. I despise that it is fact, but simply have to agree with it because it is true. There is some concern that the politicians in this country have created their own form of aristocracy. I do hate using that word, but it's caught on because I've used it so we'll run with it.

Vast segments of our government could be totally done away with. We could, realistically, slash 50% of government from existence and be better for it. The culprits for this additional 50% are the politicians.


The fact is that under the current tax system, the people who benefit the most (because they can afford to) are that "aristocracy" that you are so concerned with.

I could not agree with you more, which is really why I'm so opposed to changing the system. I know, it sounds asinine. Consider that there are so many loopholes to play with that the people who are supposed to be paying a certain share, are actually paying less than half that, sometimes nothing at all. I just don't see how a flat tax would correct that when it only addresses income. If that were to ever happen, I have friends who would never pay a cent of tax for the rest of their lives, and their children, and their grand-children. Hell, I could inherit what my family has and do the same.

My concern lies in our present spending needs. In order to raise the funds to support our government we need all of these taxes, which I would love to see abolished. I would benefit greatly from their abolishment.

What I am trying to say is that we are not very far off in our opinions on this issue, and I've made that more difficult to explain with my inclusion of the aristocracy angle. I would absolutely support a system of a less agressive taxation, but we have to cut out expenditures first. If we can knock out $500-750 billion in spending, I think either a flat tax or a sales tax might work. We can't keep spending and cutting taxes. Perhaps we can eye Social Security for that cut and earmark that money to be used privately, as has been suggested. I think it can work.


And the biggest blow to the "Guilded Age"? The sinking of the Titanic, the monopoly laws and World War I. Not any taxation system.

Actually, it was really the invention of property taxes. After that, all their vast land holdings began to drain vast sums from their coffers and would have bankrupted them if they did not shed their holdings. If you knew what they sold their golden star mansions for you'd be stunned.

Honestly, we can go back and forth on this issue. We will never see a system of any kind of equitable taxation in this country because of what you alluded to, the politicians. To them, more money, means another agency we can create.

The one thing I would like to make clear is that I totally support the basic principle of a fair and balanced tax system. I just don't know how it would work to prevent the monopolies we've had in the past. It's an honest concern because it has happend before.

I don't even think we agree to disagree on this issue, we AGREE on the basic measures. My only concern is that we cut our spending before we go looking for less intrusive tax systems. I do not like having billions of dollars in paper being spread around to pay for our government. On some things debt is ok, to a certain extent, I just don't like to see it at these levels. If we can slash the spending curve than we might be able to convince the public of the need to change the tax system to something less intrusive.

You know far more on this issue than I do, I've never said anything otherwise. I always defer to those that know more on an issue. My only concern is that before we lower our revenue, taxation, we also lower our need for spending. My only hope is that those in Congress will understand that some time in the near future.

Ockham's Razor
04-22-2004, 23:32
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
Yawn. :rolleyes:

I think getting out of New England is going to do wonders for you, OR. Or at least I hope so.

Yawn? Do you have better repartee than that? How about this. You come up with a system that would allow the United States to project our power and not overly subjugate the rights of it's citizens to accumulate wealth with no oversight.

If you are semi-concious, you might be able to see, that until we lower the level of spending we have, on which we all agree needs to be lowered, it's just not possible to switch systems.

Ad carceres a calce revocari, counselor. Would you like to revisit the past or adapt our system for the future? lmpunitas continuum affectum tribuit delinquenti. The choice is yours counselor. Propose a system that provides the revenue we need to perpetuate our government, or admit we need the revenue we take in, from all sources, to propagate that government.

If you think this a geographical situation, you are very sadly mistaken.

brownapple
04-23-2004, 04:31
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor

Vast segments of our government could be totally done away with. We could, realistically, slash 50% of government from existence and be better for it. The culprits for this additional 50% are the politicians.

I could not agree with you more, which is really why I'm so opposed to changing the system. I know, it sounds asinine. Consider that there are so many loopholes to play with that the people who are supposed to be paying a certain share, are actually paying less than half that, sometimes nothing at all. I just don't see how a flat tax would correct that when it only addresses income. If that were to ever happen, I have friends who would never pay a cent of tax for the rest of their lives, and their children, and their grand-children. Hell, I could inherit what my family has and do the same.

Some serious contradictions here.

1. Do you plan to keep your money in mattresses? If you have it in a bank, it earns interest (income). If you invest it, it earns dividends (income). If you but T-bonds, it appreciates (income). You really need to take some economics classes.

2. You point out that we could eliminate 50% of our government (how much is that in spending) but are concerned with how we maintain our current spending while making a change that inherently cuts spending (at least in certain areas). You need to change your user name, because you aren't exhibiting much reasoning.

My concern lies in our present spending needs. In order to raise the funds to support our government we need all of these taxes, which I would love to see abolished. I would benefit greatly from their abolishment.

Not necessarilly. You might find that you would not benefit at all, you might even pay more taxes than you would under the current system. Many would. Doesn't mean it wouldn't be fairer or more easily collected/enforced. One more thing... regardless of how taxes are imposed, in the end, citizens pay a % of their income to support the government. Under the current system, every citizen pays a different %, but in the end, it is still a convoluted tax on income. Nothing more, nothing less. You seem to believe that a flat tax will collect less. That depends on what % is set. It could quite easily collect more.



Actually, it was really the invention of property taxes. After that, all their vast land holdings began to drain vast sums from their coffers and would have bankrupted them if they did not shed their holdings. If you knew what they sold their golden star mansions for you'd be stunned.

Read more history. Really.

Ockham's Razor
04-23-2004, 18:47
Originally posted by Greenhat
[B]Some serious contradictions here.

1. Do you plan to keep your money in mattresses? If you have it in a bank, it earns interest (income). If you invest it, it earns dividends (income). If you but T-bonds, it appreciates (income). You really need to take some economics classes.


I have. Passed both macro and micro with a 3.0. Still does not show how we would benefit from a system that taxes payroll alone.


2. You point out that we could eliminate 50% of our government (how much is that in spending) but are concerned with how we maintain our current spending while making a change that inherently cuts spending (at least in certain areas). You need to change your user name, because you aren't exhibiting much reasoning.

Astounding. I'm not expressing reasoning? How about the ability explain the billions of dollars we would not collect under either the flat tax or national sales tax? I am saying that I AGREE with you that we could make either system work, but we have to cut spending first. How much of that in spending is 50% in totality. If we can move SS to a private system with no governmental oversite, we could carve a significant wedge from the federal pie. After that You know, as well as I, that we can do this line by line and find the money to cut.

That is reasoning, Sir. Finding a way that will allow us to enjoy the system we have whilst paying less for it. It's a system of reasoning I rather enjoy.


Not necessarilly. You might find that you would not benefit at all, you might even pay more taxes than you would under the current system. Many would. Doesn't mean it wouldn't be fairer or more easily collected/enforced. One more thing... regardless of how taxes are imposed, in the end, citizens pay a % of their income to support the government. Under the current system, every citizen pays a different %, but in the end, it is still a convoluted tax on income. Nothing more, nothing less. You seem to believe that a flat tax will collect less. That depends on what % is set. It could quite easily collect more.

Very true. Though, under the proposed systems of a flat tax and a national sales tax, I would make out like a bandit. Your supposition could also be stated as being able to collect "quite less". The problem lies in, we have no idea how much would be collected, so how can we have an honest conversation on the subject?





Read more history. Really.

LOL I laugh because it is funny that you don't think that the invention of the property tax caused people to sell their vast land holdings. Can you explain to me why most of Bellevue Avenue was sold within a matter of years of the creation of a property tax?

Unless that property was generating revenue, it was a burden after the invention of the property tax. I can read , Sir. The Titanic took out quite a few heavyweights, it was not the end of the day for the class.

brownapple
04-23-2004, 19:18
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
[B]I have. Passed both macro and micro with a 3.0. Still does not show how we would benefit from a system that taxes payroll alone.

Income. Not payroll. Not the same thing.


Astounding. I'm not expressing reasoning? How about the ability explain the billions of dollars we would not collect under either the flat tax or national sales tax? I am saying that I AGREE with you that we could make either system work, but we have to cut spending first. How much of that in spending is 50% in totality. If we can move SS to a private system with no governmental oversite, we could carve a significant wedge from the federal pie. After that You know, as well as I, that we can do this line by line and find the money to cut.

That is reasoning, Sir. Finding a way that will allow us to enjoy the system we have whilst paying less for it. It's a system of reasoning I rather enjoy.

No it isn't. You are making a number of assumptions that have no bearing on the issue. The first and most important is that a flat tax or national sales tax means a reduction in income. It does not have to.

Very true. Though, under the proposed systems of a flat tax and a national sales tax, I would make out like a bandit. Your supposition could also be stated as being able to collect "quite less". The problem lies in, we have no idea how much would be collected, so how can we have an honest conversation on the subject?

How much would be collected depends on the %s set, and what the goals are. If the goals are to maintain spending at the current levels, the % is set to provide that income. It really isn't that difficult to understand.


LOL I laugh because it is funny that you don't think that the invention of the property tax caused people to sell their vast land holdings. Can you explain to me why most of Bellevue Avenue was sold within a matter of years of the creation of a property tax?

Can you explain to me why Park Avenue and 5th Avenue were not?

Unless that property was generating revenue, it was a burden after the invention of the property tax. I can read , Sir. The Titanic took out quite a few heavyweights, it was not the end of the day for the class.

Good. Can you also understand what happened to your Robber Barons between 1919 and 1929?

Ockham's Razor
04-23-2004, 20:46
Originally posted by Greenhat
Income. Not payroll. Not the same thing.


All plans proposed are pegged to payroll taxes. If you know otherwise, please enlighten me.


No it isn't. You are making a number of assumptions that have no bearing on the issue. The first and most important is that a flat tax or national sales tax means a reduction in income. It does not have to.

I'm making assumptions based upon our required generation of revenue. I have yet to see how either system would provide the required revenue to pay our current debts.

We have debts, and must meet those debts. Simply passing on paper will not solve our problem.



How much would be collected depends on the %s set, and what the goals are. If the goals are to maintain spending at the current levels, the % is set to provide that income. It really isn't that difficult to understand.

There-in lies the real problem. Where do we put the percentage base for taxation? If we want to change the system we need to find the comon ground that will not affect one group over another, but still generate the revenue necessary to make our system run swimmingly.


Can you explain to me why Park Avenue and 5th Avenue were not?

I think you are pitching me meatballs on this issue. Do the Vanderbilts still own 8 blocks in mid-town at this point? Did they sell their plot of land because of taxes or because they were making a profit on investment? Please, Sir. You do understand that these families no longer own vast tracks of land. It is because of property taxes, nothing else. We can argue semantics on this issue and still come to no end game. However, reality is that property taxes caused the disolving of a vast majority of holdings by the wealthy class.

That was of great benefit to our society.



Good. Can you also understand what happened to your Robber Barons between 1919 and 1929? [/QUOTE]

brownapple
04-24-2004, 05:49
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
All plans proposed are pegged to payroll taxes. If you know otherwise, please enlighten me.

The one proposed here. Pay attention.

I'm making assumptions based upon our required generation of revenue. I have yet to see how either system would provide the required revenue to pay our current debts.

We have debts, and must meet those debts. Simply passing on paper will not solve our problem.

You know what they say about assumptions, don't you? Again, very foolish assumptions. If we make the tax rate 50%, do you think we could provide the revenue you assume is necessary? Maybe more?

Basic logic. Identify your assumptions. Yours are not valid.

There-in lies the real problem. Where do we put the percentage base for taxation? If we want to change the system we need to find the comon ground that will not affect one group over another, but still generate the revenue necessary to make our system run swimmingly.

That depends on how much revenue we wish to generate. It really is very simple. And not in any way a change from how we generate revenue today except that it is simpler, fairer and more transparent.

I think you are pitching me meatballs on this issue. Do the Vanderbilts still own 8 blocks in mid-town at this point?

Yes.

However, reality is that property taxes caused the disolving of a vast majority of holdings by the wealthy class.

That was of great benefit to our society.

Two problems. 1. Your notion of reality is badly confused. Stop relying on one book and do some real research. And while you are at it, prove that the disolving of holdings by the wealthy (and far more holdings by the none wealthy) are to the benefit of our society? And what benefit is it to have the clearly largest holder of land in the United States be the US Government?

Btw, you missed the last question. Might want to take the time to find out the answer.

Ockham's Razor
04-24-2004, 19:52
Originally posted by Greenhat
The one proposed here. Pay attention.

Would the one proposed here pay to the $2.4 trillion we need to run our government? I am paying attention. The numbers do not add up.



You know what they say about assumptions, don't you? Again, very foolish assumptions. If we make the tax rate 50%, do you think we could provide the revenue you assume is necessary? Maybe more? Basic logic. Identify your assumptions. Yours are not valid.

Yes, I am quite aware of that colloquialism. Very foolish, or realistic expectations? We have a current need for revenue and either system proposed will not provide the necessary revenue. Until we can cut the amount of revenue needed, we truly need every cent being taken into the coffers. We're so strapped that we are asing foreign power to buy our debt for the things we need. That disturbs me greatly.

You know what they say about assumptions, don't you? Sometimes they are right.





That depends on how much revenue we wish to generate. It really is very simple. And not in any way a change from how we generate revenue today except that it is simpler, fairer and more transparent.

How are we going to attain such a position in our current state? It SEEMS very simple, but the reality is far more complex. If we move to a system that is based solely on incoe or payroll, we are going to be ignoring accumulated wealth, and the taxes of which are paying for the government that we have.


Yes.

Are you sure you'd not like to check up on that? I think they sold 666 Fifth Avenue quite some time ago. Unless they still own from 51st to 58th street, I guess I'm wrong.



Two problems. 1. Your notion of reality is badly confused. Stop relying on one book and do some real research. And while you are at it, prove that the disolving of holdings by the wealthy (and far more holdings by the none wealthy) are to the benefit of our society? And what benefit is it to have the clearly largest holder of land in the United States be the US Government?


I do not rely on any one book for my balance of knowledge. If you had read that book, of which I mentioned, you might see some of the realities of the era. I do not have to prove that by disolving the holdings of the wealthy that society would benefit. The reason being is that we have already done that and we have benefitted. I'm still trying to figure out how you think the Vanderbilts own their vast stretch of property that they sold many decades ago.


Btw, you missed the last question. Might want to take the time to find out the answer.

I thought my answer with regards to the Titanic and governmental regulation was sufficient. We rubbed out the era of the Robber Baron for a reason. It's one I'd not like to return to. Doing away with taxation on accumulated wealth would enable such a return.

brownapple
04-24-2004, 22:15
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
Would the one proposed here pay to the $2.4 trillion we need to run our government? I am paying attention. The numbers do not add up.

Sure. Just as well as our current taxation system. ALL taxation is based on income, including our current system. Regardless of what the claim is, if people don't have the income, they don't pay the tax. If they don't pay the tax, it isn't collected. Pretty simple, really. WAKE THE F*** UP!


Yes, I am quite aware of that colloquialism. Very foolish, or realistic expectations? We have a current need for revenue and either system proposed will not provide the necessary revenue. Until we can cut the amount of revenue needed, we truly need every cent being taken into the coffers. We're so strapped that we are asing foreign power to buy our debt for the things we need. That disturbs me greatly.

Again, assumptions that have absolutely nothing to do with the reality of the situation.

You know what they say about assumptions, don't you? Sometimes they are right.

But yours aren't.

How are we going to attain such a position in our current state? It SEEMS very simple, but the reality is far more complex. If we move to a system that is based solely on incoe or payroll, we are going to be ignoring accumulated wealth, and the taxes of which are paying for the government that we have.

No one pays federal tax on accumulated wealth (except for the estate tax, which is largely paid by those who cannot afford to avoid it.).

I thought my answer with regards to the Titanic and governmental regulation was sufficient. We rubbed out the era of the Robber Baron for a reason. It's one I'd not like to return to. Doing away with taxation on accumulated wealth would enable such a return.

Last question was regarding 1919-1929.

brownapple
04-24-2004, 22:28
Btw, total income in the US (according to the Bureau of Statistics) was $9,203,700,000,000, so to provide $2,400,000,000,000 we would need to set the % at 27%. This is ignoring Corporate income (which is unrealistic, simply showing this as an example that a tax on income can generate the current budget).

The fact remains that the system would save money, so it would not be necessary to maintain spending at the same level. And we don't currently collect as much as we spend.

Ockham's Razor
04-25-2004, 12:35
Originally posted by Greenhat
Btw, total income in the US (according to the Bureau of Statistics) was $9,203,700,000,000, so to provide $2,400,000,000,000 we would need to set the % at 27%. This is ignoring Corporate income (which is unrealistic, simply showing this as an example that a tax on income can generate the current budget).

The fact remains that the system would save money, so it would not be necessary to maintain spending at the same level. And we don't currently collect as much as we spend.


I am in no way questioning your numbers. I trust that the numbers you provide are correct.

I would totally agree with a 27% across the board tax. My only concern still lies with accumulated wealth, how do we manage that?

brownapple
04-25-2004, 15:23
Originally posted by Ockham's Razor
I am in no way questioning your numbers. I trust that the numbers you provide are correct.

I would totally agree with a 27% across the board tax. My only concern still lies with accumulated wealth, how do we manage that?

Who cares?

You are wrapped up in an issue that isn't an issue. Anyone who wants to live off purely accumulated wealth, with no income...keeping their money in their matress? That is their right. At some point, tax was paid on that as income. The government got its share.

Ockham's Razor
04-25-2004, 17:29
Originally posted by Greenhat
Who cares?

You are wrapped up in an issue that isn't an issue. Anyone who wants to live off purely accumulated wealth, with no income...keeping their money in their matress? That is their right. At some point, tax was paid on that as income. The government got its share.

I do NOT disagree with you. I'm only concerned that we not be able to collect the needed revenue under such a system. I want the same system that you do. A fair and equitable system, I'm just not sure we can have such a system and pay for the debts that we have.

We both want there to be the elements of freedom in our society more so than we have now, but we also must pay for the freedom. I don't see how any system aside from what we currently have will do so.

brownapple
04-25-2004, 20:17
I've already shown that the numbers allow that. You are going in circles that make no sense.

Ockham's Razor
04-29-2004, 05:29
GH, Sir.

I honestly have found myself at a loss to rebut your statements. As I've said, I'm the first one to admit my lack of full understanding of this issue. I really do think that the social programs we've insituted since the 40's have helped, yet I can't substantiate that. We've gone along swimmingly since then, but then I have to defer to the argement that it was because of the American people and not because of government. Because, logically, it was the will of the people, work, effort, devotion, that allowed them to rise above the systems put in their way to become successful.

The only way I can clarify my logic is that, I try to understand our system as it is, with all of these social systems, yet we've done well despite them. Inherently, it does not make them bad or good systems. It just means that the will of the people has found a way to succeed with or without these systems, the true strenght of our nation.

I think the only true concern I really hold is of what might happen if there was the element of regression in the taxation system we are discussing. I do think, not wholly, that it might lead to a certain segment of society being able to own more than another. That is just a personal concern. I'd honestly ask you to just visit for a day and drive down Bellevue Avenue and you'd see my concern. You pointed it out, the Robber Barons are dead. Done so via regulation as well as regular market forces. As the free-market does so well, with a bit of regulation.

This got way more devisive than I wanted it to. I respect you a great deal and think I let my own short-sightedness on the issue get the better of me.

The fact of the matter is, I have a lot of living to do before I really understand the full situation. It's obvious there is a reason most people who make policy decisions are not in their 20's :) I am idealistic, but with a very conservative slant, hence my concerns that people sometimes slot me in the liberal column simply because of my geographic location.

The one thing we can both agree on is that this nation is founded on and DRIVEN by business. Any tax savings or enabling we can do to create new business is always the best way to go. You have caused me to think very realistically on the social systems we have in place. Hence my "Socio/capitalist" ideaology. If placing more money at the hands of those who can create more wealth would create more jobs, income, ability to purchase health care, would enable wealth... well, then obviously there is no argument.

Don't hold it against a stubborn idealist to try to at least defend the only system that he's known. Though, what you have done is caused me to consider the vast possibilities that other systems might offer. Something less restrictive, something that lets us retain the core elemetns of government, and something that allows us the freedom to choose our destiny. No, in fact, hold it against my. I think I got caught in a circular argument and wound up contradicting myself in the end, as this obviously proves.

Something, I hope is the reason why people such as yourself engage in these sorts of discussions. You saw a glaring error from your point of view and set upon it in order to correct it. I'm honest in saying I am not totally convinced, look at me waiting for the last jobs report before I fully embraced our recovery, though I am always open to admit when I am wrong and embrace things that will make us a better nation.

For one thing, I am just glad you did not take my stance as something personal. Also, I learned a great deal from this thread, and my responses, as hard-headed and juvenile as many of them were, do not reflect that at all. I honestly don't think we'd ever get support for a flat tax or a national sales tax, but after all of this, I'd honestly have no qualms about voting for either. States will still have property taxes and various other taxes to keep my concern in line, and we could move forward with a very clear and concise tax-code.

I appreciate your participation in this debate, Sir. I learned a great deal from it. It was more 99%-1% I think you know who was the 99%. heh...

Have a good day.

Solid
04-29-2004, 08:22
If I may,
Being a) From the UK and b) in Highschool, I know very little about the US tax system, and even less about proposed reforms to it. This argument has greatly facilitated by understanding of the current situation and of the 'flat tax' reform.

Thank you all involved, especially GH and Ockham.

Solid

Roguish Lawyer
04-29-2004, 09:24
Ockham, you are the acorn that becomes the oak. I like your attitude. :)

Blitzzz (RIP)
01-22-2009, 14:24
I have been listening to all of the spending the new POTUS has been spouting without regard to the voice of the people. In this case when I say "People" I mean the TAX PAYERS. It occurred to me that in history money has always been the lever/attention getter. One of my favorites was the Boston Tea Party. I believe that if a large enough movement of TAX payers decided not to pay taxes for a couple of years then the Tax and spend POTUS would get the message. It's not tax evasion unless you skip a year and pay some year after the unpaid year. If you pay the next owed year and pick up there you are not evading. They can't put us all in jail and will not have the money to be so bold with. My 2, Blitzzz

nmap
01-22-2009, 15:45
Actually, there is an even easier tactic that would be absolutely legal. Just quit spending and purchase only true essentials. Sales tax revenues would decline, as would profits for those who sold discretionary items. Individuals would simply save the money or reduce debt.

However...luxuries become wants, wants are perceived as needs, and the spending will never decline.