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taxation

Comments on taxation

henry quirk
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Posted 09/21/11 - 8:54 AM:
Subject: taxation
What is equitable ('fair') taxation?

That is: if you had your say, how would you structure American taxation (on the local, state, and/or federal levels)?
libertygrl
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Posted 09/21/11 - 1:54 PM:

if it were up to me, i would set up taxation as follows:

annual income $10K or less: taxed at 5%
$10K to $20K: 10%
$20K to $50K: 20%
$50K to $100K: 25%
$100K to $500K: 30%
$500K and above: 40%

i would also make it mandatorily transparent exactly how your tax dollars are being spent, and give people some flexibility in certain areas on how they want to vest their tax funds. for example, you could choose to allocate up 50% of your tax dollars to "elective" programs, such as arts programs or libraries or scientific research, etc. non-elective tax dollars would go to things like maintaining roads, military, subsidized healthcare, etc. if you have children, then education automatically becomes a non-elective tax option.

just some ideas, open to discussion. currently, i think the salaries of elected government officials is way too high. i think there's a lot of money being wasted in many areas too, because of lack of transparency. if the system actually worked the way it's supposed to work, without people exploiting and taking advantage every which way, i think the money coming in from taxes would be more than enough to keep everything running.
henry quirk
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Posted 09/22/11 - 11:24 AM:

Lib, why would you tax someone with an annual income of $10K or less, 5%, and, someone with an annual income of $500K and above, 40%?

That is: what does the number of dollars one has have to do with how much of any one dollar should go to taxes?
thedoc
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Posted 09/23/11 - 9:16 AM:

The 'Haves' are a favorite 'Whipping Boy' of the 'Have-nots' as an excuse for not working hard enough to be well off.

You can add the liberal politicians who delight in buying votes with someone elses money.
libertygrl
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Posted 09/23/11 - 9:58 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
Lib, why would you tax someone with an annual income of $10K or less, 5%, and, someone with an annual income of $500K and above, 40%?

That is: what does the number of dollars one has have to do with how much of any one dollar should go to taxes?

it's really not too different from the rationale between asking a 20-year-old man to give up his seat on the bus for a pregnant woman, or an elderly person. if some 20-year-old made a big fuss about it saying he has the right to sit there just as much as the pregnant lady, then he's in the wrong as far as i'm concerned. now, if he's suffering from pneumonia, it's a different story. it is a question of how much hardship is being created. obviously a person making $10K a year has a much greater struggle to survive than someone making $500K per year.

thedoc wrote:
The 'Haves' are a favorite 'Whipping Boy' of the 'Have-nots' as an excuse for not working hard enough to be well off.

not everyone who is poor is lazy.
thedoc
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Posted 09/23/11 - 10:24 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

not everyone who is poor is lazy.


True, its mostly about not making good chioces.
libertygrl
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Posted 09/23/11 - 10:27 AM:

i think there are a lot of other factors too that can hold people back. gender discrimination, race discrimination, prejudices of all sorts, lack of available jobs, lack of transportation, etc.
libertygrl
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Posted 09/23/11 - 10:27 AM:

so, what about you guys? what is fair taxation in your eyes?
henry quirk
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Posted 09/23/11 - 11:32 AM:

"it's really not too different from the rationale between asking a 20-year-old man to give up his seat on the bus for a pregnant woman, or an elderly person."

So a progressive tax is permissible because it's the 'civil' thing to do?

#

"what is fair taxation in your eyes?"

I have an idea but I prefer to let the conversation go on a bit before foisting it up.
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#10 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 09/23/11 - 11:38 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
So a progressive tax is permissible because it's the 'civil' thing to do?

it's a considerate thing to do
henry quirk
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#11 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 09/23/11 - 12:30 PM:

'Considerate" it may be when voluntary.

'Compliance' is what it's called when backed by the force of 'law'.
libertygrl
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Posted 09/23/11 - 12:36 PM:

hey, you asked me how i would set it up if it were up to me. to me, that's the considerate thing to do. if you don't like it, don't go living in my imaginary nation. sisyphus
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Posted 09/23/11 - 12:44 PM:

and sure, compliance with the law is expected. people who don't like the laws can go to other countries where the laws are more to their liking (and this they often do).

i think this kind of question has value, though, in the sense that if we had the opportunity to create a new nation, from scratch, (let's say after a revolution, for example) it would help to have a vision in mind that would best serve the people who would live in it. something very worthy of discussion IMO.
thedoc
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Posted 09/23/11 - 12:54 PM:

I think I would agree with Henry on this one, Why should someone who earns more than another pay a higher rate, they may be working harder or at a more demanding job. I would also suggest an exemption for those who can demonstrate difficulty in obtaining the 'Necessities' on a low income, that would not include the welfare reciepient having trouble making his payments on the Cadillac, watching his wide screen, sipping Ripple all day. I do not see any justification for taxing the rich more than anyone else, the rich usually invest their money and that money then supports business which creates jobs for other people, appart from the job of people who work directly for a rich person. The money and wealth of a rich person is not just lying in a pile doing nothing, and that is what most people do not think about.
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Posted 09/23/11 - 1:02 PM:

so, what would you suggest is a fair taxation, doc? i mean percentage-wise, presumably the same rate for everyone.
henry quirk
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Posted 09/23/11 - 2:54 PM:

"...don't go living in my imaginary nation."

HA!

I'm too busy living in, and being the Mayor of, Crazytown to live in Liberutopia... wink

#

"people who don't like the laws can go to other countries where the laws are more to their liking (and this they often do)."

More often though: such folks stay put and navigate as best they can around stupid laws (and ridiculous law makers).

Vulgarly, such folks are called 'criminals'... wink

#

"it would help to have a vision in mind that would best serve the people who would live in it."

Utilitarianism: BOO! HISS!

#

Monday, I'm guessin' I'll post my idea for equitable taxation (which should, in part, address some of what Doc posted).
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#17 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 09/23/11 - 3:15 PM:

all systems tend naturally toward utilitarianism. any that doesn't is likely on the verge of a violent revolt.
thedoc
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#18 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 09/23/11 - 6:38 PM:

15% sounds good to start, with the stipulation that the Gov. cannot spend money it doesn't have, and any legislator who proposes something that takes us over the limit is imediately out of office and cut off completely from any benefits or public office again including pensions. Instead of a paltry little wrist slap for over spending we'll cut them off at the knees and elbows.
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Posted 09/24/11 - 12:10 AM:

hmm i could maybe get behind a flat rate for everyone but 15% seems like a small amount. what kind of stuff would be paid by taxation, by your ideal? healthcare? military? education?
henry quirk
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Posted 09/26/11 - 9:51 AM:

"violent revolt"

And this is a 'bad' thing?

wink

#

My outlandish, fantastical, notion of tax reformation


My opening question: 'If you had your say, how would you structure American taxation (on the local, state, and/or federal levels)?'

Since nothing about the question demands a 'realism' (that is: a snowball's chance in hell of coming to pass), my suggestion is...


End the IRS...end income tax...eliminate ALL exemptions, loopholes, cuts, credits, and special status for EVERYONE (rich, poor, real, or *paper persons are individuals and should be treated EXACTLY as any other person).

End all state income tax...eliminate ALL exemptions, loopholes, cuts, and special status for EVERYONE (rich, poor, real, or *paper persons under are individuals and should be treated EXACTLY as any other person).

Implement national and state point of purchase taxes...that is: at every purchase of a product or service there is a tax (say, **15%).

Everyone loses and wins.

The only drawback I can see is government (local, state, federal) may not have the kind of revenue those 'in' government like.

Boo-hoo for them

Since those in government (on both sides of the aisle, across the board, all the damned time) can't seem to get a handle on 'spending' for themselves, having a restricted reservoir of cash may be just the inoculating shot needed to get the bunch of them 'on track'.

Again: everyone loses (no privilges for the rich, the poor, or those 'in-between') and everyone wins (it's pay as you and consume...the more you consume, the more you pay...the less you consume, the less you pay).

It's simple: there are no corporate taxes, or death taxes, or 'whatever the hell else' taxes...you buy (a loaf of bread, a coffin, the services of a lawyer or plumber or proctologist, a yacht, a junker, a massage, cold medicine, and on and on) you pay...again: no exemptions, no rebates, no earned income, no reductions for martial status (or religious status).

It -- a direct, simple, national and state point of (all) purchases tax -- is equity incarnate.









*Corporations are a rotten idea...the fictional entity, the paper person is a rotten idea...if, however, we have paper people, then those 'folks' should be subject to the same woes as everyone else...another outlandish idea: BP could stand trial (for the deaths of those in the Gulf spill)...if found guilty then 'jail' BP...shouldn't be too difficult to translate the consequences of jail to a paper person...jail is essentially a loss of the capacity (to move freely, to transact, to 'do'...simply jail BP (if found guilty)...and: if BP is found guilty in a death penalty state: execute...for a paper person that means a legal termination of the corporation (BP ceases to exist).

*shrug*



**Pulled out of my ass for conversation's sake...such a tax may be higher or lower.
libertygrl
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Posted 09/29/11 - 10:49 PM:

yeah i totally agree that this idea of corporations as a "person" is b.s. forcing BP to stand trial for the spill sounds brilliant.

as for violent revolts, i do think they're inevitable every so often. i don't look forward to being in one, though. maybe you do, henry, but i don't think it's the kind of environment you would want your nephew to grow up in, is it?

i could probably get behind at least a 20% flat rate tax for everyone, whether it's sales tax or income tax. 15% doesn't seem like very much to me. on the bright side of your proposal, henry, rich people would pay more tax because they can afford to spend more.
henry quirk
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Posted 09/30/11 - 4:17 PM:

"i don't think it's the kind of environment you would want your nephew to grow up in, is it?"

No, of course not. I'd prefer him to live in a stable, yet dynamic, world, mostly because I want him to 'live'.

I think, however the price for such a thing may be too high.

Elsewhere, someone wrote, "WE will accomplish more than Henry Quirk singularly will."

And I agreed, again, saying the price, however, may be too high.

The 'price' in either case, is, insofar as I can tell, a reduction of the individual to 'component'.

Some folks, many folks, perhaps even MOST folks, are willing to pay that price...I'm not...even if I harbored some secret desire to 'fit in', I'd just fuck it up as my more proper and recalcitrant impulses bubbled up.

My nephew, of course, as he ages, will become whatever kind of man he'll be. If he becomes one who wants to be a function of 'many' there's not a helluva lot I can do about that.

For myself: if 'peace' is price-tagged with a hobbled self-definition/-determination, then I'll take war.
smokinpristiformis
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#23 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 10/04/11 - 8:49 AM:

hmmm wink

this looks like it could be fun. sticking out tongue
henry quirk
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#24 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 10/05/11 - 4:52 PM:

"this looks like it could be fun."

HA!


Okay: there ain't any easy answers to the question of 'what comprises an equitable taxation?'.

Every one has differing ideas on what 'fair' is, on the purpose of taxation (and by extension, the purpose of governance), and so on.

My take (ignoring my *'point of sales tax' idea up-thread): simply to starve the **bastards out.

The mechanism of governance is fueled by taxes...I find ***'governance' (as a general notion; as currently in-play anywhere and at any time you care to name) repugnant (I've no need of 'governing')...so: since there can be no consensus, since the direction (no matter who sits in the big chairs) is always toward greater and greater regulation/control/domestication/'governance', I say starve the bastards...give them no more money...without fuel, the machine stops.

Simple as that.

This, of course, will never happen.

The average Joe and Josephine is well-hornswoggled...indoctrinated in 'tax evasion' is 'wrong', and, ****'the LAW always catches the bad guy', the two J's would no more deny the machine of governance its fuel than I would deny myself coffee and cigarettes.

J and J will kvetch about the amount of taxation (or the uses tax revenue is put to, or, who is or isn't paying his or her 'fair share')) but never ask the questions 'why should I be taxed in the first place?' and 'what's all this 'governance' about anyway?'...after all: they each understand the machine needs fuel and each is convinced that 'everyone' needs the machine.




*I think it's a good idea (as equitable), but it'll never happen, because -- by way of 'point of sales taxes' -- everyone takes the hit, and no one wants to take the hit (they want the other guy, preferably the rich(er) guy, to take the hit). Hell, maybe the rich(er) guy DESERVES to get his (or her!) balls cut off. Keep in mind, however: robbing the rich to feed the poor eventually leaves you with no rich and only a momentarily sated poor.

**By 'bastards' I mean ALL politicians, ALL the poor, ALL the stupid, ALL, the weak, and ALL the rich...not a one of any of them is my problem or concern...if you care to let these folks suckle away at YOU, please, be my guest...me: not open for business as life support for strangers, hangers-on and the mercenary.

***'governance' is distinct from 'proxyhood'...YAY! for proxyhood!

****Crime dramas lead the schooling that 'LAW' is omni-present and omni-potent...lies, damnable lies!

Edited by henry quirk on 10/05/11 - 5:05 PM
smokinpristiformis
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#25 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 10/07/11 - 8:36 AM:

So a progressive tax is permissible because it's the 'civil' thing to do?


It's the civil thing to do yes. It might even be a condition for civility. There's too many of us to go back to barbarism, and most people (like me) don't care much for it anyway. We need a structured way of living together. Eradicating poverty, slavery and general misery is one of the most important aspects. If that costs the rich a few percents more of their income, who cares? It's not as if they'll have to eat any less nearly extinct exotic species for it.

Keep in mind, however: robbing the rich to feed the poor eventually leaves you with no rich and only a momentarily sated poor.


That's newspeak, henry. Nobody said anything about robbing the rich. But some people might if the income inequality keeps growing like that.

These neat little pictures taken from our friend Wikipedia say a lot:





Look at that. The lowest incomes - especially the lowest 10% - have barely risen, if at all in the past thirty years, while the highest incomes have almost doubled. If we look back 60 years, in the second graph, the highest incomes have more than tripled, whereas the 20% lowest incomes have doubled.

It is clear that the economic progress is benefitting the wealthy far more than the rest. The end point of that graph will probably lead to a situation similar to 18th century France, don't you think? If you add growing food prices to the mix, well - a few less heads attached, no? I'm not a fan, regardless of who stands to lose his head, or get sick from insufficient quality food and a backbreaking job, for that matter.


That being said about wealth distribution, there's another point I've touched before: The society we live in and the fact that we're expected to contribute to it. In the least bad of all cases, we have some form of democracy. By definition, it's meant to represent the people of a federation, country, region, city or your local chess club as good as possible. Sadly, not always equally good. Essentially, the system includes everyone, forcément. Everyone is somehow subject to it. Henry often makes the point that he wants nothing to do with it. There are several problems with this. No ideological ones, per sé, but practical ones. Free-riders are becoming an increasingly troubled and troubling. The land is limited, and so are its resources. On the other hand, there are people everywhere. There's no escaping the globalised society anymore. I can imagine that that might be a horrifying thought to some. Many people have gone to extremes to express their identity, perhaps that is related, too. It's a difficult problem, and I don't have all the answers, but of this I'm quite certain: Nihilism won't solve anything. Barbarism neither. The only way is forward.
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