Poll

10 votes (35.71%)
18 votes (64.28%)

28 members have voted

AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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July 20th, 2011 at 3:11:50 AM permalink
Quote: s2dbaker

Wouldn't bother me in the slightest. Although I already pay at the top rate, I can afford to pay a lot more.



Just for the record, it is considered rude to keep bragging about all the money one makes.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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July 20th, 2011 at 3:14:48 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

If the object were to maximize utility, and we assume no change in behavior, then the optimal tax solution would be to tax all income above $x at 100%, and all income below it at 0%. It would just be a matter of finding $x so that all income above it equaled government spending.



If you did this, revenue to the government would be $0.

At a tax rate of 0% or 100% revenue = $0. The key is finding the right rate since after a point when you raise rates total income falls as people stop earning. (Laffer Curve) Lately much above 30% and you kill incentive to earn and invest.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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July 20th, 2011 at 3:20:29 AM permalink
Quote: s2dbaker

Here's how a flax tax might work, every dollar that you make over $30,000 gets taxed at 40% and no one gets any deductions on anything else, even interest and dividend income.

Sounds pretty awesome if you make $30,000, heck, even people making $60,000 only pay 20% over all.

But what about your mortgage interest? Are you willing to give up that deduction? What about small businesses and sole proprietorships? Are they willing to let go of their amortized deductions on office equipment? What about stock losses? If you're allowed to deduct stock losses again stock gains then what other deductions are allowable? What if you have five children and only make $40,000? Should you get a tax break for more offspring? Who pays the tax on Alimony? Is that another deduction that goes down the slippery slope?

Flat tax is just the first step in getting back to where we are right now.



40%! You must be crazy. 15-20% starting on the first dollar earned would be high but fair.

You are missing the point on deductions. The $500/child tax credit is a deduction we could kill. But office equipment being ammortized would still happen as it would be an expense against income on an income statement. Alimony could be deducted revenue-neutral as tax would be paid on it by the recipient.

A flat tax is the most fair tax. What is more fair than everyone paying the same percent?

And again, it would stop politicians from proposing handouts when working people see their rate go up.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
rxwine
rxwine
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July 20th, 2011 at 4:09:07 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman


A flat tax is the most fair tax. What is more fair than everyone paying the same percent?



I think a pretty good job of increasing the disparity of the concentration of wealth between haves and the have-nots has been accomplished over the decades with a tax code where a bunch of the bottom half doesn't pay enough, or too little (according to the complaint).

Somewhat like Monopoly, (even before there's a clear winner in the game) the person with the most houses and hotels leverages quite a bit of power.

But we are not being fair? Okay. Whatever.
Quasimodo? Does that name ring a bell?
timberjim
timberjim
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July 20th, 2011 at 5:14:42 AM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

The IRS has this information online.

More to the point, I present the following chart for the top 1 percent of tax earners:

Year1984 dollarsAGI (000s)Tax (000s)Tax Rate
19861084112851979449133.13
19871226143466359155926.41
198813282847352711384124.04
198913215246807910925923.34
199012809648325211233823.25
199112491945660311126724.37
199212965452358613115625.05
199312852252058614583628.01
199413206954670015433728.23
199513740661961017803528.73
199614502673654521262628.87
199715622287282624123927.64
1998164427101024527400927.12
1999176119115282031741927.53
2000182038133677336692927.45
2001165394109429630089827.5
200215865798578126860827.25
2003160595105456725634024.31
2004173663130641730690223.49
2005186716159171136813223.13
2006192860179188640836922.79
2007197827200825945092622.45
2008176662168547239214923.27


The 1984 dollars column represents the income level, in 1984 dollars, to reach that top 1 percent. The CPI is 215.3 for 2008 or $380,353 to make it to the top 1 percent.

?



So your chart shows the steady increase in revenues collected from the top 1% even after the Bush tax cuts. Thanks for proving my point.

I can only assume you ignore the other very simple, straight forward questions because the actual facts do not fit your views.

I would be happy to continue this discussion if you are able to continue without adding childish remarks and stick to the facts that support your view.
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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July 20th, 2011 at 6:51:03 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

40%! You must be crazy. 15-20% starting on the first dollar earned would be high but fair.
A flat tax is the most fair tax. What is more fair than everyone paying the same percent?


Even the most ardent flat-taxers don't propose something as draconian as taxing someone's first dollar. That's just mean.

You're confusing "fair" with "simple". It's simple to enact a flat tax. It's hardly fair, using any rational measurement of the value of money. If boymimbo's stats are correct, the top 1% in this country are paying 23.27% tax on income while the bottom 75% are paying 5.13% (or were, in 2008). Your proposal is equivalent to almost quadrupling the tax paid by the bottom 3/4 of taxpayers in order to reduce the tax on the top 1/100 by 3.27%.

That's not fair at all. First off, the world isn't fair: if it were, we'd all be equally good-looking and equivalently intelligent, but we know that's not the case. Moreover, even if you subscribe to a folksy notion of "fair", you can't define it by something as divorced from reality as "ratio of tax to income". What's truly fair is if everyone pays an equally-affordable burden. In other words, given that taxes are painful, being fair would mean spreading the pain evenly to everyone. But there is an inverse pain function with a flat tax as income increases because the marginal utility of a dollar decreases with income. Fair, therefore, must be a tax rate that rises with income so as to make the pain felt by all taxpayers equal. Forking over $500,000 to the IRS when you make $2,500,000 is far less painful than forking over $5,000 when you make only $25,000.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Calder
Calder
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July 20th, 2011 at 8:07:58 AM permalink
Arguing tax rates and methods puts the cart before the horse. It seems to me the discussion is ultimately about the proper role of government; whether taxes are intended only to provide essential services to the population, or whether they are a means to achieve and enforce economic equality and social good.

If it's the former, people can debate what services are essential, and devise whatever means of taxation serve that end. If it is the latter, what matters is that whomever is in charge takes enough money and redistributes it to make sure everyone is more or less equal, and gets enough money to do Good Things for everyone.

How government gets the money is just nuts and bolts.
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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July 20th, 2011 at 8:30:00 AM permalink
Quote: Calder

Arguing tax rates and methods puts the cart before the horse. It seems to me the discussion is ultimately about the proper role of government; whether taxes are intended only to provide essential services to the population, or whether they are a means to achieve and enforce economic equality and social good.

If it's the former, people can debate what services are essential, and devise whatever means of taxation serve that end. If it is the latter, what matters is that whomever is in charge takes enough money and redistributes it to make sure everyone is more or less equal, and gets enough money to do Good Things for everyone.

How government gets the money is just nuts and bolts.


Achieving and enforcing economic equality is not and never has been the goal, but one of the founding principles of the U.S. is to achieve social good ("promote the general Welfare" -- preamble, U.S. Constitution). So "whether" is not really an issue. The issue is "how much", that is, how far the government should go in promoting general welfare. There are many philosophical debates on that, but the question of how you tax the population doesn't really change as a result. As a practical matter, the entirety of tax receipts in the U.S. will fail to cover just Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (plus related expenses) within my lifetime, so something has to change about the status quo. Social Security ran at a deficit last year -- for the first time since 1983. And that's going to be the case from now on...

All of these issues would gradually smooth themselves out if we'd just let all our laws have expiration dates and require Congress to regularly refresh them. But that's a different discourse entirely.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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July 20th, 2011 at 8:41:36 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman



A flat tax is the most fair tax. What is more fair than everyone paying the same percent?



How about everyone paying the same AMOUNT? Does the war in Afghanistan benefit me more than you because I earn twice as much? Do traffic lights protect me twice as much as you? Of course in the real world we live in likely 3/4 of Americans could not afford that definition of 'fair'. Some say, and it is hard to argue, that the whole concept of an INCOME tax is silly. A NET WORTH tax would be fairer. When I soon retire having accumulated enough to live on comfortably, I will be then paying close to no taxes. Why should the dollar I am collecting from work be taxed more than the dollar I already have? Its a dollar to me either way. And ME's discussion about evening the 'pain' of taxes would clearly lead to a Net Worth Tax, not an income tax. A billionaire who now is making little could afford millions a year with little pain, Someone who is on their first job with big student loans, a mortgage, 2 kids, etc... will feel 'pain' very low on the tax scale.
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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July 20th, 2011 at 8:47:21 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

Just for the record, it is considered rude to keep bragging about all the money one makes.



s2dbaker is stating some facts as they pertain to him. You can choose to interpret it as bragging but I look at it as informational. This is a gambling forum where every day people discuss their big wins, how much they bet on a hand, their bankrolls, etc... It brings together people from all levels of income, age, gender (and even transgender). Our beloved Wiz has blogged about hours of play at hundreds of dollars per hand. I take that as interesting and informative, not bragging.

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