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Does The Idea Of A Flat Tax Appeal To You?  
User currently offlineDuke From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 1155 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2520 times:

I have for long considered graduated income tax to be a fair form of taxation. If you earn more, you pay more. If you earn less, less of a burden is placed on you. Being the rights-oriented socialist that I am, I would like such a system to replace property tax flat rates too (I.E. if you're unemployed, you don't pay a cent and you won't lose your property for it. If you're employed, then your property tax would be calculated based on a formula taking into account both your income and your property value, not just the latter).

But the issue of property tax aside, I am now considering something else. Slovakia recently replaced the classic tax system with one of a flat tax - for most purposes (income tax, sales tax etc) EVERYONE simply pays 15%. The idea is that as this is a low rate, more people would pay or get work due to a better economy, thus profiting the state coffers more in the long run. Here in Czechia, the President's party (ODS, the Civic Democrats) is suggesting doing the same thing.

Now I ask you - how do you like this idea? I can see the advantage of taxes being the same - yet low - for everyone. After all, in Czechia VAT is currently 19% on most products, so that would go down, and the lowest tax bracket is 15% anyway (so the only "disadvantage" would be that the first $1600 or so - a bit more than 2 months of the average salary - would be taxed, whereas currently it isn't). But I can see how this could be abused - if the government raised the tax rate drastically without exception for everyone and everything.

What do you think? I am no economist.

42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39834 posts, RR: 74
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2515 times:

No, I don't like the idea of a flat tax. I support tax relief for the poor and the wealthy should pay a higher % of taxes.


Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2503 times:

It's a subsidy for the wealhy paid for by the low-income population.

And it only works (sort of) as long as other EU countries are basically subsidizing the "newcomers" and give them the opportunity to lower their taxes (ultimately subsidizing the relocation of their own jobs to the new members).

It is not sustainable in the long run. At some point somebody will actually have to pay for infrastructure and other programs locally.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

I'd like to see a flat income tax but with minimum wage not taxed. So multiply your local minimum wage by 2080 hours in a standard work-year and only the income above that amount is taxed - at a flat rate.

But that is well down my personal list of reforms aimed at weaning civil servants off my personal welfare tit.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineBHXFAOTIPYYC From Portugal, joined Jun 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2495 times:

Yes, I'd go for it. If you make the tax rate low enough and the penalties for not compliance high enough, you end up with MORE money in state coffers. Doesn't Russia have a flat rate of about 13% ? Low enough so EVERYBODY pays - not worth the risk not to. I know that this wouldn't suit every country, but I think here in Portugal it would work. Recently the government raised the tax on top rate payers and guess what, they had something like 90% "disappear" the next year. Evading taxes here has always been a bit of a game, with the rich declaring next to nothing (remember Loana Helmsley and her "only the little people pay taxes" speach before she got sent down). They put VAT up to 21%, and when I passed a hypermarket in the Spanish town of Huelva about 50km away, where VAT is 16% and prices lower anyway, about 70% of the cars in the car park had Portuguese plates (it was a holiday here). Like I said, yes to a flat rate but yes to stiff penalties for non compliance. Raising taxes doesn't always raise more revenue.


Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2485 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 1):
No, I don't like the idea of a flat tax. I support tax relief for the poor and the wealthy should pay a higher % of taxes.

First of all the wealth already pay a higher % of taxes, both marginally and overall.

Second of all, what level of taxation do you think the rich should pay? Don't just say more, state a case for an actual amount that would be fair. 40%? 50%? 60%? More? At what point are the weathly paying their fair share?


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17428 posts, RR: 46
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2473 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 1):
No, I don't like the idea of a flat tax. I support tax relief for the poor and the wealthy should pay a higher % of taxes.

Several of the countries in Eastern Europe have a few different rates within each flat tax regime precisely for this reason.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineCxsjr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2461 times:

I hate the idea of a flat tax - I live in a flat and already pay council tax - why should I pay flat tax too!  wink 

User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3590 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2456 times:

I flat tax is a great idea as it does the most to stimulate economic growth (other than no tax at all). The problem is that Socialists do not like it at all, as they depend on the redistribution of wealth and keeping a permanant under class in order to maintain their power base.

The productivity of a population is inversly proportional to the size of their government.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17428 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2445 times:

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 8):
I flat tax is a great idea as it does the most to stimulate economic growth

It also eliminates most tax loopholes and therefore derails the gravy train.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39834 posts, RR: 74
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2437 times:

Studies have shown that for the government (United States) to just be able to function it's bare-necessities, the flat-tax would have to be 25%. That would be a huge tax increase for the poor and a huge tax break for the rich.

Come to think of it, a flat-tax wouldn't be such a bad idea after all. The government would have a hard time finding money to start wars and fund Israel. Also I'd like to see how many Americans are willing to give up there homeowner's tax deduction and child tax credit. In a true flat taxation structure, that would disappear.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2434 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 10):
That would be a huge tax increase for the poor and a huge tax break for the rich.



Quoting Superfly (Reply 1):
I support tax relief for the poor and the wealthy should pay a higher % of taxes.

Again I ask, at what point do you believe that "wealthy" are paying enough taxes? 50%? 60%? 70%? Liberals are quick to say that the rich don't pay enough but I've never gotten an answer to the question - how much is enough?


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39834 posts, RR: 74
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2429 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 11):
how much is enough?

The Kennedy tax cut which lasted until Ray-gun was a fair tax structure. Go and look at those numbers.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 54
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2428 times:

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 8):
The productivity of a population is inversly proportional to the size of their government.

As proven by countries which are in anarchy (no government at all) and which have zero or negative productivity...!  crazy 

Your only proposal as an alternative to falling over forwards (communism) is to fall over backwards. Not falling down at all is apparently an alternative that's too complicated to consider...  Yeah sure


User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2424 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
The Kennedy tax cut which lasted until Ray-gun was a fair tax structure. Go and look at those numbers.

So you're saying a top marginal rate in excess of 70% is fair, because I know those numbers quite well. I for one think that having a minority interest in your own economic production is inherently unfair. Why should the government stand to benefit more than you do for every additional dollar you make?

Furthermore, if you'll recall the 1986 tax reform package closed a huge number of loopholes particularly in the real estate arena. Are you advocating that those loopholes be brought back? A tax code is more than just the marginal rate, it's the entire body of rules and regulations that affect what earnings are subject to tax and what expenses can be charged against those earning in order to come up with taxable income.

The problem with people like you is that you simply don't know enough about the tax code to really be able to intelligently debate the matter. All the talk about tax code simplification is a red herring. Over 75% of all tax returns filed in the US are either 1040A or 1040EZ where there is no itemization. The percentage of American workers who have ZERO federal income tax liability is approaching 50%, yet the left says that the "poor" pay too much in taxes. Add to that the fact that poor families with kids qualify for the earned income tax credit and you'll see that the federal income tax code is not biased against the poor but most poor families actually qualify for money that they never paid into the system.

Now, if you want to talk about a regressive tax, let's discuss the payroll tax system. But I've never heard a liberal advocate that we do away with the payroll tax? Do you want to come out and support that?


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39834 posts, RR: 74
Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2419 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 14):
The problem with people like you....

Huh?  confused 
Did I mess up your taxes?

If I 'simply don't know enough about the tax code' and you do, can I hire you to do my taxes? I pay almost 50% of my income to taxes. The government punishes me because I am smart enough to know that I (myself) am not ready to be married and have kids. I am smart enough to prioritize my career goals as well as travel and see the world instead 'settling down'. I would be rewarded with tax breaks if I got married and started having children.
Can you give me a tip tips on how I can save on my taxes Mr. Pope?



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineSATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2415 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 9):
It also eliminates most tax loopholes and therefore derails the gravy train.

I love how issues like this get all screwed up. Both the lefties and the righties want to do something about the more egregious tax loopholes (or so they say) and yet the righties come up with crazy shit like flat taxes as the answer. The way to remove tax loopholes is to simply remove all our various pro-fraud deductions. Of course, if politicians were truly serious about removing tax loopholes you'd think that they wouldn't have allowed them in the first place.



Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
User currently offline767Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2415 times:

I support the Fair Tax, not the Flat Tax.

In essence, the Fair Tax does away with income tax and instead puts a higher tax on retail goods, with the exception of the goods one needs to live. (Which means the poor don't have to pay as much as the rich, because there is a certain amount of expenditure for the month that isn't taxed.)

www.fairtax.org


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17428 posts, RR: 46
Reply 18, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2403 times:

Quoting SATX (Reply 16):
The way to remove tax loopholes is to simply remove all our various pro-fraud deductions

Yeah, hence flat tax. It will never happen though since it's a self defeating prophecy with respect to politicians.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39834 posts, RR: 74
Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2393 times:

Pope, where are you?
I need you guidance Holy Father and tax advice. You are an expert, right?



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2382 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 19):
Pope, where are you?

I hit the gym after work. I find myself having to fight the Battle of the Bulge on a daily basis. Bread and cheese are my arch enemy.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
Did I mess up your taxes?

No, but you advocate policies that will increase my taxes without understanding the issues you're advocating.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
I would be rewarded with tax breaks if I got married and started having children.

Please tell what tax breaks you'd get. I have a wife and a kid and I'm completely phased out of all deduction and personal exemption. I'm absolute certain that you pay much less taxes, both in absolute and in percentage terms than I do so my friend which one of us is getting screwed? You then advocate policies that would further raise my taxes. How's that fair?

And still you haven't specifically answered how much I should pay in taxes before I've paid my fair share. That's a simple question - why do you duck it?


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39834 posts, RR: 74
Reply 21, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2375 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 20):
I find myself having to fight the Battle of the Bulge on a daily basis

Pardon my ignorance but what do you mean by "Bulge"?
You are scaring me!
Around here, a Bulge is an erection or large penis poking through a guys pants. What in the hell are you doing at the gym Pope?  scared 

Quoting Pope (Reply 20):
I'm absolute certain that you pay much less taxes

Are you sure? I have zero deductions.

Quoting Pope (Reply 20):
And still you haven't specifically answered how much I should pay in taxes before I've paid my fair share. That's a simple question - why do you duck it?

I already did. See above.
Are you one of the wealthiest 1% or do you just 'think' you are part of the wealthiest 1%?



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 2349 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
Are you sure? I have zero deductions.

I not only get no deduction, my personal exemptions are also phased out. So I'm pretty sure.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
Are you one of the wealthiest 1% or do you just 'think' you are part of the wealthiest 1%?

According to latest available tables (2003) I'm in the top 4%.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
I already did. See above.

No you didn't you gave an evasive ambiguous answer not even fully understanding what you were supporting. It's a simple question, a what level of taxation does a weathly person pay their fair share? You liberals are always so quick to point out that the rich aren't taxed enough, I'd just like to know precisely how much would be enough. Don't pull a B744F just answer the question - no bullshit, just a real straightforward debate of idea and their merits. What are you scared of?


User currently offlineSATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2317 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 18):
Yeah, hence flat tax. It will never happen though since it's a self defeating prophecy with respect to politicians.

You can remove all the pro-fraud deductions without having to resort to a flat tax. These are two separate issues. Progressive tax structures recognize that the wealthy aren't as impacted by losing 15% of their income as the poor are impacted by losing 15% of their income. Even if I was making seven or eight figures I wouldn't be pushing for a flat tax just so I could buy some more shit I don't need. However, the flat tax will eventually become reality in America some day. The people who want it most are far too rich and powerful to fail, and even the people who won't benefit from it are too ignorant to realize that. Just look at what's happening with the Estate Tax to see what I'm talking about. People who have little if any chance of benefiting from the reduction or removal of the Estate Tax have been clamoring for it's demise. We've become a nation of greedy idiots who consider "nuke 'em all" to be a legitimate foreign policy.



Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39834 posts, RR: 74
Reply 24, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2315 times:

Pope:
70%.
Now answer my question.



Bring back the Concorde
25 Pope : Which question? What was I doing at the gym. Working out. 30 minutes on the treadmill at 6.5mph and then 30 minutes of weights. So you don't think th
26 Superfly : Pope: It was 90% following the New Deal. 70% is a break.
27 Pope : Under that logic, it should be OK to torture prisoners to the brink of death because previously they were tortured until they died. I'll give you one
28 Superfly : Pope: Was there any exodus of wealth from the United States in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s? Didn't we manage to be a world superpower during
29 Post contains links Pope : Are you serious. Let's begin with a review of history: late 20's and 30's - the depression ended only by WWII and the massive amount of spending on t
30 Post contains images Superfly : Pope: I'd take you on next week on all of these points. I am leaving the office early and wont be on the computer this weekend. So don't think you're
31 Pope : I look forward to it. I enjoy the intelligent discussion and debate of these ideas - it's becoming exceedingly rare on this forum. Have a good weeken
32 Post contains images N229NW : Pope: Yes, 70% is perfectly acceptable as the highest tax bracket. On the surface of things you have a point when you say that one should have a major
33 Pope : And that's the fundamental problem I have with liberals. They view one's success, in the words of one leading democrat, as the winner of "life's lott
34 N229NW : Incorrect: I just know that 1000 other athletes who don't "make it" work just as hard, and 100,000 other employees who aren't CEOs work just as hard:
35 Pope : First of all don't confuse the GOP with conservatives. True conservative call for limited government in all aspects of society. It just happens that
36 Yhmfan : In Canada, The Income Tax Act was supposed to be a "temporary measure to help the war effort" and it started off as a flat tax. The issue is, over the
37 N229NW : To get the side stuff out of the way: You are the one who brought up the idea of "small government" versus "big government" as a general principle; I
38 MD-90 : I have for long considered the graduated income tax to be evil. It is wrong to stick a gun to a productive, prosperous man's head and threaten to kil
39 Jafa39 : The people who pay the most in taxes spend the most amount of time avoiding taxes, it might put a lot of accountants out of work (no bad thing), there
40 Pope : Where to begin. Equality of opportunity and equality of result are two very different things. You seem to be arguing that it is the government's role
41 N229NW : Sorry I don't have time to continue this debate as fully as I'd like, but a couple of things quickly: 1.) Yes equality of opportunity and equality of
42 Jet-lagged : To me, the greatest virtue of a flat tax is this: currently, 100s of thousands, probably millions, of accountants, lawyers, and clerks are engaging in
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