cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

Flat Taxation

Mon May 28, 2001 5:00 pm

This topic popped up in another string, but should be seperated, I think.

What does everyone think about flat taxation?

The current Income Tax standard, used in most countries, is for an increasing tax rate, with higher rates for the rich, but with a ton of loopholes. The net result is that the rich actually pay much less than their rate would imply, because they can afford top-notch tax advisors who know where all the loopholes are. The other 99% of the population does not have this advantage, and have to pay more in order to make up for the difference.

What if everyone had a flat tax rate. 15% for everyone. No loopholes, no deductions. 15% of whatever you make - period.

What do you think?

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
desertjets
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: Flat Taxation

Mon May 28, 2001 5:16 pm

The long and short of it is that it wouldn't work. Revenues would fall VERY short... and the wealthiest would receive a huge tax cut. In the US the top bracket is 39%. You could argue that then the wealthy would then go and reinvest that money elsewhere... but there is still the issue with social welfare programs and the like that don't really get invested in in that manner.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Flat Taxation

Mon May 28, 2001 8:17 pm

The Arguement is however that wealthy people never pay 39%. Once they have parked their money in tax shelters and other legal loopholes, they end up paying an even lower rate than the middle class. I doubt that Bill Gates pays more than 10-15% right now.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Guest

RE: Flat Taxation

Mon May 28, 2001 9:23 pm

Interesting topic Charles.

I'm not sure where I stand on your proposition; on the one hand you state that many people in the top end of the income bracket get away with paying less than they should; but again on the other hand, there are probably just as many who do pay their income tax in full, regardless of their income level.

As I don't as yet need to pay Income tax (student), the subject is a fairly grey area for me.

It really depends upon how widespread the problem you describe above is-it may not be as prevalent in the UK, I really don't know.

Apart from all the "it's not fair" issues flat taxation would raise, there might be a problem in raising sufficient tax revenues, if all members of society were only obliged to pay 15%, for investment in health, education, and what have you (etc.)

Surely the present system, although imperfect, at least raises higher revenues than any flat tax rate would raise?

As I said, I'm no expert, but those are the sorts of questions that come into my head when discussing flat taxes etc.

Rgds,
CP
 
Guest

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 2:29 am

Instead of a flat-tax per se, I would simply eliminate the tax-return and deductions BS. You get a percentage deducted from your paycheck, stock dividends, interest, etc. and that's it. But the wealthier you are, the more you pay, ie:

<$20000-10%
$20K-$40K-20%
$40K-$80K-30%
$80K-$100K-40%
>$100000-50%

Corey777
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
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RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 2:45 am

I had stated this in the other topic about the 'Senate'.

I agree 100%.

Problem is, getting rid of the homeowners intrest tax deduction would be a tough sell.

Banks would have a fit because there would be less of incentive for people to buy property.
The 'family values' conservatives would have fit because there would be no right-off for every child you have.

There will never be a flat tax here in the United States at least.
There is just too much at stake if the current system goes under.
Bring back the Concorde
 
mbmbos
Posts: 2566
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 4:16 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 2:47 am

If you're talking about a flat tax rate for federal income taxes, I'm all for it. I agree with CFalk that given all the tax hedges, a flat tax rate would more than make up revenues lost to our present progressive system.

As for progressive taxes, I think there's a place for them. Property taxes, luxury taxes, makes much more sense for a progressive tax rate since you're addressing greed directly.

- MBM
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 2:52 am

Then you have the big bracket bumps.

Someone who makes $19,000 per year pays $1,900 in tax, therefore has $17,100 net after tax income.

He gets a pay raise to $21,000, pays $4,200 in tax, and therefore has $16,800 net income - less than before.

That's hardly fair, is it?

What can be more fair than everyone paying the same percentage rate?

If you want to have an effectively low rate for the very low earners, you can apply the following: The first $10,000 (for example) you make is tax free. The flat rate (15% for example) applies on everything therafter.

So for someone making $10,000, he pays nothing.

$20,000, effective rate is 7.5%.

$50,000, effective rate is 12%

$1,000,000, effective rate is 14.85%

So you can have your "progressive" taxation, and with this system, you don't get penalized if you get a salary raise which bumps you into the next bracket (this has happened to me a couple of times). Of course, the level of the deduction is a political game.

Comments?

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
D L X
Posts: 11638
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 3:36 am

Nope, CFalk, progressive rates do not mean bumps, at least not the way the US System is set up.

I think the lowest bracket currently is 15%. So, everyone pays 15% of their first $20,000. If you make more than that, you pay 28% of the NEXT $40,000, 31% of the next $40,000 etc. (All of these break numbers are approximate. I don't know exactly where they are.)

Off topic somewhat, but this is also key in the Bush tax cut. The lowest bracket is to get a retroactive cut from 15% to 10%. That means that EVERYONE who pays taxes will get a check in the mail. If you make more than $20,000, you'll get $1000 off this year.
 
Guest

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 4:06 am

Hi Charles,

If it is indeed true the same, or higher revenues can be generated by the system you propose, it does sound like quite a good idea; however, I haven't heard all the arguments, and my opinion is of somewhat limited validity, considering I don't actually have to pay any income tax yet.

Rgds,
CP
 
desertjets
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 5:22 am

Regarding the difference between marginal and effective tax rates, I really don't know how much the wealthiest folks shave off of their income taxes, somehow I doubt Bill Gates effective tax rate is less than 15%. If someone can get a hand on his yr 2000 1040 and prove me wrong...  Smile/happy/getting dizzy.

The thing with tax rates and tax laws is that you can cook your books to show what you want to show.

Maybe I am just bitter b/c I owe the IRS $240 in taxes. My paychecks from work were all tax exempt... I think my income from salary was $4300, which is all exempt. Except the fact that I have investments in my name, all from gift money from deceased grandparents, which I had a capital gain on.

But write-offs are an important part. The government wants to incourage homeownership b/c (besides being part of the great American dream :-\) it is a sound investment for an individual to make. Write-offs for children and college education are designed to help defray the costs of having kids, turns out we aren't cheap.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Guest

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 5:23 am

Hi Charles,

I raised your idea at dinner today in College, and it met strong opposition (the "that's simply not fair" brigade), plus a few economist students remarked that flat taxation would never generate more revenue than staggered/income-based taxation.

Both may be wrong, just letting you know what the arguments are.

From my personal moral standpoint, your idea seems a fair one, and I don't necessarily see the reason behind the "it's not fair" attitude.

BTW, you're right about progressive taxes biting into incomes, but that's just the way it works I suppose.

Cheers,
CP

 
DG_pilot
Posts: 810
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 1999 10:21 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 6:24 am

I have never seen the the logic behind the "it's not fair" attitudes. Rich people earn their money somehow--just like everyone else, so why tax their financial success? Just because they have more money?

You know--if liberals just happened to be against income tax--they would complain that it "discriminates" against wealthy people. You think?
 
N400QX
Posts: 1981
Joined: Sun May 06, 2001 9:51 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 7:07 am

While I am against the income tax (and the Sixteenth Amendment) in the United States, I would much rather see a flax tax than a progressive tax if we're going to have one at all. It is simply the ONLY fair way to tax income - everyone pays the same portion of their income. Someone making a decent income of $100,000 at 15% would pay, obviously, $15,000. Someone making much less at $33,000 would also pay 15% which is $4,950. You make three times as much as someone else, you pay three times as much in taxes. Simple as that.

I'd say thats pretty fair, wouldn't you say?

In response to someone else's post about people making six figures having to pay 50%... that is HORRIFIC. The government should NEVER take anything near half of your income. That is simply confiscatory. So is 39.6%, but 50% is WAY over the top... thats Europe-like.

And everyone whining that it "wouldn't bring in enough revenue".... WAKE UP! Thats a GOOD thing.

Ya know, everyone- if we just repealed the 16th, we wouldn't have to worry about this stuff.  Big thumbs up
 
Guest

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 7:53 am

Why is not bringing in "enough" revenue a good thing?

Surely the more money the Goverment has (to invest in education, health etc. etc.), the better?

Rgds,
CP
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 8:36 am

A Flat Tax in the United States will never happen!
What is the point in arguing about it?
There is too much at stake with the current tax laws.
The left and the right will scream if they’re ever to be a flat tax.
The 'family values' right will have a fit because it would discourage marriage and having children. It would also discourage homeownership because there would be no tax right off.
The left wouldn't be happy because it would decrease funding for Social Security, Public Health and Education.
It's interesting how our Government always finds money to waste in our 'Offense' (not Defense) Industry and Israel. Regardless of how tight funds are here.

 Smile
Bring back the Concorde
 
Guest

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 9:01 am

Hi Superfly,

I don't know much about the American political system, but why should the funding of education, health and the social services system be the sole preserve of the "left"?

In the UK, ALL parties (whether "left", "right" or "centre"), make the funding of such resources a top priority, and rightly so.

The only way to develop, in every sense of the word, is to provide EVERYONE with as good an education as is possible.

I am sure both the Republicans & Democrats realise the importance of having an educated society, and adequate provision of other services (health, minimum income, adequate pensions etc.).

Rgds,
CP
 
sccutler
Posts: 5556
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

CP And Supe-

Tue May 29, 2001 12:08 pm

To everyone out there, don't be deceived when you read about the marginal tax rates, since no one ever seems to talk about the "hidden tax"- before you EVER get to the graduated "income" taxes, you also pay- off the top, no deductions, 15.3% payroll taxes for Social Security (FICA) and Medicare (you may only see the 7.65% that is shown on your paycheck, but since your employer has to pay the same amount besides, it's really 15.3% of your income). So if you are in the 31% tax bracket, you're really paying 46.3%- before you ever get to any state income taxes you may have to pay, or gas taxes, or sales taxes, or excise taxes, or tolls or user fees.

Superfly-

A flat tax would be simple, straightforward, easily-administered, [relatively] fair... so you're right, it will never happen. Legislators would be struck dumb by the prospect of not being able to use tax policy to attempt to regulate behavior of which they do not approve.

PS- come on over to Dallas one of these weekends and help me work on the brakes on the Caddy (I almost plowed into a rice-burner at an intersection last week!)... and the A/C (have you priced R-12 lately? Ouch!); and I need to put a new convertible top on it - that's some work! Owning these big ol' beasts is a responsibility, sure enough.

CP-

As you are in the UK (right?) you may not be aware of one fundamental principle here- the federal government is not the dominant provider of services here in the US (or, is not supposed to be). In our system of government, under the Constitution, the states are supposed to be dominant, with Washington providing the things that it is uniquely capable of providing (like protection of constitutional freedoms, delivering the mail, defense of the national borders, protection of interstate commerce rights). Thus, denying the federal govenment much of the money which it now collects doesn't mean government cannot spend money on common good things like education, etc.; rather, it means that the taxing for such programs (and the decisions regarding implementation of such programs) can be doen at the state or local level, where (by the way) the elected representatives are more likely to be (1) knowledgeable about; and (2) responsive to; the needs of their constituents.

The federal government has used its ability to tax and spend with substantial effect, resulting in the growth of government as an industry (as opposed to being a service to the people and to the states). Unfortunately, the further-removed government is from the people (eg, federal vs. state, county, city or precinct), the less-efficient or responsive it tends to be in the dischrage of its duties.

Now, I have to go and discharge some of my duties as a parent. I am the weakest link. G'bye.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
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RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 12:32 pm

Capt.Picard:
That's exactly what I wanted to point out.
The right could care less about those programs. That's the problem with the right here in the US. The conservative parties in Europe are more open-minded than the ones here in the US.

Sccutler:
I'd love to help you out with your Caddy next weekend.
Problem is, I'll be in Cancun Mexico relaxing in the sun.  Sad
Bring back the Concorde
 
DeltaRNOmd-80
Posts: 1979
Joined: Sat May 13, 2000 7:42 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 12:48 pm

I agree with DG_Pilot and N400QX, why penalize the rich just because they earn more? Did they not have to earn their success? Basically, life is what you make of it. You get the poor slobs and you get the successful people. Letting the poor slobs off the hook for the opportunities they didn't take advantage of (slacking off in school, etc) is ridiculous. I would support a flat tax, it is the only fair way.
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 2:29 pm

There has been a proposal leaked in the Netherlands by one party (maybe testing the waters for the next election) that proposes a flat income tax of 35%, combined with higher direct taxes (sales tax, etc.) and an almost complete elimination of tax-cuts (or else making taxcuts available only to low-income people).
In theory, this would mean no drop in revenues (according to their calculations).
It sounds like a fair plan, if that is all there were to it... I do object though to the "income dependent" cuts that are proposed. If you advocate a flat rate, everything should be flat and people with lower incomes should not get larger breaks (in percentages).
I wish I were flying
 
DG_pilot
Posts: 810
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 1999 10:21 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 2:30 pm

""That's exactly what I wanted to point out.
The right could care less about those programs. That's the problem with the right here in the US. The conservative parties in Europe are more open-minded than the ones here in the US.""

The Conservatives care about all that, it is just that we like to see individual responsibility, personal freedoms and liberties, and accountability. We like to have control over our own affairs--rather then some politician.

I have never understood why some are against government at the local levels--where it is more efficient, accountable, flexible, and responsive to the constituents.

That is another thread however.

Once again Superfly, just because Conservatives do not agree with your platform, DOES not make us closed minded. Such a thought is moronic.
 
Archie Bunker
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RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 2:32 pm

 Sleepy
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 3:27 pm

Flat Tax of 35% in Holland, + VAT etc.?!? What a ripoff!

I remember a few years ago a study that if a flat tax was imposed in the U.S. at 17%, The revenues would be virtually the same as was at the time. In fact there would have been considerable savings because the IRS could be dramatically downsized, since tax returns suddenly get very, very simple.

That in fact is the whole problem. Can you imagine the disruption a flat tax and a 1-page return would cause to the industry that has grown up around tax advisory and accountancy? I know my parents, who live in the U.S., have to file around 250 pages each year, and of course, he can't do it himself, and pays a company like HR Block or Merrill Lynch to do it for him.

These companies' lobbying against any simplification would be tremendous.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Guest

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 5:53 pm

Charles,

As I said before, the flat taxation idea seems a good one.

Scuttler & others,

Thanks for your info on the American political system; much appreciated-I had forgotten that each state set it's own taxes-I suspect there are some Federal Taxes too though-especially the ones I will be paying to fly within the US this summer! Big grin

As regards social services, I do agree with the accountability argument, but one must remember that there are a huge number of people out there that depend on social services for reasons unrelated to "dropping out" and "being lazy" etc. etc.

And let's not even get started on the similar, but much greater problems the US faces (resulting in very strict entry regulations-thankfully as a Brit, I don't need a visa).


As some of you will no doubt know, Britain receives a HUGE number of asylum seekers every day, as well as immigrants form a large number of our ex-colonial possessions & the Commomwealth.


Most of them, inevitably, will have come with little or no money at all-and we are then obliged to provide these people with a whole host of services-the Human Rights convention that was fully adopted by Britain in 1997, demands that the Government provide society with the resources to "exercise their rights & live a good life-regardless of origin".

Whichever way you interpret that, it is still an incredibly expensive bil to conform to-and the money needs to come from somewhere; as I said, I agree with Charles' proposition, as long as it does not impair my country's ability to provide our society with the resources to excercise their rights & liberties........etc. etc. etc. Big grin

Rgds,
CP
 
Guest

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 10:38 pm

I recommend watching this recent feature on CNN; it describes some of the issues addressed here-primarily it's relevance is linked to the importance of raising sufficient tax revenue; other issues are also mentioned-I think it may give those of you outside the UK, an insight into a couple of related problems in our country...

Rgds,
CP

http://www.cnn.com/video/world/2001/05/26/ml.britain.asylum.cnn.med.html

[RealPlayer required]
 
JetService
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 11:38 pm

One thing no one has mentioned that should be mentioned; with the flat tax proposals, generally the first $30,000 is not taxed at all. After that, around 17-18% is taxed. This is huge. Considering that, people may reconsider losing their mortgage interest deductions and child credits, because a $30K credit would be much better. Anyone paying mortgage interest higher then that is likely to be in the 28% or higher marginal rate bracket anyway, so a cut to 17% would benefit them.
"Shaddap you!"
 
N312RC
Posts: 2584
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2000 10:58 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue May 29, 2001 11:51 pm

I think Im gonna join the Anarchy movement!! Big grin
N/A
 
Guest

RE: Flat Taxation

Wed May 30, 2001 1:30 am

N312RC,

Strangely enough, many fear that "too much" democracy ultimately leads to anarchy; which is why all critical laws are enforced-and thus one could argue that none of us lives in a completely liberal democracy.

The Chinese government also uses this argument to justify their thoroughly totalitarian regime-creating democracy in a country with as large a population as China's, runs the "inevitable" risk of the whole of the South-East Asia region ultimately declining into anarchy-to prevent this, a strong, centralised form of government is required-to maintain stability.

But then one could argue that the "democracy experiment" has worked very well in the US & India-the Chinese would then argue that apart from anything else-their unique Geographical & Geopiltical position warrants severe limits on individual & social liberties; another argument is that China does not wish to create a society similar to that found in the US or India-and the argument goes on & on.....ultimately it is a question of China harbouring a paranoic attitude towards democracy-and the fear of their country & society descending into chaos without "proper" laws & orders in place.

ANYWAY,
That was just addressed to N312RC, and was a subject that came up last night at dinner-philosophy behind various nations' regimes, and whether they could be justified in practise-so sorry for straying off track!

Rgds,
CP
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

Jet Service

Wed May 30, 2001 1:57 am

JetService, I guess you didn't read my post.

I specificly addressed the mortgage tax deduction and the 'family values' conservatives having a fit because it would discourge marrage and having kids.
Bring back the Concorde
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Flat Taxation

Wed May 30, 2001 5:20 am

Superfly,

I'm a conservative, and I have absolutely no problem with eliminating those and every other exemption.

Flat taxes for the 21st century!

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
D L X
Posts: 11638
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Wed May 30, 2001 6:29 am

You're not the kind of conservative he's talking about. You're a fiscal conservative. (Like me.) He's talking about the religious conservatives that like legislating morality.  Smile
 
Maniac
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2001 8:36 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Wed May 30, 2001 10:51 am

From an economic standpoint:

Do not confuse marginal tax rate with "real" tax rate. The rates you hear mentioned in the Bush tax cut proposal are marginal, which means that for every dollar above "X" amount, the wealthiest pay 39% of that in taxes. 39% of their income total income does not go to federal taxes, it is a much lower percentage (about 25%, give or take)

Secondly, taxes and tax revenue are set up to be a self-correcting mechanism in the economy. When they economy is strong, people earn more, and move into the higher bracket, which makes less money (percentage wise) available for consumer spending, and so on. When the economy goes down, people earn less, and get a large percentage of their income in take home pay.

Just My Two Cents,

Andrew
 
pba_durst
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2001 1:58 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue Jun 05, 2001 6:53 am

Taxes can be debated ad infinitum with little actual difference being made.

However, I did want to refute an earlier suggestion in this thread that a flat tax won't work. There is no evidence of that being true. In fact, my state's income taxes are flat. The rate has been the same since the 1980's. And, despite many attempts to make it progressive, for almost all taxpayers it is still flat: What did you make? Multiply it by 0.028 and send it in. Yes, in Pennsylvania we have a flat income tax of 2.8%. (I realize this is higher than Florida and several other states that don't have a state income tax, but it's a lower effective rate than any other state our size, all of which have progressive taxes.)
 
JetService
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue Jun 05, 2001 7:16 am

Superfly, sorry bub. I did read your post, but I guess I did misunderstand. I was thinking you meant homeowners wouldn't want a flat tax simply because they'd lose their deduction, and I was pointing out that with the first 30K or so exempt, homeowners would benefit after all the math was done WITHOUT the mortgage break, so they shouldn't mind. OK, your point pertains to the incentives of a home mortgage (home ownership to help economy/marriage to forward the stable family, etc). Point taken, but I'm not sure if abolishing the IRS wouldn't overtrump that. Sorry if I still misunderstand.
"Shaddap you!"
 
FlyBoeing
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri May 05, 2000 2:08 am

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue Jun 05, 2001 5:49 pm

Here're my two cents:

1) Flat taxes on top of all income over a certain base (realized capital gains plus wages) are a good idea. There is no marginal penalty for every dollar earned. Even if the total tax burden does get closer to 23% (or 17%, or whatever rate you pick) the total tax burden will never exceed that rate.

2) The only writeoffs allowed would be:

Spending on education (Private education for kids and college)
Charitable donations
Housing costs (these include mortgages and rent), if they exceed a certain fraction of your income.

That's all. Simple and fair to everyone, including homeowners and poor people.

SOME CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS:

1) Congress ought to publish a budget that everyone can read and put it on the Internet. This budget ought to be approved by at least 50% of the citizenry who log on to the site and plug in their SSN. If you could get the people to see the budget they'd vote away wasteful spending themselves or put the nation into gridlock.

2) There ought to be a constitutional amendment passed that would require a two thirds majority for Congress to pass a bill that includes deficit spending.

Of course, line 1 requires that all citzens be connected to the internet. That is now at 46%; but heck, voter participation in the last election was pretty low anyway so why not try internet voting?
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Flat Taxation

Tue Jun 05, 2001 6:52 pm

Other than perhaps donations to charity, I would argue against ANY deductions.

The idea behind the flat tax is simplicity. Anyone with a 3rd grade education should be able to fill out his single page tax declaration. As soon as you open the door to other deductions, you'll start getting all the special interest groups saying, "well why not this too?" and "why this and not that". Pretty soon, we are back to a complicated tax declaration again. It's a Pandora's Box.

I think that the principle of simplicity must be firmly adhered to, and the temptation to add deductions here and there must be avoided. If it isn't, the special interests will get all sorts of deductions and lower THEIR tax rates, which will necessarily mean that the effective tax rate on people who are not part of a special interest group will have to be higher in order to make up the difference. As as we all know, those groups that can afford lobbyists are generally fairly well off, like the AARP.

Say NO to special interests. That said, it will certainly never happen that way. Lobbyists own the government, and always have. But it would be nice to try.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Guest

RE: N400QX

Wed Jun 06, 2001 12:41 am

In response to someone else's post about people making six figures having to pay 50%... that is HORRIFIC. The government should NEVER take anything near half of your income. That is simply confiscatory. So is 39.6%, but 50% is WAY over the top... thats Europe-like.
-----
People that make the most should be taxed the most. They are the ones that can most afford it. (and usually the ones that complain about it most!!) Yes, my 50% figure is a little extreme, it was just an example. I still think a graduated tax system minus the deductions and exemptions bull would be the way to go. Still a simple 1-page return.

As far as being 'confiscatory' and 'Europe-like', if the people keep demanding more and more goverment services, there will need to be more funding for them. And what would be wrong with taxing heavily if the government provided health care, education, etc like in Europe? (The merest hint of socialism in America? The horror!!  Yeah sure) You'd only complain until you, for example, had a catastrophic injury/illness and ran up a $1 million medical bill. Then you'd be glad that your tax-dollars were funding a socialized medicine program and you weren't stuck with the tab.

My 2c (minus 15% tax: 1.7c) worth.
Corey777

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