cfalk
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Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:51 pm

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010918

Quote:
Fred Thompson's Presidential campaign has been struggling, in part because of a sense that he lacks passion and an agenda. But late last week he unveiled a tax reform that is more ambitious than anything we've seen so far from the rest of the GOP field.

Mr. Thompson wants to abolish the death tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax and cut the corporate income tax rate to 27% from 35%. But his really big idea is a voluntary flat tax that would give every American the option of ditching the current code in favor of filing a simple tax return with two tax rates of 10% and 25%.

Mr. Thompson is getting aboard what has become a global bandwagon, with more than 20 nations having adopted some form of flat tax. Most--especially in Eastern Europe--have seen their economies grow and revenues increase as they've adopted low tax rates of between 13% and 25% with few exemptions.

I love this idea. The exact level of taxation (10%, 25% or maybe additional steps in between) is irrelevant, because that can easily be adjusted any time. But the principle of the thing is wonderful, and fully in keeping with the idea that the U.S. government is "Of the People, By the People and For the People", by making your taxes only one page, just a few lines and can be completed in just a few minutes.

Right now, our Government is "Of the bureaucrats, By the lawyers and For the tax accountants"

Thoughts?
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Halcyon
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:55 pm



Quoting Cfalk (Thread starter):

That would be a Godsend! Personally, I'd love a flat tax instead of our BS...
 
MDorBust
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:01 pm



Quoting Cfalk (Thread starter):
Thoughts?

Oh hell yeah.
"I KICKED BURNING TERRORIST SO HARD IN BALLS THAT I TORE A TENDON" - Alex McIlveen
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:06 pm

I'd take a flat tax any time . . .

Bring it on.

I much preferred the system in Germany when I lived there.

Does need to be a cap on the thing though . . . wouldn't wanna by a new $50K BAFDT and end up paying another $5K in taxes for example.
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D L X
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:07 pm

Quoting Cfalk (Thread starter):
Mr. Thompson wants to abolish the ... Alternative Minimum Tax

I'm glad SOMEONE has finally said it! The AMT is on pace to affect over 1/3 of tax payers in the next couple of years. That's amazing considering that it was originally intended to nail the 100 or so super-rich people nationwide that had managed to loophole their way out of paying tax altogether back in the 30's (or whenever it was).
As for completely eliminating it, I'm not for that. I still want to keep those 100 people paying taxes.

As for the death tax, much ado about nothing. You're DEAD! You don't need that money anymore. And if your family, partners, or friends needed it, then set it up so they get it before you die. This is what we call a politicized issue.

Quoting Cfalk (Thread starter):
a voluntary flat tax that would give every American the option of ditching the current code in favor of filing a simple tax return with two tax rates of 10% and 25%.

You mean I don't get to deduct the interest on my house?

AW HELLS NO!!! NO FREAKIN' WAY.


Edit: just read it again -- I'd be able to choose to deduct, vs. pay a flat tax.
That's a MASSIVE tax break to the high wage renters out there. Who's going to pay for that?

[Edited 2007-11-28 14:15:41]
 
AirTranTUS
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:27 pm

A flat tax would be great. Then normal people could calculate it instead of buying a computer program or going someplace to do it.
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ltbewr
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:31 pm

Never happen. There are too many special intersts from financial services companies, to tax preparers, to the real estate industry, to small business owners and of course the rich who like the current complicated and convoluted Federal tax system.
Perhaps a better way to eliminate the ATM is to cap all kinds of itemized deductions including tax exempt income (like from municipal bond interest), mortage interest, property taxes and the like on on incomes below $100,000-$125,000 depending where you live. I would also not require anybody to pay income taxes on interest and dividend income below $2,500 a year, protecting small investors in stocks and basic cash savings (like of about $50,000-70,000). I would also still have a higher top tier at 30%, to cover expected Medicare costs.
 
D L X
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:51 pm



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 6):
Perhaps a better way to eliminate the ATM is to cap all kinds of itemized deductions including tax exempt income (like from municipal bond interest), mortage interest, property taxes and the like on on incomes below $100,000-$125,000 depending where you live.

You ain't capping my mortgage interest!!!  mad 

Seriously, that's the kind of thing that will start a revolt.

In any event, most itemized deductions are capped, or lower limited. For instance, you can only claim a medical expense deduction to the extent that it is greater than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. Also, you can only deduct student loan interest if you make less than about $60k (iirc). Kinda sucks when you have a $4500 medical bill or have $2000 in student loan interest, and can't deduct a dime of either because you make a whopping $60k.

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 5):
A flat tax would be great. Then normal people could calculate it instead of buying a computer program or going someplace to do it.

You can always do 1040EZ. One page, should take you about 10 minutes.
 
allstarflyer
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:25 pm



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 6):
Never happen. There are too many special intersts from financial services companies, to tax preparers, to the real estate industry, to small business owners and of course the rich who like the current complicated and convoluted Federal tax system.

Unfortunately, I agree. It would undo decades of government intermeddling with the tax code. It would take 1 President to make it his/her base agenda for the entire full term to pull it off. Not much else could distract the President during that time, either, with all the infighting, compromising and media storming that would ensue.

But I'd be all for it.  bigthumbsup 
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rfields5421
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:11 am

Quoting Cfalk (Thread starter):
I love this idea. The exact level of taxation (10%, 25% or maybe additional steps in between) is irrelevant



Actually the exact level is relevant - because it will be at least 30% and maybe as high as 42% - to bring in enough cash to run the government.

Of course if he is just talking about changing the Income Tax and not the other 10-15% of your salary which is eaten up by other hidden taxes - the rate might seem lower than it really is.

And I'm not including the 7.65% for FICA/ Social Security for employees - 15.3% for the self-employed.

George Bush had a name for these type half-baked proposals - Voodoo Economics.

[Edited 2007-11-28 17:14:42]
 
Mir
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:26 am



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
Does need to be a cap on the thing though . . . wouldn't wanna by a new $50K BAFDT and end up paying another $5K in taxes for example.

Seems like that would kind of defeat the purpose of a flat tax.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
cfalk
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:40 am



Quoting D L X (Reply 4):
That's a MASSIVE tax break to the high wage renters out there. Who's going to pay for that?

Buy cutting out the loopholes and tax dodges, it's more than made up for.

Quoting D L X (Reply 7):
You can always do 1040EZ. One page, should take you about 10 minutes.

But there are a lot of restrictions to the EZ. You cannot have any children, or own any property, etc. etc.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 9):
Actually the exact level is relevant - because it will be at least 30% and maybe as high as 42% - to bring in enough cash to run the government.

The studies I have seen show that, if you close all the loopholes, the flat tax would be somewhere between 17 and 19% and still be revenue-neutral for the government. If you drop the lowest tier to 10%, the top tier would probably have to be around 25% to make up the difference, so Thompson's proposal is probably not terribly far off.

But what I meant was that tax rates can be adjusted at any time. The real challenge is to get Congress to accept the concept in the first place, eliminating all the loopholes and exceptions they have been putting in the tax code for their buddies for years, and gutting the IRS by 90%. Adjusting the tax rates for valid reasons is a breeze next to that.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
halls120
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:53 am



Quoting Cfalk (Reply 11):
The studies I have seen show that, if you close all the loopholes, the flat tax would be somewhere between 17 and 19% and still be revenue-neutral for the government. If you drop the lowest tier to 10%, the top tier would probably have to be around 25% to make up the difference, so Thompson's proposal is probably not terribly far off.

But what I meant was that tax rates can be adjusted at any time. The real challenge is to get Congress to accept the concept in the first place, eliminating all the loopholes and exceptions they have been putting in the tax code for their buddies for years, and gutting the IRS by 90%. Adjusting the tax rates for valid reasons is a breeze next to that.

It's a real shame, but none of the flat tax proposals will go anywhere. Congress would have to change the tax code, and while a revenue neutral flat tax would benefit both the government and the average American, it would end the ability of special interests to advance their interests in the Halls of Congress.

It's DOA, I'm afraid.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
Queso
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:54 am



Quoting Cfalk (Thread starter):
I love this idea.



Quoting Halcyon (Reply 1):
I'd love a flat tax instead of our BS...



Quoting MDorBust (Reply 2):
Oh hell yeah.



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
I'd take a flat tax any time



Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 5):
A flat tax would be great.



Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 8):
I'd be all for it.

I completely agree. Let's vote for Thompson. He goes to gun shows, too.  Smile
 
NorthstarBoy
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:31 am

i like the idea of a flat tax, though i'd rather see it be a net worth tax, rather than "income." set a flat rate of 10 percent of your net worth (so for Bill Gates, for instance, worth approximate 60 billion, he'd have to wire 6 billion to the government) and if you have no net worth, such as being homeless, on welfare, etc, you pay nothing. Of course the prerequisite would be canceling all the loopholes and investing your networth off shore for the specific purpose of avoiding the tax would get you prosecuted for tax evasion.

I'd also like to see the reporting system changed, rather than the taxpayer having to report to the government, it should be the other way around, at the end of the year, you recieve a statement from the IRS showing what was reported by your employer, investment houses, and etc, you can either accept it, or you can contest it.
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:01 am

Fair tax.

FAIR TAX!!!!!!

The problem is, many people are turned off by the idea before the argument can even be made. They hear "sales tax" and they immediately say no.

:The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue replacement, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment."

It would eliminate the IRS! The mecca of liberals, and the incarnation of pure evil for conservatives.

You would take home your entire paycheck, and you would be directly responsible for how you paid the federal government. The money wouldn't be stolen from you, before you ever saw it. And you would never have a day you needed to file before, or face penalties.

"To ensure no American pays tax on necessities, the Fair Tax Plan provides a prepaid, monthly rebate (prebate) for every registered household to cover the consumption tax spent on necessities up to the federal poverty level. This, along with several other features, is how the Fair Tax completely untaxes the poor, lowers the tax burden on most, while making the overall rate progressive. However, the Fair Tax is progressive based on lifestyle/spending choices, rather than simply punishing those taxpayers who are successful."

The tax lowers the burden on all Americans

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Random%201/800px-FairTax_married.png


It's a fascinating argument, and certainly one of the most in depth and intelligent proposals to come our way, in a long time.

Too many people say, "Oh we need to raise taxes" or "Oh we need to lower taxes" but never give the gritty details of HOW they will do that. But all the while, millions of Americans suffer under the current system and nothing is done to bail them out.

But with the Fair Tax, we have a new and fresh suggestion. Something neither side has given us in a long time. I think it's definitely worth looking at.

http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_basics_thumbnail

-UH60
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D L X
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:27 am



Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 15):
It would eliminate the IRS! The mecca of liberals, and the incarnation of pure evil for conservatives.

Are you kidding me? Conservative politicians love the tax system moreso than liberals do, because it is a *perpetual* political hook to rope people into voting for them. Conservatives "fixing" the tax code would be like killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Now, taxes are my most conservative issue, but let's call it like it is, okay? The IRS is the mecca of CONSERVATIVES.
 
Halcyon
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:00 am



Quoting D L X (Reply 16):
Now, taxes are my most conservative issue, but let's call it like it is, okay? The IRS is the mecca of CONSERVATIVES.

Let's call it like it is: The IRS is the mecca of politicians. "Conservative" politicians also take refuge within. Conservatives includes voters like myself, who still go by the tainted name.  Smile
 
MD-90
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:07 am



Quoting Cfalk (Thread starter):
But late last week he unveiled a tax reform that is more ambitious than anything we've seen so far from the rest of the GOP field.

How can the author write that with a straight face? Ron Paul genuinely wants to end the income tax and disband the IRS. It just doesn't get more ambitious (or radical) than that.

To me, "voluntary" means 25% or 10% or ZERO PERCENT and I get to choose.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:45 am



Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 15):
"To ensure no American pays tax on necessities, the Fair Tax Plan provides a prepaid, monthly rebate (prebate) for every registered household to cover the consumption tax spent on necessities up to the federal poverty level

Y'know, I really love the Fair Tax in theory - and yes, I've got Boortz' book on it - but this one part scares the hell outta me, since it would amount to the single largest government entitlement program in the history of mankind.

Making EVERYONE dependent (to some degree or another) on a monthly government check just rubs me the wrong way.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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cfalk
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:18 am



Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 14):
though i'd rather see it be a net worth tax, rather than "income." set a flat rate of 10 percent of your net worth (so for Bill Gates, for instance, worth approximate 60 billion, he'd have to wire 6 billion to the government)

You've been reading up on your Karl Marx, I see.

No, you tax income one time. That's fair. What you save up should be yours. What gives the government the right to raid your piggy bank every year?

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 18):
How can the author write that with a straight face? Ron Paul genuinely wants to end the income tax and disband the IRS. It just doesn't get more ambitious (or radical) than that.

He said GOP. Ron Paul is not a Republican, any more than that guy who signed up as a Republican so that he could present himself as a disgruntled republican to the media, even though the only campaign contributions he ever made were to Dems.



http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_...?st=&zip=94301&last=EDDY&first=JEB

There is no litmus test to be a member of the Republican Party.

Taqiyya is the Islamic concept of religiously sanctioned deception. In particular, it allows Muslims to disguise their religious beliefs, and even deny their Islamic faith, in order to protect themselves or advance Islamic conquest. (Taqiyya is a Shiite usage, while the doctrine of "war is deception" is common to Islam in general.)

Manipulation and deception are also primary tools of the Western left, even extending to the specific concept of deception about allegiences.
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Andreas
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:27 pm



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
I much preferred the system in Germany when I lived there.

EXCUSE ME????????????????????????????????????????????

In which Germany did you live exactly? It can't be the one I've been living in for the last few decades. We have about the most horrible mess in terms of tax law, calculating taxable income and exceptions form the rules worldwide!

If I remember correctly about 60% of the world's commentary literature on taxes deals with German law.

I'm completely flabbergasted just how anyone on this planet is able to PREFER this system.

btw: When one of our large parties (CDU in this case) came up with a similar idea....2 or 3 flat rates, pretty low and abolishment of ALL 538 exceptions, the guy was virtually crucified by his own people...because nobody does understand tax law, and they were all afraid it could cut some of their personal tax holes as well....nobody actually cared to present a calculation as to HOW much everybody would GET out of such a tax reform.

And we have nowadays the same mess as before....and CDU is indeed part of the government!!
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:32 pm



Quoting Andreas (Reply 21):
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
I much preferred the system in Germany when I lived there.

EXCUSE ME????????????????????????????????????????????

In which Germany did you live exactly? It can't be the one I've been living in for the last few decades.

Nope - 1979-1984 . . . so you're right . . . haven't lived there for a few decades. But when I did, I preferred the flat tax there.

Quoting Andreas (Reply 21):
I'm completely flabbergasted just how anyone on this planet is able to PREFER this system.

And I am equally flabbergasted at how anyone could prefer the monstrous cluster we have in the USA called the IRS. An abusive waste of US $$$$ . . .

Guess that makes us even  wink 
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
Andreas
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:04 pm



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 22):
But when I did, I preferred the flat tax there.

ANC...there NEVER was a flat tax in Germany since WW II...and I suspect you're not THAT old.  Wink

And last time I checked WW II was BEFORE 1979....Thank God  silly 

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 22):
how anyone could prefer the monstrous cluster we have in the USA called the IRS.

Who does??
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Doona
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:23 pm



Quoting Cfalk (Thread starter):
Right now, our Government is "Of the bureaucrats, By the lawyers and For the tax accountants"

The bureaucracy within the American IRS seems horribly complex and silly. Not that there isn't plenty of useless bureaucracy in Sweden too, but when I "do my taxes", I get an envelope from the Swedish IRS, where my income for the past year is stated and how much of that was paid in tax. If it looks correct, I send a text message to the IRS, and then I'm done.

Cheers
Mats
Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
 
D L X
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:25 pm



Quoting Cfalk (Reply 11):
Buy cutting out the loopholes and tax dodges, it's more than made up for.

I don't think there is a trillion dollars in loopholes and tax dodges out there, unless you're calling deductions loopholes.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:30 pm



Quoting Andreas (Reply 23):
there NEVER was a flat tax in Germany

I guess I'm referring to the VAT - can't find the German spelling . . . at the time it was 13%.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
Andreas
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:32 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 26):
I guess I'm referring to the VAT - can't find the German spelling . . . at the time it was 13%.

Yes well, THAT is a flat rate nationwide (WITH exceptions, though)...13%   ....those were the days....

I was under the impression we're talking Income tax...

[Edited 2007-11-29 07:34:39]

btw: VAT is virtually the same in German, translated literally Mehrwert (value added)steuer

[Edited 2007-11-29 07:35:40]
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MD-90
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:13 pm



Quoting Cfalk (Reply 20):
Ron Paul is not a Republican

He's served multiple terms as a Republican congressman and you say he's not a Republican? You're right about one thing, though. He is a Taft Republican, a genuine Republican who actually is fiscally conservative and non-interventionist. He hasn't drifted away from the GOP, it's the GOP that has disregarded its own heritage. Now the GOP is just the pro-war Democrats who pay lip service to certain social issues that the national government has no business being involved in anyway.
 
huskyaviation
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:16 pm



Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 5):
Then normal people could calculate it instead of buying a computer program or going someplace to do it.

The vast majority of normal people can figure out their taxes in about an hour. They don't have any special deductions, exemptions, or credits to make use of, especially since so many just take the standard deduction rather than itemizing. The whole thing has been overblown.

Quoting D L X (Reply 7):
You ain't capping my mortgage interest!!!

One of the things that Congress is considering is to cap mortgage interest on a 400K property. So it may happen.

Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 8):
Unfortunately, I agree. It would undo decades of government intermeddling with the tax code. It would take 1 President to make it his/her base agenda for the entire full term to pull it off. Not much else could distract the President during that time, either, with all the infighting, compromising and media storming that would ensue.

This is true--the last massive overhaul of the Tax Code was in 1986, and it took basically from 1981 until late 1986 for the Reagan Administration to get that pushed through Congress.


Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 9):
George Bush had a name for these type half-baked proposals - Voodoo Economics.

Yeah, but that's not what Bush was referring to when he used that phrase.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 11):
The studies I have seen show that, if you close all the loopholes, the flat tax would be somewhere between 17 and 19% and still be revenue-neutral for the government. If you drop the lowest tier to 10%, the top tier would probably have to be around 25% to make up the difference, so Thompson's proposal is probably not terribly far off.

The flat tax sounds great on paper, but anyone that has taken a tax class in college or graduate school would know that implementation would be tremendously difficult--how would you deal with the complicated tax structures of corporations, LLCs, some partnerships, and statutory and common law trusts?

There are a lot fewer loopholes than you think there are, anyway.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 15):
You would take home your entire paycheck, and you would be directly responsible for how you paid the federal government. The money wouldn't be stolen from you, before you ever saw it. And you would never have a day you needed to file before, or face penalties.

Personally, I would have greater difficulty paying the government a portion of my earnings out of my own pocket than I do just having it taken out of my paycheck without ever having my hands on it.

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 18):
To me, "voluntary" means 25% or 10% or ZERO PERCENT and I get to choose.

Yeah, but if you choose 0%, you go to jail or forfeit your right to use or benefit from anything paid for or subsidized by the federal government. Guess what? You wouldn't be going anywhere or doing very much.

As a citizen of the United States, you have impliedly signed a social contract which makes you subject to paying taxes, whether you want to or not. It should not be, and never will be, voluntary. Gimme a break.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:23 pm



Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 29):

Personally, I would have greater difficulty paying the government a portion of my earnings out of my own pocket than I do just having it taken out of my paycheck without ever having my hands on it.

And if Americans had to make a single payment of their annual taxes, there would be a revolt. Which might not be a bad thing!

-------------------

So what do YOU propose we do?

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
huskyaviation
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:43 pm



Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 30):
And if Americans had to make a single payment of their annual taxes, there would be a revolt. Which might not be a bad thing!

-------------------

So what do YOU propose we do?

LOL, I'm not paid enough money to do my job AND rewrite/rethink the US tax code. I don't know if there is any one good answer, be it the fair tax, the flat tax, etc., nor am I qualified in that area except to pass along an observation I had from taking a number of tax courses in law school (bear in mind that the nuts and bolts of those courses were wiped from my limited brain RAM the millisecond I turned in the final exam!  Smile )

The tax code is so ridiculously complicated now because of Congress' (and the IRS', but they don't pass tax laws, only interpret the tax law as written by Congress) constant effort to make the tax system as fair as possible to as many people as possible, while ensuring that the government gets its fair share of the revenue. I concede that the tax code's growth in complication has much to do with the government being 1 step behind the tax lawyers who try and identify every tax loophole and shelter that's available, but for the most part the tax system is generally fair and equitable. I know people hate to hear that, but it's true (in my humble opinion).

Would I love to see the tax code simplified? Yes. Does the current complexity of the tax code really affect the VAST majority of Americans on tax day? No. Does the tax code hurt the bottom 25% of the wage earners in the US? No.
 
PPVRA
Posts: 7878
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:48 am

RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:59 pm



Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 31):
No. Does the tax code hurt the bottom 25% of the wage earners in the US? No.

The "let us help you do your taxes" industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and that's a lot of money, energy and time diverted from productive goals to simply paying your taxes.

It's a huge anchor the economy drags. When you hurt the economy you hurt everyone, especially the poor, by depriving them of a lot of opportunities.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
huskyaviation
Posts: 912
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:06 pm



Quoting PPVRA (Reply 32):
The "let us help you do your taxes" industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and that's a lot of money, energy and time diverted from productive goals to simply paying your taxes.

And it also employs a tremendous amount of people--not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of those taxpayers getting help are getting tax refunds in any event.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 32):
It's a huge anchor the economy drags. When you hurt the economy you hurt everyone, especially the poor, by depriving them of a lot of opportunities.

Nah, not really an anchor, because all of that money is getting recycled back into the economy (accountants, tax professionals, etc.). The poor aren't being deprived of any opportunities that I can see. They really aren't paying taxes to begin with.
 
PPVRA
Posts: 7878
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:14 pm

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 33):

True but tax bureaucrats don't really add any value to the economy, it's just political make-work sustained by the productive economy (and that includes the poor too). It's an enormous cost to companies and people alike that doesn't need to exist.

[Edited 2007-11-29 10:14:47]
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
David L
Posts: 8552
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:24 pm



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 26):
I guess I'm referring to the VAT - can't find the German spelling . . .

Mehrwertsteuer?

Quoting Andreas (Reply 27):
I was under the impression we're talking Income tax...

So was I. Having read the thread, I'm lost. Something about more than one flat rate?  confused   Smile

I was all set for my "the only fair tax rate is a flat rate with a reasonable threshold rather than a punitive system - earn twice as much, pay twice as much" speech. But, alas, we seem to be talking about something else entirely.  Smile
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:09 pm



Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 29):
The flat tax sounds great on paper, but anyone that has taken a tax class in college or graduate school would know that implementation would be tremendously difficult--how would you deal with the complicated tax structures of corporations, LLCs, some partnerships, and statutory and common law trusts?

I've taken those courses, and they don't need to be so complicated. Many of those statutes exist purely because of the complexity of tax law in the first place. Trusts, for example, don't exist in many countries simply because there is no need for them.

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 29):
There are a lot fewer loopholes than you think there are, anyway.

Whatever you want to call them, the U.S. tax code is so complex in its entirety that you can fill a room with the documentation.

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 31):
Does the current complexity of the tax code really affect the VAST majority of Americans on tax day? No.

Perhaps not, financially-speaking. but there is an important principle involved, as I noted in the thread opener. A citizen has a right to expect that the laws to which he is subject are understandable, even if he just has an average education (like High School). It's like when you buy car insurance - if the contract has 200 pages of boilerplate stapled to the back, first of all, your eyes glaze over at the thought of reading it all, but you strongly suspect that there will be some nasty surprises in there if you do.

If personal income tax rules (including all exceptions) cannot be completely disclosed on a single sheet of paper, I submit that it is too complex.

For corporate taxes, make it 2 pages.

It just does not NEED to be more complicated than that.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
D L X
Posts: 11696
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:28 pm



Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 29):
One of the things that Congress is considering is to cap mortgage interest on a 400K property. So it may happen.

If I had a list of Congresspeople that were on board with that idea, I'd do what I could to keep them from being elected. $400K does not buy you much in NY, DC, Boston, or SF. I'm sure there are plenty of other places too where 400k is hardly anything.
 
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Aaron747
Posts: 8560
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RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:55 pm



Quoting Cfalk (Reply 36):
Whatever you want to call them, the U.S. tax code is so complex in its entirety that you can fill a room with the documentation.



Quoting Cfalk (Reply 36):
It just does not NEED to be more complicated than that.

The faster we get a flat tax, the better. But like others on here have said, with both parties so beholden to special interests, I'm rather skeptical that anyone could actually get this done without an incredibly strong mandate.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
MD-90
Posts: 7835
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 12:45 pm

RE: Voluntary Flat Tax Proposed

Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:16 pm



Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 29):
As a citizen of the United States, you have impliedly signed a social contract which makes you subject to paying taxes, whether you want to or not.

As a citizen of the United States I have signed no contract, instead the government holds a gun to my head and demands my money "or else." That is simply how it is.

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 29):
It should not be, and never will be, voluntary. Gimme a break.

Why not? Why can't government compete in a free market for our money? Why shouldn't government services have to compete for our earnings and wealth, just like every other business? I am not an absolute anarchist but cutting our government by 90% would be a good thing.

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