fr8mech
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What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:23 am

So, we have a topic going with folks trying to define what is 'rich'.

I'd like to take the other part of the statement and ask: What is someone's fair share?

Definition of fair, in part:

1. free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice

There is another definition listed:

3. moderately large; ample

So, what is the fair share when it comes to taxation?
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rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:33 am

Can of worms, but an interesting can nevertheless.

Nice that you provide a definition of fair.

In my view, this is closely tied to the question: to which degree are differences in income or wealth unfair?

I think one justification for diverting from a flat tax is that those who are better of are so for unfair reasons.

It is hard to assess the degree of unfairness for single individuals. But on a societal level, it is easy to identify these sources.

Here are some major examples of sources of unfairness in wealth and income:

(1) Intelligence, which has a large genetic component.
(2) Inheritance
(3) Educational competence of parents


For example, when it comes to taxing inhheritance, I think the fair share would be 100% taxation. I believe that it would be unwise to implement such a taxation (for other reasons), but inheriting wealth is unfair nonetheless.

Of course, even very dumb people without any inheritance and with very incompetent parents may become very rich. But by and large, the three factors listed above make it much more likely and easy. At the same time, they are result of bias (natures bias, your parents bias).
 
Klaus
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:20 am

Fair share in any common endeavour is in opposition to equal share and implies that everybody pitches in according to his or her ability to do so.

People at the poverty level cannot be taxed the same percentage-wise (if at all) as people with large disposable incomes.
 
fr8mech
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:49 am

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 1):
For example, when it comes to taxing inhheritance, I think the fair share would be 100% taxation. I believe that it would be unwise to implement such a taxation (for other reasons), but inheriting wealth is unfair nonetheless.

But, if you tax inheritance becasuse its unfair, you discourage investment, growth, savings, etc. A tax on inheritance will curtail economuic growth. And, by the way, I don't accept the premise that inheriting wealth is unfair.

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 1):
to which degree are differences in income or wealth unfair?

Why are differences in income and/or wealth unfair?

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 1):
(1) Intelligence, which has a large genetic component.

How is that the taxing authority's problem?

Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
Fair share in any common endeavour is in opposition to equal share and implies that everybody pitches in according to his or her ability to do so.

Which is Marxist in nature, which we know does not work in practice.

For the record, I do agree that those that are wealthy (definition to be determined) should pay more. They do reap the benefits of the society they live and do business in. They enjoy working in a robust (usually) economy protected by the world's most powerful military. But, at what point, do we say that these people or entities have given enough.

We've all seen the numbers...the top wage earners in the US pay the vast majority of taxes. The top 10% pay almost 70% and the top 25% pay a little over 86%. Isn't that a 'fair share'?
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FlyPNS1
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:13 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 3):

We've all seen the numbers...the top wage earners in the US pay the vast majority of taxes. The top 10% pay almost 70% and the top 25% pay a little over 86%. Isn't that a 'fair share'?

It's not fair, but it's the price you pay when much of your population is slowly being driven into poverty. The majority of working class American's are taking perpetual pay/benefit cuts, so they have less taxable income. Meanwhile, all those pay/benefit cuts are going into the pockets of those top 10%, so they have more taxable income.

It's always funny how conservatives are worried about the government transferring wealth, but in reality the most massive wealth transfer in history from the middle class to the wealthy class has been going on for 30 years now. As long as the wealth and income gaps grow wider, our tax system will continue to grow progressively more unfair.

We could have a vastly more fair tax system and lower tax rates (things conservatives want!), if our income gap wasn't so grotesquely large. However, with a growing income and wealth gap, our tax system will grow ever more unfair.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:22 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 3):

We've all seen the numbers...the top wage earners in the US pay the vast majority of taxes. The top 10% pay almost 70% and the top 25% pay a little over 86%. Isn't that a 'fair share'?

It will not be considered fair by certain people until they pay 100%. Then you have the lovely situation where the majority of the population (i.e the voting base) does not pay much of anything, and a subjugated few pay for it all.

You have two competing considerations. One is the populist position of weighting the tax system as much towards a voting minority as possible, so that you can buy votes with other people's money. The second is the problem that unless all voters have to pay at least SOME tax, you increase the likelihood that they will vote irresponsibly.

And I'm not talking about sales tax (which is local/state), payroll taxes and medicare deductions. Those don't go into the general fund - those people who don't pay income tax don't have any skin in the game in regards to national defence, Solyndra, Farm subsidies, etc. That argument is BS. EVERYONE should pay income tax, even if its only a few hundred dollars, and your tax refund should never be more than what you pay in (this happens very often)

Already among developed nations, the US has just about the most "progressive" tax system there is, according to OECD. When Obama talks about "the rich are not paying their fair share", he is blatantly lying. It's just red meat for idiots.
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rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:40 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 3):
But, if you tax inheritance becasuse its unfair, you discourage investment, growth, savings, etc. A tax on inheritance will curtail economuic growth.

That is the reason why I said that I think that it would be unwise to implement a 100% tax. So, I agree with you here.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 3):
And, by the way, I don't accept the premise that inheriting wealth is unfair.

Here, I disagree. It is not a premise, it follows from the definition of fairness. If someone inherits a big fortune, this is an unbelievably big bias in favor of this person, usually created by her/his parents. The wealth is not earned, no other person would have been able to achieve it.



Quoting fr8mech (Reply 3):
Why are differences in income and/or wealth unfair?

Not all differences are unfair, but all those that are created by bias or injustice (just applying the definition that you provided).

Example sources of bias: Natural variability in ability (e.g., intelligence), variability in the wealth of parents

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 3):
Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 1):
(1) Intelligence, which has a large genetic component.

How is that the taxing authority's problem?

Only indirectly. If you ast for the fair share, you must ask why it could be unfair that person a has more than person b. And that is where genetics come into play. Some people were very badly treated by nature, and that it a source of unfairness.


To be clear: I am not sure if a fully fair taxing system is possible or even desirably. I am just trying to respond to your question of what would be a fair share.
 
Pyrex
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:43 pm

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 1):
For example, when it comes to taxing inhheritance, I think the fair share would be 100% taxation.

So if you have two people that stumble upon, let's say, $5 million in life, and one of them blows it all away in prostitutes and cocaine while another one invests it wisely in a business and creates jobs, ending up with more than $5 million, the first one gets taxed at 0% when he dies (because he blew it all up his nose and has nothing left) while the second one gets taxed at 100% (because he acted responsibly). That is your definition of "fair"? Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse, is that what you are saying?

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 4):
It's always funny how conservatives are worried about the government transferring wealth, but in reality the most massive wealth transfer in history from the middle class to the wealthy class has been going on for 30 years now.

So letting someone keep more of his wealth is somehow "wealth transfer"? And it has never occurred to you that the increasing gap could, potentially, be due merely to the fact that we are now competing in a global economy and the idea that you will be making $50 an hour plus benefits with a high-school diploma and no skills is a thing of the past?
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MD-90
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:58 pm

God Himself only requires 10%, why should any government or any person ask for more than that?
 
Mir
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:02 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 7):
So letting someone keep more of his wealth is somehow "wealth transfer"?

When it comes at the expense of programs that the lower classes rely on, yes.

-Mir
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rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:05 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 7):
Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 1):
For example, when it comes to taxing inhheritance, I think the fair share would be 100% taxation.

So if you have two people that stumble upon, let's say, $5 million in life, and one of them blows it all away in prostitutes and cocaine while another one invests it wisely in a business and creates jobs, ending up with more than $5 million, the first one gets taxed at 0% when he dies (because he blew it all up his nose and has nothing left) while the second one gets taxed at 100% (because he acted responsibly). That is your definition of "fair"? Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse, is that what you are saying?

No, I am saying that it is unfair if person A inherits a fortune just because of someone's biased choice while another person B has no chance to compete with person A for getting the fortune. A and B do not have the same chances to receive the wealth, that is the issue. A is rich because of the biased act of will of her/his parents. That is the unfair aspect.

Ethically, this has nothing to do with how the parents behaved before they died. So I think your example confuses two independent things: (1) How does somebody spend his legitimately earned money? (2) What do we think about money that is not earned but was received by means of a biased procedure?

And, just as a reminder, I am not suggesting to implement a 100% inheritance tax. I agree that this would create behaviors that are not desirable for society as a whole. All I am saying is that implementing a 100% inheritance tax would be fair. So, the practical imperative would be "Tax heritages as much as you can while keeping negative side-effects in mind."
 
rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:06 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 8):
God Himself only requires 10%, why should any government or any person ask for more than that?

Lol, can you provide a link to the source???
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:11 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 7):
So letting someone keep more of his wealth is somehow "wealth transfer"?

I didn't say that. I said cutting the pay/benefits of the worker and then handing that money to the CEO, is wealth transfer.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 7):
And it has never occurred to you that the increasing gap could, potentially, be due merely to the fact that we are now competing in a global economy and the idea that you will be making $50 an hour plus benefits with a high-school diploma and no skills is a thing of the past?

Certainly that's part of the issue, but cutting taxes on the wealthy isn't going to fix that problem. If some kid in China is willing to work for 10 cents an hour, giving the CEO of GE a tax cut won't fix that problem.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 5):
The second is the problem that unless all voters have to pay at least SOME tax, you increase the likelihood that they will vote irresponsibly.

What does it mean to vote irresponsibly? Warren Buffet pays millions in taxes, yet he supports raising taxes on the wealthy. Does he vote irresponsibly?
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:16 pm

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 6):

Here, I disagree. It is not a premise, it follows from the definition of fairness. If someone inherits a big fortune, this is an unbelievably big bias in favor of this person, usually created by her/his parents. The wealth is not earned, no other person would have been able to achieve it.

The wealth was most certainly earned - perhaps not by the person who inherited it, but it was earned. Who has a better right to a person's residual wealth - the state, or his family. I think it is the family, without doubt.

Think of the implication if you argue otherwise. It would mean that the State owns all things, that as you live your life, you might acquire wealth but it is really 'borrowed' from the state, and when you die, the state reclaims it.

The State exists to serve OUR needs, to provide essential services. The idea that the state deserves to inherit a person's wealth is as ludicrous as saying that if I die, I must leave my money to my electric and gas utility, the plumber, the garbage collector, and everyone else who I paid for essential services.

People complain that the term 'socialist' gets thrown around too much. The concept that all wealth comes from/returns to the State is pure socialism, in its Leninist form.

By the way, taxing inheritance at 100% (or anywhere near that) would only speed up the disappearance of small businesses (often family-owned) and the takeover of big corporations in their place, like WalMart, if you force the family of someone who suddenly dies to close down his business in order to pay estate taxes.
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Dreadnought
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:27 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 12):
What does it mean to vote irresponsibly? Warren Buffet pays millions in taxes, yet he supports raising taxes on the wealthy. Does he vote irresponsibly?

Wealth does not imply intelligence (Britney Spears). In Buffet's case I think it's more a case of senility - not in the sense that I am against higher tax rates for the very wealthy. I think there probably should be a 50% bracket for people who earn more than a million or two dollars or so per year. But he was stupid in that his quote was going to be used to attack people much lower than that, and he played right into Obama's hands.

The fact of the matter is that if you want to really raise revenue, there is not that much to be had among the really wealthy. There just aren't enough of them to move the needle.
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baroque
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:28 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 3):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
Fair share in any common endeavour is in opposition to equal share and implies that everybody pitches in according to his or her ability to do so.

Which is Marxist in nature, which we know does not work in practice.

Errr umm. Checked out on Marxism lately? Can I assist from Wiki which will do rather than the whole book AND a history of USSR, China and wherever else you think (mistakenly is or was Marxist):
Dispute that the Soviet Union was Marxist

Marx defined "communism" as a classless, egalitarian and stateless society. To Marx, the notion of a communist state would have seemed an oxymoron,[38][39][40] as he defined communism as the phase reached when class society and the state had already been abolished. Once the lower stage towards communism, commonly referred to as socialism, had been established, society would develop new social relations over the course of several generations, reaching what Marx called the higher phase of communism when not only bourgeois relations but every class social relations had been abandoned. Such a development has yet to occur in any historical self-claimed socialist state.[38][39][40]

Even within the Stalinist state at its height, there were repressed[38] expressions of Marxist orthodoxy, revealed after the fall of the USSR, arguing that it had developed new class structures: those who are in government and therefore have power (sometimes referred to as the political class), and those who are not in government and do not have power, the working class. This is taken to be a different form of capitalism, in which the government, as owner of the means of production, takes on the role formerly played by the capitalist class; this arrangement is referred to as "state capitalism."[38] These statist regimes have generally followed a planned economy model without making a transition to this hypothetical final stage.[41]

Some academics such as Noam Chomsky disputed the claim that the political movements in the former Soviet Union were Marxist.[41] Communist governments have historically been characterized by state ownership of productive resources in a planned economy and sweeping campaigns of economic restructuring such as nationalization of industry and land reform (often focusing on collective farming or state farms). While they promote collective ownership of the means of production, Communist governments have been characterized by a strong state apparatus in which decisions are made by the ruling Communist Party. Dissident communists have characterized the Soviet model as state socialism or state capitalism.


Most of what you think were Marxist governments were about at close to Marxism as the US was under G W Bush (I originally typed "today" but thought under Shrub would possibly prevent you from telling us Obama too is a Marxist).

And the concept itself:
The Marxian analysis begins with an analysis of material conditions, taking at its starting point the necessary economic activities required by human society to provide for its material needs. The form of economic organization, or mode of production, is understood to be the basis from which the majority of other social phenomena — including social relations, political and legal systems, morality and ideology — arise (or at the least by which they are greatly influenced). These social relations form the superstructure, of which the economic system forms the base. As the forces of production, most notably technology, improve, existing forms of social organization become inefficient and stifle further progress.

These inefficiencies manifest themselves as social contradictions in society in the form of class struggle. Under the capitalist mode of production, this struggle materializes between the minority who own the means of production; the bourgeoisie, and the vast majority of the population who produce goods and services; the proletariat. Taking the idea that social change occurs because of the struggle between different classes within society who are under contradiction against each other, the Marxist analysis leads to the conclusion that capitalism oppresses the proletariat, the inevitable result being a proletarian revolution


You might need to check on how the US proletariat has been doing lately. And then let us know if you think that the developments from say 1960 to now, have been FAIR.
 
rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:34 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
The wealth was most certainly earned - perhaps not by the person who inherited it, but it was earned. Who has a better right to a person's residual wealth - the state, or his family. I think it is the family, without doubt.


We are discussing what would be a fair tax. By common definitions of fairness, it is unfair to inherit a fortune (see my argument above), and hence, I argue that it promotes fairness if there is a heritage tax of 100%. This migh violate other values besides fairness, but I cannot see how it can be considered fair if person A gets a prime A place in society while person B does not just because A was born to parents who are welathy and decide to give undeserved benefits to their offspring.

So, if you do not have any doubt that te family has the right to create unfair distributions of wealth, based on which values do you think so? Certainly not based on fairness as a value.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
Think of the implication if you argue otherwise. It would mean that the State owns all things, that as you live your life, you might acquire wealth but it is really 'borrowed' from the state, and when you die, the state reclaims it.


I fully agree that a 100% inheritance tax would have very negative side effects, which is why I would not recommend implementing it. All I am saying is that this would be fair. But fairness is not the only value that is important. So we have to consider the side effects and set tax rates in a way that balances values in an optimal fashion. But if only fairness is concerned, I argue that it would be 100%.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
The State exists to serve OUR needs, to provide essential services. The idea that the state deserves to inherit a person's wealth is as ludicrous as saying that if I die, I must leave my money to my electric and gas utility, the plumber, the garbage collector, and everyone else who I paid for essential services.


Indeed, I fully agree. I am not arguing that the state deserves the money. All I am saying is that inheriting a fortune creates unfairness. And if we want the state to create as much fairness as possible, a 100% inheritance tax would be appropriate.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
People complain that the term 'socialist' gets thrown around too much. The concept that all wealth comes from/returns to the State is pure socialism, in its Leninist form.

That might be the case, but that is not what I am talking about. Wealth does not come from the state. But the biased transfer of wealth from parents to children is unfair.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
By the way, taxing inheritance at 100% (or anywhere near that) would only speed up the disappearance of small businesses (often family-owned) and the takeover of big corporations in their place, like WalMart, if you force the family of someone who suddenly dies to close down his business in order to pay estate taxes.

As said before, that is the reason why I said that I think that it would be unwise to implement a 100% tax.

[Edited 2011-09-30 06:35:58]
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:55 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 14):
The fact of the matter is that if you want to really raise revenue, there is not that much to be had among the really wealthy. There just aren't enough of them to move the needle.

True, but that's not the point. The point is shared sacrifice. Conservatives plan to balance the budget is to put almost the entire burden of cuts on the poor and middle class, while giving more tax breaks to the wealthy.

Sure, a small tax increase on the wealthy won't fix the budget and Obama has NEVER said it would. However, to use your own terms, the wealthy need to have some skin in the game and be part of the solution in fixing the budget mess. They need to feel pain, just like the poor and middle class will feel when cuts come.
 
474218
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:12 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
People at the poverty level cannot be taxed the same percentage-wise (if at all) as people with large disposable incomes.

Why not?

Taxing everyone everyone (even the poor) would do what Obama is always harping about "shared sacrifice".
 
rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:19 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 18):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
People at the poverty level cannot be taxed the same percentage-wise (if at all) as people with large disposable incomes.

Why not?

Taxing everyone everyone (even the poor) would do what Obama is always harping about "shared sacrifice".

Of course you can. You can even tax the poor at higher rates than the wealthy.

The more interesting question is, whether this would be compatible or incompatible with which moral values that we believe in.

In my view, a flat tax would violate the value of fairness. The supporting arguments can be found above.
 
JJJ
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:26 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 7):
So if you have two people that stumble upon, let's say, $5 million in life, and one of them blows it all away in prostitutes and cocaine while another one invests it wisely in a business and creates jobs, ending up with more than $5 million, the first one gets taxed at 0% when he dies (because he blew it all up his nose and has nothing left) while the second one gets taxed at 100% (because he acted responsibly). That is your definition of "fair"? Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse, is that what you are saying?

Well, the first one contributed $5 million to the economy. An admittedly shady part of the economy, but still even hookers, pimps and drug traffickers buy Iphones and groceries.

Drug trafficking and prostitution have a better return than most legal businesses, so it's not like those $5 million aren't growing (not on that man's hands, of course).

Growth as an absolute measure of success is a wrong concept.
 
Mir
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:55 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 12):
What does it mean to vote irresponsibly?

It's really a meaningless term. People don't have to be poor to choose their votes based on who will serve them best instead of serving the country best.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 17):
Sure, a small tax increase on the wealthy won't fix the budget and Obama has NEVER said it would. However, to use your own terms, the wealthy need to have some skin in the game and be part of the solution in fixing the budget mess. They need to feel pain, just like the poor and middle class will feel when cuts come.

   Where the idea of balancing the budget on the backs of the rich came from I have no idea - it's never been about that, only about not balancing the budget solely on the backs of the middle class and poor.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 18):
Taxing everyone everyone (even the poor) would do what Obama is always harping about "shared sacrifice".

A flat tax rate is not shared sacrifice, as it hits the poor harder.

-Mir
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seb146
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:39 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 3):
if you tax inheritance becasuse its unfair, you discourage investment, growth, savings, etc. A tax on inheritance will curtail economuic growth.

Because with the low tax rate enjoyed now there has been so much economic growth and investment....

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 8):
God Himself only requires 10%, why should any government or any person ask for more than that?

He has volunteers policing the world and spying on everyone. The US Government has people being paid a better than living wage, benefits, and $50 hammers.
Patriotic and Proud Liberal
 
474218
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:19 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 21):
A flat tax rate is not shared sacrifice, as it hits the poor harder.

How?
 
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:39 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 12):
I didn't say that. I said cutting the pay/benefits of the worker and then handing that money to the CEO, is wealth transfer.

Exactly! But, as you suggested above, you never hear conservatives harping on about that kind of wealth transfer.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 4):
It's always funny how conservatives are worried about the government transferring wealth, but in reality the most massive wealth transfer in history from the middle class to the wealthy class has been going on for 30 years now. As long as the wealth and income gaps grow wider, our tax system will continue to grow progressively more unfair.

    

Quoting 474218 (Reply 23):
Quoting Mir (Reply 21):
A flat tax rate is not shared sacrifice, as it hits the poor harder.

How?

Seriously? It's simple math. A flat tax rate of, say, 30% would affect a poor person more harshly than it would a rich person. Say you make $20,000 per year, you'd pay $6000 in income taxes. If, however, you make $250,000, you'd pay $75,000 in income taxes. Yes, that is substantially more, but it's not exactly difficult to live on $175,000 per year. In fact, if you make that much and cry poverty, you're doing something wrong. On the other hand, $14,000 per year isn't exactly a whole lot to live on.
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Mir
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:56 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 23):
Quoting Mir (Reply 21):
A flat tax rate is not shared sacrifice, as it hits the poor harder.

How?

Because the cost of living has a minimum. If you make $25,000 a year and pay 20% in taxes, you're left with $20,000. If we assume that your minimum cost of living (rent, food, utilities, clothing, etc.) is $10,000 a year, that leaves you with 40% of your income remaining.

Meanwhile, if you make $250,000 a year and pay 20% in taxes, you're left with $200,000. If your minimum cost of living is also $10,000 a year, that leaves you with 76% of your income (close to twice as much). Obviously, you're likely to spend more than that on your living expenses if you have that sort of income, but you're not forced to.

Thus, a flat tax takes a higher percentage of useful money (i.e. money that people can choose to spend) from those with low incomes than it does from those with higher incomes.

-Mir
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Klaus
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:07 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 18):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
People at the poverty level cannot be taxed the same percentage-wise (if at all) as people with large disposable incomes.

Why not?

Because being forced below the living minimum by taxation is a blatant violation of human rights.

Being taxed only to a fraction of one's purely discretionary wealth far above the poverty level is completely unproblematic by comparison.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 18):
Taxing everyone everyone (even the poor) would do what Obama is always harping about "shared sacrifice".

Only if you're making the false assumption that "sharing" meant "everybody takes an equal share of the burden, regardless of capability", contrary to "...a fair share, according to capability".
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:15 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 25):

Because the cost of living has a minimum. If you make $25,000 a year and pay 20% in taxes, you're left with $20,000. If we assume that your minimum cost of living (rent, food, utilities, clothing, etc.) is $10,000 a year, that leaves you with 40% of your income remaining.

Meanwhile, if you make $250,000 a year and pay 20% in taxes, you're left with $200,000. If your minimum cost of living is also $10,000 a year, that leaves you with 76% of your income (close to twice as much). Obviously, you're likely to spend more than that on your living expenses if you have that sort of income, but you're not forced to.

So essentially, an equal tax burden on all (by definition, fair) is undesirable, for what I grant are legitimate reasons. So we take more from the wealthy, in effect the wealthy subsidize the lower and middle class, by paying their share as well as their own.

Wait a sec - Who is it that isn't paying their fair share again? I'm confused.

One more thing - you know about the First Rule of Government, right? "If you want more of something, subsidize it". So we are subsidizing poverty. Brilliant.

I'm not saying that it isn't justified (even though we might disagree about the degree to which it is justified). But the whole "The rich aren't paying their fair share" BS is nothing more than rabble-rousing street agitation. But then, we did vote in a Community organizer...

Well, we can fix that in about 13 months.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:25 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 14):
Wealth does not imply intelligence (Britney Spears). In Buffet's case I think it's more a case of senility - not in the sense that I am against higher tax rates for the very wealthy. I think there probably should be a 50% bracket for people who earn more than a million or two dollars or so per year. But he was stupid in that his quote was going to be used to attack people much lower than that, and he played right into Obama's hands.

And here we have it.

http://youtu.be/MwxfZ_bHHVw

Warren Buffett Is Against Obama’s “Buffett Rule,” Disagrees with Obama who set the tax increase to begin at $1 million. Said he wasn’t talking that low, he advocated over well over $50 million per year.

Refused to comment on Obama’s other plan to increase taxes on Americans and small businesses making more than $250,000.

Won’t endorse American Jobs Act.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:25 pm

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 10):
All I am saying is that implementing a 100% inheritance tax would be fair.

Explain to me how it's somehow unfair to you or anyone else if I work my ass off to make $10 million in my lifetime and then leave it to my kids when I die. Be specific as to how it's somehow unfair to others.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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BMI727
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:32 pm

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 1):
Here are some major examples of sources of unfairness in wealth and income:

And none of that is bad.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 4):
It's always funny how conservatives are worried about the government transferring wealth, but in reality the most massive wealth transfer in history from the middle class to the wealthy class has been going on for 30 years now.

Transfer of wealth is not bad. If you manage to become wealthy, transfer wealth to yourself, and I do not, that is nobody's problem but mine. What is bad is the government blatantly seeking to transfer wealth and punish those who have been successful. The rich shouldn't become America's piggybank.

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 8):
God Himself only requires 10%, why should any government or any person ask for more than that?

He also said give to Caesar what it Caesar's. Of course, Caesar has taken to abusing the privilege.

Quoting Mir (Reply 9):
When it comes at the expense of programs that the lower classes rely on, yes.

Many of those programs should go away. People need to stand on their own two feet.

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 16):
All I am saying is that inheriting a fortune creates unfairness.

It's also not fair that I'm literate. What do you want to do about that?

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 17):
while giving more tax breaks to the wealthy.

They'd be more than happy to give tax breaks to others, if only they paid some taxes in the first place.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Mir
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:40 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 27):
So essentially, an equal tax burden on all (by definition, fair) is undesirable

It is undesirable, but it's not fair, because such a policy would violate the principle of diminishing marginal returns. If we can get a tax policy that does respect that, and taxes various incomes at a level appropriate to the marginal utility of their additional income, that would be fair. Any more than that and I start to have some problems with it.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 27):
But the whole "The rich aren't paying their fair share" BS is nothing more than rabble-rousing street agitation.

It's not so much that the rich aren't paying their share, it's that they're not taking the hit that the lower classes are to reduce the deficit. Spending cuts are going to affect the poor more, so it's only appropriate (and fair) that something is also done that affects the rich more, and that's tax increases.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:58 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 29):
Explain to me how it's somehow unfair to you or anyone else if I work my ass off to make $10 million in my lifetime and then leave it to my kids when I die. Be specific as to how it's somehow unfair to others.

It gives your child an advantage that many others do not have, and there is no way how they could get it.

I think people around your child could legitimately complain that they were treated unfair because your child received an advantage and has a significantly better life than they have just because of your decision. They did not have a chance, and your child obtained the advantage just so.

An analogy would be if the president of a prestigeous university decides that all green-eyed applicants do not have to pay tuition, while all others have. Wouldnt that be unfair?

Another analogy would be an employer who decides to hire everybody except straight white guys under 30. Wouldnt that be unfair?

I think it would be unfair in both cases, because a group of people is favored for an arbitrary reason that has nothing to do with achievement etc.

And for the very same reason, if somebody is placed in a significantly better position within society just so, just because of someones decision, while other people have absolutely no chance to receive the same benefit, then they can legitimately feel being treated in an unfair manner.

If this situation does not appear unfair to you, then please explain what you mean by 'unfair' and give an example of a situation that you do consider as being unfair.
 
474218
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:58 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 26):
Because being forced below the living minimum by taxation is a blatant violation of human rights.

Where in the United States Constitution and it does not mention "human rights".

Quoting Klaus (Reply 26):
Only if you're making the false assumption that "sharing" meant "everybody takes an equal share of the burden

No one said everyone should have a equal share of the burden, I said everyone should "share" in the burden. 10% of a million is a far bigger share than 10% of a thousand.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 26):
"...a fair share, according to capability".

No, ones capability should not be taken into consideration. If you live here you should contribute something for that privilege.
 
rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:04 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 1):
Here are some major examples of sources of unfairness in wealth and income:

And none of that is bad.

Why don't you think it is bad that some people have substantial advantages in life that they did not earn and hence do not deserve? It creates fundamental unfairness, and I argue that those who are worse off for one of the listed reasons can legitimately complain.

I agree though, that it would be hard to eliminate the resulting unfairness. All that I am saying is that it is there and that it is bad.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 16):
All I am saying is that inheriting a fortune creates unfairness.

It's also not fair that I'm literate. What do you want to do about that?

In relation to those who have the same IQ and received the same educaiton and had a similar upbringing, it is fair because they had similar chances. In relation to someone who is significantly worse off than you in terms of IQ, educaiton etc. it is indeed unfair, and I argue that this unfairness creates a ligitimate moral entitlement to be somehow compensated - for example by means of lower taxes.
 
rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:08 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 33):
No, ones capability should not be taken into consideration. If you live here you should contribute something for that privilege.

So, fairness is not an important value for you? I am sure you must agree that differences in capability that are a result of your genetic make-up, your parents behavior during pregnancy, or how your were treated and nourished during your first years of your life create quite unfair advantages and disadvantages.

So, what is your stance. Would you think "tough luck, deal with it if your mom is an alcoholic and your brain is half as efficient as mine!"?
 
Mir
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:12 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 33):
If you live here you should contribute something for that privilege.

If you're a US citizen, living in the US is a right, not a privilege.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
474218
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:34 pm

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 35):
So, fairness is not an important value for you? I

No!

Everyone should be treated equality!

I don't consider taxing one group at 20% and another a 35% fair.

Quoting Mir (Reply 36):
If you're a US citizen, living in the US is a right, not a privilege.

It my be a "right" I was given because where I was born. But having lived in three other countries and visited several dozen other countries I realize what a "privilege" living in the US is!
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:34 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 27):
"The rich aren't paying their fair share"

Again, that's not the point. The point is that the rich need to feel additional pain, just like all the poor and middle class are feeling or will be feeling soon.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
The rich shouldn't become America's piggybank.

No, but the rich shouldn't be allowed to destroy this country by sucking all the wealth out of the country and turning it into a 3rd world country.
 
Arrow
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:43 pm

How's this for fairness in taxation:

The IRS, with marching orders from the Obama administration, is now going after former Americans living in other countries (the majority of them for decades) and trying to force them to file US tax returns and pay huge penalties for late filing. The US is one of two countries in the world (the other one is Eritrea) that taxes based on citizenship rather than residence. And it has a very broad definition of who fits into that category.

Nearly a million US expats in Canada are caught up in this, and it has become a major, major news story up here. The IRS is pursuing ANYONE with the remotest connection to the US. Some examples:

1. A guy who was born in the US to Canadian parents, and moved to Canada when he was seven. At age 50, he is suddenly told he's an American and needs to file tax returns. The guy fronts up, goes through the process, and the IRS says he has no taxes owing (Canada-US tax treaty forbids double taxation). But then they stick him with a $120,000 fine for late filing.

2. Americans who took out Canadian citizenship 40 or more years ago, at a time when doing so was an automatic revocation of US citizenship, are suddenly discovering that they've been re-instated -- for tax purposes of course. They too are being told to file, and penalties will likely be assessed.

3. Anyone who had a green card, and left the US to live somewhere else. The rules say you've automatically revoked your green card when you do that -- but not from the IRS standpoint. They have to file and pay up too.

4. People born in Canada and never set foot in the US, but have the extreme misfortune of having had one or both of their parents be an American . Pay up says the IRS, you're an American.

5. Now, thanks to Obama, we have FATCA -- a new piece of legislation to take effect in 2014 that forces foreign banks to tell the IRS the nationality (i.e. citizenship) of all its account holders -- to make it easier for the IRS to find all these tax-evading former Americans. What's preventing those banks from telling the IRS to stick it where the sun don't shine? They mostly have US business, and/or US operations -- and the IRS will hit them very hard if they don't comply. This is a major issue up here because if the banks comply with the IRS requirement, they will be breaking Canadian privacy laws. They are not happy.

It pi**es me off no end that the US doesn't have the strength of character to both raise taxes and cut spending to get its budget on track -- but it has no trouble going after people who for one reason or another decided they don't want to be Americans an y more --- except the IRS won't let them.

There's much much more to this -- but that's the gist of it.

Hows that for fair?
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
Mir
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:44 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 38):
No, but the rich shouldn't be allowed to destroy this country by sucking all the wealth out of the country and turning it into a 3rd world country.

To be more precise (since the rich aren't the only ones sucking wealth out of the country), they shouldn't be allowed to do that and then feel none of the consequences of the corrective action.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
AustinAllison
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:50 pm

Fair is a flat tax. That's the only inherently fair tax. Anything else is unfair. And that is a fact.
 
rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:53 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 37):
Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 35):
So, fairness is not an important value for you? I

No!

Everyone should be treated equality!

I don't consider taxing one group at 20% and another a 35% fair.

So, if everyone should be treated equally, does that only apply for giving (taxes) or also for receiving (inheriting)?

And if not: Why? What is the difference in principle?
 
rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:54 pm

Quoting AustinAllison (Reply 41):
Fair is a flat tax. That's the only inherently fair tax. Anything else is unfair. And that is a fact.

You are a true philosopher, aren't you?
 
AustinAllison
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:55 pm

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 42):
So, if everyone should be treated equally, does that only apply for giving (taxes) or also for receiving (inheriting)?

And if not: Why? What is the difference in principle?

Very different.
 
AustinAllison
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:00 pm

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 43):
You are a true philosopher, aren't you?

Well thank you. Taxing one group at a different rate is discrimination. Period. It is no different than what we did when we taxed African Americans to vote. i.e. the Poll Tax. Taxing the rich because they make more money is discrimination, because you are separating one group and taking more due to their success. Also, if the government can take rich people's money away at an unfair rate, what is to say they won't do it to the middle class or lower class?
 
rabenschlag
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:26 pm

Quoting AustinAllison (Reply 45):
Well thank you. Taxing one group at a different rate is discrimination. Period. It is no different than what we did when we taxed African Americans to vote. i.e. the Poll Tax. Taxing the rich because they make more money is discrimination, because you are separating one group and taking more due to their success. Also, if the government can take rich people's money away at an unfair rate, what is to say they won't do it to the middle class or lower class?

I was interested why you want to treat people equally when it comes to giving but not when it comes to receiving. Why?

Also, discriminating against rich people can be a desirable thing to undo unfair advantages.
 
Mir
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:38 pm

Quoting AustinAllison (Reply 41):
Fair is a flat tax. That's the only inherently fair tax. Anything else is unfair. And that is a fact.

You can say that as much as you want, but that doesn't make it true. Unless you're of the opinion that leaving the poor with a lesser percentage of their income available for spending than the rich is fair.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
pdxtriple7
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:46 pm

I agree the current tax system needs to change. However, this idea of fairness is absurd. It's turned into an idea of what everyone is entitled to and how everyone is supposed to feel.

Yes, it's unfair that some children are left an inheritance and come from good families. Yes, it's unfair people take advantage of the unfair opportunities they have. Get over it. It's called life. I can make a list of thousands of things that are unfair in my life, but instead of complaining, I bust my *ss to make myself happy and earn money to support my hobbies and passions.

Everyone's definition of happiness is different. Everyone's definition of fairness is different. The amazing thing is that people in the U.S. and other countries do have a chance to achieve their own happiness and success. Not everyone will. Not everyone will face the same obstacles. Still, the human spirit is pretty darn amazing.

Rant over.
 
AustinAllison
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RE: What Is "Fair Share"?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:54 pm

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 46):


Also, discriminating against rich people can be a desirable thing to undo unfair advantages.

Poppycock.

Quoting Mir (Reply 47):
You can say that as much as you want, but that doesn't make it true. Unless you're of the opinion that leaving the poor with a lesser percentage of their income available for spending than the rich is fair.

Why is leaving the rich with a lesser percentage of "their" income more fair? They've earned their money just like the poor, and why should they be unfairly targeted for their wealth? We are all Americans, and why is it ok to target one group and not another? Answer that question with a reasonable response, and we'll talk, but until you do, taxing people at different rates is no different than a Poll Tax that targeted another group based on petty differences.

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