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Re: Flat tax sucks!

10/15/2004 9:59 PM
Re: Flat tax sucks!
*The income tax is not a tax on wealth, it's a tax on wealth generation.  
Fair enough (at least the first half), but a flat tax isn't a tax on wealth, either. It can be done, though in Switzerland taxes are actually calculated on your net worth.*  
Looks to me like levying taxes upon income by definition are intended to reduce upward mobility between classes, especially from underpriveliged levels toward more comfortable standards of living. Worse than just being a tax on wealth generation, this type of levy reduces class mobility at all levels, virtually fastening the victims to their financial station at the time of the original levy, or as soon as the rate becomes even slightly significant relative to income.  
Besides stifiling the ability of new businesses to grow from a single seed without having to mortgage the majority of ownership over to established capitalists whom are already regarded as filthy rich.  
Taxing wealth itself might seem fair to those who have no responsibility for stewardship over the results of past fruitful labor, but otherwise it just imposes a widespread ceiling on overall prosperity. Only slightly less destructive to the remaining opportunities in the USA compared to taxing income.  
*The rich already have their money, paying income taxes is trivial to them.  
Really? Then why do they spend so much money hiring accountants to reduce their taxes?*  
At today's rates, the accountants pay for themselves through tax savings. Even if the taxpayer does not need the money. I used to say its a free country more often, regardless people should still be able to do trivial things if they want to. There are lots of people who have no care in the world whether there is $1000 more in their wallet or $1000 less. However a great many of those who do not fret over significant amounts of their wasted money are still quite cautious in order to keep as much of it out of government hands as possible since more than simple waste is at stake. One thing there is no doubt about, once the funds are transferred to the government they will be highly leveraged before being used against the public. Even if that process does not negatively effect that exact taxpayer, the funding will still be utilized to the detriment of citizens as a whole, so its simply bad economics not to minimize the degree of parasitism. Better for everyone to simply waste money on trivial things rather than let it fall into dubious hands.  
OTOH, look at Martha Stewart, I guess that would have to be a re-run though :)  
Why would a multimillionaire corporate honcho like her commit a fiduciarily unthinkable triviality like she was caught for if it weren't for simple stupid greed.  
That's the thing to tax: stupid greed!  
It may not seem like there would be much relation to the present system, or any direct way to get there from here, but this seems like the most fair thing I've thought of all day. It would be worth working on, better start now.  
More likely within our lifetime it might become possible to tax consumption, which depending on how it was done could either be the most *progressive* or the most *regressive* or anywhere in between when people try to assign fairness to what still amounts to basic theft.  
To steer clear of unfairness concerns, then taxing only EXCESS consumption would probably be the most agreeable, but that would be more difficult to categorize, almost as bad as accurately figuring out which greed is stupid, or which stupidity is greed, penalizing this does not really seem that bad.  
Just never forget that the only need for levying any taxes at all in this day & age is simply because of past incompetence from government when handling the extreme windfall they have been handed over past generations since income first found its unfortunate way into the cross-hairs. Every remaining tax is purely penalization. And woe be on the taxpayers if they allow consumption to be taxed without complete elimination of the levy on income.  
*Enzo as you work harder and your business becomes more successful, you'll see the government take more and more away from you. [...] This is no problem for Wal Mart and Ross Perot but it is a big problem for small business owners.  
Why is that a problem? If you've got a solid plan to grow a business you can find a bank to lend you the money you need.*  
True. However, the kind of prosperity and financial, technical & social advantages that Americans once enjoyed were more often a product of radical innovations where the plan for growth of the business was not solid enough for a bank to become interested. And that was then. Now banks are becoming less & less interested every day. I guess I could refer to my above comment regarding filthy rich capital owners.  
To me, tax brackets are a manifestation of the more rigid class structure imposed on society by the taxing of income.  
Regardless, I still think Mark would make a better Senator than anyone else I've seen in a while. Better ideas and genuine interest in fairness sure mean more than raw electability and political deal-making to me.  
10/15/2004 10:15 PM
I agree...A colaborator of mine is Sweedish, and with the tax system there, his standard of living (with a graduate degree) is not much higher than an auto mechanic (just an example). If I had this to look forward to, I'd would be a mechanic instead of busting my ass to get a graduate degree. There would be no insentive (for me, at least) to strive for more.
10/15/2004 10:19 PM
Mark Lavelle

"I still think Mark would make a better Senator than anyone else I've seen in a while. Better ideas and genuine interest in fairness sure mean more than raw electability and political deal-making to me."
Aw shucks!  
Before anyone votes for me, you should know that my #1 issue is ending corporate participation in elections (and probably will be for the rest of my life, unfortunately)! The tax system is screwed up for sure, but I think the 1st step is taking the government back from the corps(e)...
10/15/2004 11:29 PM

You go Mark! Stick to the Evil Corporations that control our government. End Corporate Welfare. Free us from this burden of paying Corporation's taxes for them.
10/15/2004 5:09 PM
Bush the Boob
At first I thought you were talking like a Boob. But then I checked out your formula and it seems to make sense. I'll mull it over a little more before I agree with it.  
10/15/2004 11:37 PM
Re: How about a flat tax?
Dave I don't think my business is improved by sending taxes to Washington, but the flat tax reduces tax revenues and the shortfall has to be made up. Others above were proposing pay as you go taxes, national sales taxes and other things to be "fair." Those I found objectionable because it adds a burden to the poor - I know from experience.  
I think flat tax is not a simple fix, it is a simplistic fix.  
AS I make more money, they tax it more. Well, I would rather have 2/3 of $100,000 than all of $10,000.
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