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Fair and Simple Tax Act. David Dreier

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CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: Craig234
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
Originally posted by: Craig234
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY

Right... because lowering taxes by only $5K/25%+ for the 100K guy is shifting the burden to him from the guy who got his lowered by $100K/18% (numbers estimated). Boy you people really don't have a clue do you. Do you live in a raw numbers world? No - no you don't. So it is intellectually dishonest to use them as shock value and try to compare $5K to $100K reduction in raw values.
Did you have a point? I don't trust any of the numbers the plans are sold with, the bottom line is that they're going to shift taxes off the wealthy, whatever the sales pitch says.
Ah, so instead of the actual details, we need to look at the (R) or (D) at the end of their name? Wow, hackery at it's finest(worst).
Try to work on your reading comprehension - the point you're missing is that I didn't say not to look at the details, I said not to trust the numbers supplied with the sales pitch.

Similarly, remember the administration's numbers with the Medicare drug benefit, where they had to threaten the person who had the actual figures to hide them from Congress?

Similarly, remember the administration's numbers with the Iraq war that 'would pay for itself', that might cost tens of billions?

Similarly, remember the administration's numbers that they would not skyrocket the deficit with their tax cuts for the rich, they were just returning surplus?

My point that the (R) after the tax bill tells you a lot about how the plan will shift taxes off the wealthy is a different point, which you have not begun to prove wrong.
That's great and all but my point was that you(and others) went straight after the guy proposing this instead of the proposal itself. I'm sorry if you can't handle that being pointed out to you...
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
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Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
Originally posted by: shira

BTW, any "progressive" form of taxation is not "fair" IMO. Why should someone pay more per dollar earned in taxes just because they earn more?
Do you want the moral reason or the pragmatic reason or the political reason?

Morally, our system is set up for some to do a lot better and others to do a lot worse, and despite the simplistic ideology of the right on it, it's not all because 'they earned it'.

There's a lot that's arbitrary in our system about who gets wealth, a lot that's 'counter-productive' and which rewards wealth for wealth, not for 'earning it'.

Recognizing that a few dollars reduced in taxes helps a poorer family have a decent standard of living and weighing that higher than a light increase in the ownership accounts of the very wealthy - while protecting the very wealthy still having plenty more - has a moral element for our society to help the broader society do ok. SOME of the economy is a zero-sum game, and some balance with the concentration of wealth is beneficial.

That's a segue to the pragmatic argument, which will point out the practical benefits of not having extreme concentrations of wealth through exploiting power, how that helps the society be more productive and function better. There are plenty of studies and experts who can explain the benefits of a lower concentration of wealth, including among the more informed people on the right who aren't under pressure to say the party line.

The more than the wealthy get more for being wealthy, the less the economic engine has for incenting productivity, rewarding entrepeneurs and others. Ultimately, it approaches the model we've seen throughout history where the kind/lord/emperor/pharaoh/czar/warlord/shogun/robber baron etc. has plenty, while most are the 'serfs' if not the 'slaves', receiving bare sustinence.

To use a trivial illustration, if you've ever played a game of 'Civilization', you recognize how you get economic bonuses for shifting away from the authoritarian models where most are serfs, to reflect the benefits that occur in societies with lower concentrations of wealth and power. American society's economic productivity has soared at times of the concentration of wealth being reduced, and taxes on the wealthy being higher.

And on a political level, of course, it's natural for the majority, who is not the tiny group who has hugely disproportionate wealth, to vote its own interests.

You seem to have been suckered into the ideology that the wealthy 'deserve' unlimited, extreme wealth, and not to have - despite all your claim you are interested in 'the details' - to have looked into the issue, to determine when the wealth is a useful reward for something, and when it's simply an exploitation of power, resulting in the maxim 'the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer'.

The American system was a direct attack on the norm of human societies historically, where a few people had the system set up to protect their wealth at the expense of most.

In fact, as Kevin Phillips documents in "Wealth and Democracy", the concentration of wealth was far, far more flat during the times of the founding fathers than later. You can find no shortage of quotes from the founding fathers discussing the threat if that were to change; they considered at times actually limiting wealth, but they did not see what was coming and it did not seem too likely to happen in that agrarian society.

The right seems to have a blind side when it comes to not the basic benefits of there being some inequality of wealth, but rather in the extreme levels of concentration. They just don't have an yunderstanding how the higher levels harm society, and are counterproductive to the goals the right and left both say they have, such as opportunity for many Americans, the "American Dream".

The right supports harmful policies as a result, such as the poster here rejecting the progressive income tax, without any idea what the effect would be on society.

These are people who would, given the chance, fulfill the prediction that those who don't learn from history - the effects of concentrated wealth - would repeat the disasters.

It's rather tiresome to argue with them, because their ignorance prevents them from discussing the issue, as they argue instead what they are aware of, why too low concentrations of wealth, too few incentives for productivity - topics on which liberals broadly agree with them - and so they are just arguing against a red herring, a straw man.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,359
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i'll also note that social security is a regressive tax
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
That's great and all but my point was that you(and others) went straight after the guy proposing this instead of the proposal itself. I'm sorry if you can't handle that being pointed out to you...
And it just so happens that we were right, and you apparently can't handle that being pointed out to you.

It's quite legitimate to point out that there's an entire industry in the right wing of doing exactly what I said: concocting schemes to reduce taxes on the wealthy, and marketing schemes to sell them to the unwary. You want to object to it being pointed out how predictable the Republicans who pimp these schemes are? Well, you could try showing some exceptions from them, but you can't, can you? But apart from that, why don't you post a hundred threads here, one for each of 100 of the hundreds and thousands of these similar 'proposals', and then say why we shouldn't make a note of the fact that they are all schemes to reduce the taxes on the wealthy.

I understand why you have the concern you do, but you need to realize that it's not us jumpting to conclusions without evidence because of the (R), it's you who has not done the research to understand why we're right to point it out. It's not that you ask the question whether our assertion is fair, it's your unwillingness to recognize that it is fair. Get your own facts together on the history of the (R)'s and the tax schemes they offer, and look a little closer than the marketing hype/lies, and then comment.
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY

BTW, any "progressive" form of taxation is not "fair" IMO. Why should someone pay more per dollar earned in taxes just because they earn more?
i'll note that while our current tax system is progressive through the lower 95%, it often goes regressive right near the top, so that people way at the top often pay less per dollar earned than people in the middle.

Sure, it depends on what levels you compare. However, that usually happens due to the nature of the income being dealt with. If a person has investments and then has a cap gains hit of 15% - more than likely that is a lower rate than what regular earned income is taxed at. I don't think I've heard anyone suggesting we tie cap gains to earned income rates...but maybe they have. IMO, a flatter tax would be best as a dollar = dollar = dollar no matter how it's earned and by who.
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: Craig234
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
That's great and all but my point was that you(and others) went straight after the guy proposing this instead of the proposal itself. I'm sorry if you can't handle that being pointed out to you...
And it just so happens that we were right, and you apparently can't handle that being pointed out to you.

It's quite legitimate to point out that there's an entire industry in the right wing of doing exactly what I said: concocting schemes to reduce taxes on the wealthy, and marketing schemes to sell them to the unwary. You want to object to it being pointed out how predictable the Republicans who pimp these schemes are? Well, you could try showing some exceptions from them, but you can't, can you? But apart from that, why don't you post a hundred threads here, one for each of 100 of the hundreds and thousands of these similar 'proposals', and then say why we shouldn't make a note of the fact that they are all schemes to reduce the taxes on the wealthy.

I understand why you have the concern you do, but you need to realize that it's not us jumpting to conclusions without evidence because of the (R), it's you who has not done the research to understand why we're right to point it out. It's not that you ask the question whether our assertion is fair, it's your unwillingness to recognize that it is fair. Get your own facts together on the history of the (R)'s and the tax schemes they offer, and look a little closer than the marketing hype/lies, and then comment.
Uh, actually I did handle that being pointed out. I suggested you actually argue against the proposal instead of demagogue the "right wing" or the guy making the proposal.
Yes, actually you did jump to conclusions as you said you don't believe any numbers...blah blah blah. You provided nothing to back it up - just more attacking of this "right wing" conspiracy to screw everyone but the rich. But it is what it is - and I'll thank you in advance for allowing us "right wingers" to automatically dismiss XYZ because it's socialist... ;)
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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Originally posted by: shira
I understand that estate taxes are not loved by everyone.
They're probably my favorite tax, having the minimal impact on people compared to any other tax.

When I see anyone use the marketing propaganda terms instead of the name "estate tax" - thank you for returning to the name 'estate tax' in your response to the post - it suggests to me that the speaker is acting simply as a parrot for the right-wing noise machine. It's remarkable the history of the alternative, proagandistic names for the tax - David Cay Johnston's book documents how the public reaction to the name was discovered, confirmed by propagandist Frank Lutz, and triggered n entire movement against the Estate Tax.

Apparently, a rose by any other name is not just as sweet in this case - the name has more political impact than the policy, as agree with the tax when it's explained.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
Originally posted by: Craig234
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
That's great and all but my point was that you(and others) went straight after the guy proposing this instead of the proposal itself. I'm sorry if you can't handle that being pointed out to you...
And it just so happens that we were right, and you apparently can't handle that being pointed out to you.

It's quite legitimate to point out that there's an entire industry in the right wing of doing exactly what I said: concocting schemes to reduce taxes on the wealthy, and marketing schemes to sell them to the unwary. You want to object to it being pointed out how predictable the Republicans who pimp these schemes are? Well, you could try showing some exceptions from them, but you can't, can you? But apart from that, why don't you post a hundred threads here, one for each of 100 of the hundreds and thousands of these similar 'proposals', and then say why we shouldn't make a note of the fact that they are all schemes to reduce the taxes on the wealthy.

I understand why you have the concern you do, but you need to realize that it's not us jumpting to conclusions without evidence because of the (R), it's you who has not done the research to understand why we're right to point it out. It's not that you ask the question whether our assertion is fair, it's your unwillingness to recognize that it is fair. Get your own facts together on the history of the (R)'s and the tax schemes they offer, and look a little closer than the marketing hype/lies, and then comment.
Uh, actually I did handle that being pointed out. I suggested you actually argue against the proposal instead of demagogue the "right wing" or the guy making the proposal.
Yes, actually you did jump to conclusions as you said you don't believe any numbers...blah blah blah. You provided nothing to back it up - just more attacking of this "right wing" conspiracy to screw everyone but the rich. But it is what it is - and I'll thank you in advance for allowing us "right wingers" to automatically dismiss XYZ because it's socialist... ;)
Sorry, but as I said, after you 'argue the numbers' 100 times on the same regurgitated garbage, then you can talk about looking at each carefully in depth.

When I see one side make debate impossible through the sheer volume of 'putting out' the same basic nonsense countless times, it's right to note the issue at the general level.

Frankly, you're hypocritical as well; where's your 'in depth' 'analyzing the numbers' of the current, progressive tax system before you advocate tossing it out?

The short version is, my point was right, and you did nothing to show otherwise, while even saying you don't support the proposed policy. I invite you to provide an in depth analysis of the specific proposal here, which will prove my point, but you don't; you just say how you want it discussed in detail without discussing it in detail, with about the best you post being to compliment someone for a tiny bit of detail in their post. If you want to call for detail, knock yourself out and spend the many hours to get it, and post it.

In the meantime, we'll simply agree to disagree, and I'll note you have not actually shown anything in my post not to be correct. You could easily do so by making a solid case with some examples of tax proposals from (R)'s that don't shift taxes off the wealthy, not just because they say so, but which stand up to scrutiny. You haven't done even that basic refutation of my point; you are simply arguing out of ignorance against what's correct.

To not waste our time, you will find, and I will not accept, the right-wing propaganda from groups like the Cato Institute who, recognizing the need to not be too obvious about the plans reducing taxes on the wealthy, have created elaborate and false arguments for why higher rates = lower taxes, and lower rates = higher taxes - like any good propaganda, with a grain of truth but misleading more than accurate, to serve the propaganda purpose of misleading you to support the tax for the wrong reasons.

Why don't you earn the right to demand detail a little for once, and go read up books like the David Cay Johnston book I mentioned, to have the 'informed discussion' you want?

You think you are taking the high ground here by demanding a detailed discussion, while not realizing that it's your lack of readiness for the discussion that's in the way. If you had bothered to get a little more informed, you would not be disputing the nature of the right's tax plans, for example, a challenge which comes out of your not knowing the pattern they have, rather than having any substantive reason to challenge the pattern. Are you going to bother to read some books on this, or just keep posting your 'calls for details'?
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,086
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Originally posted by: shira
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
Originally posted by: shira

$5K and $100K savings are solely due to the reductions in the income tax rates. But you're overlooking that this bill also eliminates estate and gift taxes (99.9% of which is currently paid by the wealthy) and reduces the capital gains rate from 15% to 10% (again a vast benefit to the wealthy). When you add those tax changes to the mix, I wouldn't be surprised if the average tax savings of the wealthy approach 25%.

And note that most in the middle class are already paying most of their income at the 10 and 15 percent rates. So, for example, consider a household with taxable income of $63,700. Under the current rates, their tax is $8772. Under the new rates, they'd pay $7555, a reduction of 14% - a lower percentage savings than your multimillionaire.

Yeah, this tax is "Fair."
That's fine. I am not arguing FOR this bill, I have been commenting on the lack of actual discussion of it and the excess of hackery shown by the people attacking the bill's author.

I understand that this bill isn't perfect or great. Heck, I don't support it but lets have a discussion on the details of the plan - which you are doing. thanks.

The two points you raise are good points but I have to disagree with in part. I do not believe death taxes should exist and I didn't see exactly where gift taxes were "eliminated". Cap gains I could go either way on but I guess I'd support leaving them at 15%.

BTW, any "progressive" form of taxation is not "fair" IMO. Why should someone pay more per dollar earned in taxes just because they earn more?
I understand that estate taxes are not loved by everyone. But it's a current source of revenue and merely eliminating it without replacing the lost revenue isn't a solution. I wouldn't have a problem with increasing the income tax rate on the wealthy such that - over a multi-year period - the combined effect was revenue neutral. Of course, the sense I get is that the right-wing just wants the wealthy to pay less taxes.

With respect to repealing the gift tax, see page 5 (Sec. 3) of the link to HR 5105 I provided a few posts up. Here's the relevant text:

SEC. 3. REPEAL OF ESTATE AND GIFT TAXES.
(a) IN GENERAL.?Subtitle B is hereby repealed.
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.?The repeal made by sub21 section (a) shall apply to the estates of decedents dying, and gifts and generation-skipping transfers made, after December 31, 2008.
You wouldnt have to raise the income tax by much to cover the rats fart worth of revenue the death tax generates. The federal govt will see more tax collected in a single year from an uptake in the economy than the estate tax will generate in a decade.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,086
493
126
Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY

BTW, any "progressive" form of taxation is not "fair" IMO. Why should someone pay more per dollar earned in taxes just because they earn more?
i'll note that while our current tax system is progressive through the lower 95%, it often goes regressive right near the top, so that people way at the top often pay less per dollar earned than people in the middle.
Well yeah due to the people at the very top seeing income from investments. Bill Gates earns about 50 million a year from the company he owns. But his wealth may go up over a billion during the same time period from an increase in the stock valuation.

This is the problem we see when you tax producers vs taxing consumers. I really like the idea of a national sales tax and eliminate income tax. Right now the ultra rich can hide behind the capital gains tax and see a smaller % of their income taxed while they spend out their aholes and pay the same tax most of America does. You turn it around and now their spending habits and consumption of our resources are taxed and they pay a much higher effective rate.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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Originally posted by: Genx87
Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY

BTW, any "progressive" form of taxation is not "fair" IMO. Why should someone pay more per dollar earned in taxes just because they earn more?
i'll note that while our current tax system is progressive through the lower 95%, it often goes regressive right near the top, so that people way at the top often pay less per dollar earned than people in the middle.
Well yeah due to the people at the very top seeing income from investments. Bill Gates earns about 50 million a year from the company he owns. But his wealth may go up over a billion during the same time period from an increase in the stock valuation.

This is the problem we see when you tax producers vs taxing consumers. I really like the idea of a national sales tax and eliminate income tax. Right now the ultra rich can hide behind the capital gains tax and see a smaller % of their income taxed while they spend out their aholes and pay the same tax most of America does. You turn it around and now their spending habits and consumption of our resources are taxed and they pay a much higher effective rate.
Replacing the progressive income tax with a sales tax would makeyour problem far WORSE, because the very wealthy spend a far lower percent of their wealth.

The obvious solution to the wealthy 'hiding behind the capital gains tax' is to treat capital gains like income for taxation - which would allow lowering the taxes of average people.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,359
5,364
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the obvious solution is not a sales tax but an increase in the cap gains tax.

i think the cap gains system needs an overhaul so that gains are considered realized for tax purposes not on the sale of the asset but rather when the money is withdrawn from the portfolio. that way you can make trades within the portfolio that you wouldn't have made under the old taxing scheme, increasing the rate at which wealth is added to the portfolio. make the rate high enough when the money is taken out of the portfolio and it'll be revenue neutral. the rate won't have to go up as much as you might think because of the faster rate at which wealth accumulates in the portfolio.

though you may be able to accomplish a similar thing already through mutual funds. however, under the current system you couldn't switch from a dow-tracking fund to a foreign fund when appropriate without incurring taxes.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,086
493
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I think a raise in cap gains tax will discourage investment which is a big driver in our economy. Companies will have a harder time getting the capital required to expand a business as people and companies who invest the money will see less of a return on investment due to higher taxation.

A lot of wealth people fly around the country in private jets, buy boats, buy cars ect ect. They may pay a small luxury tax on certain items but on others they are paying the same tax as the guy working the counter at McDonalds.
 

BansheeX

Senior member
Sep 10, 2007
348
0
0
No shit, taxes on production and income in any form is a terrible idea. It doesn't stimulate the economy at all, it's purely transferring the money from you to the government. Why not transfer our money to the government in the form of economic activity, like sales taxes? If Americans had no income tax, that money would be spent on a product or service rather than directly transferred, wouldn't it?
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
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Originally posted by: Genx87
I think a raise in cap gains tax will discourage investment which is a big driver in our economy. Companies will have a harder time getting the capital required to expand a business as people and companies who invest the money will see less of a return on investment due to higher taxation.

A lot of wealth people fly around the country in private jets, buy boats, buy cars ect ect. They may pay a small luxury tax on certain items but on others they are paying the same tax as the guy working the counter at McDonalds.
And I think that you have to weigh the 'oh those poor wealthy investors' 'disincentive to invest' against the price of other options.

And I further think you need to realize that you may well be exaggerating the effects on the investment choices.

If the cap gains rate went from 15% to 25% tomorrow, am I suddently going to take my funds for investing, and say "well, the stock market is no longer an attractive investment, I think I'll put it on roulette"? I don't think so. There are so many investment options, and when the cap gains rate goes up, it doesn't change the relative attractiveness of the options, and investors don't suddenly no longer want to invest the money.

The typical rhetorical argument of the right is to find SOME downside to any taxation of the very wealthy, and try to pretend they've shown why it's a bad idea from that.

Sorry, that's not enough. I understand it'd be nice if we could not have any taxes, but that's not the case, and just saying there's a cost to increasing the cap gains tax doesn't say anything about the merits of doing so compare to our other options for taxation. How about we pull out the rhetoric from the other side, that you're arguing it's better to tax some poor guy for earning a few dollars in wages working all day, than to tax a rich guy who has his income for sitting at the beach while his investments go up?

I think the discussion deserves a better analysis of the merits of where the rates should be; unfortunately, that's not quite how our political system works.

Our political system simply tends to elect one group or another who blindly pursue the interests of one part of society, without enough consideration for the merits.
 

superstition

Platinum Member
Feb 2, 2008
2,219
216
101
A fair tax is a progressive tax, because progressive taxation takes into account the fact that money makes money. The more money one has, the greater ability one has to get more.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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Originally posted by: superstition
A fair tax is a progressive tax, because progressive taxation takes into account the fact that money makes money. The more money one has, the greater ability one has to get more.
I'd say it a bit differently, that as much as we all like the romantic idea that the government play no role and let the chips fall where they may, that only lasts until you are starving. We don't like to say it, but we do want certain 'outcomes' in society. We want to see some productivity rewarded, not only for its own sake it's 'deserved' but becuase the incentive leads to good things being done for society. Pay people to cure cancer, and cancer tends to get cured.

We like to not see people laying the street starving while Rolls Royces drive past them not lifting a finger to help. We like to not see someone so wealthy they own nearly every business in a state and by doing so impoverishing the other citizens in the state, who all work for low wages for his enrichment, losing out on the productivity that having more people owning businesses, in competition, brings.

As long as our system is producing 'acceptable' outcomes, with an 'acceptable' poverty level, an 'adequate' middle class, and a class of wealthy that's not too extremely oppressive, people are happy to say 'let the system work and keep the government out from meddling'.

But I think that they tend to forget that things like a progressive income tax are effective government means for bringing about the outcomes society wants.

And I think that's a real reason for having it. It limits some extreme concentrations of wealth, while preserving incentives/rewards.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,086
493
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Originally posted by: BansheeX
No shit, taxes on production and income in any form is a terrible idea. It doesn't stimulate the economy at all, it's purely transferring the money from you to the government. Why not transfer our money to the government in the form of economic activity, like sales taxes? If Americans had no income tax, that money would be spent on a product or service rather than directly transferred, wouldn't it?
It could very well be and the working poor may even *gasp* be able to get away with having an effective 0% tax rate if they can live within the bounds of the pre-bate.
 

SSSnail

Lifer
Nov 29, 2006
17,464
80
86
Originally posted by: superstition
Pay people to cure cancer, and cancer tends to get cured.
I just have to make a comment on this, because we've paid a lot into cancer cure research, and all they ever came up with are very expensive treatments and therapies. So, greed ultimately trump all.

From a pure numbers perspective, people that make more will pay more taxes, regardless of what bracket they're in.

Just as an example:

Guy makes 160K will pay 4K+13.5K+3K = 20.5K

Guy makes 1Mil will pay 4K+13.5K+255K = 272.5K

What are you guys bitching about now?
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: Craig234
When I see one side make debate impossible through the sheer volume of 'putting out' the same basic nonsense countless times, it's right to note the issue at the general level.
pot-kettle-....

:p
 
Dec 10, 2005
20,819
2,242
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Originally posted by: SSSnail
Originally posted by: superstition
Pay people to cure cancer, and cancer tends to get cured.
I just have to make a comment on this, because we've paid a lot into cancer cure research, and all they ever came up with are very expensive treatments and therapies. So, greed ultimately trump all.

From a pure numbers perspective, people that make more will pay more taxes, regardless of what bracket they're in.

Just as an example:

Guy makes 160K will pay 4K+13.5K+3K = 20.5K

Guy makes 1Mil will pay 4K+13.5K+255K = 272.5K

What are you guys bitching about now?
You talk about cancer as if dumping tons of money into research will result in an overnight cure. There are many different types of cancers and different causes for even cancers of the same type. Thus, creating a one-size-fits all cure is not going to happen. Any cures for cancer will take time to develop due to the many different variables that are encountered during the research process.
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: Craig234
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
BTW, any "progressive" form of taxation is not "fair" IMO. Why should someone pay more per dollar earned in taxes just because they earn more?
Do you want the moral reason or the pragmatic reason or the political reason?

Morally, our system is set up for some to do a lot better and others to do a lot worse, and despite the simplistic ideology of the right on it, it's not all because 'they earned it'.

There's a lot that's arbitrary in our system about who gets wealth, a lot that's 'counter-productive' and which rewards wealth for wealth, not for 'earning it'.

Recognizing that a few dollars reduced in taxes helps a poorer family have a decent standard of living and weighing that higher than a light increase in the ownership accounts of the very wealthy - while protecting the very wealthy still having plenty more - has a moral element for our society to help the broader society do ok. SOME of the economy is a zero-sum game, and some balance with the concentration of wealth is beneficial.

That's a segue to the pragmatic argument, which will point out the practical benefits of not having extreme concentrations of wealth through exploiting power, how that helps the society be more productive and function better. There are plenty of studies and experts who can explain the benefits of a lower concentration of wealth, including among the more informed people on the right who aren't under pressure to say the party line.

The more than the wealthy get more for being wealthy, the less the economic engine has for incenting productivity, rewarding entrepeneurs and others. Ultimately, it approaches the model we've seen throughout history where the kind/lord/emperor/pharaoh/czar/warlord/shogun/robber baron etc. has plenty, while most are the 'serfs' if not the 'slaves', receiving bare sustinence.

To use a trivial illustration, if you've ever played a game of 'Civilization', you recognize how you get economic bonuses for shifting away from the authoritarian models where most are serfs, to reflect the benefits that occur in societies with lower concentrations of wealth and power. American society's economic productivity has soared at times of the concentration of wealth being reduced, and taxes on the wealthy being higher.

And on a political level, of course, it's natural for the majority, who is not the tiny group who has hugely disproportionate wealth, to vote its own interests.

You seem to have been suckered into the ideology that the wealthy 'deserve' unlimited, extreme wealth, and not to have - despite all your claim you are interested in 'the details' - to have looked into the issue, to determine when the wealth is a useful reward for something, and when it's simply an exploitation of power, resulting in the maxim 'the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer'.

The American system was a direct attack on the norm of human societies historically, where a few people had the system set up to protect their wealth at the expense of most.

In fact, as Kevin Phillips documents in "Wealth and Democracy", the concentration of wealth was far, far more flat during the times of the founding fathers than later. You can find no shortage of quotes from the founding fathers discussing the threat if that were to change; they considered at times actually limiting wealth, but they did not see what was coming and it did not seem too likely to happen in that agrarian society.

The right seems to have a blind side when it comes to not the basic benefits of there being some inequality of wealth, but rather in the extreme levels of concentration. They just don't have an yunderstanding how the higher levels harm society, and are counterproductive to the goals the right and left both say they have, such as opportunity for many Americans, the "American Dream".

The right supports harmful policies as a result, such as the poster here rejecting the progressive income tax, without any idea what the effect would be on society.

These are people who would, given the chance, fulfill the prediction that those who don't learn from history - the effects of concentrated wealth - would repeat the disasters.

It's rather tiresome to argue with them, because their ignorance prevents them from discussing the issue, as they argue instead what they are aware of, why too low concentrations of wealth, too few incentives for productivity - topics on which liberals broadly agree with them - and so they are just arguing against a red herring, a straw man.
I don't agree with any of those 3 areas.

moral - how is taking more from someone who earns more - "moral"? IMO, it's theft and/or jealousy.

pragmatic - IMO, the pragmatic way to do this is have a flatter tax/consumption tax as it allows for individual choices. This whole "wealth concentration" falls under the emotional "moral" arguement.

political - again, flat or consumption tax would take the politics out of the tax code to a certain extent. But taking your argument of the wealthy voting it's own interests is no different than you "poor people" peddlers trying to take more and more of people's earnings to redistribute.
IMO, the founding fathers were smart not to put a cap on wealth. They seemed to understand the idea of freedom from an oppressive gov't. They seemed to understand that people needn't be under the thumb of the gov't - which is what higher and higher taxation does to people.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
I don't agree with any of those 3 areas.

moral - how is taking more from someone who earns more - "moral"? IMO, it's theft and/or jealousy.
It's been explained to you repeatedly that you have to choose to take it from the very wealthy or from someone else. You say that it's 'theft' from the wealthy, and by implication that it's not theft, that it's moral, to take from people other than the very wealthy instead. Not much of an argument.

pragmatic - IMO, the pragmatic way to do this is have a flatter tax/consumption tax as it allows for individual choices. This whole "wealth concentration" falls under the emotional "moral" arguement.
You dodge the issue of pragmatism, not even touching on the issues in my post, other than to falsely call the concentration of wealth issue 'emotional', which is not the case.

What a lackey you are for the ideology you are fed. I guess the desire for yet more wealth by the wealthy has no 'emotion' and is just good policy, while others are just 'emotional'.

Idiocy.

political - again, flat or consumption tax would take the politics out of the tax code to a certain extent. But taking your argument of the wealthy voting it's own interests is no different than you "poor people" peddlers trying to take more and more of people's earnings to redistribute.
IMO, the founding fathers were smart not to put a cap on wealth. They seemed to understand the idea of freedom from an oppressive gov't. They seemed to understand that people needn't be under the thumb of the gov't - which is what higher and higher taxation does to people.
Again, you call it 'redistributing' when it's one group and not another, when it's the government and not the private sector, more blind ideological flufffy nonsense from you.

You confuse the motivation of the founding fathers, which reflected the very different economic situation they were in.

While any sort of 'cap' is debatable, you are in fact praising the founding fathers for doing the pretty much the opposite of what they did. We always here those in your camp spouting about the 'government taking your money at gunpoint' for every dime you disagree with, yet the founding fathers are the ones who set up that very power of taxation - after having been too soft on their first try in the Articles of Confederation. They put people 'under the thumb of the government', while balancing that with the vote and some basic constraints on the government's power - constraints which liberals agree with at least as much, and probably more, than the right. The issue the right is arguing against isn't those basic protections, it's the very act of the government taxing backed up by force, whether indirectly with higher prices of goods from tariffs in their day, or more directly through income tax for the last century.

Your post is, sorry, just hot air, IMO, and so lacking in substance as not to be a discussion. You get the last word, next, until you can offer more for discussion.

I note in particular the lack of any answer to my asking if you will go read some books.
 

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