flat tax?

  1. flat tax?

    Do you have thoughts or opinions?

  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    Ridiculous. It taxes my Wal-Mart working neighbors at the same percentage as Bill Gates - and that percentage across-the-board does not make up the inevitable shortfall. It's not as bad as "sin taxes" on cigarettes and liquor, which clearly tax away a lot of the poors' income - but it's confiscatory and greedy.

    I never minded paying high taxes when we were making a lot. I felt pretty lucky, actually, that I could make enough to be in a high bracket, and obligated to contribute my portion.
  4. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Suesquatch
    Ridiculous. It taxes my Wal-Mart working neighbors at the same percentage as Bill Gates - and that percentage across-the-board does not make up the inevitable shortfall. It's not as bad as "sin taxes" on cigarettes and liquor, which clearly tax away a lot of the poors' income - but it's confiscatory and greedy.

    I never minded paying high taxes when we were making a lot. I felt pretty lucky, actually, that I could make enough to be in a high bracket, and obligated to contribute my portion.
    A well designed system would NOT tax entry level workers more. Texas doesn't have a state income tax; we have a state sales tax. Many 'necessities', food, drugs, glasses, etc., are exempt.

    Since lower income people have a much greater proportion of their dollars going to tax exempt necessities, they are taxed less.

    Such a tax IS progressive. For example. If you make 30k/yr, you are likely to buy a 15K car and be taxed at that level. If you make 200k/yr, you are likely to buy a 45k car, and taxed more as a result.

    A flat sales tax also only taxes consumption. You have to buy something to be taxed on it. The result: it encourages savings. Right now, in order to save tax free, you have to agree to the gov't's terms on when you can spend the money later, or pay a penalty. With a flat sales tax, ALL savings would be tax free and you wouldn't have to have strings attached.

    Many of the anti-free traders decry the trade imbalance, etc. Giving Americans a REASON to save money (doing so is tax free) would directly address that gap.

    A flat sales tax IS progressive in that the more you make, the more you consume, and therefore, the more you are taxed. But it also allows EVERYBODY, rich and poor alike, to CHOOSE the level of taxation they wish to have levied against them.

    If you don't want to be taxed more, live more frugal. How can the environmental anti-big corporation left complain about that? Such a scheme encourages JUST the sort of behavior the left seems to champion.

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Apr 4, '07
  5. by   Simplepleasures
    Here is what Rudy Guiliani thinks about the flat tax.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Apr 4, '07
  6. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Plus, there are over 16,000 pages to the current tax code for a reason: that tax code is the lobbyist's best friend.

    Getting rid of all the exemptions except a few exemptions on necessities that would 'iron out' a flat tax in favor of the lowest incomes would remove all the loopholes that favor the rich.

    Those of you that LIKE to suggest that Warren Buffet didn't think it was fair to be taxed less than his secretary: A file 13 to those 16,000 pages, and all the loopholes, of code is the answer. What does it really matter how "progressive" the current code is if there are also "progressive" loopholes to get out of paying taxes, in the first place?

    PLUS, those of you that like to complain about the bloated expenses of administrating our current health care system: each year, Americans spend over 265 BILLION dollars and 6.6 BILLION hours on tax preparation. A flat sales tax eliminates that administrative waste, overnight.


    A decent taxation system would be one that could be explained in under 10 pages and that wouldn't require having to file anything with the gov't. Plus, it serves the benefit of getting the gov't OUT of the business of being nosey about what you make. Under a flat sales tax, it simply doesn't MATTER what you make, only what you spend.

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Apr 5, '07
  7. by   Roy Fokker
    ... besides making it a much more moral and ethical system than income taxation.

  8. by   llg
    I don't claim any expertise on the subject, but I do lean towards a flatter tax with fewer exceptions that would greatly simplify the system. I believe a simpler system would be more "transparent" and it would be harder for people to avoid paying their fair share by using all the loopholes their accountants can find.
  9. by   Simplepleasures
    Flat Earth Flat Tax

    "It is dishonest to pretend that flattening tax rates has any connection to simplifying tax code.It is dishonest to pretend that a flat income tax is 'fair' while conveniently forgetting to suggest the same for Social Security taxes.It is dishonest to pretend that 'income' is the same for eveveryone while failing to even mention capital gains,tax shelters,corporate perks,deferred compensation,pension contributions, stock options or the thousand other options the wealthy have for making money that doesnt quite count as 'income'.It is dishonest not to mention that simple arithmatic guarantees that any flat tax would raise taxes for every middle class family in the country."

    Here is an article that gives a fairly easy to understand explanation of flat and graduated taxes, and why a flat tax HURTS the middle class.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Apr 5, '07
  10. by   anonymurse
    The worst idea I've seen lately is the "sales tax only" thing, where income taxes are killed and the consumer takes it in the shorts. However, if we look on the opposite end of things we might find cool ideas. There are so many hidden and special taxes, we should really axe all taxes, then introduce or reintroduce only those that make sense. Let's see. How 'bout a 50% tax on hostile takeovers? Whatever the raiders pay for the stock, before they can take possession, they must match the takeover amount in a cash contribution to our nation's coffers. How 'bout an overseas job transfer tax? If a company sends a job overseas, it has to pay the government what would have been owed in FICA etc. had the job stayed Stateside for so long as the job stays overseas. Income tax, now that's an interesting one--suppose we were to exempt everyone from the 95th income percentile on down, and for the rest, also exempt that amount, but impose a flat tax on everything above that, does that sound good? This is fun!
  11. by   Roy Fokker
    If we assume that the individual has an indisputable right to life, we must concede that he has a similar right to the enjoyment of the products of his labor. This we call a property right. The absolute right to property follows from the original right to life because one without the other is meaningless; the means to life must be identified with life itself. If the State has a prior right to the products of one's labor, his right to existence is qualified. Aside from the fact that no such prior right can be established, except by declaring the State the author of all rights, our inclination (as shown in the effort to avoid paying taxes) is to reject this concept of priority. Our instinct is against it. We object to the taking of our property by organized society just as we do when a single unit of society commits the act. In the latter case we unhesitatingly call the act robbery, a malum in se. It is not the law which in the first instance defines robbery, it is an ethical principle, and this the law may violate but not supersede. If by the necessity of living we acquiesce to the force of law, if by long custom we lose sight of the immorality, has the principle been obliterated? Robbery is robbery, and no amount of words can make it anything else.
    Taxation is Robbery - Frank Chodorov
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    Assumptions are often cultural. I learned a lot as a child listening to old people. People born in the 19th century who 'remembered' as though they were present stories passed from grandmother to grand daughter over countless generations.

    Cherokee politics. A summary.

    When I was a kid you couldn't cut & paste so I copied in pencil on both sides of lined paper from library books. I looked up the writings of a story teller, school teacher, and amazing woman who volunteered at the Bible camp we cousins attended for six days on the reservation.
    Thanks Roy! Now I've typed the notes copied at age 11 into this computer.

    "What the Native Americans refer to as 'spirit,' the scientists call 'energy.' It's on that deep level, at the very source of energy or spirit the mystery that these two world views meet. A crucial difference is that the Native American concept includes the sacred, and the scientific does not"

    "Although trees, plants, grasses seem to be separate individual living things, in fact they are one sensate entity. The forest is a microcosm of the physical world. And also of the world underneath the tangible surface, where the atom resides, where the mountain and the atom meet, where the ancient and contemporary meet, where on the deepest levels we are all one, where what happens to one will happen by chain reaction to all. The Creator put this law at the center of the universe. Cherokee people call it 'the Sacred Circle'"

    "Europeans came to America and saw the landscape in terms of natural wealth and how it could be utilized to create personal economic wealth, with ownership of the land tied to its "efficient" use (in the Western sense); the term "manifest destiny" became the driving force behind the transformation of the American landscape and many of the resulting environmental disasters that have visited us in the past century. Native Americans, on the other hand, looked at Earth less in terms of ownership than as a sheltering Mother" Clara Green Anadarko, OK 1955

    [QUOTE[FONT="Arial"]]"When the people call Earth "Mother," they take with love and with love give back so that all may live.
    When the people call Earth "it," they use her consume her strength.
    Then the people die."
    - Marilou Awiakta[/QUOTE]

    "Environmental pollution, child and spousal abuse, and a host of modern-day maladies have their antecedents in the Western or patriarchal habit of objectification and domination. Awiakta explains: "Then came the Europeans with their dominator system. They had the concept of woman as inferior, unclean, . . . unintelligent, unstable and sinful, unless she was a 'virgin.' A schizophrenic concept, totally out of harmony with nature.
    They believed woman should be dominated and controlled, like the earth. They had the same attitude toward indigenous peoples and men without property. The Europeans followed laws of property". The result for America was a "hierarchical" model, a stratified social and political system based on ownership of property, and strict class/gender distinctions. - Marilou Awiakta
    The Marilou Awiakta quotes are from the book 'Interviewing Appalachia" - http://utpress.org/a/searchdetails.php?jobno=T00392
  13. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from Marilou Awiakta
    "They had the same attitude toward indigenous peoples and men without property. The Europeans followed laws of property".
    The inherent problem is that Marilou Awiakta assumes "property" to be solely limited to things made of "brick, mortar and soil".

    "Ownership" of "property" is more than just ownership of a home, of land or a business. "Property" includes "ownership of self".

    I mean - who "owns you" ?
    You own yourself. You own your body. You own your mind.

    All rights derive from "Property Rights".

    This concept explains our inalienable rights - the very same rights that the Constitution states we poses merely by virtue of birth! For example:

    * Since YOU own your mind - no one has the Right to "force" upon YOU what to "think" ... or "say"... or "express" ... or "read"... or "watch" (Right to Free Speech, Thought and Expression)

    *Since YOU own your body - no one has the Right to "force" you to do what you don't want to. This is why "slavery" is unethical. This is also why it is unethical to force someone to receive treatment - even if the treatment will be beneficial to the person receiving it.

    There are many more items derived from that original concept. Property rights are the essential foundation for all (individual) rights.

    The product of my life and my liberty is my 'property'.
    E.g. I choose (my liberty) to work (my life) 40 hours a week to earn my paycheck. What I earned (income) is mine - I rendered my sweat and toil in return for payment.

    Now, to coerce me into forcibly giving up a part of my 'property' (income taxation) under threat of loss of my liberty (imprisonment) is immoral and unethical - for the same reasons "theft" is considered immoral.

    Theft is defined as: "the wrongful taking of someone else's property without that person's willful consent"

    For a better presentation (illustration) of the concept - click here

    The desecration of Property Rights is a blatant assault on our Individual Rights.

    And the sooner we as a society realise this, the more free we will be.

  14. by   pickledpepperRN
    “Subjugation is what they are unacquainted with . . . there being no such thing as coercive Power among them.” - George Milliken Johnson about the Cherokee.

    “Subjugation among them, they can’t be compelled to do any Thing nor oblige them to embrace any Party except [as] they please.” - Raymond Demere wrote in 1757.

    "The Cherokees used the metaphor of seven directions to explain this emphasis: North, South, East, West, Up, Down, and Where You Are. The position of Where You Are put the individual at the center of her universe, with the other six directions dependent on her. While this symbolic position honored the individual as the star in her own universe, it also implied that she possessed the power and the opportunity to keep that universe in balance. The Cherokees viewed this balancing act as the product of lifelong self-discovery. To this end, they offered a tolerant environment for artistic, sexual, philosophical, and spiritual experimentation. To reflect this they also allowed children to change their names as they grew and explored themselves. An act of heroism, a discovered talent, a cultivated physical or spiritual trait, even a famous relative could be cause for name-changing. The community thereby encouraged the individual to define and redefine himself freely throughout the course of his life.

    This concern for individual liberty translated into politics. The Great Law of Peace included a section akin to the U.S. Bill of Rights, protecting the freedom of worship, speech, and assembly. The Cherokees limited town size so that all citizens could have the opportunity to speak in each council session if they so desired. Both republics were gender-blind, allowing women and men the same opportunities to participate and, if elected, to lead. (Indeed, the Cherokee language had no gendered pronouns. “He speaks in council” and “she speaks in council” both translated as “a Cherokee speaks in council.”) This inclusiveness led to political equality under the constitutions. Divorce law and property law, for example, unlike its counterparts across the ocean, recognized no difference between men and women.

    The value the Amerindians placed on the individual meant that the power of the group, be that the town, region, nation, or confederacy, had to remain limited. Participation was one check on the power of government. Control could not rest with one party or faction alone because any leader had to build a coalition to survive." - Clara Green (copied from a book at the public library at age 11.)