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 Post subject: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Not saying you are for or against it. Just seems you are the most likely to respond with factual answers. If the middle class can supposedly afford to pay 28% of our income in taxes why can't the upper class? I'm looking for fair taxation. Say if everybody, rich, poor, and in between paid the same percentage tax on their income, say 20% would it equal what is currently being brought in with the tiered tax system? If not 20% where would it need to be?


Last edited by schlep1967 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:38 pm 
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I ain't Benny, but I think you are on to an answer to the problem- probably as low as 13-18% on EVERY earning person ( Maybe even slightly lower).

A few problems are the reason it will never happen:
1. The Gray gang ( and I guess I'm now one of them or almost) will never stand for ANY tax when they (we?) are getting off with a near-zero tax rate, depending on the situation ( and maybe we "paid our dues" and earned that? I dunno)
2. The Way-upper gang will NEVER stand for it. Period
3. Like Property taxes, the flat rate idea scares the hell out of me. You EVER hear of a REDUCTION in Property Taxes?? I've owned a lot of property over the years and I'm still waiting to see that for the first time. Translation: It might start at (let's say) 10% this year but next year "We're so sorry but we need to slightly raise it to 11% but we PROMISE to reduce it back after we catch up". :roll: Yeah, right :evil:

Afraid it just won't happen because it would be an even more tax nightmare.
OK, Benny: how far off the mark is my thinking? Or did I hit it? You might not believe this but I DO give you a lot of credit in these matters just as Schlep does. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:53 am 
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I've done a little research/google work and the biggest problem I see is how it is worded. Seems some keep adding words to the word "income". To me income is any money coming in to you, earned through working or unearned through investments. Seems whenever somebody tries to make a flat tax they only want to tax earned income which means the rich still don't pay taxes.

Then again I am way out there in my way of thinking. To me we should pay more taxes to the State we live in than we do to the Federal Government. All the Fed should be is a Treasury (to keep a national currency), a Military (to protect the United States from foreign invasion), and the Capitol/Office (limited staff). If the money went directly to the states we could stop paying millions of fed workers to push money around so they can get a pat on the head when they send it back to the states where it should have never left. The states would have the money they need to fix roads and bridges without waiting for the Feds to free up the money. The states would have the money to take care of their senior citizens, physically disabled and mentally challenged. To me it just seems like common sense. And to those worried about those Fed workers, there would be so much more money flowing in the economy instead of tied up in red tape they could find jobs in the public sector.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:34 am 
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schlep1967 wrote:
And to those worried about those Fed workers, there would be so much more money flowing in the economy instead of tied up in red tape they could find jobs in the public sector.

I disagree. There would be less jobs in the public sector and more jobs in the private sector.
Which is why I'm for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:42 am 
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Vic wrote:
schlep1967 wrote:
And to those worried about those Fed workers, there would be so much more money flowing in the economy instead of tied up in red tape they could find jobs in the public sector.

I disagree. There would be less jobs in the public sector and more jobs in the private sector.
Which is why I'm for it.

Yea that's what I meant. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:01 am 
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schlep1967 wrote:
Vic wrote:
schlep1967 wrote:
And to those worried about those Fed workers, there would be so much more money flowing in the economy instead of tied up in red tape they could find jobs in the public sector.

I disagree. There would be less jobs in the public sector and more jobs in the private sector.
Which is why I'm for it.

Yea that's what I meant. :mrgreen:

I know.... :lol: :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:19 am 
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Well, I'm one of the gray gang, but I still pay taxes on part of my Social Security income, which I always thought is a double whammy since it is tax money to start with.
But piedmont is right, a flat tax would be much worse for retired seniors.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:40 pm 
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schlep1967 wrote:
Not saying you are for or against it. Just seems you are the most likely to respond with factual answers. If the middle class can supposedly afford to pay 28% of our income in taxes why can't the upper class? I'm looking for fair taxation. Say if everybody, rich, poor, and in between paid the same percentage tax on their income, say 20% would it equal what is currently being brought in with the tiered tax system? If not 20% where would it need to be?


This turned out to be longer than I planned. Sorry.

I. I'm going to have to play a game of semantics with this first due to unknowns.

1. The marginal rate is not the effective rate that any taxpayer actually pays, so there is no real 28% tax rate, the average effective rate on adjusted incomes is about 11%. So the media talk of any certain tax rate is bogus and used only to make the cut you pay seem higher.

2. You are correct with the definition of income. How will this be defined for collection? Same rate on paycheck income as investment, pension, or estate income? Then some income will be taxes 2x at the same rate. Are we in reality looking at taxing every time $ changes hands?

3. Does this apply to corporate income rates?

4. Will deductions & credits be eliminated?

5. Will federal spending be limited to any knowable limit? If not, the rates will move constantly and borrowing will continue to push up future tax liabilities. Then we may all be paying 80% effective tax rate and eating spam.

6. What is fair? If you don't have extra money no matter what your income than whatever is taken from you is unfair. Fairness isn't based on your income. That perception is based on displacing your values onto others' decisions or envy.

7. Are we counting the taxes paid as increased costs on goods & services because of current taxation / regulation?

8. Are we counting social security / medicare because this isn't counted as "income tax"? Also results in a loss of 15% (13% for a month) of your income that you never see, but could get in cash if not for SS.

II. OK, what about a flat tax?
Assuming the best scenario to allow for such a scheme, the basic problem politicians will not be able to get over is voter blocks.

1. Lower income voters will have their taxes rise under all flat tax proposals.

2. Many lower income people are retired and vote in large numbers. Those numbers are increasing.

3. Middle class working people will see the $ needed for retirement increase, thus extending their working years to be able to afford retirement. Since their taxes will have also gone up, the amount they can afford to put in 401(k) or IRA will go down, also extending their needed working years to fund their nest eggs. Then we get into a situation of lost opportunities for younger workers due to saturation of employees, which also drives down worker pay.

4. If corporate effective rates go up, there will be 2 choices.
a. reduce income & thus valuation of stockholders (401k) and dividends
[interestingly this is a scenario under the "fiscal cliff" that could trash the stock market]
b. pass along costs to consumers who will already have less spending $ due to higher tax rates.

All this depends on what the rate would be. Obviously we would all rejoice at a 8% rate but suffer under a 30% rate.

III. What would the rate need to be to fund govt operations, entitlements, & discretionary spending?

1. For simplicity, let's assume that every dollar of the GDP was taxable. That would amount to a flat tax rate of 40.6% for FY 2012 unless we kept borrowing.

2. No one currently pays this rate. In the past there were higher marginal rates, but the effective rates were nothing like the 91% that Krugmanites advocate.

IV. What happens if we imposed a flat tax rate necessary to fund the govt?

1. Humans do not operate in vacuums. That is the real study of economics that many economists ignore. When you taxes triple instantly, you will find ways to operate outside the taxed economy. This leads to black markets in which courts can't be used to defend you rights and crime increases (prohibition).

2. Under vastly higher rates, you have less $. economic activity slows and you risk a major depression.

3. To thwart this, govts like to monetize the debt or engage in "quantitative easing", making your $ [buying power] worth less. In this scenario, the 1st one to the $ has lots of buying power [banks]. You are further down the line and have much less as the market understands the $ supply is diluted by this point and prices rise.

V. The real issue

The fundamental question isn't what the tax rate should be, but wy do we have a govt & what should it do?

Currently the answer is to do all the things people want it to do so they don't have to. Our govt is essentially a giant insurance program for those who make poor decisions from building houses in hurricane areas to having too many children or providing us retirement security.

As long as that continues to be the role we want govt to play, it will need to balance its own desire to remain in power against the amount of responsibility it can avoid in order to do so.

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"Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor." - H.L. Mencken


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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:12 am 
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Wow, thanks for taking the time to put together such a long reply. Now I'm really confused. :?


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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:16 pm 
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If you raise the tax on investment income, there will be less investment.
If there is less investment, there will be less jobs.
People don't always make money on their investments, they sometimes lose money. They are taking a risk. They aren't going to take that risk if the reward for making a wise investment isn't great enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Interesting article. I especially like the graph showing the 50 year spending average and the 50 year tax average. http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economywatch/facing-fiscal-cliff-american-taxpayers-have-had-it-easy-decades-1C7378082?ocid=msnhp&pos=1
It really should not be that hard to get those two numbers to come together.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Don't worry, Obama is pushing for another $255 billion in stimulus spending.
That'll solve the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for bfranklin. Why not a flat tax?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Vic wrote:
Don't worry, Obama is pushing for another $255 billion in stimulus spending.
That'll solve the problem.


Like the first one???? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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