I would never go for a flat tax in a million years - strictly because the only fun I get out of getting raped four times a year is "creative accounting". Of course, when the IRS comes knocking, it's brutal. That happened a couple of years ago and...let's just say there is no way to beat it. Who was the guy who came out in favor of abolishing the IRS? Elect him KING now!
Seriously, the "flat tax" idea just isn't feasible. That's why the "rich get richer, poor get poorer" argument is only political rhetoric
For 1999, the most recent year for which complete Internal Revenue Service (news - web sites) statistics were available, 6.3 million taxpayers whose incomes were in the top 5 percent paid more than 55 percent of all income taxes. They had adjusted gross incomes above $120,846 a year, meaning spouses could earn a bit over $60,000 each and be considered among the nation's richest.
"It's very easy to move into the top echelon of taxpayers," Hodge said.
The wealthiest 1 percent those earning $293,415 and up paid more than a third of the taxes, while their share of the nation's taxable income was 19 percent. They pay income taxes at the top rate, now 38.6 percent, compared with a maximum rate of 15 percent for most lower-earning taxpayers.
Taxpayers in the bottom half paid only 4 percent of income taxes in 1999, according to the IRS. These 63 million taxpayers earned, on average, less than $26,415 a year.
The flip side to making something of yourself is not only being "one of them" (which usually leaves you open to blatant alienation / hostility / jealously from your ex-friends), but also requires you to carry the burden for the various "government programs" that have been ingrained into this society. Which is why I hope W makes serious inroads at "reform" of these programs that have run their course. The Baby Boomers are set to bankrupt this country, at the expense of Generation X, Y and Z. I'm a "Gen Xer" and take great pride and delight knowing that I figured out early to plan ahead instead of waiting for a government handout when (if) I make in to my Sixties.
It's a tough pill to swallow when "Corporate America" allegedly gets the break with tax cuts. But the old saying is - no bum is ever going to pay you to work. Florida just voted to increase the Minimum Wage, which has many business people nervous in this state. An extra dollar an hour means 10 employees making roughly $200 per week ($2k paid) will now be making $240 a week (2.4k paid)...that's two more people that feasibly won't be hired...but they will have to be hired to maintain an acceptable form of Customer Service when business in a booming economy picks up.
That doesn't sound like much, but realize that most business owners aren't exactly living the life of the Rich and Famous. They bust their balls to NOT be a slave to the corporate ogre, but get punished by "making it a fair playing field for all and one". And have to bend over quarterly to justify their existence to the Gestapo. IRS.
In other words, leave tax code as is - but make the "tax cuts" permanent. And let business be business. Speaking of Florida and bums, right off the Interstate exit this afternoon were two good ol' boy crackers with the signs reading "Homeless will work - Need Food." Well, goddamn. They must have been drunk when Four Hurricanes destroyed this state and must not have been told that business owners are putting serious money in everyone's pockets that are not afraid nor ashamed to do some kind of physical labor. I didn't ask, only waved. Their waving back showed me that their arms ain't broke, they are. You can't force people to work - you can only force people making money to support them
(edited by RYDER FAKIN on 5.11.04 1815) Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high
Originally posted by Pool-BoyI can't wrap my brain around the idea that everyone paying the same percentage of their income in taxes is somehow unfair....
I can't remember where I heard it, but I always remember a phrase that's something like" "Treating everyone the same isn't equality"
If I earn $200 a week and you earn $1000. We get taxed at say 17%. My tax is $34. Yours is $170. I have $166 left to buy food, pay rent what ever. You have $830 left for the same things. The fact I earn less, but pay the same percentage tax, puts more pressure on my budget than it does yours. That's why there's a sliding scale for tax payments. The more you earn, generally, the more you can afford to pay. This doesn't always hold true of course, but the logic behind it is understandable.
With the United States being one of, if not THE richest country in the world, why are you all bitching about paying taxes?
Did you know that the US is one of the LOWEST taxed countries in the world? Compared to other countries, we don't pay shit, yet we still expect our country to provide for us.
Why are we getting tax cuts when the country as a whole is in the red? How is it going to help the government pay for a war when we can't even feed our own people because joe blow is getting a tax cut?
I say fuck the tax cuts. I'd rather pay more now and have social security to fall back on when I get old(er). I never asked for a tax cut. I never asked for a war either, but still, where does the government expect to pay for all this shit when it's giving money away.
Cerebus: RIP 1977-2004.
"What do you think it's like being created by a manic-depressive, paranoid schizophrenic, hypochondriac, misogynist with delusions of grandeur and a messiah complex?"
Originally posted by DrOpCan we finally agree to make SUVs conform to admissions and estimated gas mileage rules?
Absolutely. Just as soon as Americans stop buying SUVs and give that as the reason why. After all, the United States is a government of the people, and the best way for the people to express their opinions so that the automakers will hear them is with their pocketbooks. Once the automakers start losing sales, they'll make the changes that the American people want.
Originally posted by whateverTax cuts are fine, IF you keep the government spending down.
Amen to that. One of the great ironies of this past Presidential campaign was Bush calling Kerry a liberal. IMHO the Des Moines Register (talkleft.com) expressed it best:
Originally posted by The Des Moines RegisterYes, Kerry is liberal. But what's to fear from a liberal president? That he would run big deficits? That he would increase federal spending? That he would expand the power of the federal government over individuals' lives? Nothing Kerry could do could top what President Bush has already done in those realms.
The bottom line is that federal taxes and the federal government should both be drastically diminished. At least, IMHO.
Originally posted by ZeruelThe top bracket was lowered to 35% from like 38.5% to put it in line with corporations. Sole proprietorships pay taxes on the personal income schedule. On the same bracket, the small mom-and-pops were paying 38.5%, but the corporation was paying 35% so there was a disadvantage to the mom-and-pops. They lowered the top bracket. I would have raised the 35% to 38.5%. Corporations are a small sector of the business world, but make up about 90% of the revenue.
This is just my opinion (well, mine, the late Ronald Reagan's, former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill's, and damn few others) but having a corporate income tax of any kind is one of the most illogical things you can do if you want to have a free market economy. Of course, when you examine the history of the United States over the past one hundred years, it's evident that Americans in general really don't want a free market economy; however, if they did, abolishing the corporate income tax would be a good first step (incidentally, a great second step would then be to abolish all income taxes; but, one step at a time).
Originally posted by Ryder FakinSpeaking of Florida and bums, right off the Interstate exit this afternoon were two good ol' boy crackers with the signs reading "Homeless will work - Need Food." Well, goddamn. They must have been drunk when Four Hurricanes destroyed this state and must not have been told that business owners are putting serious money in everyone's pockets that are not afraid nor ashamed to do some kind of physical labor. I didn't ask, only waved. Their waving back showed me that their arms ain't broke, they are. You can't force people to work - you can only force people making money to support them.
A man I know works in Florida as a private contractor. Whenever he sees a man on the side of the road holding a "Will Work For Food" sign (which is pretty much everyday) he'll pull over in his pick-up and offer the man what his sign says he wants: a day's work for a day's wages. The last I checked none, zero, nada, no not one of the signholders had taken him up on his offer. Make of that what you will. Speaking now more to the general point, I think helping those in need by donating your dollars, your property, your time, your caring, and any and everything else you wish to give, is great and noble. However, I see absolutely no reason to involve government in the process, especially if you want your giving to go to those who are most in need.
Originally posted by CerebusWhy are we getting tax cuts when the country as a whole is in the red? How is it going to help the government pay for a war when we can't even feed our own people because joe blow is getting a tax cut?
To say we can't feed our own people because we're not paying enough taxes is extremely inaccurate. Since the United States, even with the tax cuts, has enough money to PAY FARMERS TO NOT GROW FOOD, obviously it's not a lack of funds in the Federal Treasury that keeps food out of the mouths of the poor.
Originally posted by Cerebus I'd rather pay more now and have social security to fall back on when I get old(er).
So which is it? Do you want to pay more now or do you want to have money to fall back on when you get older? Because you paying more in taxes now does nothing to guarantee that you will receive social security benefits, since the benefits (if any) will be paid by those working when you retire, not from any of the money that you are giving the government now. To think that giving your money to the Federal government as opposed to, say, putting it in the bank, will better guarantee that you'll have money when you retire, is, to be kind, rather foolish. Still, as an American you're free to do anything you wish with your money. May I suggest that, instead of raising taxes, when you next fill out your Federal Income Tax Form, that you give the Federal government the additional money of yours that you wish for them to have by making a donation to reduce the federal deficit, and allow me to keep my money for myself, to do with as I wish? This way, both you and I are free to do with our money that which we will. Isn't that fair?
As a P.S., excellent point Guru; and Thrill, my thoughts exactly on hydrogen automobiles.
This story has been fascinating to follow this week. Photos & Sound from Titan: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/index.html From NY Times: January 16, 2005 Titan's Big News: A Mysterious Shoreline By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD http://www.nytimes.