Armageddon MUD General Discussion Board

Non-Armageddon Discussion => Non-Armageddon Discussion => Topic started by: adriannetwork on April 01, 2014, 03:17:50 PM

Title: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: adriannetwork on April 01, 2014, 03:17:50 PM
Meh

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Brytta Léofa on April 01, 2014, 03:32:35 PM
(http://s21.postimg.org/iazgre19z/indiana_jones_popcorn.gif)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 01, 2014, 03:43:11 PM
I recall having this "discussion" a while back and getting called a tax-cheat among other things because I advocated for the removal of income tax, and setting a higher flat sales tax.

So good luck with this on these forums :)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Brytta Léofa on April 01, 2014, 03:56:57 PM
I don't think the FairTax is politically viable. You can't get an ideologically pure tax system passed through the U.S. Congress, whether it's the FairTax or a flat income tax or a 90% income tax bracket. Congress makes its living by fomenting conflict over this stuff.

I do question what the effects of a very high sales tax would be (a nation of flea markets? is that good or bad?), and the desirability of putting everyone on a monthly government paycheck. And, yes, the IRS is a more abusive than average agency, but that's not really a problem of tax policy; it's more that the bureaucracy is more powerful than the elected government.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 01, 2014, 04:00:45 PM
It's really simple math.

You keep everything you earn. No income tax.

When you spend, you're taxed.

People will then spend normally when economic times are good, and not as much when income is tight. The government then has a real reason to institute policies to help people maintain healthy incomes because it encourages spending which ends up in higher tax revenues.

It really all works out better in the end.

Or you can have the current system where you're taxed on your income and taxed on your spending. Seems legit.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Brytta Léofa on April 01, 2014, 04:07:20 PM
Hey the fairtax dudes are smart guys I'm cool if you want to try it.

It would certainly be beneficial to people who are in debt and not already getting a big break from the mortgage interest deduction.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Lizzie on April 01, 2014, 04:20:43 PM
It's really simple math.

You keep everything you earn. No income tax.

When you spend, you're taxed.

People will then spend normally when economic times are good, and not as much when income is tight. The government then has a real reason to institute policies to help people maintain healthy incomes because it encourages spending which ends up in higher tax revenues.

It really all works out better in the end.

Or you can have the current system where you're taxed on your income and taxed on your spending. Seems legit.


Seems legit to me. I don't like the proportions, but I like the idea. I mean the idea of how it is presently. Not everyone spends equally. And people who are wealthy have ways of getting out of paying their fair share. And then there are the poor who live in urban areas - they wouldn't have to pay much in income tax anyway, because they're poor. But the price of a loaf of bread is higher in the city than it is in the country - so they'd be the ones bearing the biggest *retail* tax-spending burden. Okay so then you make exceptions for the poor folks. So how do you make up for the loss? You have to tax someone -else- extra. Who, and how?

There's nothing simple about the fair use or the flat tax. If you tax only by income, then people who have no income would pay no tax. If you tax only on sales, then only the people who do the actual buying would pay the tax. Except - what about people who buy things for resale? Who's paying the tax then? The buyer, or the end user? Or both? If it's tax via sales only, then the same loaf of bread would be taxed twice: once by the supermarket who buys from the baker, and a second time by the customer of the supermarket.

A problem we have, is with the differences in geographical locations and the costs of living for each area. If I'm paying $20,000 for a car here in Connecticut, the exact same car might cost $25,000 in California, just because it's in California. It might only be $17,500 in Arkansas. If the country relies exclusively on sales tax for its governmental revenue they'll end up in a world of hurt when people living in expensive locations move to less expensive locations, to avoid overpaying the taxes.

Some states also already have imposed *state* income tax - which the feds can't abolish. And some localities within each state have a local income tax, which the feds also can't abolish.

So you'd have to get every local area that imposes local taxes, and every state that imposes state taxes, to all agree jointly to stop imposing income tax. Otherwise, it won't work.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 01, 2014, 04:56:26 PM
Lizzie,

A common myth to implementing a higher sales tax and no income tax is that the poor will be taxed more. There are a couple of reasons why this isn't true:

(1) Goods that are necessities do not have to be taxed. In Ontario for example there's a list of goods you do not pay sales tax on http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/tax/hst/exemptions.html

(2) It's not whether you are wealthy or poor that will judge how much of your gross revenue ends up going to tax. It's what you spend that adjusts that. If money is tight you should be saving and only really spending on goods you need (which hopefully would be exempt under any fair system).
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: lordcooper on April 01, 2014, 05:05:27 PM
I'm against providing further incentive for people to hoard wealth.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Brytta Léofa on April 01, 2014, 05:07:42 PM
I'm against providing further incentive for people to hoard wealth.

Savings rates are actually low in the United States.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 01, 2014, 05:08:17 PM
Who the hell puts money in a savings account anymore?

BITCOINS PEOPLE
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: manonfire on April 01, 2014, 05:20:24 PM
If Fairtax will abolish the capital gains tax, I'm bout it.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 01, 2014, 05:21:59 PM
Poor people already do not pay any income tax. If anything they make so little money they get money back at the end of the year due to the automatic deduction everyone gets. They do however pay sales tax like wealthy people. (To clarify, yes they get money taken out of their paychecks throughout the year, but I always got back more than I paid in at the end of the year because I was poor.)

I know, I was once in this tax bracket. Tax time was epic win. I loved getting that income tax check.

Wealthy people under the current system pay much higher income tax because they make much more money. I pay a lot more in taxes now than I used to pay. They also pay sales tax. I might argue this is unfair to wealthy people, but, they are wealthy. I wouldn't say I am "wealthy", but I'm not hurting. Paying sales tax doesn't even register on my radar when I pay for things. It is so minor as to not even be a consideration for me, and I'm not what I would consider "wealthy". So, I'm sure "wealthy" people having to pay sales tax as well isn't really killing them to the point they can't maintain their wealth.

A sales tax only system does seem to have one key advantage though. It lets wealthy people who make a lot of money pay a lot less in taxes because they only pay taxes on the money they spend, not the money they make. So, unless they are spending a lot of their money (something most wealthy people don't do, the key to being wealthy to begin with is saving more than you spend), they will save a lot of money with a sales tax only system, which is probably the major reason people would push for this. It lets wealthy people be more wealthy more easily.

I would personally save A LOT of money with a sales tax only system, because I spend little of what I make comparatively. I don't blow my money on a lot of stuff, so I wouldn't pay a lot of taxes.

I am for a sales tax only system because it personally benefits me directly. I don't want it because it is "good for the people", it probably isn't, but it is good for me.


Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 01, 2014, 05:50:57 PM
I am for a sales tax only system because it personally benefits me directly. I don't want it because it is "good for the people", it probably isn't, but it is good for me.


That's the problem with taxes!
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 01, 2014, 05:57:08 PM
Desertman is a parody account that's written by a group of Literature students in Whales who are having a laugh at us.

Unbelievable this guy.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: lordcooper on April 01, 2014, 06:00:29 PM
Desertman is a parody account that's written by a group of Literature students in Whales who are having a laugh at us.

Unbelievable this guy.


(http://i.imgur.com/nNXQJ8r.jpg)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 01, 2014, 06:11:10 PM
What does that mean?
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: lordcooper on April 01, 2014, 06:19:07 PM
It would have been too difficult to take a single picture of them in separate whales, this is the best I can do right now.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 01, 2014, 07:00:49 PM
Janeshepard is a herp and a derp that thinks they is not, but they is.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/Map_of_Wales.GIF)

(http://www.dec.ny.gov/images/administration_images/0810whales4.jpg)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 01, 2014, 07:58:00 PM
It would have been too difficult to take a single picture of them in separate whales, this is the best I can do right now.

LOL. Good one.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Mood on April 01, 2014, 11:48:13 PM
I recall having this "discussion" a while back and getting called a tax-cheat among other things because I advocated for the removal of income tax, and setting a higher flat sales tax.

So good luck with this on these forums :)


death to the poor. let us feast on their emaciated bodies.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Patuk on April 02, 2014, 09:16:44 AM
How does the fairtax system take into account that imposing far higher taxes on products will make it much more attractive for people to smuggle things now seen as too mundane to bother with smuggling?
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Zoltan on April 02, 2014, 10:09:08 AM
I recall having this "discussion" a while back and getting called a tax-cheat among other things because I advocated for the removal of income tax, and setting a higher flat sales tax.

So good luck with this on these forums :)


death to the poor. let us feast on their emaciated bodies.

Indeed. And let our infrastructure crumble as well. I travel everywhere by helicopter anyway.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 10:12:51 AM
I recall having this "discussion" a while back and getting called a tax-cheat among other things because I advocated for the removal of income tax, and setting a higher flat sales tax.

So good luck with this on these forums :)


death to the poor. let us feast on their emaciated bodies.

Indeed. And let our infrastructure crumble as well. I travel everywhere by helicopter anyway.

Helicopter? Peon. Why don't you get off these boards and go cook a meal for yourself, with your own two hands, peasant.

(http://s3.amazonaws.com/rapgenius/g650_aerial02_1024x768.jpg)

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 02, 2014, 10:31:39 AM
How does the fairtax system take into account that imposing far higher taxes on products will make it much more attractive for people to smuggle things now seen as too mundane to bother with smuggling?

That's something for law enforcement to figure out.

It's not going to be so bad. You keep 100% of what you earn and are never penalized for earning more. For every dollar you spend on non-essential goods you end up paying about 23 cents more. So if you buy a luxury car for 100k you pay 23k more in taxes.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 10:38:55 AM
It would be kind of funny really.

When you get pulled over in your luxury car for speeding or something you could look the officer dead in the eye and say, "I pay your salary with this car!"

I do love the idea of this system, I would get to keep so much more of my money this way, and if there is one thing I love, it is money.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Patuk on April 02, 2014, 12:25:22 PM
How does the fairtax system take into account that imposing far higher taxes on products will make it much more attractive for people to smuggle things now seen as too mundane to bother with smuggling?

That's something for law enforcement to figure out.

I.. I don't even know where to begin.



Proposal one: I hereby ensure that, in order to feed our nation, all potatoes must be €1/kilo.

Rebuttal: wouldn't that put extreme stress on our nation's farmers?

Proposer: That's something for agriculture to figure out.



Proposal two: in combating pollution, cars will be banned henceforth.

Rebuttal: how exactly is our economy going to function without cars?

Proposer: That's for the citizenry to figure out.



I could try and keep this up, or I could not and point out that while fairtax might be a good idea, not addressing its flaws is an awfully weak way of trying to prove that you are in the right. 'Let the other people fix it, I like my idea' shouldn't be an argument that works anywhere, and it certainly won't with me.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Patuk on April 02, 2014, 12:50:56 PM
I'm against providing further incentive for people to hoard wealth.

Hoarding wealth his how anything happens in the world. Matter of fact the only reason money exists is because you can't hoard enough ears of corn long enough to buy a car without them rotting first. A fundamental function of economics you are against? Odd.

That's a strawman. The incentive that is there doesn't mean anyone has to like it. It certainly doesn't mean more of it is a good thing, or needs to be encouraged.

How does the fairtax system take into account that imposing far higher taxes on products will make it much more attractive for people to smuggle things now seen as too mundane to bother with smuggling?

Because businesses aren't taxed. And because components aren't taxed for manufacturing, building products in the USA will be cheaper. For instance I used to sell crowns and bridges for teeth. It cost $30 in materials and about $60-70 of labor and I'd sell them for $110. Well later I starting buying the finished product from china. It was $25 including the material and labor!!!!!!! Just the materials alone are far more expensive in the USA because each business that provides materials gets SLAMMED with taxes, and so do the people working for those companies.

Therefore except for some rare circumstances it will be break even just buying whatever "smuggled" thing here. Imports would be more expensive however because the cost of manufacturing them would remain the same. But a system like this would make USA a tax haven for industry to come here and manufacture to then EXPORT things without our sales tax. How cool is that? It would make us marginally more efficient than the rest of the world.

I do not think you understand what I mean by smuggling in this case, or, more specifically, how this smuggling would work. I also do not think you realise what the chief reason Chinese goods are cheaper is, but seeing as that isn't the point of what I'm saying here, I'm going to focus on smuggling.

Put simply, not charging anything but buying goods is going to increase domestic smuggling. If such an immense part of any product's cost is going to be in the taxes placed on it, it simply is going to be much more viable to sell goods under the table that as of right now, nobody at all would bother smuggling because it's not worth the effort. If your business could increase its turnover by enormous margins by simply evading the sales tax, I'm going to bet you here and now that the smuggle of mundane goods is going to be a thing.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 02, 2014, 12:56:28 PM
How does the fairtax system take into account that imposing far higher taxes on products will make it much more attractive for people to smuggle things now seen as too mundane to bother with smuggling?

That's something for law enforcement to figure out.

I.. I don't even know where to begin.

So I read your examples and I guess I don't understand what you're getting at. We already have tariffs and import taxes in place and smuggling isn't a huge problem as far as I know.

Naturally people will try to hide sales in order to offer goods at a cheaper price and entice more consumers. Cops need to deal with that.

I live in a province with a 13% sales tax. I've never known anyone to run off to some sleazy black market to buy stuff... I mean I'm sure it exists but it's not a huge problem.

EDIT:

Patuk people aren't going to buy their denims and video games from a black market. They'll go to a mall and stuff and pay the sales tax.

How silly :)



Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 01:02:40 PM
No.

How shitty. I already buy second hand shit to save money when I need to. Making me pay extra tax...

Just no.

Keep shitting on the poor more. It's already hard enough!
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Patuk on April 02, 2014, 01:06:28 PM
How does the fairtax system take into account that imposing far higher taxes on products will make it much more attractive for people to smuggle things now seen as too mundane to bother with smuggling?

That's something for law enforcement to figure out.

I.. I don't even know where to begin.

So I read your examples and I guess I don't understand what you're getting at. We already have tariffs and import taxes in place and smuggling isn't a huge problem as far as I know.

Naturally people will try to hide sales in order to offer goods at a cheaper price and entice more consumers. Cops need to deal with that.

I live in a province with a 13% sales tax. I've never known anyone to run off to some sleazy black market to buy stuff... I mean I'm sure it exists but it's not a huge problem.

EDIT:

Patuk people aren't going to buy their denims and video games from a black market. They'll go to a mall and stuff and pay the sales tax.

How silly :)

If you'd read the entirety of my post, you'd actually realise smuggling does not only take place across borders.

People smuggling mundane, semi-inflexible goods isn't even unheard of. The 1950's had people smuggling butter. Fucking. Butter.

Regardless. Yes, if the price is sufficiently low, and with a sales tax this high it will be, people are going to buy their denims and video games on the black market.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: manonfire on April 02, 2014, 01:24:20 PM
No.

How shitty. I already buy second hand shit to save money when I need to. Making me pay extra tax...

Just no.

Keep shitting on the poor more. It's already hard enough!

You actually end up paying less net tax overall.

I imagine even unemployment checks are untaxed, since it's technically classified as income.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Brytta Léofa on April 02, 2014, 01:25:10 PM
Keep shitting on the poor more. It's already hard enough!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_of_the_FairTax_burden

Uh, it might save you money, boog. If your income's low enough, you might presently be paying no "federal income tax," or even getting paid back a bit in refundable credits.  But you're for darnshore paying your 12.4% FICA, the regressivest tax there is.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 01:38:17 PM
That's what the new NC tax policy is supposed to do, too. It doesn't work as intended.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 02, 2014, 01:41:11 PM
I'd like to know one thing. Why is it an imperative that the 'poor' pay less in taxes than the 'rich' ?

I know I'm going to get flamed by this, but aren't both groups using the same roads? Defended by the same military? Under the same set of laws?

That's one thing I never quite grasped. I understand we don't want to 'shit on the poor' and I agree, but the tax code shouldn't be changed in order to cater to any specific group. There should be a flat tax on everyone. Put it on spending and it makes more sense.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 02:19:34 PM
You don't think the tax on 'stuff'  you're proposing will work out well for the poor?

I don't think it's fair, because rich people can, weirdly enough, afford to buy. But if I'm gonna have to pay even more for food, clothes, or other essentials, that seems a little... skewed.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 02:20:40 PM
You don't think the tax on 'stuff'  you're proposing will work out well for the poor?

I don't think it's fair, because rich people can, weirdly enough, afford to buy. But if I'm gonna have to pay even more for food, clothes, or other essentials, that seems a little... skewed.

The idea is you will have more to pay for those things because you won't be paying any income tax.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Patuk on April 02, 2014, 02:28:17 PM
I'd like to know one thing. Why is it an imperative that the 'poor' pay less in taxes than the 'rich' ?

I know I'm going to get flamed by this, but aren't both groups using the same roads? Defended by the same military? Under the same set of laws?

That's one thing I never quite grasped. I understand we don't want to 'shit on the poor' and I agree, but the tax code shouldn't be changed in order to cater to any specific group. There should be a flat tax on everyone. Put it on spending and it makes more sense.


Because it is the one way to actually keep society from running into the ground.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: manonfire on April 02, 2014, 02:38:14 PM
Some numbers to crunch to for illustrative purposes.

mof's bi-weekly paycheck, before taxes: $7108

mof's bi-weekly paycheck, after federal, state, and local taxes: $4621 (effectively 35%)

biweekly delta: $2487

yearly delta (26 biweekly pay periods per year): $64662

I'll trade that extra $64k a year for a bump in sales tax. If Fairtax removes the capital gains tax, that frees up another $10k or so.

Siiiiign me up.

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 02:38:17 PM
I'd like to know one thing. Why is it an imperative that the 'poor' pay less in taxes than the 'rich' ?


Please note, I just snagged $65,000 as "middle-class" from the wiki (I find a lot of people have different opinions on what middle-class is, depending on how much they make personally usually) and $20,000 is pretty poor in my own personal experience.


Current "Scaled" System Example:


"Poor Person": $20,000 a year - 10% tax rate - $2,000 paid in taxes. ($18,000 a year to survive. Been there, it sucks.)

"Wealthy/Middle-Class Person": $65,000 a year - 30% tax rate - $19,500 paid in taxes. ($45,500 a year to survive. Easily done.)

Current System Tax Revenue for the Government: $21,500.


Proposed "Flat Rate" Tax System Example: (Assuming everyone pays minimal flat rate 10% taxes across the board)

"Poor Person": $20,000 a year - 10% tax rate - $2,000 paid in taxes. (No change for the poor, their life stays the same.)

"Wealthy/Middle-Class Person": $65,000 a year - 10% tax rate - $6,500 paid in taxes. (See who is the real winner here?)

Flat Rate System Tax Revendue for the Government: $8,500
(This is why the government doesn't do this. The country couldn't run.)



Proposed "Flat Rate" Tax System Example: (Assuming everyone pays higher flat rate 30% taxes across the board)

"Poor Person": $20,000 a year - 30% tax rate - $6,000 paid in taxes ($14,000 a year to survive. This is why this isn't done.)

"Wealthy/Middle-Class Person": $65,000 a year - 30% tax rate - $19,500 paid in taxes. ($45,500 a year to survive. Easily done.)

Proposed Government Tax Revenue: $25,500. The money is good, but they also have an entire class of poverty stricken human beings who are just going to start living off of the system anyways and possibly be prone to insurrection.



Of course these numbers are just examples and not a perfect representation of the current tax code. But this is why the wealthy pay "more". Because the government gets more tax revenue with a scaled system than a flat rate system and it doesn't extremely improve the life of the wealthy or make being poor almost a death sentence.


Now, that is the "why".

Now, is it unfair to the wealthy? Without a doubt. I fully agree on that front. It isn't fair for Johnny Money to pay a higher percentage of his income in taxes than Jack Broke just because Johnny Money has managed to be more successful in life. It is kind of like a punishment for being more successful, and that is really sort of "Anti-American", ironically.  

If you are going to have a "flat tax" system, putting it on spending does seem the most "fair" way to go about it without running the entire country into the ground.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: lordcooper on April 02, 2014, 03:20:04 PM
Why is it an imperative that the 'poor' pay less in taxes than the 'rich' ?

In 2013 the US brought in an estimated 5.4 trillion dollars in tax revenue.  With the current US population being 317,493,212 that averages out as $17,008 per person (we'll ignore that the existence of minors, students, the 14.9% unemployment rate, the retired, the disabled etc will drive the required amount per financially independent individual significantly higher for the time being).  Joe McPoorguy works a typical 40 hour workweek at a minimum wage ($7.25) job, meaning he earns $15,080 a year.

We'll also ignore common human decency and any form of ethics, so it's okay to tax someone into financial destitution.  You physically can't take more money from people than they earn (assuming no savings, which Joe McPoorguy is unlikely to have).  Even if we were okay with someone paying 100% of their income in taxes, Joe McPoorguy would not be able to pay his 'fair' share.

Now, there are 3.6 million hourly paid workers in the US who earn minimum wage or below.  We somehow manage to take all their money in taxes, leaving a shortfall of $6,940,800,000.  Damn it, gonna have to cut that money from the budget.  Oh shit, we've also got to imprison all these people for tax evasion (bit of a catch 22 here, given that prison costs money).  And oh, millions of other people are left without enough money to feed, clothe and house themselves.

So my answer to that one is going to have to be 'basic maths'.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 03:25:35 PM
Why is it an imperative that the 'poor' pay less in taxes than the 'rich' ?

In 2013 the US brought in an estimated 5.4 trillion dollars in tax revenue.  With the current US population being 317,493,212 that averages out as $17,008 per person (we'll ignore that the existence of minors, students, the 14.9% unemployment rate, the retired, the disabled etc will drive the required amount per financially independent individual significantly higher for the time being).  Joe McPoorguy works a typical 40 hour workweek at a minimum wage ($7.25) job, meaning he earns $15,080 a year.

We'll also ignore common human decency and any form of ethics, so it's okay to tax someone into financial destitution.  You physically can't take more money from people than they earn (assuming no savings, which Joe McPoorguy is unlikely to have).  Even if we were okay with someone paying 100% of their income in taxes, Joe McPoorguy would not be able to pay his 'fair' share.

Now, there are 3.6 million hourly paid workers in the US who earn minimum wage or below.  We somehow manage to take all their money in taxes, leaving a shortfall of $6,940,800,000.  Damn it, gonna have to cut that money from the budget.  Oh shit, we've also got to imprison all these people for tax evasion (bit of a catch 22 here, given that prison costs money).  And oh, millions of other people are left without enough money to feed, clothe and house themselves.

So my answer to that one is going to have to be 'basic maths'.

This isn't what Jane means.

She isn't asking why someone who makes $20,000 a year isn't paying as much in taxes as someone who makes $65,000 a year. The answer to that is obvious, for all of the reasons you have stated. Basic maths.

What she is asking is why do Johnny Money and Jack Broke both not pay an equal percentage of their income in taxes. (It is the same answer, basic maths, but for different reasons.)

Right now Johnny Money pays a higher percentage of his income in taxes than Joe Broke. (10% and 30% for example.)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Brytta Léofa on April 02, 2014, 03:26:25 PM
To be a little more ezzact, the United States goverment spent about $22 000 per worker last year.  ($3.5 trillion with 155 million people working--lordcooper, Wikipedia shows $2.8 trillion in 2013 revenue.)

Boogster, you're still missing the part of the FairTax where the gummint sends you extra money each month to buy groceries with.  I mean, I still think it's a bad idea, but the system is quite fussily balanced to AVOID screwing the poor.  30% higher prices, but also 13% more income just from eliminating FICA, and a regular check from the government for whatever tax you're likely to pay up to the poverty line. And, heck, probably exemptions for essentials like foodstuffs, as is common now.


Or we could just drastically reduce government spending by providing Social Security and Medicare only to the poor, scrapping our aircraft carriers, and pinky-swearing to ourselves to no-kidding never again help England and Germany "negotiate."  Or possibly with magick.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 03:29:27 PM
scrapping our aircraft carriers

Shut yourn un-American mouth! If'n you ain't love it you leave it!

Jesus, Apple Pie, and Aircraft Carriers.

In that order, by God.

(Jesus eating apple pie commanding an aircraft carrier for bonus points.)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: lordcooper on April 02, 2014, 03:33:29 PM
Wikipedia shows $2.8 trillion in 2013 revenue

That's just federal, I was including state and local government too.

http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/fed_revenue_2013US
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Mood on April 02, 2014, 03:44:00 PM
I'd like to know one thing. Why is it an imperative that the 'poor' pay less in taxes than the 'rich' ?

I know I'm going to get flamed by this, but aren't both groups using the same roads? Defended by the same military? Under the same set of laws?

That's one thing I never quite grasped. I understand we don't want to 'shit on the poor' and I agree, but the tax code shouldn't be changed in order to cater to any specific group. There should be a flat tax on everyone. Put it on spending and it makes more sense.


you do it to keep the working class from slitting your (class') greedy (proverbial) throat, which was an increasingly potent threat to The Powers That Be when modern notions such as progressive income taxation and a strong safety net came into being.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 03:50:35 PM
I'd like to know one thing. Why is it an imperative that the 'poor' pay less in taxes than the 'rich' ?

I know I'm going to get flamed by this, but aren't both groups using the same roads? Defended by the same military? Under the same set of laws?

That's one thing I never quite grasped. I understand we don't want to 'shit on the poor' and I agree, but the tax code shouldn't be changed in order to cater to any specific group. There should be a flat tax on everyone. Put it on spending and it makes more sense.


you do it to keep the working class from slitting your (class') greedy (proverbial) throat, which was an increasingly potent threat to The Powers That Be when modern notions such as progressive income taxation and a strong safety net came into being.

This isn't fair. Jane does not hate nor does she want to persecute or needlessly hinder poor people. She kind of comes off that way, but I don't think it is intentional.

She is actually a fairly decent person in my opinion, based on the limited information I have. Some people just aren't good at portraying themselves the way they would prefer.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Sardaukar on April 02, 2014, 04:03:50 PM
Please note, I just snagged $65,000 as "middle-class" from the wiki (I find a lot of people have different opinions on what middle-class is, depending on how much they make personally usually) and $20,000 is pretty poor in my own personal experience.


Current "Scaled" System Example:


"Poor Person": $20,000 a year - 10% tax rate - $2,000 paid in taxes. ($18,000 a year to survive. Been there, it sucks.)

"Wealthy/Middle-Class Person": $65,000 a year - 30% tax rate - $19,500 paid in taxes. ($45,500 a year to survive. Easily done.)

Current System Tax Revenue for the Government: $21,500.

You, like most people, don’t understand the marginal tax rates of the progressive income tax system.

I’ve had to explain this before (http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,42436.msg669998.html#msg669998):

Quote from: Sardaukar from 2 years ago
I don't think you understand progressive income taxation.  The highest income earners aren't paying 35% on all their income.  They pay the 35% rate only on that income that is in above a certain point.  I can't be bothered to look up the cutoff points, but let's say the top income tax bracket starts at $200,000 per year.  If I make $200,001 in a year I'm only paying 35% on that $1 over the cutoff.

So if you think about it, unless a marginal tax rate is over 100% there is no scenario where earning more income would then lead to you actually taking home less money after taxes.  You didn't say it explicitly in your post, but I think you may believe is the case.

So to use your example, lets say the marginal tax rate for the first $40,000 of income is 10% and lets say that the marginal tax rate for income above $40,000 is 30% then the “Wealthy/Middle-Class Person” pays the following:

First $40,000 taxed at 10% = $4,000
+
Next $25,000 taxed at 30% = $7,500
=
$11,500 (which is < $19,500)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Brytta Léofa on April 02, 2014, 04:14:39 PM
To really muddy the water,
(http://s7.postimg.org/7ychnzoa3/tax_11_16_05.jpg)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 04:38:05 PM
Sardaukar is here to fight for me. Squee.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Sephiroto on April 02, 2014, 04:44:46 PM
You, like most people, don’t understand the marginal tax rates of the progressive income tax system.

I've found this to be the case more often than not.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Lizzie on April 02, 2014, 04:59:49 PM
You don't think the tax on 'stuff'  you're proposing will work out well for the poor?

I don't think it's fair, because rich people can, weirdly enough, afford to buy. But if I'm gonna have to pay even more for food, clothes, or other essentials, that seems a little... skewed.

The idea is you will have more to pay for those things because you won't be paying any income tax.

The poor already don't pay much income tax, and some don't pay any. So instead of paying less (since you can't pay less than 0), they'll have to now pay more, every time they buy something.

I'm already overburdened with federal income tax, state income tax, state sales tax, sewer useage tax, federal communications tax, property tax, car tax, the occasional "we fucked up and underbudgeted last year so we're raising your right-to-exist-tax." All this, in one of the highest cost-of-living states in the country.

If they can't suck it out of you via income tax, you can bet your ass they'll impose enough sales tax to suck the SAME amount from you - or more. Or they'll just create new taxes to cover whatever they're not getting from you via income tax.

And then, they'll impose another tax, just because you had the nerve to suggest they shouldn't do that. They'll call it the "fuck you" tax. And you'll pay it, or they'll put a lein on your house.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 05:00:54 PM

You, like most people, don’t understand the marginal tax rates of the progressive income tax system.



Of course these numbers are just examples and not a perfect representation of the current tax code.


You and I are in agreement on every point, I just didn't look up the exact numbers. Thanks for taking the time though. I just wanted to quickly illustrate the overall concept of "making more money and less money puts you in a different percentile tax bracket".

The point to the post was, "Poor people can't be taxed at the same percentile tax rate as wealthy people because of math and quality of life concerns." Which is also applicable using exact numbers, if I had cared to take the time to look them up with Google.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 05:07:05 PM
You don't think the tax on 'stuff'  you're proposing will work out well for the poor?

I don't think it's fair, because rich people can, weirdly enough, afford to buy. But if I'm gonna have to pay even more for food, clothes, or other essentials, that seems a little... skewed.

The idea is you will have more to pay for those things because you won't be paying any income tax.

The poor already don't pay much income tax, and some don't pay any. So instead of paying less (since you can't pay less than 0), they'll have to now pay more, every time they buy something.

I'm already overburdened with federal income tax, state income tax, state sales tax, sewer useage tax, federal communications tax, property tax, car tax, the occasional "we fucked up and underbudgeted last year so we're raising your right-to-exist-tax." All this, in one of the highest cost-of-living states in the country.

If they can't suck it out of you via income tax, you can bet your ass they'll impose enough sales tax to suck the SAME amount from you - or more. Or they'll just create new taxes to cover whatever they're not getting from you via income tax.

And then, they'll impose another tax, just because you had the nerve to suggest they shouldn't do that. They'll call it the "fuck you" tax. And you'll pay it, or they'll put a lein on your house.

I don't necessarily agree with the idea, I was just stating what the idea was.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 02, 2014, 05:19:17 PM
I don't think it's fair, because rich people can, weirdly enough, afford to buy. But if I'm gonna have to pay even more for food, clothes, or other essentials, that seems a little... skewed.

I've pointed out, and so have others, that essentials are exempt.

EDIT:

And yes. If we had a single income tax rate for everyone it would be more fair (even if the math is all wrong). If boog and I both pay 10 cents on the dollar it's more fair in my opinion. We'd both be paying 'our share.'

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 05:31:45 PM
Even though '10 cents' for me is a lot more than for you and your income.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 05:33:42 PM
Even though '10 cents' for me is a lot more than for you and your income.


Boog, Jane is right. It is "fair", in the most basic and fundamental sense of the word.

The fact it would screw you isn't being factored in, but that isn't what is being discussed.

Jane wouldn't want to see you and your children go hungry for this fairness, she is just saying...fundamentally it is the definition of fair, and to that end, she is right.

It doesn't have to be "right", or even "moral", to be fair.

I was once helping someone move, and they were small and frail and somewhat less than capable of carrying heavy things. I carried their couch by myself. It would have been "fair" for them to at least carry the loveseat alone, but they couldn't. They were physically incapable. It would have literally probably killed them. I put in my fair share, they should have put in their fair share, but it wasn't doable, because of basic physics (the math argument). I carried their loveseat for them. It wasn't fair to me, but it was the right thing to do. (That's not even a made up story. That actually happened. Was a little pissed about it at the time.)

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 05:40:00 PM
...Right.

I didn't say it wasn't fair. I said it was a bigger chunk out of my income than it would be for her.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 05:40:43 PM
...Right.

I didn't say it wasn't fair. I said it was a bigger chunk out of my income than it would be for her.

You do realize I am on your side right? (Or at least in the overall scheme of things I lean towards your side.)

I guess I interpreted your "even though" to be taking the fact as a negative. I didn't realize you were just making a statement with no emotional connotation attached. My apology.

Even though '10 cents' for me is a lot more than for you and your income.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Sardaukar on April 02, 2014, 05:48:08 PM
And yes. If we had a single income tax rate for everyone it would be more fair (even if the math is all wrong). If boog and I both pay 10 cents on the dollar it's more fair in my opinion. We'd both be paying 'our share.'

Here’s the problem with that, and it’s another concept that most people just can’t seem to grasp: marginal utility.

If person X only makes $10,000 a year and you make $1,000,000 a year, it doesn’t make sense to tax X’s next $1,000 the same as your next $1,000. The next $1,000 for X is super important to her, and it could make the difference for her when it comes to feeding the kids or keeping the heat on in the winter. For you, that extra $1,000 is a rounding error. When you buy a new car you don’t even give a crap if the paint color you want costs $1,000 more than the standard colors, you just want the color you want (BRG FTW!). That’s why we have an income tax system with progressive marginal tax rates.

Also, to again rip from a great essay from Cracked.com of all places (http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-things-rich-people-need-to-stop-saying/):

Quote
But the second part is this idea that asking the rich to pitch in is "punishing" them.

So, Rich Guy, let me explain this as calmly and logically as I can:

Are you fucking 6 years old? Do you still think mom made you clean up your room because she was mean? In the adult world, we get asked to do things because shit needs to get done. It has nothing to do with fairness, it has nothing to do with judging you. It has nothing to do with you at all. There's a whole world out there, with people who need helping and projects that need accomplishing.

You're only being asked to pitch in because you have the resources. You're not a tall person who us[sic] dwarfs are jealously trying to cut down to size. You're a tall person being asked to get something down from a very tall shelf because nobody else can fucking reach it.
(italics in the original)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 05:52:04 PM
And yes. If we had a single income tax rate for everyone it would be more fair (even if the math is all wrong). If boog and I both pay 10 cents on the dollar it's more fair in my opinion. We'd both be paying 'our share.'

Here’s the problem with that, and it’s another concept that most people just can’t seem to grasp: marginal utility.

If person X only makes $10,000 a year and you make $1,000,000 a year, it doesn’t make sense to tax X’s next $1,000 the same as your next $1,000. The next $1,000 for X is super important to her, and it could make the difference for her when it comes to feeding the kids or keeping the heat on in the winter. For you, that extra $1,000 is a rounding error. When you buy a new car you don’t even give a crap if the paint color you want costs $1,000 more than the standard colors, you just want the color you want (BRG FTW!). That’s why we have an income tax system with progressive marginal tax rates.


The argument isn't that it makes "sense". I think Jane agrees it makes no practical sense, and may even be morally questionable and possibly even reprehensible.

The argument is that it is "fair", in the most basic sense of the word. Everyone puts in their ten cents, their personal circumstances are their own and they can deal with them, but they are required to put in their ten cents just like me.

It is fair.

I only press this point because that seems to be the horse that is carrying this saddle. The "fairness" argument. It is "fair" for all to have a flat tax rate, and at face value, it absolutely is.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 02, 2014, 05:54:35 PM
Yep. I can't believe I'm actually agreeing with Desertman.

I'd be happy with the same rate across the board which in fairness is exactly what a sales tax would bring.

I don't have -any- problems spending more on helping people in need, and doing it effectively. None whatsoever. I'd even voluntarily contribute a few more percentage points for such programs if I felt they would benefit the community I live in.

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 06:01:01 PM
Yep. I can't believe I'm actually agreeing with Desertman.


Well, we both likely value our own personal wealth over the well-being of people whom we have no invested interest in helping directly. Meaning if they aren't in my community and I don't know them...screw'm, I have a family of my own to take care of/computers and stuff to buy.

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 02, 2014, 06:03:07 PM
No hon, I actually do value human life no matter where it is and give to charity regularly. I grew up piss poor. Most school years I would only have 2-3 outfits max, if you wanted to call them that.

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: RogueGunslinger on April 02, 2014, 06:43:06 PM
No hon, I actually do value human life no matter where it is and give to charity regularly.

That's not what he said. He siad this:

Well, we both likely value our own personal wealth over the well-being of people whom we have no invested interest in helping directly.

Which, unless you're giving everything away, is at least technically true.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Sardaukar on April 02, 2014, 06:51:36 PM
And yes. If we had a single income tax rate for everyone it would be more fair (even if the math is all wrong). If boog and I both pay 10 cents on the dollar it's more fair in my opinion. We'd both be paying 'our share.'

Here’s the problem with that, and it’s another concept that most people just can’t seem to grasp: marginal utility.

If person X only makes $10,000 a year and you make $1,000,000 a year, it doesn’t make sense to tax X’s next $1,000 the same as your next $1,000. The next $1,000 for X is super important to her, and it could make the difference for her when it comes to feeding the kids or keeping the heat on in the winter. For you, that extra $1,000 is a rounding error. When you buy a new car you don’t even give a crap if the paint color you want costs $1,000 more than the standard colors, you just want the color you want (BRG FTW!). That’s why we have an income tax system with progressive marginal tax rates.


The argument isn't that it makes "sense". I think Jane agrees it makes no practical sense, and may even be morally questionable and possibly even reprehensible.

The argument is that it is "fair", in the most basic sense of the word. Everyone puts in their ten cents, their personal circumstances are their own and they can deal with them, but they are required to put in their ten cents just like me.

It is fair.

I only press this point because that seems to be the horse that is carrying this saddle. The "fairness" argument. It is "fair" for all to have a flat tax rate, and at face value, it absolutely is.

Sure. A flat tax is "fair."

...In a sense that a 6 year old would argue. Progressive marginal taxation is also fair, for reasons I explained above about marginal utility. There are lots of things that seem "fair." It would be "fair" for everybody in the US to have the same income, for instance. Or if 4 families were stuck on a sinking ship with 4 lifeboats it would be ostensibly "fair" for each family to get one lifeboat, so the 3 honeymooning couples each get a lifeboat with plenty of extra room, and the Duggers get to decide which 10 of their kids get to die.

So sure: a flat tax is in some sense "fair."
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 07:13:55 PM
No hon, I actually do value human life no matter where it is and give to charity regularly. I grew up piss poor. Most school years I would only have 2-3 outfits max, if you wanted to call them that.



This has nothing to do with what I said, sweetness. (Has our relationship advanced to pet names? If so, I'm for that.)

Edited to Add: (Didn't realize RGS had beat me to it.)

No hon, I actually do value human life no matter where it is and give to charity regularly.

That's not what he said. He siad this:

Well, we both likely value our own personal wealth over the well-being of people whom we have no invested interest in helping directly.

Which, unless you're giving everything away, is at least technically true.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 02, 2014, 07:14:51 PM
And yes. If we had a single income tax rate for everyone it would be more fair (even if the math is all wrong). If boog and I both pay 10 cents on the dollar it's more fair in my opinion. We'd both be paying 'our share.'

Here’s the problem with that, and it’s another concept that most people just can’t seem to grasp: marginal utility.

If person X only makes $10,000 a year and you make $1,000,000 a year, it doesn’t make sense to tax X’s next $1,000 the same as your next $1,000. The next $1,000 for X is super important to her, and it could make the difference for her when it comes to feeding the kids or keeping the heat on in the winter. For you, that extra $1,000 is a rounding error. When you buy a new car you don’t even give a crap if the paint color you want costs $1,000 more than the standard colors, you just want the color you want (BRG FTW!). That’s why we have an income tax system with progressive marginal tax rates.


The argument isn't that it makes "sense". I think Jane agrees it makes no practical sense, and may even be morally questionable and possibly even reprehensible.

The argument is that it is "fair", in the most basic sense of the word. Everyone puts in their ten cents, their personal circumstances are their own and they can deal with them, but they are required to put in their ten cents just like me.

It is fair.

I only press this point because that seems to be the horse that is carrying this saddle. The "fairness" argument. It is "fair" for all to have a flat tax rate, and at face value, it absolutely is.

Sure. A flat tax is "fair."

...In a sense that a 6 year old would argue. Progressive marginal taxation is also fair, for reasons I explained above about marginal utility. There are lots of things that seem "fair." It would be "fair" for everybody in the US to have the same income, for instance. Or if 4 families were stuck on a sinking ship with 4 lifeboats it would be ostensibly "fair" for each family to get one lifeboat, so the 3 honeymooning couples each get a lifeboat with plenty of extra room, and the Duggers get to decide which 10 of their kids get to die.

So sure: a flat tax is in some sense "fair."

We are in nothing but agreement once more.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: lordcooper on April 02, 2014, 07:55:01 PM
When the beer's running out at a party, it's better to ask the guy who brought two 24-packs for a can than they guy who only brought an eight pack.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Synthesis on April 02, 2014, 10:15:53 PM
When the beer's running out at a party, it's better to ask the guy who brought two 24-packs for a can than they guy who only brought an eight pack.

What kind of fucked up parties do they have in the UK where people goaltend their own beer offerings?  Every place I've been, if you bring beer to a party, that beer is community beer as soon as it hits the doormat.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: RogueGunslinger on April 02, 2014, 10:28:23 PM
When the beer's running out at a party, it's better to ask the guy who brought two 24-packs for a can than they guy who only brought an eight pack.

What kind of fucked up parties do they have in the UK where people goaltend their own beer offerings?  Every place I've been, if you bring beer to a party, that beer is community beer as soon as it hits the doormat.

Yeah, and when the party runs out, usually a bunch of different people offer to chip in for more. If people want their own stash buy a forty or a small bottle of something hard.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: BleakOne on April 02, 2014, 10:32:59 PM
Dude, it was totally like, metaphorical... I think.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 10:54:49 PM
I think they're just being purposefully obtuse. ;)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 02, 2014, 10:58:00 PM
I'm against providing further incentive for people to hoard wealth.

You prefer people to make major purchases/pay for education/help others in time of need/provide a head start for the next generation of their family how exactly?
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 11:03:07 PM
Do all mega wealthy people give money to help people in need?

Hell, I give what I can and I don't have much myself.

I've worked in one of the richest communities in NC, and I gotta say, in my anecdotal experience, the richer they are, the less likely they are to give any money to anything. St. Jude's? ALS foundations? Brenner Children's Hospital? Girl Scout Cookies outside? None of the above.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 02, 2014, 11:21:51 PM
I give about 5% of my annual revenue to charities. I'm huge on stopping world hunger. And no I don't do it for tax reasons.

I haven't put money into a savings account since 2008 because of the super low interest rates. I invest heavily, and by investing I'm spreading the wealth to other businesses (most of them are bluechip though).

But let's look at this guy, yeah?

https://www.ted.com/talks/bill_and_melinda_gates_why_giving_away_our_wealth_has_been_the_most_satisfying_thing_we_ve_done
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 02, 2014, 11:23:06 PM
Do all mega wealthy people give money to help people in need?

I think which income bracket someone is in has very little to do with how much they give to charity.
Factors like life-experience, spiritual/moral/religious beliefs, and early life parental/mentor(ial?) guidance have much more to do with the answer to your question.

Your argument did nothing to answer my question.  If some people do not "hoard" wealth, how do they deal with problems that they or their family, friends, neighbors (in the general sense of the word) encounter in life?  Debt? Debt is obtained by getting money from people/businesses who hoard wealth.  The gub-m'nt?  Government aide is obtained from a government who hoards wealth or a government who indebted themselves to a government or business who hoards wealth.

Edited to fix punctuation mistake.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 02, 2014, 11:27:05 PM
Random related question: How come the income tax percentage gets higher the more money you make, but the percentage of money you can claim to have donated to charity does not?
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Mood on April 02, 2014, 11:31:51 PM
I think which income bracket someone is in has very little to do with how much they give to charity.

you'd be wrong. (http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_poor_give_more)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 11:32:48 PM
Do all mega wealthy people give money to help people in need?

I think which income bracket someone is in has very little to do with how much they give to charity.
Factors like life-experience, spiritual/moral/religious beliefs, and early life parental/mentor(ial?) guidance have much more to do with the answer to your question.

Your argument did nothing to answer my question.  If some people do not "hoard" wealth, how do they deal with problems that they or their family, friends, neighbors (in the general sense of the word) encounter in life?  Debt? Debt is obtained by getting money from people/businesses who hoard wealth.  The gub-m'nt?  Government aide is obtained from a government who hoards wealth or a government who indebted themselves to a government or business who hoards wealth.

Edited to fix punctuation mistake.

Isn't the government around to make sure taxes get distributed to keep society afloat? Governmental programs, roads, firefighters, policemen... I mean, I understand you think the government is big and bad and that you identify as a conservative or whatever, but I grew up dirt poor because my father was in "debt" to his drug habit, even coming from a relatively affluent family and was basically saved by "gub'ment" assistance.

I don't get how "debt" is obtained by getting money from people who hoard wealth. I don't get that at all. We're all taxed because we need to be, because we don't want to have potholes fucking up our alignments, we want to be safe, we want people to put out our fires, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 02, 2014, 11:35:14 PM
I think which income bracket someone is in has very little to do with how much they give to charity.

]you'd be wrong. (http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_poor_give_more)

Yeah, it's from the GREATER GOOD "The Science Of Meaningful Life." I love how participants are made to "feel" like they're lower or higher in their social status then asked to split up income. Very good science there :)

Let's see what they ACTUALLY do:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giving_Pledge
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 02, 2014, 11:35:49 PM
Also, on the "maintaining or hoarding (to use the more liberal term) wealth is evil" idea, people who are maintaining a large sum of wealth, aren't just piling up money Scrooge McDuck style, they are paying personal/estate employees, buying vehicles, fuel for these vehicles, buying food, throwing parties, investing in new and growing businesses, traveling, and many many other things with their revolving (but growling) capital, and also paying taxes/sales taxes on all of these things.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 11:37:13 PM
Also, Bill Gates is really the exception rather than the rule. And other bajillionares like him.

And really, FW? Are you... talking about trickle down? Because all the trickle down I've ever gotten is peed on by super rich people and their lobbyists who persuade politicians into terrible decisions by buying food, throwing parties, investing or giving money to business/charities, and all that. ;)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 02, 2014, 11:38:51 PM
Also, Bill Gates is really the exception rather than the rule. And other bajillionares like him.

So wait, you're saying 81 billionaires giving away at least half their wealth to the poor is... an exception?

Boog, I have a feeling unless they're giving you the money you're going to continue to believe people who have wealth only have it because they're greedy. Maybe they have wealth because they know how to manage it and worked hard to build it up.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Mood on April 02, 2014, 11:41:02 PM
I think which income bracket someone is in has very little to do with how much they give to charity.

]you'd be wrong. (http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_poor_give_more)

Yeah, it's from the GREATER GOOD "The Science Of Meaningful Life." I love how participants are made to "feel" like they're lower or higher in their social status then asked to split up income. Very good science there :)

Let's see what they ACTUALLY do:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giving_Pledge


here you go you crazy little canadian, go hog wild. (http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/99/5/771/)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 11:41:36 PM
Well, I never personally saw where 81 billionares did that. I remember reading about a handful of them like Bill Gates and Zuckerberg doing it.

I think you're being unfair now and making gross assumptions about me, jane, and it's not really appreciated.

I applaud people for doing the sort of charitable work that the Gates family does, and others like them. I think it's great. I just wasn't aware of the vast amount of numbers of people doing it, as I've really, again, only read about handfuls of them doing it.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 02, 2014, 11:44:01 PM
Well, I never personally saw where 81 billionares did that. I remember reading about a handful of them like Bill Gates and Zuckerberg doing it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giving_Pledge

It's right there. 81 names of billionaires who are giving away at least half of their wealth in their lifetimes.

EDIT:

Actually it's 144 now..
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 02, 2014, 11:55:16 PM
Ted Turner damn well better have signed that shit, considering how incredibly horrible Time Warner is.

Badum-tch.

Anyway, philanthropy is good. But is that a majority of billionaires? What are the rest of them doing? I dunno.

Regardless, this isn't about them. It's about us. I don't think any of us are even close to that sort of wealth.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 02, 2014, 11:57:07 PM
It's really a rebuttal to what Mood is saying. He's latched onto a group of studies that are implying having wealth and social status makes you less likely to help others, and more likely to keep a bigger piece of your pie.

I do not think that is true in practice.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 12:06:13 AM
I think which income bracket someone is in has very little to do with how much they give to charity.

you'd be wrong. (http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_poor_give_more)

I live in the state with the lowest per-capita income and the second highest per-capita charitable donations.  The first does not have a low capita income.
I live in a conservative state with the second highest per-capita charitable donations. The first is also a conservative state.
I live in a Bible Belt state with the second highest per-capita charitable donations. The first is noted to be a state with a strong religious background.
I just read an article about a study that only relayed information about one aspect of the surveyed group's lives. This study seemed to also be done with their “result” in mind before it started, but I'm not sure beause I can't see the study itself.

And really, FW? Are you... talking about trickle down?

No, I made a separate post (not replying to anyone in particular) to say that not -all- accumulated wealth sits stagnantly in a bank vault a la Scrooge McDuck which is what I picture every times I see the phrase “hording wealth.” ;)

Isn't the government around to make sure taxes get distributed to keep society afloat? Governmental programs, roads, firefighters, policemen.

Yes, government exists to protect its citizens and provide temporary assistance for them in times of need, however long or severe they may be.  I do believe that the government spends a great deal of money on things that do not fall under this purview, but that is a discussion for a whole other thread that will eventually be locked.


I don't get how "debt" is obtained by getting money from people who hoard wealth.

When you want a car/boat/house/grant-or-loan-for-a-community-garden (how is that going, by the way?), you get these things by asking for money from a company who piles up money hoping to loan it to someone for a profit or a organization who piles up money hoping to give it to someone who will see a return financial or otherwise (benefit to their community/increased revenue for the community, etc).
Please explain to me where you think money comes from when someone does not have it.

Well, I never personally saw where 81 billionares did that. I remember reading about a handful of them like Bill Gates and Zuckerberg doing it.

It's because unlike celebrities and politicians, some people like to do good because it is the right things to do, not because it will give them the attention or votes that they think they deserve.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 03, 2014, 12:22:46 AM
I hope you're not being snarky about the community garden. I put my soul into this soil!

In reality, I'm footing the bill myself because there wasn't any grant money to allot this year to anyone. I tried applying for quite a few grants, too, and nothing panned out.

And I'd -heard- about the "giving half of our money away" when it first began and its numbers were, well, small. I don't read up on financial magazines or websites or anything of that to keep updated because, lol, #poorpeopleaintgottimeforthat!
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 12:33:56 AM
No, not at ALL! Huge gardener and a big fan of community gardens, I just haven't seen anything about it on the GDB in a while!!!

If work ever slows down again, I have been wanting to try and get a grant from Mississippi Department of Ag to push an awareness campiagn in my area and hopefully the state at large.
Most people do not know that you can buy seeds and food-plant starts with our SNAP (food stamps) program, and I want to give away free small planting beds (2'x8' and up) and educational material to help teach people how to grown some of their own food and save money/learn a trade/create additional income.  I started recycling and reconditioning pine crates from my work into raised/portable garden beds that would otherwise have been scrapped and thrown into a landfill.  I have my small yard full, have sold some and given some away.  Would like to do more.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 03, 2014, 12:36:23 AM
Completely off topic.

I would use SNAP to buy seeds, but I can't buy any around here that aren't Monsanto seeds, and well, before manonfire gets to typing about how stupid I am for not supporting genetically engineered seed or crops, I'd rather just shell that out, and like, buy produce that is non-GMO and save the seeds after consuming them.

Anyway, back to taxes. Taxes suck, but we have to pay them. It will never change. Just be glad you don't live in like, Denmark or Sweden or Norway, guys!
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 12:44:20 AM

Are wealthy people (financially) conservative because they are wealthy or are they wealthy because they are (financially) conservative?


Seriously though, there is no easy/right/perfect way to tax a citizenry fairly and still get the job done.  We have what we have, and a major overhaul is unlikely in the near future.
There are things I like about the "Fair Tax" idea and thinks that I don't, namely that most of the politicians pushing for it are likely doing so for votes rather than believing it is what is best for the country.

As politically incorrect as it is to say so, I think the best thing to do would be for the fed to pass a budget, raise taxes across the board by the exact amount that is cut from spending and balance the God-damn thing like citizens, corporations, and state governments (lulz) have to do.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 03, 2014, 08:24:59 AM
Anyway, back to taxes. Taxes suck, but we have to pay them. It will never change. Just be glad you don't live in like, Denmark or Sweden or Norway, guys!

The poverty rate is mostly the same between Scandinavia and the United States; however Scandinavians have universal health care and other benefits Americans don't.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/09/we-can-reduce-poverty-if-we-want-we-just-have-want

"There's no Scandinavian miracle that provides high-paying jobs for everyone. However, once you account for government benefits, the poverty rate in the Nordic countries is about half the rate in America. Universal health care accounts for some of this..."

So yeah! You should be SO GLAD you're not living there! You might actually have real health care and other benefits.

EDIT:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model

"Although there are significant differences among the Nordic countries, they all share some common traits. These include support for a "universalist" welfare state (relative to other developed countries) which is aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, promoting social mobility and ensuring the universal provision of basic human rights, as well as for stabilizing the economy; alongside a commitment to free trade. The Nordic model is distinguished from other types of welfare states by its emphasis on maximizing labor force participation, promoting gender equality, egalitarian and extensive benefit levels, the large magnitude of income redistribution, and liberal use of expansionary fiscal policy.[5]"

Sure glad! Damn, those people living in Skyrim sure have it bad!
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 08:53:22 AM
Jane, I haven't had time to look into it and likely won't for a while, so do you know how they " maximizing labor force participation" while maintaining a "welfare state"?

I have always viewed those two ideals as polar opposites in most cases, mostly from my personally life experience of knowing way too many people who are on government aide because 1) they don't want to work/go to school/better themselves or 2) are in a situation where making more money would actually HURT them by cutting government benefits disproportionately to what they would gain by increasing their income. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 03, 2014, 09:15:32 AM
They're not opposites. In fact they're very compatible.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 03, 2014, 09:19:34 AM
I was invoking comedy, because I obviously support taxes to provide for others. How could I possibly want fair taxes, or taxes at all, or discuss the plight of the poor if I'm going to blast a model that does it right? ???

The sarcasm you're displaying is ridiculous. It's not becoming and is the reason people are abrasive to you on the GDB, jane.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 03, 2014, 09:20:46 AM
Wait, you're being sarcastic and that's OK, but when I do it I'm a bitch?
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 03, 2014, 09:23:20 AM
I'm not doing it to demean or attack anyone.

So, yeah. You'd be right.

I was referencing the happiest people in the world to allude to taxes being used purposefully, welfare states or not. You were using it to cut me down.

Tone. Placement. Use.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 09:44:48 AM
They're not opposites. In fact they're very compatible.


Obviously, Wikipedia says so. ;)
My question is what policies/incentives are in place that allows them to "maximize labor force participation" when it is not required for them to provide for themselves and their families.

Politically incorrect statement incoming: If you lower/cuttoff government aide for mentally stable, able-bodied adults, they will find a way to earn money to provide for their self/family/drug habit.  I don't see how giving people more government aide encourages them to participate/increase their participation in the labor force.  I'm curious what in the Nordic model "maximize(s) labor force participation".
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Patuk on April 03, 2014, 09:47:34 AM
Anyway, back to taxes. Taxes suck, but we have to pay them. It will never change. Just be glad you don't live in like, Denmark or Sweden or Norway, guys!

The poverty rate is mostly the same between Scandinavia and the United States; however Scandinavians have universal health care and other benefits Americans don't.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/09/we-can-reduce-poverty-if-we-want-we-just-have-want

"There's no Scandinavian miracle that provides high-paying jobs for everyone. However, once you account for government benefits, the poverty rate in the Nordic countries is about half the rate in America. Universal health care accounts for some of this..."

So yeah! You should be SO GLAD you're not living there! You might actually have real health care and other benefits.

EDIT:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model

"Although there are significant differences among the Nordic countries, they all share some common traits. These include support for a "universalist" welfare state (relative to other developed countries) which is aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, promoting social mobility and ensuring the universal provision of basic human rights, as well as for stabilizing the economy; alongside a commitment to free trade. The Nordic model is distinguished from other types of welfare states by its emphasis on maximizing labor force participation, promoting gender equality, egalitarian and extensive benefit levels, the large magnitude of income redistribution, and liberal use of expansionary fiscal policy.[5]"

Sure glad! Damn, those people living in Skyrim sure have it bad!


Please. Please. She was being sarcastic in a really obvious way. Now you're just making yourself look dumb.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 03, 2014, 09:49:28 AM
I know that I couldn't find anything other than what I have now, though I think it's just the region/state I live in. NC is fairly depressed. Thank god for the Pell, or else there'd be no way for me to 'better' myself. Talk about a lack of upward mobility.

I guess I could go hook to get a little bit more money, but that's not super likely!

It's certainly a lifeline for me and the boys right now... so yes, the statement is a little incorrect, heh.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 10:13:59 AM
College is not the only, or even always the best way to add/bump skills.  I had been working in tool & die for about a year and a half when I decided to go for my associates in the field.
Every class that I took was a serious waste of time after my short time working an entry-level position in the field, so after the first two semesters, I switched to English (ed at the time) and realized in a few years I would be making more money than I could teaching, so I started leaning more toward creative writing, something I WANTED to do. There are probably more NY Times best sellers out there without English degrees than with, but that is just an assumption.

Personal antidote: There was a couple who use to play Armageddon, one of whom I talked to on a regular basis.  They were having and had been having a hard time financially for a couple years and were both unemployed.  I had one of them a job lined up making over $10/hr where I work and offered to help them with moving expenses and pay their first month's rent (utilities are included here) and the guy would be able to ride to work with me.  After a couple days, I was told they "didn't want to do that right now."  All the while still complaining about how hard things were on them.

I'm not saying that everyone in a bad spot is there because they choose to be, but many of them are.

What do you -want- to do that would lead to a healthy income?
You seem to be creative/confident enough to do something on your own and be successful as opposed to a corporate job.
If I bought you this book, would you read it and be willing to follow through with it?

http://www.48days.com/store/48daysbook/ (http://www.48days.com/store/48daysbook/)
(http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1388199261l/74022.jpg)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 03, 2014, 10:35:23 AM
Wait, you're being sarcastic and that's OK, but when I do it I'm a bitch?


No, you aren't.

The problem is you are bad at presenting yourself in a way that others do not perceive you as a bitch. Most people do. You are the common denominator in the equation. It isn't them. With that being said....

I think you are generally a good person and you want people to think you are a good person (which is really the first mark of a good person, a bad person wouldn't care at all). You are just kind of bad at presenting yourself that way so that others see it. I think you are just a realist and a hardline practical individual, like myself. People often see us a callous.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 03, 2014, 10:39:42 AM
Wealthy people know how to manage their money. Poor people lack that skill. That's mostly all there is to it in the long term.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 10:43:54 AM
Wealthy people know how to manage their money. Poor people lack that skill. That's mostly all there is to it in the long term.

I agree with this statement.
Anyone with the right skills/knowledge can grow a comfortable pile of wealth with patience and discipline.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: manonfire on April 03, 2014, 10:45:35 AM
I feel like the quickest and most efficient way into poverty is having kids before you're financially ready.

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 10:47:54 AM
I feel like the quickest and most efficient way into poverty is having kids before you're financially ready.

Damn right. (speaks from experience)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 03, 2014, 10:50:52 AM
I give nothing to charity. I worked for a non-profit charity organization and it really ruined me on the concept of donating to corporate charities in general. I find them to generally be "non-profit" so long as they are still pulling enough profit to increase staff salaries (primarily the individuals on top) while promoting their own corporate expansion while getting the tax cut for their non-profit designation.

I help those people in my life that I care about directly. If that isn't enough, then I guess it just isn't enough, and I'm ok with being that person.

If I did donate to charity, I would never bring it up anyways. When you bring it up it never looks "good". It will always appear that you are just throwing it out there to say, "Look, I'm not a bad person, really, here is my merit badge I earned for donating to say I'm actually good, look at it....here it is...look closer....do you see it.....good...that is the validation I wanted."

Fundamentally unless you are donating everything you earn outside the basic living expenses of basic survival, you are still greedy. If you are buying computers, you are choosing to buy computers when that money could have otherwise gone to feeding starving children. If you are buying a car, you are choosing to buy a car when that money could have otherwise gone to feeding starving children. Do you have cable? Do you have a cell phone? Do you have anything outside of the basic living necessities in the most basic sense that would allow you to continue to do your job and donate to the starving children of the world? Well, that means you chose those specific items or luxuries over feeding starving children. You are making the conscious decision to have those luxuries and let children starve.

My point is, if you aren't a saint, you are a little bit satan. Almost everyone is.

You ain't better'n me.

(Really just sort of a random rant. Not directed at anyone. The point is, everyone has to be/chooses to be a bit greedy and selfish. Don't judge.)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: boog on April 03, 2014, 10:54:09 AM
I feel like the quickest and most efficient way into poverty is having kids before you're financially ready.



In my case it wasn't so much that. We were pretty set. Then unemployment came right after I gave birth to my second child. Where we were comfortable and fine, all of our savings were then used to support the family while the SO applied to hundreds of jobs a week of all sorts. Neither he nor I could even get a job at McDonald's.

So.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Lizzie on April 03, 2014, 11:13:20 AM
It's really a rebuttal to what Mood is saying. He's latched onto a group of studies that are implying having wealth and social status makes you less likely to help others, and more likely to keep a bigger piece of your pie.

I do not think that is true in practice.



It'd be interesting to see how much "help" all those rich people would give to the less fortunate, if they could no longer use those donations as tax write-offs.

And to FW: you still can write off more, you just have to prove that you gave it away once it hits a certain amount. You don't have to prove your contributions under a certain value.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 11:16:40 AM
Ah cool, Lizzie, I didn't know that.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 11:21:05 AM
I find them to generally be "non-profit" so long as they are still pulling enough profit to increase staff salaries (primarily the individuals on top) while promoting their own corporate expansion while getting the tax cut for their non-profit designation.

This is why 90% of my contributions is in the form of food given to food pantries. I see or hear of a charitable org's people smuggling food into their own homes, someone is getting their tires slashed.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 03, 2014, 11:24:07 AM
It'd be interesting to see how much "help" all those rich people would give to the less fortunate, if they could no longer use those donations as tax write-offs.

And to FW: you still can write off more, you just have to prove that you gave it away once it hits a certain amount. You don't have to prove your contributions under a certain value.


I don't know how it works in the US. Here in Canada if I donate I get a percentage of that donation taken off my taxable income. I don't get the entire amount. That's between 5% and 15%.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/dnrs/svngs/clmng1b3-eng.html

It's a complete myth that the 'wealthy' donate to charity due to the tax benefits. They are insignificant.

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Lizzie on April 03, 2014, 11:27:17 AM
Wealthy people know how to manage their money. Poor people lack that skill. That's mostly all there is to it in the long term.

Wow. That's such a - wow. You really believe those absolutes? Do you truly think it's that simple? I hope not. I hope you're just slinging your own version of hyperbole around. I really hope so, for your own sake.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 11:30:36 AM
Long term (over the course of a lifetime or at least a decade), how you managed what you have will probably be the biggest contributing factor to where you end up relative to where you started, so I'm pretty sure she right on, Lizzie, as long as you don't ignore the fact that she said "in the long term."
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 03, 2014, 11:32:24 AM
People get touchy when you tell them the reason they're not ending up with a lot of wealth is because they keep mismanaging it. It's true.

BTW, Lizzie, donating to charity is a net loss in the end, even with the tax benefits.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 11:35:10 AM
donating to charity is a net loss in the end, even with the tax benefits.

This is why I roll my eyes and don't even dignify it with a response when someone says "they only give to charity for the tax right-off."
It's one of the dumbest things you can say in a financial or tax discussion.

Edit to add: "Saying people only give to charity to avoid paying taxes on the money" is like saying "people only gamble and loose to avoid paying taxes on the money," or "people only light money on fire to avoid paying taxes on the money."
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Lizzie on April 03, 2014, 11:38:07 AM
Long term (over the course of a lifetime or at least a decade), how you managed what you have will probably be the biggest contributing factor to where you end up relative to where you started, so I'm pretty sure she right on, Lizzie, as long as you don't ignore the fact that she said "in the long term."

It -can- be true. But as an absolute, it is definitely not true. It isn't even "true most of the time, with a few exceptions."

The recession does things to everyone's budget, not just the wealthy, and not just the middle class. During a recession - which can BE the long-term - poor people stay poor, because there's no rope to grab onto to get a haul up. There is no money to manage, therefore, they lack the resources to manage money. The primary resource being - money. You can't manage something you don't have. If you're on welfare, you're not allowed to save money. If you are able to save it, you're proving you don't need it, and you are taken off welfare. If you dare to get a part-time job while you're on government-funded housing and food stamps, they remove your housing and foodstamps, and you end up having to use your part-time income to pay for them. Or - starve and be homeless - because you're only working part-time and can't afford it. Or, just don't try to get a job, in order to maintain the government-funded housing and food stamps. There are millions of people in this country who are living in government-funded housing, eating thanks to government-funded food credits. If they work - they lose it. And risk not being able to afford it, and end up right back to where they were.

Saving is not an option for people who don't have "extra" money at the end of their paycheck, after paying the necessary bills (food, clothing, shelter, heat, water, transportation, and *basic* communication with the outside world now that pay-phones no longer exist).
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Zoltan on April 03, 2014, 11:42:40 AM
Wealthy people know how to manage their money. Poor people lack that skill. That's mostly all there is to it in the long term.

I agree with this statement.
Anyone with the right skills/knowledge can grow a comfortable pile of wealth with patience and discipline.

While there may be some validity to the idea of smart or capable people becoming wealthy, intellect or skill are certainly not necessary conditions for wealth and "success." The idea that poor people are poor because they lack financial management or other skills only plays into the narrative that poor people deserve their poverty. It is victim blaming. Poverty is a desired outcome of the present system, and on top of that, poverty intersects with other axes of oppression depending on the individual involved. Some people literally cannot catch a break.

The feel-good ideal of the present system--the idea that I'm getting wafts of in this thread--is that theoretically everyone has access to equal opportunities to find wealth and comfort in life. This is simply false. No one comes into the world in an isolated, equal-footing bubble. The quality of a child's education in America can be enormously affected by the wealth of the area they live in, for example. At least in Michigan, schools get a lot of their funding from local property taxes. It was quite the culture shock for me to go to university and make friends with people who had grown up in extremely robust school systems because of where they were born.

Also, I just want to touch upon something that jane (and possibly others) mentioned earlier in this thread, about the theorized pumped-up sales tax not applying to "necessities." Does it say anywhere who decides what is "necessary" for life? I'm going to bet that it will be the wealthy, "I got mine" people that will get to decide that. It just makes me think of some recent Daily Show episodes where they highlighted Fox News having this strange fixation on people using food stamps for seafood. Fox basically said that seafood is too good for poor people. My concern would be the strengthening of societal controls on how people can live their lives. "You're poor, and poor people don't get to eat [whatever] or have [whatever]." Effectively denying access to goods by some arbitrary ruling does not strike me as being helpful to social mobility.

Finally, on the subject of charity, I would rather that the responsibility to help the downtrodden wasn't left to the whims of those who have money to spare. I don't doubt that many or even most people donate to charity simply because it's a good thing to do. It's not enough, though. I think it is in the country's and the majority's interest to have a healthy population with easy access to education and leisure. This would require changes to the system. No amount of cash dumped into a charity will create the necessary changes. Instead of putting bandaids on axe wounds, we should be preventing axe attacks from happening in the first place. Kind of a weird metaphor, but yeah.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 11:45:58 AM
Long term (over the course of a lifetime or at least a decade), how you managed what you have will probably be the biggest contributing factor to where you end up relative to where you started, so I'm pretty sure she right on, Lizzie, as long as you don't ignore the fact that she said "in the long term."

It -can- be true. But as an absolute, it is definitely not true. It isn't even "true most of the time, with a few exceptions."

The recession does things to everyone's budget, not just the wealthy, and not just the middle class. During a recession - which can BE the long-term - poor people stay poor, because there's no rope to grab onto to get a haul up. There is no money to manage, therefore, they lack the resources to manage money. The primary resource being - money. You can't manage something you don't have. If you're on welfare, you're not allowed to save money. If you are able to save it, you're proving you don't need it, and you are taken off welfare. If you dare to get a part-time job while you're on government-funded housing and food stamps, they remove your housing and foodstamps, and you end up having to use your part-time income to pay for them. Or - starve and be homeless - because you're only working part-time and can't afford it. Or, just don't try to get a job, in order to maintain the government-funded housing and food stamps. There are millions of people in this country who are living in government-funded housing, eating thanks to government-funded food credits. If they work - they lose it. And risk not being able to afford it, and end up right back to where they were.

Saving is not an option for people who don't have "extra" money at the end of their paycheck, after paying the necessary bills (food, clothing, shelter, heat, water, transportation, and *basic* communication with the outside world now that pay-phones no longer exist).


During even a recession, people who manage their wealth better will come out better than people who do not.

A better absolute would have been: All other things equal, one who manages their money well will end wealthy and one who manages their money poorly will end poorly.
You give a large group of people $1000 dollars, some will go buy a computer, some will go buy blow, some will put it in a laughable interested bearing savings account, some will invest it in something more risky, some will pay off debt, saving themselves interest payments and increasing their weekly income.
In the end, those who manage money poorly will have little or nothing to show for it, those who manage it wisely will either still have it or have caused it to grow.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 03, 2014, 11:47:15 AM
You're right about one thing Lizzie, which I can agree with you on. Being on welfare should not discourage you from digging yourself out of that hole.

You should be taught money management skills, and have real encouragement to get back out there and earn a living again to support yourself completely.

One of the mistakes you're making in your narrative is describing wealth as savings, or liquid assets. Wealth is much more than that. Wealth is what remains in your family for generations, is preserved, and grows over time. It's also something you don't leverage every time you want to go on vacation, etc.

Some generations ago businesses did this for people. You went to work, were almost guaranteed that job for life, and had a pension in the end. Other than paying for a home your wealth as managed for you in many ways. Now businesses do not do that anymore because a rising group of people learned how to manage their own wealth. The group that did not runs into problems.

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 03, 2014, 12:01:35 PM
I manage my financial assets well. I left home with $50 in my pocket and a promise I could sleep on a mattress on the floor in an apartment shared by four dudes. I never borrowed a cent from anyone since the day I left home. I was never given a single handout. I never once asked for help, no matter how hard it got.

It was not a good start, but it was better than some people get.

I had influential people in my life that allotted me their wisdom that allowed me to become the person I am today. I had an environment that supported a lifestyle of betterment, even if the individuals themselves were not wealthy. I had an environment that supported furthering education, even if the individuals themselves were not highly educated. My grandfather raised me. He had a sixth grade education and worked hard every day of his life until he couldn't anymore. However it was stressed to me beyond all measure that education was important. The man could hardly read or do math, but it was extremely important that I could, even if he couldn't help me.

I did not have the best start in life, but I had teachers, and grandparents, and friends that motivated me to succeed and even they weren't successful themselves and never will be, they gave me opportunities a lot of other people didn't get and will never get just by existing as motivation.

I had an unfair advantage over a lot of people in life starting out, and I started out with nothing and never got a cent.

Keep in mind that "Having an advantage" over other people doesn't always have to do with money and/or wealth or access to education. I had a teacher in high school that treated me like a mother I never had. She was influential to me in ways I can only appreciate now later in life.

Sometimes you have an advantage just by the environment you find yourself in. A lot of people didn't have the sort of environment I had. It wasn't ideal, but it was enough.

I would surmise most people who have wealth and do well for themselves, even if mommy and daddy didn't hand them everything, at least got handed something, even if it wasn't material. I know I sure did. I was lucky, and I had an unfair advantage over a lot of people, and I never got anything material given to me.

Basically, just because you weren't handed money or a free education doesn't mean you didn't have an unfair advantage over other people. Saying people are only poor because they are too stupid or lazy to manage their finances isn't really fair. If you think hard enough I'm sure you can come up with a few lucky breaks you got in life that let you climb the ladder to where you are today. (This is a general "you", nobody specific.)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 12:07:32 PM
While there may be some validity to the idea of smart or capable people becoming wealthy, intellect or skill are certainly not necessary conditions for wealth and "success." The idea that poor people are poor because they lack financial management or other skills only plays into the narrative that poor people deserve their poverty. It is victim blaming.

People -deserve- out of life exactly what they put into it.  Victim blaming is saying it's an a woman's fault for getting raped because she was wearing a sexy dress.  Victim blaming is not judging someone based on the choices they have made in life.  EVERYONE has the opportunity to better themselves, that is what the American dream is: for you and your next generation to have it better than the last.  I'm not saying everyone will become a millionaire, but everyone -can- better themselves.

Some people literally cannot catch a break.

Anyone can put dirt and seeds into a bucket and pour water on it for food.  Anyone can pick up a piece of discarded junk on the side of the road and clean it up and sell it.  Anyone can pick up cans/bottles on the side of the road for recycling, same for going around offering to haul other people junk off for free or even get paid to do it!  Anyone who is a mentally competent adult can better themselves, some will, some want, some will wait for someone else to to it for them.  It's not a "nice" thing to say, but there it is.


"You're poor, and poor people don't get to eat [whatever] or have [whatever]."
This sounds a lot like, "You're rich, and rich people should give away more money instead of throwing extravagant parties" only it comes from the opposite side of the political spectrum.  Both are people believing they have the right to decide what is right and wrong for other people to do with what is theirs. (you do the same thing in the next snippet I am quoting).
Again, both these statements come down to HOW PEOPLE CHOOSE TO USE WHAT THEY HAVE affects the future of their lives.

Finally, on the subject of charity, I would rather that the responsibility to help the downtrodden wasn't left to the whims of those who have money to spare. I don't doubt that many or even most people donate to charity simply because it's a good thing to do. It's not enough, though. I think it is in the country's and the majority's interest to have a healthy population with easy access to education and leisure. This would require changes to the system. No amount of cash dumped into a charity will create the necessary changes. Instead of putting bandaids on axe wounds, we should be preventing axe attacks from happening in the first place. Kind of a weird metaphor, but yeah.

So you thing rich politicians do a better job/have more right of deciding what to do with other peoples money than they do? Wait, I thought you didn't like people saying what you should do with what you have...

I'm going to bet that it will be the wealthy, "I got mine" people that will get to decide that. It just makes me think of some recent Daily Show episodes where they highlighted Fox News having this strange fixation on people using food stamps for seafood. Fox basically said that seafood is too good for poor people. My concern would be the strengthening of societal controls on how people can live their lives. "You're poor, and poor people don't get to eat [whatever] or have [whatever]." Effectively denying access to goods by some arbitrary ruling does not strike me as being helpful to social mobility.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Orin on April 03, 2014, 12:35:20 PM
Fairtax.org appears to be a pro sales tax website wanting to push forth a 23% sales tax.  Jesus christ, 23%? I thought it was bad living in Washington state where we have almost a 10% sales tax.  According to the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy Washington state is one of the most regressive states when it comes to taxation.  As such, our roads are falling apart with potholes, bridges collapse from time to time, our schools are underfunded and pumping out uneducated masses who will rely more on government handouts, our local government can't provide enough help for the homeless (so crime is prevalent), and so on.  Let me break it down how I understand it:

Let's say you make $20,000 a year.  Your state sales tax is a whopping 23%.  You on average spend about $10,000 on items that can be taxed, so your total tax burden is $2,300.  All in all, you pay 11.5% of your income on taxes (did I do that right?).

Let's say you make $100,000 a year.  Your state sales tax is also 23%.  You on average spend the same as the poorer residents on items that can be taxed, so your total tax burden is also $2,300.  All in all, you pay 2.3% of your income on taxes.

So basically what is happening here is the person making $100,000 pays the same amount toward taxes as the person who is making $20,000 -- in dollars, not percentage of income.  Anyone who says that the rich buy more useless crap may be right in some cases, but there are a vast number of people who do not spend more and instead save or reinvest in something that avoids taxation.  Is it actually FAIR for taxes to be equally distributed among citizens despite their high incomes? I do not believe so.  It all comes down to your ideology on how we must operate within society.  I'm of the school of thought that if you make more, you should contribute a bit more.  Not so much that you feel you are being abused, but more than those making poverty wages.

Do we say fuck everyone else, it's my family and I against the world? Or do we do the compassionate thing and help our communities out? We all use the same roads, benefit from the same fire/police departments, schools (arguably since some go to private schools, but an educated society is better than an ignorant one in my opinion), municipal water facilities, and so on.  I would actually be much more for an income tax in Washington state to replace our sales tax... because when it really comes down to it, there isn't enough money being spent to keep our budget from going into further debt.

To quote the Stranger, Seattle's lovely free left-leaning paper, "According to the latest data, the bottom 20 percent of Washington households—those earning less than $20,000 a year—pay a crippling 16.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes, whereas the top 1 percent—those earning more than $430,000—pay only only 2.8 percent. Hooray for the job creators! Fuck the poors!"

http://hdcadvance.blogspot.com/search?q=regressive
http://housedemocrats.wa.gov/the-advance/a-progressive-state-with-a-regressive-tax-system/
http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/01/30/were-number-one-washington-retains-most-regressive-tax-structure-honors
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Zoltan on April 03, 2014, 12:37:20 PM
As FW outlined, I think a major problem with my ideals is deciding what is "good enough" as a standard of living, and then enforcing that. I don't have a ready answer. There is also the problem of how easily my idealist views on easing poverty could be warped toward more authoritarian ends. I don't deny those problems. I would like to find a way around them, but I don't have that way now. If I did, I wouldn't be theorizing about it on the GDB, but writing a fucking book about it.

There is one thing I've determined for myself, and that is that I would prefer to be beholden to a government of representatives that I can vote in and out of office rather than some private citizen(s) that I have absolutely no access to.

FW's examples of making ends meet have a problem, though. Namely, agriculture and scavenging can run up against problems due to property ownership. To farm enough to support yourself, you need land, and that's not exactly free. I'm not a proponent of a system where people must scavenge to survive, either. I think I'll just have to agree to disagree with FW on that sort of thing, as I hope for a future where people will not need to demean themselves or work for free(!) just to try and scrape by.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 01:32:21 PM
FW's examples of making ends meet have a problem, though. Namely, agriculture and scavenging can run up against problems due to property ownership. To farm enough to support yourself, you need land, and that's not exactly free. I'm not a proponent of a system where people must scavenge to survive, either. I think I'll just have to agree to disagree with FW on that sort of thing, as I hope for a future where people will not need to demean themselves or work for free(!) just to try and scrape by.

To farm enough for a family of six to become self sufficient (my problem/goal) requires land.  Providing for a mostly self sufficient family of two or supplementing your diet (and reducing your bill) can be done in five gallon buckets on a patio.
I was not advocating scavenging for survival (though there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying it if you want).  I was advocating it as an option ANYONE can use to BETTER THEMSELVES.  I bought a $20 gallon of stain, about $10 for a brush and roller and a $9 roll of landscaping cloth (I already had a stable gun and stables but they would cost about $20 for a good gun). With that $40, I have been able to recycle about a dozen free crates into garden beds that easily sell for $25-$80 each depending on size. That's hardly dumpster-diving, but it is still a low cost way to supplement income that only involves skill_paintbrush and skill_fabric_cutting and skill_staple. There are a million way to "make something out of nothing."

Also, what is demeaning about recycling and providing for your family? Choosing NOT to work because you find a job "demeaning" is still a choice. Your argument before was that some people just can't get a break. Well... they get them, but they pass them by because they are "too good for it."  

When did I advocate working for free?



There is one thing I've determined for myself, and that is that I would prefer to be beholden to a government of representatives that I can vote in and out of office rather than some private citizen(s) that I have absolutely no access to.

What I've determined for myself: Provide for myself and my family, so that I am not beholden to -any- other people to make my financial decisions for me.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Brytta Léofa on April 03, 2014, 01:44:31 PM
Fairtax.org appears to be a pro sales tax website wanting to push forth a 23% sales tax.  ...
Let's say you make $20,000 a year.  Your state sales tax is a whopping 23%.  You on average spend about $10,000 on items that can be taxed, so your total tax burden is $2,300.  All in all, you pay 11.5% of your income on taxes (did I do that right?).

Okay, stop. You are talking about something else that you've dreamt up. Everybody (including I) needs to read at least the first four items in the damn FAQ: http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=FAQs

Let's say you're taxed under the system the OP was asking about. You make $20,000 a year. You're single. Your state sales tax is whatever it was already. RIGHT NOW, your federal tax is: 6.2% of your salary paid by you plus another 6.2% paid by your employer, plus $600-1000 in "federal income tax" depending on how many personal exemptions and whatever. Let's split the difference, ignore your employer's FICA payment, and say your total yearly tax bill is: $1240 + $800 = $2040, or about 10%.

Under the "FairTax" scheme, you would pay no FICA tax and would receive an annual $2643 tax rebate, distributed in monthly increments, based on their annual individual consumption allowance of $11490. Assuming, as Orin did, that you spend about $10000 on sales-taxable items, you will actually pay slightly less in federal taxes than you're receiving in the monthly rebate.

Let me repeat: under the FairTax system, as proposed, the poorest people would pay NO FEDERAL TAX at all. Under our current "progressive" system, even the poorest people pay around 6% or 12% (depending on your metaphysical beliefs about corporate accounting).
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Brytta Léofa on April 03, 2014, 01:46:18 PM
(But I'm curious what the impact would be on people receiving unemployment or welfare benefits. Are these presently taxed as income?)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 01:56:44 PM
Unemployment is taxed, SNAP is not, I am not sure about "cash" welfare payments (TANiF in my state).
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 02:00:40 PM
I'm watching the videos from the link you posted now, Brytta. Thanks.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 03, 2014, 02:07:12 PM
(But I'm curious what the impact would be on people receiving unemployment or welfare benefits. Are these presently taxed as income?)

Yes. At least here in Canada.

We even have a 'claw back' here where you pay some of it back when you get back on your feet.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 02:09:39 PM
Before checking out the site more, I had never realized how much more competitive American businesses on the global market if Value Added Taxes went away.  WOW.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Brytta Léofa on April 03, 2014, 02:11:54 PM
It's all propaganda to get you to vote for Rand Powell.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 02:15:52 PM
It's all propaganda to get you to vote for Rand Powell.

Okay.....


(https://www.google.com/search?q=checkmark+box&espv=210&es_sm=93&tbm=isch&imgil=ziR5CSFTgWIWHM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcSij8Dt8XvcULt5BzwCVAofnx8L1qLngxUdyvuTS_V41AcG4PZuuw%253B224%253B240%253BgjBtAjj3bky4iM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.pageresource.com%25252Fclipart%25252Fsignssymbols%25252Fcheckmarks%25252F&source=iu&usg=__tBBI35L-uFKCICAamGQ3IFQXHMU%3D&sa=X&ei=L6U9U7vlLey_sQSu5YLICA&ved=0CDMQ9QEwBA) Rand Powell.


;)
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 03, 2014, 03:07:01 PM
FantasyWriter, I love your posts. They are informative.

That is all.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Orin on April 03, 2014, 03:08:29 PM
Okay, stop. You are talking about something else that you've dreamt up. Everybody (including I) needs to read at least the first four items in the damn FAQ: http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=FAQs

Okay, stop.  Making an analogy may be fiction but it demonstrates a point.  This isn't a dick waving contest.  Cool your jets and don't go for the throat within your first couple sentences of a reply, eh?

I'll read more into this FairTax proposal.  Maybe FairTax is better than the sales tax I have right now.  Maybe it's not.  There are plenty of people with economic degrees that agree the way we have things set up in Washington state right now (current sales tax instead of income tax) is disproportionately affecting the poor.  Hence my analogy and the links I provided.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Desertman on April 03, 2014, 03:19:23 PM
Okay, stop. You are talking about something else that you've dreamt up. Everybody (including I) needs to read at least the first four items in the damn FAQ: http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=FAQs

Okay, stop.  Making an analogy may be fiction but it demonstrates a point.  This isn't a dick waving contest.  Cool your jets and don't go for the throat within your first couple sentences of a reply, eh?


That crazy Brytta, always instantly going for the throat.

He's a wild man really. Someone get out the chains.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Sardaukar on April 03, 2014, 05:58:54 PM
For the record I am for 0% tax across the board. I don't like government. I also don't like having my privacy messed with by having to tell some douche how much I make and how much I keep. Currently I legally pay far less than poor people do per dollar in taxes. I bought my car, my house, and everything else in life without a loan.

Why don't you Go Galt and move to that haven of freedom that is Somalia?

I'm still waiting for answers (http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,42436.msg690088.html#msg690088):

Quote from: Sardaukar still waiting for answers almost 2 years later
Lastly, it’s been brought up before in this thread, but I’m dying to read a substantive explanation of how Somalia’s lawless frontier isn’t the utopian ideal of zero evil taxes (i.e. slavery) or horrible government intervention putting its finger on the scale, distorting the Market, and therefore making The People small?  Is it only the lack of an effective Somali national defense force?

Also, here's a little riddle for the people that hate taxes and the gummint that are pro-"fair"tax: if the wealthy will pay less under the "fair"tax and the abjectly poor will pay less, and yet the total revenue from the "fair"tax is the same, who will be paying more?... ... ...
...
...
Answer: those that aren't wealthy OR abjectly poor. There's a much ballyhooed term for those people that will be paying more in taxes: The Middle Class (as well as the working poor, but screw them, amirite? They're poor and they deserve to be poor because they made bad decisions, or chose to be born to poor parents or chose to have a bankruptcy due to medical problems.).

It's the maths etc. etc.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 06:19:08 PM
My favorite aspect of the FairTax is the dissolution of loopholes and tax exemptions to politicians favorite backers, lobbyists and pet projects.  Also, the government not knowing about every penny that I make.

Also, here's a little riddle for the people that hate taxes and the gummint that are pro-"fair"tax: if the wealthy will pay less under the "fair"tax and the abjectly poor will pay less, and yet the total revenue from the "fair"tax is the same, who will be paying more?... ... ...

The sales tax would be set at a rate that would make it revenue neutral. IE would go up and down as the budget grew/shrank.
Politicians will have to answer to EVERYONE when they decide they want to fund a particular project beyond civil and defensive security.
When an increased budget to a department or something new is proposed, politicians will be able to say that this cut will raise/cut taxes by .0000002 cents on the dollar, and people will actually understand what it is going to cost them.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 03, 2014, 06:58:33 PM
When every decision the government makes affects an individual the individual has a greater incentive to educate themselves on the subject and the people running for office, and this leads to people making more educated decisions based on what they believe is best for them and their country.

Now: Afghanistan? I don't have any friends/family there, and the IRS is going to fuck me either way.
FairTax: Continued presence in Afganastan costs me .1 cents on the dollar.  Making 60K, that means I pay $60/year for this campaign. I am okay/outraged by this and my votes will reflect such.

Now:  National Parks will close if this bill does not pass.  WTF do I care?/THOSE EVIL POLITICIANS!
FairTax: The national parks budget will cost an individual .000006 cents on the dollar every year. It will cost them .01 Cent to close all parks this year until a budget is passed.

Now:  Republicans want the poor to pay! Democrats want the rich to pay!
FairTax:  The new budget will cost consumers 2.3 cents more per dollar than last year's.
             Democrats: The lower class is going to be pissed, what can we make a cut?  Republicans: The upper class is going to be pissed, where can we make a cut?
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Sardaukar on April 05, 2014, 01:43:16 PM
Also, here's a little riddle for the people that hate taxes and the gummint that are pro-"fair"tax: if the wealthy will pay less under the "fair"tax and the abjectly poor will pay less, and yet the total revenue from the "fair"tax is the same, who will be paying more?... ... ...
The sales tax would be set at a rate that would make it revenue neutral. IE would go up and down as the budget grew/shrank.
Politicians will have to answer to EVERYONE when they decide they want to fund a particular project beyond civil and defensive security.
When an increased budget to a department or something new is proposed, politicians will be able to say that this cut will raise/cut taxes by .0000002 cents on the dollar, and people will actually understand what it is going to cost them.

Nothing you mention addresses the fact that the working poor and middle class will pay more under the “fair”tax scheme.

Here’s the maths:

Let A1 = the amount the abjectly poor pay under the current system.
Let B1 = the amount that the working poor pay under the current system.
Let C1 = the amount that the middle class pays under the current system.
Let D1 = the amount that the rich pay under the current system.
Let X = total tax federal tax revenue.

So we have A1 + B1 + C1 + D1 = X

Now, under the “fair”tax system:

Let A2 = the amount the abjectly poor pay under the “fair”tax scheme.
Let B2 = the amount that the working poor pay under the “fair”tax scheme.
Let C2 = the amount that the middle class pays under the “fair”tax scheme.
Let D2 = the amount that the rich pay under the “fair”tax scheme.
Let X = total tax federal tax revenue, which the “fair”tax people claim will be unchanged.

So we have A2 + B2 + C2 + D2 = X

And since the “fair”tax people claim that the system will be revenue neutral:

X = X, or put another way:

A1 + B1 + C1 + D1 = A2 + B2 + C2 + D2

Using maths (i.e. algebra), we can rearrange to group the abjectly poor and the rich on one side and the working poor and middle class on the other:

(A1 – A2) + (D1 – D2) = (B2 – B1) + (C2 – C1)

What this shows is that the amount that the abjectly poor will pay less under the “fair”tax scheme (the term A1 – A2) plus the amount that the rich will pay less under the “fair”tax scheme (the term D1 – D2) equals the amount that the working poor will pay MORE (the term B2 – B1) plus the amount that the middle class will pay MORE (C2 – C1).

I.e. the tax burden is shifted from the rich to the working poor and to the middle class. Well done, class warriors! Good luck selling your middle class tax hike (no luck is needed to screw the working poor, though)!
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Sardaukar on April 05, 2014, 01:56:50 PM
Now:  Republicans want the poor to pay! Democrats want the rich to pay!
FairTax:  The new budget will cost consumers 2.3 cents more per dollar than last year's.
             Democrats: The lower class is going to be pissed, what can we make a cut?  Republicans: The upper class is going to be pissed, where can we make a cut?

This is a succinct description of the current political parties. The Democrats are concerned about the plight of the lower class, because they have it hard. The Republicans are concerned about the plight of the upper class… because they have it so hard?

It’s just gotten so hard to be rich these days!

Those cruelly oppressed rich people would all change places with the poor I'm sure, if they only could. I know I'm considering doing it myself.  The poor have it so easy.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 05, 2014, 04:03:29 PM
Considering the first $40,000 (or whatever the current poverty line is) of an individuals income is not taxed (they get the amount of taxes they would pay on $40000 worth of goods prebated to them at the BEGINNING of the tax year), The working class will be paying a smaller percentage in taxes than those who make more (and are able to spend more).
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: FantasyWriter on April 05, 2014, 04:14:47 PM
Now:  Republicans want the poor to pay! Democrats want the rich to pay!
FairTax:  The new budget will cost consumers 2.3 cents more per dollar than last year's.
             Democrats: The lower class is going to be pissed, what can we make a cut?  Republicans: The upper class is going to be pissed, where can we make a cut?

This is a succinct description of the current political parties. The Democrats are concerned about the plight of the lower class, because they have it hard. The Republicans are concerned about the plight of the upper class… because they have it so hard?

It’s just gotten so hard to be rich these days!

Those cruelly oppressed rich people would all change places with the poor I'm sure, if they only could. I know I'm considering doing it myself.  The poor have it so easy.


Not everyone who is wealthy has it easy. Some of them yes, something them have worked their asses off and earned every penny that they have been able to save and give to others.  Some work hard with the expressed purpose OF helping those who haven't or haven't been able to provide for themselves.

Also, if you could stick to discussing the issues instead of attempting to rile up emotional responses with sarcasm, it would be appreciated.

Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Sardaukar on April 05, 2014, 10:12:55 PM
Considering the first $40,000 (or whatever the current poverty line is) of an individuals income is not taxed (they get the amount of taxes they would pay on $40000 worth of goods prebated to them at the BEGINNING of the tax year), The working class will be paying a smaller percentage in taxes than those who make more (and are able to spend more).

Even taking the "fair"tax claims at face value, it still doesn't solve the maths problem. If the very poor pay less, and the rich pay less, and the total revenue is kept the same, then somebody has to pay more. That somebody is everyone between the very poor and the rich, i.e. the working poor and the middle class.

Also, a couple details: The poverty line for a single individual is $11,490, not $40,000. The line for a family of EIGHT is close to $40,000 though (http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/13poverty.cfm#guidelines). Also, the "prebate" isn't given at the beginning of the year. It's sent out in monthly payments according to the "fair"tax website.

Not everyone who is wealthy has it easy. Some of them yes, something them have worked their asses off and earned every penny that they have been able to save and give to others.  Some work hard with the expressed purpose OF helping those who haven't or haven't been able to provide for themselves.

I guess it's it's a good thing I'm not claiming that every rich person has it easy. Everyone has troubles and trials in life. It's just a ton easier when you're rich, trust me because I know (http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,42436.msg669998.html#msg669998). In further response, I'll refer once more to the esteemed Cracked.com (http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-things-rich-people-need-to-stop-saying/):

Quote
Most high-income earners do put in a ton of hours. Bill Gates seemed to never sleep (an employee once said that putting in 81 hours in four days still couldn't keep up with Gates' schedule). So yes, it's unfair that we tend to think that "being rich" means "lounging by the pool while an albino tiger massages our feet with his tongue." So, "Hey, I work hard for what I have!" is perfectly true. It's also insulting.

It's insulting for the exact same reason "Hey, I love my country!" is insulting: It implies that the listener doesn't. Otherwise there'd be no reason to say it.

It implies a bizarre alternate reality where society rewards you purely based on how much effort you exert, rather than according to how well your specific talents fit in with the needs of the marketplace in the particular era and part of the world in which you were born. It implies that the great investment banker makes 10 times more than a great nurse only because the banker works 10 times as hard.

He doesn't.

And even stranger, it implies that money earned is a perfect indicator of a person's value to society -- if you're broke, it must mean you're a loser who contributes nothing to anyone's life. And that's downright bizarre when it comes from the same people who also go on and on about the importance of parenting and family values. Surely they've noticed that being a great stay-at-home parent makes you exactly zero dollars a year.

And volunteering to work at a shelter for battered women? Doesn't pay shit! Diving into a creek to save a toddler from drowning? It pays infinitely less than throwing a touchdown pass during the Super Bowl.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 06, 2014, 12:04:14 AM
It implies a bizarre alternate reality where society rewards you purely based on how much effort you exert, rather than according to how well your specific talents fit in with the needs of the marketplace in the particular era and part of the world in which you were born. It implies that the great investment banker makes 10 times more than a great nurse only because the banker works 10 times as hard.

Nope it implies that the banker works as hard as you do and wants to keep his share and not have to pay more to cover someone else.

Nurses don't make bad money but the ones who do likely don't negotiate for better pay.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Case on April 07, 2014, 09:01:34 PM
I have been away for far too long... wow. Dunno where to start.

At the bones of it, sales taxes have a greater influence on low income earners and income taxes have a greater influence on higher income earners.

There's far too much weird conflation of ethics with personal gain in this thread. The simple fact you earn an amount does not mean you ethically deserve it, fiscally earned it meritoriously or are able to keep it whole to yourself as you will. I know there'll be huge disagreement and sweat of my brow shit posted, but tough, it's called capitalism, and no single person in this thread owns each chattel or holds interests in each capital or service of which they borrow, use, may use or intend to use in their lives.

I find FairTax telling in that it's a tax on sales of "new" goods, which means it's a tax upon the consumption and not production. Upshot, if anybody's saving money on taxes under this new system and they're not low income earners, it's an inadequate taxation or it's taxing lower income earners more. Since I care more about starvation, child poverty, lower quality of life, low access to medicine more than fucking car taxes and my business profits, yeah, it's a shit idea. I'll trust it's more "fair" when people who propose it or vote for it stand to lose something from it, not pay some half assed lip service to fairness.

That said, I have no major issues with flat taxes on income and no consumption taxation. I'm sure lots of other high income earners might though. lol.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: Orin on April 08, 2014, 06:04:06 PM
Wow.  First time I've agreed with a Case post.
Title: Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
Post by: janeshephard on April 08, 2014, 07:56:22 PM
Wow.  First time I've agreed with a Case post.

This is something you need to worry about :)