Author Topic: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?  (Read 14669 times)

Orin

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #125 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
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 12:37:29 PM by Orin »
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Zoltan

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #126 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.
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FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #127 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.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 01:34:54 PM by FantasyWriter »
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Brytta Léofa

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #128 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).
Memento mori.

Brytta Léofa

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #129 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?)
Memento mori.

FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #130 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).
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FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #131 on: April 03, 2014, 02:00:40 PM »
I'm watching the videos from the link you posted now, Brytta. Thanks.
Greb - To scavenge, forage, and if Whira is with you, loot the dead.
Grebber - One who grebs.

janeshephard

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #132 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.
And there was some dwarf smoking spice, and I thought that was so scandalous because I'd only been playing in 'nak.


FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #133 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.
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Grebber - One who grebs.

Brytta Léofa

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #134 on: April 03, 2014, 02:11:54 PM »
It's all propaganda to get you to vote for Rand Powell.
Memento mori.

FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #135 on: April 03, 2014, 02:15:52 PM »
It's all propaganda to get you to vote for Rand Powell.

Okay.....


Rand Powell.


;)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 02:17:50 PM by FantasyWriter »
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Desertman

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #136 on: April 03, 2014, 03:07:01 PM »
FantasyWriter, I love your posts. They are informative.

That is all.
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Orin

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #137 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.
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Desertman

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #138 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.
My phone now autocorrects "damn" to Dman.
The young daughter has been filled.

Sardaukar

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #139 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:

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.
"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

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FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #140 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.
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Grebber - One who grebs.

FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #141 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?
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Sardaukar

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #142 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)!
"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

- some dude

Sardaukar

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #143 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.
"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

- some dude

FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #144 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).
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 04:05:53 PM by FantasyWriter »
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FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #145 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.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 04:24:09 PM by FantasyWriter »
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Sardaukar

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #146 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. 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. In further response, I'll refer once more to the esteemed Cracked.com:

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.
"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

- some dude

janeshephard

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #147 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.
And there was some dwarf smoking spice, and I thought that was so scandalous because I'd only been playing in 'nak.


Case

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #148 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.

Orin

  • Posts: 1320
Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #149 on: April 08, 2014, 06:04:06 PM »
Wow.  First time I've agreed with a Case post.
You notice: A war beetle squeezes out an Orin-sized ball of dung.