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Tax code too complicated for IRS - costs tax payers $11 Billion.


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#1 UncleBob

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 05:22 AM

http://consumerist.c...ouble-with-mom/

Your tax dollars at work.
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#2 YayItsJP

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 08:16 AM

...and the government wonders why they're losing trillions of dollars? Small things like this are rampant and help add up to a huge amount of deficit. Until we wise up in our spending we're not getting out of debt.

#3 Knoell

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:24 AM

...and the government wonders why they're losing trillions of dollars? Small things like this are rampant and help add up to a huge amount of deficit. Until we wise up in our spending we're not getting out of debt.


Not on this forum. I will sum up the responses you will get.

1. Government spending is bare bones as it is (even though it keeps getting bigger year after year.) Cutting things would be a detriment to society.

2. Cuts would kill the economy.

3. Being this much in debt is great for the country.


But seriously, who thinks the tax code isn't too complicated? How does a complicated tax code help anyone?

#4 willardhaven

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:44 PM

Not on this forum. I will sum up the responses you will get.

1. Government spending is bare bones as it is (even though it keeps getting bigger year after year.) Cutting things would be a detriment to society.

2. Cuts would kill the economy.

3. Being this much in debt is great for the country.


But seriously, who thinks the tax code isn't too complicated? How does a complicated tax code help anyone?


1. The government cutting spending while the private sector cuts spending leads to... less spending. What does less spending mean? A smaller economy. That is the opposite of growth.

2. Cuts are great. They need to be implemented while we are in a period of economic prosperity. They also need to be in the right places.

3. Balancing the budget while debt is cheap is a great way to screw over future generations (when debt will presumably be more expensive). Would you rather the government spend money at a low interest rate or at a high one?

The tax code is more than 60,000 pages. I think most people would agree it needs to be simpler. Complicated taxes disproportionately benefit the wealthy and large corporations. Do you think we'll be simplifying the tax code anytime soon?

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#5 UncleBob

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 03:19 PM

The tax code is more than 60,000 pages. I think most people would agree it needs to be simpler. Complicated taxes disproportionately benefit the wealthy and large corporations. Do you think we'll be simplifying the tax code anytime soon?


Maybe we can HOPE for a President who cares about the people and will actually CHANGE things instead of leaving them at the status quo (or making them worse).
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#6 willardhaven

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 03:35 PM

Maybe we can HOPE for a President who cares about the people and will actually CHANGE things instead of leaving them at the status quo (or making them worse).


There is nothing we can do. Any significant activity will be incorporated into the Republican/Democrat dichotomy.

The status quo is what you get from the Democrats. The modern Republican party is just crazy.

If you have a lot of money you can buy influence and form NGOs or research institutes to influence large groups of people. I think this is the major reason for the country's shift rightward along with an increasingly powerful government (talk about a contradiction).

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#7 nasum

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:33 PM

Incorrect assumption (thread title) based on the article. It isn't that the tax code is too complicated for the IRS, it's that tax preparation is too complicated. This means the IRS isn't doing enough audits, which I believe has something to do with the "IRS having to hire billions of dollars worth of accountants because of Obamacare" or something like that...
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#8 willardhaven

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 07:47 PM

Incorrect assumption (thread title) based on the article. It isn't that the tax code is too complicated for the IRS, it's that tax preparation is too complicated. This means the IRS isn't doing enough audits, which I believe has something to do with the "IRS having to hire billions of dollars worth of accountants because of Obamacare" or something like that...


Good point. You're giving them an example of spending money to save money... something that really bears repeating to conservatives.

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#9 Knoell

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 08:13 PM

1. The government cutting spending while the private sector cuts spending leads to... less spending. What does less spending mean? A smaller economy. That is the opposite of growth.

2. Cuts are great. They need to be implemented while we are in a period of economic prosperity. They also need to be in the right places.

3. Balancing the budget while debt is cheap is a great way to screw over future generations (when debt will presumably be more expensive). Would you rather the government spend money at a low interest rate or at a high one?


I knew what you were going to say, which is why i premptively mocked it......

The problem is, which you sort of acknowledge later in your posts is that:

1. Government does not cut spending in the good times. They simply don't.

2. Government does not cut spending in the good times. They simply don't.

3. Are you one of those people that believe leaving a substantial deficit for future generations is a better idea?


Incorrect assumption (thread title) based on the article. It isn't that the tax code is too complicated for the IRS, it's that tax preparation is too complicated. This means the IRS isn't doing enough audits, which I believe has something to do with the "IRS having to hire billions of dollars worth of accountants because of Obamacare" or something like that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nasum Posted Image
Incorrect assumption (thread title) based on the article. It isn't that the tax code is too complicated for the IRS, it's that tax preparation is too complicated. This means the IRS isn't doing enough audits, which I believe has something to do with the "IRS having to hire billions of dollars worth of accountants because of Obamacare" or something like that...


Good point. You're giving them an example of spending money to save money... something that really bears repeating to conservatives.


So you guys are agreeing that the tax code isn't too complicated to the IRS, but that the IRS just isn't catching enough people who either don't understand the tax code, or who maliciously take advantage of its complexity.

Gotcha.

The earned income tax credit which was the cause of this problem is just worded so poorly. Places like turbotax that are programs that calculate things for you, ask you repeatedly if you are sure you don't qualify for the EITC.

It KNOWS you don't qualify, it has your damn information. I don't understand why they try to push that particular credit.

#10 willardhaven

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:14 AM

Honestly I don't have the energy to explain what I have already said. It seems you are content to invent my argument for me.

"The government doesn't cut spending during a surplus" is not an argument for cutting spending during a recession.

Firing IRS employees because they are not auditing enough people is not a solution to the problem.

You really have a problem with the Feds giving some extra money to poor people?

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#11 Spokker

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:13 AM

Keynesian economics works in the short-run. Of course, "short-run" is not strictly defined.

#12 mrsilkunderwear

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 03:26 AM

Honestly I don't have the energy to explain what I have already said. It seems you are content to invent my argument for me.

"The government doesn't cut spending during a surplus" is not an argument for cutting spending during a recession.

Firing IRS employees because they are not auditing enough people is not a solution to the problem.

You really have a problem with the Feds giving some extra money to poor people?


I give money to the poor people all the time, voluntarily. I have a problem when it is done without my consent.

#13 UncleBob

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:07 AM

The tax code is so complicated that the IRS can't keep up with enforcing it properly.

How is my title incorrect?
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#14 Knoell

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:48 AM

The tax code is so complicated that the IRS can't keep up with enforcing it properly.

How is my title incorrect?


Who are you referring to?

I mean the EITC as a tax credit is worded poorly.

It seems you are content to invent my argument for me.


:rofl:

"The government doesn't cut spending during a surplus" is not an argument for cutting spending during a recession.



"The government shouldn't cut spending during a recession", isn't an excuse to continue the upward and never ending government spending. What politician can you see saying "Now that the recession is over, we can cut all of these programs that you claimed people would die in the streets over 5 years ago". I can't. It won't happen, you know it, I know it, the world knows it, and I am sure as hell not going to accept that reason as to why we cannot contain our spending.


Firing IRS employees because they are not auditing enough people is not a solution to the problem.




Hiring more or keeping the current staff of IRS employees is not a solution to a confusing tax code. However I never suggested we get rid of IRS employees in the first place. See your quote about me creating your arguments.

You really have a problem with the Feds giving some extra money to poor people?


All I said was that I find it obnoxiously worded, and that programs like turbotax shoves it in your face even though it HAS to know you don't qualify. I suggested that maybe people not reading the conditions of the EITC may be a cause of this. Again see your quote about me creating your arguments because I said nothing about the validity of the EITC.

#15 egofed

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:52 PM

If you have ANY income, 10% flat fedreal tax rate with no loopholes, no deductions, no exceptions, no credits, no corporate off shore BS (watch the We're Not Broke documentary on Netflix, is that crap true?) should be the rule if you truly want equality. Corporate and personal. The tax system is bought and paid for by those with wealth, and abused by those who pay no federal tax yet receive a refund.

And, Willard, I DO have a problem with the federal or ANY gov't giving money to poor people without strict adherence to programs and rules designed to prevent pregnancies and generational welfare. SNAP is forever, bro. Our war on poverty is promoting it, not eliminating it. How do you end the cycle while giving incentives for staying on it?

I'm totally for smaller gov't and less intervention into people's lives, UNTIL you start suckling at the tax payer's teat. Then I want some Sheriff Joe rules put on your ass to ensure that you are working to get out of that "comfortable" situation as quick as possible.

Edited by egofed, 26 April 2013 - 01:56 PM.
sent before done


#16 willardhaven

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:30 PM

A flat tax is regressive.

Egofed, I am not going to change your mind about the poor in America. Either your last statement is satire or you are out of your mind.

Knoell, my statement about the IRS was a general statement about the situation. I agree that the tax code is too complicated, almost everyone here does. To single out the EITC is disingenuous. I also think it's funny that spending is only on people's minds since the conservative think tanks started pushing it.

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#17 UncleBob

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:53 PM

Yeah, and it's funny that we only saw the huge protests and anti-war demonstrations when the liberals where pushing it.

You're right though. The EITC is simply *one* of many aspects of the tax code. It's unfair to focus on it when the IRS is probably screwing so much more up. :D

I'm curious - the idea that some people get back more in income taxes than they paid in is okay with some folks... but the idea that some people pay nothing is just horrible. Something seems wrong with that.
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#18 Spokker

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 03:21 PM

A flat tax is regressive.

Doesn't matter since they'll probably get the EITC (and perhaps other benefits if there are kids involved) and have a negative tax burden. When Gary Johnson was pushing his Fair Tax, he advocated for a 23% national sales tax and a "prebate" to combat the regressive nature of a sales tax.

But speaking of sales taxes, the poor have shown that they are willing to increase a regressive tax to fund what they believe are worthy public projects. Look at Los Angeles and Measure R for an example.

Speaking of the EITC, it's one of the few assistance programs worth a damn that actually gets real results and I support expanding it while drawing down other programs that are not nearly as effective.

Yeah, and it's funny that we only saw the huge protests and anti-war demonstrations when the liberals where pushing it.

NBC News was discussing Bush's legacy since his library just opened and all. And while they mentioned criticisms surrounding the war on terror and the erosion of civil liberties, they also note that Obama has continued and accelerated many Bush-era policies. I was glad to see that from a mainstream source. The Political Compass web site said that the upside of McCain winning the 2008 election would have been that those on the left who care about this stuff would still be talking about it loudly.

#19 willardhaven

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 03:24 PM

Yeah, and it's funny that we only saw the huge protests and anti-war demonstrations when the liberals where pushing it.

You're right though. The EITC is simply *one* of many aspects of the tax code. It's unfair to focus on it when the IRS is probably screwing so much more up. :D

I'm curious - the idea that some people get back more in income taxes than they paid in is okay with some folks... but the idea that some people pay nothing is just horrible. Something seems wrong with that.


I don't know what you're getting at. Occupy was a ground-up movement whereas this spending debate is largely the product of conservative think tanks.

How is it a screw up if the IRS is just not auditing enough people? As far as I know the process is largely automated. I feel like you're wording it that way just to be saucy.

I feel like you're being facetious with your last point. Do you really not see the difference?

Doesn't matter since they'll probably get the EITC (and perhaps other benefits if there are kids involved) and have a negative tax burden. When Gary Johnson was pushing his Fair Tax, he advocated for a 23% national sales tax and a "prebate" to combat the regressive nature of a sales tax.

But speaking of sales taxes, the poor have shown that they are willing to increase a regressive tax to fund what they believe are worthy public projects. Look at Los Angeles and Measure R for an example.

Speaking of the EITC, it's one of the few assistance programs worth a damn that actually gets real results and I support expanding it while drawing down other programs that are not nearly as effective.


Even our current tax code is slightly progressive. I think arguing for a regressive form of taxation is a bad start.

Edited by willardhaven, 26 April 2013 - 03:34 PM.

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#20 egofed

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:09 PM

A flat tax is regressive.

Egofed, I am not going to change your mind about the poor in America. Either your last statement is satire or you are out of your mind.

Knoell, my statement about the IRS was a general statement about the situation. I agree that the tax code is too complicated, almost everyone here does. To single out the EITC is disingenuous. I also think it's funny that spending is only on people's minds since the conservative think tanks started pushing it.


"A regressive tax is a tax imposed in such a manner that the tax rate decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases."

"Proportional (flat) taxes maintain equal tax incidence regardless of the ability-to-pay and do not shift the incidence disproportionately to those with a higher or lower economic well-being"

Check out the definition of regressive and progressive taxes. A flat tax is the most fair, simple, and EQUAL system that we could institute, as long as all the other BS is removed. Call it semantics, but a flat tax is NOT regressive. 10% is 10%. For the record, I am against corporate welfare even more so than personal welfare.

Am I out of my mind to want to end generational poverty? What has our gov't effectively done to end this? Is there an end in sight?

As far as tax credits, why should we have them? If you decide to have kids, aren't you actually increasing the need for more gov'tal resources? Why should your tax burden be decreased because of a personal choice? As far as the EITC, you can argue its effectiveness pragmatically, but to say that it is fair and equal to all people is false. Its as bad as the offshore accounts and other tax loopholes used by the rich. I view the mortgage deduction in the same light. Don't renters need tax deductions?;) The government would serve us better by not instituting these discriminatory programs and just treat all citizens the same. What a novel concept.

Turbotax tells me my tax rate is 8.9% this year. What the hell?

Edited by egofed, 26 April 2013 - 04:13 PM.
added turbotax comment.


#21 willardhaven

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:20 PM

"A regressive tax is a tax imposed in such a manner that the tax rate decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases."

"Proportional (flat) taxes maintain equal tax incidence regardless of the ability-to-pay and do not shift the incidence disproportionately to those with a higher or lower economic well-being"

Check out the definition of regressive and progressive taxes. A flat tax is the most fair, simple, and EQUAL system that we could institute, as long as all the other BS is removed. Call it semantics, but a flat tax is NOT regressive. 10% is 10%. For the record, I am against corporate welfare even more so than personal welfare.

Am I out of my mind to want to end generational poverty? What has our gov't effectively done to end this? Is there an end in sight?

As far as tax credits, why should we have them? If you decide to have kids, aren't you actually increasing the need for more gov'tal resources? Why should your tax burden be decreased because of a personal choice? As far as the EITC, you can argue its effectiveness pragmatically, but to say that it is fair and equal to all people is false. Its as bad as the offshore accounts and other tax loopholes used by the rich. I view the mortgage deduction in the same light. Don't renters need tax deductions?;) The government would serve us better by not instituting these discriminatory programs and just treat all citizens the same. What a novel concept.

Turbotax tells me my tax rate is 8.9% this year. What the hell?


A flat tax will not end generational poverty. A huge estate tax funneled into the poorest parts of the country might be a start.

Look up marginal utility. Even though our tax system is progressive, in actuality it is arguably a regressive system.

The mortgage interest deduction came about because the government decided society would be better off if people owned their homes. It's an incentive I do not necessarily agree with.

I'm not naive enough to think I can change your mind on tax credits and welfare. This false equivalency you and Bob are trying to create between tax benefits for the rich vs. tax benefits for the poor is bizarre.

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#22 dohdough

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:46 PM

Oh nasum, where art thou???
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#23 egofed

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:39 PM

A flat tax will not end generational poverty. A huge estate tax funneled into the poorest parts of the country might be a start.




WOW!!!!! We are wayyyy too far apart on this issue. I want to do away with the estate tax entirely!:-#

I like the flat tax, NOT to do away with poverty, but to be equal and fair in the eyes of the gov't. We will never change anybody's mind on here, but its fun to see how people think differently.

#24 dohdough

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:40 PM

WOW!!!!! We are wayyyy too far apart on this issue. I want to do away with the estate tax entirely!:-#

I like the flat tax, NOT to do away with poverty, but to be equal and fair in the eyes of the gov't. We will never change anybody's mind on here, but its fun to see how people think differently.

Tell me...how do you feel about Adam Smith?
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"Speaking of which, there's another elitist prick that argues constantly on the Politics forums by the name of dohdough. He's a complete douche, but at least he keeps his posts in that cesspool of useless opinions. He gets my runner-up nomination."


Thanks for the nomination for the Most Memorable CAG Villan 2012, Blade!

#25 Knoell

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:52 PM


Knoell, my statement about the IRS was a general statement about the situation. I agree that the tax code is too complicated, almost everyone here does. To single out the EITC is disingenuous. I also think it's funny that spending is only on people's minds since the conservative think tanks started pushing it.


The EITC was singled out because it was the basis of the article and this thread. It may not be all that is wrong with the tax code, but I only brought it up because of the article that was cited.

#26 elessar123

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:22 PM

A flat tax is the most fair, simple, and EQUAL system that we could institute, as long as all the other BS is removed.

As far as tax credits, why should we have them? If you decide to have kids, aren't you actually increasing the need for more gov'tal resources? Why should your tax burden be decreased because of a personal choice? As far as the EITC, you can argue its effectiveness pragmatically, but to say that it is fair and equal to all people is false. Its as bad as the offshore accounts and other tax loopholes used by the rich. I view the mortgage deduction in the same light. Don't renters need tax deductions?;) The government would serve us better by not instituting these discriminatory programs and just treat all citizens the same. What a novel concept.


I disagree on flat tax being the most fair. My effective tax rate is higher than Romney's, and he doesn't have to do jack shit to get it in a year what most people can't get in a lifetime. If someone makes $30 million a year, why should they only pay 10%? We already see right now that lowering tax for the wealthy causes bigger divides between the rich and the poor. We used to tax millionaires like 70%.

I agree with the tax credits, for the most part. I rent, and have no kids. I don't know why I have to pay more hundreds, and more likely thousands, for people who are arguably better off than me to afford buying a house. I understand tax credit on kids, and I'm ok with it. Just because someone was born poor, doesn't mean they shouldn't have the opportunity to better their future.

However, I don't agree with these welfare moms popping out 10 kids so they can earn a living from welfare without ever working. There's no good way to solve it without punishing the kids.

What i would like to see is a progressive income tax, with maybe the highest bracket of $10+ mil be 70%+. Higher tax rates for investments. No tax credit other than child, education, and charity. Charity credit can only be the worth of the item, not the original amount you paid.

#27 mrsilkunderwear

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 12:09 AM

I disagree on flat tax being the most fair. My effective tax rate is higher than Romney's, and he doesn't have to do jack shit to get it in a year what most people can't get in a lifetime. If someone makes $30 million a year, why should they only pay 10%? We already see right now that lowering tax for the wealthy causes bigger divides between the rich and the poor. We used to tax millionaires like 70%.

Actually they should not pay anything at all. How about 0% income tax?

#28 egofed

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:42 AM

I disagree on flat tax being the most fair. My effective tax rate is higher than Romney's, and he doesn't have to do jack shit to get it in a year what most people can't get in a lifetime. If someone makes $30 million a year, why should they only pay 10%? We already see right now that lowering tax for the wealthy causes bigger divides between the rich and the poor. We used to tax millionaires like 70%.

I agree with the tax credits, for the most part. I rent, and have no kids. I don't know why I have to pay more hundreds, and more likely thousands, for people who are arguably better off than me to afford buying a house. I understand tax credit on kids, and I'm ok with it. Just because someone was born poor, doesn't mean they shouldn't have the opportunity to better their future.

However, I don't agree with these welfare moms popping out 10 kids so they can earn a living from welfare without ever working. There's no good way to solve it without punishing the kids.

What i would like to see is a progressive income tax, with maybe the highest bracket of $10+ mil be 70%+. Higher tax rates for investments. No tax credit other than child, education, and charity. Charity credit can only be the worth of the item, not the original amount you paid.


With a flat tax rate, you'd both pay 10%. No deductions, loopholes, etc. Include ALL income including stock options, etc. that are used to hide taxable income. If you make 40 thousand, you pay 4 thousand. Romney makes 23 million and pays 2.3 million. How is that not more fair and equitable? What right does our gov't have to a larger percent of one man's money versus everyone else? If you can prove to me that Romney and every other rich person uses 16 million dollars of gov't resources, excluding what "normal" people use, then you might have an argument. Taking an unfair amount from someone just because they have more or obtained it by what you see as "ease" or "luck" does not make it fair or just. Don't you believe in equal protection under the law? Shouldn't this be similar? Why a higher tax rate for investments? Most investments are made with money that has already been taxed once when it was original income, and it usually comes with risk attached. You want to tax someone at a higher rate because they were smart and disciplined enough to save their income and take the risk in investing it? Sounds wrong to me. And the estate tax, you want to tax AGAIN money that was already taxed? And at a rate WAYYYY over 10%? Sounds like tyranny to me.

#29 elessar123

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:53 AM

With a flat tax rate, you'd both pay 10%. No deductions, loopholes, etc. Include ALL income including stock options, etc. that are used to hide taxable income. If you make 40 thousand, you pay 4 thousand. Romney makes 23 million and pays 2.3 million. How is that not more fair and equitable? What right does our gov't have to a larger percent of one man's money versus everyone else? If you can prove to me that Romney and every other rich person uses 16 million dollars of gov't resources, excluding what "normal" people use, then you might have an argument. Taking an unfair amount from someone just because they have more or obtained it by what you see as "ease" or "luck" does not make it fair or just. Don't you believe in equal protection under the law? Shouldn't this be similar? Why a higher tax rate for investments? Most investments are made with money that has already been taxed once when it was original income, and it usually comes with risk attached. You want to tax someone at a higher rate because they were smart and disciplined enough to save their income and take the risk in investing it? Sounds wrong to me. And the estate tax, you want to tax AGAIN money that was already taxed? And at a rate WAYYYY over 10%? Sounds like tyranny to me.


The higher tax rate is to help keep the gap from expanding like it's been. If you have other methods in place to not let the top 1% hold 35.4% of wealth, I'd support a flat tax.

Saying the wealthy doesn't use as much government resources is true. But with that logic, you're saying those who use more resources should pay more, which means those on welfare should be taxed the most. That makes no sense. Capping it for the wealthy puts more burden on the middle class. It's a lot easier to pay $100,000 when you make $1 million than to pay $1,000 on $10,000.

I'm not into rewarding people for being "smart" and investing money, and not rewarding, say, first responders and scientists legitimately advancing technology. Do you really feel a CEO making $30 million a year is worth more than a surgeon?

As for estate tax, I don't remember talking about it, but I'd support it because of people amassing wealth. At a higher tax rate, it does two things: 1) it gives less of an incentive for someone super rich to amass more wealth, and 2) even if they do amass more wealth, it'll be redistributed to the poor eventually.

I understand we're a capitalist, but are you saying you support complete capitalism? The same companies that fire employees to pay the few people at the top? The same companies that would form monopolies, or charge hundreds of thousands a year for patients with diseases, because they don't have a choice otherwise? The "smart" millionaires who do insider trading, which is essentially stealing from others?

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#30 egofed

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:26 PM

The higher tax rate is to help keep the gap from expanding like it's been. If you have other methods in place to not let the top 1% hold 35.4% of wealth, I'd support a flat tax.

Saying the wealthy doesn't use as much government resources is true. But with that logic, you're saying those who use more resources should pay more, which means those on welfare should be taxed the most. That makes no sense. Capping it for the wealthy puts more burden on the middle class. It's a lot easier to pay $100,000 when you make $1 million than to pay $1,000 on $10,000.

I'm not into rewarding people for being "smart" and investing money, and not rewarding, say, first responders and scientists legitimately advancing technology. Do you really feel a CEO making $30 million a year is worth more than a surgeon?

As for estate tax, I don't remember talking about it, but I'd support it because of people amassing wealth. At a higher tax rate, it does two things: 1) it gives less of an incentive for someone super rich to amass more wealth, and 2) even if they do amass more wealth, it'll be redistributed to the poor eventually.

I understand we're a capitalist, but are you saying you support complete capitalism? The same companies that fire employees to pay the few people at the top? The same companies that would form monopolies, or charge hundreds of thousands a year for patients with diseases, because they don't have a choice otherwise? The "smart" millionaires who do insider trading, which is essentially stealing from others?


I appreciate your thoughts, I also acknowledge that taking the rich's money to "redistribute" to the poor would do more good for the poor than having it amass in bank accounts until the end of time. What I'm trying to say, though, is that the gov't should NOT be able to do this. In the end it amounts to the gov't taking by force what someone has legally earned for themselves. I'm fine with confiscating monies derived from illegal activities, but a successful businessman who has not broken the law should never see a 70%, let alone 50% tax rate. We give the gov't power to enforce the laws of the land, not enforce social justice and perceived inequalities in wealth and status. The disparity in incomes is distressing, but gov't threats of force and imprisonment are tyrannical and unjust. Freedom allows people to try and pursue their desired profession. They should know what compensation to expect. The market place decides this compensation, not the gov't. Would Coke's CEO make millions if the citizens of America stopped buying Coke? Do you want the gov't to decide all occupations salaries? That might be a better system (if we had honest and incorruptible politicians), but it would not be "by the people, for the people".

I mentioned the estate tax because willard commented on increasing it. That's the problem I have with most of the discussions in politics. Liberals tend to want programs that indeed would usually do good (but often with unforeseen negative side effects) for people in poverty, but they are willing to sacrifice the rights and freedoms of others to do it. The ends can not always justify the means. Is it truly fair for the gov't to redistribute someone's earned wealth to others who have not earned it? Doesn't that cheapen the ideal of America as the land of opportunity if the fruits of your labor are just handed to others by a forceful gov't? If only people were truly altruistic.....