What do YOU think is the best way to tax Americans?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by sparky, May 13, 2009.

  1. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Enough with the group think that comes from that Tea Party brewhaha... this is not a thread disguised as a political firestarter. I'm trying to get real solutions to a real problem we're facing.

    If YOU were the leader of a third party, nominated to rewrite our tax code(s), what would YOU want for us all? Or if you were part of a REAL democracy - a direct democracy - how would you vote for us all to be taxed?

    Personally, I've always been fond of including a heavy excise tax for oil, gas, tobacco, & alcohol. That mixed with property tax should be plenty. But trucking companies would pay quite a bit in taxes, so perhaps they could get a a tax refund every year?? Federal and state income taxes seem like such a horrible idea to me. What about no property & sales taxes... just 40% flat income tax for everybody?? I think that I'm mostly for simplifying our system of taxation, because it's too antiquated and overly redundant.

    I also personally believed for the longest time that communism could happen if the right "platform" were setup for it... but that's too much thinking for me right now. Socialism seems like a next best match for my new government, called technocracy (i.e. - direct democracy that will arise from the ubiquity of technology). I finally understand that a free market will always arise and that deals must always be made between two parties when trading goods or services. So my communist-libertarian party must come to a halt for the time being.

    Essentially, a doctor should always be paid more for the time he put into memorizing schtuff at school and/or practicing his skill. Even a ship captain who's away from home for a month or more at a time deserves more than most other available jobs. I always thought that the time abroad could be split up more, so there'd be more "part-time" captains... but that just wouldn't work.

    After years of believing communism could work, I now understand that it can't. I just want it to work. Regardless, everybody deserves their fair share of compensation for their job... just how much of that compensation do you think needs to be taxed?

    Again... I like the idea of 40% from everybody and abolishing all other taxes, but some will be able to get around income taxes just like they do now. That's why I like only regular sales tax with the heavy excise taxes on oil, gas, tobacco, & alcohol. Most can't live without 3 outta those 4. And the property tax is a somewhat progressive tax scheme that ensures the rich don't sit on their money forever... and that some don't live beyond their means, squatting on some land when others could surely use it. Property tax is the only tax in the state of New Hampshire, and they seem to be getting along fine, altho I'm sure the people with valuable land complain about their taxes all the time ("Those darned rednecks in their trailer parks... they're living the good life!!"). You can't ever please everybody all the time, but you can tax everybody all the time. How would YOU do it?
    Last edited: May 13, 2009

  2. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    I need to find it and post a link here. There is a short story addressing your question that lays out the best answer to it I've ever found, and I got the authors permission to post it on another board years ago. I'll try to find that link again.
  3. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    Flat tax at all income levels and levels of government. (federal, state, etc.) No deductions, everyone pays. The rich will naturally pay more, so you socialists should be happy. :) Abolish sales taxes in states that have them, get rid of any inheritance taxes. Taxing money that was taxed before, who's bright idea was that?

    Sparky, for the socialism you speak of to work, you will need an effective tax rate of closer to 65%. You can give it a try and move to Denmark, where they have a "working" socialist society. "Free" healthcare, "free" education, a socialists paradise! You'll like the fact that they tax new cars at about 180% and have massive "green taxes". Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation, I suspect because they have to, not because they want to. You'd probably be shot on site if you had a 2 stroke HT engine to motor you along. Instead of trying to change America, it would be easier to move. However, I doubt it would be an easy thing to just move in and become a citizen. They'd probably want you to prove that you have needed skills and a job ready and waiting for you before you got your first "free" doctors visit.
  4. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I'm still not convinced that communism can't work. Yup, the Soviets screwed it up and so did the Chinese. But it's easy to see reasons for their failures that had nothing to do with their economics. The problem was with their politics.

    We're very foolish to ignore the fact that the idea was dreamed up to tackle a pernicious social evil that existed then and still exists today; capitalism (absent severe restraints) is tantamount to cannibalism. It is destroying this illusory "individualist's paradise" that we live in now.

    Though I would agree that it's not necessary for the state to be the investor and owner in everything.

    But I am a bit off-topic, aren't I? Sorry. As for taxation, I certainly support heavy taxes on any consumption that is detrimental to society, the environment, etc. Oil consumption would be a good example. Tobacco and alcohol would be others. (How would it be decided just what is, and what is not, detrimental? Good question. We'll have to watch out for the devil that'll surely be in those details)

    Where income taxes are concerned, how about a semi-flat, semi-progressive tax with no (or very few) deductions? That's kinda vague, I know. But our system could be a lot closer to perfect if it were only less complex.
  5. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    flat tax on THINGS purchased

    I don't plan on buying much
    but a nice boat does sound good
    don't matter if I buy one I would be willing to pay a high tax on it

    only deductions at tax time would be
    interest on home loans
    maybe we should also go back to allowing interest on credit cards
    charity -- non profit monies given

    just charge it to Mountainman
  6. kerf

    kerf Guest

    I used to believe, as most of you, that I paid taxes through Federal withholding. My gross was actually what I made and the mean old government just took some off the top. Then it happened, went into business for myself and made a startling discovery. I never worked for my gross pay, my salary was my net pay and my employer paid ALL my taxes. Gross pay is a myth, you can't buy anything with it. Well, if my employer was paying my taxes, where did they get the money to pay them with, CASH REGISTER, that's where. The entire tax system is a sham, all taxation ultimately occurs at the point of sale, no where else. So why just not make the system honest, end FICA and Federal withholding, let that 23% of embedded taxation fall put of the supply chain. Replace it with a 23% sales tax, the system is revenue neutral, it neither increases or decreases the taxes we pay, just makes it transparent and honest.

    This plan is the Fair Tax Plan and in case you didn't notice, it's voluntary, you only pay if you spend.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2009
  7. strotter

    strotter Member

    Tax 1 place at 10%. For example, income, property or sales. Privatize almost every aspect of our government. Stop all government substities ie social sercurity, welfare, medicare, medicaid and financial aid to any industry. (whenever there is a safety net, human nature is to rely on it) Without any of these government programs we will become stronger people.

    Some may respond and say that we can't run our government on "only 10% tax". I will address that now. 1. What would happen if every business and person in this country was able to keep 90% of their money...??? They would spend it!! The economic flood of spending would be so great that everybody would make more money and thus......pay more taxes. Everytime money is earned, it is spent and thus taxed. 2. When we are balancing our own personal budgets, we don't go back to our employeer and say "you need to pay me more, I can't do all I need with what you are paying me". If I was able to re-write the tax code as the author of the thread asks, I as the employeer (every tax payer is the employeer) of the government, I would say "here is your 10% pay, now budget accordingly."
  8. Zev0

    Zev0 Member

    Stop Social Security????? How about those of us that are now drawing it after paying into it for almost 50 years. If you stop it, I want all the money I've paid into it all these years. I could certainly live very comfortable with that.

    FLAT TAX. The ONLY way to go.
  9. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    20% sales tax (~35% for oil, bacco, & alcohol) & some kinda property tax is my final answer.

    You can't do ONLY sales tax, because the rich would never get taxed... and the government would never get enough money (at least not at the rate they're spending now). If somebody making hundreds of thousands were to live in a 1,500 sq ft home or an apartment... I'd say he deserves to get by with the lesser property tax. But land squatters should have to pay something, and usually... the amount of land owned is proportional to your level of income. Not always, but more often than not.
  10. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    All civil rights originate in the right to own property. In the absence of ownership, there are at best privileges, revocable at government whim. Our current system guarantees that no individual actually ever owns property - title is vested in the state and the "owner" has at best a privilege of tenancy.

    Don't believe that is true? Try not paying your property taxes, and find out who really owns that property and can transfer title to whomever will pay them. Don't believe the state owns the land and you have at best a right of tenancy? Try being in the path of a new highway, or a new government project of any sort - you'll find out who owns that land. It is called eminent domain, and it is very real, as thousands of farmers have found over the years when new dams were being built, or new highways, or any other excuse some bureaucrat can concoct - including enrichment of private developers.

    You want a just society based on social equity? Try establishing equity at its foundation, and removing property taxes.

    IMO, the fair tax plan has some good points and some bad ones. Frankly, I favor a flat tax - absolutely flat. By that I mean a fixed percentage of every dollar earned in income by any legal individual, whether real or corporate. Utter transparency, utter simplicity, as there should be NO tax-exempt persons or corporations of any kind. None: not charitable groups, not churches, not research foundations, not anyone or any organization of any type.

    If property tax is too be levied, it should be levied on all real estate, regardless of to whom it belongs, and the usage of tax rebate or tax abatement schemes to "attract industry" ought to be flatly forbidden. No property tax exemptions for any church, or private college/university, or church owned property of any sort used for any purpose.

    According the GAO in the early 1990's, such a scheme with a flat tax rate of 17% would have generated more than twice the monies needed to meet the federal budget of the time, which would have allowed the repayment of all federal debt in 12 years. Today, that goal can still be reached with a tax of 25%.

    By the way, one of the predicates of that GAO study was simply this; no government owned corporations which are involved in any form of business or service competitive with private industry. After that study was publicized, UPS and Fedex offered to start a joint venture and run the postal service at a profit at then current postal tates. Which corporation would have been paying the flat tax. Another predicate was that government could not bail out any failing business, period.
  11. kerf

    kerf Guest

    You missed the point, the rich aren't being taxed now, all the tax is embedded in the cost of goods that you are buying right now. We're all paying 100% of the money the government is spending every time we buy anything. Business pays zero tax because they pass their tax liability on to the consumer in the cost of goods and services. I know because I've been doing it for years, so has every business that has ever existed, basic economics.
  12. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    #1 above
    we are paying very close to that already
    and it's not working
    flat tax of aprox 25 % on everyTHING we buy -- may work ??

    #2-- sure sounds good
    but remember
    many would go hungry and be out on the streets

  13. strotter

    strotter Member

    There is no better motivation to work and become self sufficient then the threat of being hungry and homeless. Also, when our fellow man is down, we as people wouldn't let them starve and freeze. We should look to each other (family and friends) to help each other out. Not government. We need to stop the thought process that "government is there to save us".
  14. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I'll narrow the discussion a bit;

    If we are to deal effectively with possible climate change, certain pollution and fairly certain future lack of petroleum it is going to cost a pretty good chunk of money and individual effort (of various sorts). This is nothing but my assertion, I know. But it would seem correct. There is no free lunch.

    So how about this scheme to pay for it? We raise fuel taxes by, say, 25cents/gallon. And we keep on raising it at regular intervals. We'll have to turn to some sort of "experts" to determine how much, how often our economy can stand. And we mandate that the revenues generated be dedicated to transportation/environmental uses. Good, bikeable shoulders on roads. Better bus services. Maybe streetcars and subways. Environmental cleanup. Subsidies (if nothing else will do) for renewable energy. More than just subsidies, if need be. If the private sector can not affordably produce solar and wind (and who knows what) energy, then WE do it as a public utility not so different, in essence, from public roads, postal service or libraries. (Though the last two are becoming obsolete. Let's do away with them and put that money to better use.)

    One of the first things that'll happen is that many people will ease the wallet crunch by riding a bike, or at least taking a bus, to work perhaps one or two times per week. And here's the thing that many couch potato yankees don't know (or have forgotten); after just a little bit of this they'll notice that they more or less enjoy it. At that point, things will really take off. When the next tax increase takes effect they won't mind riding even more. And improving public transportation will sound much more appetizing to them than it does right now. It's true that tax revenues will be less than one might think because fuel usage will fall. But that ought to make the "starve the beast" types feel a bit better about the idea. And our society would be burning less oil. It's a win-win situation.

    We might conceivable reduce fuel consumption for personal transportation by, say, 25% in, say, 5-10 years. I have a hard time imagining it any other way without massive pain and suffering. But this wouldn't be all that painful. And it could be maintained. We could keep on cutting until our society is using fuel for only agriculture (a must), freight transport (another must) and public transportation (pretty important, but less than the other two). Considering what the fuel MUST be used for, doesn't it seem suicidal to be using it to move one person in one car?

    I suppose I can anticipate one objection that I'm bound to hear; "we can't trust government to do it right". But that already applies to so much more than just this. It's a natural result of the laziness on the part of us, the voters. We elect and tolerate pretenders; people who put on a nice face for us but behave in greedy ways when in office. If we won't fix this problem, then all is lost and this applies to everything. Not just this one, fairly small, proposal.

    If I could choose, then this is one way that I'd tax Americans.
  15. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    Tax the poor. The bottom 50% of of income earners pay only 3.56% of income taxes that the country receives. The top 5% earners (the rich), pay 54.36% of all income taxes. The top 10% of earners pay 65.84% of income taxes.

    If everyone's vote is equal, then everyone should pay the same proportion of taxes based on their income. As you make more, the % is the same but you pay more dollarwise. Having graduated (progressive) income taxes punishes the achievers and allows the bottom dwellers to have equal representation with their vote in the voting booth meaning they can vote more welfare, earned income credits, and other freebies at my expense.

    I, for one, am sick of having to pay approximately 800-900 dollars each week in income taxes. I have worked so **** hard and sacrificed 1/3 of my life in school and sacrificed starting a family because to do so previously would have been economically irresponsible to be supporting some welfare trash that drives an escalade and owns a cell phone. I drive a 5 year old Ford Taurus that I patched together with junk yard parts and finally got a real cell phone (not one you have to buy minutes for at 7-11) when I got my new degree and high paying job. I have $75,000 in student loans that I have to pay but if I were a single mom minority, I would have gotten grants and scholarships instead. Sick of the discrimination against white males in the scholarship arena. Remember when scholarships were for academic achievers? A 3.92 GPA didn't qualify me for a scholarship because of the color of my skin but if I were hispanic, I would have gotten a free ride for 4 years. This country is so broke, it sickens me that so many just sit around with their hands stretched out for another handout. Don't believe me, speak to folks who work in retail. Ask them what the welfare foodstamp queens buy with their government debit cards. I ate ramen noodles last night, and spaghetti tonight while these folks are buying steak, crab legs, and almost every imaginable junk food they can load in their carts. Although I earn a very healthy income, after all of the taxes, I have little left after paying double payments on my 30 years worth of student loans and paying 50% extra on my mortgage so I can own my own home before I do.

    Obama's trickle up poverty is progressing nicely. Its obama's economy now, and it isn't doing well.

    Another suggestion: Besides flat tax on income and sales tax with no exemptions/deducations for any reason, how about taxxing the **** out of imported good so these goods could be manufactured back in the good old USA? I rather get US made products at the 5 dollar store then chinese made junk products at the dollar store. We'd all be better off, if outsourcing was eliminated by crazy high import taxes that revitalize our manufacturing base.

    We've become so weak as a nation. God help us all.
    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  16. kitcarguy

    kitcarguy Member

    I say everyone should pay the same % of tax. It should not matter if you make 20k a year or 200k a year.

    And Skyliner the question was "What do YOU think is the best way to tax Americans? " Not what do you think about Obama. Our Current economic worries started way WAY beyond Obama and the current administration .
  17. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Good point, kitcarguy, about trashing whoever's in office right now.

    "My candidate/office holder is a great guy, but your's is the son-of-the-devil himself" is
    "politics" of the very worst sort.

    We're grown-ups here. We don't need our threads filled with garbage like that.
  18. kerf

    kerf Guest

    I like the President, I like what he's doing, it must happen in a country so full of turned on - tuned out people. I don't think you truly appreciate the level of anger and disgust with this government as well as governments before them. I also wonder if you truly appreciate the economic destruction that both partied have thrust upon at least 4 generations of Americans. I fully expect things to get much worse before we turn the corner and I'm not talking about the recession. You wait and watch, me, I'm gonna get ready.

    Your friend
    A wild eyed, spooky guy
  19. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    All this bailout bs started with gw bush remember. Im neither repub or dem but a flat tax of say 20% would be fair on every $ earned whether its an investment return or on your labor. Im not an obamite but give the guy a chance he inherited a screwed up mess and so far hes done ok. HE IS OUR PREZ!
  20. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Darwin, just out of curiosity, how old are you?

    The bailout baloney hardly started under George Bush. Government in this country has been doing similarly for much longer than that. Remember the Chrysler bailout, under President Carter?

    There is a fundamental hypocritical dichotomy in government action as regards economic succor to businesses, and it arises from one very simple fact - lawmakers are wh0res, for sale to a rich enough bidder. If we truly had a "free-market economy" there'd be no economic aid to any failing company, regardless of size. We do not operate under such a system, and never have. Ever looked at the creation of Amtrak? There's an education for you.