Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment by francopoli
francopoli  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Attack of the Fanatical Centrists

    As for business taxes, they're way too high. They should be 0%.

Nonsense. Corporations need the government to be functional and well funded. Corps should pay the bulk of taxes to the state. Corps need courts, laws, police, fire, infrastructure, military, international agreements etc and all that vital service needs to be paid for.

I'd love to see a tax system that taxes idle wealth to the bone, does not tax working people at the median and below and have a major estate tax penalty on wealth over $40 million. End all the carried interest deductions, tax the holy hell out of short term stock gains to kill off the day traders, and stop writing tax policy that favors investors and start writing tax law that favors builders, workers, creators and other people who actually do the work in this country.

Right now, taxes in the USA are at historical lows. This is why we have a 23 trillion debt load and are still only paying out 1.2-2.5% interest.




rthomas6  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's all fine, but if you want a tax policy that favors workers and creators, you might want to rethink taxing the holy hell out of businesses. Because corporations will simply pass the cost to the consumer of their products as much as possible. Workers and creators are going to have to care a lot more about making money if the cost of every consumer good increases. It's much more direct to just tax the wealthy. Like you said, investment taxes. Preferably progressive investment taxes. Tax the people that own the businesses. You mention taxing idle wealth. To me, corporations are close to a definition of wealth that is not idle. Especially smaller and locally owned ones.

Taxes are for things we want less of. They are a disincentive. I do not believe we want less businesses. We want things like less carbon emissions, and less wealth inequality.

kleinbl00  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Because corporations will simply pass the cost to the consumer of their products as much as possible.

That's what reducing externalities looks like. The consumer is supposed to pay the cost of the products they buy unless it's a common good that benefits more than the consumer.

I get my hair cut at Roosters. It's a concept created by SuperCuts that gives me beer. I pay like $40 for a half-hour haircut. While at Roosters I get my hair cut by a nice Thai lady who cut hair at Supercuts for fifteen years. Roosters? She does two haircuts an hour. Supercuts? She did six. And yeah - I could get my hair cut at Supercuts for $15. But I like the way a half-hour haircut looks better.

So I pay for it.

    Workers and creators are going to have to care a lot more about making money if the cost of every consumer good increases.

That's the very definition of a "free market." Supply goes down, demand goes up. Cost goes up, price goes up. "Tax the wealthy?" That's not economics. That's policy. You're not setting supply and demand now you're setting social structure. The argument is not "the rich don't deserve to be as rich as they are" it's "the rich didn't get rich without the help of everyone else and we should recognize that help by spreading their gains around to those that helped." The economic theories behind individual taxation are a lot more theoretical than demand curves.

    To me, corporations are close to a definition of wealth that is not idle.

Curious as to your thoughts about share buybacks, then.

    Taxes are for things we want less of. They are a disincentive.

Sorry, dude, that's nonsense. Taxes are the cost of operation. Even "sin tax" is couched in the form of "something to pay for the societal harm caused by this vice" such as cigarettes, gasoline, liquor, gambling, whatever.

    I do not believe we want less businesses.

I've participated in a number of small businesses and have many friends with small businesses. The only time I've ever seen anybody squeak about taxes is my buddy who used his own insurance as a pass-through to run a couple half-million dollar jobs instead of using his S-corp. City of Los Angeles taxes on income not revenue so he, personally, had to eat a $15k tax bill.

Had he done it legit through his s-corp he would have been taxed zero.

rthomas6  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    That's what reducing externalities looks like.

You're implying all businesses have the same externalities. Because right now they all pay the same tax rate regardless of what they do. Really reducing externalities would look more like beef being $15/pound and air travel costing double what it does now, but solar power being cheaper than coal and locally produced goods being more competitive because of lower transportation costs.

You say taxes are the cost of operation. Okay, let's tax according the costs of operation. Not a flat rate regardless of what the true cost of operation is.

kleinbl00  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    You're implying all businesses have the same externalities.

I'm not.

    Because right now they all pay the same tax rate regardless of what they do.

We do not. Some things are taxed higher than others. Some things aren't taxed. Some things are subsidized. Get yourself a resale certificate and never pay sales tax on anything business-related ever again - it's fabulous.

    Really reducing externalities would look more like beef being $15/pound

That's policy, though. We subsidize the corn that the cattle eats, we subsidize the cattle.

    air travel costing double what it does now

Still policy. Carbon taxes are going to be a bunch of people arguing about what the damage to the environment one air-mile is worth, and what the multiplier of a 737 vs a 787 should be. Try that, by the way, and the airlines are going to sue you if you don't also go after trains, overland freight and shipping (let alone gas taxes).

    solar power being cheaper than coal

Part of the reason solar power is approachable now is the Chinese have subsidized the crap out of their panel factories where we had the catastrophe-that-was-Solyndra. Now you're talking trade: you're going to penalize mined-in-West-Virginia coal but you're going to favor Chinese solar panels?

    and locally produced goods being more competitive because of lower transportation costs.

Ever bought a $30 chicken? I have. It was grown by a farmer 150 miles away, and it was his break-even price on what producing a chicken in a humane way that feeds his family. It was also frozen. Compare and contrast: I can get that size chicken rotisserie-hot at the supermarket for $4. That's the problem: the $26 delta between the family chicken and the factory chicken is a lot more than transportation costs. And if you try to fix these things with one-size-fits-all tax policy you're gonna break things, piss people off and set up a whole different group of people to succeed.