a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by thenewgreen
thenewgreen  ·  2582 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski, what's your political persuasion?

    Taxes are to be expected, but the more you make, the more you should be taxed.
-Would you be a proponent of a flat tax with no deductions/loop holes? Meaning everyone is taxed at say, 20% regardless of income?




b_b  ·  2582 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm of the mind that the tax system should be progressive, but that the marginal rates shouldn't be so easy to manipulate. That is, income is income and the tax rate is the tax rate. Tax breaks give specific industries huge gifts that I see as unfair to everyone else. For example, the mortgage interest deduction encourages borrowing of sums that otherwise would be untenable, which is a monster gift to the finance industry. And given that every tax deduction is a subsidy that every other tax payer has to make up for, why the hell should a renter have to support my lifestyle? It's ridiculous. That said, I'm certainly going to pay the least tax that I can within the law, so I can't blame anyone else for doing the same. Don't hate the player; hate the game. The players you can hate are the ones who make up the game, the politicians, lobbyists and big donors.

xenophon  ·  2582 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    For example, the mortgage interest deduction encourages borrowing of sums that otherwise would be untenable, which is a monster gift to the finance industry.

Well said. I would add that that particular deduction is destructive because it 1) disincentivizes prepayment and 2) it artificially inflates the cost of housing, which makes home ownership less accessible to people with low (or no) credit.

b_b  ·  2582 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    2) it artificially inflates the cost of housing, which makes home ownership less accessible to people with low (or no) credit.

Yes and those people, in turn, are the people who are going to make up for the crazy amount of money not going to federal government due to people like me. There's almost no justification for it other than we can't get rid of it, because people's current spending is based on the projection that they'll continue to have this deduction. The behavior is entrenched in the system, and probably can't be removed now. Certainly there are many other evil deductions and credits besides the mortgage deduction, but I chose that one to pick on in particular, because 1) it's taken by lots of people, and 2) I'm included in that lot, and it's easy to pick on oneself.

NewlyLostAgain  ·  2582 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Seems pretty fair to me. If you make $40,000 per year, and were taxed $8000 to go to infrastructure, healthcare etc, then received a return or whatever it would make sense. It is a lot of money if you think about it, but the average person making that should be okay.

Also, 20% of 1,000,000 would pump serious money into the government. As long as its fair Im for it. How idiotic is it that we have people who make more money paying less taxes? I refuse to believe the trickle down effect, because if the US dollar went to shit tomorrow, all these billioniares would just go somewhere else today.

thenewgreen  ·  2582 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    How idiotic is it that we have people who make more money paying less taxes?
-I think there is a popular misconception that all people that are higher earners are paying less taxes. There are a lot of people that fall in to that "over $250k" household bucket that pay 30 plus% of their income to taxes. This is because they are earning an actual income through salary etc and not through dividends or other investment/inheritance earnings. You find a lot of small business owners and other professionals in this space. Imagine you earned $100k a year and had to give $30k+ of it to a govt you thought was doing a piss poor job of managing it's finances? Now, imagine you had some people holding up signs and screaming about how your family was wealthy and needed to pay more.

There's a group of earners that I believe are unfairly in the crosshairs right now. Granted, there are those people pulling in a lot of money that through loop holes and low capital gains tax are gaming the system, but it's important not to confuse the two imo. That's what I like about a potential flat tax above the poverty line. If there were truly no loop holes and capital gains were also set at the same rate, it would be great. -I'm sure to any actual economist, this is la-la land stuff and has no shot in hell of ever coming to fruition.

wasoxygen  ·  2582 days ago  ·  link  ·  

While researching California's Paid Family Leave plan, I saw this on Wikipedia:

    One potential problem is that a substantial portion of the state's income comes from income taxes on a small proportion of wealthy citizens. For example, it is estimated that in 2004 the richest 3% of state taxpayers (those with tax returns showing over $200,000 in yearly income) paid approximately 60% of state income taxes.

This arrangement contributed to a budget crisis when capital gains tax income fell along with the stock market.

The flat tax idea enjoys a lot of support, and is practiced more-or-less in a few places. It is still interesting to talk about, even if it is not likely to come into existence. I would be curious to know how close your 20% figure would come to generating the same amount of tax revenue.

b_b  ·  2582 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If you'll remember back in the '96 election, Bob Dole's supporters all had signs that simply said "15%". I guess at that time, that's what the supposedly revenue neutral figure was pegged at.

thenewgreen  ·  2582 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I would be curious to know how close your 20% figure would come to generating the same amount of tax revenue.
I would too, but I'll be damned if I have the time to find out. I assure you, it's not laziness. .....(walks away to take a nap).
wasoxygen  ·  2582 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The analysis seems to be messy depending on the assumptions made about how the change would affect peoples' behavior and how much tax evasion would occur, but the estimates are in the 22% to 28% range, with a few higher.