The sound of drums from the Kettle Moraine.
Mark,Why do you always ask how we can afford tax cuts?I seem to remember you never asked how I could afford all your scorching advocacy of all the tax increases in my budget in the last 12 months?You seem to think people have unlimited resources for tax increases, but the government has limited resources for tax cuts...You need to clear up your double standard on this.
Kevin,were you okay, though, with paying taxes for B-12 bombers and F-16 fighter jets to turn a foreign country to rubble in the name of revenge, greed, and oil?are you okay with the crazy high taxes spent on armoring Israel's defense infrastructure?Personally, I do not mind taxes if the result is, for example, saving the lives of poor uninsured children. But I stand against taxes to kill, oh what was it, a MILLION Iraqi children.But I am curious where you stand on that issue.(although it IS hard to be curious when a person already knows the answer.)It seems like your the one with the double standard!
From the perspective of taxpayers, tax cuts provide financial relief and the healthcare bill costs money. Tax cuts do NOT cost money. From the perspective of the government, they reduce revenue. But, there is already too much taxation and governmental control is it is.Contrary to your beliefs, I don't see anything positive resulting from taxing taxpayer's earnings, purchases, and investments. Now, if I sell my personal property at a loss, then that's the end of it. If I sell it at a gain, I have to pay capital gains tax on it. Explain that one. Sure, I'll agree that taxes are needed to build schools, roads, hospitals, etc. But, it seems to me that you would be happy to see 100% of income taxed and have all of the goods and services provided to us by the government. Where is the happy medium?Tax cuts, even for the wealthy, promote investing and jobs for the rest of us normal folk. And, as much as you can argue that tax cuts are what caused the current economy, the housing market is much more to blame.
Not at all. But don't confuse taxing someone earning 20 million a year at 40% with taxing someone making $50k a year at 40%. I think fairness requires a progressive, graduated tax structure. For instance, I'd be happy with the tax rates we all paid under Mr. Reagan. Would you accept that?
No, I actually think that everyone should be taxed at the same percentage. If someone who makes $1,000,000 each year pays $400,000 in taxes then someone who makes $10,000 should be $4,000. I don't agree with someone paying 15% and the next guy paying 40% just because he makes more. On top of that, there should not be phaseouts of credits and deductions based on income. If I can take the standard deduction, then so should the next guy. Our tax structure right now is ridiculous. I got my first glimpse of it during this semester in Federal Income Tax and it's ridiculous. The rules, the phaseouts, the different brackets, etc. are completely disgusting (for a lack of better word). Then we have sin taxes, sales taxes, and gains taxes. What if we came along and said that "Everyone pays 25% regardless of what you make". Obviously that number is made up and I have no idea how that would affect tax revenue but you get the idea. I'm all about SIMPLE and fair... not being progressively punishing of those that are successful. It's easy to feel bad for ourselves because we see someone else who is making a lot more money than us but I don't think that they should have to pay a higher percentage in taxes to cover my lack of income tax. It's all wishful thinking though because the math behind taxes is over my head :-)
Buffett blasts system that lets him pay less tax than secretaryhttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/money/tax/article1996735.eceJune 28, 2007Tom Bawden in New YorkWarren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, has criticised the US tax system for allowing him to pay a lower rate than his secretary and his cleaner.Speaking at a $4,600-a-seat fundraiser in New York for Senator Hillary Clinton, Mr Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52 billion (£26 billion), said: “The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent. Mr Buffett told his audience, which included John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley, and Alan Patricof, the founder of the US branch of Apax Partners, that US government policy had accentuated a disparity of wealth that hurt the economy by stifling opportunity and motivation. More...
I'm kind of almost nearly not unsympathetic toward the flat-tax idea... mainly because it'd eliminate a lot of the loopholes now in the law that privilege the richest Americans. Over the years of filing schedules C and D I'd noticed that smaller businesses are taxed at rates higher than a lot of larger businesses. That's not fair. I'm always just shocked whenever, Kevin here for instance, goes off on the damage of taxation to "business owners" as if he was in the same league as the truly large corporations which have paid for loopholes in the tax code that shift the burden to smaller companies.I guess we could talk about what "fair share" means, but again, I haven't seen a better definition than Rawls'... so I'm sticking with that one. A little progressive is fine.IN that context the other howler are all these people earning well under $250k a year going into hysterics over asking the top 1% of Americans to pay tax rates like the ones under Ronald Reagan -- or Richard Nixon. They still had yachts and private jets, even then, and we had less of a deficit.And don't try the "Democrats increase deficits" because that won't wash with the past 30 years of economic history. It was Republicans what done it. Reagan and Bush put us here, not Clinton.Anyway, a flat tax might work but it isn't fair.
I guess I don't exactly understand what you mean by "fair". Fair would be applying the same rate to everyone. Unfair would be taxing the wealthier at higher rates. I honestly don't see any other way to look at it... unless you are coming from the utilitarian viewpoint "the greatest good for the greatest number". And, no, I wasn't pointing fingers at Republicans or Democrats. I was pointing out that many people assume that 100% of the blame for the economy is on Bush since he was last in office.
Let me take a crack at it."Fair" is a term used by liberals to reward people they decide not to demonize in order to take from people they decide to demonize.Small business owners who slave 60 hours a week to pay their enormous tax bills are evil.Welfare moms having 4 different children by 4 different fathers, outside of marriage, is exalted and praised and deserves to take the fruits of the hard work of the guy working 60 hours per week.That's what liberals mean by "fair".
AMEN Kevin.....Right now slightly over 40% of people in this country do not pay income taxes. (explain to me how the USPS has so many tax cheats?) It's the Robin Hood mentality at work here. Flat tax based would ensure you at least pay something. OR lets find a way to tax illicit drug money. Sales tax comes to mind. Everything you buy gets taxed at a 10-15% rate and drop income tax way down. If you don't buy anything...no taxes.
Kevin PLEASE start a blog. It would make my 2010 if you did.
That's enlightening, Kevin. Thanks so much for your valuable insight. It's very well researched and level-headed. Academic, even.
It is scary that 43% aren't paying federal income taxes now... but it's even scarier when you look at the underlying reasons. This is what I was looking at: The Tax Policy CenterIt's a perfect storm of Democrats wanted to cut taxes on the lowest income earners, and Republicans wanting to cut taxes on everyone.And then there's the fact that real wages have actually been flat or declined during the last 30 years, so -- as the income brackets were mucked about with, there are fewer people earning enough to pay the taxes most used to."Fair" to me simply means not making one part of society happy at the expense of the whole... which essentially what Andrew Carnegie said. Or Rawls. Or Plato. Without a concentration of wealth there can be no commerce or industry so, for me it isn't a question of whether, but simply a matter of how much concentration works best for the society as a whole.
Mark,That was about clear as mud.So "fair" is whatever the Political wind that tends to be blowing, at the time, in Washington D.C. and Madison?Where do I park the elitist manure spreader after I unload it on DNR headquarters?There is a major problem with your theory...political winds redefine, downward, what wealthy means!!!!!So the middle class, eventually becomes the targeted wealthy in the Democratic party...that is where the money is.Then the middles class (and poor) ends up with the tax burden.
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