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  1. #161
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasoline View Post
    or do they pay less?
    That's kind of a poisoned question, in that it ignores the option that they pay more.

    To answer that question requires you to qualify exactly how do you define fair. If paying a fair share means paying in accordance to what the government contributes to them, they pay far more than is fair, given that they pay for a substantial amount of income redistribution and red tape that actually hinders their (and others') earning potential. If it means paying in accordance to what they earn, they still pay more than their fair share. Statistically, the top 5% of US income earners contributes about 37% of federal tax revenues, and about a quarter of tax revenues at all levels. If it means paying in proportion to their economic contribution, then... they still pay more.

    None of which really matters, anyway. The poor can't afford to pay their fair share of the tax burden, nor should be expected to. But the idea that the rich are somehow undercharged is, has always been, and will always be, mind-bogglingly idiotic.
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  2. #162
    Cheeseburgers freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    But income tax revenues decline in a downturn as well, since more people have their pay or hours cut, or lose their job altogether. Also, how does one "not participate in the system"?
    What I mean is, sales tax is proportional to how much economic activity you generate. The more you take advantage of various services, the more you pay. That's how it should be, and also what a progressive income tax attempts to create. The difference is, a progressive income tax does so in a more forced way. Even if you cut back on your activity, you still are made to pay the same amount in tax. Sales tax solves that problem. It's more "market-based," in as much as any governmental system can be seen as market-based.
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  3. #163

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    Quote Originally Posted by freeeekyyy View Post
    The problem I have with income tax is that even people who choose not to participate in the system still pay into it. Sales tax is more direct. It also forces the government automatically to reign in spending during economic downturn.
    Yeah, reign in spending during an economic downturn? Why? I'm really not sure that's economic.

    The idea that sales tax is a choice whereas income tax is not harks back to the whole tax is coercive moral argument which isnt economic either.

    The only reason for sales taxes to be favoured is that it can not be easily avoided by criminals who can easily avoid income taxes or wealth taxes because it is all covert earnings anyway, although to be honest I think there's a big, big problem if you've got an economy were more black market and illegal earnings are circulating as the money in the economy than the "official", legal money.

    Again this is all silly uneconomic thinking which has more to do with puritan cultural underpinnings favouring frugality and saving rather than spending. Why does that matter? Why cant a positive option be exercised for that sort of economy? Well OK but you have no mass market, no mass production and require a big reduction in the population, never mind the contraction of incomes and wealth year on year at the top and disappearence of all but subsistence living at the bottom, and maybe not that, for that to work.

  4. #164

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    But income tax revenues decline in a downturn as well, since more people have their pay or hours cut, or lose their job altogether. Also, how does one "not participate in the system"?
    Its the return on your taxes argument I'm betting, rich people who dont use means tested or targetted services dont want to pay for them.

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