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  1. #141
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Warren Buffett's salary is like $50,000 a year. He gets taxed at the lower corporate dividends and capital gains rates on almost all of his money, because he makes it through Berkshire Hathaway's business interests. However, the company gets taxed at the corporate income tax rate (which is 35%), so he already has had a big chunk taken out by the time the money reaches him. Warren Buffett had a much higher percentage of his money taken by taxes last year than I did, I can guarantee you.
    He seems to think otherwise.

    In my perfect world, there would be no federal personal or corporate income tax rates, but I'd be willing to pay into a workable negative income tax system to guarantee a minimum income. Of course, this would only be if the Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid/welfare superstructures were demolished, and the entire federal government re-worked. Being more realistic, I'd love to see everyone's rates slashed in half, with the federal government's budget reduced by more than half, starting with ending the War in Iraq, the War on Drugs, corporate and farm subsidies, etc.
    Oh, I thought this was about taxation. But really, it's just about the evils of social care and federal government.

    Can I assume that you have an underlying issue with;

    1) The Federal government is one problem, and this is a product of drawing a line you are happy with (city - state- federal -> net taxation for services will be roughly the same, depending on efficiencies of scale, except that you wish to remove one level and eliminate the services they provide)

    2) Social issues shouldn't be provided/dealt with/resolved by government?

  2. #142
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    He seems to think otherwise.
    I think he was pointing out that it was silly to exempt to certain kinds of corporate income from the regular tax rates, when the average working man or woman has none of that income, and all the money they make at work is taxable at the regular rates. Unless you are upper-managment (or you buy and sell a ton of real estate and/or stocks), you're not seeing a lot of capital gains. Warren Buffett is. I'd rather have one uniform and very low tax rate for all income than a million different rates and deductions and the alternative minimum, etc.


    Oh, I thought this was about taxation. But really, it's just about the evils of social care and federal government.

    Can I assume that you have an underlying issue with;

    1) The Federal government is one problem, and this is a product of drawing a line you are happy with (city - state- federal -> net taxation for services will be roughly the same, depending on efficiencies of scale, except that you wish to remove one level and eliminate the services they provide)

    2) Social issues shouldn't be provided/dealt with/resolved by government?
    I'd prefer the government do a lot less than it does currently, absolutely. So would the U.S. Constitution. And it would be nice if, assuming government continued to provide education, social welfare, etc., that it would be done at the lowest level of government possible. I'm not an anarcho-capitalist, so I do see a role for the federal government in society, but it would be (and it is supposed to be) a much smaller one than it currently has. And, of course, taxation is intimately tied up with what the government does, so I don't see a dichotomy of "taxation vs. social care and the federal government." The government needs taxes to do what it does, and more taxes = more ability to do more things (many of them negative). That is one of my biggest problems with Dubya, although they are many. He lowers taxes, but he has no problem with Big Government. You don't have to be an economist to understand why that doesn't work. You need to cut spending, as well.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #143
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I'd prefer the government do a lot less than it does currently, absolutely. So would the U.S. Constitution. And it would be nice if, assuming government continued to provide education, social welfare, etc., that it would be done at the lowest level of government possible. I'm not an anarcho-capitalist, so I do see a role for the federal government in society, but it would be (and it is supposed to be) a much smaller one than it currently has. And, of course, taxation is intimately tied up with what the government does, so I don't see a dichotomy of "taxation vs. social care and the federal government." The government needs taxes to do what it does, and more taxes = more ability to do more things (many of them negative). That is one of my biggest problems with Dubya, although they are many. He lowers taxes, but he has no problem with Big Government. You don't have to be an economist to understand why that doesn't work. You need to cut spending, as well.
    So, do less in general, but would be nice if they provided the things you wanted. The natural outcome is to not let government do anything, then you pay for everything you do want, no? You might think negative income tax makes sense, but the other guys might not.

    How do you react to someone saying there should be no taxes - not even for, say, roads. I say that medical care should be included, which I presume (replace if not) you would disagree with me with. The logical conclusion is to have no government, is it not?

    It doesn't matter what scale we talk about. If you do a land tax breakdown for roads, for example, one guy has the 'right' to keep his money and not pay for the roads. Then you need to keep him off, I presume. But then people will disagree on the maintenance level. And each issue scales up - state highways, federal interstates...

    Then you'll have people, as is common in common living conditions (stratas) who as a group make highly stupid and inefficient decisions, such as maintenance.

    So, what makes your version right, and not 'too high' to others? Others will think the current rates are too low (ie: the government is not giving the services that it should).

  4. #144
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Is it opinion that rich people have higher tax rates, and provide a much higher amount of revenue than poorer people?
    Total revenue, or average unitary revenue? Because in the former case, obviously the "rich" people provide a much lesser amount of revenue than "poorer" people.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  5. #145
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Total revenue, or average unitary revenue? Because in the former case, obviously the "rich" people provide a much lesser amount of revenue than "poorer" people.
    I don't think that's true at all. I've seen statistics showing the percentage of income tax revenue from just the top 1% of earners to be about 39% of the total, with another 20+% coming from the next 9%. The vast majority of income tax revenue comes from the top quintile of earners (i.e., the rich and the super-rich).
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  6. #146
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Total revenue, or average unitary revenue? Because in the former case, obviously the "rich" people provide a much lesser amount of revenue than "poorer" people.
    Not so much. If you divide any group into (x) categories based on income, then naturally the (x) categories at the top will pay more.

    Think about it this way - if you compare the bottom 20% and top 20% of income producers, then it follows that the (bottom 20%) * (x%) < (top 20%) * (x%).

    The reason why flat tax fails is because if we even the burden out across all groups then the bottom 20% would be taxed at higher than x, and be unable to support themselves properly. The top 20%, however, would gain much less (marginal) value out of the remaining.

    The real argument comes down to - what is best for the economy as a whole, given that we need to extract (x) money from it. Progressive taxation with higher burdens on the rich is generally the right choice, or a better choice than increasing taxes on the less rich.

  7. #147
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Not so much. If you divide any group into (x) categories based on income, then naturally the (x) categories at the top will pay more.

    Think about it this way - if you compare the bottom 20% and top 20% of income producers, then it follows that the (bottom 20%) * (x%) < (top 20%) * (x%).

    The reason why flat tax fails is because if we even the burden out across all groups then the bottom 20% would be taxed at higher than x, and be unable to support themselves properly. The top 20%, however, would gain much less (marginal) value out of the remaining.

    The real argument comes down to - what is best for the economy as a whole, given that we need to extract (x) money from it. Progressive taxation with higher burdens on the rich is generally the right choice, or a better choice than increasing taxes on the less rich.
    What if that number (x) is far less than the number we are currently extracting from it (as it is right now)?

    Also, under any practicable flat tax plan, there would be many less people paying the income tax at all, so your argument there is moot. No one would have their marginal tax rates raised under a flat tax.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #148
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    What if that number (x) is far less than the number we are currently extracting from it (as it is right now)?
    (x) remains true no matter what amount of income is required. The impact scales - 50% flat tax on minimum wage workers is going to be revolt, while 10% probably would be ok.

    But then, the services provided to the poor tend to be government related. So if you take those away, you can assume that they won't be able to afford them (since they were effectively subsidised by higher income people.) So, if you account for that, it really makes no differences, except as far as allocation and efficiencies goes (that is, the market will either provide/not provide and/or do it better/worse).

    Also, under any practicable flat tax plan, there would be many less people paying the income tax at all, so your argument there is moot. No one would have their marginal tax rates raised under a flat tax.
    Flat tax means no marginal increases in income tax - there would be more people paying because there should be no income held back from taxation.

    Regardless, it doesn't matter even if we introduce a generous tax break. Less people paying income tax means more money being taken from fewer, and it will always affect the lowest income people the most.

    If you need to raise (x) money, and you do it by segmenting the population into income groups, such as (for illustration only!);

    Marginal; .1x + .2x + .3x + .4x = x
    Flat ; .25x + .25x + .25x + .25x = x

    And if you want to discount the bottom group, it simply turns into;

    0x + .22x + .33x + .44x = x
    0x + .33x + .33x + .33x = x

    It simply shifts the burden onto those less capable of handling it.

  9. #149
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Flat tax means no marginal increases in income tax - there would be more people paying because there should be no income held back from taxation.
    Neither flat nor graduated say anything about deductions.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  10. #150
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Neither flat nor graduated say anything about deductions.
    A lot of graduated systems start at 0% to a certain income level. I didn't express that well Forgot that Americans don't.

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