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#52 Aug 08 2011 at 6:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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ThiefX wrote:
You forgot D) The money collected for the service was not handled correctly.
Do you mean public bureaucracy and politicians make bad financial decisions or commit fraud? Because humans are humans, and businesses and families seem to have a similar rate of incompetents and white collar criminals... who cycle in and out of their respective systems via the usual channels.

TheifX wrote:
You forgot E) The people or entity delivering the service have not done so in a efficient and economical way.
The "All public bureaucracies are inefficient" fallacy. So not necessarily the case. In fact, quite often government offices and programs seem to run on spit, love and unpaid overtime. And IF a public entity is inefficient, it can be 14.9% inefficient before it costs more than a private service, which has an obligation to make a 15% profit per year according to capitalist convention.

ThiefX wrote:
You forget F) The service doesn't work (It doesn't solve the problem it was supposed to and/or makes the existing problem worse.
Fortunate you get to vote it out then, and write to your congresscritter and sign pettions while you wait for its death. Voting gives you more power over public processes you don't like, compared with private businesses you don't like. You'll have to get up a major public boycott to take out a private business.

Edited, Aug 8th 2011 8:05am by Aripyanfar
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#53 Aug 08 2011 at 6:21 AM Rating: Decent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
Kachi wrote:
The government is the people, and the taxes are paid by the people. Welcome to club America. If you don't want to pay your club dues, gtfo.


You likely think it's cute to quote something Kachi said, even though it's demonstrably false, but the only way you'll likely add something intelligent to any discussion is if you actually know what you're talking about.
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#54 Aug 08 2011 at 6:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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ElneClare wrote:
I find it funny that Thiefx thinks that I don't pay any taxes.

Sales tax and estate taxes, plus now I have to make sure I collect tax on any jewelry I sell and give it to the state.

Nothing under the table for me as I want to be able to sell my jewellery at fairs and conventions, were the Tax man will make sure I have a State Tax Id nicely framed for all to see.
Not to mention the tax you pay on your toasted meals! As soon as Nations became Nations they needed taxes to provide national services. Even City-States and Feudal garrisoned villages had to tax in some form in order to be coherent and peaceable. Only an isolate village can exist without taxes.

And the first form of taxes was not income tax. The first forms were unpaid labour and tithes of food. The second were taxes on imports and luxury goods. Centuries of taxes and tariffs on various goods and services ensued before WW1 ushered in organised income taxation. So buying anything was to participate in tax roulette.
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#55 Aug 08 2011 at 6:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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MoebiusLord wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
Kachi wrote:
The government is the people, and the taxes are paid by the people. Welcome to club America. If you don't want to pay your club dues, gtfo.


You likely think it's cute to quote something Kachi said, even though it's demonstrably false, but the only way you'll likely add something intelligent to any discussion is if you actually know what you're talking about.

Now I'm quoting you to emphasise how demonstrably false you are about Kachi's truism.
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#56 Aug 08 2011 at 7:04 AM Rating: Good
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Theif,

Quote:
Where do taxes come from?


The citizens, businesses and corporations of the nation implementing the taxation. The common mistake that people make is that taxes are bad. This mistake is most often made by those who have more than they need, in the meantime, those who have less than what they need, seem to understand this quite well, and for the most part, don't mind.

Taxes tend to be collected via a small deduction based on a specific percentage from one's paycheck, as well as via a sales tax, a tax on the cost of one's home, and all money collected by an individual or business, among other things. This includes(or at least should include by any logical standards) lottery winnings, inheritances, etc, etc.

Often, those who have more than they need will put their money in offshore funds to prevent having to pay taxes, and then proceed to complain about the state of health care, education, etc, as though they ever put any money towards those things.

I could go on, but you'd never understand anyway.

Quote:
Who is paying the taxes.


Everybody, which is as it should be. Those who make more should pay more, those who make less should pay less. Sales tax should be at a set, unchanging rate that everyone, regardless of status, earnings, etc, makes. All inheritances should be taxed, same with lottery winnings.

Quote:
The government can force you to pay for services you didn't want nor use.


The price of living in a country. ******* deal with it. ****, if you don't want to pay the taxes, don't. See where that gets you. I for one, think anyone who finds a way out of paying taxes is as much of a freeloader as one who abuses welfare. Those who constantly ***** about it are just as bad.

Taxes are a necessity, and a fact of life. Suck it up.
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I've always read Driftwood as the straight man in varus' double act. It helps if you read all of his posts in the voice of Droopy Dog.
#57 Aug 08 2011 at 7:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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ThiefX never really did get to a point or anything. Even if you're posting out of half-assed intellectual ************* the idea is to finish, not to give up halfway through and wander off.
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#58 Aug 08 2011 at 7:23 AM Rating: Decent
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ThiefX wrote:

So right. It's a comfort to me to know that because I get taxed every time I want my sandwich toasted at subway (Yes CA has a tax for that)that's the reason we aren't all living in mud huts.


#$!%(?#*&...?!?!? Your woman should be making your sandwich, toasted, grilled, or raw, however you best like it.
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#59 Aug 08 2011 at 7:23 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:
ThiefX never really did get to a point or anything. Even if you're posting out of half-assed intellectual ************* the idea is to finish, not to give up halfway through and wander off.


I finished, he's just not worth the effort of trying to go longer. Sort of like a cheap prostitute. I got what I wanted, he can go back out to the corner now.
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Eske wrote:
I've always read Driftwood as the straight man in varus' double act. It helps if you read all of his posts in the voice of Droopy Dog.
#60 Aug 08 2011 at 7:33 AM Rating: Decent
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Driftwood wrote:
those who have less than what they need, seem to understand this quite well, and for the most part, don't mind.
Of course they don't mind, they're receiving the benefits, directly.
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#61 Aug 08 2011 at 7:45 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Of course they don't mind, they're receiving the benefits, directly.


I was not referring to those on government programs. Of course those who are on welfare, etc, don't mind. I was referring to those supporting themselves on their own receiving less than what is necessary to live in a manner that would be considered comfortable. Although I suppose in a month I will fall into the other group, what with the financial aid for school, but I do not intend to collect any government money longer than is required, and I still intend to pay the normal amount of taxes, despite the fact that I will have the option to pay less while I'm in school.
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Eske wrote:
I've always read Driftwood as the straight man in varus' double act. It helps if you read all of his posts in the voice of Droopy Dog.
#63 Aug 08 2011 at 8:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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Starting the day with a healthy dose of not actually reading and posting anyway?
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#64 Aug 08 2011 at 9:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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I have found that the phrase "you liberals" never actually applies to anyone here.
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#65 Aug 08 2011 at 11:25 AM Rating: Decent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
MoebiusLord wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
Kachi wrote:
The government is the people, and the taxes are paid by the people. Welcome to club America. If you don't want to pay your club dues, gtfo.


You likely think it's cute to quote something Kachi said, even though it's demonstrably false, but the only way you'll likely add something intelligent to any discussion is if you actually know what you're talking about.

Now I'm quoting you to emphasise how demonstrably false you are about Kachi's truism.

Nearly 50% of citizens in this country pay no federal income tax, or club dues, so clearly the taxes are not paid by "the people", rather a small subset deemed affluent enough to over-burden, thus making Kachi's pithy remark false.

Whatta you got, you dozy c'unt?
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#66 Aug 08 2011 at 11:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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MoebiusLord wrote:
Nearly 50% of citizens in this country pay no federal income tax

The OP wasn't specific to federal income tax. Said people are paying state income taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, property taxes (directly or indirectly) and whatever other various taxes, tolls & tariffs that may befall them.

Edit: I forgot the dreaded "toasted sub tax".

Edited, Aug 8th 2011 12:39pm by Jophiel
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#67 Aug 08 2011 at 11:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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Debalic wrote:
I have found that the phrase "you liberals" never actually applies to anyone here.
It has all the derogatory offensive punch of calling someone an elitist about a video game.
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#68 Aug 08 2011 at 11:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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MoebiusLord wrote:

Nearly 50% of citizens in this country pay no federal income tax,
Kinda makes ya wonder why the tea party has their panties in such a bundle, eh?
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#69 Aug 08 2011 at 1:50 PM Rating: Default
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Elinda wrote:
MoebiusLord wrote:

Nearly 50% of citizens in this country pay no federal income tax,
Kinda makes ya wonder why the tea party has their panties in such a bundle, eh?


Because it's unfair? And it's dangerous in a democracy, where everyone's vote is equal, to have taxes which are not equal?
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#70 Aug 08 2011 at 1:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Elinda wrote:
MoebiusLord wrote:

Nearly 50% of citizens in this country pay no federal income tax,
Kinda makes ya wonder why the tea party has their panties in such a bundle, eh?


Because it's unfair? And it's dangerous in a democracy, where everyone's vote is equal, to have taxes which are not equal?

Funny, I've never heard the Tea Party platform rally about equality.
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#71 Aug 08 2011 at 2:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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Unless they change something I won't be paying any federal taxes next year thanks to the child tax credit. I'm all for some kind of tax reform, but finding a way to remove that without losing your elected position seems like quite the task.
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#72ThiefX, Posted: Aug 08 2011 at 3:00 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) WOW you have the standard liberal response down pat.
#73 Aug 08 2011 at 3:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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ThiefX wrote:
Joph we have discussed this.

We discussed why you avoided giving a real response all last night?

Oh, that's right... because you never had one. Just your limp dick in your hand. Smiley: laugh
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#74 Aug 08 2011 at 3:05 PM Rating: Good
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"I have a life outside of here" is a pretty stock remark. Especially when you have to declare it twice in the span of one post.
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#75 Aug 08 2011 at 3:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'M TYPING AN ANSWER RIGHT NOW BUT NOT THE ONE YOU WANTED BECAUSE I HAVE A LIFE AND CAN'T BE TYPING ANSWERS BECAUSE OF THIS LIFE I HAVE THAT'S STOPPING ME FROM TYPING THIS RIGHT NOW!!!
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#76ThiefX, Posted: Aug 08 2011 at 3:11 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Really Joph. This is what you have?
#77 Aug 08 2011 at 3:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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YEAH WELL IF YOU SAID THAT TO MY FACE I WOULD PUNCH YOU AND KNOCK YOU BACK TEN FEET BUT LOLOL YOU HAVE NO LIFE UNLIKE MY LIFE WHERE I BANG HOT CHICKS AND AM REALLY RICH AND FLY
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#78 Aug 08 2011 at 3:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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ThiefX wrote:
Quote:
Just your limp **** in your hand
Really Joph. This is what you have?

That's what I said!
Quote:
I suddenly feel very sorry for you.

That too!

IF YOU EVER HAVE TIME TO POST MORE WE CAN TOTALLY BE POSTING BUDDIES BUT NOT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I HAVE A LIFE AND CAN'T TYPE THIS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE OF MY LIFE THAT WON'T LET ME TYPE THIS.

Edited, Aug 8th 2011 4:14pm by Jophiel
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#79 Aug 08 2011 at 3:20 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Because it's unfair? And it's dangerous in a democracy, where everyone's vote is equal, to have taxes which are not equal?

Dirty liberal.
#80 Aug 08 2011 at 3:25 PM Rating: Default
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Kachi wrote:
Quote:

Except it doesn't work exactly like other services.

Pizza Hut can't make me pay them for a pizza I never got. Macy's can't make me pay them for a shirt I don't want. Exxon doesn't make me pay them for gas that someone else uses.

The government can force you to pay for services you didn't want nor use.


Protip: If you make enough money that you pay any amount of taxes worth squawking about, you are benefiting more from those services than most people. Taxes are the cost of living in a developed nation. If you are thriving in a developed nation, you can thank the services that taxes provide for that. If you aren't thriving in that developed nation, you can thank the services that taxes provide for saving your ***.

People who think that taxes actually steal from the rich to give to the poor are the worst kind of idiots. Money is just a system. If someone takes your money and in doing so makes the money you're left with more valuable by putting what they took into collective investments, you have to be an idiot to complain about it.

And you're welcome to leave America if you don't like the club rules. Nobody is making you live here, work here, or shop here. In fact, I'd wager that if taxation made the U.S. such a sh*tty place, you'd have already done so, like the countless immigrants who leave their crummy country every year for the pleasure of our standard of living.

Edited, Aug 7th 2011 11:54pm by Kachi


So, basically "love it or leave it".

Hahaha oh wow. You realize being an idiot is his prerogative, right?
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#81 Aug 08 2011 at 3:55 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
I am waiting on pins and needles to hear your brilliant explanation of why some people should pay more than others.


Easy. Because they have more. Are you really suggesting that someone who makes 100k annually should pay the same as one who makes less than 10k annually? You really think massive corporations should pay the same as the small business? That one should inherit millions and not pay a cent?

It really isn't a hard concept. Lets do some math.

Let us assume, in this hypothetical situation, that there is a flat income tax rate of 10%.

Now, we have two people. One, we'll call him Joe makes, lets say $13,409/year, and the other, who we'll call Bill, $103,455/year.

Now Bill, when he pays his 10% income tax, pays out $10,345.50, leaving him with $93,109.50 to live on for the year. This is more than enough, Bill lives quite comfortably, regardless of having paid what is admittedly, a fairly high amount to the government. Bill complains anyway though, because he really needs that brand new Hummer, a boat, and an annual vacation to the tropics.

Joe on the other hand, when paying his income tax, pays out $1340.90, leaving him struggling even more to get by, with $12,068.10. But Joe doesn't complain, he just soldiers on and hopes for and tries to make things better.

Lets do some more math.

Bill, with his $93,109.50, owns a house and pays monthly mortgage payments of $1,295 monthly, or $15,540 each year. Leaving him with, for all other necessities and luxuries, $77,569.50 for the rest of the year. Bill pays $5,500(which is above the averages I was able to find) annually for utilities, leaving him with $72,069.50 for anything else for the rest of the year. Bill still lives comfortably.

Joe, with his $12,068.10 pays monthly rent of $684, or $8,208 annually, leaving him with $3,860.10. Then he pays $3,300(again, slightly above average, but I'm basing these on the costs of the specific home/apartment) annually for utilities, leaving him with $560.10 for the rest of the year.

These costs do not include food, transportation, etc.

So, tell me, is it still fair for the person with less to pay the same amount as the one with more?

My sources:

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=486753

http://www.whitefenceindex.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Average_Joe#Homeownership

Those with more should pay more because it doesn't ruin them financially to do so. Those with less should pay less because they can't afford to pay more.
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Eske wrote:
I've always read Driftwood as the straight man in varus' double act. It helps if you read all of his posts in the voice of Droopy Dog.
#82 Aug 08 2011 at 4:22 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Because it's unfair? And it's dangerous in a democracy, where everyone's vote is equal, to have taxes which are not equal?

Funny, I've never heard the Tea Party platform rally about equality.


First off, those are different concepts. I'm talking about relative weight of two facets of our society (votes versus taxes). You're comparing that to a broad socio-ideological concept of "equality", which can mean radically different things to different people.

Secondly, even if we switch the topic to equality, there's a huge difference between equality under the law and intervening to equalize outcomes.
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#83 Aug 08 2011 at 4:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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The only way to preserve democracy is to not let people vote for a progressive tax system!
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#84 Aug 08 2011 at 4:59 PM Rating: Decent
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Driftwood wrote:
Quote:
I am waiting on pins and needles to hear your brilliant explanation of why some people should pay more than others.


Easy. Because they have more. Are you really suggesting that someone who makes 100k annually should pay the same as one who makes less than 10k annually? You really think massive corporations should pay the same as the small business? That one should inherit millions and not pay a cent?


The debate between things like progressive taxes and flat taxes are whole subjects by themselves. I guess the counter question is "how much more should someone way just because he can?". We already have a progressive tax system, yet we still constantly hear people on the left insisting that the rich don't "pay their fair share"? How much is a "fair share"?

Quote:
It really isn't a hard concept. Lets do some math.

<some math. Then some more math>

Bill, with his $93,109.50, owns a house and pays monthly mortgage payments of $1,295 monthly, or $15,540 each year. Leaving him with, for all other necessities and luxuries, $77,569.50 for the rest of the year. Bill pays $5,500(which is above the averages I was able to find) annually for utilities, leaving him with $72,069.50 for anything else for the rest of the year. Bill still lives comfortably.

Joe, with his $12,068.10 pays monthly rent of $684, or $8,208 annually, leaving him with $3,860.10. Then he pays $3,300(again, slightly above average, but I'm basing these on the costs of the specific home/apartment) annually for utilities, leaving him with $560.10 for the rest of the year.

These costs do not include food, transportation, etc.


So we've established that someone making 13.4k is poorer than someone who makes 103k. I didn't think we'd need to do math to noodle this out, but congratulations I guess! Here's the thing though. Joe is poor whether we tax him that $1340/year or not. He's likely going to have to share expenses with others to get by. And he's going to be able to get by whether he pays those taxes or not. I mean, you can always move the bar to illustrate your point, right? What about someone making $10k? Or $20k? We can always find some point where we arbitrarily decide that the taxes he's paying make the difference between being able to afford to live or not. But that always leaves some income ranges below that point, doesn't it?

It's an irrelevant argument. But here's one that is relevant. If you allow Joe to pay no taxes at all (let's assume we're just talking income taxes here for the moment), then Joe has no incentive to keep taxes low. He's not paying them, right? So why not raise income taxes to 50%? Or 75%? Or 100%? But only on earnings greater than some amount that Joe thinks he's ever likely to earn (which may be short sighted on his part, but whatever).

This makes it unfairly easy for a political party to go to Joe and say "Hey! Vote for us, and we'll provide you with government assistance for you since you're poor". Joe's going to be strongly tempted by that. He gets free stuff and someone else pays for it. And this in turn basically sets up a situation where a political party can effectively buy votes with tax dollars. Once the portion of people who don't pay a given tax (like income tax) approaches 50% you run the risk in a democracy of this effect becoming unbeatable politically. Any party which doesn't buy the votes of the poor with the money of the rich will fail to win majorities.

This is one of the key arguments for a flat tax. Or even just a progressive tax that never hits zero at any level.

Quote:
So, tell me, is it still fair for the person with less to pay the same amount as the one with more?


First off, it's not the "same amount", it's the "same percentage". Secondly, we don't have a flat tax, nor a progressive income tax which never reaches zero. You're misstating the argument IMO.


The question is whether it's fair for someone to receive the benefits of tax dollars when he pays nothing himself? It's not even about relative amounts. It's about many people paying zero income taxes (or even receiving more money than they pay in the form of tax credits). IMO, that's where a tax system becomes unfair. Everyone should pay a portion of every applicable tax to at least some degree. We can debate complete flat taxes, but IMO this is a minimum requirement for any tax.


Quote:
Those with more should pay more because it doesn't ruin them financially to do so. Those with less should pay less because they can't afford to pay more.


Sure. But they shouldn't pay zero, right?

Edited, Aug 8th 2011 4:03pm by gbaji
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#85 Aug 08 2011 at 5:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
The only way to preserve democracy is to not let people vote for a progressive tax system!


We already have a progressive income tax Joph. Once again, we have a liberal misstating the issue to make conservative opposition to raising taxes even more on just the top (ie: making it even more steeply progressive) somehow appear to be opposition to any progressive taxation at all. We are talking about the whole "let the Bush tax cuts expire for just the rich", right?
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#86 Aug 08 2011 at 5:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Once again, we have a liberal misstating the issue to make conservative opposition making a joke I didn't understand

Smiley: nod
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#87 Aug 08 2011 at 5:04 PM Rating: Good
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No, he understood it. All the other words were just explaining what made it a joke.
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#88 Aug 08 2011 at 5:12 PM Rating: Good
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Personally, when I think of the taxes I pay, I think of the clean water I drink, the safe and convenient roads I drive on, the murderers and pedophiles locked in jail, etc. Maybe I'm a glass-half-full kind of girl, but I like to think of my tax money being spent ensuring my relative safety in my day-to-day life, the kind of security you don't get in third world countries where not everything is clean and tidy. Sure, some of the money gets misspent, because humans are humans, but even the crackhead down the street getting a welfare check is preventing me from getting robbed by his *** so his kids can eat while he supports his crack addiction.

Also, who are these people who aren't paying taxes? You can live in this country and not pay any taxes? We're still talking about the broad term "tax" here, right? Or have we gone off the road into gbajiland?
#89 Aug 08 2011 at 5:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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Driftwood wrote:
Easy. Because they have more. Are you really suggesting that someone who makes 100k annually should pay the same as one who makes less than 10k annually? You really think massive corporations should pay the same as the small business? That one should inherit millions and not pay a cent?

I hear answers like this a lot from left leaning individuals, and I cringe every time I do because it's playing directly into conservative talking points. You're arguing from the standpoint of fairness, but to a conservative it isn't that they don't' value fairness. But to them fairness achieved through an economically unsustainable method is idiocy, and they're right about that. Helping out poorer people at the cost of creating greater numbers of poor is stupid. You're taking one step forward to take two steps back.

Fairness doesn't matter. McDonalds is more than happy to sell you any of their dollar menu items at a loss if it means they can generate increased foot traffic and sell you more 5 cent cokes for a buck fifty. Price doesn't at all reflect the cost of the item, but by sacrificing fairness they can generate a net gain.

I'd be all for conservative fiscal policies if they actually work the way they are intended to. But they don't.

Liberal fiscal policies isn't about fairness, it's about result. The strongest growths and stability are created through income equality. The rate of bank failures are stunningly almost directly related to the degree of income inequality.

What's fair doesn't matter, only what works does.
#90 Aug 08 2011 at 5:13 PM Rating: Decent
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That joke would be a **** of a lot more funny if Democratic Party leaders weren't actually using it as serious political rhetoric. Pelosi was joking when she accused the wealthy (presumably conservative wealthy of course!) of being unwilling to pay "one red cent" to help pay off the government's debt? When the common talking point from the left is about "shared sacrifice", which apparently means to get those who already pay the most to pay even more so that those who pay little or nothing can continue to receive the benefits of big government, forgive me if I don't buy the whole "I was just joking, really!".
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#91 Aug 08 2011 at 5:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
That joke would be a **** of a lot more funny if...

...you didn't just embarrass yourself crying about it and now need to try and save a little face?

Yeah, I know.
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#92 Aug 08 2011 at 5:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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Guenny wrote:

Also, who are these people who aren't paying taxes?


Hi.

Guenny wrote:

You can live in this country and not pay any taxes?


Just no federal taxes. We still pay plenty at the state level, and those have gone up recently as the people here chose to raise taxes to lessen cuts in various services.

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#93 Aug 08 2011 at 6:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Allegory wrote:
Driftwood wrote:
Easy. Because they have more. Are you really suggesting that someone who makes 100k annually should pay the same as one who makes less than 10k annually? You really think massive corporations should pay the same as the small business? That one should inherit millions and not pay a cent?

I hear answers like this a lot from left leaning individuals, and I cringe every time I do because it's playing directly into conservative talking points. You're arguing from the standpoint of fairness, but to a conservative it isn't that they don't' value fairness. But to them fairness achieved through an economically unsustainable method is idiocy, and they're right about that. Helping out poorer people at the cost of creating greater numbers of poor is stupid. You're taking one step forward to take two steps back.


Yup. That's more or less the way conservatives look at it. When you take from "the rich", you're really just taxing your own potential employment. But the guy earning $15k today doesn't see this. He sees a short term benefit for himself and is willing to take it. The sad thing is he's increased his odds of spending the rest of his life in low income work cursing those big businesses and rich executives for not making his life better when all along he's doing it to himself.

Quote:
I'd be all for conservative fiscal policies if they actually work the way they are intended to. But they don't.


You'd have to provide some evidence for this. I think it's quite easy to show evidence that wealth held in the hands of big business and their investors does do exactly what conservatives say it will. It creates jobs, it grows the whole economic pie, and it brings better and more affordable life-status improving products to consumers. In an age where even starving college students can afford a cell phone and a computer, it's hard to argue that this doesn't work.

Quote:
Liberal fiscal policies isn't about fairness, it's about result.


I agree. I suspect we disagree about the result though. Smiley: smile

Quote:
The strongest growths and stability are created through income equality.


I'm not sure why you think this. Feel free to support this claim if you can. I believe that the only way one makes this argument is if he uses the rather circular assumption that income equality equals strong growth and stability and measures the former to conclude the latter. Kinda like how health care systems are ranked by how socialized they are, and then the rankings are used to "prove" that socialized medicine results in the best health care. Completely circular.

There's just no logical reason to expect that taking capital from the most productive parts of an economy to provide short term benefits for the least productive parts can possibly result in increased economic growth or stability. It would be like an engineer insisting that by removing portions of the foundation of a building and piling them on the roof, you can make the building stronger and more stable. It should be quite apparent that this isn't going to work. Ever.


Quote:
The rate of bank failures are stunningly almost directly related to the degree of income inequality.


I'm not sure how you make that correlation at all. The rate of bank failures would seem to be most related to the degree to which banks are able to profit off "risky" investments. Obviously, this is going to mean that freer markets are going to see more bank failures than those which are more closely regulated. However, those freer markets will also experience more growth. The only way this can't be true is if one assumes that the government regulators are better able to predict which things will result in economic gain than the bankers themselves. If that were true, why not just hire those guys to run your banks?

The better question is whether the long term effects of the occasional failures outweighs the benefits a more active investment infrastructure creates. No one is perfect at predicting what will fail, but they're equally imperfect at predicting what will succeed. I just think it's wrong to believe that we can somehow regulate out the failures without also regulating out the successes. So it's important to look at both factors when making a decision.

Quote:
What's fair doesn't matter, only what works does.


Yeah. Ends justify the means and all that. The problem is that what the Left does economically tends to not work most of the time. Just look at what's going on right now.
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#94 Aug 08 2011 at 6:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Sure. But they shouldn't pay zero, right?


Of course not. That would be a mistake(despite what I've said in the past, I've changed my opinion based on what I've learned since) I figure someone with Joe's income, should be paying something closer to 5%, while someone with Bill's Income should be paying closer to 10%. Also, someone making less than 10k anually should be paying about 2%, and someone making what Bill Gates(for example) does, should be paying closer to 15-20%. Large corporations, like Shell, BP, Walmart, etc, should pay 15-20% taxes. Small businesses making less than 1 million in profits annually should pay 6%, etc. Tax brackets.

Quote:
First off, it's not the "same amount", it's the "same percentage". Secondly, we don't have a flat tax, nor a progressive income tax which never reaches zero. You're misstating the argument IMO.


You're right, I misstated the argument. also, I'm not suggesting that the income tax ever hits zero. Like I said above, that would be a mistake.

Quote:
The question is whether it's fair for someone to receive the benefits of tax dollars when he pays nothing himself? It's not even about relative amounts. It's about many people paying zero income taxes (or even receiving more money than they pay in the form of tax credits). IMO, that's where a tax system becomes unfair. Everyone should pay a portion of every applicable tax to at least some degree. We can debate complete flat taxes, but IMO this is a minimum requirement for any tax.


This is why the tax can't hit zero, except in certain extreme circumstances(if one has a terrible illness not caused by something they've done themselves, it might be fair to exempt them from certain taxes so that they may better pay for their treatment, among other extreme circumstances.).
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#95 Aug 08 2011 at 6:23 PM Rating: Good
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Driftwood wrote:
Quote:
Sure. But they shouldn't pay zero, right?


Of course not. That would be a mistake(despite what I've said in the past, I've changed my opinion based on what I've learned since) I figure someone with Joe's income, should be paying something closer to 5%, while someone with Bill's Income should be paying closer to 10%. Also, someone making less than 10k anually should be paying about 2%, and someone making what Bill Gates(for example) does, should be paying closer to 15-20%. Large corporations, like Shell, BP, Walmart, etc, should pay 15-20% taxes. Small businesses making less than 1 million in profits annually should pay 6%, etc. Tax brackets.


Of course. But the problem is that right now, if we speak purely of income taxes, Joe pays 0% (and depending on conditions may receive things in the form of tax credits which results in negative income tax) and Bill pays 35%. A range of people in between pay different levels, but all are higher than you suggest and are more steeply progressive than you suggest.

As you say, this is a mistake. Yet, despite this, there are many on the left who argue that the rich aren't "paying their fair share" and want to raise taxes on the highest bracket (and on no-one else). When conservatives say that we should correct that mistake, they are demonized and attacked for wanting to make the poor pay for tax cuts for the rich (or some similar rhetoric).

It's pretty darn ridiculous just how completely far out of touch with reality those arguments are, yet we hear them nearly every day being made by liberal pundits and politicians. And they're not joking.


Quote:
This is why the tax can't hit zero, except in certain extreme circumstances(if one has a terrible illness not caused by something they've done themselves, it might be fair to exempt them from certain taxes so that they may better pay for their treatment, among other extreme circumstances.).


That's a decent sentiment. The problem is that for the left there always seems to be an "extreme circumstance" which magically increases in size and scope until a whole **** of a lot of people qualify for it. Income tax should only be zero if you make zero income (ie: you are supported solely by someone else). I don't have a problem with deductions reducing the income level you're taxed on, as long as they are reasonable and can't easily reduce income to zero (again, barring actual true extreme situations). I do have a lot of problems with tax credits though. That's where we end out causing people to pay zero taxes in many cases. They also can act as incentives for things we shouldn't be encouraging in the first place.


Best of intentions though.
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#96 Aug 08 2011 at 6:57 PM Rating: Good
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ThiefX wrote:

I am waiting on pins and needles to hear your brilliant explanation of why some people should pay more than others.


Because they have more to pay, and it is simply reasonable that those who benefit the most from our society should pay according to how much they can afford. Why should a 70 year old widow living on her deceased husband's pension pay the same amount of taxes as Warren Buffet?

There are two kinds of equality - equality of sameness - where a widow would pay the same taxes as Warren Buffet, and equality of outcome - where the widow who has no money would actually recieve a net monetary benefit to make her life a little easier - and Warren Buffet pays more so that can happen.

Your problem is you mistakenly think "equality of sameness" is the only kind of equality, when in fact, equality of sameness actually produces more unequal outcomes, which, I would argue, is what really matters.

Warren Buffet agrees.

Adam Smith wrote:
“It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense,not only in proportion to their revenues, but something more than in proportion.”
— Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations (1776)




Edited, Aug 8th 2011 6:04pm by Olorinus
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#97 Aug 08 2011 at 7:40 PM Rating: Good
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Iron Chef Olorinus wrote:
ThiefX wrote:

I am waiting on pins and needles to hear your brilliant explanation of why some people should pay more than others.


Because they have more to pay, and it is simply reasonable that those who benefit the most from our society should pay according to how much they can afford.


Except you are conflating benefits "from society" and benefits "from the government". The benefits from society (and that's not really how I'd phrase it, but whatever) are the result of the people within that society being free to choose their own actions and to choose to reward the actions of others. Government interacts with that part of society in that it can act to create the environment in which society holds those freedoms.

But it's absolutely incorrect to equate that to benefiting from the entirety of what government does, doubly so when we're talking about the massive amounts of money spent on social entitlements. The wealthy do benefit from the government providing a military to protect their property from foreign attack, and from police forces and laws protecting their property. They don't own their success to government entitlement programs though. So it's wrong to conflate those the way you do.

Quote:
Why should a 70 year old widow living on her deceased husband's pension pay the same amount of taxes as Warren Buffet?


Gonna make the same correction again. She doesn't pay anywhere near the same "amount". You mean paying the same "rate". The whole Buffet thing is BS though because you're comparing capital gains taxes to income taxes. There's a very very good reason why (long term) capital gains taxes must be lower than income taxes. And believe it or not, that reason involves helping non-rich people become more wealthy over time, not the other way around. If capital gains couldn't provide earnings at less than income taxes, then the rich would never invest their money in things in which the middle class (or even working class) could invest in as well. I'll explain this if you want.

Quote:
There are two kinds of equality - equality of sameness - where a widow would pay the same taxes as Warren Buffet, and equality of outcome - where the widow who has no money would actually recieve a net monetary benefit to make her life a little easier - and Warren Buffet pays more so that can happen.

Your problem is you mistakenly think "equality of sameness" is the only kind of equality, when in fact, equality of sameness actually produces more unequal outcomes, which, I would argue, is what really matters.


Except that what you call the "equality of sameness" is also "equality under the law". You have to treat people unequally to create the "equality of outcome" as you put it. That's because not everyone is going to get the same result. Not everyone is equally skilled, or equally lucky, or whatever you think affects their outcomes. The problem is that you are throwing out the baby with the bathwater here. If you give people with no money benefits, then why should they work to earn money at all? Some will certainly make the choice to work the system to get the free money. And if working harder just results in more of your money being taken away, wont this also affect the number of people who succeed?


You're losing sight of the fact that the size of the whole economic pie is the collective total of the fruits of our labors. When we pursue a course of equalizing outcomes, we also end out reducing incentives across the board for people to maximize their output, and thus reduce the relative size of the whole pie down the road. The more equally we try to divide it, the smaller it gets over time. It should be easy to visualize what would happen if you perfectly equalized everything. If everyone lived in the same home, with the same cloths, same recreation, same food, same everything, regardless of what they did for a living, or even whether they worked at all, what do you think would happen to total productivity? It would sink like a stone. We'd produce a fraction of what we do now. And that equal housing and food and whatnot would become an equal state of poverty for all.


If we can envision the absolute disaster that perfect equality of outcome would produce, we should reasonably be able to conclude that degrees in that direction create similar negative macro-economic effects in proportion to the amount of equalizing we're doing. The more we take from the productive to provide for the non-productive (regardless of reason), the more we will tend to diminish the whole pie. It's pretty basic logic, right? That's why it's a bad idea.


Adam Smith wrote:
“It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense,not only in proportion to their revenues, but something more than in proportion.”
— Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations (1776)


Despite the reference to "proportion to their revenues", Smith was *not* talking about income taxes. He vehemently opposed the idea of taxiing income and especially labor. He was speaking about land-rents (or property taxes). His argument being that if you properly structure your taxes, then a rich man living in a big expensive house will pay more taxes for the house he lives in, the land it sits on, and the luxury items contained within than the poor simply because he owns a bigger house, on a bigger plot of land, and fills his house with expensive stuff while a poor person will not. He proposed accomplishing this via land taxes and luxury taxes which would automatically tax the rich more than the poor, but not by taxing the fruits of their labors, but rather taxing those things one owns which are not necessary to live.


Of course, he did not envision anything approaching the government run social programs we have today.

Edited, Aug 8th 2011 6:43pm by gbaji
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#98 Aug 09 2011 at 1:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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Gbaji wrote:
I think it's quite easy to show evidence that wealth held in the hands of big business and their investors does do exactly what conservatives say it will. It creates jobs, it grows the whole economic pie, and it brings better and more affordable life-status improving products to consumers.


Now, are these jobs that are made available in the US? Because what I seem to see is that as big business has increasing profits, they slash the american workforce to make even more money.
#99 Aug 09 2011 at 1:14 AM Rating: Excellent
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There is another point I'm curious about. How many of the people ******** "It's my money, I earned it, I shouldn't have to pay taxes" actually earned it. Did they start out poor and worked their way up, or did they start out with a huge bankroll and made their money by investing what was given to them?

Related, for the ones who mention that they did everything for themselves, working their way up from the bottom (no rich daddy, no family contacts), do they offer the same chance to their workers. For the guy who started in the mailroom and made CEO, do you give the same opportunity to the young kid out of college? Or is your company one that fires the hard workers, because you can hire another fresh face out of school for half the wage?
#100 Aug 09 2011 at 1:26 AM Rating: Good
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MoebiusLord wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
MoebiusLord wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
Kachi wrote:
The government is the people, and the taxes are paid by the people. Welcome to club America. If you don't want to pay your club dues, gtfo.


You likely think it's cute to quote something Kachi said, even though it's demonstrably false, but the only way you'll likely add something intelligent to any discussion is if you actually know what you're talking about.

Now I'm quoting you to emphasise how demonstrably false you are about Kachi's truism.

Nearly 50% of citizens in this country pay no federal income tax, or club dues, so clearly the taxes are not paid by "the people", rather a small subset deemed affluent enough to over-burden, thus making Kachi's pithy remark false.

Whatta you got, you dozy c'unt?

What Joph said right after you, cretin ****.
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#101 Aug 09 2011 at 1:37 AM Rating: Good
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ThiefX wrote:
I am waiting on pins and needles to hear your brilliant explanation of why some people should pay more than others.

Please tell us all why and just for sh*ts and giggles try and do it without using the child like words of "because rich people have more"
It's not a question of making the rich pay more taxes than anyone else. It's a question of letting the poorer pay less taxes than other people.

Every other tax bracket below the top tax bracket is a DISCOUNT on the top tax bracket. The discount is so we don't take with one hand, then have to give back so much with the other because we took too much. And if the vast bulk of the "middle class" get a discount off the top bracket too, that's a reflection that the middle class isn't quite free and clear in terms of monetary comfort.

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