Friar Bijou wrote:
I spoke of a flat tax within that context.
And I'm talking about any and all income. There should be no separation. Income is income.
Ok. But that's a different argument than saying you're for a flat tax. You're arguing that all federal taxes should be treated as income tax, rolling payroll, income, and capital gains into one tax system. That's an entirely different argument and has massive ramifications far far beyond just how we divvy up the tax rates among income brackets within our income tax system.
You also don't really believe that income is income. You only want it treated as such when it fits into your "tax the rich more and the poor less" narrative.
First off, you can't claim a future loss on today's taxes anyway (unless you can see the future, which the IRS tends to frown on). So if I gain in year 1, I will pay capital gains taxes on that gain in year 1. Period. If I then lose money in year 2, I can claim that loss in year 2. Why shouldn't I? I lost money.
1. I was talking about within the same year.
Then that makes no sense at all. We're taxed on money we earn over the course of a year. Key word "earn". You're attempting to create arbitrary differentiations between what counts as earnings and losses. As I said, it makes no sense at all. With regard to capital gains, it's all added together. You might gain X dollars in investments but lose Y dollars on other investments over the same period of time. The price of the gains is the cost of the losses. That's what "risk" is about.
You're painting yourself into a bizarre corner if you try to go down this line of reasoning.
2. You gambled and lost. You should not be rewarded for making a poor choice.
Your problem is that you're looking a this as being rewarded in the first place. The correct way to look at it is that you are being taxed on the actual total amount of money you made
. If you earn $100 and lose $50, then your net earnings are $50. That's what you should be taxed on. It's insane to try to do it the way you're saying. Attempting to do this would create massively horrible side effects which I'm not sure you really understand.
It also has nothing to do with the idea of flat taxes either.
So you don't want a flat tax. Remember back when I said that I do, but you don't? Can we now move past you claiming that you really do want one, even more than I do?
True. I want a tiered tax but a flat rate at that tier with zero deductions.
Which is not a flat tax. A flat tax means that everyone the tax applies to pays the same rate. If you have different tiers of rates (presumably based on income), then it's not a flat tax. You used the wrong term.
But I'll bite on what you claim you want as well. Do you really want zero deductions
? So no standard deduction, nor deductions for dependents? No Earned Income Tax Credit? No deductions for medical expenses? Do you understand that deductions also massively benefit those in the lower income brackets as well? Want to know why? Because no matter how you get around it the poor are either much more likely to spend a larger percentage of their total earnings on things which will qualify them for a deduction or are much more likely for standard deductions to make up a larger percentage of their earnings.
A set standard deduction clearly benefits someone who makes less money more than someone who makes more money. Same deal with deductions per dependent. And the EITC specifically applies to those who have low incomes.
Just as I don't think you really
want a flat tax, I don't think you really want to eliminate deductions. You just want to eliminate those which benefit those people you think can/should pay more in taxes. Again though, that' not about fairness, it's about making our tax code increasingly unfair in order to fulfill a social agenda. I'm not saying it's wrong for you to want to do that, but again I'll ask that you be honest about what you really want instead of wrapping it in terms that don't really match what you really want.
It's not a matter of you caring for the poor and me not..
Yes, it really is. You got yours and you're done. Everyone else can just go @#%^ off in your world. I've read your selfish bile for the last six years. Trying to convince me otherwise is fruitless, unless you have a pile of things to unsay.
I'm not going to convince you. But I might convince someone else reading this just how irrationally and unfairly you are interpreting what I write. I have never said that the poor should just f
uck off. I've been incredibly consistent (for over a decade now) in saying that I believe the best way to deal with poverty is to provide people with the maximum opportunities to avoid/escape it. Making poverty more comfortable is the exact wrong way to deal with it.
You're free to disagree with me, but it's somewhat counterproductive to just insist that I hold the positions I do because I'm some kind of vile and evil person who just loves to see other people suffer. At some point, that just gets to be a bit tiring and frankly the whole twirling mustache villain riff is overdone even in films and makes less sense in real life. There are many motivations for people doing things. Very very rarely is that motivation "I'm a bad guy and I like to do bad things". The real world isn't that simple.
Just so were clear, you may note that I have repeatedly written "those that cannot help themselves". As in: elderly, disabled, chronically ill, children, etc. Not "lazy people".
And the day the left can come up with an even semi accurate method of objectively distinguishing between those two groups (which will work when implemented in a government social program), that argument will work as a general argument for social spending. You want to "help the poor" because that fills an emotional need. But who is "the poor"? Which of the poor actually need help, and which are just scamming you for a free lunch? Hard to tell. Again, I'm not saying don't help those in need. I'm saying that there are better ways of doing it than just handing out a free lunch to anyone who claims to be in need. That's just asking for abuse, and will dramatically decrease the help per dollar of cost.
While off topic, this is why I much prefer private charitable organizations to big government programs. They are much better able to ensure that those who really need their help receive it, and that those who are trying working the system are less likely to do so. They also tend to have very good track records of actually getting people in need back on their feet and back into being productive members of society (to the greatest extent possible), while also identifying those who are truly in need. Government bureaucracy is terrible at that. They fill out forms. People stamp them. Money flows. Everyone along the chain has near to zero interest in preventing abuses, and in many cases actual incentive to allow it.
But I'm sure you'll continue to assume that I just don't care about anyone but myself. Never mind that I want other people to succeed. I want them to live the American dream. I want to help them help themselves. I know that sounds like a silly slogan, but it's true. I have no problem helping those who are truly in need, but that's not what a whole lot of our social spending dollars do. Just like with food stamps, the bigger these programs get dollar wise, the more wasteful they become and the less they are helping compared to how much they are hurting. Ultimately, someone has to work to earn money to pay taxes for the "help" the government wants to provide. So it behooves us to have as many people working as possible. So an approach that attempts to maximize employment and advancement opportunities works well, and one that attempts to maximize the number of people who qualify for government benefits works poorly. If that's your goal. If the method is the end (ie: you want as many people dependent on government entitlements as possible as a means of political control), then the liberal approach is exactly what you'd want to do.
That's one of many reasons why I believe my position is better. It's better from the perspective of helping those who could be successful on their own. It's better for those who truly do need help. And it's better from a general personal liberty perspective as well (which is kinda what our whole system of government is based on ). I don't hold the positions I do because I hate poor people, but because I don't think that big government solutions are the best way to deal with their situation. And I happen to think that overly simplistic rhetoric doesn't help the issue at all. Edited, Jan 21st 2013 6:48pm by gbaji