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As you know, fairness is a concept that was invented so that children and idiots could participate in arguments. I was reminded of this when thinking about taxes. According to one source, the people in the top 1% of incomes pay more federal taxes now than at any time since 1979:


http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/what_percent_of_taxes_does_the_top.html


The reason the top 1% are paying more taxes is because they are earning far more money than before. So while the rich are paying a lower percentage than during Clinton's time in office, they are paying more in dollars under Bush.


In other words, each rich person is subsidizing more poor people than ever. Still, each rich person has more left over for himself than ever. If you are on the side that says that isn't fair, what percent of a rich person's income do you think should be distributed by threat of force to those in need?


50%?


75%?


90%?


Keep in mind that a person making ten million a year can get by on one million a year. So is there any good reason not to take 90%? Think about all the people it would help.

 
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0 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 15, 2008
We may as well turn your "innocent question" around: how much should the average citizen pay, to subsidize those government services which allow the rich to build and maintain their position of relative wealth?

Without the government playing enforcer for private property rights, who would dare to become a billionaire?
 
 
Jul 30, 2008
There is nothing wrong with being rich because an economy is not a zero sum game.... someone doesn't have to be made poorer for someone else to be made richer. So, to be clear, the only problem with 1% of the population being vastly wealthier than the rest is the power it gives them to perpetuate and strengthen that position. That problem equates to political corruption which definitely needs to be addressed.

A more interesting way to phrase taxation rates for various incomes is to ask about their effect on the economy. Low taxes on rich people encourage people to work hard because they can see that they can become rich in a fairly short time and get to keep it... good for innovation and productivity. Being able to get rich fairly quickly however discourages long term planning and a stable economy because everyone is trying to make it big and then get out... no so good. Balancing those two should be what the discussion is about and not where the money is going.
 
 
Jul 22, 2008
RE: User Name: puckyhuddle Jul 22, 2008

Communism is not about distribution of wealth. It is indiscriminate destruction of wealth in whatever form it exists. USA can never reach that unless some creeps decide to re-write the entire constitution.
 
 
Jul 22, 2008
Yes, there is a good reason. Our country would fall apart, as have all countries that have practiced communism, which is what you are suggesting.
 
 
Jul 15, 2008
It's not a question of "how much of their income should be REdistributed", but "why is the economy structured in such a way that they get such huge sums in the first place."

Unless they're curing cancer every day, they simply don't deserve as much as they're getting.
 
 
Jul 14, 2008
It only proves that Bush is no Reagan.
 
 
Jul 13, 2008
Since the options you given us are limited, I'll go with the lowest - 50%. If an ex-spouse is only entitled to half, that should be good enough for the government too.

But what do I know? I don't have an ex-spouse, and I'm not filthy rich. I'm just very very pretty. :P
 
 
Jul 12, 2008
as a matter of fact IKE did tax at over . and the usa had it biggest boom. @ OF AMERICAN SAY THEY ARE IN THE TOP %1. THEY ARE WRONG, BUT MAYBE THAYS WHY THE HATE TO TAX THE RICH. THE TOP %1 HAS WELL OVER P OF THE REAL VALUE OF THE USA. ( not mine) BILL TAXED THE TOP 1% and it worked great! I recall that those years of peace and prosperity began with a bitter debate over taxes, when President
Clinton was seeking to enact his first federal budget in 1993. Upon
entering the Oval Office, Clinton found to his dismayed surprise that his
"fiscally conservative" predecessor had left a $290-billion deficit. He
responded by imposing substantial tax increases on the top 1 percent of
taxpayers and omitting the "middle-class tax cut" he had promised in his
campaign. That measure passed by a single vote in the Senate, cast by Vice
President Al Gore.
Predictably, the Republican right threw a screaming tantrum, falsely
describing the tax increase as the "largest in history" (that honor
actually belonged to Reagan) and warning that it would result in a severe
recession or worse. Conservative politicians and pundits unanimously
predicted that higher taxes would mean fewer jobs and larger deficits.
They were resoundingly wrong, of course. Within a few years after the ’93
tax hike, we were enjoying full employment, shrinking poverty, rising
household incomes at all levels, greater home ownership—and the prospect
of a gigantic federal surplus. --- BILL HAD A $290-billion deficit. THE NEXT GUY HAS 400 billion AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE.
 
 
Jul 12, 2008
eat the rich. the only reason frd went with his new deal weas to try and stop the poor takeing stuff. it kept out the commies. you want to big real walls and keep tigers like they do keep out the poor the way they do far south of the borther. the funny thing is that the money all you made is about the same as the people who had good jobs lost. thanks to fed. rules you have some of it. Social Darwin types can not make a world that lasts. get over it. some old white guy said something like the ones who benefit the most should pay the most. most of you won the sperm race or were in the right line. and if you think how much of what you make, not what you pay. the ricnedt pay the least. everyones income tax is down. but payroll taxes are up. a lot. people who think they can run a house on compressed air may not last in the world they say they want
 
 
Jul 11, 2008
The US federal government wastes tax dollars it has plundered from its citizens. We should give the government as little as possible to undermine their ability to waste our productivity. Can you say earmarks.
 
 
Jul 11, 2008
Hey - No fair !!!
 
 
Jul 11, 2008
I would make a distinction between income earned from a job and income by an entrepreneur. I don't have any beef with people taking initiative earning a lot of money if they have success. They have a real downside and need to be compensated by a possible upside. Now, highly paid executives are a different matter. I see a lot of comparisons with communism here, but if you look at large organizations internally they resemble more the Soviet Union than a market economy. Exactly because I am all for free markets, I object to CEO's being paid millions or tens of millions. I happen to think that they do not add as much value to the organization as they are taking out. Their incomes have nothing to do with free markets; those salaries and bonuses are decided within small groups of people who are all in the same boat. I don't think the economy would suffer if you tax the hell out of those salaries (f.i. 90% on any income over a million annually which has no real downside risks: salary, bonus, stock options). Some of these people will then be stimulated to apply their talent to real risk-taking jobs, where -if they are talented- they are probably adding more value than as political bureaucrats spinning their investor stories. Others, who are more motivated by power and status will continue to work as heads of larger companies and work just as hard even if they are all paid less.
Why would this not work?
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 10, 2008
I haven't read all the comments so someone may have already said this. I don't think it's nessecarily about taxes. Most of the rich make their money from some sort of business that has employees. If the employees were paid better there would be no need to play with taxes.

In the current system the money filters it's way up to the top leaving the vast majority of people underpaid and broke. For example there's a local business man who owns 5 Tim Horton's (donut shop). He's a millionaire while most of the staff work for minimum wage. Does there really need to be such a spread?

I often wonder if wages are in a race to the bottom with so many well-paid manufacturing jobs leaving North America. It leaves behind mostly service jobs that don't pay well. If we are all making minimum wage then who's going to buy all the stuff being made in China?

Remember, one of the fathers of Capitalism, Henry Ford, paid his workers well so they could afford to buy the cars they were building.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 10, 2008
Governments exist to provide goods and services which can not be provided by private initiative, no matter how gigantic corporations may be. If you are poor you don't care if the government is a dictatorship. You might in fact prefer one. If you are rich you want a say in running things. Governments can never be worse than oligarchies--if there are LOTS of rich people, you get a democracy.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 10, 2008
Nobody is forcing the rich to live in Manhattan, the West End of London, or the Hamptons, where taxes are the highest this side of even richer countries such as petro states, Switzerland, and Scandinavia. They are fighting to get in, not out, of high tax jurisdictions. The high tax places are nicer places. If you're rich, you can't buy everything you want from the private sector.
 
 
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 10, 2008
You're right, Scott, but why stop at just taxing income? Why not property as well? There's lots of people who own houses, multiple houses, ranches, office buildings, and even apartments, so why not sieze whatever ones of them that powerful people think should be used by those deemed deservinng? And all those TV's and appliances? Why, let's just take whatever we want and give them to those who don't have them? Let's tap into everyone's savings as well, and spread that around to people who didn't bother to save or were too lazy or clueless to have savings. In fact, why stop at tangible property? There's lots of intellectual property to sieze and re-sell, like for example there's this cartoonist with decades of back-catalog comics which can be regurgitated into "best of" compilations -- I'm sure my version would sell just as well as his on Amazon.

Or we could just recognize that it's wrong to steal things by force from people if we value our freedoms.
 
 
Jul 10, 2008
the value of the dollar fluctuates. has the relative wealth taken from the rich increased or decreased?

also do you not find it strange that (in order to make your argument logical) the top 1%'s earnings must have increased by a significant amount since the tax cut?

this is the "martini glass" distribution in effect.

i don't know what the answer is, but it isn't taxation.
 
 
Jul 10, 2008
Here is how the world works for those of you who don't get it yet:

Happy Premise Number 1) The vast majority of people are lazy.
HP2) Hence, they will choose not working over working since work involves effort and this violates the Happy Premise No 1.
HP3) Work is the only way for most people to generate money.
HP4) Based on HP2 and HP3 we can conclude that most people will not choose working but will need to do it anyways against their will. This is how our economy keeps running.

Taxes break this model. They take money from people who work (making them less willing to work) and gives to those who dont (who are also less willing to work cause you just gave them money for nothing).

Conclusion: taxes make everyone want to work less, generate less money and hence you get the USSR, and eventual economic ruin.

No taxes is also not going to work as then we have poor people picking up guns and shooting the rich for food. So we need a happy medium, and 20% is probably fair, but it has to be a flat rate across the board so that the rich still want to make more money and the poor still need to work.

Pretty simple really.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 10, 2008
I think most of you didn't seem to understand that Scott was once again working off of his "Dance monkey, dance!" principle.

Read a little more carefully - Scott is NOT proposing a 90% tax rate or any other proposition of "fairness" in taxation. He's trying to see what kind of reaction he'll get. And it was a good one.

Remember, taxation is a part of the larger economics puzzle, and Scott admits to not knowing anything about economics. He's also trying to show that nobody else here knows anything about economics either, which has been amply proven as well. Although there are some excellent thinkers who cite some pretty good practical examples from history, reality is that nobody knows what will happen.

Good times.
 
 
Jul 10, 2008
Nice setup.

No one should ever have 30% or more taken from their paycheck, however, I do think that a poor person working 60 hours a week should pay less taxes than a wealthy person working 60 hours per week. And yet I don't believe in socialism. It's a conundrum.
 
 
 
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