Another new tax being thought about.. War Surtax

United States
November 23, 2009 10:21am CST
Yep congress is think of another new tax. They want a "war surtax" for the wealthy. It would help pay for the war in Afghanistan. Well lets see the new health bill now being debated includes a 40% tax on the wealthy's health care insurance. Now they want to tax them again to pay for the war. If you make over $200,000.00 a year. What do you think of all this? It looks like our congress wants to tax the "wealthy" to death. What happens when they tax them too much and they are not wealthy anymore? Or the wealthy says forget this and leave the country? They are wealthy after all....they can choose to live where ever they want. Should just one class of bear the burden for all the governments social programs and bills? Isn't it ALL of ours country? SHouldn't all of us have to pay for it? Maybe then people would less likely to let the government waste so much money and spend without end. Tell me what you think? Note to self.....never make over 200,000.00 a year. It is not worth it. (not that I am ANYWHERE near making that a year.)
1 person likes this
4 responses
@MJay101 (711)
23 Nov 09
Do you have any idea what the tax rates in the UK are? Or, for that matter, what the tax rates in many Scandinavian countries are? It makes the whining of the American rich look frankly pathetic... Of course, I'm an old socialist, so I favour much higher taxes all round. I don't think it's fair that the burden of tax - as a percentage of income or assets - always dumps hardest on the poor. Nor do I think it's fair that the tax system is set up to be manipulated by the wealthy through the exploitation of various loopholes (by paid accountants, whom the wealthy can afford to employ), whilst the poor are unable to make full use of tax breaks and benefits due to their complexity - and cannot afford advice on the matter. I don't support a war tax, because I don't feel that we (the UK or the US) should be at war (in Afghanistan, or elsewhere). I also think the American military budget is absurdly high as it is...
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
23 Nov 09
The US tax code and its complexity is the very reason that the wealthy pay tax lawyers to find them loopholes and tax write-offs to hide money or save on their tax obligations. As for the poor not being able to avail themselves of benefits, this is not as true as it might once have been. Anyone with an income below $52k yearly can use an online tax program provided for free through the IRS website and from several large, well-known tax preparing companies. These programs prompt people to fill out the proper schedules, etc, to get tax breaks and credits based on their answers to key questions. I support a flat tax based on a straight percentage without the thousands and thousands of pages of tax law. No matter how you look at it, 10% of $200,000 is always going to be much more than 10% of 20,000 and the guy making 200,000 or more isn't going to get a chance at all those loopholes, not to mention that the flat rate makes him less likely to want to bother trying to find ways to legally cheat. Of course, this puts a good number of attorneys out of business but since 1 in every 365 people in the US is a lawyer, I think we could stand to lose a few.
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• United States
23 Nov 09
You may also note that a lot of these "Loopeholes" and "Tax Breaks" are there for a reason. Basically it is a way for the government to encourage people to do with their money what the government wants them to do. For example: Tax breaks for real estate investment help provide affordable housing for the poor so that government programs like Section 8 aren't overrun. Tax free healtcare programs encourage people to buy their own healtcare so the government doesn't have to pay for them. Tax breaks for charatable giving encourage people to give to organizations which bolser social welfare programs etc. etc. So yes, only the wealthy can really use them, but they usually serve the public good, and since the weathy pay most of the taxes in this country anyway, why don't we give them a little credit for doing good stuff with the money they have leftover after the government has taken its 40-60%
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@MJay101 (711)
24 Nov 09
Rollo1 - good post; thank you. (Please note that I'm commenting from a UK perspective, so aren't as familiar with the American tax system...) I didn't know about the online service offered by the IRS. The only point I'd make about this is that it requires access to the internet - which is far from equitable - and, presumably, some sort of rudimentary I.T. skills; possessed by most, but possessed by a lower percentage of the worse-off. I definitely agree that we could stand to lose a few lawyers (in the US and the UK), but I don't support a flat-rate tax. Whilst 10% (say) is always going to be 10%, for someone on a low to middle income, a tax bill of 10% is going to devour a much larger percentage of their 'disposable' income - e.g. after booze, ciggies, food and rent (in that order!). Troublegum - thanks for your reply. Of course I agree that the tax breaks are used by the government for social engineering purposes, to a greater or lesser extent. When I referred to "loopholes" and "tax breaks", however, I was considering the various schemes that permit the extremely wealthy to effectively pay no tax on capital assets and the income generated from them... if they can afford the services of a half-decent accountant and / or financial advisor. I know that it's possible for a husband and wife to 'manage' about half a million with almost no tax liability (dividend credit on income excluded); I also know that in my position, earning almost exactly the median income and choosing the lifestyle that I do (I drink, smoke, etc.), my personal tax burden is immense.
• United States
24 Nov 09
I don't think they should tax anyone for a War we could not vote for or against. If they want to do something like that, why not do War Bonds like they did years ago?
• United States
3 Dec 09
Good point. LEt them put the war on the next election ballot. If the American public vote to keep them going.....then we pay for them. If not....pull out and be done with it. Either way it will be the will of the poeple. WHich is what is important.
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
23 Nov 09
Taxing people at different rates isn't even constitutional. It's easy to get people behind your plan though, if you say you are taxing the wealthy. Everyone figures the "wealthy" can take it. But in many cases, people would be surprised to find out just how low your income can be and still be counted in their "wealthy" category. In some cases, it can be as low as $55K. More taxes will eventually drive people to establish residence elsewhere. They've been doing that for years in some countries. The UK also has punitive tax rates on the rich - one reason that very wealthy people like Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton, establish residence in a more tax-friendly environment, like Monaco.
• United States
23 Nov 09
Lots of doctors are looking at moving to Costa Rica where they can get paid for their work and not have to spend half their paycheck on medical malpractice insurance. You make a great point, and it should also be noted that it is the wealthy that have the ability to move around. Once the rich leave the poor are stuck where we are because we don't have the resources to up and move our families to Monaco or Costa Rica.
• United States
23 Nov 09
I don't agree with a war surtax, but I see their point. They are hoping that if we know how much the war is costing us we will lose heart and not want to fight and win it. The major prblem is that of all the things our government does, National security is the one thing that it is really supposed to do. Most of the rest of the things it does are meant to be done my either the states or the private sector. Really it is everything else that should be itemized.