A Fairer way to tax

@bobmnu (8160)
United States
December 2, 2010 1:26pm CST
After reading that 45% of the income earners in this country pay no Federal Income Tax, I think it is time to make sure everyone is paying something in Income Tax. I think that every person with income (money coming to them from any source) should pay a minimum of 1% on their gross income or their Adjusted Gross tax rate which ever is higher. I am sick and tired of people who are paying nothing are telling everyone what to spend the money on and telling the most productive people how much they will have to pay in taxes. Why should a person who receives 100% of their need covered by the government be able to demand more and by the way you people will pay so that I don't have to work but get to live as good as you do. Do you think everyone who receives any income should pay something in taxes?
1 person likes this
10 responses
@mattic (282)
• United States
4 Dec 10
It is amazing to me how many of the collectivists responding to this post are so generous with other people's money....especially those mean old rich people. They are then very stingy when it comes to their money - many receiving it in the form of "benefits" (code speak for "it was taken from another American"). What they won't admit (in fairness, maybe some will) is that this is simply a paraphrasing of the "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" credo of Marxism. I can see no moral or legal grounds to demand that any other citizen be required to meet my perceived needs. I see no moral or legal obligation to meet another citizen's needs. It always seems like those at the bottom are the only ones who desire for things to be leveled. It's always the kids who aren't good enough to play whose parents push for "minimum playing time" in recreational leagues. It's always the parents of the children with the lowest grades who demand that the tests be made fairer. It's always those who lack the desire, skills and work ethic to become wealthy who want to spread the wealth around.
@mattic (282)
• United States
4 Dec 10
And further, the problem is not tax revenue. The US is currently getting plenty of tax revenue. The problem is spending. Farm subsidies, a bloated defense budget, social programs, foreign aid and way too many federal employees are draining the bucket faster than the money can come in. If the Federal government were reduced to those duties mandated and limited by the Constitution, our tax rates would be drastically reduced. That is the insidious nature of progressive taxation, the politicians will always find a "need" for more. Thank you FDR.
@jb78000 (15178)
4 Dec 10
really? i think you'll find the 'collectivists' in here are actually tax payers.
@jb78000 (15178)
4 Dec 10
let's put it this way - up to a certain income level you are working to feed and clothe yourself and your family and provide shelter. after that you are working to provide extras. bob wants to tax people on the breadline more, and make those above this less. and the more above it the easier it should be in bob and matticworld. the idealised highly stratified society you seem to want would mean that people working to survive would have to work longer and longer hours for less and less money. i don;t have a problem with taxes gradually increasing as you make more and more money. to be brutally honest, it is just taxing 'extra' money, not necessary. it doesn't mean you can't earn lots and lots and lots if you are lucky (not the same as working hard). oh, and if you want to live in a 3rd world country where people starve, become homeless and beg on the streets if they can't find work, why don't you move to one? there are plenty.
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
2 Dec 10
How much money do you think you're talking about, bob, if the tax table went all the way down to...what?...$50? One percent of that is fifty cents. This 45% pay into the system throughout the year but they are eligible for deductions which bring their adjusted gross down to where they owe no tax. Are you suggesting that we do away with the deductions that lower a family's taxable income?
@jb78000 (15178)
2 Dec 10
how many small business start-ups would go bankrupt within weeks if this brilliant plan was implemented do you think?
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
2 Dec 10
Businesses enjoy a lot more deductions than individuals do but it appears that Bob has no problem with that. When you file your personal taxes here in the U.S. you are allowed a personal deduction for yourself, one for your spouse and one for each dependent child which can total thousands of dollars. These deductions lower your taxable income. For some families these deductions lower their adjusted gross income to zero...but that does not mean that these wage earners work any less hard than anyone else...it simply means that they earn less. Our income tax code has a cut off...below a certain amount and you owe no taxes so everything you paid into the sytem throughout the year is returned to you.
@jb78000 (15178)
2 Dec 10
so he just wants to take more from people on very low incomes then? very fair.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
3 Dec 10
I support a fair tax, which would lead to me paying more in taxes but I think everybody should pay their share. I believe that a certain percentage to everyone rather than the graduated tax system that punishes success, is the most fair and would generate more in tax money for Congress to put forth their earmarks. But I am willing to bet that if EVERYBODY was paying taxes, people would be more upset about government spending. I do however think that it is silly to tax income that comes from taxes. Social Security - already taxed. Unemployment, already taxed...
@jb78000 (15178)
3 Dec 10
i love this understanding of fair taxes and the catch phrase 'punishing success' - which both translate to lots more taxes for me so the very wealthy can pay less and be marginally more wealthy (just a little bit though). what a peculiar definition of fair. an allowance up to a certain amount (here it is only about 6,000 pounds a year), then a graded system after that does mean everybody pays, but nobody is bankrupted. and still the more money you make, the more money you get. so how that is punishing success i have no idea. i have no problem with going into a higher tax band when you earn a substantial amount more.
• United States
3 Dec 10
Didn't the UK pass a 50% tax on those making above approx. $250,000? I think they did that last year. The fair tax idea is based on getting rid of the IRS completely. (A massive amount of government savings.) Then implementing a V.A.T. tax instead.
@jb78000 (15178)
3 Dec 10
and that would be about as fair as a straight poll tax. the very wealthy would be much better off. those in the middle either a little worse off or about the same. and those on low incomes would of course be much worse off. but that is what The Poor are for isn't it?
@grammasnook (1877)
• United States
2 Dec 10
So does this mean you believe that people that are getting social security should be paying another tax?? Or the veterans should be taxed?? I worked many years to pay taxes and then I paid into my social security. I beg to differ I have every stinkin right to have an input where money is spent. If you are talking welfare you need to get another clue as well.. welfare has to be reformed around the country just like they do in Massachusetts.
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
2 Dec 10
I really hate to say this, gramma, but after reading the OD again it comes across as very elitist. My husband is a disabled vet, injured in Viet Nam, and at 62 years old he is one of those horrible people who receives 100% of his personal income and medical care from the government.
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
2 Dec 10
Veterans are a whole other story. People who give their lives to or for their country aren't the same as someone who is nothing more than a leech on the government teet. Social security is a Ponzi scheme. I think it should be ended immediately with the government giving back to everyone exactly what they paid in (possibly adjusted for inflation) instead of robbing future generations.
• United States
3 Dec 10
Yep spalladino My husband is also one of those horrible people!!! So now the question is if there was not social security but I saved my money from all the money that was taxed should I have to pay taxes on those funds every year?? After years of fighting the system my husband finally got 50 percent, that was just on the psych part now we have to fight the physical part... before getting out of the military he complained and complained about bone pain in his legs, well years later it gets worse and worse he ends up having knee surgery and now we find that all these years he had shin splints which have over the years caused stress fractures!! He is in pain 24/7 on top of that he has chronic fatique but like you know it is fighting fighting and more fighting..but he shall get what he deserves.
@jb78000 (15178)
2 Dec 10
you've never run a business have you bob? gross income is what comes in. however if most or all of that is going on running costs, which is often the case during the beginning, then you are asking people to pay money in tax that they do not actually have. i assume you like the idea of taxing the poor and middle class more but this doesn't make any sense.
@jb78000 (15178)
2 Dec 10
oh, and everybody *does* pay money in taxes. there are taxes added to almost everything you buy, from shampoo to paper.
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
2 Dec 10
You've never run a business in America have you jb? Business expenses are tax deductible allowing you to write off those expenses when you file. My wife is a small business owner. She writes off her piano, the rent for her studio, piano books, and various other expenses. She pays next to nothing in taxes as a result. "there are taxes added to almost everything you buy" Irrelevant. Sales tax is handled at the state and local level. We are talking about FEDERAL income tax. In addition to that even sales tax is deductible depending on where you live. Spall lives in Florida so she gets to write off sales taxes when she files. Granted, some people don't realize that, but it went into effect 4 or 5 years ago.
@jb78000 (15178)
3 Dec 10
so she is taxed on her profits? not running expenses. wow - dreadful.
@millertime (1398)
• United States
5 Dec 10
Wow, quite a spirited discussion going on here. I'll try to enter the fray here and respond on topic. After reading most of the responses so far, I can see both sides of the argument. First, it does annoy me that some of the people of society try and work the system to take anything and everything they can get. We all know there are layabouts that live off of the government dole and don't even try to work or help themselves in any way. I don't think these people should be rewarded for their behavior. Nobody should get more out of the government system than they pay in. On the other hand, it doesn't bother me a bit if we were to help the people that are making the effort to try and help themselves. In other words, if someone is trying to make it and is working a low paying job, they shouldn't have to pay income taxes until they make it above a certain level of income. Whatever the "poverty level" of income is, if someone makes below that amount, I think they should keep every dime they make. At least they are working for it. After that, it seems that there is a lot of discussion going on about how much to tax people of various incomes. So we could argue whether or not to implement a "flat tax" system or keep the graduated system we have now. I can see advantages and disadvantages to both. A flat tax system would tax everyone (above that poverty level I spoke of earlier) at the same percentage. It can be argued that this is the most fair way to tax as everyone has the same size slice of their income taken by the government. Everyone would have to pay say, 10% of their income, no matter how much they made. You could eliminate all deductions except for children which means you could do away with the IRS or downsize it substantially. That would save a lot of government spending right there. A graduated system, which we have now, taxes at a percentage that increases with income which takes a bigger slice of one's income as one makes more. Some people think this is more "fair" as they believe people with more money should pay more simply because they can. Some people look at this as punishing the rich by taking more of their money. It can be argued that this is a disincentive for anyone to strive for a higher level of success. Why make more when you just have to give a bigger portion to the government? Personally, I don't think it matters which system we use. Neither one will work if that's all we do. The system as it is now is dysfunctional. Redistribute income? Take from the rich and give to the poor? The government doesn't have any money to give to anybody! They continue year after year to spend more than they take in. No economy can continue to do that indefinitely without consequence. If they keep doing it everybody will pay, rich and poor alike, because the dollar will be devalued and we'll have runaway inflation, or worse. Whichever way we choose to pay taxes, whether it be a flat tax, graduated tax, Value Added Tax, national sales tax or any combination of taxes, we have to decide how much we want to give government for the services we want and stick to it. The government has to be made to live within it's means. They must be forced to balance the budget ALWAYS. We the people need to be the parents and tell them, like a child, how much their allowance is going to be and that's all they can spend. If we don't, it won't matter who pays what in taxes, the economy is still going to crash. You can all argue about which is the most fair way to tax but what we should really be talking about is how to spend the money.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
12 Dec 10
One of the problems is that poverty is a line drawn by some one that is based on what they beleive. Is poverty those people who are homeless and no means of support, is it a single mother, is it an old person on a fixed income? Most of the people in poverty in the US are living better than most of the average people in the industrialized world to say nothing of the the rest of the world. I heard as story that Russian Premier Stalin imported the book "The Grapes of Wrath" to show hop bad the US system was working. The Russian people who read the book commented how in America even the poor own cars. The poor in America have always been better off than most other average or poor people in the world. They always had the American Dream, until things became uncertain as to what the government is going to do. Even they can't agree on what direction to take and they keep trying more expensive things with out knowing what it will do or if it works.
@sierras236 (2740)
• United States
2 Dec 10
I am kind of confused on this. Do you want the Fair tax and completely get rid of the IRS? Do you want additional taxes for everyone? Do you want all of the exemptions to disappear? What about those on Social Security for the elderly who are on fixed incomes? What about those on Disability? If you are making the point that the tax system is discriminatory, then yes I agree with that statement. No two people that make the same exact pay never pay the same amount in income taxes. Lately, the legislation is being very discriminatory to the "rich."
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
11 Dec 10
I would favor a fair tax or flat tax if there were strict limits on how much could be imposed by the government. The Income tax started out with 7 brackets starting at 1% and going to a top bracket of 7%. The politician are always yelling about things need to be equal and them they impose a tax that takes from the most productive people and gives it to the least productive ones. If a business charged you for a service based upon your income the government would stop them. All I want is what the President wants when he said "every one needs to have some skin in the game".
• United States
6 Dec 10
As far as I'm concerned, the only fair tax is the Fair Tax, or a consumption tax. If we had a consumption tax, no one would escape paying something, even visitors.
@bestboy19 (5482)
• United States
6 Dec 10
I think the federal income tax should be abolished and replaced with the "Fair Tax".
@dark_joev (3043)
• United States
3 Dec 10
Okay you want a better system of getting money for the feds here it is. The Sales Tax you tax every transaction lets say 1% or maybe 3% this will be 3 cents to every dollar spent. This wouldn't harm productivity any and everyone would pay into it some way shape or form it would be less likely that a poor person would be taxed more as wealthy people often buy things that are more expensive. This way everyone would be paying into the system. And it would keep in mind the limits of lower level income earners. That way we could even tax the Homeless people because they also purchase things too. I think there should be a minimum needed to be reached before you get taxed. Right now though you are taxed every single paycheck that you get then at the end of the year you either over paid or under paid and sometimes you paid just the right amount but right now your minimum wage earner is taxed on every paycheck. that 45% is coming from when everyone goes and does taxes. So you want people to be forced to pay during that one period of time no matter what? Like I said I support there being a sales tax so that we can use businesses for what they are met for to be tax collectors for the government. Just image the government earning on every sale that happens within the United States 1 to 3 percent.