how would you implement something like this? There is no way any government short of a communist dictatorship could keep tabs on everything everybody owns, and the costs of the annual Domesday-like census alone might be where most the money from taxes would go to.
Taxing people a lump amount for what they own would hugely discourage poorer people from trying to pull themselves up, since they would withhold from ever trying to leverage themselves economically through investment, and for the truly rich it would have little impact because most of them have more money than they can spend anyway.
Besides, people do already pay taxes on the large things they own; houses have property tax, and cars have tax on the fuel they consume. Other than that, we already pay tax on anything that we buy when we buy it. you only buy something once, so how is it fair to pay tax on it repeatedly until you're forced to give it up? Paying tax on income makes so much more sense than this. Not to mention the waste this would produce; how's the resale value on all the confiscated goods decided, and who the hell wants to buy poor peoples grotty, used possessions anyway?
As for the person who called you a capitalist pig: If (s)he's not a buddhist monk who has given up all possessions and eats only that which he grows, then money is what keeps him alive and he prescribes to the capitalist system. if he is a communist, he is in denial that the communist system is practically defined by failure, as demonstrated by history, and is therefore more than likely wrong about one or two other things. if this person is simply poorer or less motivated than you, he's probably saying it because he envies the fruits of your hard work and possibly good fortune of being born to parents that also work hard.
Man... you seem to unquestioningly let things shake your beliefs with such little convincing. must be a bit wearing isn't it? You can do right in this world in other ways than feeling guilty for not being the poorest, most philosophically and theologically transcendent, most dedicated, kindest, most generous, and most ninjaesque person in the universe. Besides, they probably just called you that because you were being a prick in a less theoretical way; are you sure you weren't backing him into a corner, or giving him another reason to say something intentionally hurtful (and hypocritical)?
In one way, it would be really nice if we could all have no personal ownership of anything, share our homes, and consume nothing but marijuana; but in another way, that would totally suck. *pulls out cigar* *lights match using the shaven head of somali slave boy as a flint* *puffs thoughtfully*
I only read Rast's post. What you suggest is something that bothers me. I own two houses and pay property tax on them. As we all know property value in Victoria has gone up over the last few years, and property tax is based on property value.
My income has not gone up, but what I pay in property taxes has. Where does that money come from? It comes from my income. I am not about to pull it out of my houses. It is not my fault that other people want to buy property in Victoria, but as a result I am paying more taxes.
Raster you also suggest that people pay taxes between 5%-10% on their net worth. My two houses allow are valued at 600k, so you are suggesting that I pay 30k-60k in taxes every year. I actually earn about 50k a year, so what you suggest is that I pay 60%-120% of my income. It also implies that have to repay for my houses every 10-20 years based on the taxes (5-10%). That would be like paying a mortage that goes up every year based on the value of the house. This is only based on my houses. Should I also pay $500-1,000 a year just for owning a boat too, and another 500-1000 for my car and another 500-1000 for my saving?
That brings it up to my taxes to 31.5k-63k or 63%-126% of my income. Shit! I hope my property does not go up 10% because I am only getting a 3.5% pay increase next year. That would be
51.75k wage 33k-66k on the houses 1,500-3000 on the boat, car and savings for a total of 34,500 to 69,000 or 66%-133%
Rasteriod, you are great at designing games, but new taxes systems..........
Persistent taxation would lead to nothing but poverty - rich individuals are pivotal to our economic stability. Not only do the richest 5% pay 95% of all taxes, but they inflow a large amount of jobs and economic securities that would otherwise be unavailable for anyone but other well-off individuals.
Rasteroid - the scenario you have lain out before us is dangerously close to communism, which history has shown us does not work - humans are inherently greedy, and the few in power are always going to find corruption. A communist government, in a perfect world, may seem to be the perfect organizational choice, but you also have to remember that this type of governing body stunts personal freedoms and development - which, in turn, stunts further long-term economic growth. So, in the end, these forms of government perpetually end in failure, no matter how good they look on paper.
Taxation in its current form is generally a good system. Taxation based on yearly income allows a flat-rate for everyone, while still providing opportunity for personal gain/growth, exemptions, and bonuses. This allows for a generally fair system with the rich paying a good sum of their hefty income, and the poor receiving tax credits to alleviate hardship and economic strife.
-- Also, Until you've been in the 35% tax bracket, I'd recommend holding your comments about tax breaks. 35% of annual income hurts, no matter how rich you are.
Post by vilhazarog on Dec 20, 2006 12:04:47 GMT -5
I don't know that the system we got is the best... there is the interesting idea of abolishing income tax and replacing it with a national sales tax... you can read all about it at fairtax.org. The main appeal would be no more IRS, no more crazy tax loop holes, no more requiring a 'tax professional' to figure out your taxes, and of course getting to keep your entire paycheck. Of course the disadvantage is you'd have to think of other ways to encourage people to donate to charity, drive cleaner and fuel efficient cars, own homes instead of rent, etc rather than tax incentives. And no one really knows what that drastic change would actually do to the economy, regardless of the fact that it supposedly works out to the same amount of tax income on paper.
I don't think our system is the "best" per se, but it is certainly functional. We get the things done that need doing with the taxes that we pay, the economy supports the less fortunate (while unfortunately punishing those who have made wise financial investments) and we end up with a surplus of money to use for charities, government programs, grants, and paying for our leaders new Yacht or Lamborghini.
So, problems all around.
Fairtax looks good, too bad it will never pass. Too many lobbyists are funded by corporations who have our current administration wrapped around its little finger forging out tax credits and breaks that will put them paying nearly nothing.