Taxes


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Frood:  Are you referring to the current system?

    Cyan:  I agree, that’s why I think a flat tax rate should specifically exempt basic food stuffs and medicine.  This would include vegetables, fruit, meat, breads and dairy.  This would NOT include pre-made meals like those for the microwave.  Just rawer foods like Wheat Bread, Maize, Apples, etc.  And the medicine exclusion would be for prescribed medicines only, not for things like aspirin or MAALOX.



  • Which incidentally I don’t think would dissuade anyone from trying to earn more money, even though they’ll pay higher taxes on those extra dollars.<<

    You might be surprised. My Wife is from Thailand where their income tax is about 15%. When she started working here the tax rate was about 21%. With her newest W2 contract because it pays a lot better she’s getting taxed at almost 30%. She was sooo pissed off and contemplated quiting on the spot. Penalizing people for working hard and trying to achieve better and better things is a sure fire way to get people NOT to work hard or strive to better their lives. I mean, the truly Rich has many tax shelters and what they can’t shelter they blink about paying because what’s a few more percentage points on 10 million? Its nothing to them. But the middle class that works hard to save money and prepare for retirement and to afford for college tuition for the kids get penalized so much for achieving strong incomes that the progressive tax is a major means to prevent ascension from the ranks of the middle class to the rich. I mean, the lower class can climb their way to the middle class ranks merely be working hard, garnering work experience, and progressively upgrading jobs as that experience allows. But most traditional jobs have an income cap to them and a high tax at the upper end cuts those people off at the legs from securing a stronger financial future.

    My Chosen Tax Structures:

    1. No Income Tax whatsoever on ANYONE making less than the medium average wage (not sure if this should be based on a national average, or established locally by tweaking the national average based on local cost of living). Over the median wage a progressive tax starting at 1% going up to just 10% based on an percentile basis of where you are on the wage chart. The idea being pegging these levels to the job market with the intent to prevent greedy politicians from gradually lowering the thresh holds for each incrimental tax point.

    2. State sales taxes (basic consumption tax), with food and medical items and services exempt. Key insurance industries should be tax exempt as well, especially any type of insurance which is more or less an essential of life (health insurance, car insurance, house insurance)

    3. State income taxes. 2% at maximum. A revenue share can be worked out between the states and the fed. Exempt for anyone earning under the poverty level.

    4. A single one time property tax when purchasing a property. Not annually. A minor (and I mean minor) tax reduction on reduction on this amount for 1 and 2 children, but nothing additional for more than 2 children.

    5. Capital Gains taxes such as, stock dividends, interests gains or the sales of stocks. But I also think this should be on an annual basis only and ONLY when you chose to remove cash from those investments. Growth on the investments should be left with the investments, tax, free, and allowed to keep growing. I think a very small capital gains tax upon successful selling of a property might be ok, but only on the “Gains”. So, as the buyer, maybe you pay a state tax of 10% when you buy the property and lets say you buy a house valued at $200K. 10 years later you sell it for $350K, maybe a small tax of 5% of so on the $150K in increased property value might be reasonable.

    6. Renters Tax. 1-2% tax leveraged on rented housing. This very specifically would be designed to encourage home ownership.

    7. Taxes on corporations much as they exist today. No “special” or heavier taxes on industries just because they are large or more profitable than other industries. Where civil infrastructure or environmental costs are involved for the business to be established, operated/monitored, would be charged to the business as pass thru fees, not taxes.

    8. Import taxes. Only where we chose to leverage importing fees on products. For instance, if China charges import duties on our products, we would return in kind. Import fees should never be considered a means for government to make up lost taxes from other areas. Where needed, port inspection fees may be reasonable if the cost of safe inspection of imported cargo is necessary to safeguard our country.

    9. Wartime act, emergency spending. If the nation goes to war and the government needs additional funds to finance the military spending everyone above the poverty line could be assessed a one time annual fee, but no greater than 10-15% of a persons income wage rate for that whole year. This fee would be a “loan” to the government at a market rate APR that the government would have to pay back within a fixed amount of time at the declared end of the war. If, for some reason, a person could not pay the assessed fee when required, they should be able to get a federally backed loan from most any financial banking institute where the rate for that loan should be the governments APR plus maybe 1-2% at worst. With money for surplus military spending coming, at least temporarily, directly out of the savings accounts of the average citizen (as opposed to nebulously from our taxes), its a fair bet the average citizen will care a whole lot more about international issues and hold their elected officials more directly accountable. My bet is wars or major military actions or even UN support roles will only get approved by the majority of people come that point and if approved, at least they would have more personal accountability there. And with surplus military funding being having to come from loans accountable to the average citizen rather than taxes which the government officials all too often regard as “theirs”, they would know darn well that how they attempt to vote on such issues will very much impact their chances for re-election.

    10. Not strictly tax related, but every citizen should have the right to establish a 401K program under their own name and administration, even prior to the age of 18. This is not something that would be registered with an employer, but rather with the individual so it need not ever be transferred or shifted to a Roth or whatever when you change employers. Money invested into the 401K should be pre tax, as now and all “market gains” as opposed to principle you put into the account, should get taxed at half the the standard capital gains rate when it is taken out for retirement.

    Really, that should be about it. I have a hard time seeing where the justification for any other taxes should come from.

    Ryan S. Johnson
    Guild of Blades Publishing Group
    http://www.guildofblades.com
    http://www.1483online.com
    http://www.thermopylae-online.com


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I agree, income taxes, or more accurately stated, a tax on the creation of wealth, encourages people not to create wealth, which fosters a growth in the nanny state or socialized welfare programs for the non or under performers.

    For instance, when I worked for McDonald’s I found out that if I worked my normal shift for one more week, I’d actually have to pay taxes instead of getting all my taxes back as a refund.  So I told the boss not to schedule me for the last week.  He was mad.  However, I got “paid” thousands of dollars in tax refunds that I would have lost as well as kept the money I would have had to pay on top of my withholdings.

    This goes on at the bracket limits at all strata.  Why should we reward people for NOT working?  Better would be a straight percentage then.  Everyone pays X% of their income in taxes whether you earn $25,000 a year or $2,500,000 a year.



  • @Jennifer:

    I agree, income taxes, or more accurately stated, a tax on the creation of wealth, encourages people not to create wealth, which fosters a growth in the nanny state or socialized welfare programs for the non or under performers.

    For instance, when I worked for McDonald’s I found out that if I worked my normal shift for one more week, I’d actually have to pay taxes instead of getting all my taxes back as a refund.  So I told the boss not to schedule me for the last week.  He was mad.  However, I got “paid” thousands of dollars in tax refunds that I would have lost as well as kept the money I would have had to pay on top of my withholdings.

    This goes on at the bracket limits at all strata.  Why should we reward people for NOT working?  Better would be a straight percentage then.  Everyone pays X% of their income in taxes whether you earn $25,000 a year or $2,500,000 a year.

    well some can’t afford to give up anything. there should be brackets.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @Jennifer:

    Frood:  Are you referring to the current system?

    I guess so. I just meant that your options don’t cover the whole range of possibilities. And what’s the difference between a “Flat tax” and the first two options?


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    A percentage of income is a tax on the creation of wealth.  If you earn money, you pay taxes.  Doesn’t matter what you earned money on, if you made more money then you lost for the year, you pay taxes on that money.

    A percentage of wealth is a tax on all the wealth you have.  You total all your assets, subtract all your liabilities, and pay a tax on that.  Note, for homes and other such items, you would take the market value of the home - the mortgage on the home, not the original purchase price.

    A flat tax is everyone paying the same amount as everyone else.  For instance, everyone pays $1,000 to the government in taxes that year.


  • 2007 AAR League

    If a flat tax means a fixed amount of money, then options 3, 4 and 5 are identical.

    I just am confused by what you mean.

    I think though generally in tax policy a flat tax refers to a fixed percentage for everyone. I don’t think anyone has a straight “flat tax” as you describe it, do they?



  • @Frood:

    If a flat tax means a fixed amount of money, then options 3, 4 and 5 are identical.

    I just am confused by what you mean.

    I think though generally in tax policy a flat tax refers to a fixed percentage for everyone. I don’t think anyone has a straight “flat tax” as you describe it, do they?

    flat tax = same precentage as everyone



  • The building my church leases has these bricks with various donor names on them.

    The Bad News Bears got their uniforms sponsored by the bail bonds company.

    Perhaps parts of our government funding should have our names attached to it.

    Like Bill & Melinda Gates getting their names in a plaque over some bridges or state / federal buildings or some of us getting our names on the patches of troopers in Afghanistan, Korea, or Iraq.

    I would like to think that the taxes would be worthwhile if we all got a piece of ownership in the government.



  • I guess I rally am just too much of a Fair Tax supporter at this point.

    1.  EVERYONE pays the 23% inclusive sales tax on every good and service they buy
    2.  EVERYONE gets the prebate monthly in the amount that they would pay in taxes to poverty level spending for their household size.
    3.  Taxes are paid only ONCE on the purchase of a new product or service.

    So…

    • Folks who choose to reduce their tax burden by purchasing used goods (existing homes, used cars, etc.) could DRAMATICALLY reduce their tax burden.
    • Only those who CHOSE to spend freely on new products would pay increased taxes.
    • No need to exempt food or medicine since the prebate refunds the tax burden for any spending on ANYTHING up to the poverty line (so rent, housing food, medicine, gasoline, school supplies, electric bill, etc. could ALL potentially have ZERO tax)
    • People like Bill Gates would not be throwing a dinner fund raiser with tax-exempt food
    • The underground economy would be gone… no more working “under the table” since there are no wage or payroll taxes to avoid.

    I just honestly see this as a win-win-win-win-win for the American People.
    It encourages saving
    It encourages investment
    It encourages recycling and conservation
    It removes power from Washington to control what people do by manipulation of the tax code
    It removes from Washington the power to reward campaign donors, etc. via the giving of tax breaks

    I just really do not see a downside for the people of the United States if this were to pass.

    And while somewhat politcal (since it relates to an actual bill before Congress) this is posted as an illustration of what the typical family would gain with this change in the tax code… so a Sociology post, not a Political post.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Frood:

    3, 4 and 5 are not the same.

    The Flat Tax everyone pays the same dollar amount as everyone else. 
    The Flat Percentage means everyone pays the same percentage of their income as everyone else (for instance 10% or 50%)
    The Flat Wealth tax means that everyone determines their net worth and pays the same percentage of that value as everyone else.

    And, for the record, everyone can afford to pay something to the government in taxes.  Even if your entire income comes from finding coins on the street, you can afford to pay 10% of $1 because you get free medical clinics, you get free shelters, you get free food from missions, free clothes from charities, etc.  So you are getting more back then what you pay in.

    However, if you are earning millions of dollars it is almost impossible to find tax shelters if everyone has to pay the same percentage of wealth.  Your share will be enormous, while the poor person won’t be paying hardly anything.  This is a REAL redistribution of wealth, not a tax on the creation of wealth.



  • 3.  Taxes are paid only ONCE on the purchase of a new product or service.

    So…

    • Folks who choose to reduce their tax burden by purchasing used goods (existing homes, used cars, etc.) could DRAMATICALLY reduce their tax burden.<<

    Boy, could that be abused.

    two companies partner with each other. I sell my products, retail, to another company for $.02 each. Another company sells their products to us for $.02 each as well. We pay the sales tax on that. We then buy those same products back “used” at a 50% reduction for $.01 each. We then proceed to sell them, tax free, to all the consumers we originally intended to sell them to, using a price of goods 23% cheaper than legitimate businesses playing by the spirit of the rules.

    Also, regarding taxing a goods only once, manufactured goods are taxed just once. Unless they happen to catch import duties. In the design and publishing of our games, any component products that are a part of the final product for sale, we get tax exempt status on. So I don’t as a business pay sales tax on paper, ink, boxes, etc, then make a board game and then you pay taxes on it also. Just one tax, leveraged as a sales tax. Unless, of course, you want to look at corporate taxes such as taxes on profits, federal employment taxes, state mandated unemployment insurance, etc, etc. All of which influence the final price of goods sold.

    Ryan S. Johnson
    Guild of Blades Publishing Group
    http://www.guildofblades.com
    http://www.1483onine.com
    http://www.thermopylae-online.com



  • GOB,

    Tax Evasion would still be a crime 🙂

    Also, the products you buy that are “tax exempt” (I assume you mean from state sales tax) may not have an overt tax, but they do have embedded taxes.

    For example the paper…
    Embedded in the cost of the paper you purchase to make that game are the following taxes:
    1.  Property taxes of the tree farm where the trees were grown
    2.  Payroll taxes for the people harvesting the trees
    3.  Sales tax on the goods used to harvest the trees (chain saws, log skidders, trucks)
    4.  Liquid Fuels taxes for the truck that transports the logs
    5.  Payroll taxes for the truck drivers
    6.  Property taxes for the paper mill
    7.  Payroll taxes for the workers at the paper mill
    8.  Liquid fuels and truck driver payroll taxes for shipping the finished paper
    9.  Property taxes for the retailers warehouse facility
    10.  Payroll taxes for the employees at the warehouse
    11.  More liquid fuels tax and driver payroll taxes to ship the goods to the retail outlet
    12.  Property taxes for the retail store
    13.  Payroll taxes for the store employees.
    14.  Corporate earnings taxes for the tree farm
    15.  Corporate earnings taxes for all the truck drivers
    16.  Corporate earnings taxes for the paper mill
    17.  Corporate earnings taxes for the retailer

    Now those are just the obvious ones.

    Do you pay the 5% or 6% state sales tax on that paper?  No you do not.
    Do you still pay a boat load of taxes embedded into the cost of that paper?  Oh hell yes.

    Under the Fair Tax plan, you would eliminate MOST of the embedded taxes listed above.  There would be no payroll taxes that got added on to the cost of the finished product, no corporate income taxes added in to the cost of the product.

    The AVERAGE embedded taxes in the cost of a typical finished product in the United States is 23%.  That figure does not included the embedded cost of tax system COMPLIANCE, which is estimated to be over $100,000,000,000.00 annually.

    Stat Source:  Fairtax.org


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Which, coincidentally, is why the entire state of Illinois is irate with the Governor of Illinois.  He wants to levy a business tax but we, the people, realize that it is US that have to pay that tax.  We’ll just have to pay more for the goods so they can collect the revenue to pay the state.

    That’s why I’m not a huge fan.  I think the costs of goods would be too high for us if businesses had to pay a tax on all their raw materials.  Better to make business exempt from the tax and only tax the people.  After all, it’s the people who end up paying it.  People are the only parts of the economy that produce, businesses just guide that production and convert that labor into money to make the economy easier to deal with.  But if you strip away all the layers and really look at what the economy is, the only things producing anything are people.  People do the labor mining.  People do the labor farming.  People do the labor trucking.  People do the labor painting.  If you tax the people and only the people, then we can be a bit more fair about who is being taxed and who is not.  IMHO


  • 2007 AAR League

    The good thing about taxing resource extraction is that it can help correct market distortions where the business is not paying the full cost of extraction, eg. all the externalities such as pollution, depletion of non-renewable resources, use of public infrastructure (trucking etc. w/ wear on highways). When people and/or businesses have to pay the true full cost of something they tend to be more conservative with it.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    That can all be covered in fines and in the government charging the right amount for the land being sold and then sharing the proceeds with those people who would have to pay the price.  Kinda like what we are demanding Iraq do with it’s oil.  Why we can’t seem to do it here I’ll never know.

    If you sell logging rights in CNNF, then why not give the people of Wisconsin a share in the profits from the land sale of CNNF?  If you allow someone to build an oil refinery in Waco, TX, why not give everyone that lives in Waco a share of the proceeds from the sale of the land in Waco?

    We don’t need to tax business, we do need to fine business and force businesses that use communal property for personal gain to redistribute that wealth back to the community, at least in part. (Remember, they still have to find the labor and pay for the labor to make the money, so they need to make a profit.)



  • I assume you are talking about only the sale of PUBLICLY (i.e. GOVERNMENT) owned lands.

    I doubt that you are advocating that a PRIVATE land owner distribute a portion of the selling price to their neighbors…

    Also, I think someone my have misunderstood about the fair tax based on an earlier reply.  There is NO tax on a product used to make another product.

    Using GOB’s game example, the paper he would buy would be tax exempt under the Fair Tax because it is not a final product, nor would the inks, etc.  ONLY THE GAME HE PRODUCED would be taxed, with an inclusive tax rate of 23% (If the game cost $100, $77 would be the game, and $23 would be tax, and inclusive tax is the way that our current income taxes are figured).


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Correct, I am referring to the sale of public land by the government for private interest.

    For instance, the sale of logging rights in CNNF.  The sale of mining rights in the Rocky Mountains.  Quarry rights.  Etc.

    This is the use and exploitation of the resources owned by all individual citizens in this country, thus, the local citizens should be reimbursed in part for the loss of these resources.  Much like the citizens of Iraq should be reimbursed for the oil being drilled in their nation.  If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Sorry, but I think “good for the goose, good for the gander” is IMHO a very poor principle. If you are in business, would you apply that to all your clients? To all your children? Does it apply to cows and bulls? Jennifer, you can milk the bulls, thank you very much!

    All I know is that if my doctor ever tries to send me for a mammogram or a pap smear, I’m switching physicians…

    But I agree that Iraqis should benefit from the oil wealth of their country.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    If we were talking bulls and cows, I’d agree.  But we are talking a democratically elected government selling the mineral resources of a nation being required by the international community to share that wealth with it’s people (Iraq) and a democratically elected government selling the mineral and natural resources of a nation who is NOT sharing the wealth of those resources with it’s people (USA.)

    And honestly, I see no problem with the US Government sharing the proceeds of publically held land and resources with the people.  We are not talking a business who farms cows and owns the land that has been privately traded and is owned by private hands.  We are talking about the land that is owned by the Government and that government selling privileges to a private firm to use that land.  They are not buying the land, they are just using it, stripping it of resources and then going away leaving the people to clean up the mess and restore the land.

    It took over 100 years to fix the CNNF last time the government allowed logging.  Who should pay for that?  The people who barely got paid enough during the logging process to house their families and feed them?  Or the governments who made a ton of money on the leasing of the land, the taxes on the business and the taxes on the people?

    In Alaska, they share the proceeds of the sale of oil with the people.  So this is not an unheard of situation in the United States.  I just want to expand it from the state level to the national level.

    The eventual hope is that big business will cease doing massive damage for little gain if that damage comes out of their pocket book in the end.  How will it come out?  Well, they may have to pay higher fines for increased damage to the land (ie if they built temporary roads and bulldozed acres of trees to get to old growth, ie if they failed to build an EPA sanctioned and approved landfill, etc) while businesses that keep the land as clean as possible would pay no fines and thus the people would lose less of their resources.

    Remember, the US Government does not own anything.  The PEOPLE own things.  The US Government is just entrusted with it’s care, maintenance and protection, which is why the Government has the power to allow logging, mining, drilling, etc.  But the manager should not reap all the rewards while the employees (the citizens) pay all the prices.  What does some fat cat senator care if the river in my neighborhood is so polluted that we have 3 eyed fish like in the Simpsons?  Especially if I am not his constituent!  However, everyone who lives on that river cares!  We should be reimbursed for having to deal with a polluted river by the organization that approved the dumping of chemicals into said river and failed to monitor the dumping of chemicals into said river.

    Or the villages by CNNF (a huge national forest in Wisconsin.) If the government allows logging in there, and the loggers come in with bulldozers, smashing everything not worth harvesting and then cut the rest down leaving a barren wasteland, who should have to pay to repair the damage?  Should it be the company who was give the authority and leeway to do what they did, or the government that gave them permission?  Or should it be like the LAST time they did that, the individual people planting one tree at a time and nurturing what wasn’t destroyed for 100 years?


  • 2007 AAR League

    @Jennifer:

    But the manager should not reap all the rewards while the employees (the citizens) pay all the prices.

    Whoa, is that Karl Marx or Jennifer writing?


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    @Frood:

    @Jennifer:

    But the manager should not reap all the rewards while the employees (the citizens) pay all the prices.

    Whoa, is that Karl Marx or Jennifer writing?

    It’s Jennifer.  I’m not a moderate, I have very Communist and very Capitalist/Conservative leanings. 😛

    The US Government is here to protect the citizenry from foreign governments, state governments and other citizens.  Not to sell our resources to big business and force us to pay the price for those sales.  IMHO.



  • @Jennifer:

    So what is the tax system you would prefer?

    I prefer the tax system that has people paying the taxes to me.



  • I wouldn’t mind not paying taxes, because I am basically paying my own salary.  😛

    But thankfully i don’t gotta pay in a combat zone, and I get combat pay. :mrgreen:


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