Author Topic: The Amethyst Initiative  (Read 13003 times)

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Offline fajwat

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2008, 03:16:28 PM »
Flat tax rate is not progressive, but it's better than what we have now.

Progressive taxation is commonly understood to mean that the ratio changes according to your income or wealth.  A simple example would be 5% if you make less than $25k/yr, 15% if you make between $25k and $100k a year, and 30% if you make more than $100k annually.  A better example would be a sliding scale, some continuous function where an inverse proportion or some asymptote function is used. 

I don't understand how people can miss that point.  Taxes are measured in percent, not in dollars.  Percents.  A proportion of the money measured is taken away.  Taxes are not $100 for this person and $100,000 for someone else.  They're defined in the IRS code as percents.  People only measure taxes in dollar amounts to cover something up.

Our current income taxes are nominally progressive, using the bracket system in my simple example.  But once you total up all of the categorizations and loopholes, they're still progressive -- but in the opposite direction from what's written into the brackets.  The IRS wrote a simple table which says "Poor people pay less taxes."  Then they wrote a few hundred thousand pages which allow rich people to pay less.

Remember, every time I say describe an amount of tax, I mean as a percentage of their income.  There is no other valid way to measure tax IMNSHO. 

If you're going to make a flat tax, that'd be a step in the right direction toward equalizing the tax burden (percentage wise). 
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline fajwat

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #46 on: August 26, 2008, 03:25:46 PM »
I almost like the idea of taxing net income. I have no idea how it'd be legislated or implemented, but it doesn't seem like a bad idea, at first glance. It would encourage consumption, though, because you'd have an incentive to spend all your money rather than let bad ol' government get it.

Could you define a living wage, adjust for circumstances like medical needs, and then tax any income beyond that? So if you make $20,000 in an area where it takes $30,000 to live decently, you wouldn't get taxed and would, instead, receive some benefits to help you live comfortably?

It's a horrible idea, for exactly the reason you stated.  It's also basically what we already have: certain expenses are deductible, others (ostensibly luxury items) are not. 

The IRS "standard deduction" is supposed to cover a basic person's basic needs.  It fails, of course, partly because the US government doesn't properly adjust anything for the true value of inflation.  We're in our 2nd gas crisis stuck using several figures which haven't been adjusted since the first gas and inflation crisis in the 1970s.

Getting back to net income, just look at the games people play during divorces: During the divorce hearings, my neighbor bought a new luxury station wagon, bought a nice new house, etc. etc. etc. "for the kids" and then was able to show his net income as low enough that his lawyer was able to negotiate an extremely low child and alimony support payments.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline fajwat

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #47 on: August 26, 2008, 03:27:56 PM »
Quote from: BingoMcJiggles
I don’t understand how proponents of the progressive tax system are against the fair tax when it is another form of progressive taxation. 

Yes, everyone pays the same tax rate, but that doesn’t mean everyone pays the same amount of taxes. 
25% of $1,000,000 is $250,000.  25% of $10,000 is $2,500.  Looks pretty progressive to me

Just in case my post didn't make it clear, no one measures taxes in dollars instead of percents.  If he can't even bother to look up the definition of "progressive tax" then I'm not surprised that his idea of their movement doesn't agree with his idea of what their movement should be.

**fixed a typo.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 02:43:57 PM by fajwat »
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline Matt

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #48 on: August 26, 2008, 05:02:18 PM »
Flat tax rate of what? Income? Sales? Income tax doesn't do shit.

Offline fajwat

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #49 on: August 27, 2008, 02:19:07 AM »
Flat tax rate of what? Income? Sales? Income tax doesn't do shit.

You have not communicated a complete thought.  I have no idea what you're trying to say.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #50 on: August 27, 2008, 10:40:13 AM »
Flat tax rate of what? Income? Sales? Income tax doesn't do shit.

I am for a set percentage of your income being taxed.  No exceptions for rich or poor.

So, you would pay a percentage tax on your income from: working, investments (to include interest, dividends, and capital gains), inheritances, gambling wins, gifts, etc.

Some of that is hard to calculate, I realize, but with the reduction of other complexity we could deal with the rest.