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Atlas Fantasy Elections => Atlas Fantasy Government => Topic started by: Marokai Backbeat on November 25, 2009, 11:09:46 pm



Title: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [On President's Desk]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 25, 2009, 11:09:46 pm
Quote
Fiscal Responsibility Act

Realizing that our rising budget deficit can not be left unattended indefinitely, the fundamental unfairness of our outdated income tax rates, and that we must make efforts to become more fiscally responsible, the Senate hereby authorizes the following comprehensive changes to our income tax system:

1. The following income tax brackets shall replace existing brackets for income gained in 2010 and thereafter, increasing as normal with inflation:

Single Individual

1%$0 - $8,025
14%$8,026 - $32,550
25%$32,551 - $78,850
28%$78,851 - $164,550
35%$164,551 - $367,700
41%$367,701 - $1,000,000
50%$1,000,001+

Married Filing Jointly

1%$0 - $16,050
14%$16,051 - $65,100
25%$65,101 - $131,450
28%$131,451 - $200,300
35%$200,301 - $367,700
41%$367,701 - $1,000,000
50%$1,000,001+

Married Filing Separately

1%$0 - $8,025
14%$8,026 - $32,550
25%$32,551 - $65,725
28%$65,726 - $100,150
35%$100,151 - $188,850
41%$188,851 - $500,000
50%$500,001+

Head of Household

1%$0 - $11,450
14%$11,451 - $43,650
25%$43,651 - $112,650
28%$112,651 - $182,400
35%$182,401 - $367,700
41%$367,701 - $1,000,000
50%$1,000,001+

2. The standard income tax deduction shall be raised from $5,700 to $7,000, to better care for lower income individuals and the working class of Atlasia.


Sponsor: Marokai Blue


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 25, 2009, 11:10:10 pm
It's high time that we get serious about the fact that revenue is much needed. We can no longer continue instituting vast (but very useful, in my mind) spending programs and strengthening the safety net without some form of paying for it. We can't cut taxes forever, nor can we spend forever.

This proposal raises taxes on the current two highest tax brackets, and creates a new tax bracket targeting income over one million dollars. Keeping in mind the Income Tax Reduction Act (http://uselectionatlas.org/AFEWIKI/index.php/Income_Tax_Reduction_Act), the bottom tax bracket is raised in this proposal by 1%, from 0. To compensate for what this may sound like, it's more than made up for by the fact that a previous proposal from Afleitch which was vetoed by President Lief, a 1% tax cut on the second tax bracket, is included, as well as a $1,300 increase in the standard income tax reduction.

The goal here, is three pronged. One, making sure that all individuals are taxed as fairly and progressively as possible, though I personally wish it went further in this regard, it accomplishes this decently enough.

Two, drastically increasing our revenues to help balance our financial situation while protecting the most vulnerable at the same time. It does this quite well, making sure all incomes are taxed, but special protection given to the bottom.

Three, it shifts the burden higher up, and will go further to reduce record levels of income inequality in Atlasia. This won't solve the problem overnight, but it will slow it without harming the economy.

I believe this proposal is fair, reasonable, and done in the most careful and responsible of ways.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Fritz on November 25, 2009, 11:49:08 pm
Could the Senator provide us with a copy of the existing brackets, which this would replace?


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: MaxQue on November 26, 2009, 01:14:32 am
What is the point of the 1% taxation on the lower bracket?


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Franzl on November 26, 2009, 03:52:47 am
In general, this bill has the right idea. Tax cuts for the lower classes and a higher 50% bracket from a certain point on.

I believe in progressive taxation, and I also believe in cutting the deficit.


One thing I don't agree with here is the marriage penalty for couples that make $1 Mio. together. I see no reason we should not allow them both individually to earn that amount before coming into the 50% bracket.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: afleitch on November 26, 2009, 04:32:46 am
I think looking at this issue is long overdue and while I'll need to run through the figures I have no concerns over the intent of this bill and what it wishes to address. My one qualm is the 1% tax rate for bottom earners. I understand why this has been proposed as it demonstrates that tax rises will affect everyone but the cost to the fed of administering the collection of 1% of income from may outweight any financial gain.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: A Strange Reflection on November 26, 2009, 07:16:44 am
It should go beyond 50% for the wealthier.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Franzl on November 26, 2009, 07:17:44 am
It should go beyond 50%. :P

Be happy I'm willing to go that far. Take what you can get :)


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on November 26, 2009, 07:36:10 am
There's no point in a 1% rate. Just don't tax income under $8,025. I also think that a 50% rate should cut in much earlier than a million, but I suspect that I might be in a small minority on that :P


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Franzl on November 26, 2009, 09:36:45 am
There's no point in a 1% rate. Just don't tax income under $8,025. I also think that a 50% rate should cut in much earlier than a million, but I suspect that I might be in a small minority on that :P

I agree on the 1% with you and Afleitch, we might as well just raise the standard deduction and start taxation at 10% or so from a certain point.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 26, 2009, 10:49:11 am
There's no point in a 1% rate. Just don't tax income under $8,025. I also think that a 50% rate should cut in much earlier than a million, but I suspect that I might be in a small minority on that :P

It should go beyond 50% for the wealthier.

Believe me, I agree with both of you personally that it should go beyond 50%, but I doubt such a thing would pass the Senate.

As for the 1% bump in the bottom bracket, I'd be fine with removing it since I see no point in putting up a big fight over it.

In general, this bill has the right idea. Tax cuts for the lower classes and a higher 50% bracket from a certain point on.

I believe in progressive taxation, and I also believe in cutting the deficit.

One thing I don't agree with here is the marriage penalty for couples that make $1 Mio. together. I see no reason we should not allow them both individually to earn that amount before coming into the 50% bracket.

50% above a million in income is quite alot of money to tax even for both of them, even if I agree there's an inconsistency. I worry about losing revenue if we simplify that penalty too much.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Rowan on November 26, 2009, 11:08:56 am
Nay


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Franzl on November 26, 2009, 01:15:41 pm
Nay

Don't ever claim to be a fiscal conservative again.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Rowan on November 26, 2009, 02:07:11 pm
Nay

Don't ever claim to be a fiscal conservative again.

I don't support tax hikes. The better way is to cut spending.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Franzl on November 26, 2009, 02:08:34 pm
Nay

Don't ever claim to be a fiscal conservative again.

I don't support tax hikes. The better way is to cut spending.

And you know perfectly well that you won't find a majority in the Senate to cut the programs you'd like to.

Now you have a choice between:

a.) paying for these programs
b.) running up the deficit.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 26, 2009, 03:16:56 pm
I want a higher bracket, Franzl wants to lessen the penalty for being married, Afleitch & Al want to keep the bottom rate 0%, so let's combine them in this amendment:

Quote
Fiscal Responsibility Act

Realizing that our rising budget deficit can not be left unattended indefinitely, the fundamental unfairness of our outdated income tax rates, and that we must make efforts to become more fiscally responsible, the Senate hereby authorizes the following comprehensive changes to our income tax system:

1. The following income tax brackets shall replace existing brackets for income gained in 2010 and thereafter, increasing as normal with inflation:

Single Individual

0%$0 - $8,025
14%$8,026 - $32,550
25%$32,551 - $78,850
28%$78,851 - $164,550
35%$164,551 - $367,700
41%$367,701 - $1,000,000
50%$1,000,001 - $2,500,000
60%$2,500,001+

Married Filing Jointly

0%$0 - $16,050
14%$16,051 - $65,100
25%$65,101 - $131,450
28%$131,451 - $300,300
35%$300,301 - $600,000
41%$600,001 - $1,500,000
50%$1,500,001 - $3,000,000
60%$3,000,001+

Married Filing Separately

0%$0 - $8,025
14%$8,026 - $32,550
25%$32,551 - $65,725
28%$65,726 - $150,150
35%$150,151 - $300,000
41%$300,001 - $750,000
50%$740,001 - $1,500,000
60%$1,500,001+

Head of Household

0%$0 - $11,450
14%$11,451 - $43,650
25%$43,651 - $112,650
28%$112,651 - $182,400
35%$182,401 - $367,700
41%$367,701 - $1,000,000
50%$1,000,001 - $2,500,000
60%$2,500,001+

2. The standard income tax deduction shall be raised from $5,700 to $7,000, to better care for lower income individuals and the working class of Atlasia.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Franzl on November 26, 2009, 03:18:08 pm
I'm satisfied with that compromise. In exchange for having over $15,000 tax free and married couples not being punished as much, I have no problem accepting the highest bracket.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Rowan on November 26, 2009, 05:24:52 pm
Nay

Don't ever claim to be a fiscal conservative again.

I don't support tax hikes. The better way is to cut spending.

And you know perfectly well that you won't find a majority in the Senate to cut the programs you'd like to.

Now you have a choice between:

a.) paying for these programs
b.) running up the deficit.

I made my choice. It's to cut spending. I don't care if their isn't a majority. I don't have to sign on to tax increases.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Hans-im-Glück on November 27, 2009, 01:28:40 pm
I want a higher bracket, Franzl wants to lessen the penalty for being married, Afleitch & Al want to keep the bottom rate 0%, so let's combine them in this amendment:

Quote
Fiscal Responsibility Act

Realizing that our rising budget deficit can not be left unattended indefinitely, the fundamental unfairness of our outdated income tax rates, and that we must make efforts to become more fiscally responsible, the Senate hereby authorizes the following comprehensive changes to our income tax system:

1. The following income tax brackets shall replace existing brackets for income gained in 2010 and thereafter, increasing as normal with inflation:

Single Individual

0%$0 - $8,025
14%$8,026 - $32,550
25%$32,551 - $78,850
28%$78,851 - $164,550
35%$164,551 - $367,700
41%$367,701 - $1,000,000
50%$1,000,001 - $2,500,000
60%$2,500,001+

Married Filing Jointly

0%$0 - $16,050
14%$16,051 - $65,100
25%$65,101 - $131,450
28%$131,451 - $300,300
35%$300,301 - $600,000
41%$600,001 - $1,500,000
50%$1,500,001 - $3,000,000
60%$3,000,001+

Married Filing Separately

0%$0 - $8,025
14%$8,026 - $32,550
25%$32,551 - $65,725
28%$65,726 - $150,150
35%$150,151 - $300,000
41%$300,001 - $750,000
50%$740,001 - $1,500,000
60%$1,500,001+

Head of Household

0%$0 - $11,450
14%$11,451 - $43,650
25%$43,651 - $112,650
28%$112,651 - $182,400
35%$182,401 - $367,700
41%$367,701 - $1,000,000
50%$1,000,001 - $2,500,000
60%$2,500,001+

2. The standard income tax deduction shall be raised from $5,700 to $7,000, to better care for lower income individuals and the working class of Atlasia.

I would support this.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 01:54:51 pm
Don't punish the rich like that! If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes. I support increasing revenue, but please don't do it this way. After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on November 27, 2009, 02:36:55 pm
Don't punish the rich like that!

lol

Poor creatures. After all, they're the ones who are really suffering right now!

Quote
If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes.

Diddums.

SAD FACE :( :( :(

Quote
After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

A million dollars a year is rich, full stop.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: A Strange Reflection on November 27, 2009, 03:39:17 pm

Poor riches, indeed. Sure they will suffer from the lack of money...


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Purple State on November 27, 2009, 04:15:39 pm
A preliminary estimate by the Office of the GM predicts this bill will bring in between $250 billion and $600 billion. A more detailed analysis will come in the next week or so.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 04:25:21 pm

Poor riches, indeed. Sure they will suffer from the lack of money...

*Grumble*Europeans*Grumble*

1. You punish people for being successful.
2. You discourage people from being ambitious (a positive trait in many cases).
3. Who do you think gives people the money they need to start a small business? Rich people.
4. Many wealthy people donate a lot of money to charities.
5. Gee, I wonder who creates jobs in this country? Certainly not some poor guy from Alabama.

BTW, stop with the obeboism :P

Don't punish the rich like that!

lol

Poor creatures. After all, they're the ones who are really suffering right now!

So, you'd rather have everybody suffer right now? To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, "...you'd rather the poor be poorer, provided the gap between rich and poor was smaller."

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If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes.

Diddums.

SAD FACE :( :( :(

How would you feel if you spent your whole life struggling to work up the ladder only to find that the government takes 3/4 of your income when you get to the top?

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After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

A million dollars a year is rich, full stop.

::) I take it you don't know anybody who has lived in a big city. In NYC $1,000,000 a year is upper middle-class at best if you want to live in a decent area.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: A Strange Reflection on November 27, 2009, 04:54:40 pm
1. You punish people for being successful.

So you consider than succes=money ? In the perfect world it would certainly be so, in the perfect world of Adam Smith when private interests always cause the greatest good possible. In our world it isn't so. And anyways I DON'T PUNISH THEM. Taw is not a punishment, but the contribution anyone should give to the common interest.


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2. You discourage people from being ambitious (a positive trait in many cases).

Don't worry, people won't stop to be ambitious just because they will give 60% of their income to the State instead of 50%. When you are so rich, those numbers don't mean anything, except if you are Oncle Scrooge.


Quote
3. Who do you think gives people the money they need to start a small business? Rich people.

Who else does ? The State. How do you finance the State ?


Quote
4. Many wealthy people donate a lot of money to charities.

Charity doesn't solve social problem. It can act in the short term and the most desperate cases. Plus, charities make people feel indebted for what they received, whereas a decent life should be a right.


Quote
5. Gee, I wonder who creates jobs in this country? Certainly not some poor guy from Alabama.

Same answer than question 3.


Quote
BTW, stop with the obeboism :P

LOL.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 27, 2009, 05:06:36 pm
A preliminary estimate by the Office of the GM predicts this bill will bring in between $250 billion and $600 billion. A more detailed analysis will come in the next week or so.

I can't help but question the numbers even though I was the one that asked you to comment. I certainly hope that in the detailed analysis this figure is raised up (and if this is annual/per decade) but we'll see. I look forward to it, but I would invite you to look at the effect of smaller tax hikes and large tax cuts and look at how much those cost, just for some background..

::) I take it you don't know anybody who has lived in a big city. In NYC $1,000,000 a year is upper middle-class at best if you want to live in a decent area.

Perhaps we just don't know the rich people you do, but this is one of the most hilarious things I've read on this site, in a city where even the most expensive area's median income is $67,000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_New_York_City#Income), anyone who makes a million dollars a year is, needless to say, going to be sitting very pretty.

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3. Who do you think gives people the money they need to start a small business? Rich people.

Er, well, no. You're assuming people use their own money to pay for a small business startup, which they largely don't do. That's not to say rich people don't start businesses, they can, but since I would wager most businesses are started by people who take out several loans for startup costs (take it from someone who's mom had to go through the whole small business deal, and we're dirt poor) I don't think the "it hurt's business" response is all that applicable.

Quote
4. Many wealthy people donate a lot of money to charities.

And so do less wealthy people. Who cares? Millionaires won't suddenly stop donating to charity, and even if they do, more effective and larger programs would be financed by the revenue generated by this increase, more than compensating.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 05:17:34 pm
1. You punish people for being successful.

So you consider than success=money ? In the perfect world it would certainly be so, in the perfect world of Adam Smith when private interests always cause the greatest good possible. In our world it isn't so. And anyways I DON'T PUNISH THEM. Tax is not a punishment, but the contribution anyone should give to the common interest.

Surely then, if you don't want to punish them, you would support a flat % rate for taxes? Yeah, let's take 2/3 of Bill Gates income for being rich despite the fact that he donated millions to charity.
 
Quote
Quote
2. You discourage people from being ambitious (a positive trait in many cases).

Don't worry, people won't stop to be ambitious just because they will give 60% of their income to the State instead of 50%. When you are so rich, those numbers don't mean anything, except if you are OUncle Scrooge.

Perhaps, but it would slow them down because they have less money to invest.

Quote
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3. Who do you think gives people the money they need to start a small business? Rich people.

Who else does ? The State. How do you finance the State ?

Since when did the state finance small businesses? They only hinder them with over regulation and high taxes.


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4. Many wealthy people donate a lot of money to charities.

Charity doesn't solve social problem. It can act in the short term and the most desperate cases. Plus, charities make people feel indebted for what they received, whereas a decent life should be a right.

The government doesn't solve social problems either, in fact, it makes them worse often. Aren't a majority of Muslims in your country on welfare? Mhmm. Isn't there conflict between Muslims and French in your country? Yes.

The war on poverty in the US destroyed the black family by (unintentionally) paying women to have lots of children out of wedlock.

If you can't hold down a job and contribute to society, you should live with your family or go to a charity organization, not leech off of the rich.


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Quote
5. Gee, I wonder who creates jobs in this country? Certainly not some poor guy from Alabama.

Same answer than question 3.

Perhaps, but again, 70% of new jobs in this country are created by small businesses, not corporations or the government.

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3. Who do you think gives people the money they need to start a small business? Rich people.

Er, well, no. You're assuming people use their own money to pay for a small business startup, which they largely don't do. That's not to say rich people don't start businesses, they can, but since I would wager most businesses are started by people who take out several loans for startup costs (take it from someone who's mom had to go through the whole small business deal, and we're dirt poor) I don't think the "it hurt's business" response is all that applicable.

Most people get the money to start a small business from venture capitalists who, surprise, surprise, are rich.

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4. Many wealthy people donate a lot of money to charities.

And so do less wealthy people. Who cares? Millionaires won't suddenly stop donating to charity, and even if they do, more effective and larger programs would be financed by the revenue generated by this increase, more than compensating.

Yes, but who contributes more per capita, the rich. You're assuming government programs work, which for the most part they don't. The government's size could easily be halved without significantly impacting the welfare of the general populace.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 05:20:47 pm
Alright, I was exaggerating on the NYC thing, but look at this:

Quote
A New Yorker would have to make $123,322 a year to have the same standard of living as someone making $50,000 in Houston.

http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/02/05/2009-02-05_nyc_so_costly_you_need_to_earn_six_figur.html (http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/02/05/2009-02-05_nyc_so_costly_you_need_to_earn_six_figur.html)

Clearly, somebody making $1 million in NYC is just barely rich by the standards of most suburbs.

This fact kills the bill IMO:
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...when Ronald Reagan cut taxes on his advice, tax receipts from the wealthy began to rise, and have been growing (both as an absolute amount and as a percentage of all taxes collected) ever since. It is fundamentally impossible to collect taxes from the rich without their cooperation.

http://www.caseint.com/john/taxing_the_rich.htm (http://www.caseint.com/john/taxing_the_rich.htm) This article gives a compelling argument against overtaxing the rich.

See, the rich will spend more time hiding their money if taxes are raised, causing them to spend less time investing and innovating and decreasing tax revenue.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 27, 2009, 05:40:36 pm
Since when did the state finance small businesses? They only hinder them with over regulation and high taxes.

You seem to be a fan of sweeping and unsupported generalities.

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3. Who do you think gives people the money they need to start a small business? Rich people.

Er, well, no. You're assuming people use their own money to pay for a small business startup, which they largely don't do. That's not to say rich people don't start businesses, they can, but since I would wager most businesses are started by people who take out several loans for startup costs (take it from someone who's mom had to go through the whole small business deal, and we're dirt poor) I don't think the "it hurt's business" response is all that applicable.

Most people get the money to start a small business from venture capitalists who, surprise, surprise, are rich.

We got our money from this new fangled institution called a bank.

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4. Many wealthy people donate a lot of money to charities.

And so do less wealthy people. Who cares? Millionaires won't suddenly stop donating to charity, and even if they do, more effective and larger programs would be financed by the revenue generated by this increase, more than compensating.

Yes, but who contributes more per capita, the rich. You're assuming government programs work, which for the most part they don't. The government's size could easily be halved without significantly impacting the welfare of the general populace.

Yeah, like I said, this is a huge sweeping and totally unsupported generality. Most government programs don't work? Do you have examples? How don't they work? Which programs are you talking about? Which programs could be easily cut? These are just some of the critical questions you have to ask yourself before you make such silly generalities, and this is neither the time nor place to discuss that topic anyway.

How would it hurt small business? Because Vepres says so.
Why would charity donations suddenly cease? Because Vepres says so.
How is the government ineffective? Well, Vepres says so!

Ilikeverin once, stupidly, claimed that Vepres tries to enter a situation and talk policy, but is ignored. It's not that we ignore him, or that I do. It's because these sort of sweeping unsupported generalities where the proof only exists in Vepres' mind that I'm so adverse to discussing things with Vepres here in the Senate or elsewhere. Vepres' arguments depend on a number of presuppositions and acceptance of anecdotal evidence, which I haven't the time for.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 27, 2009, 06:01:02 pm
This fact kills the bill IMO:
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...when Ronald Reagan cut taxes on his advice, tax receipts from the wealthy began to rise, and have been growing (both as an absolute amount and as a percentage of all taxes collected) ever since. It is fundamentally impossible to collect taxes from the rich without their cooperation.

http://www.caseint.com/john/taxing_the_rich.htm (http://www.caseint.com/john/taxing_the_rich.htm) This article gives a compelling argument against overtaxing the rich.

See, the rich will spend more time hiding their money if taxes are raised, causing them to spend less time investing and innovating and decreasing tax revenue.

A few things:

First, the tax rates are substantially different in this proposal than what Reagan had to deal with. In fact, our taxes on most Americans/Atlasians would be lower than what Reagan had to deal with or cut them to for most of his presidency. A 50% rate on income above a million dollars is different than a 50% rate on income above 106k-200k (it varied throughout his presidency) so it's unfair to compare the two when the level of income being taxed was radically different.

Secondly, if you look at the history of tax hikes, they have not been damaging to the economy overall. What you seem to be overlooking is that Reagan himself actually raised taxes in various areas several times throughout his Presidency. FDR, also, raised taxes about ten times throughout his time in office, and there's no evidence that taxes impacted the money supply (http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/3285/greatdepressionmoneysup.png), personal income (http://images.creditwritedowns.com/2009/04/personal-income-29-40.jpg), industrial production (http://img.skitch.com/20081204-rg8k2h2gwbat3baednpf31kw2p.jpg), wage growth, GDP growth (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Gdp29-41.jpg), or the stock market advance.

Clinton raised (many) taxes in 1993, and despite Republican claims that it would lead to a recession and would be a job killer (I invite you to watch Quayle's performance during the 1992 Vice Presidential debate(s), he was hilarious and his rhetoric eerily applicable to Obama) it turned out to be nothing of the sort and we hit record surpluses. (You might say this was during a boom, but A) The same argument could be made to Reagan, and B) It still didn't kill the boom, so it's a stupid point to bring up.) As Beet would say, the idea that taxes are always bad economic policy "flies in the face of the accumulated facts."

Finally, the Bush tax cuts of 2001. The achilles heel of the "tax cuts for the rich stimulate revenues and economic growth" argument. Revenues actually dropped after the implementation of the cuts.

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Sen. John McCain has said President Bush's tax cuts have increased federal revenues. But revenues would have been even higher without them.

...

Federal revenue normally increases every year. In fact, revenues have declined in only five years since 1962. The 35 percent growth between 2003 and 2006 is significant – the last major growth in revenue was between 1997 and 2000, when the economy was booming and federal receipts rose 28.2 percent. But the recent three-year period also comes after three years of decreases, a drop Viard attributes to the 2001 tax cuts and the start of a recession that same year.

(http://www.factcheck.org/demos/factcheck/imagefiles/Image/2006.older.and.misc/federal%20revenue%20bar%20chart(1).jpg)

...

The percentage growth since 2003 may be historic, but the government’s coffers are no more flush with funds as a percentage of the economy than they have been on average for 40 years.
http://www.factcheck.org/taxes/supply-side_spin.html

As shown, the tax cuts throughout the Bush years did not increase revenue, on the contrary, it contributed to a historic reduction in tax revenue!


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on November 27, 2009, 06:30:39 pm
5. Gee, I wonder who creates jobs in this country? Certainly not some poor guy from Alabama.

The rich do not create jobs either as they do not have magical powers.

Quote
So, you'd rather have everybody suffer right now? To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, "...you'd rather the poor be poorer, provided the gap between rich and poor was smaller.

Quoting that bitch at me is generally a mistake. I'm actually in a fairly good mood at the moment, so you haven't actually provoked a rant, but you may not be so lucky in the future.

Oh, and the quote is meaningless and your argument totally devoid of logic or thought.

Quote
How would you feel if you spent your whole life struggling to work up the ladder only to find that the government takes 3/4 of your income when you get to the top?

For most people there is no ladder - well, maybe a stepladder if they're lucky.

Quote
::) I take it you don't know anybody who has lived in a big city.

I know plenty of people who live in big cities, actually and have actually lived in one (though not for very long).

Quote
In NYC $1,000,000 a year is upper middle-class at best if you want to live in a decent area.

Only if you're using the British/Commonwealth definition of middle class, I'm afraid. Someone on a million dollars a year is rich, and that's the end of discussion. They might not be as rich as some other rich people, yet rich they are all the same and claims to the contrary deserve to be met with a mixture of laughter and scorn. Btw, all of your qualifiying remarks here are far more interesting than you realise...


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on November 27, 2009, 06:35:34 pm
Because everyone loves statistics!

Percentage of households in NYC with an income of over $200,000 in 2008 (adjusted for inflation, etc)... 6.3%


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 07:39:47 pm
Because everyone loves statistics!

Percentage of households in NYC with an income of over $200,000 in 2008 (adjusted for inflation, etc)... 6.3%

Did you know 98% of statistics are made up :P (sorry, I'm a sucker for paradoxes)

Anyway, here are my main reasons for believing that 60% at the federal level is too high:
1. The higher the taxes, the more rich people will hide their money, thus potentially decreasing revenue.

2. The rich have less money to reinvest. Much of this investing creates or saves jobs.

3. The rich create jobs because many become venture capitalists or found businesses
themselves.

4. While the world is imperfect and some of the rich don't deserve their fortune, think about a CEO who doubles his company's profits, thus making the stock rise and allowing him to expand the company which creates jobs, and then receives a generous salary for the next year. Surely he, who created the livelihood for hundreds or even thousands of people, deserves to be rich. Now, why should we take this money away from him to fund broken social programs? Frankly, I'd rather some get wealthy when they don't deserve to rather than lessening the reward those who do create jobs or help society in some way.

5. Everybody has a chance to climb the ladder. Many don't through choice or ignorance (which the rich aren't to blame for), but anybody can enter middle management or found a successful small business if they try (provided they don't have VERY bad luck).

6. If they have a tax burden similar to middle-class families, they will be more likely to give to charity and help the less fortunate because they don't have to worry about protecting their fortune. I think most rich people are good people, and if the rhetoric against them was lessened and the taxes fairer, they would donate large sums of money to help others.

@ Marokai: I agree that raising taxes isn't always bad, in fact I think it needs to be done. But 60% is far too much. Personally, I think that 42% for $1,000,000 and up is more reasonable. This would mean that, in my region, they would have 48% of their income taxed. This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 07:46:09 pm
BTW, Al, you are right in that some of my remarks were silly or irrelevant. The Thatcher quote, while relevant in some abstract way, probably wasn't appropriate for this debate. The New York one was also silly. When I get fired up I tend to lose some of my... well... sanity :P

I hope the above post lays out my reasoning for my position in a more level-headed, rational matter.

Just so you know Al, while in an ideal world we'd have a flat tax rate, I don't necessarily oppose progressive taxation for practical purposes. I would hate to levy a 50% tax on the middle-class and poor. I just feel that 60% and even 50% is a bit much, particularly when one takes regional taxes into account. So by no means do I think the rich are hurt by these taxes, but from a more economic perspective I think their wealth, 4 out 5 times, benefits middle and working class people.

You did make good points :), and thanks for pointing out those silly arguments of mine ;) (embarrassing for me really :P)


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 27, 2009, 08:12:49 pm
The rhetoric here is astounding. Truly.

First of all, as for the double-taxation point, that's really not our fault, to be honest. We can't, or at least we shouldn't, build a federal income tax bracket on the basis of what a region made impose on top of it! Such things are out of are control, vary wildly, and fluctuate routinely. It's an impractical model to take into effect the taxes of individual regions. Besides, regional governments actually need to run themselves too, you know.

We're to believe, beyond all your ridiculous assumptions, and arguments by your own admission that simply sucked, that this will result in disaster. Well it simply won't do that, and it hasn't in the past went our brackets were far higher and on a far lower income scale.

At the end of the day, we have to pay for things. This proposal is kind to lower income individuals and scales the burden to the top, as it should. Now either you want a progressive system at the end of the day, or you want to throw the burden at the bottom, which I simply won't stand for. This proposal has the interests of most Atlasians in mind, it's that simple.

If you ever wonder why people treat you as if you are a Republican, it's because of your valiant defense of the poor persecuted rich that someone might come to that assumption. Just a thought.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on November 27, 2009, 08:16:01 pm
This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 08:25:24 pm
The rhetoric here is astounding. Truly.

First of all, as for the double-taxation point, that's really not our fault, to be honest. We can't, or at least we shouldn't, build a federal income tax bracket on the basis of what a region made impose on top of it! Such things are out of are control, vary wildly, and fluctuate routinely. It's an impractical model to take into effect the taxes of individual regions. Besides, regional governments actually need to run themselves too, you know.

We're to believe, beyond all your ridiculous assumptions, and arguments by your own admission that simply sucked, that this will result in disaster. Well it simply won't do that, and it hasn't in the past went our brackets were far higher and on a far lower income scale.

At the end of the day, we have to pay for things. This proposal is kind to lower income individuals and scales the burden to the top, as it should. Now either you want a progressive system at the end of the day, or you want to throw the burden at the bottom, which I simply won't stand for. This proposal has the interests of most Atlasians in mind, it's that simple.

If you ever wonder why people treat you as if you are a Republican, it's because of your valiant defense of the poor persecuted rich that someone might come to that assumption. Just a thought.

I said the SOME of my arguments, in retrospect, were foolish.

Now, on the regional issue, I'm just saying the Senate should take that into account, though yes regional tax code can shift rather quickly.

Marokai, as I said, I am not saying the rich are persecuted or suffering, but when they have all this rhetoric against them, and proportionately higher taxes, it's understandable why some become bitter towards the poor and to government. If the government showed a little compassion, particularly in a relatively left-wing country like Atlasia, they would be more compassionate and more willing to invest in government bonds or help the poor through charities. It's human psychology. The rich care more about themselves than anybody else, just as everybody else is. Thus, if you want them to use their wealth for good instead of hiding it, you should show compassion.

As I said, personally a tax of 42% is reasonable, and by no means do I think the lower brackets should be higher, on the contrary I think they should be lower (I favor cost cutting you see, but that discussion is for another time)

So, if the government respects the rich's concerns, they in turn will sympathize more with the concerns of the average man and the government.

If you truly want to increase revenue, I suggest cracking down on tax evading corporations.

This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 08:27:37 pm
Oooo, I have the honor of being quoted in Marokai's signature, I'm flattered! :P


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on November 27, 2009, 08:46:21 pm
This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.

Sit down, and I shall tell you a story.

In the interwar period, the two hundred families that ran the Bank of France thrice imposed a right-wing government after legislative elections had returned a majority on the left. This continued no matter how many conciliatory gestures were made. It would have continued indefinitely, but the two hundred families were broken at war's end. Only then could socialist governments be formed.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 08:49:45 pm
This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.

You know, in the interwar period, the two hundred families that ran the Bank of France thrice imposed a right-wing government after legislative elections had returned a majority on the left. This continued no matter how many conciliatory gestures were made. It would have continued indefinitely, but the two hundred families were broken in the war. Only then could the popular will be expressed.

That was a different time and a different country. Plus, that was on 200 families, what about the thousands of other rich French families?


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Sbane on November 27, 2009, 09:24:16 pm
Don't punish the rich like that! If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes. I support increasing revenue, but please don't do it this way. After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

No, if you make a million a year you are rich no matter if you live in NYC or SF or in some rural town. Even in my area if an individual is making above 200k or a family is making above 350k, they would be considered rich.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 09:30:43 pm
Don't punish the rich like that! If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes. I support increasing revenue, but please don't do it this way. After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

No, if you make a million a year you are rich no matter if you live in NYC or SF or in some rural town. Even in my area if an individual is making above 200k or a family is making above 350k, they would be considered rich.

Yeah, I've already admitted I wasn't thinking straight when I made that argument :P


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 09:31:23 pm
Anyway, here are my main reasons for believing that 60% at the federal level is too high:
1. The higher the taxes, the more rich people will hide their money, thus potentially decreasing revenue.

2. The rich have less money to reinvest. Much of this investing creates or saves jobs.

3. The rich create jobs because many become venture capitalists or found businesses
themselves.

4. While the world is imperfect and some of the rich don't deserve their fortune, think about a CEO who doubles his company's profits, thus making the stock rise and allowing him to expand the company which creates jobs, and then receives a generous salary for the next year. Surely he, who created the livelihood for hundreds or even thousands of people, deserves to be rich. Now, why should we take this money away from him to fund broken social programs? Frankly, I'd rather some get wealthy when they don't deserve to rather than lessening the reward those who do create jobs or help society in some way.

5. Everybody has a chance to climb the ladder. Many don't through choice or ignorance (which the rich aren't to blame for), but anybody can enter middle management or found a successful small business if they try (provided they don't have VERY bad luck).

6. If they have a tax burden similar to middle-class families, they will be more likely to give to charity and help the less fortunate because they don't have to worry about protecting their fortune. I think most rich people are good people, and if the rhetoric against them was lessened and the taxes fairer, they would donate large sums of money to help others.

@ Marokai: I agree that raising taxes isn't always bad, in fact I think it needs to be done. But 60% is far too much. Personally, I think that 42% for $1,000,000 and up is more reasonable. This would mean that, in my region, they would have 48% of their income taxed. This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Sbane on November 27, 2009, 10:05:54 pm
Don't punish the rich like that! If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes. I support increasing revenue, but please don't do it this way. After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

No, if you make a million a year you are rich no matter if you live in NYC or SF or in some rural town. Even in my area if an individual is making above 200k or a family is making above 350k, they would be considered rich.

Yeah, I've already admitted I wasn't thinking straight when I made that argument :P

I saw that statement and I had to comment immediately since it had no bearing on reality. I have since read the thread and I am happy you have backed off of that statement.

Now the tax rate in question is a bit too high, I would rather have the highest marginal tax rate be 50%. But if the rich are evading taxes, wouldn't it be better to crack down harshly on them? If we guarantee them 10 years in a real prison, I doubt many would try it.

Now as for investment, are you really sure all their investments are put to good use? What if they go around the country buying up property so they can sell it at a later date for profit? Does that really help the economy or just jack up house prices for the rest of us? What if they invest in gold or crude oil futures and other commodities thus raising prices for the rest of us? What if they just invest in wall street banks which come up with fancy financial instruments that ultimately leads to the collapse of our whole economy? Getting money to VC is important but when there is too much money it will inevitably lead to bubbles and money will be wasted. Even when there is less money to go around for investment, the best ideas will still find funding while there will be less money for less appealing ideas that still find funding today because VC's are flush with cash. Basically there will be more competition for investment and the best ideas will prevail.

If taxes on the rich are raised, their contribution to charities will unfortunately fall. Yet you seem to assume that charities are better able to give services to the poor than the government. It may be true when it comes to say, food banks, but is it true for things like providing health care or subsidizing heating oil for the poor (two social safety net bills passed lately). There is most certainly inefficiencies in government, but is there any less inefficiencies in charities?


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 10:23:58 pm
Don't punish the rich like that! If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes. I support increasing revenue, but please don't do it this way. After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

No, if you make a million a year you are rich no matter if you live in NYC or SF or in some rural town. Even in my area if an individual is making above 200k or a family is making above 350k, they would be considered rich.

Yeah, I've already admitted I wasn't thinking straight when I made that argument :P

I saw that statement and I had to comment immediately since it had no bearing on reality. I have since read the thread and I am happy you have backed off of that statement.

Now the tax rate in question is a bit too high, I would rather have the highest marginal tax rate be 50%. But if the rich are evading taxes, wouldn't it be better to crack down harshly on them? If we guarantee them 10 years in a real prison, I doubt many would try it.

Now as for investment, are you really sure all their investments are put to good use? What if they go around the country buying up property so they can sell it at a later date for profit? Does that really help the economy or just jack up house prices for the rest of us? What if they invest in gold or crude oil futures and other commodities thus raising prices for the rest of us? What if they just invest in wall street banks which come up with fancy financial instruments that ultimately leads to the collapse of our whole economy? Getting money to VC is important but when there is too much money it will inevitably lead to bubbles and money will be wasted. Even when there is less money to go around for investment, the best ideas will still find funding while there will be less money for less appealing ideas that still find funding today because VC's are flush with cash. Basically there will be more competition for investment and the best ideas will prevail.

If taxes on the rich are raised, their contribution to charities will unfortunately fall. Yet you seem to assume that charities are better able to give services to the poor than the government. It may be true when it comes to say, food banks, but is it true for things like providing health care or subsidizing heating oil for the poor (two social safety net bills passed lately). There is most certainly inefficiencies in government, but is there any less inefficiencies in charities?

Charities have demonstrated that they are more efficient than the government in most areas, though yes, they don't cover anything. Now, it's true that the rich don't always invest in things that benefit the common man, but they often do. Again, they invest in small businesses, government bonds, and research, all of which help the everyman. I feel that 60% is too much. Like I said, mid-forties would be sufficient and it wouldn't be unreasonable. I do agree, as I've said elsewhere, cracking down on tax evaders is more important.

I just don't think a tax rate that high is worth the trade-off.

BTW, sbane, I didn't know you read the fantasy boards.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on November 27, 2009, 10:49:27 pm
Did you know 98% of statistics are made up :P (sorry, I'm a sucker for paradoxes)

This particular statistic, however, comes from the ACS and is about as reliable as things that aren't from a proper census can get...


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 27, 2009, 11:23:10 pm
Did you know 98% of statistics are made up :P (sorry, I'm a sucker for paradoxes)

This particular statistic, however, comes from the ACS and is about as reliable as things that aren't from a proper census can get...

I didn't doubt your statistic, I was joking, I just had to throw that made up statistic out there :P


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Sbane on November 27, 2009, 11:27:16 pm
Don't punish the rich like that! If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes. I support increasing revenue, but please don't do it this way. After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

No, if you make a million a year you are rich no matter if you live in NYC or SF or in some rural town. Even in my area if an individual is making above 200k or a family is making above 350k, they would be considered rich.

Yeah, I've already admitted I wasn't thinking straight when I made that argument :P

I saw that statement and I had to comment immediately since it had no bearing on reality. I have since read the thread and I am happy you have backed off of that statement.

Now the tax rate in question is a bit too high, I would rather have the highest marginal tax rate be 50%. But if the rich are evading taxes, wouldn't it be better to crack down harshly on them? If we guarantee them 10 years in a real prison, I doubt many would try it.

Now as for investment, are you really sure all their investments are put to good use? What if they go around the country buying up property so they can sell it at a later date for profit? Does that really help the economy or just jack up house prices for the rest of us? What if they invest in gold or crude oil futures and other commodities thus raising prices for the rest of us? What if they just invest in wall street banks which come up with fancy financial instruments that ultimately leads to the collapse of our whole economy? Getting money to VC is important but when there is too much money it will inevitably lead to bubbles and money will be wasted. Even when there is less money to go around for investment, the best ideas will still find funding while there will be less money for less appealing ideas that still find funding today because VC's are flush with cash. Basically there will be more competition for investment and the best ideas will prevail.

If taxes on the rich are raised, their contribution to charities will unfortunately fall. Yet you seem to assume that charities are better able to give services to the poor than the government. It may be true when it comes to say, food banks, but is it true for things like providing health care or subsidizing heating oil for the poor (two social safety net bills passed lately). There is most certainly inefficiencies in government, but is there any less inefficiencies in charities?

Charities have demonstrated that they are more efficient than the government in most areas, though yes, they don't cover anything. Now, it's true that the rich don't always invest in things that benefit the common man, but they often do. Again, they invest in small businesses, government bonds, and research, all of which help the everyman. I feel that 60% is too much. Like I said, mid-forties would be sufficient and it wouldn't be unreasonable. I do agree, as I've said elsewhere, cracking down on tax evaders is more important.

I just don't think a tax rate that high is worth the trade-off.

BTW, sbane, I didn't know you read the fantasy boards.

Charities can be more efficient solely because they are managed on a more local scale. Creating a large government bureaucracy is not what I am necessarily advocating, but for some things like health care it is necessary. Other programs should be devolved down to the states or even counties if possible with the feds providing funding and management being the smaller entity's responsibility. Of course this does create accountability issues and so on and so forth.

I didn't use to read the boards much but got more interested during the election. You can thank the RPP for that. I still read the other boards more though.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 27, 2009, 11:40:49 pm
Charities are good for very small scale operations and depending on in only the short term. For anything substantial or long-term a much larger organization and support is needed that the government, in that situation, can best provide.

Food banks, soup kitchens, and free health clinics are great, but they don't really compare at all to food stamps or a national health care program. Let's be realistic here.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: People's Speaker North Carolina Yankee on November 27, 2009, 11:50:27 pm
Charities are good for very small scale operations and depending on in only the short term. For anything substantial or long-term a much larger organization and support is needed that the government, in that situation, can best provide.

Food banks, soup kitchens, and free health clinics are great, but they don't really compare at all to food stamps or a national health care program. Let's be realistic here.

Yes, a charity left us in the dark for a whole week "waiting for a sponsor" Social Services Crisis Funds are instant, they are just in limited amounts.

Charities often lose money in recession especially ones this bad cause they often rely on annuities which lose value with the overall market. So many charities are actually cutting back aid when in fact it is needed the most. The idea that charities are effectice substitute for Gov't aide is proposterous. If you are going to rely on that arguement, Vepres, you might as well just sign off and make it unanimous. :P


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 28, 2009, 12:00:10 am
Charities are good for very small scale operations and depending on in only the short term. For anything substantial or long-term a much larger organization and support is needed that the government, in that situation, can best provide.

Food banks, soup kitchens, and free health clinics are great, but they don't really compare at all to food stamps or a national health care program. Let's be realistic here.

Yes, a charity left us in the dark for a whole week "waiting for a sponsor" Social Services Crisis Funds are instant, they are just in limited amounts.

Charities often lose money in recession especially ones this bad cause they often rely on annuities which lose value with the overall market. So many charities are actually cutting back aid when in fact it is needed the most. The idea that charities are effectice substitute for Gov't aide is proposterous. If you are going to rely on that arguement, Vepres, you might as well just sign off and make it unanimous. :P

I'm not saying their a substitute, but they arguably do more. Personally, I think if you want to receive government help, you should pay the same proportion of your income as a multi-millionaire. Now, the poorest people shouldn't be taxed, but beyond that...

In any case, I think raising taxes on the rich this much in a recession, when investment is what is needed, is a bad idea.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: People's Speaker North Carolina Yankee on November 28, 2009, 12:11:54 am
Charities are good for very small scale operations and depending on in only the short term. For anything substantial or long-term a much larger organization and support is needed that the government, in that situation, can best provide.

Food banks, soup kitchens, and free health clinics are great, but they don't really compare at all to food stamps or a national health care program. Let's be realistic here.

Yes, a charity left us in the dark for a whole week "waiting for a sponsor" Social Services Crisis Funds are instant, they are just in limited amounts.

Charities often lose money in recession especially ones this bad cause they often rely on annuities which lose value with the overall market. So many charities are actually cutting back aid when in fact it is needed the most. The idea that charities are effectice substitute for Gov't aide is proposterous. If you are going to rely on that arguement, Vepres, you might as well just sign off and make it unanimous. :P

I'm not saying their a substitute, but they arguably do more. Personally, I think if you want to receive government help, you should pay the same proportion of your income as a multi-millionaire. Now, the poorest people shouldn't be taxed, but beyond that...

In any case, I think raising taxes on the rich this much in a recession, when investment is what is needed, is a bad idea.

But we don't need investment, we need consumption. Adding investment would only increase the amount of consumption needed to make that investment pay off.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 28, 2009, 12:45:16 am
Charities are good for very small scale operations and depending on in only the short term. For anything substantial or long-term a much larger organization and support is needed that the government, in that situation, can best provide.

Food banks, soup kitchens, and free health clinics are great, but they don't really compare at all to food stamps or a national health care program. Let's be realistic here.

Yes, a charity left us in the dark for a whole week "waiting for a sponsor" Social Services Crisis Funds are instant, they are just in limited amounts.

Charities often lose money in recession especially ones this bad cause they often rely on annuities which lose value with the overall market. So many charities are actually cutting back aid when in fact it is needed the most. The idea that charities are effectice substitute for Gov't aide is proposterous. If you are going to rely on that arguement, Vepres, you might as well just sign off and make it unanimous. :P

I'm not saying their a substitute, but they arguably do more. Personally, I think if you want to receive government help, you should pay the same proportion of your income as a multi-millionaire. Now, the poorest people shouldn't be taxed, but beyond that...

In any case, I think raising taxes on the rich this much in a recession, when investment is what is needed, is a bad idea.

But we don't need investment, we need consumption. Adding investment would only increase the amount of consumption needed to make that investment pay off.

That just makes my argument stronger, as the rich will consume less if taxed more.

If the rich invest in small businesses, that creates jobs, which gives people more money to spend.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Psychic Octopus on November 28, 2009, 12:53:13 am
I will be reviewing this tomorrow.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Sbane on November 28, 2009, 12:59:44 am
Actually it's the middle class that we really need to consume more. If we don't raise taxes and it lessens the value of the dollar due to increasing debt, the middle class has to consume less.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 28, 2009, 01:00:48 am
Actually it's the middle class that we really need to consume more. If we don't raise taxes and it lessens the value of the dollar due to increasing debt, the middle class has to consume less.

Ok, you're right.

In any case, my six main arguments still stand, so I'll stop clogging up this thread and let the Senate do its work :P


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 28, 2009, 01:06:15 am
And conveniently much of your arguments are just repeating what you've said in the past without much regard for the responses you got.

Reminds me of the Senate's debate over the national health care program, come to think of it..


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 28, 2009, 01:14:47 am
And conveniently much of your arguments are just repeating what you've said in the past without much regard for the responses you got.

Reminds me of the Senate's debate over the national health care program, come to think of it..

Let's take a look at this, shall we?

Anyway, here are my main reasons for believing that 60% at the federal level is too high:
1. The higher the taxes, the more rich people will hide their money, thus potentially decreasing revenue.

2. The rich have less money to reinvest. Much of this investing creates or saves jobs.

3. The rich create jobs because many become venture capitalists or found businesses
themselves.

4. While the world is imperfect and some of the rich don't deserve their fortune, think about a CEO who doubles his company's profits, thus making the stock rise and allowing him to expand the company which creates jobs, and then receives a generous salary for the next year. Surely he, who created the livelihood for hundreds or even thousands of people, deserves to be rich. Now, why should we take this money away from him to fund broken social programs? Frankly, I'd rather some get wealthy when they don't deserve to rather than lessening the reward those who do create jobs or help society in some way.

5. Everybody has a chance to climb the ladder. Many don't through choice or ignorance (which the rich aren't to blame for), but anybody can enter middle management or found a successful small business if they try (provided they don't have VERY bad luck).

6. If they have a tax burden similar to middle-class families, they will be more likely to give to charity and help the less fortunate because they don't have to worry about protecting their fortune. I think most rich people are good people, and if the rhetoric against them was lessened and the taxes fairer, they would donate large sums of money to help others.

Let's see. 1 was responded to. Nobody has made an argument against 2 or 3. 4 is more of an opinion and world view thing, thus neither inherently one way or the other. Nobody has argued against 5 and 6.

So essentially, four of my six arguments are still completely valid, and two are debatable.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on November 28, 2009, 01:50:35 pm
This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.

You know, in the interwar period, the two hundred families that ran the Bank of France thrice imposed a right-wing government after legislative elections had returned a majority on the left. This continued no matter how many conciliatory gestures were made. It would have continued indefinitely, but the two hundred families were broken in the war. Only then could the popular will be expressed.

That was a different time and a different country. Plus, that was on 200 families, what about the thousands of other rich French families?

"Two hundred families" is a euphemism. The Bank of France had 200 shareholders, but they represented French monied interests. In 1924 and 1932, Cartels des gauches were formed. Each cartel won the election, but the centrist Radical-Socialist Party switched its allegiance to the right each time when French money made it clear that it lacked confidence in a left-wing government. In 1936, the Front Populaire was elected, and Léon Blum became the first socialist and the first Jew to become Prime Minister. Despite taking every measure to appease the powers that were, including suppressing the strikes that spontaneously broke out thoroughout France, French money declared war on the Front Populaire, forcing Blum to resign within the year, and the Front to collapse by 1938. Its replacement was a group of dull centrists and right-wingers who were unable to take the necessary steps to stop the German invasion. The settings may change, but the story remains the same.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 28, 2009, 09:07:17 pm
This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.

You know, in the interwar period, the two hundred families that ran the Bank of France thrice imposed a right-wing government after legislative elections had returned a majority on the left. This continued no matter how many conciliatory gestures were made. It would have continued indefinitely, but the two hundred families were broken in the war. Only then could the popular will be expressed.

That was a different time and a different country. Plus, that was on 200 families, what about the thousands of other rich French families?

"Two hundred families" is a euphemism. The Bank of France had 200 shareholders, but they represented French monied interests. In 1924 and 1932, Cartels des gauches were formed. Each cartel won the election, but the centrist Radical-Socialist Party switched its allegiance to the right each time when French money made it clear that it lacked confidence in a left-wing government. In 1936, the Front Populaire was elected, and Léon Blum became the first socialist and the first Jew to become Prime Minister. Despite taking every measure to appease the powers that were, including suppressing the strikes that spontaneously broke out thoroughout France, French money declared war on the Front Populaire, forcing Blum to resign within the year, and the Front to collapse by 1938. Its replacement was a group of dull centrists and right-wingers who were unable to take the necessary steps to stop the German invasion. The settings may change, but the story remains the same.

Interesting, and yet this hasn't happened in the US for almost 100 years. I've had my history lesson for the day :P


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Franzl on November 29, 2009, 03:46:39 pm
I haven't heard any convincing arguments that would prevent me from voting in favor of this legislation.

I personally wouldn't mind seeing the two highest brackets integrated into one 50% bracket, as 60% is quite high, but even if it stays as it is presently, I intend to vote for this.

It's a matter of fiscal responsibility for me, and I believe this tax system, combined with the high individual deduction, is actually very friendly to the lower, middle and even upper middle class.

I'm not concerned about someone making over $2 million a year having to pay half or slightly more of what he makes over $2 million. We are only taxing at that rate from that point on, it's not like he's going to be paying over 50% of his total income!



Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Sbane on November 29, 2009, 05:10:11 pm

I'm not concerned about someone making over $2 million a year having to pay half or slightly more of what he makes over $2 million. We are only taxing at that rate from that point on, it's not like he's going to be paying over 50% of his total income!

Good point. Some people don't understand this is the marginal tax rate.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on November 29, 2009, 07:29:38 pm
This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.

You know, in the interwar period, the two hundred families that ran the Bank of France thrice imposed a right-wing government after legislative elections had returned a majority on the left. This continued no matter how many conciliatory gestures were made. It would have continued indefinitely, but the two hundred families were broken in the war. Only then could the popular will be expressed.

That was a different time and a different country. Plus, that was on 200 families, what about the thousands of other rich French families?

"Two hundred families" is a euphemism. The Bank of France had 200 shareholders, but they represented French monied interests. In 1924 and 1932, Cartels des gauches were formed. Each cartel won the election, but the centrist Radical-Socialist Party switched its allegiance to the right each time when French money made it clear that it lacked confidence in a left-wing government. In 1936, the Front Populaire was elected, and Léon Blum became the first socialist and the first Jew to become Prime Minister. Despite taking every measure to appease the powers that were, including suppressing the strikes that spontaneously broke out thoroughout France, French money declared war on the Front Populaire, forcing Blum to resign within the year, and the Front to collapse by 1938. Its replacement was a group of dull centrists and right-wingers who were unable to take the necessary steps to stop the German invasion. The settings may change, but the story remains the same.

Interesting, and yet this hasn't happened in the US for almost 100 years. I've had my history lesson for the day :P

Glad to hear it.

I'm suspicious of any talk of coddling the rich.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 29, 2009, 10:21:22 pm
This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.

You know, in the interwar period, the two hundred families that ran the Bank of France thrice imposed a right-wing government after legislative elections had returned a majority on the left. This continued no matter how many conciliatory gestures were made. It would have continued indefinitely, but the two hundred families were broken in the war. Only then could the popular will be expressed.

That was a different time and a different country. Plus, that was on 200 families, what about the thousands of other rich French families?

"Two hundred families" is a euphemism. The Bank of France had 200 shareholders, but they represented French monied interests. In 1924 and 1932, Cartels des gauches were formed. Each cartel won the election, but the centrist Radical-Socialist Party switched its allegiance to the right each time when French money made it clear that it lacked confidence in a left-wing government. In 1936, the Front Populaire was elected, and Léon Blum became the first socialist and the first Jew to become Prime Minister. Despite taking every measure to appease the powers that were, including suppressing the strikes that spontaneously broke out thoroughout France, French money declared war on the Front Populaire, forcing Blum to resign within the year, and the Front to collapse by 1938. Its replacement was a group of dull centrists and right-wingers who were unable to take the necessary steps to stop the German invasion. The settings may change, but the story remains the same.

Interesting, and yet this hasn't happened in the US for almost 100 years. I've had my history lesson for the day :P

My friend, they don't need business plots or open resistance to left-wing policy anymore. They're already in control.

It's far more insidious in these modern times.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: People's Speaker North Carolina Yankee on November 29, 2009, 10:36:39 pm
This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.

You know, in the interwar period, the two hundred families that ran the Bank of France thrice imposed a right-wing government after legislative elections had returned a majority on the left. This continued no matter how many conciliatory gestures were made. It would have continued indefinitely, but the two hundred families were broken in the war. Only then could the popular will be expressed.

That was a different time and a different country. Plus, that was on 200 families, what about the thousands of other rich French families?

"Two hundred families" is a euphemism. The Bank of France had 200 shareholders, but they represented French monied interests. In 1924 and 1932, Cartels des gauches were formed. Each cartel won the election, but the centrist Radical-Socialist Party switched its allegiance to the right each time when French money made it clear that it lacked confidence in a left-wing government. In 1936, the Front Populaire was elected, and Léon Blum became the first socialist and the first Jew to become Prime Minister. Despite taking every measure to appease the powers that were, including suppressing the strikes that spontaneously broke out thoroughout France, French money declared war on the Front Populaire, forcing Blum to resign within the year, and the Front to collapse by 1938. Its replacement was a group of dull centrists and right-wingers who were unable to take the necessary steps to stop the German invasion. The settings may change, but the story remains the same.

Interesting, and yet this hasn't happened in the US for almost 100 years. I've had my history lesson for the day :P

My friend, they don't need business plots or open resistance to left-wing policy anymore. They're already in control.

It's far more insidious in these modern times.

My how conspiratorial our left wingers are here today(reminds me of something you once said about fiscal Conservatives during the Stimulu debate :P).


I am opposed to this by the way. Despite my criticism of Vepres and especially since it will easily pass, I have no problem thus voting no.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 29, 2009, 10:57:11 pm
This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.

You know, in the interwar period, the two hundred families that ran the Bank of France thrice imposed a right-wing government after legislative elections had returned a majority on the left. This continued no matter how many conciliatory gestures were made. It would have continued indefinitely, but the two hundred families were broken in the war. Only then could the popular will be expressed.

That was a different time and a different country. Plus, that was on 200 families, what about the thousands of other rich French families?

"Two hundred families" is a euphemism. The Bank of France had 200 shareholders, but they represented French monied interests. In 1924 and 1932, Cartels des gauches were formed. Each cartel won the election, but the centrist Radical-Socialist Party switched its allegiance to the right each time when French money made it clear that it lacked confidence in a left-wing government. In 1936, the Front Populaire was elected, and Léon Blum became the first socialist and the first Jew to become Prime Minister. Despite taking every measure to appease the powers that were, including suppressing the strikes that spontaneously broke out thoroughout France, French money declared war on the Front Populaire, forcing Blum to resign within the year, and the Front to collapse by 1938. Its replacement was a group of dull centrists and right-wingers who were unable to take the necessary steps to stop the German invasion. The settings may change, but the story remains the same.

Interesting, and yet this hasn't happened in the US for almost 100 years. I've had my history lesson for the day :P

My friend, they don't need business plots or open resistance to left-wing policy anymore. They're already in control.

It's far more insidious in these modern times.

Yes, they all meet in a dark cave plotting against humanity for the fun of it :P

Anyway, I'm not advocating for coddling the rich, I'm advocating for not punishing success.

So, an individual making $164,550, which is upper middle class or even rich in some areas, will pay $23,995.72 in taxes, while somebody making $367,700 will pay $96,468.23. The latter's salary is 2.23 times larger than the former, but the latter's taxes are 4 times larger than the former's. You simply cannot claim that that's fair. Shouldn't the poor, who benefit most from social services, pay the same % of their income in taxes as the rich?

My point is, the vast majority of government programs are expensive, inefficient, wasteful, and many of these don't even work. So, you take a large sum of a rich person's money and put it into a government program that doesn't work instead of letting him keep more of it which he can donate to a charity that will help far more people with far less money. You basically are saying: "Oh, you were ambitious, hardworking, and intelligent, so we're going to to reward you by taking a higher proportion of your money in taxes ;D", it's easy to advocate taxing the rich more when you're poor and pay no income taxes, or lower middle class and only a tiny fraction of your income is payed in taxes. Somebody making $20,000 should pay the same % of that in taxes as somebody making $1,000,000.

BTW, on that New York thing I said, somehow I misplaced a decimal in my head. I was thinking $100,000, but my thoughts started racing with the debate.

Let me ask you, Marokai, why not have a flat % tax rate?


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on November 29, 2009, 11:07:34 pm
So, an individual making $164,550, which is upper middle class or even rich in some areas, will pay $23,995.72 in taxes, while somebody making $367,700 will pay $96,468.23. The latter's salary is 2.23 times larger than the former, but the latter's taxes are 4 times larger than the former's. You simply cannot claim that that's fair. Shouldn't the poor, who benefit most from social services, pay the same % of their income in taxes as the rich?

You seem to forget that money spent on necessities is more or less static between rich and poor. Consequently, the poor spend more on necessities as a proportion of income than do the rich. As a result, a flat tax hurts the poor more than the rich.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 29, 2009, 11:34:12 pm
Anyway, I'm not advocating for coddling the rich, I'm advocating for not punishing success.

Republican buzzwords.

Quote
So, an individual making $164,550, which is upper middle class or even rich in some areas, will pay $23,995.72 in taxes, while somebody making $367,700 will pay $96,468.23. The latter's salary is 2.23 times larger than the former, but the latter's taxes are 4 times larger than the former's. You simply cannot claim that that's fair.

I can and shall. Ultimately, "fair" is entirely subjective, and you lack any real economic point for how it's catastrophic, so you're arguing really on flimsy emotional grounds on what you do or don't find objectionable.

In the end, though, you really made my point about why I believe it to be "fair" for me. $164,000 is upper middle class even in wealthy areas. There is a certain benchmark for what is spent on bare necessities, food, energy, housing, and other essential services, as well as leisure money, but anything beyond that certain mark, which varies depending on where you live, is completely useless free-standing money that contributes little to nothing to the economy or society, and that is why it is taxed at a disproportionately higher rate.

It still allows people to become more than wealthy, and live very comfortable lives. It's simply a tax rate of a philosophy that says large amounts of money contribute absolutely nothing to the lives of Atlasia but fueling the greed of certain individuals. That money, that money that doesn't do anything or isn't put to any essential need, is instead taxed at a higher rate to provide services to the entire country when needed.

And that, come to think of it, is one of my reasons for opposing the flat tax.

Quote
Shouldn't the poor, who benefit most from social services, pay the same % of their income in taxes as the rich?

No? Why in the world should they? The poor and working classes should be able to take advantage of the services that they need to rise to a level playing field and be free to rise out of their class as unencumbered as possible. You seem to act like the poor and the rich are equally vulnerable (and productive) and that is simply a false equivalency.

Quote
My point is, the vast majority of government programs are expensive, inefficient, wasteful, and many of these don't even work.

This is the second time you make this ignorant and incredibly broad statement and it's no more supported (meaning, not at all) than it was the last time. Examples please.

Quote
BTW, on that New York thing I said, somehow I misplaced a decimal in my head. I was thinking $100,000, but my thoughts started racing with the debate.

That correction still doesn't really make sense though in the context of what you said earlier. You don't have to cover your ass on this to hide your embarrassment you know, I do forgive you for it.

Quote
Let me ask you, Marokai, why not have a flat % tax rate?

Xahar summed it up in a tl;dr version than what I would give, really. The money the lower classes bring in are much more sensitive and depended on, and the lower income groups spend a disproportionately higher amount of their income on essential needs, like food, clothing, and gas (this has been rising in recent years, so it's even more sensitive to taxation) so a flat income tax, aside from it's general infeasibility in actually paying for all our shit, would burden the lower class.

It's basically a recipe for a caste system of sorts, a kind of almost permanent freezing of the classes and social mobility, and skyrocketing levels of income inequality. I liken it to a set of video game difficulties; when you're less skilled, you play on easy, when you're more skilled, you can handle hard.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 30, 2009, 12:10:23 am
Anyway, I'm not advocating for coddling the rich, I'm advocating for not punishing success.

Republican buzzwords.

Fair enough.

Quote
Quote
So, an individual making $164,550, which is upper middle class or even rich in some areas, will pay $23,995.72 in taxes, while somebody making $367,700 will pay $96,468.23. The latter's salary is 2.23 times larger than the former, but the latter's taxes are 4 times larger than the former's. You simply cannot claim that that's fair.

I can and shall. Ultimately, "fair" is entirely subjective, and you lack any real economic point for how it's catastrophic, so you're arguing really on flimsy emotional grounds on what you do or don't find objectionable.

The vast majority of Americans making 1 million or more are self made, hard working, often intelligent people who started out as middle-class and poor. They paid their dues, let them enjoy the wealth. I'm not defending the super rich, which is another issue, but the "lower rich" if you will.

Quote
In the end, though, you really made my point about why I believe it to be "fair" for me. $164,000 is upper middle class even in wealthy areas. There is a certain benchmark for what is spent on bare necessities, food, energy, housing, and other essential services, as well as leisure money, but anything beyond that certain mark, which varies depending on where you live, is completely useless free-standing money that contributes little to nothing to the economy or society, and that is why it is taxed at a disproportionately higher rate.

If you want to live in a big city, $164 thousand is not as much as it sounds.

Quote
It still allows people to become more than wealthy, and live very comfortable lives. It's simply a tax rate of a philosophy that says large amounts of money contribute absolutely nothing to the lives of Atlasia but fueling the greed of certain individuals. That money, that money that doesn't do anything or isn't put to any essential need, is instead taxed at a higher rate to provide services to the entire country when needed.

Look at what Bill Gates has done with his money in the Gates Foundation. What if the government took 2/3 of that?

Quote
Quote
Shouldn't the poor, who benefit most from social services, pay the same % of their income in taxes as the rich?

No? Why in the world should they? The poor and working classes should be able to take advantage of the services that they need to rise to a level playing field and be free to rise out of their class as unencumbered as possible. You seem to act like the poor and the rich are equally vulnerable (and productive) and that is simply a false equivalency.

The rich tend to be more productive, yes. A programmer may make the product, but if it weren't for the CEO running everything and making the tough decisions, the product would not exist (assuming it takes several dozen or even 100s of workers to produce) and its benefits to society and to the company (which is used to pay the workers) are far more productive than one grunt worker (I know I sound harsh, and I recognize some CEOs are incompetent fools).

Why would social programs help the poor rise out of poverty? If anything they give them no incentive to stop leeching off society (see great society programs a few decades in, or much of western Europe). I'm fine with food stamps, even welfare in some cases, but face it, they are liabilities to the government, while the rich are assets.

Quote
Quote
My point is, the vast majority of government programs are expensive, inefficient, wasteful, and many of these don't even work.

This is the second time you make this ignorant and incredibly broad statement and it's no more supported (meaning, not at all) than it was the last time. Examples please.

Social Security: Insolvent in the next decade

Medicare: $100 billion in fraud and will be insolvent in less than 20 years.

Great Society-style Welfare: Gave women incentives to have many children out of wedlock, thus creating a society in which many poor children grew up without fathers.

The DMV: 'nuff said :P

Post Office: Embarrassingly inferior to UPS and FedEx.

Public Housing: They filled a warehouse in NYC with homeless, gave each a cot. They ended up spending $30k per person, which was enough to rent an apartment and more.

Remember all the non-existent congressional districts on the stimulus website ;)

Quote
Quote
Let me ask you, Marokai, why not have a flat % tax rate?

Xahar summed it up in a tl;dr version than what I would give, really. The money the lower classes bring in are much more sensitive and depended on, and the lower income groups spend a disproportionately higher amount of their income on essential needs, like food, clothing, and gas (this has been rising in recent years, so it's even more sensitive to taxation) so a flat income tax, aside from it's general infeasibility in actually paying for all our shit, would burden the lower class.

It's basically a recipe for a caste system of sorts, a kind of almost permanent freezing of the classes and social mobility, and skyrocketing levels of income inequality. I liken it to a set of video game difficulties; when you're less skilled, you play on easy, when you're more skilled, you can handle hard.

Perhaps, but then the poor have no incentive to rise out of poverty when they're told by the government they're "entitled" to all these things. Face it, a rich man's company created the first affordable PC using upper middle-class programmers. An upper middle-class surgeon will save the lives of countless people. A multi-millionaire will donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to help battle AIDS. So why can't they enjoy a wealthy lifestyle after they spent their earlier years working up the ladder (vast majority of "rich").

Quote
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

Last time I checked the poor had brains, they had (I'm talking about 'normal' poor, not disabled people) an able body, yet they don't contribute to society because they're either ignorant (not their fault), or totally lacking in ambition. Most poor people are poor because they are willfully ignorant, lazy, refuse to get an education, or live in a poor area and choose to stay. Sure, some have bad luck, but most of those people are back in the workplace in a matter of months.

 What the poor need is better education, not to be cradled by a nanny state. That's another issue, but if you could somehow provide decent colleges for free or near free, a lot of these poor would go away.
 
Anyway, time to tie this back in to the bill at hand. I can understand not taxing the very poor (first bracket), but after that, a flat tax is not unreasonable. A lower middle-class individual contributes less to society than a competent CEO (I don't mean that in a mean-spirited way, though I know it sounds like it), so the CEO should be able to keep the same proportion of his income as the lower middle-class person, because the CEO has contributed more to society as a leader and so the least we can do is not punish his success.

What the poor need is better education, not to be cradled by a nanny state. That's another issue and for a different bill, but if you could somehow provide decent colleges for free or near free, a lot of these poor would go away. If you eliminate ignorance, you eliminate much of the poverty in this country.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Sbane on November 30, 2009, 01:59:29 am
Here's the basic thing, Vepres. The rich can afford to pay a little more without it affecting their standard of living. If you raise their taxes their standard of living will not go down, which would actually happen with upper middle class folks (and even there it would be on luxury goods only). When you tax the rich more it just leads to less investment (consumption isn't affected as much as it would be with even upper middle class folks), which actually wouldn't be such a bad thing. Remember this current crisis we are in did not occur due to a dearth of investment, but rather there was so much investment it led to bubbles in many different fields (started with the tech bubble, ended with housing and finance).


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: MaxQue on November 30, 2009, 02:09:23 am
Vepres made a valid point, education cost is making than it is harder for lower classes to climb the social ladder.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 30, 2009, 02:30:44 pm
Here's the basic thing, Vepres. The rich can afford to pay a little more without it affecting their standard of living. If you raise their taxes their standard of living will not go down, which would actually happen with upper middle class folks (and even there it would be on luxury goods only). When you tax the rich more it just leads to less investment (consumption isn't affected as much as it would be with even upper middle class folks), which actually wouldn't be such a bad thing. Remember this current crisis we are in did not occur due to a dearth of investment, but rather there was so much investment it led to bubbles in many different fields (started with the tech bubble, ended with housing and finance).

Ah, but investment would increase consumption if said investment was in a business. Again, I don't necessarily oppose a progressive tax system for practical purposes, but 60% or even 50% is too much (I recognize these are marginal). A wealthy small/medium-sized business owner would have less money to invest in his company. Many of those investments would be gained by consuming. Small businesses drive many local economies, and without wealthy venture capitalists many could not get the initial capital required to get off the ground. It is unfortunate that not all rich people use their wealth to benefit others, but most probably do, which is far more efficient because you eliminate the middle-man (government).

Now, I have a question for the Senate. Would this also tax income that a small business owner receives, even if he fully intends to put it back into the company?


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Purple State on November 30, 2009, 10:49:54 pm

I'm not concerned about someone making over $2 million a year having to pay half or slightly more of what he makes over $2 million. We are only taxing at that rate from that point on, it's not like he's going to be paying over 50% of his total income!

Good point. Some people don't understand this is the marginal tax rate.

You know, I never understood that concept until just now. Good thing to learn.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Purple State on November 30, 2009, 11:09:11 pm
http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=101096.msg2247252#msg2247252

Now you may all commence telling me how utterly incorrect I am.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Alexander Hamilton on November 30, 2009, 11:10:07 pm
http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=101096.msg2247252#msg2247252

Now you may all commence telling me how utterly incorrect I am.

I didn't know this bill was sponsored by JCP member Franzl. But I guess you still aren't utterly incorrect, are you?


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on November 30, 2009, 11:11:25 pm
Vepres made a valid point, education cost is making than it is harder for lower classes to climb the social ladder.

But his solution, my God, it sounds like.. like.. So-, Soc-, Socialism. :'(


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on November 30, 2009, 11:39:58 pm
Vepres made a valid point, education cost is making than it is harder for lower classes to climb the social ladder.

But his solution, my God, it sounds like.. like.. So-, Soc-, Socialism. :'(

I'm not as Republican as you think I am ;)

Marokai, let's agree to disagree so you can get on to your usual multi-page argument with NCYankee :P


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: afleitch on December 01, 2009, 05:55:46 am
Okay. Well that was 5 pages of fun wasn't it :P

Lets pull back a bit and remember this is Atlasia. For example the whole argument about education costs being prohibitive (while valid in reality) is not particularly relevant as education in Atlasia has been made subsidised and affordable in a previous bill (partly thanks to a small tax increase)

This system is designed to play to the strengths and weaknesses in Atlasia and in its current tax system. The GM reports it would raise revenue - check. It maintains 0% taxation for the poorest that we have had for 2 years - check. It allows us to balance the costs of our extended welfare system and hopefully pay down some debt - check. I can't oppose this bill because it adresses what Atlasia needs (and Atlasia is a vastly different place from America)

It has my support.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on December 01, 2009, 06:00:58 am
Okay. Well that was 5 pages of fun wasn't it :P

Lets pull back a bit and remember this is Atlasia. For example the whole argument about education costs being prohibitive (while valid in reality) is not particularly relevant as education in Atlasia has been made subsidised and affordable in a previous bill (partly thanks to a small tax increase)

This system is designed to play to the strengths and weaknesses in Atlasia and in its current tax system. The GM reports it would raise revenue - check. It maintains 0% taxation for the poorest that we have had for 2 years - check. It allows us to balance the costs of our extended welfare system and hopefully pay down some debt - check. I can't oppose this bill because it adresses what Atlasia needs (and Atlasia is a vastly different place from America)

It has my support.

I tried very hard to address you and Franzl's concerns, and was hoping I could have both of your backing, and I'm very happy that this bill has that. Thank you both very much.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Јas on December 01, 2009, 06:36:25 am
I'm interested in the separate provisions for tax rates for marrieds.

I'm not greatly inclined towards having tax incentives for marriage anyway but I raise the point particularly because, so far as I thought, Atlasia doesn't recognise marriage.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Franzl on December 01, 2009, 06:57:12 am
I'm interested in the separate provisions for tax rates for marrieds.

I'm not greatly inclined towards having tax incentives for marriage anyway but I raise the point particularly because, so far as I thought, Atlasia doesn't recognise marriage.

I believe Atlasia issues civil unions to any two adults, right?

I suppose we could change the wording :)


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Јas on December 01, 2009, 07:03:40 am
I'm interested in the separate provisions for tax rates for marrieds.

I'm not greatly inclined towards having tax incentives for marriage anyway but I raise the point particularly because, so far as I thought, Atlasia doesn't recognise marriage.

I believe Atlasia issues civil unions to any two adults, right?

Yeah, pretty much - subject to exceptions for incest, bigamy, etc...

I suppose we could change the wording :)

Yeah, but nonetheless I'd be grateful if Senators could discuss a bit why civil unions should be tax incentivised.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Franzl on December 01, 2009, 07:08:22 am
Yeah, but nonetheless I'd be grateful if Senators could discuss a bit why civil unions should be tax incentivised.

Respectfully, I don't feel that they are. All it does is allow both members of a civil union to earn the same amount as if they were single. If that weren't allowed, I would feel that we would be punishing civil unions.



Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Hash on December 01, 2009, 07:54:39 am
I was waiting on the GM's professional opinion to comment more on this bill since I'm not too well read in tax policy or economics, but I'm happy with the GM's analysis and I think this bill does offer a fine solution to the deficit.

Full support.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on December 01, 2009, 02:46:57 pm
Okay. Well that was 5 pages of fun wasn't it :P

Lets pull back a bit and remember this is Atlasia. For example the whole argument about education costs being prohibitive (while valid in reality) is not particularly relevant as education in Atlasia has been made subsidised and affordable in a previous bill (partly thanks to a small tax increase)

This system is designed to play to the strengths and weaknesses in Atlasia and in its current tax system. The GM reports it would raise revenue - check. It maintains 0% taxation for the poorest that we have had for 2 years - check. It allows us to balance the costs of our extended welfare system and hopefully pay down some debt - check. I can't oppose this bill because it adresses what Atlasia needs (and Atlasia is a vastly different place from America)

It has my support.

I was waiting on the GM's professional opinion to comment more on this bill since I'm not too well read in tax policy or economics, but I'm happy with the GM's analysis and I think this bill does offer a fine solution to the deficit.

Full support.

*Rips hair out* Gahhh! All that debating for nothing :'(


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on December 01, 2009, 02:52:01 pm
Quote
For example the whole argument about education costs being prohibitive (while valid in reality) is not particularly relevant as education in Atlasia has been made subsidised and affordable in a previous bill (partly thanks to a small tax increase)

Link please, I couldn't find anything subsidizing higher education on the wiki :)


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Franzl on December 01, 2009, 02:53:23 pm
Quote
For example the whole argument about education costs being prohibitive (while valid in reality) is not particularly relevant as education in Atlasia has been made subsidised and affordable in a previous bill (partly thanks to a small tax increase)

Link please, I couldn't find anything subsidizing higher education on the wiki :)

The "Help Atlasia Study Act" that I proposed did provide subsidies for higher education.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Vepres on December 01, 2009, 02:59:45 pm
Quote
For example the whole argument about education costs being prohibitive (while valid in reality) is not particularly relevant as education in Atlasia has been made subsidised and affordable in a previous bill (partly thanks to a small tax increase)

Link please, I couldn't find anything subsidizing higher education on the wiki :)

The "Help Atlasia Study Act" that I proposed did provide subsidies for higher education.

Ah, I was searching "education" and "scholarships". Thanks :)


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Alexander Hamilton on December 01, 2009, 04:29:01 pm
I'm interested in the separate provisions for tax rates for marrieds.

I'm not greatly inclined towards having tax incentives for marriage anyway but I raise the point particularly because, so far as I thought, Atlasia doesn't recognise marriage.

I believe Atlasia issues civil unions to any two adults, right?


Why only two?

Someone needs to change this.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [Debating]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on December 01, 2009, 04:30:33 pm
I believe I can change the wording without a formal amendment as PPT, so that's not a problem.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [At Final Vote]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on December 01, 2009, 05:53:43 pm
I think it's time for the final vote, we've gone as far in debate as we're going to do, I think.

I hereby open up a final vote on the following bill. Please vote Aye, Nay, or Abstain.

Quote
Fiscal Responsibility Act

Realizing that our rising budget deficit can not be left unattended indefinitely, the fundamental unfairness of our outdated income tax rates, and that we must make efforts to become more fiscally responsible, the Senate hereby authorizes the following comprehensive changes to our income tax system:

1. The following income tax brackets shall replace existing brackets for income gained in 2010 and thereafter, increasing as normal with inflation:

Single Individual

0%$0 - $8,025
14%$8,026 - $32,550
25%$32,551 - $78,850
28%$78,851 - $164,550
35%$164,551 - $367,700
41%$367,701 - $1,000,000
50%$1,000,001 - $2,500,000
60%$2,500,001+

Civil Partners Filing Jointly

0%$0 - $16,050
14%$16,051 - $65,100
25%$65,101 - $131,450
28%$131,451 - $300,300
35%$300,301 - $600,000
41%$600,001 - $1,500,000
50%$1,500,001 - $3,000,000
60%$3,000,001+

Civil Partners Filing Separately

0%$0 - $8,025
14%$8,026 - $32,550
25%$32,551 - $65,725
28%$65,726 - $150,150
35%$150,151 - $300,000
41%$300,001 - $750,000
50%$740,001 - $1,500,000
60%$1,500,001+

Head of Household

0%$0 - $11,450
14%$11,451 - $43,650
25%$43,651 - $112,650
28%$112,651 - $182,400
35%$182,401 - $367,700
41%$367,701 - $1,000,000
50%$1,000,001 - $2,500,000
60%$2,500,001+

2. The standard income tax deduction shall be raised from $5,700 to $7,000, to better care for lower income individuals and the working class of Atlasia.


One of the strongest AYEs I've ever cast in this body.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [At Final Vote]
Post by: Franzl on December 01, 2009, 05:56:29 pm
AYE, and this isn't hard to support for a true fiscal conservative.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [At Final Vote]
Post by: afleitch on December 01, 2009, 06:05:27 pm
Aye.

And may I remind the Senate if this passes there is no mandate to go on a spending spree ;) Otherwise fear my diminishing wrath :P


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [At Final Vote]
Post by: Hash on December 01, 2009, 06:11:20 pm
AYE


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [At Final Vote]
Post by: People's Speaker North Carolina Yankee on December 01, 2009, 07:02:06 pm
NAY


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [At Final Vote]
Post by: Fritz on December 01, 2009, 07:16:07 pm
Aye


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [At Final Vote]
Post by: Rowan on December 01, 2009, 07:48:53 pm
Nay


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [At Final Vote]
Post by: MaxQue on December 02, 2009, 02:24:20 am
Aye


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [At Final Vote]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on December 02, 2009, 02:45:11 am
This bill is now passing. 24 hours to change votes.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [At Final Vote]
Post by: tmthforu94 on December 02, 2009, 09:11:07 am
Nay


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [At Final Vote]
Post by: Hans-im-Glück on December 02, 2009, 10:00:26 am
AYE


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [On President's Desk]
Post by: Marokai Backbeat on December 03, 2009, 02:50:16 am
This bill is now passing. 24 hours to change votes.

This bill has passed! I now present it to the President for his signature.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [On President's Desk]
Post by: A Strange Reflection on December 03, 2009, 07:16:39 am
Yes, we did ! :D
Congratulations to the entire Senate, and especially to the DA Senators, who had the courage to support a good measure.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [On President's Desk]
Post by: Franzl on December 10, 2009, 04:41:34 pm
A week has passed since this legislation was passed.

It is therefore declared law without the President's signature.


Title: Re: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [On President's Desk]
Post by: Lief 🐋 on December 10, 2009, 05:20:45 pm
er, oops. Sorry about that. I completely missed this.

I would have signed it anyway though obviously, so no bigs.