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Author Topic: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [On President's Desk]  (Read 10039 times)
Vepres
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« 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!
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Vepres
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« Reply #1 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 Tongue

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 Sad Sad Sad

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.

Roll Eyes 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.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 04:36:53 pm by Governor Vepres »Logged
Vepres
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« Reply #2 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.
 
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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 OUncle Scrooge.

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

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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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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.
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Vepres
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2009, 05:20:47 pm »

Alright, I was exaggerating on the NYC thing, but look at this:

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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

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 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.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 05:29:11 pm by Governor Vepres »Logged
Vepres
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« Reply #4 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 Tongue (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
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Vepres
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« Reply #5 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 Tongue

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 Smiley, and thanks for pointing out those silly arguments of mine Wink (embarrassing for me really Tongue)
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Vepres
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« Reply #6 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.
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Vepres
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2009, 08:27:37 pm »

Oooo, I have the honor of being quoted in Marokai's signature, I'm flattered! Tongue
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 08:33:04 pm by Governor Vepres »Logged
Vepres
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« Reply #8 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?
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Vepres
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« Reply #9 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 Tongue
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Vepres
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« Reply #10 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
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Vepres
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« Reply #11 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 Tongue

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.
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Vepres
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2009, 11:23:10 pm »

Did you know 98% of statistics are made up Tongue (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 Tongue
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Vepres
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« Reply #13 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. Tongue

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.
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Vepres
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« Reply #14 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. Tongue

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.
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Vepres
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« Reply #15 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 Tongue
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 01:05:11 am by Governor Vepres »Logged
Vepres
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« Reply #16 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.
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« Reply #17 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 Tongue
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 11:53:53 pm by Governor Vepres »Logged
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« Reply #18 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 Tongue

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 Tongue

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 Grin", 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?
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Vepres
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« Reply #19 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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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 Tongue

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 Wink

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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").

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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.
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« Reply #20 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?
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« Reply #21 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. Cry

I'm not as Republican as you think I am Wink

Marokai, let's agree to disagree so you can get on to your usual multi-page argument with NCYankee Tongue
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« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2009, 02:46:57 pm »

Okay. Well that was 5 pages of fun wasn't it Tongue

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 Cry
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« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2009, 02:52:01 pm »

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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 Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2009, 02:59:45 pm »

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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 Smiley

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

Ah, I was searching "education" and "scholarships". Thanks Smiley
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