What tax system do you prefer?

Jan 2009
5,841
50
#1
If you were to somehow be able to change the tax system of a country on your own, what system would you want and why? I recently saw this question posed on Reddit (a social bookmarking site for those not familiar with it) and was wondering how everyone here would respond.
 
Apr 2009
1,943
5
Disunited Queendom
#2
If you were to somehow be able to change the tax system of a country on your own, what system would you want and why? I recently saw this question posed on Reddit (a social bookmarking site for those not familiar with it) and was wondering how everyone here would respond.
Preferably none?

Within the current system, I would prefer a progressive tax system, that makes exemptions/concessions to those on low incomes and those that cannot work or are retired, that is based on what an individual is able to afford, that makes concessions for single-parent families, that makes concessions for cooperatives, that heavily taxes big business and the super-rich, and that is generally quite low - but at the same time doesn't leave people in the mud (but then that's an issue of revenue distribution).

In my ideal system, i'm currently working out the logistics of society without money - and how that would be implemented in practice. But so far it looks to be a sort of local token system, that operates on work and social credits. Most community funding would probably come freely through enterprise, independent organisations and events like bookfairs or cake "sales". It would really look nothing like the current system, though, so saying it probably doesn't give you a good idea of what i mean.
 
Mar 2009
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#3
I would want to change the country first, as the same tax system in different countries may look very different. Compare Canada and the US, there are less confusing rules and regulations in Canada than in the US as the tax system is applied more simple than in the US. I would like a much smaller Government come before the tax system. I don't think there is anything wrong with the tax system in the US, except all of the regulations need to be re-written and simplified so that one does not need the heavy bureaucracy that you have in the IRS and need for tax and accountant assistance in order to complete a tax return.
 
#4
Well I wouldn't create a system where rich have to pay ridiculously high amounts. It's not their job to support the poor. And by the way I'm not one of the rich ones :D I'm a stay at home mom, and it doesn't reward you. And I think it's a stupid system where you have to pay tax for the money that originally is someones tax money. I get so little every month and to have to pay taxes for that is stupid.
 
Dec 2009
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0
Canada
#6
I support a system where the rich (and corporations) just can't get richer.

I also support carbon taxes over some of the more traditional methods.
 
Apr 2009
1,943
5
Disunited Queendom
#7
Well I wouldn't create a system where rich have to pay ridiculously high amounts.
Why not? They're the ones that can afford it. Plus if you levy high tax-rates for the super-rich, at least, it would be a massive economic benefit and boost revenue, while making cuts for the poor possible.

I get so little every month and to have to pay taxes for that is stupid.
Absolutely. I'm all for tax exemptions for the poor. That's not the sentiment you just expressed, though.

I also support carbon taxes over some of the more traditional methods.
The environment should be one of the priorities, definitely, yeah.
 
Aug 2010
92
0
NH
#8
If you were to somehow be able to change the tax system of a country on your own, what system would you want and why? I recently saw this question posed on Reddit (a social bookmarking site for those not familiar with it) and was wondering how everyone here would respond.
I know this wasn't the point of your thread, but I think it's very important to ask if taxation is morally justifiable in the first place. To me, taxation is the extraction of wealth by force, i.e. theft. In more abstract terms it's an involuntary contract, where I have no say in whether I agree to give you my wealth in return for whatever services may be rendered to me. To directly answer your question, then, I'd prefer no taxes. If people want an institution(s) to provide them services that governments do these days (such as police, fire protection, roads, third party dispute resolvers, etc) I think they should be voluntarily supported.
 
Jan 2010
131
0
Alaska
#9
I prefer a flat rate. Everyone pays the same percentage of their income with no deductions, credits, box tops, coupons, or exceptions. That way there is no room for political favors or social engineering by the govt. It's a low cost, low paperwork, low hassle approach.
 
Jul 2009
5,670
406
Opa Locka
#10
I prefer a flat rate. Everyone pays the same percentage of their income with no deductions, credits, box tops, coupons, or exceptions. That way there is no room for political favors or social engineering by the govt. It's a low cost, low paperwork, low hassle approach.
It has flaws but I agree with the basic concept. <Filler>
 
Jan 2010
131
0
Alaska
#11
Why not? They're the ones that can afford it. Plus if you levy high tax-rates for the super-rich, at least, it would be a massive economic benefit and boost revenue, while making cuts for the poor possible.



Absolutely. I'm all for tax exemptions for the poor. That's not the sentiment you just expressed, though.



The environment should be one of the priorities, definitely, yeah.

Whether you think the "rich" can afford it is not your decision to make.

How did the rich get their wealth? For the vast majority, they earned it through hard work and sacrifice. Their wealth is their reward for the sacrifices they made earlier in life.

I'll use myself as an example. I am "rich", but to get to this position I risked everything I had to start a business and make it a success. For years, there was no eating at restaurants, no vacations, generic store brand food, used cars, and clipping coupons from the newspaper. I gave up my paycheck many times so I could pay employees. In the third year of business, my total income was less than $7,000, which was far below the poverty level for a family of 5. Every waking moment was spent working to make the company a success.

Now it is a success, which means I get to reap the rewards of my efforts and sacrifices. Its also a success for the community and the govt. I created jobs, pay unemployment and payroll taxes, and the employees pay income taxes. Its a "win" for everyone.

One of the reasons I went to the trouble was to reap the financial rewards. Thats the flaw of an extremely progressive tax system or a socialist or communist system - it takes the reward away. Take the financial reward away, and I would not have bothered starting a new company and creating those jobs.

And you overestimate the wealth in the "rich" classes. Look at the IRS tax data. If the govt took every penny of income from everyone whose total income exceeded $200,000, it would just balance last years federal budget.
 
Jul 2009
5,670
406
Opa Locka
#12
Whether you think the "rich" can afford it is not your decision to make.

How did the rich get their wealth? For the vast majority, they earned it through hard work and sacrifice. Their wealth is their reward for the sacrifices they made earlier in life.

I'll use myself as an example. I am "rich", but to get to this position I risked everything I had to start a business and make it a success. For years, there was no eating at restaurants, no vacations, generic store brand food, used cars, and clipping coupons from the newspaper. I gave up my paycheck many times so I could pay employees. In the third year of business, my total income was less than $7,000, which was far below the poverty level for a family of 5. Every waking moment was spent working to make the company a success.

Now it is a success, which means I get to reap the rewards of my efforts and sacrifices. Its also a success for the community and the govt. I created jobs, pay unemployment and payroll taxes, and the employees pay income taxes. Its a "win" for everyone.

One of the reasons I went to the trouble was to reap the financial rewards. Thats the flaw of an extremely progressive tax system or a socialist or communist system - it takes the reward away. Take the financial reward away, and I would not have bothered starting a new company and creating those jobs.

And you overestimate the wealth in the "rich" classes. Look at the IRS tax data. If the govt took every penny of income from everyone whose total income exceeded $200,000, it would just balance last years federal budget.
And that's different from a socialist system how? In a socialist system, you could have still done all that. What you couldn't[/I ]do is rip off your employees, cut corners, scam others and otherwise milk society for all it's worth. Off topic but I just wanted to clear that up.
 
Jan 2009
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#13
And that's different from a socialist system how? In a socialist system, you could have still done all that. What you couldn't[/I ]do is rip off your employees, cut corners, scam others and otherwise milk society for all it's worth. Off topic but I just wanted to clear that up.

Dave already said how its different from a socialist system and it's extremely progressive tax system, which does remove the incentive to work. I know the US currently has a progressive system, but most socialists would go for making it even more extreme and the fact that it even exists in the US shows that we aren't as capitalist as some may think we are.

As for ripping off employees, scamming, etc.- that could happen in any system. I would rather have it happen in a system where the crooks can get prosecuted for doing it instead of having those who are doing the scamming also be the prosecutors ;)
 
Jul 2009
5,670
406
Opa Locka
#14
Dave already said how its different from a socialist system and it's extremely progressive tax system, which does remove the incentive to work. I know the US currently has a progressive system, but most socialists would go for making it even more extreme and the fact that it even exists in the US shows that we aren't as capitalist as some may think we are.

As for ripping off employees, scamming, etc.- that could happen in any system. I would rather have it happen in a system where the crooks can get prosecuted for doing it instead of having those who are doing the scamming also be the prosecutors ;)
myp, do we really want to start this debate again? My position has been argued to death.
 
Jul 2009
5,670
406
Opa Locka
#16
As has mine. You can't say fraud is limited to capitalism though- it happens in any system.
I've never made that claim. All I said was that his story, as a small business owner, could fit in a socialist economy. This despite his claim that socialism would have prevented his success.

Hell being a small business owner was a constitutional right in the early (and argubly the only point it was ever trully socialist) Soviet Union.
 
Jan 2009
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#17
I've never made that claim. All I said was that his story, as a small business owner, could fit in a socialist economy. This despite his claim that socialism would have prevented his success.
You said that in a socialist system and I quote:
"What you couldn't[/I ]do is rip off your employees, cut corners, scam others and otherwise milk society for all it's worth. Off topic but I just wanted to clear that up."

As for having the same opportunity, with a higher progressive tax, that would not be the case. It doesn't matter what socialist theory says because in practice people are driven by incentives and if there is very little incentive to earn more, most people won't.
 
Jul 2009
5,670
406
Opa Locka
#18
You said that in a socialist system and I quote:
"What you couldn't[/I ]do is rip off your employees, cut corners, scam others and otherwise milk society for all it's worth. Off topic but I just wanted to clear that up."

As for having the same opportunity, with a higher progressive tax, that would not be the case. It doesn't matter what socialist theory says because in practice people are driven by incentives and if there is very little incentive to earn more, most people won't.


TBH, this is way off topic. If you wish to split the relevant posts into their own topic or start 1 yourself, I'll happily continue. Otherwise we should dispense with the capitalism vs. socialism debate and get back to taxation.

And as a refresher, in case it was lost in our side debate, I don't support a progressive tax. I'm more in favor of a not quite flat tax, more in line with the libertarian position then most socialists.
 
Jan 2010
131
0
Alaska
#19
And that's different from a socialist system how? In a socialist system, you could have still done all that. What you couldn't[/I ]do is rip off your employees, cut corners, scam others and otherwise milk society for all it's worth. Off topic but I just wanted to clear that up.


You seem to think that corporations are inherently evil, i.e., they rip off employees, cut corners, scam others.

You also seem to think that changing the structure of society (a socialist system) will solve that problem.

The problem is not the system, its the people. A corporation, union, charitable organization, non-profit, or government are all mechanisms that allow people to work cooperatively to achieve a common goal. They are all subject to abusing their members (employees for a corproation), cutting corners, or leaching off of society because they are run by people.

The only solution is to prevent excessive power from accumulating in an organization. That was the genius of the Founding Fathers, they strictly limited the power of the federal government. That is also the flaw in socialist systems, at some point they empower select groups (committees) to allocate resources or make decisions for society. People on those committees become corrupt in the same way we see Congressmen becoming corrupt.
 
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#20
I prefer a flat rate. Everyone pays the same percentage of their income with no deductions, credits, box tops, coupons, or exceptions. That way there is no room for political favors or social engineering by the govt. It's a low cost, low paperwork, low hassle approach.
you left out the best part.... we could get rid of the IRS :)