44
   

Why should rich people pay a greater share of their wealth to taxes?

 
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 03:38 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:



1, America is for the most part a europe-descended society, and the experiment of allowing the 'nobility' to amass unlimited wealth and power didn't end well there, in the opinion of the founders of our society. Progressive taxes help fight this phenomena of concentration of power amongst the tiny few.

NO, THAT STILL HAPPENS.

2, the rich can afford to pay much higher rates without significantly damaging their lifestyle or ability to engage in society. If they aren't meaningfully harmed by the tax rates, there's no reason not to charge them, because we need the money!

SO YOU'RE WILLING TO HAVE YOUR BROTHER, WHO EARNS LESS THAN YOU AND MAY HAVE FIVE KIDS, RECIEVE A SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER PORTION OF YOUR PARENTS' LEAVINGS SIMPLY BECAUSE OF HIS DECISIONS? HAVING 5 KIDS AND CONTENT TO WORK IN A LOWER PAID JOB? HOW IS THAT FAIR? WHAT IF YOU HAD 7 KIDS AND TWO DIVORCES TO PAY FOR? SHOULD YOUR PARENTS LEAVE YOU MORE THAN YOUR BROTHER?

If those aren't convincing or worth further discussion, I'm willing to move on to other arguments if you like.

NEITHER OF THOSE WERE CONVINCING.

WHY SHOULD SOMEONE WHO HAS WORKED HARD ALL HIS/HER LIFE PAY MORE SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THEIR EFFORTS?

WHY SHOULD THERE BE DEATH TAXES? THERE SHOULDN'T. THERE ARE MANY THINGS WRONG WITH OUR SYSTEMS, AND TAXATION IS ONE OF THEM.

Cycloptichorn
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 03:40 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:

I think that's a better case to make for a high (even if flat) estate tax, not progressive taxation. In any case I don't think progressive taxes affects that phenomenon much at all and the wealthy, the powerful etc will always be the few by definition.


The Estate tax only captures the super-rich and fools. There are a wide variety of ways around it, with proper planning toward the end of one's life. So that's not adequate by itself. Progressive taxes handle this problem without waiting for death, without significantly impacting the standard of living of anyone at all. Nobody who is 'rich' today is being taxed into not being rich anymore.

It doesn't matter if the rich are always few, if the wealth gap between them and everyone else is so large as to create an oligarchy...

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 03:49 pm
@Mame,
I can't agree with any of your conclusions.

Quote:

NO, THAT STILL HAPPENS.


(regarding the concentration of power amongst the few)

Yes, progressive taxes don't prevent this; they only HELP the problem be smaller. And it truly is; the gap between rich and poor is far smaller now than in the Noble era.

Quote:
SO YOU'RE WILLING TO HAVE YOUR BROTHER, WHO EARNS LESS THAN YOU AND MAY HAVE FIVE KIDS, RECIEVE A SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER PORTION OF YOUR PARENTS' LEAVINGS SIMPLY BECAUSE OF HIS DECISIONS? HAVING 5 KIDS AND CONTENT TO WORK IN A LOWER PAID JOB? HOW IS THAT FAIR? WHAT IF YOU HAD 7 KIDS AND TWO DIVORCES TO PAY FOR? SHOULD YOUR PARENTS LEAVE YOU MORE THAN YOUR BROTHER?


Sure, why not? I don't need any of my parents money! My idiot brother's kids need it more than I do - their dad's a fool! Why should I be stingy about it?

Quote:
WHY SHOULD SOMEONE WHO HAS WORKED HARD ALL HIS/HER LIFE PAY MORE SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THEIR EFFORTS?


I categorically reject the assumption that those who are wealthy have worked any harder than those who are not. It is a false narrative and one which does not describe the real-world situation many find themselves in.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  8  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 04:03 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I think the benefits of government extend to the wealthy more than the poor. While an excellent infrastructure reduces prices for the poor and middle class, it dramatically improves the productivity of businesses owned by the rich. The benefits of a well regulated financial system also dramatically favor the rich who benefit more from ready access to capital than the poor who might see a slightly smaller interest payment on their car loans. To a large extent, this is even true of national security since the rich have much more to lose if sea lanes are not free or political unrest causes destruction of property. The rich also gain dramatically by being able to harvest the products of a good education system and then gain again by having a middle class with the financial ability to purchase consumer goods and drive the economy. It is to the advantage of the rich to keep these systems running and healthy much more than it is for the poor who generally only see benefits after they trickle down through the layers of the economy.

I would even argue the concept that the rich pay more on a percentage basis. Taxes on gas, energy and utilities, sales taxes, cigarette and liquor taxes, etc all fall much harder on the poor and middle class because they spend almost all their money on those items instead of the small fraction the rich pay. Additionally the poor often face institutional costs because they cannot leverage their money to reduce fees on things like banking where stakeholders (rich) benefit by having a virtual monopoly of fees for services the poor require.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 04:28 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
I think the benefits of government extend to the wealthy more than the poor. While an excellent infrastructure reduces prices for the poor and middle class, it dramatically improves the productivity of businesses owned by the rich.


And they pay much more in total taxes, this makes sense given their greater use of infrastructure but I don't think it makes sense if you are justifying that they should pay a larger percentage.

Use more pay more is a concept that works perfectly well with a flat tax.

As for things like banking fees I have no idea how you tie that to taxes.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 05:56 pm
Wealthy people have benefited more from the activities of government, and will continue to benefit more from them than the middle, working and poor classes. At the time of Tailgunner Joe McCarthy, everybody was looking for commies in the closet and in government, but nobody gave a rat's ass about the highest nominal tax rate, which was about 90% for the wealthiest individuals. It was Ronnie Raygun who introduced the idea that somehow, higher taxes on the wealthy consituted theft.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 05:57 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Regarding banking, it's part of the total cost of supporting the system that drives our country. A well funded banking system is essential and those with significant funds best reap the benefits of it, but they also pay the lowest fees.

Regarding infrastructure and related expenses, the rich gain far more proportionally than their higher usage would indicate. They are able to parley those benefits into dramatically more wealth because they can access a wider array of benefits to reap a multiplier effect. Almost everything the government does helps the poor a little, the middle class a little more and the rich a lot. That's not bad since the rich turn around and hire the middle class then the middle class turns around and hires the poor. For the rich, taxes are a case of spend money to make money. The rich do not benefit when their taxes go down by a few thousand dollars (that they won't notice) but the police department is cut in size, (crime directly and strongly correlates to police presence) since an uptick in crime will do more harm to their property values and way of life than will ever be made up by lower taxes. Nor do they benefit when the SEC doesn't have the resources to investigate financial fraud, both because they fall prey to the Enrons and Madoffs of the world and because they must spend more money to compete in a lawless climate. Their businesses don't benefit when there is a lack of trained applicants due to education cuts and they will face increase hiring and training costs for college educated workers when the lack of affordable college options reduces the candidate pool for specialized skills. If increased demand means higher prices and more profit, then shifting taxes onto the poor means less demand, less opportunity for profit, less business activity all of which hurt the poor because there are fewer jobs, but hurt the rich more on a dollar for dollar basis. They lose when overworked, understaffed and underpaid judges and prosecutors fail to administer justice or uphold the law evenly. The list goes on. These are all benefits the rich take for granted in our society, but are all now under attack. All of those rich folks out there like to think they did it all on their own, but we have a pretty decent support system that helped them along the way, a system that might not be there for the next generation of potentially rich people. I think we all would agree that raw talent and drive aren't enough in most cases. You have to put those people into a system that allows them to make the most of their talents and that system costs money.

Unlike the US of the 1900's, we are now a resource constrained country. We are constrained in natural resources, desirable land resources and most of all in people resources. Taxing the rich at a higher rate allows the government to focus more effort on driving efficiency improvements through infrastructure, regulation and education. (Yes, I believe that regulation done correctly is an efficiency enhancement because everyone knows the rules and doesn't have to spend time trying to figure out how to subvert them.) All of these efficiency gains bestow gains to the rich far outweighing the cost in higher taxes IMO. Paying higher taxes, both in absolute terms and in percentage terms is a pretty reasonable investment to keep the good times going.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 06:01 pm
Look here for tax rates from the inception of the income tax to the present The source is the National Taxpayers' Union. I was wrong about the rate in the McCarthy era--it was at 91% and went up to 92%. It fell to 50% in 1982 and has declined ever since. Also, nobody worried so mcuh about loopholes and tax shelters in those days, as long as everything was in the open an above board. These were seen as legitimate wasy for the wealthy to protect their income and also benefit society--such as charitable contributions, legally constituted trust funds, self-funded pensions, etc.

Capitalists benefit more from the actions of government and so they should pay more.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 07:32 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

(most of the ones cutting jobs are losing money).

That's utter hogwash.
Look at the graphs in the Mother Jones magazine.
http://able2know.org/topic/174736-1

Titled : The Growth is back,
https://motherjones.com/files/images/change-in-gdp-300.gif
Titled: But jobs aren't,
https://motherjones.com/files/images/change-in-employment-300_0.gif

The practice of mass layoffs under profitable times has gone back to the 1980's.
Dave World
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 08:30 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Most of the ones "cutting" jobs are doing so by moving them to third world countries where they pay local people pennies per hour to work in atrocious conditions. They don't CUT jobs, they take them from Americans whom they then expect to buy the products that used to be made here. Even the Nazi sympathizer Henry Ford knew that he had to pay his workers enough money that they could buy the cars they were building.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 08:32 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I'm not sure what I think, reading along.

Oh, wait, Set will say I'm drunk.
0 Replies
 
Dave World
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 08:40 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Come on, nobody needs a billion dollars. People who have that kind of money have invariably built their fortunes upon the backs of workers. It is called a progressive income tax. That is how it should be. Right now we have welfare for the rich, and a paltry few "entitlements" for the rest of us.
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 08:54 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
Why should rich people pay a greater share of their wealth to taxes?

For a combination of two reasons:
  1. The marginal utility of income declines as income increases---a fact even ultra-libertarian economists accept.

  2. Being a Utilitarian, I believe public policy should seek to maximize total utility. As long as it can increase total utility by redistributing more income from millionaires to beggars, that's what it should keep doing.
To us Utilitarians, then, a flat tax isn't unfair, but it wastes opportunities for greater happiness for a greater number. We'd rather seize those opportunities.
Dave World
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 09:02 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Giving tax breaks to people "under the poverty line" as you put it is absurd. Wow, they get to keep 100% of the money they don't earn. Whoopee! They still pay taxes on everything they buy, including the gasoline they must burn to get to their jobs at WalMart and McDonalds. Meanwhile, the rich shelter their earnings in banks in the Cayman Islands, et cetera. And that includes the dividends they get on stocks of companies which make profits that they pay no taxes on. I wish people who spout off about this stuff would bother to actually learn something about what is really going on.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 09:56 pm
For me it is two things both of which relate to what type of society I want to live in.

First, income inequality is a bad thing. Societies with higher income inequality have more crime, more poverty and a lower standard of living. Taxing the wealthy to pay for the poor is the way that we provide near universal education and have reduce the number of elderly people dying of starvation in the streets.

Second, wealthy people can afford it. A functioning government needs money. Wealthy people can give a higher proportion of their income with less impact on their happiness or standard of living.

Let's turn it around. Why shouldn't rich people pay a greater share of their wealth in taxes. There isn't anything bad with a progressive income tax. Taxes are justified under our social contract. We set up a system of rules as necessary to make a stable society that reflects our values. A progressive tax system does a better job of this.

I am a moderate in issue. I think a flat tax (where everyone pays the same percentage) would be a very bad thing. I think that a complete progressive system where everyone ends up with the same income is equally bad.

There is a good balanced system somewhere in the middle.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 09:59 pm
I also challenge the idea that wealth is earned. I know people who work harder than I do who earn much less. I was fortunate to have educated parents (which correlates pretty strongly with wealth) and being a white male doesn't hurt.

I believe that people as fortunate as I have been should pay more in taxes.
squeezy123
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 10:29 pm
@Robert Gentel,
"To put it in numbers, according to the analysis, the top 1 percent of earners account for 20.3 percent of total personal income in the United States and pay 21.5 percent of all federal and state taxes. The middle 20 percent of households earn 11.6 percent of US income and pay 10.3 percent of taxes. The lowest 20 percent account for just 3.5 percent of income, and pay 2 percent of all taxes."

"The current structure of tax brackets has rates that start at 10 percent of income at the low end and rise to 35 percent for the highest earners. In the middle are brackets of 15, 25, 28, and 33 percent. "

But the rich obviously don't pay that much, 35%, in taxes due to tax write offs and deductions.

So it seems that if I go around and try to find jobs, or work hard and get offered jobs, that pay better I get more of the money I work for taken away.

From a Christian moral stand point it makes no sense. Why should I get more of my money taken away when I work hard for it than someone that makes no effort in their job and thinks that being bad at worst and mediocre at best is the standard?

"Go to the ant, sluggard; consider her ways and be wise; who having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provides her food in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest."

What makes this more interesting is that those people get tax credits. because they aren't willing to work their way to a better job.

"Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labour increases it."
I think taxes could be considered fraud. A tax is similar to the middle school bully taking the other kids lunch money so he can have more food for himself and they have less.

and
"Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have."

So those with less money should be happy with having less money than say Warren Buffet. If that doesn't make sense then think about what happens when people aren't content with what they have. I can think of a couple:
World War II
The Crusades
The Korean War
The Napoleonic Wars.

I'm sure you all can think of other examples.

So in conclusion; be content with what you have and if you want more then work hard for what you want, like Napoleon or Hitler or The Crusaders. They didn't all have noble causes but when they worked for what they wanted they got it, for the most part.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 10:39 pm
@squeezy123,
Why don't Christians ever read the Bible?

Quote:
All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.


Acts 2

Quote:

There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.


If you want to be selfish and uncaring, fine. But leave Jesus out of it.



OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 11:11 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
Why should rich people pay a greater share of their wealth to taxes?
Thay shoud NOT.
The goal shoud be, insofar as practicable, that everyone shoud pay
the same amount of cash, in consideration of the same availability of government services,
the same as paying for any service.

Remember: the 16th Amendment does NOT authorize DISCRIMINATION.





David
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2011 12:08 am
@Robert Gentel,
To me it boils down to what sort of society we want to live in.
One with huge discrepancies in wealth (& the disproportionate amount of power that comes with it) or one that is fairer to all its citizens?
Call me whatever derisive political terms you like, but I strongly favour a society which treats all citizens with some respect & fairness. And doesn't treat the poorest as mere cogs in a wheel of some demand & supply economic theory.
As if anyone chooses to be a garbage collector, or chooses to be unemployed.
As if anyone chooses to live in poverty. Say nothing of impose it on their children.

But taxing the garbage collector at the same rate a really well paid CEO is going to make a huge difference to the garbage collector's disposable income, compared to the CEO.
They are simply not in the same boat.
Nor did they find themselves in the same boat as a result of their contribution in the workplace, the society they live and work in.

You cannot persuade me that all the folk who are in the highest earning category got to where they got by their own merits. That they all actually earned their advantage. Where would James Murdoch, say, be without the acquired benefits of his father's empire, which was built on Rupert Murdoch's own father's achievements?
It is not as if every generation starts anew & there is no inherited wealth & considerable advantage That comes with the wealth.

Yes, I'm talking about redistributing wealth (to the extent it is actually possible, in a capitalist society) for the common good.
By the "common good" I mean that people can actually afford the basic necessities of life, that they can actually have half-decent lives which are not ground down by struggling to get by, lurching from one crisis to the next, that their children are not ground down by their parents' circumstances .....

0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/24/2021 at 04:20:42