[FoRK] Weird... interesting.

Damien Morton dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Tue Apr 14 13:44:56 PDT 2009

I call bullshit on this.
What's really crushing you isn't progressive taxation, but the litany of
minor taxes and charges being applied to you by multiple authorities over
which you have no control. In addition, the US tax system is basically one
long list of exceptions.

Once you add up all the state, local and value-added taxes, you are
absolutely fucked. And in this recession, every duly constituted tax pig is
out to gain revenue. For example, at one point I sat down and looked at what
my tax burden in San Francsio would be, comparing it to Australia - it
turned out that my tax burden in San Fran was 10% or so higher than in
Australia, even though you get far more government services in Australia
than you do in the US. The federal tax was fine; it was all the minor levies
on top - the nickel and diming of America - the death of a thousand cuts.

Does anyone remember the rider on one of the first bailout bills that
exempted makers of certain kinds of wooden arrows from one duty/charge/tax
or another. Does anyone remember the chuckles that went on. It struck me how
there was no outrage; how there was no investigation; how it wasnt rescinded
for being ridiculous. Corruption and graft are just seen as the price of
doing business. You want your bailout bill for the entire nation; well then,
I will vote for it if you exempt my retarded cousins toy bow and arrow
factory from taxes. No problem. Fuck man, I really wish I could sneak into
congress one day and add a few paragraphs into bills. It would only take one
or two minor exemptions before you start making some real money.

You talk about how you are able to arrange it so that your parents
(apparently wealthy, if retired) are able to pay no taxes, while you
yourself (an employed IT professional) are being crushed by taxes. Does it
not strike you as odd that they seemingly have a lot of rules that can be
bent and worked with, while you dont?

On Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 6:20 AM, HK Pang <hkpang at gmail.com> wrote:

> I bet you haven't done other people's tax return!
> I just finished mine and my parents (I do this everything for the past
> 20+ years).
> Every year, I came up with all sort of legal ways to get nearly every
> single dollar back for my parents.
> At the same, my tax burden goes higher and higher every year. I'm no
> way near rich, I'm just your typical IT guy.
> I'm happy for my parents, they have a better retirement portfolio as
> well as more disposable income. I, on the othe hand, often have accept
> favors from them like free food and child care, etc out of neccessity.
> And I have more years of educations than both of my parents combined.
> There is definitely a real sense of injustice among the middle class.
> Whining aside, I definitely _feel_ better if the tax is flat rate even
> if salaries have to be adjusted acorss the broad to match the current
> after-tax level.
> On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 3:07 PM, Bill Stoddard <wgstoddard at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Jeff Bone wrote:
> >>
> >> So I'm out on the road, pick up the USA Today this morning at the hotel
> >> room door and am flipping through.  Somebody calling himself William "1
> >> Individual" has taken out a full-page add detailing a series of fiscal
> and
> >> governmental policy proposals and urging folks to call their
> Congressional
> >> reps and Senators and support them.  Now, this smacks heavily of nutter,
> but
> >> the proposals in general are for the most part pretty sound.
> >
> > This looks like a well funded 'stealth' advertising campaign for the flat
> > tax.   One knee jerk response from flat tax advocates is that it's
> 'fair'.
> >  I'm far from convinced that a flat tax is fair in any sense of the word.
> >  It feels intuitively obvious to me that the wealthier members of society
> > derive disproportionately more benefit from infrastructure (highways,
> roads,
> > airports, air traffic control systems), government enforcement of
> commerce
> > laws, government 'realpolitik' in support of capitalist agenda, etc. than
> > the less wealthy (draw the line for what's considered 'wealthy' anywhere
> you
> > want.. same hypothesis applies) .  So yes, a 'wealthy' person pays 'more'
> in
> > absolute terms with a flat tax, but he's getting a much better return on
> his
> > 'investment' in infrastructure.  So, a flat tax fails the 'fairness test'
> by
> > the most basic principle of 'paying your fair share for services you
> consume
> > and benefit you derive from those services'.    Fat tails and all that...
> > comments?
> > Bill
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
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