[FoRK] Weird... interesting.

Kent Spaulding kent at iotabits.com
Tue Apr 14 14:14:08 PDT 2009


http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MmFlY2M0NWUzNmMxMDZjYWVlMmNlNzA3ZjJkOTM5Mzk=

On Apr 14, 2009, at 1:44 PM, Damien Morton wrote:

> 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 rescinded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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