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Simplifying the tax code

  1. Freeway Flyer profile image84
    Freeway Flyerposted 6 years ago

    I'm no economics expert, but I've noticed that people from all sides of the political spectrum don't like the American tax code. Republicans always want to cut taxes, and Democrats want to close loopholes.

    It also seems to me that taxes on both businesses and individuals could be lowered if the "system" of various loopholes and tax breaks could be wiped away and replaced by some form of flat tax. Big corporations and wealthy individuals, after all, have an advantage over the rest of us. They can afford to spend money on accountants, lawyers, and lobbyists to help them "work the system."

    Of course, simplifying the tax code might hurt the wealthy, big corporations, IRS bureaucrats, accountants, and tax lawyers. Also, politicians will no longer be able to use the tax code to push their agendas or to do favors for their campaign donors. I guess this is why neither party does much to bring some logic to the system, and to help the average consumers or small business owners who are they key to our financial future.

    1. weholdthesetruths profile image61
      weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The GOP is way too spineless to do anything that upsets the Democrats, and the Democrats would never do anything that might improve things.  Thus, our stalemate.   

      Ideally, we repeal the 16the Amendment, and implement a RETAIL sales tax.   We can abolish the IRS, and save about a half to a trillion dollars a year, which is wasted on accounting, tax compliance, lawyers, and a massive enforcement/collections beaurocracy.    This would immediately make our country the hottest target in the world for investment, production, and wealth creation.   Viola!   Employment and a good economy.

      1. Freeway Flyer profile image84
        Freeway Flyerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Whatever is done, it should be simplified, so, as you said, the bureaucracy can be trimmed (and lobbyists will have less to do.)

  2. wilderness profile image95
    wildernessposted 6 years ago

    Current tax code is more, in my opinion, for social engineering and to gain votes than it is to actually raise revenue.  As such a flat tax is absolutely DOA.

  3. dutchman1951 profile image60
    dutchman1951posted 6 years ago

    Obama's simplified Tax Form for for Small Business in the next comming years!


    Line 1; What was your total Net Net for Current year_____________________

    Line 2; Send it in...

    1. Freeway Flyer profile image84
      Freeway Flyerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Might be a slight exaggeration. As the financial bailouts of the last couple of years reveal, both parties are much friendlier toward big business than small.

      1. Doug Hughes profile image59
        Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Money talks in campaigning - if you want to get elected, you have to be careful what corporate enemis you make. Those enemies won't  contribute to you, but the more hostile they are, the more money they will contribute to the opposition. But consider this -

        The Supreme Court decided that money = free speech. That was the ruling and they struck down $$$ limits placed on corporations. The democrats tried with a bill (google 'Disclose Act') to require that the source of funds must be revealed in campaign ads so the voter would know who's bankrolling the political commercial. And the GOP voted it down.  So who do you think your friends are?

        1. Freeway Flyer profile image84
          Freeway Flyerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          The GOP still has the lead in my mind for the more pathetic of the two.

  4. Evan G Rogers profile image82
    Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago

    taxes should be stopped. I'm fully in favor of replacing every tax with a 0% flat tax.

    1. Aya Katz profile image88
      Aya Katzposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Great idea. How do we implement it?

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Easy.  Evan has volunteered to pay and supply the military, repair the failing roads and bridges and will personally perform all safety and food inspections currently done by govt. employees.  big_smile

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          hell yeah i would - i'd make millions!!

          I'll INVEST PRIVATE MONEY to repair bridges, and then to recouperate those investments, i'll think out a system of payment so that people who use the roads will pay me money. I'll not only do a better job of maintaining roads (which would be a very easy accomplishment), but it would be cheaper because of rampant horrendous competition.

          Then, with the military, I'll get rich again - I'll start up a training program to train a militia and then people who feel as though they might be invaded can pay a sort of "military insurance" to me, and I'll work round the clock to make sure they don't get invaded, and if they do, that the invasion would be ended quickly and calmly. Having innocents killed would be horrible for PR, so I'd likely do a better job of keeping civilians un-harmed (because I can't just pass a law saying "nope, the press can't read about me murdering people", like our current military does). There would be "military insurance" competition, and thus those that get the job done the best, fastest, and with the least blowback would easily keep their jobs and get more money.

          And with food inspection... do we really need it? If a hostess cupcake has rat poison in it, and it kills some guy... not only does this sort of scenario happen everyday here in the US, but also consumers still eat the damned things. Well, either way - if consumers value this sort of thing, then they would invest money in "Consumer Reports"... oh wait, that already exists, and it would likely cover "food products" if the government didn't have a monopoly on that sort of thing.

          ...

          ...

          So, I easily handled your argument...

    2. Freeway Flyer profile image84
      Freeway Flyerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      OK. So we basically have no federal government? Or are you just referring to income taxes?

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        No federal government? where do I sign up!

        Finally, gays will be allowed to be married! We won't start irrational wars!! We won't bomb innocents in the middle east for no reason!!! We wont' be wasting Nobel Prizes on "cool" people!!

        1. Pcunix profile image88
          Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          No, gays wouldn't be allowed.  And we'd have slavery again.  And company stores and adulterated food and all of the other things that a strong central government prevents.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Maybe I spoke too soon on the gay issue,

            but slavery was only really economical because of Federal support of it.

          2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            how does "getting rid of taxes" immediately lead to "we'll have slaves"?

            That's a jump.

          3. weholdthesetruths profile image61
            weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Why do you think that?   None of your arguments are factual.    The federal government does the least in regards to food safety, defending our freedom, etc.   Strong central governments tend to prevent progress and tend to impoverish the nation, but not much else.

            1. Sylvie Strong profile image60
              Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              By contrast, your post is chock full of facts.

              1. weholdthesetruths profile image61
                weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                You actually agree with the notion, that absent the federal government, the US would re-institute slavery,  Jim Crow laws, that farmers would deliverately sabotage their products to make people sick, that the states would have no mechanism to enforce liability upon people who sell contaminated food, etc? 

                This religion of the federal government being holy, and all else evil is just plain insanity.

  5. Pcunix profile image88
    Pcunixposted 6 years ago

    Flat taxes are regressive - they punish low income people.

    That's why rich Republicans love the idea.

    I'd be all for high taxes on luxuries, but it is very hard to exclude the right things.

    Taxes suck.  There is no good solution.

    1. Freeway Flyer profile image84
      Freeway Flyerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      "Flat tax" was probably not the best term for me to use. What if the there were progressive tax rates for different income levels, but various loopholes and tax breaks were wiped out? People pay a fixed percentage that is lower than now, and that's it.

    2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I'm a sort-of-well-off middle class-ish Libertarian

      I'm all for flat taxes- a single flat tax of 0%!!! Sign me up!

    3. Tim_511 profile image78
      Tim_511posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      How in the world are flat taxes regressive?  Democrats (actually the left in general) love stealing from rich people.  Maybe giving some money to poorer people helps sooth their conscience - I don't know.  Poor people pay less than rich people. 

      Frankly, the whole idea of a graduated income tax is horrifying to someone who believes in small government and independence.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        correction: the whole idea of TAXES is horrifying to someone who believes in small government.

        I kid, I kid.

        But I do think they should be eliminated. All of them.

  6. wilderness profile image95
    wildernessposted 6 years ago

    Are you sure about the regressive part, Pcunix?  After Federal, state and FICA taxes about 1/3 of my puny income vanishes into the governments great maw.  I find it hard to believe that someone with say, a million income pays anywhere near that much.

    1. Doug Hughes profile image59
      Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      A lot of people don't realize that the 'flat tax' - is a sucker bet that favors the rich. Here's why. Someone with a 'puny income' spends  100% of what they earn - regardless of what the tax rate is, they pay the max.  Someone who makes a half-million per year probably spends way less than half of that, even with new cars and a big house.  SO they pay a lot LESS (as a percentage) than the guy at the bottom who earns less. The money they invest, they make even MORE money with various investments - which under the flat tax formula - they don't pay taxes on until they spend it.

      The idea allows the rich to roll a bigger and bigger snowball of wealth which they DON'T pay taxes on!!!  And leaves the burden of taxation on the working stiff who can least afford it.

      1. Kidgas profile image77
        Kidgasposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Even the current tax system favors the rich in the same manner.  Bill Gates does not spend all of his wealth or income every year and would not under a flat tax system either.

        Making a flat tax with brackets as we have now could be a workable system as well.  Exempting the first "x" amount of income so that the poor actually pay zero tax would not make the system regressive.  Then brackets at "x" percentage all the way up would probably raise more revenue if the government actually got 40% of Buffet's and Gates' income from $1 million on up for example.  You could include all sources of income and not differentiate passive and active incomes.

      2. Pcunix profile image88
        Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        If we could find a way to get that sales tax money BACK to the working class stiffs, it could work.  The little people would get back what they paid for necessities, the rich wouldn't.  So instead of filing an income tax, you'd be filing a refund claim - or not bothering if you made too much.  That COULD work.

        But I see the big problem as that the rate  would have to be much higher than all these starry eyed Fox watchers think.   It wouldn't be the 10 or 15% they toss around - probably closer to 50% after giving back all the "necessity" money..

        1. Doug Hughes profile image59
          Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          The only way a flat tax (as a replacement for the income tax) wold work is if it was coupled with a STEEP federal property tax.  The average Joe would we largely exempt. The top 1% owns a third of the net worth of the country. Look again the top ONE PERCNT owns a third of everything -  so a property tax would be the most progresive tax.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            No- i got it, we'll put the flat tax on "bank deposits" and "money transfers" to even things out!!

            but we'll still need more revenue, because government is incapable of "spending less money" or "liquidating unnecessary assets", so, then we'll have to, y'know, just RAISE the flat tax a little bit - by .2%... oh wait that wasn't enough

            ... well, just another 2%, how about... Yeah yeah, i know you hate taxes, but ... TERRORISTS, GLOBAL WARMING,  HEALTH CARE, BAILOUTS, WARS, POLICE, AND EVERY thing else that government does NEEDS to be done by government!!!! (they DO need to do everything, right? i mean, government workers are all angelic beings with halos who would NEVER abuse their position... *cough* Chicago Politics *cough*...)

            Thus, ...

            Not even a flat tax will solve the problems. The real issue is that we need to tell our government to shut up and sit down.

      3. Aya Katz profile image88
        Aya Katzposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Actually, some people with "puny incomes" don't spend it all. Then they get penalized for having savings when it comes time to send their children to college.

        Some people spend everything, no matter how big their income is. Some don't. It has nothing to do with the income, and everything to do with the person.

 
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