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Flat tax v. Fair tax

DoubtingDave
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2/2/2013 5:33:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm having trouble deciding the taxation plan to support. I'm debating between the 1-2-3 flat tax as proposed by the Heritage Foundation: http://www.heritage.org... and the fair tax at http://www.fairtax.org...

I think both would be much MUCH better than the current tax code that we have. However, it is clear that we cannot do both the heritage foundation's flat tax plan and the fair tax plan.

What are the pros and cons of each and which do you feel is best?
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Contra
Posts: 3,941
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2/2/2013 6:08:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I support a low, flat tax. It would be simple, broad, and fair. A 17% flat tax for both individuals and corporations would be revenue neutral. Also, America would have a competitive economy.

With higher rates of after-tax income, we would have more savings, and investment, more business expansion and innovation, more economic growth and restored prosperity.

The Heritage plan itself is too complicated. I think we should only have 2 tax credits -- a health savings credit and a retirement savings credit. When people put money into an individual health savings account, or invest a portion of their income in the stock market, they can quality for both of these credits, say up to $3000 apiece (dollar for dollar savings).

The flat tax is just the better tax to go with, that would facilitate economic growth, while being equitable. Another proposal is to have a low flat tax with a generous standard deduction. My idea is similar, but would incentivize people to minimize their tax burden (which would still be relatively equal among the population) while improving their economic security.

The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation had a study that the economy under a 17% flat tax would be 5.7% larger after 5 years, or increase take home pay for a family of 4 by more than $3,000.

This is a great article on the subject:
(http://www.freedomworks.org...)

The fair tax in my opinion is too regressive, as people who have a higher marginal propensity to consume (the poor) would thus be taxed a higher percentage of their income.

The rebates that the advocates have proposed sound too complicated to work, and legal issues would probably arise. Also, under the table sales wouldn't be counted.
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
tmar19652
Posts: 727
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2/2/2013 7:38:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Flat tax over the fair tax any day.
"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." -Ronald Reagan

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malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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2/2/2013 9:41:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/2/2013 6:08:18 PM, Contra wrote:
I support a low, flat tax. It would be simple, broad, and fair. A 17% flat tax for both individuals and corporations would be revenue neutral. Also, America would have a competitive economy.

With higher rates of after-tax income, we would have more savings, and investment, more business expansion and innovation, more economic growth and restored prosperity.

The Heritage plan itself is too complicated. I think we should only have 2 tax credits -- a health savings credit and a retirement savings credit. When people put money into an individual health savings account, or invest a portion of their income in the stock market, they can quality for both of these credits, say up to $3000 apiece (dollar for dollar savings).

The flat tax is just the better tax to go with, that would facilitate economic growth, while being equitable. Another proposal is to have a low flat tax with a generous standard deduction. My idea is similar, but would incentivize people to minimize their tax burden (which would still be relatively equal among the population) while improving their economic security.

The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation had a study that the economy under a 17% flat tax would be 5.7% larger after 5 years, or increase take home pay for a family of 4 by more than $3,000.

This is a great article on the subject:
(http://www.freedomworks.org...)

The fair tax in my opinion is too regressive, as people who have a higher marginal propensity to consume (the poor) would thus be taxed a higher percentage of their income.

The rebates that the advocates have proposed sound too complicated to work, and legal issues would probably arise. Also, under the table sales wouldn't be counted.

You want to raise corporate tax by 3.3%, and you believe this will lead to revenue neutrality? Cool.

I absolutely love the names they give these plans such that they will get the very same people who these plans would hurt to support them.

WHAT?!?!?!? A FAIR TAX?!?!?!? Well, sign me up.

Huh? It's completely regressive and it will destroy my small bit of wealth while exponentially increasing this mega-rich person's?

Well, as long as it's fair.

_______________

Now, I'm not against a simplification of the tax code, but for at least 3 years, citizens should be given the option - determine your total income tax via the current tax code (since c'mon...computer programs can do this with simple input from most taxpayers), then determine it under plans A, B or C. Pick the lowest one and pay it.

At the end of 3 years, we vote, and may the best tax plan win (that isn't "fair"...seriously, that name slays me...how many times does this thing need to get proposed and thoroughly debunked before people stopped being duped by it?).

This would also give the government a chance to adjust the tax such that it truly is revenue neutral, regardless of voter choice.
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malcolmxy
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2/2/2013 10:35:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/2/2013 10:11:49 PM, FREEDO wrote:
The Fair tax video promised to tax the income of criminals.

WTF was that?

Presumably, criminals make legitimate purchases at stores. Like everyone else, these purchases would be subject to sales tax, and viola - we can't nail Capone under RICO Laws...which, of course, they fail to mention.
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MichaelGonzales
Posts: 211
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2/7/2013 7:45:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Without commenting on the Fair Tax system, I'd like to point out that a system of flat taxes is relatively harmful in terms of economic inequality. To be "fair" in it, you'd have to tax all rates the same. However, as a matter of instituting this change, the taxes on the upper income brackets would likely go down, and lower brackets would go up. It also results in decreased government revenue, which is economically harmful. That actually brings me to my 2nd point.
You can't maintain, or lower, the rates of taxation and run the government (which has nothing to do with a government spend-thrift, and everything to do with two large-scale tax cuts being implemented, in addition to a payroll tax cut). Tax cuts reduce government revenue, which also reduces payouts to social security programs, as well as social safety nets.
ZakYoungTheLibertarian
Posts: 253
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2/7/2013 8:05:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Actually the lower government revenues the better the economy does. Not only that but taxation is unjust since it takes wealth from those who created it, and deserve it, to those who simply want it but did nothing to deserve it, like the cronies of politicians and government bureaucrats.
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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2/7/2013 8:17:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
If you really want a fair tax, then you divide total expenditures by the population of the United States.

3.4 trillion/ 314 million= $10 800

Each person should pay $10 800 per year in taxes.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
MichaelGonzales
Posts: 211
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2/7/2013 8:42:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 8:17:55 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
If you really want a fair tax, then you divide total expenditures by the population of the United States.

3.4 trillion/ 314 million= $10 800

Each person should pay $10 800 per year in taxes.

Not sure how you expect the roughly 62 million retirees to pay taxes, not to mention the disabled, children, or those who simply don't earn enough income. :P
Lordknukle
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2/7/2013 8:49:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 8:42:51 PM, MichaelGonzales wrote:
At 2/7/2013 8:17:55 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
If you really want a fair tax, then you divide total expenditures by the population of the United States.

3.4 trillion/ 314 million= $10 800

Each person should pay $10 800 per year in taxes.

Not sure how you expect the roughly 62 million retirees to pay taxes, not to mention the disabled, children, or those who simply don't earn enough income. :P

Parents would pay for the children. But in all honesty, I don't care how people would come up with the money- it's a matter of principle. Aggregately, each individual uses 10k worth of public services per year. Not paying for it literally equates to stealing.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Lordknukle
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2/7/2013 8:50:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
@Michael:

You'll soon learn that all libertarians and anarchists on this website are psychopaths.

Embrace it and you'll won't get tangled with emotions in arguments.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
MichaelGonzales
Posts: 211
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2/7/2013 8:54:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 8:50:36 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
@Michael:

You'll soon learn that all libertarians and anarchists on this website are psychopaths.

Embrace it and you'll won't get tangled with emotions in arguments.

I'm sure I'll be fine. I'm wearing my libertarian-proof underwear!
Lordknukle
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2/7/2013 10:38:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 8:54:25 PM, MichaelGonzales wrote:
At 2/7/2013 8:50:36 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
@Michael:

You'll soon learn that all libertarians and anarchists on this website are psychopaths.

Embrace it and you'll won't get tangled with emotions in arguments.

I'm sure I'll be fine. I'm wearing my libertarian-proof underwear!

That's cute, but the argument is a little bit above this post.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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2/7/2013 10:43:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/2/2013 10:35:34 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/2/2013 10:11:49 PM, FREEDO wrote:
The Fair tax video promised to tax the income of criminals.

WTF was that?

Presumably, criminals make legitimate purchases at stores. Like everyone else, these purchases would be subject to sales tax, and viola - we can't nail Capone under RICO Laws...which, of course, they fail to mention.

That gives me an idea.
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malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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2/8/2013 9:03:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 8:17:55 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
If you really want a fair tax, then you divide total expenditures by the population of the United States.

3.4 trillion/ 314 million= $10 800

Each person should pay $10 800 per year in taxes.

Cool. US GDP is $15 trillion.

$15 trillion/314 million = $48,900

Each person should earn $48,900 to pay the $10,800 which would leave everyone with $38,100 (per person...no matter age or ability to work or not).

All of a sudden having kids looks pretty attractive.

OR, let's get some illegals in here to help offset the costs.

http://www.washingtonpost.com...
War is over, if you want it.

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Contra
Posts: 3,941
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2/8/2013 2:50:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The flat tax is really the way to go. It is truly fair, equal, efficient, and is a proportional, simple idea. It is also pro-growth.

Importantly, it doesn't raise the cost of goods. Under the "fair tax", gasoline would be much more expensive. Other goods, such as houses, vehicles, etc., would be more expensive.

The national sales tax is regressive. And it would tax those who cannot vote (under 18). Taxation without representation.
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
malcolmxy
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2/8/2013 3:28:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 2:50:52 PM, Contra wrote:
The flat tax is really the way to go. It is truly fair, equal, efficient, and is a proportional, simple idea. It is also pro-growth.

Importantly, it doesn't raise the cost of goods. Under the "fair tax", gasoline would be much more expensive. Other goods, such as houses, vehicles, etc., would be more expensive.

The national sales tax is regressive. And it would tax those who cannot vote (under 18). Taxation without representation.

It raises the corporate tax rate by 3.7%, so it will raise the price of goods and services somwhat, but it's not stupid like sales tax, so if I'm forced to choose...
War is over, if you want it.

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MichaelGonzales
Posts: 211
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2/8/2013 4:01:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I know people dislike it, but a progressive tax is really the only system which is fair. It ensures that people give, according to their means. It needs to be altered, not abolished. Make deductions work on a progressive scale. Create new brackets over $250,000. Eliminate the carried interest loophole for Capital Gains taxes. A fair tax only ensures that the rich pay less in taxes, while the poor pay more. It doesn't work. It's the very definition of regressive.
slo1
Posts: 4,342
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2/8/2013 4:06:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 8:49:24 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 2/7/2013 8:42:51 PM, MichaelGonzales wrote:
At 2/7/2013 8:17:55 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
If you really want a fair tax, then you divide total expenditures by the population of the United States.

3.4 trillion/ 314 million= $10 800

Each person should pay $10 800 per year in taxes.

Not sure how you expect the roughly 62 million retirees to pay taxes, not to mention the disabled, children, or those who simply don't earn enough income. :P

Parents would pay for the children. But in all honesty, I don't care how people would come up with the money- it's a matter of principle. Aggregately, each individual uses 10k worth of public services per year. Not paying for it literally equates to stealing.

That is not even true. Nobody uses the same amount of public services if you include the financial benefits of having a strong national defense, ownership rights of properties, and other rules of law that benefit those who own things. If every individual had to pay 10K per year, I would advocate eliminating our department of defense and all military. When China comes in or Mexico for that matter comes in with tanks and takes us over, it is not the lower 50% that will loose the most.
Lordknukle
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2/8/2013 5:28:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 4:06:58 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 2/7/2013 8:49:24 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 2/7/2013 8:42:51 PM, MichaelGonzales wrote:
At 2/7/2013 8:17:55 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
If you really want a fair tax, then you divide total expenditures by the population of the United States.

3.4 trillion/ 314 million= $10 800

Each person should pay $10 800 per year in taxes.

Not sure how you expect the roughly 62 million retirees to pay taxes, not to mention the disabled, children, or those who simply don't earn enough income. :P

Parents would pay for the children. But in all honesty, I don't care how people would come up with the money- it's a matter of principle. Aggregately, each individual uses 10k worth of public services per year. Not paying for it literally equates to stealing.

That is not even true. Nobody uses the same amount of public services if you include the financial benefits of having a strong national defense, ownership rights of properties, and other rules of law that benefit those who own things. If every individual had to pay 10K per year, I would advocate eliminating our department of defense and all military. When China comes in or Mexico for that matter comes in with tanks and takes us over, it is not the lower 50% that will loose the most.

Unless you can quantify this, then any measurement except a simple aggregate average is unfounded, i.e., how do you quantify how much one person uses of national defence?
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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2/8/2013 5:29:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 4:01:24 PM, MichaelGonzales wrote:
I know people dislike it, but a progressive tax is really the only system which is fair. It ensures that people give, according to their means. It needs to be altered, not abolished. Make deductions work on a progressive scale. Create new brackets over $250,000. Eliminate the carried interest loophole for Capital Gains taxes. A fair tax only ensures that the rich pay less in taxes, while the poor pay more. It doesn't work. It's the very definition of regressive.

Actually, if your criteria is that the rich pay more and the poor pay less, then a flat tax is perfectly suitable.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
lewis20
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2/8/2013 5:34:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 4:06:58 PM, slo1 wrote:
That is not even true. Nobody uses the same amount of public services if you include the financial benefits of having a strong national defense, ownership rights of properties, and other rules of law that benefit those who own things. If every individual had to pay 10K per year, I would advocate eliminating our department of defense and all military. When China comes in or Mexico for that matter comes in with tanks and takes us over, it is not the lower 50% that will loose the most.

Nobody would invade the US even if we spent 1/25 what we do on defense.
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malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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2/9/2013 1:47:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 5:28:40 PM, Lordknukle wrote:

Unless you can quantify this, then any measurement except a simple aggregate average is unfounded, i.e., how do you quantify how much one person uses of national defence?

Except, that doesn't work, because you can quantify how much of the majority of the federal budget, SSI and Medicare, someone uses, except the system was set up such that this generation pays for the current group of retirees (which is why it's hurtin so badly at the moment - we had a baby boom and then a baby rut...once this generation of Senior Citizens kicks the bucket, the Federal Budget will actually begin to steadily decline for the 1st time ever.)

So, quantifying and apportioning, or randomly and equitably apportioning is stupid.

The older generation already paid their fair share. A white dude, because of all their advantages, especially between the ages of 25-50 (peak earnings) is gonna pay more. It's the burden we all must bear as white people.

Obviously, we need group hymnals to make it through this hardship.
War is over, if you want it.

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malcolmxy
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2/9/2013 1:48:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Swing low, sweet Cadillac
chauffeurin' for' the carry me home...
War is over, if you want it.

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ConservativeAmerican
Posts: 1,676
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2/9/2013 10:34:39 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 7:45:26 PM, MichaelGonzales wrote:
Without commenting on the Fair Tax system, I'd like to point out that a system of flat taxes is relatively harmful in terms of economic inequality. To be "fair" in it, you'd have to tax all rates the same. However, as a matter of instituting this change, the taxes on the upper income brackets would likely go down, and lower brackets would go up. It also results in decreased government revenue, which is economically harmful. That actually brings me to my 2nd point.
You can't maintain, or lower, the rates of taxation and run the government (which has nothing to do with a government spend-thrift, and everything to do with two large-scale tax cuts being implemented, in addition to a payroll tax cut). Tax cuts reduce government revenue, which also reduces payouts to social security programs, as well as social safety nets.

I think what you are suggesting is more along the line of the redistribution of wealth, which is in itself thievery and unfair.

I don't agree with government charity, the government shouldn't be able to say "Since you are doing well in life and making ($500,000 per year for all intents and purposes), you have to pay $120,000 in taxes, even though you will only receive $10,000-$15,000 back, the government provides services for the people, class warfare isn't a service kid.
ConservativeAmerican
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2/9/2013 10:37:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 4:01:24 PM, MichaelGonzales wrote:
I know people dislike it, but a progressive tax is really the only system which is fair. It ensures that people give, according to their means. It needs to be altered, not abolished. Make deductions work on a progressive scale. Create new brackets over $250,000. Eliminate the carried interest loophole for Capital Gains taxes. A fair tax only ensures that the rich pay less in taxes, while the poor pay more. It doesn't work. It's the very definition of regressive.

No, a flat tax is extremely fair, you are just a product of class warfare.
If one person makes $40,000 a year, and another makes $250,000 a year, and they are each taxed 20% (A little high, this is just an example), the person making 40 grand gets taxed 8 grand a year, the person making 250 gets taxed 50 grand a year, liberals hate math when it comes to taxation because a flat tax rate is logical since it aligns with proportions.

If you are making 40 grand a year and getting taxed 8 grand, making 250 grand a year should be directly proportionate to this by being taxed 50 grand.
ConservativeAmerican
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2/9/2013 10:39:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 4:06:58 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 2/7/2013 8:49:24 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 2/7/2013 8:42:51 PM, MichaelGonzales wrote:
At 2/7/2013 8:17:55 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
If you really want a fair tax, then you divide total expenditures by the population of the United States.

3.4 trillion/ 314 million= $10 800

Each person should pay $10 800 per year in taxes.

Not sure how you expect the roughly 62 million retirees to pay taxes, not to mention the disabled, children, or those who simply don't earn enough income. :P

Parents would pay for the children. But in all honesty, I don't care how people would come up with the money- it's a matter of principle. Aggregately, each individual uses 10k worth of public services per year. Not paying for it literally equates to stealing.

That is not even true. Nobody uses the same amount of public services if you include the financial benefits of having a strong national defense, ownership rights of properties, and other rules of law that benefit those who own things. If every individual had to pay 10K per year, I would advocate eliminating our department of defense and all military. When China comes in or Mexico for that matter comes in with tanks and takes us over, it is not the lower 50% that will loose the most.

More class warfare BS
Contra
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2/9/2013 10:46:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 3:28:16 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/8/2013 2:50:52 PM, Contra wrote:
The flat tax is really the way to go. It is truly fair, equal, efficient, and is a proportional, simple idea. It is also pro-growth.

Importantly, it doesn't raise the cost of goods. Under the "fair tax", gasoline would be much more expensive. Other goods, such as houses, vehicles, etc., would be more expensive.

The national sales tax is regressive. And it would tax those who cannot vote (under 18). Taxation without representation.

It raises the corporate tax rate by 3.7%, so it will raise the price of goods and services somwhat, but it's not stupid like sales tax, so if I'm forced to choose...

I'm glad you favor the flat tax over the "fair" tax (bad name), but I believe that it would lower corporate tax rates, as the average is about 18-25%. The flat tax should be lower than 15%, and would tax corporations, individuals, capital gains, dividends, whatever - at one equal rate (with the 2 credits).
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
tmar19652
Posts: 727
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2/9/2013 12:26:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 2:50:52 PM, Contra wrote:
The flat tax is really the way to go. It is truly fair, equal, efficient, and is a proportional, simple idea. It is also pro-growth.

Importantly, it doesn't raise the cost of goods. Under the "fair tax", gasoline would be much more expensive. Other goods, such as houses, vehicles, etc., would be more expensive.

The national sales tax is regressive. And it would tax those who cannot vote (under 18). Taxation without representation.
Bingo!
"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." -Ronald Reagan

"The notion of political correctness declares certain topics, certain ex<x>pressions even certain gestures off-limits. What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship." -George H.W. Bush