T Nation

Those 'Evil' Tax Cuts For the Rich

Their Fair Share
July 21, 2008; Page A12

Washington is teeing up “the rich” for a big tax hike next year, as a way to make them “pay their fair share.” Well, the latest IRS data have arrived on who paid what share of income taxes in 2006, and it’s going to be hard for the rich to pay any more than they already do. The data show that the 2003 Bush tax cuts caused what may be the biggest increase in tax payments by the rich in American history.

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Here is the recent data in a graph.

A concern: if the prevailing Democratic argument - that rich people should have their taxes raised - wins, there is a danger in making the revenue so “top heavy”.

There is the “bread and circuses” problem - that the government actually reinforces the class problem it claims it is trying to prevent by creating such stark differences in the tax code.

And there are economic problems of overconcentration of revenue in a dominant demographic.

Just don’t try and explain this to the herd of independent minds that make up the left of center.

Wait: so because the rich weasel their way out of paying their taxes more often when the tax is higher, we should lower the tax? That’s what I’m getting out of this article.

That’s treating the symptom, not the problem. Tax code needs to be simplified, and most of the ways people shelter income need to be addressed.

That’s wealth discrimination. As I learned in another thread, the government should recognize everyone and their lifestyles equally. Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion the well off should pay no more than the poor in taxes.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
That’s wealth discrimination. As I learned in another thread, the government should recognize everyone and their lifestyles equally. Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion the well off should pay no more than the poor in taxes.[/quote]

You’re comparing gay marriage to a flat sum tax… <_<

I know it’s a hyperbole but come on. That really WOULD bring about an end to society as we know it.

Well, if a consenting adult is made wealthy by the purchases/economic choices of other consenting adults, why should a government treat them any different than the non-wealthy?

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Well, if a consenting adult is made wealthy by the purchases/economic choices of other consenting adults, why should a government treat them any different than the non-wealthy? [/quote]

They shouldn’t. That’s the point. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with sheltering their money via loopholes, just like the poor shouldn’t be allowed to if they were able.

Flat, simple tax.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Well, if a consenting adult is made wealthy by the purchases/economic choices of other consenting adults, why should a government treat them any different than the non-wealthy?

Because doing otherwise would bankrupt the government, destroying all the public good it does and throwing our society into chaos?[/quote]

Government seems to be bankrupting itself just fine by heavily taxing the wealthy and spending it on the “public good.”

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Well, if a consenting adult is made wealthy by the purchases/economic choices of other consenting adults, why should a government treat them any different than the non-wealthy?

Because doing otherwise would bankrupt the government, destroying all the public good it does and throwing our society into chaos?

Government seems to be bankrupting itself just fine by heavily taxing the wealthy and spending it on the “public good.”[/quote]

Gah… you replyed before I realized that was moronic and edited -_-

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Well, if a consenting adult is made wealthy by the purchases/economic choices of other consenting adults, why should a government treat them any different than the non-wealthy? [/quote]

This “wealth discrimination” concept has got to be the most retarded thing you ever came up with.

For one thing, the government’s role is to act in the interest of society. Seeing how the gap between the median and the top wealthy is insanely greater than that between the former and the lower casts. And there’s also this insipid notion of majority which the poor people represents. The answer to your question is trivial really.

Then there’s the morality of some having more money than they could spend in many lifetimes (even if they tried!) while others are homeless. But that depends on one’s principles, upbringing and other values, so I won’t expect this argument to resonate with you.

And oh, while we’re on the topic of how “consenting adult is made wealthy by the purchases/economic choices of other consenting adults”, you may want to take a look at the number of pushers in US jails. How you can bitch about mere taxation when people are put behind bars for selling grass to “consenting adults” is beyond me.

Coming from a guy who refers to a 16 year old victim of the Iranian regime as a “slut” who “played with fire and got burned,” I hardly worry about your judgement. But, in any event, it’s hardly a concept I just came up with. It is fact based on the very definition of “discrimination.”

It is? Because you say so? Now that’s not a fact. That’s your ideal. That’s not the ideal society for the anarchist. Weren’t you one of those?

I thought we were speaking about US tax policy. If so, the “poor” aren’t the majority.

Cute. However, my parents raised me to believe in voluntary charity. To give money quietly and of my own free will. Immoral, as taught to me, was to rob your neighbor in the name of charity. There’s nothing moral about using force, or even the threat of, to enforce “charity.”

[quote]
And oh, while we’re on the topic of how “consenting adult is made wealthy by the purchases/economic choices of other consenting adults”, you may want to take a look at the number of pushers in US jails. How you can bitch about mere taxation when people are put behind bars for selling grass to “consenting adults” is beyond me.[/quote]

And on this very board I’ve made my libertarian viewon that issue clear multiple times. Empty arguement, when aimed at me.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Lixy wrote:
For one thing, the government’s role is to act in the interest of society.

It is? Because you say so? Now that’s not a fact. That’s your ideal. [/quote]

If you can’t be bothered to take this discussion seriously, there’s no point taking it any farther.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Lixy wrote:
For one thing, the government’s role is to act in the interest of society.

It is? Because you say so? Now that’s not a fact. That’s your ideal.

If you can’t be bothered to take this discussion seriously, there’s no point taking it any farther.[/quote]

You gave me nothing serious to work with. You start off challenging me for bringing up the concept of wealth discrimination. Well, sorry if it made you uncomfortable, but my use of the word discrimination fits according to it’s own definition. So, it isn’t “retarded” to bring up a reality. You also said the poor are the majority…we’re talking about the US, and the poor aren’t the majority. You finish up challenging my view on taxation and wealth by dragging drug laws into the conversation. Unfortunately, you didn’t have a clue as to what my position was on that particular topic.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
You gave me nothing serious to work with. You start off challenging me for bringing up the concept of wealth discrimination. Well, sorry if it made you uncomfortable, but my use of the word discrimination fits according to it’s own definition. So, it isn’t “retarded” to bring up a reality. [/quote]

Technically, you’re right. It is discrimination in the non-legalese sense.

The criteria that you want to attach to discrimination make little to no sense from a legal perspective.

[i]"In general, discrimination, in a non-legal sense, is the discernment of qualities and recognition of the differences between things. We all have the power of discrimination, which is essential for us to be able to make decisions and judgments about things.

This article focuses on discrimination in a legal sense, which is the prejudicial treatment of a person or a group of people based on certain characteristics. Discrimination on grounds such as race or religion, is generally illegal in most Western societies, while discriminating between people on the grounds of merit is usually lawful. The latter is more commonly referred to as “differentiating.” "[/i]

So, no. There is no way anyone will buy this insane idea that the poor old “wealthy” are some kind of victims here. It can’t pass the common sense test, much less stand a close examination. No way!

From my perspective, they are. Granted, if you contrast with dirt-poor countries, it may not appear that way, but they are definitely a shitload of poor people in the US when you compare it to something like Sweden.

But if you want to restrict the talk to the US exclusively, then the majority of poor people is even more apparent. Clearly, the median is dragged very high up by the filthy rich, leaving the bulk of the population below it. It would only make sense for them to want the government equalizing the game a bit. In case you forgot, that was the question you asked Beowolf earlier.

Shit! How many debt-free people do you know?

Good point. It’s just that I value freedom over money and I like to prioritize things. My bad for assuming you were in the same boat.

Anyway, I wholly agree with the idea that charity should be voluntary and vehemently oppose looting people at gun point. My beef was with your victimization of the “wealthy” and that loaded question you asked Beowolf. To speak of discrimination in that context must be quite insulting to the number of people who were (and still are) discriminated against in the US. The wealthy have a shitload of advantages over the poor ranging from better judicial representation to buying politicians or public opinion. To suggest that the wind is against them in the US (of all places!) is a very weak argument. To throw around the term “discrimination” is simply preposterous.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Sloth wrote:
That’s wealth discrimination. As I learned in another thread, the government should recognize everyone and their lifestyles equally. Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion the well off should pay no more than the poor in taxes.

You’re comparing gay marriage to a flat sum tax… <_<

I know it’s a hyperbole but come on. That really WOULD bring about an end to society as we know it.[/quote]

Yes it would.

Hopefully before society as we know it collapses on its own.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Well, if a consenting adult is made wealthy by the purchases/economic choices of other consenting adults, why should a government treat them any different than the non-wealthy?

This “wealth discrimination” concept has got to be the most retarded thing you ever came up with.

For one thing, the government’s role is to act in the interest of society. Seeing how the gap between the median and the top wealthy is insanely greater than that between the former and the lower casts. And there’s also this insipid notion of majority which the poor people represents. The answer to your question is trivial really.

Then there’s the morality of some having more money than they could spend in many lifetimes (even if they tried!) while others are homeless. But that depends on one’s principles, upbringing and other values, so I won’t expect this argument to resonate with you.

And oh, while we’re on the topic of how “consenting adult is made wealthy by the purchases/economic choices of other consenting adults”, you may want to take a look at the number of pushers in US jails. How you can bitch about mere taxation when people are put behind bars for selling grass to “consenting adults” is beyond me.[/quote]

Oh my.

I) Since the people are the majority and there is this question of “majority” how come anyone can confiscate part of my income?

Since in a democracy the government gets its legitimacy from the people and the people have no right to steal from me and nemo plus iuris transferre potest quam ipse habet, how come the people can authorize the government to steal from me when they have no right to do it themselves?

II) Yes, the average voter makes less money than the average income. So, yes it is trivial to see how an why a progressive tax system is implemented but that does not change its moral nature nor is it a justification.

III) There is no philosophical justification for the modern welfare state. None whatsoever, which is astounding given that it is a system that requires force to be implemented. One would imagine that people who care so much about others would refrain to enslave them to reach their own political goals and yet it is ok when those people are rich.

Or moderately wealthy.

IV) [quote] But that depends on one’s principles, upbringing and other values, so I won’t expect this argument to resonate with you. [/quote]

Please explain from what principles and values one can deduct the right to infringe on someone else´s property and therefore freedom?

What principles make it excusable to force someone else at gunpoint to work towards your goals or starve if he refuses that?

[quote]lixy wrote:

Technically, you’re right…[/quote] YET [quote]To throw around the term “discrimination” is simply preposterous.[/quote]
And, why would I be using the “legal-sense” of the word? Do you really think a government, whose tax policy discriminates (as you said, technically I’m right) based based upon wealth, would include wealth in a legal sense of the word? Err, conflict of interest?

You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t rely on the “Lixy Poverty Index” when sorting out claims being made.

[quote]
But if you want to restrict the talk to the US exclusively, then the majority of poor people is even more apparent. Clearly, the median is dragged very high up by the filthy rich, leaving the bulk of the population below it. Shit![/quote]
No, that makes them less wealthy, not poor. And, who is overusing a word, again? I’m not rich when I visit a friend who makes less than me, and suddenly poor when I drive past a mansion.

Actually, you have it reversed. I value freedom over money. Which is why I’m very libertarian on BOTH issues.

[quote]
Anyway, I wholly agree with the idea that charity should be voluntary and vehemently oppose looting people at gun point.[/quote] Well, when you DISCRIMINATE between tiers of personal wealth, for forced taxation and redistriubtion of said wealth…I’m sorry, what was your objection? Oh, here it is below.

[quote]
My beef was with your victimization of the “wealthy” and that loaded question you asked Beowolf.[/quote]
How could you have beef with that? You just said above, that you “vehemently oppose looting people at gun point.” Color me confused.

That would be due to their own ignorance, since I made proper use of the word, as it is defined.

Uh, too bad that wasn’t my arguement…

[quote]Sloth wrote:
lixy wrote:

Technically, you’re right… YET To throw around the term “discrimination” is simply preposterous.
And, why would I be using the “legal-sense” of the word? Do you really think a government, whose tax policy discriminates (as you said, technically I’m right) based based upon wealth, would include wealth in a legal sense of the word? Err, conflict of interest?

I wrote:
You also said the poor are the majority…we’re talking about the US, and the poor aren’t the majority.

Lixy:
From my perspective, they are.

You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t rely on the “Lixy Poverty Index” when sorting out claims being made.

But if you want to restrict the talk to the US exclusively, then the majority of poor people is even more apparent. Clearly, the median is dragged very high up by the filthy rich, leaving the bulk of the population below it. Shit!
No, that makes them less wealthy, not poor. And, who is overusing a word, again? I’m not rich when I visit a friend who makes less than me, and suddenly poor when I drive past a mansion.

You finish up challenging my view on taxation and wealth by dragging drug laws into the conversation. Unfortunately, you didn’t have a clue as to what my position was on that particular topic.

Good point. It’s just that I value freedom over money and I like to prioritize things. My bad for assuming you were in the same boat.

Actually, you have it reversed. I value freedom over money. Which is why I’m very libertarian on BOTH issues.

Anyway, I wholly agree with the idea that charity should be voluntary and vehemently oppose looting people at gun point. Well, when you DISCRIMINATE between tiers of personal wealth, for forced taxation and redistriubtion of said wealth…I’m sorry, what was your objection? Oh, here it is below.

My beef was with your victimization of the “wealthy” and that loaded question you asked Beowolf.
How could you have beef with that? You just said above, that you “vehemently oppose looting people at gun point.” Color me confused.

To speak of discrimination in that context must be quite insulting to the number of people who were (and still are) discriminated against in the US.
That would be due to their own ignorance, since I made proper use of the word, as it is defined.

The wealthy have a shitload of advantages over the poor ranging from better judicial representation to buying politicians or public opinion. To suggest that the wind is against them in the US (of all places!) is a very weak argument.

Uh, too bad that wasn’t my arguement…

[/quote]

You cannot really value freedom over money because freedom requires property.

If you do not own something, including yourself you are not free to use it.

Insofar everyone that infringes on your property infringes on your freedom.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Wait: so because the rich weasel their way out of paying their taxes more often when the tax is higher, we should lower the tax? That’s what I’m getting out of this article.
[/quote]

That is correct. When you try to soak the rich they find ways to avoid it. They spend their money elsewhere.

[quote]

That’s treating the symptom, not the problem. Tax code needs to be simplified, and most of the ways people shelter income need to be addressed. [/quote]

I agree with this but the rich will always find places to hide their money. If they cannot do it here they will do it overseas.