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Simple ideas: Flat or Fair Taxes

It’s funny that while the ‘right’ claims to believe in a “Flat Tax” or a “Fair Tax” … they don’t fully participate in the existing flat and fair tax. Once their income reaches some ceiling ($110,000 ?) they’re exempted. How fair is that?

I’m feeling more and more ambivalent about the issue of a general tax on the rich. And more and more committed to completely removing the cap on Social Security Payroll taxes. In fact – Extending the Social Security tax to ALL income (including but not limited to investment income) … My problem with making the Rich contribute more to the General Fund is that these days it goes mostly to Military expenditures and our ever expanding war — and NOT to the stuff that could make our lives easier here in the good old USA. Which is exactly what we get with Social Security and Medicare.

With all the exemptions built into, that Buffet thing leaves me cold.


8 Responses

  1. What do you think about doing away with the IRS and have a tax on everything instead. 🙂

    • I’m actually all for the Income Tax and support going back to the Clinton tax levels — or (wild thought) even the Eisenhower levels. What I’m objecting to is pretending that the Buffet Rule makes any sense. It’s a phony ploy to make us think something has changed.

      Also, I AM worried about the push to cut back on the return of our investment in Social Security…. And the expanding budget for wars.

      I think taxes could be collected more efficiently — I don’t really see why we have to fill out such complicated forms. But even if the system was streamlined, I think we’d need an IRS. And as it is – that’s probably an agency desperately in need of expansion.

      But, that’s for another post.

  2. Agree totally KB — the Buffet rule is a thin ploy and a weak one at that. The one area in the IRS code that should be first and foremost for elimination is the “carried interest” treatment where these hedge fund/vulture capitalists get to treat income as capital gains. In other words, typically a hedge funder takes two percent as a management fee that is taxed at ordinary rates and then the 20% of profits (can be much, much higher) is taxed at the 15% capital gains rates. Everyone wondered why Mitt’s overall tax rate was so low. About one-third of his income was taxed as “carried interest” income even though he left Bain over 12 years ago.

  3. “It’s funny that while the ‘right’ claims to believe in a “Flat Tax” or a “Fair Tax” … they don’t fully participate in the existing flat and fair tax. Once their income reaches some ceiling ($110,000 ?) they’re exempted. How fair is that?”

    River, you do know that this requirement could go both ways and thus benefit the left and the right and everybody in between making more than $110,000, don’t you? I’m sure there are those on the left making such incomes, too..

    • RD didn’t write this, I did. And I agree that there are plenty of lefties who benefit. Still, I think the public proposals for “Flat” or “Fair” taxes come from rich guys on the right.

    • I totally agree with Katiebird. She is completely right. Fixing the payroll tax is the first step. It’s really important that wealthy people understand what working people experience.

  4. From every thing that I’ve read that was written by non-partisan economists, the “flat/fair” tax unfairly burdens the poor and middle class.

    I’m all for simplifying the tax code. The IRS doesn’t even go after the rich tax cheats because they’re too hard to investigate.

  5. Paleo dinner tonight: sautéed chicken in olive oil and garlic, with asparagus, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and sliced green onions. A splash of white wine pulls it all together.

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