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Would just taxing rich people be a good compromise?

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You could be a Libertarian who's completely against taxes or you could be a leftist who wants high taxes. Let's be real, when it comes to the gov't you're rarely gonna get your way. You gotta make compromises. So, what if we completely cut taxes on everybody but, say, the top 5%? They already pay ~60% of total federal income tax revenue, and their average tax rate is ~24% (https://files.taxfoundation.org/20170201091804/TaxFoundation-FF540.pdf (Page 2)). . What if we nearly double their tax rate and get the full revenue just from them? I think it could work because the lower 95% wouldn't have to worry about income tax and the gov't still gets its revenue. Everybody is satisfied in some way.
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  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -   edited April 2018
    This punishes people for getting rich and would anger and drive the rich out of the nation that does this in the long run.

    Flat tax is too extreme but this level of extreme progressive tax is equally extreme.
  • passedbillpassedbill 80 Pts   -  
    Increasing taxes for the wealthy is not a productive action. The upper class greatly contribute the the U.S. economy and easing taxes on the wealthy can decrease their economic contribution/s.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @someone234 I mean all taxes basically punish people, right? How would it drive the rich out?
    @passedbill It's not ideal for me to increase taxes on them either but remember it is a compromise. I understand they contribute a lot, but they could still have a lot of money even w/ high tax rates, right?
    So my question for both of you is: would this be better or worse than the current tax system? Why or why not?
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -  
    funperson said:
    @someone234 I mean all taxes basically punish people, right? How would it drive the rich out?

    So my question for both of you is: would this be better or worse than the current tax system? Why or why not?
    No, taxes don't punish people, they help the vulnerable in the nation and sustain the nation in ways privatisation always ends up making corrupt (such as streetlights only shining in rich neighborhoods, helping criminals in poor ones).

    This would be worse than the current system in most developed countries.

    I already explained why.

    The rich would move to nations that tax the rich less harsh.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @someone234 But how do you know they'd move away? What if the tax rate was raised but on a larger income demographic (like the top 20% maybe) so it could be raised less
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -   edited April 2018
    @funperson you just moved from top 5% to top 20%. Next you will move to all percent that can afford to pay some tax and progress the burden to be more on the rich. This is the system of progressive tax that almost all civilised, developed nations have.
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -  
    @funperson they are rich enough to move, that's the main reason.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    Wait, first you said this plan will punish rich people and then you said taxes don't punish people, which is it? But you didn't quite answer my question, would it work for just the top 20% paying taxes? The reason I suggested that was because it shifts the burden onto a larger group of people, but a group still smaller than in the current tax system.
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -   edited April 2018
    funperson said:
    Wait, first you said this plan will punish rich people and then you said taxes don't punish people, which is it? But you didn't quite answer my question, would it work for just the top 20% paying taxes? The reason I suggested that was because it shifts the burden onto a larger group of people, but a group still smaller than in the current tax system.
    Your system punishes people for being richer than the rest. Which part of this confuses you? I disagreed that tax is basically punishment by nature of itself but pointed out that your system punishes people for getting rich due to how it entirely burdens the rich.

    Then you shift from 5% to 20% as if you are proving a point. You aren't. You should first justify why you draw the line where you draw it.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @someone234 by that logic can't you argue that taxes in general punish anybody who makes money?
    someone234
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -  
    @funperson If it's totally flat tax it punishes the poor brutally but if you progress it steadily then no, it's purely a benefit for all and this is where the right wing go wrong in calling it theft.

    It would be theft if it was in a closed border nation that one couldn't emigrate from (such as North Korea but perhaps less extreme) but not if it's in a nation people can be said to choose to be part of.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @someone234 I feel like we're getting off-track with taxes in general. The real issue is, because some people are totally against taxes and others are not, would it be a good compromise to exempt some more people from the burden?
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -  
    @funperson ;
    funperson said:
    @someone234 I feel like we're getting off-track with taxes in general. The real issue is, because some people are totally against taxes and others are not, would it be a good compromise to exempt some more people from the burden?
    This punishes people for getting rich and would anger and drive the rich out of the nation that does this in the long run.

    Flat tax is too extreme but this level of extreme progressive tax is equally extreme.

  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @someone234 But I'm not asking you if it's optimal, I'm asking if it's a good compromise. You get some things you like, some you don't. By the way, a punishment is meant to discourage a bad behavior, but nobody is saying its bad to be rich, so nobody's being punished here. Rich people would just be used to "help the vulnerable in the nation and sustain the nation," right? I mean just because something unpleasant happens to people, it doesn't mean they are being punished. How can you prove the rich will move away?
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -   edited April 2018
    funperson said:
    @someone234 But I'm not asking you if it's optimal, I'm asking if it's a good compromise. You get some things you like, some you don't. By the way, a punishment is meant to discourage a bad behavior, but nobody is saying its bad to be rich, so nobody's being punished here. Rich people would just be used to "help the vulnerable in the nation and sustain the nation," right? I mean just because something unpleasant happens to people, it doesn't mean they are being punished. How can you prove the rich will move away?
    If it is not optimal, that implies that the optimal side of the compromise is giving in to the one impurifying the closeness of the solution to what is optimal. In your proposed 'compromise' only the left wing is getting its way, the right wing isn't getting anything it wants at all.

    This is not a compromise in the slightest, this is jealousy towards the rich. Communism never works and doesn't even work in theory either. The notion that 'communism is great in theory but not in practise' is only said by people who have medium to low IQ. In theory Communism is a devastating contradiction of every single motive to want to work.

    The reason I am left-wing overall is because lazy government is undeniably an inefficient and amoral government but the other end of the spectrum is actually more bad and is forcefully so upon all in their nation.

    I am an anarchist first, a left-wing advocate second and a liberal third. This hierarchy is extremely important in how I analyse things and explains why in this case I am taking the right wing's side. Unfair taxation represents tyranny and I always stand completely against tyranny.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @someone234 Well I may agree with your views about Communism and the gov't in general but I'm not seeing how that's relevant? This wouldn't be communism; I'm not advocating for a classless society here. I'm not quite advocating for wealth redistribution either, at least that would be incidental. It would be a compromise because the left gets the gov't revenue they want and the right gets to take away the tax burden from a lot of people. I'm not jealous of the rich; personally, I am against all taxes but I realize that won't happen so easily, so I'm saying "at least the middle-class won't have to pay any, that's a start." It's just an extreme progressive tax so how can you say this one is unfair but a shallower progressive tax is not?
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -  
    funperson said:
    @someone234 Well I may agree with your views about Communism and the gov't in general but I'm not seeing how that's relevant? This wouldn't be communism; I'm not advocating for a classless society here. I'm not quite advocating for wealth redistribution either, at least that would be incidental. It would be a compromise because the left gets the gov't revenue they want and the right gets to take away the tax burden from a lot of people. I'm not jealous of the rich; personally, I am against all taxes but I realize that won't happen so easily, so I'm saying "at least the middle-class won't have to pay any, that's a start." It's just an extreme progressive tax so how can you say this one is unfair but a shallower progressive tax is not?
    But it's a totally wrong 'compromise' as it in no way whatsoever appeases the right-wing. This takes what the current compromise is (which is progressive tax for almost all fully economically-developed nations) and alters it to totally punish the rich for being rich encouraging them to run away to other nations (which they can definitely afford to do).
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    How would it not appease them? If the right is against taxes, then they should want as few people to have the tax burden as possible, and eventually zero. You say the current progressive tax is a compromise, and if that's true then how is this not?
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -  
    funperson said:
    How would it not appease them? If the right is against taxes, then they should want as few people to have the tax burden as possible, and eventually zero. You say the current progressive tax is a compromise, and if that's true then how is this not?
    Not even in the slightest... The right-wing (depending how extreme) want the rich to be entitled to stay rich as much as possible and the poor to have to work as hard as possible to escape poverty. No matter how you look at it, the right wing is corrupt and cruel to the poor but that being said, your policy is so hardcore left-wing it would not even remotely be symbolic of compromise. There is absolutely no single right-wing-sided person who would support this policy but a multitude of left-wingers who would (not me, but many).

    The left-wing (depending how extreme) want the rich to have to fight very hard to stay rich and not let their 'rich' status be the very thing keeping them rich at any given point in time. On the flip side, they want to make it as easy as possible to not be poor and in the extreme 'dream of the left' there are no poor, there is only middle and upper class. If you go even more extreme then sure, there are some who want total communism but that's not the majority and certainly not me.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    Well the right-wing just wants people to be entitled to their own money, so at least with this plan the middle-class can have that entitlement. I mean I think a lot of middle-class conservatives/libertarians would be perfectly content not paying any taxes of their own. Sure they don't want taxes on the rich either but for the sake of compromise, the rich are the least objectionable people to tax.
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -   edited April 2018
    funperson said:
    Well the right-wing just wants people to be entitled to their own money, so at least with this plan the middle-class can have that entitlement. I mean I think a lot of middle-class conservatives/libertarians would be perfectly content not paying any taxes of their own. Sure they don't want taxes on the rich either but for the sake of compromise, the rich are the least objectionable people to tax.
    Are you aware how much more the 'rich' would have to pay to compensate for the lack of taxing of the rest? The difference would be huge if it's just 5%, 20% maybe can work if you stagger in in a progressive-tax manner but where do you draw the line and why? 

    The answer is you draw the line at the point where, if a person paid income tax they'd be too poor to maintain a decent enough standard of living. That's exactly why and how progressive tax began and why it is always the best solution if you do the mathematics right and stagger the tax well.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    Top 5% was just the top bracket on the source I put in the OP. They pay over half the total income tax revenue and their average rate is ~24%. So not even doubling it would cover all the revenue. Tax the top 5% at ~40%. To be in the top 5% you need to make about $215K (https://www.investopedia.com/news/how-much-income-puts-you-top-1-5-10/) so if 40% is taken away they still have ~129K. I'm willing to move the numbers around too, as long as it would just be very rich people being taxed.
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -  
    funperson said:
    Top 5% was just the top bracket on the source I put in the OP. They pay over half the total income tax revenue and their average rate is ~24%. So not even doubling it would cover all the revenue. Tax the top 5% at ~40%. To be in the top 5% you need to make about $215K (https://www.investopedia.com/news/how-much-income-puts-you-top-1-5-10/) so if 40% is taken away they still have ~129K. I'm willing to move the numbers around too, as long as it would just be very rich people being taxed.
    Do you realise you'd be making them poorer than the 5.1%? Your margin is that brutal.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    So we'll establish a mini-progressive tax for them: every dollar earned under, say, 200K will not be taxed, and the subsequent brackets over can be determined.
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -  
    funperson said:
    So we'll establish a mini-progressive tax for them: every dollar earned under, say, 200K will not be taxed, and the subsequent brackets over can be determined.
    Why 200k? can people earning just below 200k annually not spend some percent in tax?
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    It doesn't have to be 200K that was just an arbitrary example. The people below the tax threshold will not have to pay any taxes.
  • someone234someone234 647 Pts   -  
    @funperson don't make a Persuade Me  debate just to be a stubborn... I'm done. You were a waste of my time and energy.
  • AmericanFurryBoyAmericanFurryBoy 528 Pts   -  
    What if everyone just paid 5% of their income? Like, it doessn’t matter how rich you are or if your friends with the governor of Rhode Island, just pay the 5%
    Not every quote you read on the internet is true- Abraham Lincoln
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @AmericanFurryBoy Would it be enough to cover the budget tho
  • BaconToesBaconToes 231 Pts   -  
    Compromise- an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions
    Hmmm... what are the rich getting from this?
    i fart cows
  • AmericanFurryBoyAmericanFurryBoy 528 Pts   -  
    @funperson find a percent that works. As long as we all get taxed at the same rate, its all good
    Not every quote you read on the internet is true- Abraham Lincoln
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @BaconToes I didn't quite draw a rich-poor dichotomy here, it was more of a left-right one. The left gets the gov't funding they want and the right gets the tax burden shifted to very few people. I guess the rich would still be very rich even with large cuts, like if someone has $10 billion and they get taxed half, they still have five billion, which is a lot.
    @AmericanFurryBoy but you see that's not quite the compromise here, I mean a flat tax could work but that's a different story. Basically it's a compromise between no taxes and gov't funding.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1815 Pts   -  
    What would be the point?  It wouldn't pay the bills.  Even if you took every single penny from the millionaires, in 2009 that would have financed the government for all of 111 days.  Obama's policies favored the rich, but no nearly enough to make a significant difference.

    https://radioviceonline.com/tax-the-rich-run-the-numbers-on-taxing-the-millionaires-in-the-united-states/

  • sadolitesadolite 39 Pts   -  
    I have never got a job from a poor person. It is the rich that create private sector jobs. Don't confuse govt jobs with wealth creation. You must confiscate the wealth of the private sector to create a govt job. People who work for the govt add nothing to tax revenue coffers. The are paid from the coffers. I don't know why the govt even bothers with showing they paid taxes because they didn't the were only paid less to give the illusion that they are contributing back into the system, when in reality they didn't create a single penny of taxable new wealth.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @CYDdharta
    So what if we extend the taxable population to the top 5%? They already pay about 60% of the total income tax revenue. We'd just have to raise taxes on them.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1815 Pts   -  
    funperson said:
    @CYDdharta
    So what if we extend the taxable population to the top 5%? They already pay about 60% of the total income tax revenue. We'd just have to raise taxes on them.
    It would finance the government for even fewer than 111 days.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @CYDdharta But how do you know?
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1815 Pts   -  
    funperson said:
    @CYDdharta But how do you know?
    As I posted before; if you outright took every single dime from the individuals and families who had an AGI of more than $1,000,000, you could finance the government for only 111 days.  You're talking about taking only a small portion of that, thus you could only finance the government for only a small portion of 111 days.

  • Vincent_CostanzoVincent_Costanzo 93 Pts   -  
    Aside from the economic devastation that would occur because of job loss, this program necessitates unbalanced taxation against an income bracket that already pays most of the taxes in the country. 
    DrCereal
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @CYDdharta but the top 5% includes a lot more than just the millionaires.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @Vincent_Costanzo How would this job loss occur?
  • BaconToesBaconToes 231 Pts   -  
    @funperson
    Even if they still would stay rich, your OP stated it would be a compromise. Now I want you to answer this:

    What do rich people get from your compromise?
    i fart cows
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1815 Pts   -  
    funperson said:
    @CYDdharta but the top 5% includes a lot more than just the millionaires.
    There still isn't enough income. 
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1815 Pts   -  
    funperson said:
    @Vincent_Costanzo How would this job loss occur?
    As the old adage goes, the more you tax something, the less you get of it.  Taxing high income earners will cause many of them to relocate to a less hostile location.  The converse is also true, that the more you subsidize something, the more of it you'll get.  In this case, you're subsidizing the poor even more than they are currently.  The effect will be an increase in the amount of poor people.
  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @BaconToes It's not a compromise between rich people and everyone else, it is a compromise between the left and the right. The left gets gov't funding and the right gets to have as few people bear the tax burden as possible.
    @cydharta How do you know there's not enough income? As I said, the top 5% is already paying 60% of tax revenue, so you're saying raising the tax rate on them would be detrimental? Well high-income earners are already taxed a lot, are they moving elsewhere now? I'm also not trying to increase subsidies on the poor.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1815 Pts   -  
    funperson said:

    @cydharta How do you know there's not enough income? As I said, the top 5% is already paying 60% of tax revenue, so you're saying raising the tax rate on them would be detrimental? Well high-income earners are already taxed a lot, are they moving elsewhere now? I'm also not trying to increase subsidies on the poor.

    Actually, they do.  When tax rates go up, the rich move out as happened under Obama. 

    The number of Americans seeking to renounce their citizenship surged to more than 1,700 last year, more than twice the rate of 2009, according to U.S. Treasury data compiled by Andrew Mitchel, the international tax attorney.

    https://www.cnbc.com/id/47599766


  • funpersonfunperson 66 Pts   -  
    @CYDdharta So I read that article and yes it did say about 1700 Americans renounced their citizenship but it didn't say they renounced it because of high taxes, it also pointed that some rich people are thinking about moving TO America. Your argument makes sense; high taxes would be a reason to move away, but doesn't everyone have a different opinion on what high taxes are? I mean if the tax rate was 1% some people might think that's too high and leave, and others might be fine with 50%. What I'm saying is how can you be so sure that raising taxes will cause a mass exodus of rich people? Unless there was a poll on this.

    @anonymousdebater Are you sure that's what the left wants? I would imagine they don't care who gets taxed as long as gov't gets revenue.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4676 Pts   -  
    One of the problems with this is that employing such a drastic approach will further encourage tax evasion, offshore bank account holding, job outsourcing and related loophole exploits. Even barring the moral objections (that are quite numerous in themselves), in practice such a solution is likely to destabilize the job market, to drop wages and to dramatically increase unemployment.

    A good example of what happens when the upper classes are significantly disadvantaged is the outcome of Hollande's economical policies in France. The scale of the resulting capital outflow was unheard of in modern Western democracies, and Hollande became one of the least popular presidents on the West of all time - despite his policies allegedly being supposed to benefit the majority of the population.

    The reason the argument "It's a lot for the poor, but it doesn't make a difference for the rich" with regards to high taxes for the rich doesn't work - is that the rich simply have different standards and expectations of their life. A poor person may see someone getting the net income of $100m per year as having orders of magnitude more than they need, so taking away half of that income doesn't seem to be significant to them - but for the rich individual, losing half their income has a similar economical effect to losing half their income would be for the poor person.

    For the economical system to be stable, efficient and innovation-facilitating, interests of all economical groups should be taken into account. Disregarding the interests of the top 5%, especially given that the top 5% owns a significant fraction of the total societal wealth, is a pretty big blunder when it comes to economy management - and it has costed their influence and sometimes lives to a lot of monarchs, and nowadays administrations, over the course of history. 
    BaconToes
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1815 Pts   -  
    funperson said:
    @CYDdharta So I read that article and yes it did say about 1700 Americans renounced their citizenship but it didn't say they renounced it because of high taxes, it also pointed that some rich people are thinking about moving TO America. Your argument makes sense; high taxes would be a reason to move away, but doesn't everyone have a different opinion on what high taxes are? I mean if the tax rate was 1% some people might think that's too high and leave, and others might be fine with 50%. What I'm saying is how can you be so sure that raising taxes will cause a mass exodus of rich people? Unless there was a poll on this.
    What percentage are you talking about raising taxes on the rich to?
  • BaconToesBaconToes 231 Pts   -  
    funperson said:
    @BaconToes It's not a compromise between rich people and everyone else, it is a compromise between the left and the right. The left gets gov't funding and the right gets to have as few people bear the tax burden as possible.
    Well, you aren't taxing the right or the left, you are taxing the rich.

    The rich get part their money taken away
    Everyone else gets to not pay taxes

    What do rich people get from your compromise?
    i fart cows
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