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Turquoise
O Canada
+1,596|5738|North Carolina
A number of posters have mentioned the benefits of taxation.  They can increase the quality of things like social programs, public amenities (like road systems), and national defense.

We all know that they can also lead to corporate welfare, embezzlement, and other scandalous things.

One poster whom I've enjoyed debating with summarized his take on taxation:

[F7F7]KiNG_KaDaFFHi wrote:

Actually...you americans got the tax thing all wrong...taxes is actually a good thing...if divided and collected well they build the foundation of the soceity....I´d like to say that sadly the fighting forces are perhaps one of the biggest and most wrongly used tools...wrongly used by a puppet run by puppet masters.
This is a good point.  If done correctly, tax revenue can be used to minimize poverty and maximize healthcare coverage among the general populace.

The question I have for all of you here is: How much taxation is too much?

While I favor the idea of socializing healthcare, I have to point out that other countries with large social programs tend to have controversial taxing arrangements.

The U.K. tax percentages are provided by this helpful chap... 

aardfrith wrote:

The income tax rates set by HM Revenue & Customs for 2006-07 are:

0% for the relevant tax allowance rate.  For most people this is the first £5,035 of income
10% for the next £2,150 of income
22% for the next £31,150 of income
40% for all income above that.

The tax bands for 2007-08 will be set on Wednesday 21st March.
So, while the U.K. has large social programs that are designed to take care of their needy to a greater extent than our programs, their working class people have less money to spend independently.  When figuring all of the other taxes the British have to pay, it makes you wonder if heavy socialization is really worth it.

Personally, I like the idea of minimizing federal taxes and raising state taxes somewhat, so that each state can implement socialized healthcare.  I think they'd do a better job than the feds.

So, should we increase taxes in the U.S. either federally or state-wise in order to improve social programs, or should we continue onward with lower taxes but with growing poverty issues?  It's a hard choice when you consider how higher taxes also mean less disposable income (less money to spend according to your own wishes).

What do you guys think?

EDIT: Had to fix a few things...

Last edited by Turquoise (2007-03-18 12:51:26)

Bertster7
Confused Pothead
+1,101|5914|SE London

Any income tax bracket above 50% is too far.

I am very much in favour of 40-45% tax brackets for the top earners, which in the UK at the moment is about *edit*£40K and up.

I disagree about the state/federal issue. Council tax in the UK goes directly into the local area, but most of it gets spent on useless rubbish, like all those 5-10 metre long cycle lanes - and paying the salaries of social/council workers, I know a guy who used to run Lambeth council he was on £150K, which is outrageous for a civil servant.

Last edited by Bertster7 (2007-03-18 12:42:34)

ATG
Banned
+5,233|5862|Global Command
The idea is good but its implementation is bad. Too many thieves, aka politicians are stealing from the base.
aardfrith
Δ > x > ¥
+145|6125

Turquoise wrote:

For example, the U.K. has a flat national income tax of 22% (on all earned income).
No we don't.  The income tax rates set by HM Revenue & Customs for 2006-07 are:

0% for the relevant tax allowance rate.  For most people this is the first £5,035 of income
10% for the next £2,150 of income
22% for the next £31,150 of income
40% for all income above that.

The tax bands for 2007-08 will be set on Wednesday 21st March.
jsnipy
...
+3,275|5855|...

Well, Americans pay at least 1/2 their income to taxes; with the Federal income tax only being part.
Bertster7
Confused Pothead
+1,101|5914|SE London

ATG wrote:

The idea is good but its implementation is bad. Too many thieves, aka politicians are stealing from the base.
I don't think thieves are the big problem. More bureaucratic inepptitude and inefficiency. I say we get the Germans to come and manage our tax system, they'd make it ruthlessly efficient.
Mr.Pieeater
Member
+116|5957|Cherry Pie
When a poor person can be on welfare and keep having kids, getting more money, and is stupid enough to keep having kids, thats when its too much.  Why can't we force those stupid people to get their tubes tied..?
Turquoise
O Canada
+1,596|5738|North Carolina

Bertster7 wrote:

Any income tax bracket above 50% is too far.

I am very much in favour of 40-45% tax brackets for the top earners, which in the UK at the moment is about £50K and up.

I disagree about the state/federal issue. Council tax in the UK goes directly into the local area, but most of it gets spent on useless rubbish, like all those 5-10 metre long cycle lanes - and paying the salaries of social/council workers, I know a guy who used to run Lambeth council he was on £150K, which is outrageous for a civil servant.
I would guess that some of our state governments are like that (Louisiana comes to mind), but I have more faith in most American state governments than in our federal one.  The U.K. has only a fifth of our population, so your federal government can more easily keep up with its finances and spending than ours can.  We're just so large that there's a lot of room for corruption at the federal level.

I can sympathize with your feelings about the wealthy.  I think the American tax system (if we continue to have a large federal government) should lower all of the tax percentages on all the brackets except for the top one.  The top one should start at 30% and slowly rise to 50% for people at Bill Gates's level of wealth.

It makes no sense how a guy making $300,000 a year should have to pay the same percentage as a guy who makes $50 billion.  Basically, small business owners should have more tax breaks, but corporations and executives should have to pay more in taxes.
Turquoise
O Canada
+1,596|5738|North Carolina

aardfrith wrote:

Turquoise wrote:

For example, the U.K. has a flat national income tax of 22% (on all earned income).
No we don't.  The income tax rates set by HM Revenue & Customs for 2006-07 are:

0% for the relevant tax allowance rate.  For most people this is the first £5,035 of income
10% for the next £2,150 of income
22% for the next £31,150 of income
40% for all income above that.

The tax bands for 2007-08 will be set on Wednesday 21st March.
Damn you wikipedia....   But I thought that the 10% only applied to "unearned income."  It looked like what I had read was stating that 22% was the only earned income percentile.  Although wikipedia completely left out the 40% bracket....
ghettoperson
Member
+1,943|5982

At one point in Sweden the highest tax bracket was 80%! They did get 'free' if you can call it that heating and I think electricity though. Random fact for you.
d.cripz
Member
+29|5742
if i didnt pay taxes i could buy 2 porn mags a week and my fav kind of lube... Now tell me taxes are good?
imortal
Member
+240|5998|Austin, TX
The main problem with taxation is that when you give the government money, it wants to spend it.  It is a rare government that will tell you they did not need all the money you sent in, so here is a refund.  They will find things to spend the money on.  Pet projects.  Pork, as we call it.  It also inspires the government to start to spend money in areas that may not have been intended, thus spreading their influence.
jonsimon
Member
+224|5828
There should be a bracket for the top 1%, and it should be 50% or higher. The people that are making that money are so rich, their income is nothing compared to their wealth.
Turquoise
O Canada
+1,596|5738|North Carolina

d.cripz wrote:

if i didnt pay taxes i could buy 2 porn mags a week and my fav kind of lube... Now tell me taxes are good?
Either you don't make much money, or you have a lot of other expenses.
Turquoise
O Canada
+1,596|5738|North Carolina

imortal wrote:

The main problem with taxation is that when you give the government money, it wants to spend it.  It is a rare government that will tell you they did not need all the money you sent in, so here is a refund.  They will find things to spend the money on.  Pet projects.  Pork, as we call it.  It also inspires the government to start to spend money in areas that may not have been intended, thus spreading their influence.
Agreed, although the Canadian government has run a budget surplus for quite some time.  I wish we could....
Turquoise
O Canada
+1,596|5738|North Carolina

jsnipy wrote:

Well, Americans pay at least 1/2 their income to taxes; with the Federal income tax only being part.
It depends on what state you live in and on what bracket you're in.  In NC, state income tax is relatively low.  Our sales tax and property taxes are the tricky parts....
Bertster7
Confused Pothead
+1,101|5914|SE London

jonsimon wrote:

There should be a bracket for the top 1%, and it should be 50% or higher. The people that are making that money are so rich, their income is nothing compared to their wealth.
I could never agree with any tax bracket, for anyone, above 50%. It's just stupid.


I think the high rate should be 40% for earnings above £50K ($100K more or less) and 50% for anyone earning over £500K.
sergeriver
Cowboy from Hell
+1,928|6090|Argentina
I think there should be a system, not only in US, which works like this (the numbers can be modified):

VAT: 10%.

Income Tax:
-Annual incomes of 25K or lower don't pay at all.
-Annual incomes up to 50k pay 0% for the first 25k and 10% for the second 25k, paying U$S 2500 anually.
-Annual incomes up to 100k pay 0% for the first 25k, 10% for the second 25k and 20% for the second 50k, paying U$S 12.500 anually.
-Anual incomes up to 200k pay 0% for the first 25k, 10% for the second 25k, 20% for the second 50k and 30% for the second 100k, paying U$S 42.500 anually.
-Anual incomes of more than 200k pay 0% for the first 25k, 10% for the second 25k, 20% for the second 50k, 30% for the second 100k, and 40% for the rest, so a person winning 500k anually would pay U$S 162.500.

Business Income Tax:
-Business making 0 to 250k (net profit of course) pay flat 20%
-Business making 250k to 500k pay flat 30%
-Business making 500k and over pay flat 40%

Property Taxes should be regulated by the states, not the Federal government.
[F7F7]KiNG_KaDaFFHi
Why walk when you can dance?
+77|5920|sWEEDen
I think taxes should be able to be changed more often, too higher or lower levels depending on what the nation really needs....the usage of taxes are really the biggest issue....

My personal opinion what is too much could change as the need can change...for now I feel 40-50% is too high...but Sweden already have great social security (compared to other nations) and a rather high taxes....30-40% is already the norm here.

Spending and "equal" taxing is the key. Everyone must to add their share to society for having the rights to use it, and for it to function somewhere close to ok.
Turquoise
O Canada
+1,596|5738|North Carolina

sergeriver wrote:

I think there should be a system, not only in US, which works like this (the numbers can be modified):

VAT: 10%.

Income Tax:
-Annual incomes of 25K or lower don't pay at all.
-Annual incomes up to 50k pay 0% for the first 25k and 10% for the second 25k, paying U$S 2500 anually.
-Annual incomes up to 100k pay 0% for the first 25k, 10% for the second 25k and 20% for the second 50k, paying U$S 12.500 anually.
-Anual incomes up to 200k pay 0% for the first 25k, 10% for the second 25k, 20% for the second 50k and 30% for the second 100k, paying U$S 42.500 anually.
-Anual incomes of more than 200k pay 0% for the first 25k, 10% for the second 25k, 20% for the second 50k, 30% for the second 100k, and 40% for the rest, so a person winning 500k anually would pay U$S 162.500.

Business Income Tax:
-Business making 0 to 250k (net profit of course) pay flat 20%
-Business making 250k to 500k pay flat 30%
-Business making 500k and over pay flat 40%

Property Taxes should be regulated by the states, not the Federal government.
Aside from the brackets and %'s listed, this is similar to how the system already works.  Bracket percentages only apply to amounts in between the thresholds listed, so higher rates only cover income above a certain threshold.
apollo_fi
The Flying Kalakukko.
+94|5864|The lunar module
Countries by total tax revenue as percentage of GDP (as of 2005), from OECD via wikipedia.

1 Sweden 51,1
2 Denmark 49,7
3 Belgium 45,4
4 Norway 45,0
5 Finland 44,5
6 France 44,3
7 Iceland 42,4
8 Austria 41,9
9 Italy 41,0
10 Czech Republic 38,5
...
12 United Kingdom 37,2
...
22 United States 26,8
Turquoise
O Canada
+1,596|5738|North Carolina

[F7F7]KiNG_KaDaFFHi wrote:

I think taxes should be able to be changed more often, too higher or lower levels depending on what the nation really needs....the usage of taxes are really the biggest issue....

My personal opinion what is too much could change as the need can change...for now I feel 40-50% is too high...but Sweden already have great social security (compared to other nations) and a rather high taxes....30-40% is already the norm here.

Spending and "equal" taxing is the key. Everyone must to add their share to society for having the rights to use it, and for it to function somewhere close to ok.
One thing that definitely needs to change is our bracket thresholds.  Thankfully, the Bush administration is one of the few that has updated thresholds on an annual basis, so that brackets take into account inflation.

Without annual adjustments like this, people experience "bracket creep."  As they make more money, they move up the tax bracket system even if the amount of the increase doesn't match inflation.

Personally, I wish annual adjustments were a mandatory part of the bracket system, so that inflation is always accounted for.
[F7F7]KiNG_KaDaFFHi
Why walk when you can dance?
+77|5920|sWEEDen
Annual changes sounds good too me. Inflation really needs to be under better control but I guess it´s hard since humans are greedy by nature. 

If the spending could get more controlled and more shown/reported to the public it would be eaiser to actually get the taxes collected in first place, and also perhaps even lower the taxes in the long run.
herrr_smity
Member
+156|5961|space command ur anus
woohoo number 4, im sure withe a little help Norway can rule that list
imortal
Member
+240|5998|Austin, TX

Turquoise wrote:

imortal wrote:

The main problem with taxation is that when you give the government money, it wants to spend it.  It is a rare government that will tell you they did not need all the money you sent in, so here is a refund.  They will find things to spend the money on.  Pet projects.  Pork, as we call it.  It also inspires the government to start to spend money in areas that may not have been intended, thus spreading their influence.
Agreed, although the Canadian government has run a budget surplus for quite some time.  I wish we could....
Well, the majority of US governemnt spending is in the form of welfare... medicare and the like.  About 2/3, to be honest.

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