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The Trumperium 2: Caesar by the Pussy

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Jon, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    What is the theoretical and practical justification behind different tax brackets anyway? It's one of the things I completely don't understand. It's not a thing unique to the US, of course. Why do developed countries say "if you make above X money, you will pay a greater percentage of taxes than someone who makes below X".

    Why is the govt, and by extension the taxpayer who uses tax-funded services, entitled to more of their neighbor's money just because their neighbor makes more money than they do? Tangentially related, estate tax--tax has already been paid on that wealth, in property tax, income tax and whatever else tax. Why is it taxed again?
     
  2. Solfege

    Solfege Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    That property tax isn't technically really paid in NYC, where exemptions are given like candy to big developers and apartments worth millions pay like $15k/yr; not even 1% of value.

    Progressive tax rates work on the principle of diminishing utility of income, wherein $1k from a poor person is worth much more than $1k from a rich person for whom it's a rounding error in their checkbook. Taxation should raise revenue from those whom it costs least pain. Although this is little affected on the upper classes, anyway, who can and do afford lawyers to seek all sorts of evasions; and moreover make most of their wealth not from daily work/annual income but from capital gains, which in the U.S. is taxed at a flat 15%. In this, those who already have money are exponentially advantaged.

    Progressive taxation should also serve to mitigate some inequality, for although an unequal society is desired to incentivize that sweet, sweet class mobility, too much leads to calcification and social instability. In theory taxation, even progressive, should not cause individuals in a well-functioning market to alter their behavior.

    In reality, does it even make a dent in the corporate welfare afforded the truly rich? For the most current example, see all the great deals presenting before Amazon HQ2 - better than any reality TV.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  3. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Administrator Admin

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    Because the state enables the individual to generate that wealth in the first place, a thing I will concede even if my tax bill for this year makes my asshole clench. If I lived elsewhere I would not have nearly the same economic opportunity.
     
  4. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    The justification is, functionally, "they can afford it".

    Personally, I'm not entirely cool with it, as it over-complicates the tax code, creates a lot of extra bureaucracy and introduces loopholes, all while being phenomenally unfair. I'd much rather a simple, flat 30% tax rate for everyone, applied to all monetary gains, that cannot reduce a person's income below a modest minimum not too far above the poverty line. But that's a simple solution that closes loopholes, so it's never gonna happen.
     
  5. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    If you're asking why the tax is progressive and not flat, that's a result of what (average) people typically consider "fair", and what causes a certain redistribution resp. prevents a greater disparity in wealth. If you're asking why it's brackets, though, instead of a sliding scale, I'm not sure beyond, perhaps, practical reasons. It has some negative consequences on the boundaries, anyway, where you e.g. get a pay raise, jump up one bracket, and have, after taxes, less money than you did before. untrue but kept for posterity.
     
  6. VanRopen

    VanRopen Unspeakable

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    tl;dr - Diminishing marginal utility for money mean a flat tax hits the poor harder than the rich.

    Most whining about how complex taxes are ignores that a flat tax is gonna be just as complex, since the majority of the complexity is coming from deductions and the like. Taxes aren't just about collecting money, they're a way for the state to incentivize and disincentivize behavior - that isn't gonna change, lobbying isn't gonna go away, and that's what introduces all the complexity. The brackets barely make a dent.
     
  7. Solfege

    Solfege Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    This. So much of what European states legislate, we in America prefer to tinker with in our tax code.
     
  8. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Or just terrible record-keeping.
     
  9. VanRopen

    VanRopen Unspeakable

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    As I said. “waste”.

    Found that article I was remembering. Maybe find the 4% you can recover from your own shitty record-keeping before you ask Congress for a 5% increase?
     
  10. Marsupial

    Marsupial Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    That's a common misconception, but isn't true, at least in the US. Say that below $35,000 the tax rate is 15%, and $35,000-50,000 it's 20%. If you make $37,500 you're going to pay 15% of the first $35,000, then 20% of the $2,500 over the threshold. Moving up a tax bracket doesn't subject your entire income to the higher rate, only the portion of your income which is above the threshold.

    Edit: This is also why progressive taxes are a hell of a lot more fair than people make them out to be. Everybody pays 10% for the first $10,000, 15% from $10,000-35,000, 20% from $35,000-50,000, etc. Or whatever the actual brackets are. A guy making $100,000,000 a year is paying the exact same tax rate on the first $10,000 he earns as somebody making $23,000 a year. The guy on a hundred million just happens to also be dabbling in tax brackets where a higher percentage is taken.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  11. EsperJones

    EsperJones Death Eater

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    To put Marsupial's point another way, unless you're on income-tested welfare (like prop 8 housing in Seattle, for example), getting a raise will never result in you paying more taxes.
     
  12. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    This would be an example of Sanders' rhetoric being more extreme than his actual policy proposals. It's also not exactly an uncommon sentiment from Democrats in the Rust Belt- or other states that got screwed over by Globalization and automation, for that matter. Even if you disagree with Sanders ideology, you haven't actually demonstrated that his policy positions are that far out of the Overton window when compared with state and federal Democratic caucuses, let alone the base, which is what this entire discussion is about.

    So you don't think this is a good idea. However, most Democrats disagree. Every time some version of this expansion gets brought up it has been beaten purely on partisan lines in the senate.

    Bad day?
     
  13. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Don't believe Sanders, you should listen to Sanders instead! He's the less Sanders version of Sanders.

    /Yeah, whatever, dude.
     
  14. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    You’re question is really easy to answer actually. I’ll use a couple of examples.

    Take the SEC which is a huge beauracracy that regulates securities trading in the US. It establishes fair rules and punishes people who engage in bad behavior.

    The result of this is that there is a relatively stable and safe stock markets for people engage in, which has all the beneficial affects of allowing access to capital and increasing market efficiency and so on.

    Most of the benefits of the SEC however accrue to only a relatively small amount of the population traders and other financial institutions and companies looking for capital.

    That’s why we have a marginal tax system rather than a flat tax. Most of the beauracrcy of the US is to the benefit of the riches Americans, which is great but that’s also why they pay the most and at an increased rate.

    That’s also why we have a social safety net, it’s so that the rich can continue to be rich without the fear of a bloody revolution.
     
  15. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Interesting article, but the Pentagon having a bloated and inefficient bureaucracy is a completely different issue from the DoD being bad at keeping track of their financial records (save that's its possible one issue contributed to the other).
     
  16. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    Truly, your mastery of hyperreality is breathtaking.

    /Sure thing, dude.
     
  17. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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  18. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Am I correct in understanding that this is being allowed to proceed because the challenge to the gerrymandering was on a State constitution issue, rather than US Constitution issue? If the latter, it would have been rolled into the other cases whenever they are heard?

    Can a decision in one state, like this, be used as a precedent in other states?
     
  19. Nazgus

    Nazgus Headmaster

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    Don't think so. Each state has its own Constitution, so a ruling on the interpretation of one of them should have no bearing on the rest.
     
  20. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    As a general rule, no. As Nazgus said, each state's constitution is entirely independent and sets its own rules. There's potential that this decision, depending on its particulars, is applicable to other states, but there's zero guarantee. It really comes down to the legal minutiae, and I don't think anyone on this forum has the applicable skillset (specifically, a lawyer specializing in multi-state-constitutional law) to be able to say either way with confidence.
     
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