4G wrote:If you make 25k and pay 20% in taxes and I make 100k and pay 20% in taxes, I am still paying a lot more than you are. (5k vs 20k) so it isn't like a flat tax means I pay the same amount, just the same percentage. So more of my money goes to things like schools and roads and everything else you use and enjoy.
Yes, it's true that an equal percentage equals more actual dollars for the person making more. But there are also some numbers that don't go up, or more to the point don't have to go up. For example. If you are looking for a place to live for one person, and you look at houses, apartments, roommate situations, etc. Depending on the area in which you live, there is a minimum you HAVE to have in order to have a roof over your head. The person making $25K per year uses more of their $25K towards "must have" expenses and the person making $100K per year *could* live on that same amount, if they so chose. So, in my mind, a sliding scale that goes up to a sort of baseline "must have" income level, followed by a flat percentage outside of that makes sense. That doesn't mean you hammer folks who are gazillionaires, but it does mean that you don't try to have folks who are barely keeping a roof over their heads and food in their tummies bearing the larger portion of the burden for public infrastructure.
4G wrote:I am sure I will be corrected if I am wrong, but I beleive I read a little while back that the top 10% of the earners pay over 60% of the taxes. So not sure I agree with what you are saying.
I think you'll find this is smoke and mirrors. We've artificially inflated the percentage that people are *supposed* to pay, and then instituted so many potential tax shelters and write offs that the more you make the more likely you are to pay a lower percentage of your income in taxes than someone who doesn't make enough money to do that. The middle class, and particularly the upper middle class, gets hit the hardest as near as I can tell. They make enough to have the higher percentage tax bracket, but not enough to invest in exotic tax shelters. This is where it gets weird. Pat mentioned something about a millionaire not being all that rich anymore, and he's right. That's barely upper class anymore.
Let's go back to the $100K/year person. OK, so that person is paying X% in taxes, and that percentage is not only higher than the $25K/year person's is, but the total dollars are higher, too, owing to the nature of math and percentages. Now, really, that's a lot of money, if you stare at your paycheck the way I do. I can write off my mortgage interest, charity contributions, and a couple other things, but my taxes aren't so complicated that turbo tax can't handle them. Now let's look at Bill Gates. Not the richest man in the world, but certainly not scraping. Bill's income is way more than our $100K/year persons is, and his % is higher, too. But Bill has enough money that he can have off-shore accounts, exotic investments, his very own charity, etc. Our $100K/year person could probably open an offshore account, but is unlikely to even think on that level, and certainly could not run a full-blown charity organization off that kind of money. So the person making $100K/year has relatively few shelters, and is expected to bear the burden of our infrastructure, basically, because Uncle Bill has no good reason to pay more than he is required to pay, and our $25K/year person, just doesn't make enough. Congratulations -- you have achieved the American Dream, now fork 1/3 of it over.
Now, when I am Supreme Empress of the Universe, that will change. That % of pay won't keep going up much over about $50K/person/year. It'll stay relatively low. Our most basic tax deductions -- student loans, charity, tithing, home loans, etc. -- those stay, but with a little restructuring so that people who want to tithe to a charity instead of their church aren't punished for not being a member of organized religion, and the tax credit that is given to the company or person who produces the fletching for children's arrows, but not adults arrows, and not children's arrow heads, that's history.