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Friday, March 04, 2005

The Elizabethon Star: Pay Ball!  Bill imposes privilege tax on pro athletes

Tennessee State Representatives Ulysses Jones and Larry J. Miller, and State Senator John Ford are trying to kill professional sports in Tennessee, albeit unintentionally.

Thanks to Der Komminsk-sar

Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 04, 2005 at 06:26 AM | 277 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 07:18 AM (#1179599)
Take that Bud Adams, moving the Oilers out of Houston and all..

erm.. for the rest of the people effected.. bleh
   2. The Original SJ Posted: March 04, 2005 at 07:42 AM (#1179622)
2500 is a hell a lot for an aball player.
   3. Flynn Posted: March 04, 2005 at 07:47 AM (#1179628)
Wow. This is beyond retarded.

Maybe the Libertarians have a point after all..
   4. The Matador Posted: March 04, 2005 at 07:52 AM (#1179635)
Professional athletes should pay additional taxes, because tax dollars provide them with the facilities they require to make a living. But the way it's being applied here is wrong, I'd prefer if they just tagged pro athletes with an additional 10% income tax on earnings over $100k per year. That way you aren't hurting the minor leaguers, but the millionaires are paying their fair share. Since we are running such a big federal deficit, perhaps congress can jump on an federal tax like this (maybe 25% additional) to close the gap.
   5. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 04, 2005 at 09:40 AM (#1179741)
Of course there's no reason why atheletes should have a different tax system from anyone else, but this shows a total ignorance of the fact that there are minor league atheletes. You know, atheletes who aren't millionaires! Damnit!

It's like if a state imposed a special tax on musicians in order to soak rock stars.
   6. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: March 04, 2005 at 10:04 AM (#1179770)
It's like if a state imposed a special tax on musicians in order to soak rock stars.

I think that guy on the subway who plays the two-stringed Chinese instrument is a tax cheat and needs to be dealt with harshly.
   7. The Hop-Clop Goes On (psa1) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 10:12 AM (#1179777)
I think that guy on the subway who plays the two-stringed Chinese instrument is a tax cheat and needs to be dealt with harshly.

I don't agree with the causation you imply here, but as for everything else, you're spot on.
   8. Mikαεl Posted: March 04, 2005 at 12:16 PM (#1179820)
"The city has just passed another tax on wearing puffy director pants."

"But I don't wear puffy pants"

"Err, ah, I mea a tax for not wearing puffy pants."
   9. Catfish326 Posted: March 04, 2005 at 01:48 PM (#1179866)
I like the concept, but Tennessee is hardly the place. Minor leaguers make too little. At the federal level, we should hit MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL players with a premium tax on amounts over, say $1,000,000. Go get 'em Congress!
   10. Catfish326 Posted: March 04, 2005 at 01:49 PM (#1179867)
Actually, hit all entertainers with this federal tax!
   11. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 04, 2005 at 01:52 PM (#1179869)
I like the concept, but Tennessee is hardly the place. Minor leaguers make too little. At the federal level, we should hit MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL players with a premium tax on amounts over, say $1,000,000. Go get 'em Congress!

OK... why?
   12. Brian Posted: March 04, 2005 at 01:57 PM (#1179875)
Professional athletes should pay additional taxes, because tax dollars provide them with the facilities they require to make a living. But the way it's being applied here is wrong, I'd prefer if they just tagged pro athletes with an additional 10% income tax on earnings over $100k per year. That way you aren't hurting the minor leaguers, but the millionaires are paying their fair share. Since we are running such a big federal deficit, perhaps congress can jump on an federal tax like this (maybe 25% additional) to close the gap.

This is a well written, well thought out, moronic statement. It's astounding that someone can receive a superficially good education yet be absolutely clueless.

A 10% tax over 100m? Maybe a 25% Federal tax lumped on? Idiocy beyond belief.
   13. Backlasher Posted: March 04, 2005 at 01:57 PM (#1179876)
The bill pertains to athletes playing for professional teams

I guess Phillip Fulmer will have to hit the alumni up for some more money, break out the checkbook Dial :)
   14. Rally Posted: March 04, 2005 at 01:57 PM (#1179877)
If I'm in Tennessee and someone offers me $5 to play on a 30-and-over team, I'll know its a trap.

Something like this has no real chance of passing, especially as long as it applies to minor leaguers. There are street people who make more than minor leaguers.

Actually, hit all entertainers with this federal tax!

It ain't federal, its for one state. But if you hit athletes and entertainers, might as well get the lawyers and CEO's too.
   15. Backlasher Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:03 PM (#1179882)
It ain't federal, its for one state. But if you hit athletes and entertainers, might as well get the lawyers and CEO's too.

Per calculation math tax.
   16. Backlasher Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:07 PM (#1179884)
Something like this has no real chance of passing, especially as long as it applies to minor leaguers. There are street people who make more than minor leaguers.


The teams would probably pay it for their personnel. Its just like any licensure fee (although pretty steep) for the employers. Its just kind of squirrly because it would be difficult to hold it out as a license. I think the interest the state has in regulating the activity would be pretty minimal. Its not like prize fighting where there are mandatory health check-ups due to the intrinsic health risks.
   17. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:07 PM (#1179885)
Actually, hit all entertainers with this federal tax!

It ain't federal, its for one state. But if you hit athletes and entertainers, might as well get the lawyers and CEO's too.


These tax plans are good ways to encourage more companies to leave America. The people of Lahore thank you!
   18. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:16 PM (#1179895)
If you're going to impose a tax on pro athletes, there's certainly a better way to do it than a unit tax. Someone really hasn't thought this one through...

What top pro leagues are in TN? Just the NFL (Titans) and NBA (Grizzlies)?
   19. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:21 PM (#1179901)
How about we just stop subsidizing their fancy playpens with tax dollars? Maybe then we wouldn't need to think of another dumb way to raise taxes without actually just, you know, raising taxes.
   20. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:22 PM (#1179903)
The league canceled the entire 2003-2004 season last month after the players' union and team owners failed to reach a collective bargaining agreement following a lockout.

Damn, the lockout keeps getting worse every day. Now they've cancelled last season. Pretty soon, 2002-2003 is going down.
   21. Catfish326 Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:23 PM (#1179904)
Actually, hit all entertainers with this federal tax!

It ain't federal, its for one state. But if you hit athletes and entertainers, might as well get the lawyers and CEO's too.


No sh!t Sherlock! The suggestion was to move away from the state model to a federal model, but base it on earnings over $1,000,000.

This is a well written, well thought out, moronic statement. It's astounding that someone can receive a superficially good education yet be absolutely clueless.

A 10% tax over 100m? Maybe a 25% Federal tax lumped on? Idiocy beyond belief.


This comment amazes me. An acknowledgment of education, but the only response by this writer is name calling. No analysis or discussion. Only repsonse is calling the other writer a moron and an idiot. This makes me think of other less-thinking websites, where posters messages amount to "My team rocks! Your team sukks!" There is nothing worse than a moron calling someone a moron. In the words of Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."
   22. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:23 PM (#1179905)
pfft, just wait until djibouti has it's new broadband set up.

then the good people of india will watch their jobs be outsourced just like we watched ours.

soak the rich!
give me handouts!
(poor)
   23. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:31 PM (#1179912)
Damn, the lockout keeps getting worse every day. Now they've cancelled last season.

The way my Red Wings played against Calgary in the playoffs, I wish they had...
   24. The Artist Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:44 PM (#1179931)
When someone calls for additional taxes on a profession simply because the atheletes are rich, calling it stupid is simply stating the facts.
   25. Brian Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:53 PM (#1179943)
Catfish326,
It does astound me how people can advocate taking 35% of someone elses compensation with the stroke of a pen. The politics of envy.

Why should pro athletes, or any other group, have to pay more than the top bracket that their income places them in? Because they play in publicly financed stadiums? Government shouldn't build stadiums at all. Period. The fact that they, for various bad reasons, have doesn't mean that they can now wildly tax employees who work there. Governments have given tax breaks to facilitate the construction of office buildings to revitalize urban areas; should they now steal money from those people who work there?

This effects very few people and is perceived by some politicians as a net vote gain move but there is no legal,ethical or moral reason ing behind it.

As far as not giving a substantive answer I think that when someone suggests an additional 35% tax burden on others they do not deserve one. I was truly marveling how one can operate a keyboard and write clearly yet formulate such vapid thoughts. I still wonder.
   26. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 04, 2005 at 02:59 PM (#1179955)
We're moving toward my Presidentail platform once I turn 35. It's more or less like this:

If you make over $3,500,000 a year, anything earned over that gets taxed at a rate of 70%. (Exact #s may vary)

But, you get to choose where that extra tax goes-Defense, education, paying off deficit, etc.
   27. DCA Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:00 PM (#1179956)
It does astound me how people can advocate taking 35% of someone elses compensation with the stroke of a pen. The politics of envy.

Really, though, it would only bring them roughly in line with the taxes paid by the rest of the developed world.

I think it's a bad idea to limit it to a certain class of worker, but I would unequivocally support a 35% tax hike on compensation over $1 million/year.

Call it supporting the system that enabled you to be rich in the first place.
   28. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:02 PM (#1179960)
Why should pro athletes, or any other group, have to pay more than the top bracket that their income places them in? Because they play in publicly financed stadiums?

More than that, why are we taxing the players for this? It's the owners that are demanding the stadiums, not the players. I'm pretty sure that no player has ever demanded that a city build his team a free ballpark.
   29. DCA Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:02 PM (#1179961)
But, you get to choose where that extra tax goes-Defense, education, paying off deficit, etc.

Remind me not to vote for you.
   30. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:05 PM (#1179970)
But, you get to choose where that extra tax goes-Defense, education, paying off deficit, etc.

Well, it'll obviously all go to corporate welfare, then.

Really, that's a horrible idea. You're advocating a system where the wealthiest members of society have more influence in government, and not just in the roundabout way they do now, but officially.
   31. Catfish326 Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:06 PM (#1179973)
Brian, much better said, but I still cannot join your political position. With some policy tweaking, I could be pursuaded to back the Presidential candidacy of Quilvio Anti-retro Veras (Nuke). Or maybe DCA will run. I think he should.
   32. DCA Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:15 PM (#1179993)
Or maybe DCA will run. I think he should.

Thanks. But I'm Jewish and only slightly to the right of Eugene V. Debs. Not gonna happen.
   33. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:15 PM (#1179998)
Call it supporting the system that enabled you to be rich in the first place.

Or a tax to make sure we cut every down so that no one is rich.
   34. CONservative governMENt Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:16 PM (#1180000)
I think it's a bad idea to limit it to a certain class of worker, but I would unequivocally support a 35% tax hike on compensation over $1 million/year.


I think DCA is a member of the tax advisory lobby. That's a whole new round of tax avoidance schemes.

Reminds me of The Onion poll question about the Bush tax cut where an Industrial Tycoon thought it was a good idea, 'not that I pay any taxes anyway.'
   35. jwb Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:18 PM (#1180007)
Professional athletes should pay additional taxes, because tax dollars provide them with the facilities they require to make a living.

And public school teachers; soldiers; police officers; public hospital workers; public higher education workers; federally-funded national laboratory workers; state, county, and municipal workers; the governor; legislators. . .

And what about the contractors and subcontractors? The people who sell concessions, the ushers, and the ticket takers in those stadiums, for example. The Starbuck's, the newsstand, and the shoe-shine guy in the lobby of city hall or the food service company that serves schools or hospitals.

Sorry for piling on. Or not.
   36. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:20 PM (#1180013)
Remind me not to vote for you.

You'll need a reminder?
   37. Catfish326 Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:20 PM (#1180015)
Thanks. But I'm Jewish and only slightly to the right of Eugene V. Debs. Not gonna happen.

I understand. I'm an Irish honkey positioned slightly to the left of Jesse Jackson, so I'm confident I'll never run. I can hear the cries from the hyperbolic Right Wing now . . .
   38. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:21 PM (#1180020)
This thread has great promise. Petco, look out!
   39. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:22 PM (#1180021)
Bite me, crypto-fascist.
   40. Nick S Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:26 PM (#1180034)
No, no, no, the right way to do this is obviously a Production Tax. Every time a player hits a single, he owes $10, a double $14.40, a homer about $27, for a caught stealing he gets a tax credit of $6.40. Minor league players owe prorated amounts based on their MLE's. Public policy is really very simple if you just take a couple minutes to think it through.
   41. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:31 PM (#1180040)
Fortunately the government is (at least in this respect) more intelligent than the average primate. I read they want to move from income taxes to sales taxes. Only twenty years behind, but better late than never.
   42. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:36 PM (#1180044)
Fortunately the government is (at least in this respect) more intelligent than the average primate. I read they want to move from income taxes to sales taxes. Only twenty years behind, but better late than never.

Yeah, brilliant. Tax the poor at a higher rate than the wealthy. And kill the economy at the same time. Years ahead of its time.
   43. Backlasher Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:38 PM (#1180048)
Fortunately the government is (at least in this respect) more intelligent than the average primate.

I told you it wouldn't take long for you to figure this out 2Alou.
   44. Brian Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:45 PM (#1180058)
Catfish,
Now I'd love to hear an intelligent argument why adding another 10-35% on to their tax burden is a good idea?
   45. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:46 PM (#1180061)
This thread has great promise. Petco, look out!

*makes mental note never to click on this thread again*
   46. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:46 PM (#1180062)
Larry Larry Larry Larry Larry. Listen, Larry, the government's got to take a certain amount out of the economy. Both sales and income taxes are effectively taxes on the same thing - general economic activity - but they occur at different points in the process. Let's put it this way - part of the price you pay for your goods is the labour. And part of the price of that labour is the income tax. So it all comes out in the wash that way.

But sales taxes have several advantages. Firstly, they make sense with respect to international trade. American goods sold in Germany are more expensive if American income taxes are higher whereas German goods sold in America are unaffected. But secondly and more importantly, sales taxes are really easy and cheap for the government to collect, unlike income taxes which are expensive and prone to fraud and countermeasures.

But finally and most crucially, taxation serves to discourage the activity being taxed. Sales taxes are thus smarter (we can put higher taxes on socially undesirable things e.g. alchohol, petrol, etc) but also more socially responsible, because they do not discourage employment.
   47. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:49 PM (#1180069)
And the best part is how, since I spend all my money, I'm taxed on my entire income, while the millionaire who doesn't spend a huge chunk of his income pays a very small percentage of his income on taxes.
   48. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:50 PM (#1180074)
The sales tax would need to be so high that it would also discourage people from buying a lot of things.
   49. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:53 PM (#1180077)
I hope we can all at least agree this Privlege Tax is an innane idea. As for the rest, I'll sit it out, but I'll be sitting with DCA, just to the right of Eugene Debs
   50. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 04, 2005 at 03:54 PM (#1180079)
I just want to know the over-under on the exact minute that this will be made into Today's Lesson by (a) Rush; and (b) Karl Rove.

I'm sure that within 24 hours half of America will believe that this bill, which was introduced in the Senate by Hillary Clinton, is but two votes shy of passage, and only your continuing contributions can save the world from putting some poor little African American minor league benchwarmer out on the streets.

And if that benchwarmer's name turns out to be Willie Horton, why so much the better.
   51. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:00 PM (#1180098)
Fortunately the government is (at least in this respect) more intelligent than the average primate. I read they want to move from income taxes to sales taxes. Only twenty years behind, but better late than never.

Whether or not a consumption tax would be more efficient or equitable than our current income tax system depends entirely on its specific design (just like an income tax system).

For most non-economists, "national sales tax" means a single-rate percentage tax on all purchases to be collected by the federal government, much like most states currently do. Such a system would pose similar equity problems as a single-rate income tax while shifting the administrative burden of compliance from individuals and all businesses to retailers, thereby generating different, but equally undesired efficiency problems.

As with all taxes, there would be a tradeoff between efficiency and equity when adding complexities such as differing rates for different sorts of goods. Unlike income taxes, the brunt of the administrative burden would be on retailers, so the public on whole might be more willing to entertain more complex but theoretically fairer set of rates (not quite realizing, of course, the actual cost of this burden will result in higher prices...). Add in the influence of Washington lobbyists, and its quite easy to envision a system with as many (or more) "loopholes" and other absurdities as present in the current system. I'm pretty sure that whatever the finished product would be, it wouldn't quite be what proponents of a national consumption tax claim their idea could be. And we haven't even touched upon the bevy of significant transition issues that would pose some daunting equity problems (especially for seniors, which of course would doom any tax reform proposal)...

Its one thing to speculate that an ideal consumption tax would be superior to our present, greatly flawed income tax system. Also, its easy to see the theoretical advantages of an ideal consumption tax over an ideal income tax. But its quite another to say that a consumption tax system in practice would be preferable to the current income tax system.
   52. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:06 PM (#1180113)
BTW, there are plenty of ways to encourage increased private savings within an income tax system that would be far less radical than a complete overhaul to a consumption tax system. IRAs, excise taxes, etc are just the tip of the iceberg.
   53. Brian Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:07 PM (#1180115)
Larry, The rich guy would then be forced to invest the money he doesn't spend and VIOLA! Capital Formation. Jobs are created. Wealth is created. Opportunity is created.

Sounds OK to me.
   54. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:15 PM (#1180134)
Whether or not a consumption tax would be more efficient or equitable than our current income tax system depends entirely on its specific design (just like an income tax system).


This is of course true. I propose 17.5% across the board with necessities (basic foods, clothes, etc) exempt, and special items (newspapers, other things which in principle should not be taxes) zero rated. Particularly undesirable items should get huge extra taxes to discourage their purchase (cigarettes, alchohol, petrol).

shifting the administrative burden of compliance from individuals and all businesses to retailers, thereby generating different, but equally undesired efficiency problems.


Actually, I regard this shift as one of the major efficiency advantages. Incidentally, it shouldn't just be retailers. Ideally, the system should tax "value added".

Add in the influence of Washington lobbyists, and its quite easy to envision a system with as many (or more) "loopholes" and other absurdities as present in the current system.

This is true but is an argument against any proposal for action by the federal government.

I don't see the "equity" issues you're entertaing. Care to illuminate?
   55. Mefisto Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:20 PM (#1180147)
VIOLA! Capital Formation.

I always knew Frank was a smart guy.
   56. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:21 PM (#1180149)
I just can't see why those feminized Republicans would want to scrap our AMERICAN tax setup in favor of a type of system that's favored throughout SOCIALIST EUROPE. That sounds like something that a FRENCHMAN would want to impose on us here while he enjoys his WINE AND CHEESE AT OUR EXPENSE over there!!!

Not too surprising, since Alan Greenspan seems to have spent a lot of his time in SOCIALIST EUROPE himself, attending all kinds of FISHY-SOUNDING INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES, where most of them speak FOREIGN LANGUAGES!!!
   57. Brian Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:25 PM (#1180158)
Get over it Andy.
   58. Mefisto Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:25 PM (#1180160)
TwoAlous actually has a moderate proposal that I could even support. I would, however, continue an income tax on the top 1% or so of income earners (which is how the system began). Rates would be low and no deductions. I'd also have an unearned income tax on inheritances over, say, %5,000,000.
   59. Chief Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:29 PM (#1180166)
Professional athletes should pay additional taxes, because tax dollars provide them with the facilities they require to make a living.

By this reasoning, shouldn't autoworkers that work in plants attracted through tax breaks and other subsidies also pay additional taxes? Tax dollars also provide them with the facilities they require to make a living.
   60. AJMcCringleberry Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:32 PM (#1180169)
They should have called it a temporary refund adjustment then there wouldn't be so many complaints.
   61. Nick S Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:35 PM (#1180175)
The issue with 2Alou's proposal is that 17.5% is way, way too low. In order to balance the federal budget (currently 25% of GDP), a consumption tax the exempts neccesities would require a rate of about double that.
   62. DCA Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:38 PM (#1180185)

I don't see the "equity" issues you're entertaing. Care to illuminate?


Poor people spend a higher portion of their income on goods than rich people. So a sales tax of 5% might result in a 2% income tax on the poor, while it's only a 0.5% tax on the rich. Numbers and binary classification of people into rich/poor for illustrative purposes only.

Why?

*The rich consume more services as a proportion of spending (generally sales tax does not apply)

*The rich are more involved in interstate commerce which can't be taxed by the state.

*The rich invest in stocks, savings instruments, real estate, etc, which are generally not subject to sales tax.
   63. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:39 PM (#1180186)
TwoAlous actually has a moderate proposal that I could even support. I would, however, continue an income tax on the top 1% or so of income earners (which is how the system began). Rates would be low and no deductions. I'd also have an unearned income tax on inheritances over, say, %5,000,000.

Inheritance taxes don't raise any money. They just cause tax avoidance and inefficient behaviour, so I'd be against the inheritance tax. But I'd be in favour of a rather larger income tax than you are. I agree with the no deductions point, I think it's crucial.
   64. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:41 PM (#1180189)
I propose 17.5% across the board with necessities (basic foods, clothes, etc) exempt, and special items (newspapers, other things which in principle should not be taxes) zero rated.

Good to know my designer threads are exempt.
   65. Chief Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:42 PM (#1180193)
Really, though, it would only bring them roughly in line with the taxes paid by the rest of the developed world.

As long as we're comparing our taxes to the rest of the developed world--although most of Europe pays more taxes, the overall tax structures tend to be more "efficient"/"regressive" (depending on your particular point of view)--VAT, gas taxes, etc. Though the highest income tax rates are probably higher than here.
   66. Mefisto Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:45 PM (#1180200)
The issue with 2Alou's proposal is that 17.5% is way, way too low.

That's why you need an income tax on the top brackets to make up the difference.

Inheritance taxes don't raise any money. They just cause tax avoidance

Just to throw your own argument back at you, so does every tax.

I didn't make it clear, but do now, that I'd keep a capital gains tax.
   67. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:45 PM (#1180201)
Get over it Andy.

OK, but do I at least get to keep this big grin I have on my face? I ask for so little.
   68. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:48 PM (#1180204)
Get over it, DCA. You must be one of those class warfare people,
   69. Chief Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:49 PM (#1180208)
Obviously, I can't keep up with this thread and be an attentive parent this morning.
   70. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:50 PM (#1180211)
Get over it, DCA. You must be one of those class warfare people

I would imagine anyone who compares himself on the political scale to Eugene V. Debs is definately one of those class warfare people.
   71. Rally Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:50 PM (#1180212)
I just can't see why those feminized Republicans would want to scrap our AMERICAN tax setup in favor of a type of system that's favored throughout SOCIALIST EUROPE.

Sounds sarcastic, but you hit the nail on the head. Lets face it, Dear Leader* Bush is a socialist.


* Dear Leader = A funny talking ruler, who is the child of a former ruler, and seeks to bankrupt his country through a reckless combination of military and social spending.
   72. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:51 PM (#1180215)
*The rich consume more services as a proportion of spending (generally sales tax does not apply)

Not an objection, I want to tax this (and all value added).

But your equity points are of a general nature about sales taxes. They don't explain why we'd need to set up exceptions and exemptions.

Incidentally, Nick S, I don't see sales tax replacing income tax altogether. I am well aware it is about 50% too low. I see both income and sales tax working together.
   73. Rally Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:53 PM (#1180217)
I propose 17.5% across the board with necessities (basic foods, clothes, etc) exempt, and special items (newspapers, other things which in principle should not be taxes) zero rated.

Good to know my designer threads are exempt.


To get Smitty's endorsement, pants should be taxed at a higher rate.
   74. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:54 PM (#1180219)
Inheritance taxes don't raise any money. They just cause tax avoidance

Just to throw your own argument back at you, so does every tax.

Most taxes cause avoidance but also raise money. Inheritance taxes have all the disadvantages of avoidance behavious but don't have the benefit of actually raising any money.
   75. Brian Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:56 PM (#1180224)
Keep the grin Andy. You ask for, and lately have received, so little.
   76. Craig in MN Posted: March 04, 2005 at 04:57 PM (#1180225)
I read a proposal once, where they would put in a Sales Tax (actually Goods and Services Tax, I think), and do away with income and payroll taxes, and the rate would be in the mid-20% range. Then the gov't would send everone a check each month/quarter to reimburse them for their poverty-level portion of the tax.

So if the poverty level for a family is 12000, and the tax is 25% (made-up example numbers), that family would get a check for $250 per month to reimburse them for the taxes they paid. If they are above the poverty level, they would in effect only be pay taxes on the above poverty level portion. And they don't pay payroll taxes, so they "save" 15% from the start.

It sounds like a somewhat reasonable plan to me. There's enough loopholes for the rich, that I think this could close enough there that it might be ok on the poor end.
   77. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:00 PM (#1180230)
I would imagine anyone who compares himself on the political scale to Eugene V. Debs is definately one of those class warfare people.

As opposed to one of those Grover Norquist people, I presume.
   78. Shredder Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:01 PM (#1180234)
The best part about a national sales tax is that it gives the Republicans a whole bunch of new things to lie about. For example, under a national sales tax, if I went to the store and bought something for $100, and paid $30 in taxes, most normal thinking people would consider that a 30% tax. Not in Republican-land, though. In that fantasy world, only $30 of the $130 purchase is tax, so the tax rate is really only 23%. And because most of America just blindly accepts this crap, they'll believe it. Hooray!

But finally and most crucially, taxation serves to discourage the activity being taxed.

Yeah, like say, buying things. What a great way to spur the economy.

What, are you part of the mob or something? Two groups of people really stand to benefit from a national sales tax. Rich folks, and organized crime. Don't want to pay 30% taxes (oops, I mean 23%) on that new plasma screen TV? Don't go to Best Buy. Go to Tony's Back Alley Consumer Electronics Boutique, where our motto is "Sales Tax, Schmales Tax!"
   79. Mefisto Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:06 PM (#1180247)
Inheritance taxes have all the disadvantages of avoidance behavious but don't have the benefit of actually raising any money.

According to this site, the government collected about $25 billion in estate and related taxes. Plus these taxes create an incentive to donate to charity.
   80. CrosbyBird Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:09 PM (#1180253)
Most taxes cause avoidance but also raise money. Inheritance taxes have all the disadvantages of avoidance behavious but don't have the benefit of actually raising any money.

I am against inheritance taxes myself, because I feel like it is "double taxation." The money that the person inherited has already been taxed (as income). Of course, the average person doesn't have a lot of sympathy for a dead rich guy's desire to pass on his money. :)

One of the overlooked benefits of a sales tax in this discussion is that it would heavily reduce spending on the IRS, lowering the tax burden. One of the overlooked disadvantages is that it puts a whole bunch of accountants out of business.

I hate the current tax system. It is incredibly inefficient, and it therefore heavily rewards those with the resources and inclination to exploit those inefficiencies. Someone who is making $200k a year is able to manipulate the system to pay lower taxes (as a percentage of their income) than someone making $50k.

I would vote for replacing income tax with sales tax (although it really would need to be sales and service tax), not because I'm certain that right now it would be immediately more fair or a perfect system, but because it is simpler to fix a simple concept than a complicated one. I have two books on my bookself that total nearly five thousand dense pages... that is the most recent copy of the federal tax code. Is it any wonder why more than half of Americans hire someone to do their taxes?
   81. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:09 PM (#1180254)
Dear Leader = A funny talking ruler, who is the child of a former ruler, and seeks to bankrupt his country through a reckless combination of military and social spending.

That's pretty funny, because the last time I checked, Bush latest proposed budget was bringing about hysterical cries for its "draconian cuts" (meaning that he wants many of the domestic welfare and subsidy programs to only go up 2% instead of the usual 4%). The prescription drug welfare program that kicks in next year is going to be problemtic though, and I really wish it hadn't been passed.

By the way, military spending as a share of our GDP is pretty close to being as low as its been at any time in the last 70 years. Putting aside the fact that defense is of the few actual legitimate roles of the federal government, the idea that our military spending is bankrupting us is nothing but a popular left-wing myth.
   82. Cabbage Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1180257)

Maybe the Libertarians have a point after all..


Damn right we do!

Best solution for TN's budget problems? Alow anyone who can collect 5,000 signatures to become a memeber of the state legislature. They can pass whatever laws they like. Memebers of the state legislature will be solely responsible for paying for the enforcement of these laws, a la The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

TANSTAAFL!

Is that how you spell 'legislature'?

Also, does anyone else notice an eerie similarity between today's America and the hedonistic Rome that Wil Durant saw as the primary cause of the end of the Roman Empire?
   83. CrosbyBird Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:14 PM (#1180265)
I read a proposal once, where they would put in a Sales Tax (actually Goods and Services Tax, I think), and do away with income and payroll taxes, and the rate would be in the mid-20% range.

You probably read it here:

http://www.salestax.org/
   84. greenback slays lewks Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:17 PM (#1180273)
Way back when...

How about we just stop subsidizing their fancy playpens with tax dollars?

Considering the article is from an Elizabethton paper and considering the state of the ballpark in Elizabethton when I visited two years ago, this is kind of funny. For example, instead of fancy digital plane races on a $10 zillion Jumbotron, Elizabethton had folks run with cardboard horses on the end of broomsticks just behind the outfield wall.
   85. Brian Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:20 PM (#1180279)
Nice Strawman Shredder.

The top 20% of wage earners pay 80% of income taxes.
Leave them alone and enjoy the free ride.
   86. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:20 PM (#1180286)
Follow this link for a comprehensive demolition of estate taxes, and why the $25bn (or similar) claim is wildly misleading. Summary:

1. The tax is inherently unfair (ymmv)
2. It does not in fact have much impact on charitable giving.
3. The net revenue effect of estate tax may well be negative
4. Estate tax avoidance has negative consequences for the economy.
   87. Shredder Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:22 PM (#1180293)
I am against inheritance taxes myself, because I feel like it is "double taxation." The money that the person inherited has already been taxed (as income).

Well then in that respect, so are sales taxes. I'm paying a tax to spend money that's already been taxed.

*The rich are more involved in interstate commerce which can't be taxed by the state.

False. States tax goods moved in interstate commerce all the time. It's called the use tax. People simply don't know about it because it's not commonly collected, since doing so would be an administrative nightmare. But all of that stuff you buy online, that's taxable. And you, me, and everyone else who doesn't pay tax on that stuff is cheating on their taxes. How many people have bought engagement rings and had them shipped to a relative out of state to avoid the sales tax? It's still taxable, and it's cheating to avoid the use tax (not that I wouldn't do the same thing).

However, corporations get nailed hard on use tax all the time. I'm currently handling about 3 sales/use tax audits for a major client. The last one we closed owed about $130,000, the majority of which was use tax owed on goods shipped in from out of state.
   88. Mefisto Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:23 PM (#1180294)
I am against inheritance taxes myself, because I feel like it is "double taxation." The money that the person inherited has already been taxed (as income).

All taxes occur at different points in the economy. In that sense, all taxes can be seen as "double" (e.g., sales taxes reach after tax income). The reason we should tax unearned income is that it's a windfall to the recipient.
   89. Mefisto Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:28 PM (#1180303)
Follow this link for a comprehensive demolition of estate taxes, and why the $25bn (or similar) claim is wildly misleading.

I've followed the debate pretty carefully. Without reading this particular site (which no doubt sets out the usual arguments), I'll just say I'm unimpressed by the case against taxing unearned income. Just lump me in with that radical Carnegie; I'll even adopt his moral arguments in favor.
   90. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:28 PM (#1180305)
If you make over $3,500,000 a year, anything earned over that gets taxed at a rate of 70%. (Exact #s may vary)

Make that 95% on anything over $100,000 and you'd be Dwight Eisenhower. I suppose that 50 years of inflation might bring it up to a few million.

And Brian, do you really not see the humor in Andy's posts? I say Primery for #56. And while we're at it, for Nick's #40 too.

Finally, even without "the mob," sales taxes are incredibly easy to avoid. I know a lot of small retail business owners who collect the tax on every sale, but only report a fraction of their actual sales to the state. Of course, these same people also drastically under-report their income, avoiding that tax as well. Enforcement's a #####, whatever system you choose.
   91. Shredder Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:30 PM (#1180307)
The top 20% of wage earners pay 80% of income taxes.

Considering the top 20% of wage earners probably earn about 90% of all wages, I think the 80% is probably a little low. Ain't statistics great?
   92. CrosbyBird Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:31 PM (#1180312)
Well then in that respect, so are sales taxes. I'm paying a tax to spend money that's already been taxed.

Well, with a federal sales tax, you would eliminate that double taxation. :)

All taxes occur at different points in the economy. In that sense, all taxes can be seen as "double" (e.g., sales taxes reach after tax income).

In essence, there is really no difference between one "big" tax or two "smaller" taxes you pay separately. Double taxation just "feels" more unfair.

The reason we should tax unearned income is that it's a windfall to the recipient.

So what? We exempt gifts from income tax (that's a windfall). All that we're doing is encouraging people to get creative with their estates to avoid paying tax, and spending extra money to codify/enforce these taxes.

The better question than "why should person X get a windfall" is "why SHOULDN'T person X get a windfall."
   93. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:34 PM (#1180328)
The top 20% of wage earners pay 80% of income taxes.
Leave them alone and enjoy the free ride.


Wow, that's literally word-for-word straight out of a Rush Limbaugh talking point. That's ... so ditto.

It's not shocking to learn that that the top 20% of wage earners make a bit over 90% of taxable dollars. And for them to have to pay taxes on those taxable dollars, that's just criminal.
   94. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:36 PM (#1180336)
The better question than "why should person X get a windfall" is "why SHOULDN'T person X get a windfall."

We can go round in circles on this one and no-one will agree. The reason I linked to an economic article is that those of us opposed to inheritance taxes don't need to rely on "the tax is unfair in principle". We can say "even if the tax was fair in principle, it doesn't work in practice."

That's the point which no-one has even attempted to refute in this thread.
   95. Shredder Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:40 PM (#1180346)
Wow, that's literally word-for-word straight out of a Rush Limbaugh talking point. That's ... so ditto.

I noticed that too when I googled it.

It's not shocking to learn that that the top 20% of wage earners make a bit over 90% of taxable dollars. And for them to have to pay taxes on those taxable dollars, that's just criminal.

Honestly, I just made that up. Don't take that as fact, by any means. I wouldn't be surprised if it was relatively close to the truth, though. But I should say that Brian has done a wonderful job of pointing out that we have a progressive income tax system.
   96. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:40 PM (#1180347)
By the way, military spending as a share of our GDP is pretty close to being as low as its been at any time in the last 70 years. Putting aside the fact that defense is of the few actual legitimate roles of the federal government, the idea that our military spending is bankrupting us is nothing but a popular left-wing myth.

The original defense budget for fiscal year 2004 was $400 billion.The supplemental request for Iraq and Afghanistan is $87 billion, for a total of $487 billion. You have to go back more than 50 years to find a budget devoted towards spending more money than this one. (Constant dollars, of course, to adjust for time and inflation.)
   97. Brian Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:40 PM (#1180348)
I see an attempt at humor but no humor. When multiple posts are lame attempts at Bush/Rove?Republican bashing in a post where it's at best a stretch then I think I am giving good advice. Andy needs to get over it.
   98. Rally Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:43 PM (#1180352)
the idea that our military spending is bankrupting us is nothing but a popular left-wing myth.

Well, something is bankrupting us. Check out the budget deficit recently? I wouldn't call any cuts Bush proposed "draconian" until he actually cuts (as opposed to slowing their growth). Even then, the budget is so bloated that I wouldn't call "draconian cuts" a bad thing at all. Bush's medicare, education, and even social security scream "socialist" to me.

On social security, is he planning to increase or decrease the amount of money people pay in? Don't trust him.
   99. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:44 PM (#1180355)
"why SHOULDN'T person X get a windfall."

Because I'm not person X? Just guessing.

Here's my federal tax proposal:

1) Eliminate the upper limit on the Social Security payroll tax.

2) Eliminate all current tax deductions.

3) Make the Social Security tax deductible (this is an example of real double taxation).

4) Exempt $12,000 per dependent from taxation.

5) Have 3 - 4 brackets (maybe 50-100K, 100-250K, 250K-1M, >1M) and adjust marginal rates to balance budget.

Have at it, boys!
   100. Shredder Posted: March 04, 2005 at 05:45 PM (#1180360)
So what? We exempt gifts from income tax (that's a windfall).

Actually, we tax the giver, subject to exemptions for gifts below a certain amount. The same way we do for estates. People need to realize that it's the estate that's being taxed, not the people receiving the inheritance (I know it works out the same, but if you inherit money, you don't fill out a personal inheritance tax return - the estate does).
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