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(NewYorkTimes)   Taxes leading many American citizens living abroad to give up citizenship. In other news: Citizens who renounced their passports for tax reasons are prohibited from visiting the United States   (tinyurl.com ) divider line
    More: Ironic  
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15768 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Dec 2006 at 2:55 AM (9 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-12-19 11:23:44 AM  
mmm... pancake
you seem more concerned with making the wealthy poorer than you are with making the poor wealthier
Nice catch phrase, what book did you pick that one up from.
I said, "If they are paying negative taxes, then good. I am for meager wage earners having more money." = poor with more money (wealthier). I don't think we make the wealthy poor in this country. 35% marginal tax rate is not over-burdensome, considering it was at 90% in the 1960's.
 
2006-12-19 11:24:46 AM  
It's interesting how so many people will defend a system that's been illegally taking their hard-earned money away from them since 1913. We're quickly coming up on the 100th anniversary of the 16th ammndment, which was fraudulently declared to be ratified by a lame-duck Secretary of State just days before leaving office. An Ammendment needs the majority of the States to ratify it; this never happened in the case of the 16th ammendment. We all voluntarily pay our taxes.

/the more you know...
 
2006-12-19 11:25:57 AM  
all money that is currently brought in under our current system is still brought in under the FairTax, and you still would pay about the same in tax as you already do,

Except for the massive black market you create. But, hey, details. People in New York and Connecticut certainly haven't found street corner vendors that sell non-stamped cigarettes at 5 for $20, insanely less than the $7/pack city and state tax forces places to charge.
 
2006-12-19 11:27:22 AM  
kuhns_m: Nice catch phrase, what book did you pick that one up from.

Actually, I'm came up with that one myself. I'm quite proud of it.

poor with more money (wealthier). I don't think we make the wealthy poor in this country. 35% marginal tax rate is not over-burdensome, considering it was at 90% in the 1960's.

I can get behind eliminating their tax liability but seizing wealth and distributing it is a bad idea all the way around. Not only does it have no place in a free country, it creates dependency on politicians which only increases their power over us.
 
2006-12-19 11:30:51 AM  
Then how do you address the Paris Hilton issue? She pays no income tax because she doesn't have an income. A sales tax, otoh, she'd have to pay.
Someone earned her money (Hilton hotels), someone paid taxes on that money. Now that trust fund babies parents have earned and paid taxes on money they have already earned, we want to tax them again?
I'll concede the point, though, we'll have a national sales tax for only Paris Hilton.
 
2006-12-19 11:35:12 AM  
We can create a system where there is the minimal personal revenue tax system and an added NST. That would be the best of both worlds. The way the system is now, it rapes the middle class and lets the real,real rich people get around it.
 
2006-12-19 11:35:54 AM  
mmm... pancake
How about a concession? 0% rate for the first $20,000 and flat rate the rest of the way?

Still has most every flaw of the flat tax system. Most importantly to me, it does nothing to ensure the lack of an entrenched oligarchy, the very reason we need to be strengthening the progressive taxation system to begin with. Why is anyone hung up on a flat tax? I don't understand it. I guess I understand some billionaire CEO being for it, but not anyone who would be considered middle class...it's extremely unfair for the lower end of the spectrum.

To make up the same revenues we're currently collecting, do you have any idea what a high percentage a flat tax would have to be set at?
 
2006-12-19 11:36:05 AM  
all money that is currently brought in under our current system is still brought in under the FairTax, and you still would pay about the same in tax as you already do,

Daniels: Except for the massive black market you create.

False distinction - there already exist large black-markets (drugs, for example) which exist outside the income-tax scheme.
 
2006-12-19 11:36:31 AM  
Zoomtown: OH NOES TAXES!!!!!

I wish i could go back to when Jesus was alive. At least they didn't have to pay the death tax!

Praise the Lord!!!


Actually, He would have, if He had any money. Augustus instituted a 5% inheritance tax to pay the army; it was, in fact, a key factor in moving the allegiance of the army from individual generals back to the Senate.

/render unto Caesar what is Caesar's
 
2006-12-19 11:36:41 AM  
kuhns_m: Someone earned her money (Hilton hotels), someone paid taxes on that money. Now that trust fund babies parents have earned and paid taxes on money they have already earned, we want to tax them again?

I hate the "tax again" meme - all monies are taxed repeatedly. People only seem to get upset at this in the context of estate taxes.
 
2006-12-19 11:38:25 AM  
kuhns_m
I said, "If they are paying negative taxes, then good. I am for meager wage earners having more money." = poor with more money (wealthier). I don't think we make the wealthy poor in this country. 35% marginal tax rate is not over-burdensome, considering it was at 90% in the 1960's.


For those who understand the system, if you make more money you can also take advantage of more loopholes in the tax code. Warren Buffet has admitted he only pays about 4% in income taxes and I'm sure other wealthy individuals do the same. While they do pay "more" due their massive wealth, the percentage is much smaller than the average middle class American.
 
2006-12-19 11:38:53 AM  
MickCollins
We can create a system where there is the minimal personal revenue tax system and an added NST. That would be the best of both worlds.

Wrong, wrong wrong wrong. Replacing the progressive tax system with a NST would virtually guarantee that the majority of taxes are paid by the lower and middle classes. Why? Because wealthy folks can afford presences in other nations, and can do things like buy their yacht (or 5th house, or 18th car, etc.) in another country, and just have it shipped here if they so desire. In other words, more gaping loopholes than we already have.
 
2006-12-19 11:38:55 AM  
mmm... pancake
You should start writing books with that sort of sloganeering.
My point is there are other ways of distributing wealth other
than taxes that are much less palatable for the rich, usually
involving mobs and pitchforks. I think that income inequality and social immobility takes us all to places that are not the best situation for all of us.
Again, I am not advocating Socailism or Communism. I am only advocating balance.
 
2006-12-19 11:40:00 AM  
Sloth_DC
False distinction

There's nothing false about distinguishing between the present relatively small-scale black markets caused by prohibition and the widespread, ubiquitous black markets that a high sales tax would create.
 
2006-12-19 11:41:43 AM  
Sloth_DC: Then how do you address the Paris Hilton issue? She pays no income tax because she doesn't have an income. A sales tax, otoh, she'd have to pay.

Paris has an income. She get paid to show up at events, host award shows, and she's not doing that show for free.

How would a sales tax deal with people like Warren Buffet? A man worth $42 billion who still lives in a 40 year old $31k house.
 
2006-12-19 11:41:59 AM  
kuhns_m
I'll concede the point, though, we'll have a national sales tax for only Paris Hilton.

And she'll just start buying everything overseas. Great work, we've not only cut our own revenue stream, we've disabled our economy by giving disincentives to purchasing things here.
 
2006-12-19 11:42:20 AM  
The American government (and all governments, really) is simply a legitimate form of organized crime. What are the two things that the mob goes after someone the most for? Killing someone under their protection, and not paying your protection money. Sure, there should be everything done in the government's power to go after murderers, but certainly there is disproportionate amount of attention given to tax evasion.
 
2006-12-19 11:44:00 AM  
It is everybodies patriotic American duty to get away with paying as little taxes as possible, by using any legal means at your disposal to do so.

/not kidding even a little.
 
2006-12-19 11:44:59 AM  
AnotherDisillusionedCollegeStudent
The American government (and all governments, really) is simply a legitimate form of organized crime.

With an intro like that, you know it's going to be good...

What are the two things that the mob goes after someone the most for? Killing someone under their protection, and not paying your protection money.

There's a not-so-subtle difference between taxes and "protection money". The former actually provides benefits, whereas the latter is simply extortion. If you consider taxes to be extortion, I invite you to renounce the protections, rights, and privileges that come with being an American citizen. Go move to Haiti or something and see how the standard of living compares when you have an active, able, well funded government and when you essentially live in anarchy.
 
2006-12-19 11:46:07 AM  
Tad_Waxpole
It is everybodies patriotic American duty to get away with paying as little taxes as possible

I don't suppose you'd like to explain to the class how trying to cheat out of paying your fair share is in any way "patriotic"?
 
2006-12-19 11:47:02 AM  
mmm... pancake

xria:
If you want the rich to be taxed less, just campaign for that in the existing system, there is no reason to try to disguise it with some large scale proposal like a national sales tax unless you just want to fake people into agreeing with a system that is to their own detriment because they dont understand the full implications the change in tax regimes will result in.

The existing system is BROKEN. There is a real danger in shifting the tax burden to the top 50% of income earners. As soon as the bottom 50% realize that they can vote themselves funds from the treasury via Government taxation of the other 50% of the citizens shiat is going to go downhill REAL fast.

There is a serious inequality in how taxes are paid in this country. There are so many rules and regulations that it is impossible for the average citizen to understand them. The tax code itself is used by politicians to leverage power and contributes heavily to corruption by awarding tax loopholes to favorable individuals and corporations.


I can certainly get behind simplification of tax rules, removing most of the small exemptions that complicate the system for little fiscal benefit (excepting the heavily targetted ones - i.e. taxes/benefits that affect 50% of the population for 0.0001% of their income either way should be removed, taxes that hit 0.0001% of the population for 50% of their income either way should remain if there is a good reason for them). Equally getting rid of very small taxes that cost a large fraction of their revenues but remain for historical reasons (rod licenses for sport fishers in the UK maybe as an example).

Sloth_DC: Then how do you address the Paris Hilton issue? She pays no income tax because she doesn't have an income. A sales tax, otoh, she'd have to pay.

For me there is no Paris Hilton issue, if she has inherited or accumulated wealth, then in the past that was paid income tax (or capital gains, or whatever). People saving money for later in life, or to give to their children, or whatever they want to do with it is up to them. The government shouldnt be in the business of pushing people to spend their accumulated wealth or they will tax it, that should be up to individuals to decide how they want to spend their wealth once they have accumulated it.

I can see land/property taxes having some value (as the government assumes the responsibility to protect that land/property at some level), but I don't really agree with wealth taxes or inheritance taxes in principle. (And no, I dont stand to inherit or pass on any money or property of any note in the future, so this isn't in self interest).
 
2006-12-19 11:48:03 AM  
mrexcess: And she'll just start buying everything overseas.

And she'll pay taxes on them when she bring them in-country.
 
2006-12-19 11:48:32 AM  
I still don't understand why so many people are so afraid of a National Sales Tax.

It's not a new concept.

Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming, New Hampshire and Tennessee - have no state income tax - and are supported entirely by State Sales Tax & other usage taxes.

This could & would work on a National Level.
 
2006-12-19 11:50:47 AM  
MrExcess

It's not "cheating" if it's legal.
 
2006-12-19 11:54:57 AM  
mrexcess: I don't suppose you'd like to explain to the class how trying to cheat out of paying your fair share is in any way "patriotic"?

Given the last 8 years of wild Government spending I think it's pretty self-evident.
 
2006-12-19 11:58:03 AM  
Sloth_DC
And she'll pay taxes on them when she bring them in-country.

How? We're going to tax purchases no matter where they're made? That is a practical impossibility, you realize.
 
2006-12-19 11:59:30 AM  
Tad_Waxpole
It's not "cheating" if it's legal.

So nothing that is immoral is not illegal?

mmm... pancake
Given the last 8 years of wild Government spending I think it's pretty self-evident.

I don't. If we have a problem with the way our elected officials have been spending the money, then we need to take it up with the elected officials. Destroying or hobbling our system of funding the government is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
 
2006-12-19 12:04:38 PM  
mrexcess: I don't. If we have a problem with the way our elected officials have been spending the money, then we need to take it up with the elected officials. Destroying or hobbling our system of funding the government is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Think of it as a political statement.
 
2006-12-19 12:05:10 PM  
Stupid farking statists.

Theft is theft is theft is theft.

Just because you can pretend "theft is good if done by the professional criminal class known as government, because so and so needs the loot" does not make it so.

True charity comes from the heart. Political charity comes from the barrel of a gun, and creates the very people who come to depend on it. Not to mention that it destroys true charity.

You people pretend to be caring and mature, but it is really indoctrinated apathy, and because of it, you are destorying our civilization.

Just like the elite want you to.
 
2006-12-19 12:06:49 PM  
JohnJacobJingleheimerSchmidt: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming, New Hampshire and Tennessee - have no state income tax - and are supported entirely by State Sales Tax & other usage taxes.

Some of the those states, like Texas, make up for this by having very high property taxes to pay for local services. Property taxes based on the unrealized value of your home are some of the most unfair taxes of all IMO. If you lose your job and have no income at all your property taxes will still be due.
 
2006-12-19 12:09:15 PM  
FTGodWin: Stupid farking statists.

Theft is theft is theft is theft.

Just because you can pretend "theft is good if done by the professional criminal class known as government, because so and so needs the loot" does not make it so.

True charity comes from the heart. Political charity comes from the barrel of a gun, and creates the very people who come to depend on it. Not to mention that it destroys true charity.

You people pretend to be caring and mature, but it is really indoctrinated apathy, and because of it, you are destorying our civilization.

Just like the elite want you to.


Goth?
 
2006-12-19 12:11:28 PM  
FTGodWin

Stupid farking statists.

Theft is theft is theft is theft.


So go live in Somalia then, apparently they have been doing quite well without a government to tax them, as far as these things can be successful that is. All government is corrupt to some extent, and in some places it is true to the point that no government would be better. This is not true in the US and all developed countries I can think of by such a margin that it isn't even a question worth asking seriously.
 
2006-12-19 12:15:55 PM  
FTGodWin
Theft is theft is theft is theft.

And taxes aren't theft. You're perfectly entitled to not pay taxes to the US Government, provided you give up all the stuff that money actually pays for. Go on, renounce your citizenship, move to another nation, and you will never have to pay the US Government a single precious dime (dinar, drachma, whatev) of your money. That's not theft.
 
2006-12-19 12:19:24 PM  
FTGodWin: Theft is theft is theft is theft.

I pay my taxes voluntarily so that I may enjoy goods and services such as libraries and public parks that I could not expect the private sector to provide. It's either taxes, or fees.

You people pretend to be caring and mature, but it is really indoctrinated apathy, and because of it, you are destorying our civilization.

Civilizations have collected taxes since before the Roman empire. If we, as you seem to be demanding, cease paying and collecting taxes, *that* would destroy society. Your probably not-too-well thought out anarchist utopia would be a battle for resources of people who have guns versus people who do not have guns. I sympathize with your line of thought, but things have to be done gradually, and I am not part of your revolution as it presently stands, dear.
 
2006-12-19 12:20:37 PM  
mrexcess: And taxes aren't theft. You're perfectly entitled to not pay taxes to the US Government, provided you give up all the stuff that money actually pays for.

Government takes something by force that doesn't belong to them. How is that NOT theft?

I guess the slaves weren't really slaves either seeing as they could've escaped at any time.
 
2006-12-19 12:20:58 PM  
National Sales Tax vs. Income Tax

The bottom line is that you'd pay the same amount in the end. It's my opinion that the richer you are, the more you should push for the National Sales Tax option. But that's just my opinion. And what do I know. I've only been a tax accountant (sales & income) for about 20 years.

In the end, the same LOOPHOLES that now exist will come in to play with a national sales tax. It will be more time intensive for the business owners, trying to sort everything out. Sales tax rate WOULD NEED TO BE AT LEAST 25% if it is to eliminate the income tax.

Right now, there are OVER 6,000 SEPARATE JURISDICTIONS FOR SALES TAX WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, all with slightly different tax rates, and slightly different rules about what is taxable and what is not. Much of that $ is under local control. Can you imagine how quickly our state & local lawmakers will give that control to the FEDERAL GOV'T??????

ARE you BATSHIAT CRAZY???????????????????????

There are far too many reasons that the elimination of the income tax as we know it will never happen.


Fun sales tax facts:
In California, your housekeeper's pay is not subject to sales tax. HOWEVER, if she cleans in the nude, it's considered entertainment and is taxable.

In at least one state, the definition of candy states the item does not contain flour.
In one state, if you take utensils with that 7-11 meal, they're gonna tax you. No utensils = no tax.

The highest sales tax rate in the US is in Arab, Alabama (11%). The average sales tax rate is 6.8%.

There are 5 states with no state sales tax. Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon and Alaska.
/i know, i know.......
 
2006-12-19 12:22:17 PM  
spelunking_defenestrator: I pay my taxes voluntarily so that I may enjoy goods and services such as libraries and public parks that I could not expect the private sector to provide. It's either taxes, or fees.

Your taxes aren't voluntary. Try not paying them. At least with fees people who have no need for such perks don't have to sacrifice the well-being of their family to pay for them.
 
2006-12-19 12:22:48 PM  
MrExcess

There is nothing immoral about using legal means, such as incorporation & tax write-offs on things like business expenses, SEP IRA and charitable contributions to save money on your tax bill.

Personally, I think the far bigger immorality is handing over more of my money to the government to waste on pork, when my family could use it to take care of ourselves.
 
2006-12-19 12:26:04 PM  
xria: So go live in Somalia then, apparently they have been doing quite well without a government to tax them, as far as these things can be successful that is.

Somalia doesn't have a government? I think you need to look up "feudalism".
 
2006-12-19 12:27:14 PM  
mmm... pancake
Think of it as a political statement.

I don't. I think of it as a fancy excuse for people who don't want to pay taxes.

Government takes something by force that doesn't belong to them. How is that NOT theft?

Well, mostly because it belongs to them. If you didn't notice, what you call money is actually just strips of paper printed, backed, and owned by the government. Without a US Government, all the little green strips of paper you could count wouldn't be worth a plug nickle.

But also, it isn't theft because you have the option not to pay it. If you don't think you're getting a bargain with your taxes, shop around, and go find somewhere else that you consider more suitable.

skinny-lil-b
The bottom line is that you'd pay the same amount in the end

Your evidence for this is...what, exactly? Of course you wouldn't be paying the same thing under either system. If everyone was going to pay the same under either system, then nobody would be pushing for one over the other, because there would be no difference between the two. "I work for taxes" notwithstanding, you'll need to demonstrate how you arrived at this conclusion if you want anyone to take it seriously.
 
2006-12-19 12:28:04 PM  
mrexcess: You're perfectly entitled to not pay taxes to the US Government, provided you give up all the stuff that money actually pays for.

Taxes pay for freedom? Sorry, money collected at gunpoint is theft.
 
2006-12-19 12:29:22 PM  
JohnJacobJingleheimerSchmidt
There is nothing immoral about using legal means, such as incorporation & tax write-offs on things like business expenses, SEP IRA and charitable contributions to save money on your tax bill.

Inherently? No, probably not. Do people frequently use those things for immoral, even illegal purposes? Yes, quite often. Is striving to contribute as little as possible to the government coffers in any way a patriotic act? Absolutely not.

Personally, I think the far bigger immorality is handing over more of my money to the government to waste on pork, when my family could use it to take care of ourselves.

Food in your stomachs, or new rims for your SUVs? There is a difference.
 
2006-12-19 12:30:40 PM  
Sloth_DC

xria:
So go live in Somalia then, apparently they have been doing quite well without a government to tax them, as far as these things can be successful that is.

Somalia doesn't have a government? I think you need to look up "feudalism".


Well its the closest example I can come up with to paying no tax - of course it does depend what area of the country you live in, some areas are basically feudal as you suggest, but others are basically lawless and taxless.
 
2006-12-19 12:31:20 PM  
Sloth_DC
Taxes pay for freedom?

More accurately, taxes pay for the systems and people who protect and champion freedom.

Sorry, money collected at gunpoint is theft.

Not at all. For example: if I owe you $500,000 and the county Sheriff shows up at my house and reposesses my car so he can sell it and pay the debt to you, that isn't theft.
 
2006-12-19 12:32:28 PM  
mmm...pancake: Your taxes aren't voluntary. Try not paying them.

They are voluntary, insomuch as living in America is voluntary. You are obligated to pay them, which is different from saying you must pay them. If you don't like it, leave. Meanwhile, you can contribute, voluntarily, an equal amount of money to charity and not pay taxes if you hate it so much.

At least with fees people who have no need for such perks don't have to sacrifice the well-being of their family to pay for them.

Medicare and medicaid are "perks" if and only if you have the hundreds of thousands of dollars necessary to pay the HMOs what they ask for care. Your argument is based on stinginess, essentially. You don't want to pay taxes, and so you are throwing a tantrum, while using a medium (the internets) that your, or perhaps other people's, tax dollars are paying for and have paid for in research, development, and infrastructure costs.

"I like paying taxes. I feel that I am buying civilization." -Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
2006-12-19 12:33:11 PM  
mrexcess

Folks like you seem to have a vast misunderstanding of what it means to be a small business owner.

Not every mom & pop business is hiding vast sums of money somewhere, and living extravagant lifestyles.
 
2006-12-19 12:33:25 PM  
mrexcess: Well, mostly because it belongs to them. If you didn't notice, what you call money is actually just strips of paper printed, backed, and owned by the government. Without a US Government, all the little green strips of paper you could count wouldn't be worth a plug nickle.

This is laughable and hardly merits a response. If the US owns the money then they own our bodies. When I work for someone I'm converting my labor into dollars because it is easier to spend dollars than it is to trade my specialized labor with everyone.

But also, it isn't theft because you have the option not to pay it. If you don't think you're getting a bargain with your taxes, shop around, and go find somewhere else that you consider more suitable.

When someone sticks me up in a dark alley I can choose not to pay up so that's not theft either, right?
 
2006-12-19 12:37:09 PM  
spelunking_defenestrator: They are voluntary, insomuch as living in America is voluntary. You are obligated to pay them, which is different from saying you must pay them. If you don't like it, leave. Meanwhile, you can contribute, voluntarily, an equal amount of money to charity and not pay taxes if you hate it so much.

If you want to live in America, they ARE NOT VOLUNTARY. If I don't pay them I will be arrested and my assets seized and auctioned off. Do you support anti-abortion laws? After all, you are FREE to go to another country and get an abortion. Therefore, anti-abortion laws don't infringe on personal liberties!! See how I did that?
 
2006-12-19 12:37:14 PM  
mrexcess: Well, mostly because it belongs to them. If you didn't notice, what you call money is actually just strips of paper printed, backed, and owned by the government. Without a US Government, all the little green strips of paper you could count wouldn't be worth a plug nickle.

And we'd be using something else to represent our wealth. The US govt owns the paper, but the wealth is ours. The money is not the wealth it represents.
 
2006-12-19 12:38:23 PM  
JohnJacobJingleheimerSchmidt
Folks like you seem to have a vast misunderstanding of what it means to be a small business owner.

What makes you say that?

mmm... pancake
This is laughable and hardly merits a response. If the US owns the money then they own our bodies.

Uhm, no. Go read the Constitution again. The Federal government has fairly absolute power over the economy. Your body? Not so much.

When I work for someone I'm converting my labor into dollars because it is easier to spend dollars than it is to trade my specialized labor with everyone.

Exactly, money is a service provided to you by the government, and a rather handy one at athat. But never for one second believe that the currency you're using is not the property of the government, because it is.

When someone sticks me up in a dark alley I can choose not to pay up so that's not theft either, right?

Well, that depends. If they do not put you under any duress, and merely give you the option of paying them or not paying them, then it could be argued that it isn't theft.
 
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