Poll: What do you think of raising income tax on income over $5 million to 80%
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View poll results: What do you think of raising income tax on income over $5 million to 80%
I like it.
32 38%
Does not go far ***ugh.
6 7%
I like the idea, but this goes too far.
24 28%
I'm against anything along these lines.
23 27%
Voters: 85.
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#1
The wealth distribution thread got me thinking of a poll.

In 1918, the USA had a top income tax rate of 77% on income over $1 million (equivalent to about $15 million today), to help finance WW1. This steadily declined in the Roaring 20's till the top tax rate was 24% in 1929. Then the Great Depression started, and FDR's New Deal involved taking from the rich and giving to the poor through higher taxes, so taxes on the rich went back up, to 63% as the top rate in 1932, and kept climbing till 1945 when it reached 95% on all income over $200,000 (equivalent to $2.5 million today).

Basically, it looks like the thinking in 1945 was that it's fine to be rich, but does anyone really need, or deserve, to earn more than $2.5 million a year? Anyway, the top tax rate stayed high, like 70%, through the 60's, lowered to 50% by the early 80's, and to 22% by 1988 (thanks Reagan), and I think it's now at 35%.

Those who favor low taxes on the rich argue, first, that if you raise taxes, you create a disincentive on people to achieve great things that can make them rich. However, I don't think money is what motivates people to do great things, like cure diseases or invent new technologies. Were Ben Franklin or Thomas Edison motivated by money? The Wright Brothers? Steven Jobs? I don't think so. I'd also note that America had huge economic growth -- and rich people worked very hard at getting richer -- when the high tax rate was 70% or higher (the 50's, the 60's), so history disproves the notion that a lower tax on the rich is necessary to incentivize people.

Those who favor low taxes on the rich have a fallback argument, that if you let the rich keep more of their money, they'll put that money to work in the economy starting and expanding businesses, investing, etc. (i.e., "trickle down economics"). Funny, though... Let's assume rich people put 50% of that extra money to work in the USA rather than, say, saving it or spending it oversees...That's still not as good as the US government taking that money and spending 100% of it on programs that create jobs (infrastructure, green technologies, etc.) Thus, trickle-down economics seems to try to sell you on the notion that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf, which makes no sense.

Now, a tax rate of, say, 90% is pretty much the same as having a maximum income, like, "No one needs more than $x income per year." And I've heard some people argue that's un-American. However, America was never founded on the notion we need to be free to become obscenely wealthy. I doubt the Founding Father's thought the democracy they were creating would lead to individual Americans amassing greater personal wealth than some small nations. The advent of technology, and the ability to market to the masses, simply did not exist when our country was founded, so it was not on their radar, and frankly I think they would find the notion repulsive, because at a certain point, people who are too wealthy are akin to royalty, with all the evil that implies.

So, anyway, I'm curious about how people on here feel about the idea of a more Robin Hood-ish tax code, getting back to what we had in the 30's or early 40's, or something in between. I've broken down a few proposals:


1) Raising the tax rate on annual income over $5 million to 80%
2) This does not go far ***ugh -- (why is the word "E-N-O-U-G-H" being filtered?)
3) Change is needed, but this goes too far
4) No change is needed

Ken
Last edited by krm27 at Nov 20, 2013,
#4
baby's first poll
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers

If women can be annoyed there arent any women incongress I should be allowed to be pissed off there are no members of pink floyd or the beatles in congress.
#6
WE SHOULD PAY OUR FOOTBALLERS £6 AN HOUR AND OUR NURSES AND SOLDIERS £140K PER WEEK DO U AGRE
#7
i like it higher taxes for the rich is nice since weve all see just how selfish rich people can be when theyre expected to not be so

80 percent is quite a bit id be thinking something like 60 or so but im all for taxing the rich more
and the poor less because the rich can afford it
#10
Actually, it was 91% in the 50's under Eisenhower during one of the U.S.A.'s most prosperous periods.
Last edited by jugglingfreak at Nov 20, 2013,
#12
Isn't it like 53% hence the whole thing where Mitt Romney hates the 47%?
“Just to sum up: I would do various things very quickly.” - Donald Trump
#14
Flat tax rate across the board and get rid of ALL tax loopholes.
"Lost money on a business venture? Tough shit".
"You made $5 Million last year and donated $500,000 to some orphanage?
Good for you, but you still pay taxes on that $5 Million".

Penalizing (via higher taxes) for working hard and being successful, just seems kinda fucked up.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Nov 20, 2013,
#16
80% seems a bit steep, people will start to bitch and complain even though they'll still have more than ***ugh to survive like the rest of us plebs. I'd say 50-60%
pinga
#18
A few times, when I worked hourly jobs, 40 hours a week, then worked a few hours overtime, I actually took home less because it put me in a different tax bracket.
#19
Raising the income tax to 80% for all profits over $5,000,000 doesn't seem problematic to me.

Increase the tax free threshold. Remove tax loopholes. High tax for super profits only.
RIP Gooze

cats
#20
Quote by CodeMonk
A few times, when I worked hourly jobs, 40 hours a week, then worked a few hours overtime, I actually took home less because it put me in a different tax bracket.

See this is ridiculous. Imo The system should only tax you the higher amount on your income OVER the bracket threshold. Not on all your income.
RIP Gooze

cats
#21
Quote by CodeMonk
Flat tax rate across the board and get rid of ALL tax loopholes.
"Lost money on a business venture? Tough shit".
"You made $5 Million last year and donated $500,000 to some orphanage?
Good for you, but you still pay taxes on that $5 Million".

Penalizing (via higher taxes) for working hard and being successful, just seems kinda fucked up.


I agree with this, penalizing people for making money doesn't really give people an incentive to make more, thus they just say **** it and settle for less which doesn't do wonders for the economy. The tax loopholes bit doesn't really encourage people to donate, but then if they're only donating for a tax refund, it's hardly out of the goodness of their hearts.
#22
Quote by CodeMonk
A few times, when I worked hourly jobs, 40 hours a week, then worked a few hours overtime, I actually took home less because it put me in a different tax bracket.

Isn't this the very issue that's caused by imposing a flat tax across the board?
pinga
#23
Quote by CodeMonk
A few times, when I worked hourly jobs, 40 hours a week, then worked a few hours overtime, I actually took home less because it put me in a different tax bracket.


There are definitely numerous reforms that need to take place aside from the one mentioned in the OP.

I like the method in the OP more than a simple overall income tax bracket (I'm aware that in practice this is used in conjunction with the standard progressive tax system). I almost think that removing tax brackets in the sense of your 'overall earnings' should be replaced by a system that works in accordance to something like 'all earnings over $75,000 are taxed at x%, but earnings below that stay at the lower rate'. This could prevent the issue of working overtime and actually taking home less. However: I'm not actually proposing this because the progressive tax system is obviously way more complex than what I just described and I don't even pay income taxes yet.
#24
Quote by CodeMonk
Flat tax rate across the board and get rid of ALL tax loopholes.
"Lost money on a business venture? Tough shit".
"You made $5 Million last year and donated $500,000 to some orphanage?
Good for you, but you still pay taxes on that $5 Million".

Penalizing (via higher taxes) for working hard and being successful, just seems kinda fucked up.



I pretty much agree with this guy. Not entirely, but pretty much. Perhaps on a stupidly high income, like $5m, then higher tax seems logical, but: firstly, where is the limit drawn? £5m, $1m, $0.5m? Secondly, those are the kind of people who, if you try to tax them, will simply move abroad meaning you can't tax them at all, and they'll just visit for really long holidays. You can't abolish tax havens.

Besides that, to an extent I think if you work hard ***ugh and are good ***ugh at a job to earn a lot, then you probably deserve it. Jobs are (generally) paid either on complexity and ability required, or on knowing people and getting a cushy placement. If the former is true, then the person probably deserves a big pay-cheque. If the latter, then surely there is something inherently wrong with the system, and the government/companies should be motivating people/companies to work for their money.

Another issue is that by taxing salary more, they'll just reduce salary and provide the same money in another form - some allowance for a car or housing or holidays or bonuses... Whatever you try to do, they'll just create a new way around it. So really, whilst many big loopholes can be sewn up, it's pretty much impossible to beat them all.

Anyway, this is getting a bit long.

tl;dr: I think a flat rate of tax for everyone except those below a certain point who should be taxed less - because every $/£ for them is a lot more meaningful. That seems fair.
If you earn $40k p/a and pay 20%, for example, then you pay $8k. If you earn $400k, then you're paying $80k - you're already paying much more. It's too hard to decide where an upper bracket would be, and it'd need to be updated with inflation anyway or would cause too much debate.
#25
Quote by a7xb4d
I agree with this, penalizing people for making money doesn't really give people an incentive to make more, thus they just say **** it and settle for less which doesn't do wonders for the economy. The tax loopholes bit doesn't really encourage people to donate, but then if they're only donating for a tax refund, it's hardly out of the goodness of their hearts.


Still donations are needed for some organizations.
Even as I was writing that, I knew it was flawed.

Quote by Cb4rabid
Isn't this the very issue that's caused by imposing a flat tax across the board?



Just roughed this out:

$10hr
40 hours = $400
2 Hrs OT at $15 hr (+$30)
Total $430

Tax Rate %10

Take home with 40 hours $400 - $40 = $360
Take home with 42 hours $430 - $43 - $387
#26
The thinking was never "people shouldn't really be allowed to earn and don't need X amount of income". Show me where the U.S. Government ever said that? And taxes essentially rose each time we were in war (WW1, WW2, Vietnam) and declined in peace time. We're not exactly in a state of war right now (at least not on the scale of anything that demands high taxes). There is no security emergency that demands more taxes. So 80% on high earners like that right now is absurd, and it should never ever be a permanent thing ever. A government should never punish people for earning millions of dollars just because.
Quote by Overlord
It's not hard to be nice, but it's nice to be hard
#27
Quote by CodeMonk
Flat tax rate across the board and get rid of ALL tax loopholes.
"Lost money on a business venture? Tough shit".
"You made $5 Million last year and donated $500,000 to some orphanage?
Good for you, but you still pay taxes on that $5 Million".

Penalizing (via higher taxes) for working hard and being successful, just seems kinda fucked up.


100% agree. Except for one thing. People in the higher tax brackets don't get deductions for having children, but people in the lower ones do.
#28
Quote by CodeMonk
Still donations are needed for some organizations.
Even as I was writing that, I knew it was flawed.


Just roughed this out:

$10hr
40 hours = $400
2 Hrs OT at $15 hr (+$30)
Total $430

Tax Rate %10

Take home with 40 hours $400 - $40 = $360
Take home with 42 hours $430 - $43 - $387


I was talking more like say if you were to impose a 10% tax rate for anyone making over 20k a year.

10% of 20k = 18k take home

this means that anyone who makes less than 20k a year (lets say 19k or 18k) actually makes more than the person who supposedly makes 20k a year.
pinga
#29
Quote by CodeMonk
Still donations are needed for some organizations.
Even as I was writing that, I knew it was flawed.


That's definitely a good point. I think some may still donate in order to preserve their public image, but overall getting ridding of tax incentives for donating would definitely see a decrease in the amount of donations made. Maybe some other form of incentive to donate could be established? Like all things I think it would need to be phased out over time so that we don't see some really helpful organizations going bankrupt.
#30
Quote by CodeMonk
Penalizing (via higher taxes) for working hard and being successful, just seems kinda fucked up.



Made 20 million this year, but the government took 16 million of it and gave it to poor people. How will I ever get by on just 4 million dollars a year?

#basicallyslavery
Check out my band Disturbed
#31
Want to know how to fix the excessively unequal income distribution? Add a plethora of regulations to prevent the Federal Reserve from distributing money purely to certain companies on the stock market, redesign the Federal reserve so that money is not distributed through the stock market, or abolish the federal reserve and have congress issue money in a way that is actually regulated by rule of law.
#32
If we didn't have any government, we wouldn't have any form of regulated currency, so we wouldn't have this problem. We should just go back to living off the Earth mang.

#33
Quote by StewieSwan
Made 20 million this year, but the government took 16 million of it and gave it to poor people. How will I ever get by on just 4 million dollars a year?

#basicallyslavery


I guess I should never try to make 20million dollars, cuz then I'd actually have to make $100 million dollars first, which is just a tad harder.
Quote by Overlord
It's not hard to be nice, but it's nice to be hard
#34
Quote by Carnivean
A government should never punish people for earning millions of dollars just because.

How about to help provide education and health services for those in low socio-economic areas and the like?
It's not punishing the rich just because they're rich.

If you think everyone has the opportunity to just work hard and make it than you're not paying attention.

Quote by StewieSwan
Made 20 million this year, but the government took 16 million of it and gave it to poor people. How will I ever get by on just 4 million dollars a year?

#basicallyslavery

Yeah, this
RIP Gooze

cats
Last edited by mulefish at Nov 20, 2013,
#35
Quote by StewieSwan
Made 20 million this year, but the government took 16 million of it and gave it to poor people. How will I ever get by on just 4 million dollars a year?

#basicallyslavery


I don't think that's the point though. The point is he made that money, so what right do they have to take 80% of it? To fix the whole poor not getting help thing, I think that's where you could set up incentives to give to the poor.
#36
Quote by a7xb4d
I don't think that's the point though. The point is he made that money, so what right do they have to take 80% of it? To fix the whole poor not getting help thing, I think that's where you could set up incentives to give to the poor.



Quote by Thomas Paine
Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.


That's what right they have.


Quote by Carnivean
I guess I should never try to make 20million dollars, cuz then I'd actually have to make $100 million dollars first, which is just a tad harder.



The idea that people would rather pout than take home $20 million out of $100 million is absurd. It doesn't discourage people from making money.
Check out my band Disturbed
Last edited by StewieSwan at Nov 20, 2013,
#37
Quote by Cb4rabid
I was talking more like say if you were to impose a 10% tax rate for anyone making over 20k a year.

10% of 20k = 18k take home

this means that anyone who makes less than 20k a year (lets say 19k or 18k) actually makes more than the person who supposedly makes 20k a year.



If the 19k or 18k are still paying %10, it all works out.

Although (and here is where is gets tricky, although a shit load easier than current tax law)....

If paying that %10 tax puts you below the poverty level, then....give them food stamps or something to make up for it?

I really don't know.

Maybe I could come up with some better ideas if I had some weed.
#38
Yes, rich people should pay higher taxes than everyone else. Anybody who says they shouldn't is probably rich.
#39
Quote by StewieSwan
That's what right they have.


So the society is responsible for him being able to become rich, true. But I am of the opinion he is only due to pay for the services it provides. While I feel it is every man's moral obligation to help those in need, I do not think it is the place of government to force him to do so. Then it ceases to be giving of his choosing and the act is void of any goodness. So yes, pay taxes for the roads the government maintains and such, but I think that charity is a whole other thing. As there are many unnecessary expenditures by the government, I don't think it is right for them to take that much. The "originally posted by Thomas Paine" was a nice touch.
#40
Quote by CodeMonk
If the 19k or 18k are still paying %10, it all works out.

Although (and here is where is gets tricky, although a shit load easier than current tax law)....

If paying that %10 tax puts you below the poverty level, then....give them food stamps or something to make up for it?

I really don't know.

Maybe I could come up with some better ideas if I had some weed.

Why pay taxes then only to have the tax money come back to you in the form of welfare

the point is that those who earn less than 20k wouldn't be taxed at all whereas if you make 20k you'll get shafted by even a 10% tax
pinga
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