I Believe In Tax Equality

July 17, 2012

by — Posted in Personal Writing

 

Earlier today a friend sent me a video titled “Why You and I Have to Cover What The Rich Don’t Pay“.   She asked my opinion on it.   Normally I agree with her on most political issues.   These are normally topics such as gay rights, women’s rights, and healthcare reform.   I’m very left leaning on most of these topics, but at heart I’m still a republican.   I’m not a right-wing republican, but much closer to a moderate.   That being said let’s go over the points raised in the video.

We have a budget deficit

With the exception of the Clinton Era, we have always had a budget deficit.   The complaint in the video is that everyone else needs to go with less.   That somehow the lower class is entitled to free services. I disagree.  I think everyone is entitled to these services.   To get entry everyone must pay an equal share.

The upper and middle should share the same percentage of the lower class  to get any and all government services.   If the services can not be provided for levels of class (regardless if they are used) at a level the government could afford, then the program should be cut, re-evaluated, and trimmed for waste.   I have worked for the government, there is plenty of waste.

One of the issues is healthcare insurance.   Insurance isn’t cheap.  I may sit somewhere in the middle class, but I do pay almost 5,000 a year for insurance.  My employer shoulders the other side of that, to what I assume is an almost equal amount.   I would happily pay that money over to fund national healthcare at the same level I currently receive it.   Then people would complain it was a tax, even if it was equal.   The money spent by the individual might be the same, but since it is a tax they are against it.

For another side, my employer originally didn’t have healthcare.   We went without it.   Individually carried healthcare was quoted to us as being around 1300 a month, roughly 15k a year.  We risked going without it.   Thankfully nothing major happened that we would have needed it.   Everyone that has jobs and corporate sponsored healthcare isn’t aware of the cost when you go it alone.   If a company can lower rate by at least 30% – what can a nation do?

I’m getting a little sidetracked here.  This argument is on equality in expense, not healthcare reform.  It was just one of the points (under Medicare and Medicaid) along with infrastructure and education that was in the video.

Top Tax Rate Is at an Historic Low

This is a good thing.  I don’t care what anyone thinks, this is a good thing.   Any person can take benefit from tax loopholes.   The more money you make allows you to take advantage of more loopholes, but that is the nature of the beast.   Fight for tax reform in the form of closing the loopholes.  The goal is to not raise taxes, but to get everyone on a level playing field.  People making ten thousand a year should pay the same percentage as someone making ten million.

The Can Afford It

This is the dumbest argument in the piece.   Just because someone can afford something doesn’t mean they have to give their money away.  Either through their job, their talent, or family – someone earned that money.  It is not someone else’s right to expect any part of it.

The video points out that the middle class is the real wealth makers in America.   I agree with that.  Some of the middle class also is capable of breaking free and make it to the upper class.   It’s the nature of the beast.   It’s not easy, but it happens.

The rich get richer just because of interest earned on what they have.   They may make it through other reasons, but Mark Zuckerberg makes more in a week on the interest to his funds than most the lower class make a year.   That doesn’t mean he has to share it at a higher percentage rate than the lower class.

In the video they said it is not class warfare, but anything that does not push a tax equality on everyone is speaking in class warfare.   My wife and I have discussed this over the years and have a pretty standard consensus on the matter. We believe in a flat 30% – 40% sales tax to be levied on everything except food.   Rich people buy expensive things.  Poor people buy less expensive things.  Everyone could consider their purchases and decide if they really want the next shiny toy.   Food tax-free allows the lower class to feed their families without a tax burden.

A flat sales tax in theory should be able to cover the inequality in wealth.   With a system like this in place we should be able to negate an income tax system.   To move into it (and teach americans not to necessarily hoard money) we could have a flat income tax of 15% with a 15-25% sales tax.  In the end though, I believe in a flat system where everyone regardless of class pays the same rate.

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