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View Poll Results: US income tax system choice
Other - explain 11 13.75%
Flat absolute amount tax for everyone (e.g, $10k per year) 3 3.75%
Flat rate for everyone (e.g, 15% of income) 36 45.00%
Happy with current system - if you earn more, pay higher rate 30 37.50%
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #41
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It's easy to not recognize the advantages of being born in most places in the US that have good, free primary and secondary education, a good transportation infrastructure, reasonably fair laws that are generally enforced, .... I'm trying to recognize they are "unearned" or "unfair" economic advantages we have enjoyed.

I understand that some are born into more advantageous conditions than others. I'm not so sure about labeling the successes of people born into those situations as "unearned" or "unfair".

Is Micheal Jordon's or Pavorati's success "unearned" or "unfair"? They could not have succeeded if they were not born with certain advantages that most others do not have. Would you buy a CD of me singing, or pay to watch me throw a ball in the general direction of a hoop 10 feet off the ground? Now that would be unfair to you!

I'm trying to understand what your statement means - what actions should we take? I guess it isn't 'fair' that my kids got attention from their parents, were encouraged to go to college and get degrees that will help them in life? We shouldn't do that? I think it would be unfair for you to keep me from doing that. What do you suggest? Do we have everyone play musical chairs with their kids once a year so every kid has an average experience? Would that be 'fair'? Would it result in a better society?

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Old 12-04-2013, 10:04 AM   #42
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I understand that some are born into more advantageous conditions than others. I'm not so sure about labeling the successes of people born into those situations as "unearned" or "unfair".
Some people standing on third base actually hit a triple to get there. Some people on third base were born there and recognize their good fortune to be there. Unfortunately, some people were born on third base but act like they hit a triple to get there -- and have little sympathy for those who have not even made it to first base. I have a lot of respect for the first two groups; the third, not always so much.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:16 AM   #43
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Some people standing on third base actually hit a triple to get there. Some people on third base were born there and recognize their good fortune to be there. Unfortunately, some people were born on third base but act like they hit a triple to get there -- and have little sympathy for those who have not even made it to first base. I have a lot of respect for the first two groups; the third, not always so much.
Agree. But not everyone born on third base acts like they hit a triple to get there - I'm not sure how this is relevant overall. As far as respect, I'll put it this way.

Highest Respect: The disadvantaged person that rises above it to do even more than they likely would have achieved under the circumstances. The advantaged person who utilizes/leverages those advantages to do even more than they likely could have achieved w/o those advantages.

Medium Respect: Anyone who puts forth some reasonable effort - that effort may result in success or it may not, there are no guarantees. The advantaged person (on average) will likely end up higher up the chain due to their advantages than the less advantaged. That might not seem 'fair', but what to do?

Lowest/No/Negative Respect: The advantaged that under-performs and just sucks up the advantages they were born with. The disadvantage who doesn't even try to succeed, and just sucks up whatever they can take from others.

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Old 12-04-2013, 10:19 AM   #44
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Some people standing on third base actually hit a triple to get there. Some people on third base were born there and recognize their good fortune to be there. Unfortunately, some people were born on third base but act like they hit a triple to get there -- and have little sympathy for those who have not even made it to first base. I have a lot of respect for the first two groups; the third, not always so much.
Another good point.

Even this thread keeps reminding me how people believe things in a certain way, and won't/can't see things in another persons way. I guess I keep coming back to wondering about how so many people in this country are either Dems or Reps and will not budge an inch in being sympathetic to how the other side sees things. They KNOW they are right....and the other people are wrong. They point out how the other side did all those horrible things wrong.....while forgetting that their own side did pretty well all those same things (or comparable) wrong as well. But back to taxes....as has been pointed out.....what is fair? We can't seem to agree even on that.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:27 AM   #45
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I'd be happy with a much simplified but still progressive system.
Agree. It's the deductions that complicate things. In Canada there aren't as many deductions. We use tax credits more which seem fairer to me. other big difference is that the US taxes worldwide income even if you don't reside in the US. Finally, estate taxes are the other seemingly unfair, although very progressive, tax which us snowbirds need to organize around.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #46
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Although I have been retired for eight years now, I do tax prep work during tax season and have worked for Block and last couple of years doing the volunteer thing thru IRS/VITA.

I would love to see a flat tax with no credits or deductions whatsoever and the Feds could give back to the states as needed to cover what is now the EITC. I don't see the tax system ever changing for the better as too many lobbying groups want to keep it as confusing and convoluted as possible. With a straight forward tax system, look at all the tax companies, CPAs, tax attorneys, etc. taking a big pay cut. Not to mention the IRS being reduced by a bunch. Just don't ever see it happening.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:12 AM   #47
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...I would love to see a flat tax with no credits or deductions whatsoever ...
Totally agree on the no credits or deductions - except I think rates should be progressive rather than flat unless there was some level of income that isn't subject to tax (which I think is common to most of the flat tax proposals).

If I were King it would be just Form 1040, line 22 * a rate table with rates with the same degree of progressiveness as we have today designed to be revenue neutral.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:52 PM   #48
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Thanks for the interesting discussion

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