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Old 04-11-2010, 10:56 AM   #61
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This discussion is fun but just like the federal take over of health care we have zero input on this. The people who are in power have no choice but to keep stealing from us and giving to the "less fortunate" who will continue to vote to keep them in power.
I disagree. Have you seen how malleable large portions of the populace are?
They have no concept of logical arguments and are easily swayed by glitzy marketing ads.
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Old 04-11-2010, 12:49 PM   #62
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I disagree. Have you seen how malleable large portions of the populace are?
They have no concept of logical arguments and are easily swayed by glitzy marketing ads.
Very true, but equally true that those who think they are immune to the hammer do often have the same ability for adaptive change. It's all in the sophistication of Mr. Svengali.

A Modest proposal

Require presidential candidates to have a detailed platform on which they are running and that it be a legal contract from the president to the people. The president is required to stay in office until he/she is able to have a perfectly balanced budget. Else they face a prison term of 20 years.

Make it a federal law that everyone "must" vote.

Whoever wins is obligated to run the programs that he/she legally signed up for in their platform.

Those citizens who voted for the winning candidate are then designated as taxpayers and required to pay the amount of tax to fully fund the winners programs.

Those citizens who voted for the loser are not required to pay tax.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:40 PM   #63
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Very true, but equally true that those who think they are immune to the hammer do often have the same ability for adaptive change. It's all in the sophistication of Mr. Svengali.

A Modest proposal

Require presidential candidates to have a detailed platform on which they are running and that it be a legal contract from the president to the people. The president is required to stay in office until he/she is able to have a perfectly balanced budget. Else they face a prison term of 20 years.

Make it a federal law that everyone "must" vote.

Whoever wins is obligated to run the programs that he/she legally signed up for in their platform.

Those citizens who voted for the winning candidate are then designated as taxpayers and required to pay the amount of tax to fully fund the winners programs.

Those citizens who voted for the loser are not required to pay tax.
That is not a modest proposal that is brilliant.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:51 PM   #64
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Don't forget the kleptocrats' other constituency- Wall Street. Pols hand out cash to the "poor" to get votes, and hand out friendly laws and dispensations to the Wall Streeters to keep that cash source flowing back to the pols. And of course since many of the Washington elite will be heading to Wall Street when they get tired of Washington's muggy summers they want to stay on very friendly terms with the masters of the universe.

The US is only a few short steps above the African kleptocracies- mostly only a matter of style.

Ha
Ha you know I had a discussion with a gentleman from India the other day. He moved here 30 years ago to get away from the poverty brought on by corruption. We both laughed when he pointed out that in that thirty years the US has deteriorated to the point that it is about like India . In his words the only difference is that in India they have the sensitivity to pass the money under the table. "here the government just calls it a stimulus plan and hand out billions to in plain view to political allies "
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:27 AM   #65
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In my humble opinion, the only tax that isn't cheated on or doesn't have a well worn work around is the tax that hasn't yet been invented. The tax that is least evaded is the cheapest tax. Just the way things work.


The VAT is being bandied about a lot of late but has anyone weighed the Constitutionality of it? That thing, the Constitution, the one with all the shreds, footprints, and blood is still in force no matter how much people try to ignore it. It may even come out of hiding and rip health care a new orifice....
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:59 AM   #66
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The VAT is being bandied about a lot of late but has anyone weighed the Constitutionality of it? That thing, the Constitution, the one with all the shreds, footprints, and blood is still in force no matter how much people try to ignore it. It may even come out of hiding and rip health care a new orifice....
If it is still legal and allowed let's offer up a prayer that some one some where in Washington will take time to read the 10 th amendment..
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:17 AM   #67
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Ha you know I had a discussion with a gentleman from India the other day. He moved here 30 years ago to get away from the poverty brought on by corruption. We both laughed when he pointed out that in that thirty years the US has deteriorated to the point that it is about like India . In his words the only difference is that in India they have the sensitivity to pass the money under the table. "here the government just calls it a stimulus plan and hand out billions to in plain view to political allies "
The United States is nothing like India and it would take many decades for India to achieve the socio-political and economic infrastructure the US enjoys today.
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:20 PM   #68
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The United States is nothing like India and it would take many decades for India to achieve the socio-political and economic infrastructure the US enjoys today.
I fully agree with you that economically right now and I hope for my life time we are way ahead of India....

On the socio political aspect.. I really don't see much difference. We are both huge countries that are comprised of many different cultural groups at odds with each other. We have no common culture to share. As a matter of fact is, if we have a national culture it is "multiculturalism". Our politicians are cut from the same cloth theirs are . We are very lucky but we are not superior in any way. We have just had the incredible good luck to live in a country that at one time had a culture of Libertarianism and basic honesty that made us truly unique and led us to wealth and Liberty.. That is gone for good now. The best we can hope for from here on out is a Western European form of socialism/ authoritarianism .....

Hang on and hope! prepare for a VAT and other forms of taxation on "unearned" income. We haven't seen anything yet.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:55 PM   #69
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I think we should just cut to the chase and implement my two line tax form.

1. How much did you make? Include all salary, dividends, interest, stock gains, gambling winnings, and gifts from Granny.
2. Send it in.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:17 PM   #70
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Does anybody know when they started to put the VAT on the receipt

I lived in London in late '99 to early '01. I bought a lot of stuff and not one receipt had a VAT on it... I went to other countries and they did not include VAT. The only time I knew what the VAT was was when I was in Switzerland and bought a watch. They asked if I was going to apply to get my VAT back. I said 'yes', not knowing what I needed to do. The receipt had the VAT. Maybe the EU made a change and forced them to put the VAT on the receipt.

PS... I did NOT get my VAT back as you had to spend more money than I did... so screwed on that one....
VAT initially was introduced by the Thatcher government in the 80's I believe. It was to be 15% initially but the House of Lords rejected it and it was re-submitted and approved at 10%, but it didn't take long to get it up to 15%.

I used to travel on business in those days when it was newly introduced and when we bought things on expenses such as meals, hotel rooms etc we often received a regular receipt, and had to ask specifically for a VAT receipt - the company accountants would get real upset if we presented receipts with expense reports that didn't have the VAT broken out.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:12 AM   #71
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On the socio political aspect.. I really don't see much difference. We are both huge countries that are comprised of many different cultural groups at odds with each other. We have no common culture to share. As a matter of fact is, if we have a national culture it is "multiculturalism". Our politicians are cut from the same cloth theirs are . We are very lucky but we are not superior in any way. We have just had the incredible good luck to live in a country that at one time had a culture of Libertarianism and basic honesty that made us truly unique and led us to wealth and Liberty.. That is gone for good now. The best we can hope for from here on out is a Western European form of socialism/ authoritarianism ..... .
??
I think our views on the US are so different that it's pointless to discuss it further. I am, however, profoundly grateful to have been born and raised here and not there, even if you see them as alike, and hope my grandchildren have the same good fortune.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:40 AM   #72
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With respect to the Reuters link, Volker mentions an energy tax as well as the VAT. An energy tax is a much easier sell politically. Especially if it is put in place as a "cap and trade" regime with gradually increasing auctions for carbon. It is far, far sneakier than a VAT and has the much easier sell of being necessary to save the planet.

VAT is DOA. Long live Cap & Trade.
That would kill the economy, is that what you want? The US is already regulated beyond belief under the EPA. Another punitive tax without scientific merit is needed?
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:40 AM   #73
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Especially if it is put in place as a "cap and trade" regime with gradually increasing auctions for carbon. It is far, far sneakier than a VAT and has the much easier sell of being necessary to save the planet.

VAT is DOA. Long live Cap & Trade.
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That would kill the economy, is that what you want? ... Another punitive tax without scientific merit is needed?
From what I've read, the same scientists who claim that we are killing the planet with carbon are also saying it would take much more extreme measures than some mild Cap & Trade bill the US would pass to actually make much of a difference.

So we can kill the US economy and still kill the planet! Two for one!


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Old 04-13-2010, 08:49 AM   #74
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That would kill the economy, is that what you want? The US is already regulated beyond belief under the EPA. Another punitive tax without scientific merit is needed?
I wasn't commenting on "what I wanted" or on the scientific validity of global warming (I believe we've had other threads on that you could refer to).

The clear intention of the quote was to suggest that a "Cap & Trade" scheme, sold as an environmental necessity, is a much easier political lift than a VAT.
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:54 AM   #75
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The Canadian Perspective

So, I'm semi retired but still in a high marginal tax bracket here in Canada, lets say 45% or so. Our VAT ( actually called HST - Harmonized Sales Tax ) , was increased from 13% to 15% last week. So when you think it thru, thats really a 3% tax increase before taxes.

So, I kinda discuss it with the wife. Its really really reached the point where its not worth earning the money anymore. I think I will really ER and enjoy the free healthcare while it lasts!
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:32 AM   #76
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So, I'm semi retired but still in a high marginal tax bracket here in Canada, lets say 45% or so. Our VAT ( actually called HST - Harmonized Sales Tax ) , was increased from 13% to 15% last week. So when you think it thru, thats really a 3% tax increase before taxes.

So, I kinda discuss it with the wife. Its really really reached the point where its not worth earning the money anymore. I think I will really ER and enjoy the free healthcare while it lasts!
Fuzzy math maybe....

But what I get is.. 15%/13% = 1.153846... or a 15% increase in your HST....
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:09 AM   #77
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I was thinking more like a 3% increase in total taxes.

ie. (15 -13 ) * 1.45

No matter what way you look at it, it hurts.
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:04 PM   #78
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I was thinking more like a 3% increase in total taxes.

ie. (15 -13 ) * 1.45

No matter what way you look at it, it hurts.
I still think fuzzy math...

You are not paying the new tax on your marginal dollar... but all dollars... so I do not know why you did *1.45...

Say you had $100,000 income and your taxes were $20K.. but your margin was 45%.. you have $80K to spend... I don't think your tax is on everything.. (but I could be wrong on that).... so, let's say it is only on half your spending... or $40K... your old HST was $40K .13 or $5.2K.. now it is $40K * .15 or $6K... an increase of $800..

So, you taxes went from $25,200 to $26,000 or... 3%... HMMM

OK.... what am I missing here... is this just a coincidence
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:53 PM   #79
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You have most of it. The tax is on all goods and services. Very few exceptions, such as groceries. Average income tax rate is probably 28%, so its really more like 2% * 1.28 . Regardless, its a tax on post tax dollars. We can't hide from it.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:15 PM   #80
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Regardless, its a tax on post tax dollars. We can't hide from it.
I think this is one reason it is being discussed in the US. It is not just another tax. It is a new way for the federal government to tax money that has (usually) already been taxed once. As US income growth levels off in the coming decades (in response to globalization) the FIT (if rates and deductions/exclusions are kept constant) will not grow at the rate needed to pay for the much larger government spending envisioned. By instituting a VAT, the government gains the ability to tax the large quantity of stored wealth that Americans may have put aside during the prosperous past.
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