Skip to main content

View Diary: Bush Proves Trickle Down Doesn't Work As Advertised (194 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Taxes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redfish, Do Tell, StrayCat

    Like term limits, I'll take the lonely view here on dkos, since actual debates on policy here are illegal.

    I say we scrap the income tax (or much of it, anyway) and consider some way of implementing a national sales tax, which I DO believe can be implemented in such a way as to still be a fairly progressive tax system.

    I know, I know. You'll all stick your fingers in your ears and scream, "NO! I've been told that a national sales tax is regressive so I refuse to think about it!"

    Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

    by chemsmith on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:10:57 AM PDT

    •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nina Katarina, RAST, kd texan, Do Tell

      I'll look at any idea.

      Frankly, tax policy is incredibly complex with thousands of nooks and crannies along the way.  

      "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

      by bonddad on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:12:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bonddad, thanks and slightly OT (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Do Tell, NearlyNormal

        We should have learned by now Laffer-ism and old view Trickle-down doesn't work.

        Wage growth is going backwards.  Recently concluded contract terms between our local teacher's union and the School System saw the raises for a number of the staff members wiped out by rising health plan costs.......One of the nation's oldest and largest heavy-duty electrical enclosure and specialty electrical equipment manufacturers is located here, and members of the IBEW local representing these workers claim that real wages haven't increased greatly in nearly 10 years due to health insurance costs which are very high for the employees requiring something better that the hefty 1500+ dollar, and frequently higher deductable AETNA like policies so often peddled.

        So thanks for a great diary again.  

        Now for the OT part.  Thanks so much for your recent diaries about the retirement fund disaster waiting to unfold in America.  401K's need some revision!

        Bush's lies kill American troops. Any questions?

        by boilerman10 on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:39:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  VAT in Europe (7+ / 0-)

        I know that European countries vary in tax policies pretty wildly, but the VAT is damned steep; even in those countries with high income taxes. 22%? High. And that apparently hasn't solved their tax issues.

        Frankly, Jimmy Carter had the right idea on this. Zero-based budgeting. Nothing is sacred. Everything needs to be evaluated from zero, not based on "what did I get last year and increase it 20%". Entitlements too. That DOESN'T mean doing away with them. It means justifying the amount of money you're requesting.

        Taxes being the other side of that equation need to be evaluated on the basis of "how much money do we need to pay for the shit we've just bought"? And "who has the means to pay for this stuff"?

        This country is a bipolar person off meds on a manic episode running up debts with his kids' credit cards buying stuff he will never use -- some of it broken to begin with (bridge to nowhere, space shields, etc). Someone has to take the credit cards away.

        The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

        by kmiddle on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 07:49:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tax issues in Europe.... (0+ / 0-)

          The reason the VAT hasn't solved their tax issues is because they spend like no other.  When government accounts for nearly 50% of GDP, it's hard for governments to cover their expenses.  It's not that the taxes don't cover, it that's their expenses are so great.  A welfare state doesn't come free!!!!!

    •  I like that approach because it rewards saving (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Do Tell

      and low consumption.

      Unfortunately because our economy is fueled by excess consumption it could result in a fierce recession.

      Scourge the rich, take their stuff and feed them to the manbearpig. And then take more of their stuff! Ha Ha Ha we are the pirates of the 21st century!!!

      by redfish on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:15:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whatever is done (4+ / 0-)

        it would have to be phased in slowly.

        Why does our current much-beloved-by-all-liberal income tax fail so badly? Because the RICH get OUT of paying their fair share. The tax code is so complicated and rigged with loopholes that they often don't pay what they should. The income tax is a mess.

        Time also to eliminate the limit on the social security tax.

        Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

        by chemsmith on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:47:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sales Tax (0+ / 0-)

          I'm a little concerned about the idea.  The part that concerns me is the who will actually pay part.  

          I'll pay, you'll pay, but there are likely millions of people who will do whatever it takes to avoid paying sales taxes.  

          The other aspect of it that is troublesome, is that states with sales taxes will probably be forced to reduce their sales taxes, or switch from a sales tax to an income tax.  

    •  Hmmm (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hhex65, Dallasdoc, Do Tell, StrayCat

      I see lots of policy debates constantly on this site.  It would be interesting to see you propose a sales tax that was not regressive, however.  The more you try to tax only items that the more well-to-do buy, however, the less your tax will be able to generate revenues comparable to an income tax.  Propose and debate away, I say!

      "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

      by scorponic on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:23:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reagan's Luxury Tax (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bronte17, Do Tell

        after all was said and done ended up killing the boat building industry in this country and costing so many jobs that we paid out more in benefits to the displaced workers than the tax ultimately brought in.

        I was listening to RW radio on I81 somehere in East Tennesee a few weeks ago and I heard this guy touting a national sales tax and he said that a family making $20,000 a year would end up with an extra $400 a month.  He added that his plan included eliminating all state sales taxes.  I am dubious as to how happy a state like Alabama would be when that is pretty much the key state revenue chennel.  

        Anyhow, the problem is that a family making $20,000 a year doesn't really have the option not to buy most of the things they do buy and I would bet that the alleged $400 "surplus" would pretty much evaporate with the national sales tax.  

        Funny though because the guy didn't offer up a proposed percentage for his national sales tax so there was no way for me or any other listener to calculate how much of the $400 windfall that family making $20,000 would actually hang on to in the end.  Hum, I wonder what he didn't do that?

        •  why not just abolish (0+ / 0-)

          the income tax, and have the state governments pay in per capita to the Federal Gov't on a quarterly basis.  Then all individual taxes would be state taxes, and Congress and the pres. would have to justify the expenses to people with clout.  At the same time, Social Security could be divorced from the tax system, and funded as a trust, not a tax, by payroll, with no cap, and no way for the Fed to scoop the dough, unless the trustees voted to buy gov't bonds.  Health care could be part of the funding   package for Social Security.
              This is just a rough idea, but it might simplify taxes, and slow the growth of the Federal social dictatorship.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 10:33:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Actual debates on policy are illegal here? (12+ / 0-)

      I never took you for a troll....   Are you sensitive because someone disagreed with you?

      National sales taxes are inherently regressive, whatever their other virtues.  I think there's a broad consensus here that tax policy ought to be made more progressive, for fairness and equity reasons.  If you propose a national sales tax, you'll catch a lot of heat for this reason alone, unless you couple it with a more progressive tax to restore overall fairness.

      What is your idea?

      -4.50, -5.85 In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. --Orwell

      by Dallasdoc on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:28:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've only suggested (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        javelina, klk, FindingMyVoice, Do Tell

        it in broad outline, which may not sound like much but any rebuttals are even more vague than my outlines.

        First, I would eliminate income tax for a huge swath of the population. Some formula would need to be used. Basically only the top x% (5%? I dunno) would pay any sort of income tax.

        Second, no tax on food. No tax on 1st homes. No tax on basic transportation. No tax on education. Might take some figuring to get this worked out, but it's likely no more complicated than what we have now.

        The idea, basically, is to remove income tax from the poor and middle class, and to also not tax them on basic necessities. Taxes would come from mainly the ultra-wealthy and from "luxury" (non-survival) items. (I say education is needed for survival.)

        I think also, that small businesses should have their tax burden pretty much eliminated. Period. Always, always do everything to support small businesses. If this was coupled with a national health-care plan that removed the burden of health care from small businesses, I don't see how we wouldn't get most of their support. We Dems blow it big time when it comes to business. They think we don't support them.

        There would be more to deal with, such as how to deal with larger businesses and with closing loopholes the rich have, but this is the general idea.

        I've proposed this numerous times on dkos. Again, I rarely get a rebuttal other than, "No matter how you do it, it's regressive." (I think I see that below already, of course.)

        Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

        by chemsmith on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:43:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your income tax... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          javelina, Jesterfox, Do Tell

          ... sounds like the original one, which applied only to top income brackets.  

          Removing all these taxes sounds great, but where would you make up the difference?  We've already got huge deficits, and tax revenue needs to be expanded rather than reduced.  Where does that come from?

          -4.50, -5.85 In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. --Orwell

          by Dallasdoc on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:48:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  from an increase in the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            javelina

            sales tax on the non-survival items.

            Yes, your movie tickets and boats and fancy clothes and tv would cost more, but at least you'd be in control of your tax burden, more than you are now.

            This should eliminate the IRS from most of our lives as well. Ahhhhhh....that's a bonus right there. The government would save money not having to deal with the taxes of 150,000 or so folks.

            Well, this can be nitpicked to death. For me, the point isn't in the details. I just find this weird obsession with the income tax and hatred of any other idea to be unproductive.

            Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

            by chemsmith on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:52:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  150,000,000 (0+ / 0-)

              not 150,000

              Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

              by chemsmith on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:53:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  So the sales tax would be large? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              javelina, cappy, Do Tell, NearlyNormal

              You're talking about something like Canada's GST, then.  That can raise lots of revenue, but the more exclusions you have the higher the rate will be, and the more unpopular the tax will be.  

              I'm not averse to that system, but I think a balanced approach with income tax is essential.  I'd suggest that the income tax include the top 65-70% of income brackets, excluding only the bottom third, and that the tax be more steeply progressive with many fewer deductions.  I'd also favor equal treatment of income from investments and work, ending the favoritism shown to capital gains and dividends.  Income is income, after all.

              -4.50, -5.85 In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. --Orwell

              by Dallasdoc on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 06:03:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I have lived in a country with high sales tax - (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bronte17, Do Tell

              well actually high importation taxes in lieu of significant income tax and ultimately the richest people get out of paying the import taxes by smuggling and paying people off because they have the means to. The businesses also had this advantage.  Often the businesses would give employees the benefit of their discount so even more people got out of paying the taxes.  Tracking that kind of corruption even in a very small country was daunting at best.  I wonder if we would end up replacing the IRS employees with leagues of "cash register inspectors" nationwide.  I think staying with an income tax model where each individual is resposible for for their own part in one streamlined process might be a lot less risky in terms of corruption and tax evasion.  

              This small country is moving towards the single tax payer income tax model now because they have to ironically because of the deal with the IRS that many of those countries were forced to make regarding opening up their banking records so that the United States government can inspect them.  As a result, their off-shore incorporation revenue has dropped dramatically which was their primary tax revenue for years.

              So...  I don't know.  I think a national sales tax in a country of 300 million people would end up being a costly, bureaucratic nightmare. But I don't know really.  

        •  Well... (4+ / 0-)

          ...vague proposals tend to get vague responses.  The thing to do is to try to work out how much revenue would be generated by specific proposals as compared to the current system.  Until you do that, it is plausible to maintain that such a system would either be regressive (if it approached the level of revenue needed) or grossly insufficient revenue-wise (or both, actually).  This might be a good reason to do some specific research and see what proposals and critiques are already out there and report back in the form of a diary.  I think you would have a lot of people approach the idea with an open mind.

          "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

          by scorponic on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:49:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Could use a tax credit for the poor (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Do Tell

          and lower middle class to take care of the regressive problem.

          Scourge the rich, take their stuff and feed them to the manbearpig. And then take more of their stuff! Ha Ha Ha we are the pirates of the 21st century!!!

          by redfish on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:51:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Another argument against national sales tax: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Do Tell

          It's way too easy to ratchet up. Give Congress the power to raise taxes a tenth of a percent (or less) at a time, and before you know it, you're the frog in the boiling pot.

          Any scheme that makes taxes even EASIER to raise isn't worth implementing.

          Oh, and by the way, it's regressive.

      •  Sales tax may be regressive, (0+ / 0-)

        but so is the income tax system as presently administered.  Many rich people and corps. avoid taxes on a wholesale basis, what with all the tax credits, state tax deals to businesses,  and offshoring of corp. headquarters.  These people own a majority of the Congress, and can get what they want.
             We are going to have to start over, and build equity and fairness into a new system.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 10:37:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How? (6+ / 0-)

      I'm listening. Really, I am, but I've never seeen a way of implementing a sales tax that wasn't regressive.

      I'd put this in the list of things I'm waiting for like for trickle down economics to work, as well as for all those high-paying jobs from NAFTA to materialize.

      "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." -Mark Twain

      by walter mitty on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 05:35:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Debates on policy are 'illegal'? (0+ / 0-)

      See, that sounds like whining to me.

    •  I'd be interested in a graduated sales-tax (0+ / 0-)

      ... wherein the rate(s) of taxation on basic food sales and housing costs (including utilities) remained fairly equitable up to middling-class levels. But what then? Doesn't this just gets us back into taxing luxuries and sins according to often arbitrary and capricious models?

      Here's a tax I'd like to see proposed: let's call it The Old Glory Tip-Jar.  If you use a US flag motif to generate profit (as apparel and/or consumables, or in advertising, whatever), then those profits can be taxed HEAVILY (50-75%) as a royalty fee for profiting from our oh-so-'sacred' National Icon. Yo, Durbin, how about a flag protection bill that establishes our 'right' to own our own iconography and assess a fee for its appropriation or dissemination?

    •  How about a tax policy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chemsmith, NearlyNormal

      that is not a direct transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the super-rich and grotesquely wealthy private corporations.  Last time I checked, for the past 50+ years a significant portion of our public tax dollars have been funneled directly into private corporations (think Bechtel, Halliburton, Lockheed, etc. etc.) in flagrant violation of "free market" doctrine.  For guys who are supposedly advocates of laissez-faire capitalism, the republicans sure seem to love welfare--welfare for poor, needy millionaires and billionaires, that is.

    •  Europe has one.... (0+ / 0-)

      Europe has the VAT which is like a sales tax...

      Sales taxes are actually a more efficient tax as they don't tax people incentives to earn.  One such benefit is that it reduces people's incentives to spend, which would be useful in this country.  And those states that have a sales tax and income tax, are taxing you twice- once when you earn the cash and once when you spend your earned cash- sounds like fun eh....

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (134)
  • Community (62)
  • Elections (40)
  • 2016 (38)
  • Environment (36)
  • Bernie Sanders (35)
  • Hillary Clinton (30)
  • Culture (30)
  • Republicans (29)
  • Media (29)
  • Climate Change (27)
  • Education (23)
  • Spam (23)
  • Congress (23)
  • Civil Rights (22)
  • Labor (21)
  • Barack Obama (21)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (21)
  • Law (20)
  • Texas (20)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site