I want to start by apologizing to citizen k. My use of his/her comment as a foil in yesterday's diary was in-artful to say the least. I can see in hindsight how it would be embarrassing and even hurtful. I should have found a better way to make my point without using citizen k. It was uncalled for on my part, and it appears to have made things worse, not better. I apologize not only to citizen k, but also to all my readers. I will try to do better from now on.
From some of the comments I've read here and abouts, there seems to be a general sense that the reason some people shy away from progressive taxation policies is because they think "well, what if I won the lottery?" Now, I don't know how true this is. To the best of my knowledge it's more speculation than fact. But for the moment, let's assume it's true that there are people who are leery of supporting higher taxes for those who make more simply because they could someday, maybe, possibly, win the lottery.
The reality is, of course, we do need a progressive taxation policy. One which focuses on taxing the rich more. They use more of our resources to make their money. They should pay for it. I think any arguments I'd read here over this would concern what precisely that policy would look like.
But winning a few million dollars once in a life time is not the same as making millions of dollars every year. Just one million dollars could go quite far for a poor family if they could keep most of it. Does it really make sense to tax both the one time winner at the same rate as, say, Donald Trump? (Trump pays lawyers to avoid paying taxes, of course, which makes this all the more unfair. But I digress.)
So my suggestion is simple. If you win the lottery, you are only taxed on it at the rate you would have been taxed had you not won. I call it, as you may have guessed by the diary title, the Lottery Exemption.
This way, if you're not already wealthy, the higher tax rate doesn't affect you. You can rest easy knowing that just winning the lottery one time is not going to bump you into the top tax bracket.
This would alleviate the "what if I win the lottery" fears, and it should still allow for plenty of revenue. It's not like those rich guys are going away, after all.
The questions this ideas raise are, I think, obvious. Is the premise true? If so, is my suggestion feasible? Is there a better way? I'm sure I'm overlooking various aspects. What are they and can they be adequately addressed?
A Perfect Conversation is a group for republishing diaries that:I managed to catch up on a lot of reading today, so I hope you're ready for lots of links...just past the fleur de kos. (You're welcome, Youffraita. :))
A) Challenge the DK conventional wisdom.
B) Provide information which may lead to new ideas.
C) Push for action that is innovative or not just playing defense.
The point is not to agree (or disagree) with these diaries. It's about challenging ourselves to rethink our political philosophies, activities, and issue positions.
Republished to A Perfect Conversation on April 12, 2011:
|Dispelling myths in the Obama Wars||thereisnospoon|
|I'm quoting kovie from the comments on this diary. "This is one of the most levelheaded and evenhanded diaries on Obama and his supporters/detractors that I've read...."|
|Tourists For Justice||AZ Sphinx Moth|
|Here's an interesting idea for getting active. What else could we do as tourists to support our causes?|
|The 99-Percenters Economic Plan: Next steps||tmo|
|Forget about just defending the social safety net. Let's push back with our own plan. Excellent idea!|
|German Town Shows How to Achieve Nuclear Free Future||citisven|
|What an amazing idea! A German community took over their power grid by forming an energy co-op. Could something similar be done in the United States?|