Poll: Do We Need A Current Day Robin Hood?

The tax deadline is peaking its ugly head right around the corner...whether you get money back, owe money, break even, or have "found a way" to not pay (like our friends at GE) everyone has an opinion about taxes.

Where would you like to see future taxation go?

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The MarketClub Team

53 thoughts on “Poll: Do We Need A Current Day Robin Hood?

  1. the rich should be taxes as what they have the poor get taxed yearly and on every pay check each time the buy food or what ever and again if they have any money in the bank they get taxed... so how do you exspect to live.... and america wants more tax 's taken ... think again!!!everyone one should be taxed the same as the other. where is robin hood?!i am a nurse the more hours i work as required... the more taxes taken i make more when i work regular hours. now... who needs more taxes.i can't hardly make it now. i drive a older car and live in a older house.... i can't hardly make it now from pay check to pay check the cost of everything.... but i am always working ... and i feel this old body can't go on sometimes but i take care of the sick and i have so many health issues but i smile and act like all is well to make the ones feeling bad feel better.but i have no been allowed to take time off from work for any kind of vacation in 17 years and i am 60 years old and to think i can never retire if ss retirement is taken away.no we do not need more taxes taken i lost my 401k as my company said only the ones retiring now can have them so all the years i put into my fund is gone... along w/ ss retirement it looks now. as the president held the seniors checks back d.c. was approved for him.so that too will be taken ... no we do not want more taxes and we need a robin hood. just from a thought of a older lady about her future

  2. The most efficient and fair federal tax system is to have ONLY a national sales tax with a refund for everyone below the poverty level to keep it from being regressive. BUT, we must first eliminate the IRS Code and not tax ANY income. Not wages, not dividends, not interest, not capital gains, and not corporate income. Also eliminate payroll taxes on both employee and employer. The replacement national sales tax would be an effective rate of 0 to 23%. Imagine, you get to keep your gross paycheck and only pay taxes when you consume NEW goods and services. The goods and services made in the USA would no longer have all those hidden taxes like payroll and corporate income tax embedded in the price of those goods and services. Therefore, prices of goods manufactured in the USA will be lower than imported goods.

    Corporations and businesses ultimately do not pay taxes, we the consumers do because those taxes are now hidden in the price of everything and every service we buy. Eliminating corporate income tax and payroll tax will attract capital from all over the world. World headquarters of large companies will flock here. We will have a boom in jobs, good paying jobs. Foreign companies selling their goods here will have sales tax assessed on top of all the embedded taxes they currently pay in their own country. Consequently, they will have to lower their profit margins to compete with USA companies. Alternatively, many will locate their manufacturing plants in the USA to be competitive. More jobs.

    Criminals and tax cheats who don't declare their income or pay tax now will have to pay when they spend their money. Once everyone gets used to seeing the total tax they pay on their receipt, they will not allow the politicians to raise the rate. In fact, the spectacular growth of our economy will bring in enough revenue to start paying down our debt. When it is paid off, we will pressure them to lower the rate.

    Tax compliance costs saved will be several hundred billion dollars. The biggest bonus of all is that you no longer have to file a tax return, so you will be free from the tyranny of the IRS.
    For FAQ and detailed explanation of how well this will work, go to http://www.fairtax.org

  3. Here is an interesting relationship of different assets and in reference to the top asset (gold)

  4. A flat tax is the way to go. No more loopholes, everyone pays based on comsuption, did you know 47% pay NO TAX AT ALL. However, you need to read up on "smart voters vs dumb voters.' In a street interview only one 1 out of 20 could name the first president, one out of 30 could name the second president and one out of 40 could say how many Senators Ca. has. Stupid, stupid!

  5. The big advantage of a flat tax is everyone pays based on what you buy. No more tax loopholes for the big & rich... GAME OVER

  6. It sounds like this sight should consider seeing if we could get the "Flat Tax" on a ballet. That is an overwhelming response in one area.

    I do think the accounting industry would be hurt by a "Flat Tax" and some would call it socialism.

    All that said, Flat Tax makes more sense to me and sounds fairest to everyone.



  8. KISS; (1)flat tax gross income including off-shore holdings , (2) make tax incentives for American owned bussiness to start / re-juvinate bussiness in America . Perhaps we (THE PEOPLE) will be able to. buy back America or what's left of it. Meanwhile I'll brush-up on my Chinese.

  9. National Sales Tax anyone? Just a thought, but not all the way through! Comments welcome. Seems we could collect from all whom spend. A flat rate for those that purchase the expensive car to those that can't afford anything but a bicycle. Millionaires to Drug dealers! We would all pay Caesar equally within our means. The rate would be estimated to insure the total amount collected did not exceed a balanced budget. Exceeding the budget would require refund checks for all or carried forward to the next year’s budget. Next year’s budget or rate would be reduced to balance. Haven’t figured a fair rate or process to insure business continues to have growth incentives and provide jobs. Congressional wage increase/rates would be decided by ballot based on the Constitution and performance. My other thought: The freedoms to rise above all life’s inequities and arrive to the grandiose heights of the elite will likely cause obstructed views of divine wisdom and forfeit true freedom. RDW 2009©

  10. I would like to know where all of these conservative tea party republicans were when Bush decided to launch his disastrous war in Iraq. There was no problem or concern with the fiscal debacle he would unleash of cutting taxes while going to war. The real problem is exactly what Eisenhower warned against when he left office...the power of the military industrial complex. If America had not become the new Great Britian...behaving like an empire instead of a republic...the people being played as fools by the Central Bankers...we would not be in this mess to begin with..

  11. yes, we need a modern day robinhood. we have one in Barack Obama if the mean old sheriff(republican house)would just leave him alone.

  12. loved your comments. i wasn't aware of that bit of history... always wondered what actually caused the great depression.. was always told it was the war... i think your words make a lot of sense... why is it the highest paid pay the least amount? we all keep asking that question, and yet, the words fall on deaf ears. is it to keep us worker bees in that caste system so that the highest paid make sure they have slaves to keep them at the top of the game?

  13. wow, think this guy is on to something. it is more complicated than i thot... however, doesnt the constitution, in its original form, state that only corportations, and agencies, or companies selling tabacco, alcohol, and arms, are the institutions that are obligated to pay taxes, and NOT THE WORKER BEE, THE EMPLOYEES OF AMERICA?
    why are we not taxed according to our income? if im making $75k, and if that puts me in a 25% tax bracket, and living in hawaii, the most expensive state in the nation, why should the millionaire only have to less than i? 75k is not a great income in hawaii. in fact, in order to qualify for the purchase of my low income home, my income had to be at least $64k up to $84k. it is now between 64k and 90k. thats a lot of money elsewhere, but barely enough for a family of four. with electricity at about $50 per head, per month, and thats with solar energy, gas at 4.79a gallon, water at 100.00 per month for a family of two, a gallon of milk at $7.00, as well as cereal, u can imagine the prices of our groceries, etc etc,... with an income of $75,after taxes, i dont have anything left. hawaii needs a different set of rules. most employees are existing on $500.00 a week.. impossible to live on here. i think we need to go back to what the constitution states, think that was more fair, than GE not paying a dime in taxes... geez.

  14. The entire central banking system is a Ponzi pyramid scheme. Taxing everyone and selling all of America's assets still won't solve the debt problem : http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=183501

    Until money creation is no longer controlled by private corporations, FED, BOJ, EU, BIS, IMF and World Bank which is backed by debt and promises to pay, then nothing positive is in store for 7 billion ppl of this planet. If the system continues on the same path the handful of elite will consolidate control and power via making us debt serfs.

    Money as Debt I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVkFb26u9g8

    Money as Debt II http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_doYllBk5No

    Bill Stills great work the Secret of Oz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qIhDdST27g

  15. National Sales Tax anyone? Just a thought, but not all the way through! Comments welcome. Seems we could collect from all whom spend. A flat rate for those that purchase the expensive car to those that can't afford anything but a bicycle. Millionaires to Drug dealers! We would all pay Caesar equally within our means. The rate would be estimated to insure the total amount collected did not exceed a balanced budget. Exceeding the budget would require refund checks for all or carried forward to the next year’s budget. Next year’s budget or rate would be reduced to balance. Haven’t figured a fair rate or process to insure business continues to have growth incentives and provide jobs without government assistance. Congressional wage increase/rates would be decided by ballot based on the Constitutional and performance. My other thought: The freedoms to rise above all life’s inequities and arrive to the grandiose heights of the elite will likely cause obstructed views of divine wisdom and forfeit true freedom. RDW 2009©

  16. Stop the baloney, without the rich all you would have is the Governement to work for, those will be the only jobs available.

  17. If 5-10% of the people control 90-95% of the wealth, then shouldn't they pay 90-95% of the tax insted of the 50% they now pay ? Until Reagan, the tax rate could be as high as 80-90% and now we know why. THEY HAVE THAT PERCENTAGE OF THE WEALTH !!

    Revise the tax so any company that sells products in America pays taxes. Moving offshore would not allow them to evade their responsiblity. After all, they enjoy the infrastructure ( water, electricity, roads, ports, etc ) so why shouldn't they pay their share of taxes ?

    Flat rate for all has been discussed for years and estimated that 10% may be too high. No deductions, no exceptions, all individuals and corportations pay the same rate.

    Wanna save billions ? Quit trying to stop marijuana importation and growing to a business and tax the grower, the seller, and the end user. Consider that 1% of 300,000,000 people in the US smoke 1 ounce of marijuana a month, means 3,000,000 ounces a month. Round that to say 3,200,000 would bean 1,600 tons. Taxing it would raise billions and releasing those from prison would save 38 billion a year and changing intradiction would save another 12-20 billion a year. Now think of all you may have seen or heard on Border Wars, the papers/tv/radion on how much marijuana was confiscated and think of the tax revenue.

    We all know that prohibition did not work so why do we continue to waste billions ??

  18. In 2008, approximately 36% of all income tax filers paid no tax at all. I think that is a staggering number. This either tells us a lot about how low incomes really are, or how many deductions there really are. I have no real evidence for this, except anecdotal, but I think many people have incredibly high medical deductions now, due to higher deductables, increasing medical costs, and lack of insurance. I believe it is important that everyone - no matter what income level - pays into the tax system. People with no stake in the outcomes have no real reason to care, and that's not good. We have a tremendous underground economy for which no taxes are paid. In addition, if we consider the incredible amount of dollars paid in cash for illegal drugs, the net effect on our economy is huge. "Rich" drug dealers don't pay taxes, but they do consume. However, much of that money goes outside of our borders, and is not spent on durable goods or services in this country. Double whammy. Drug dependant people are poor employees and find secure employment difficult. Drug dollars going out of our country do not create jobs here. In a political system run by a despot, no one feels like they have recourse to a government, so they do not look there for help. In a Democracy or Republic, we feel that the Government is supposed to work for us. All the legislation we have is not necessarily the result of any party wanting "more government". Instead, much of it is the result of the populace crying to the Government to fix something that is "broke". Much of what was "broke" was the result of financial debacles that shook the economy and put people out of work. The financial debacles are almost uniformly the result of the loss of good sense and personal moral governors during economic good times and "bubbles". Remember the S & L crisis, Enron, Goldman Sachs, etc. As citizens, we simply have to become more responsible and accountable for what we do on all levels. We cannot abdicate this responsibility, and we cannot completely avoid paying taxes. I am for a flat tax, with a few tweeks. However, we also need sales taxes and taxes on internet sales to be sure that those who refuse to declare income (and put the monkey on the back of taxpayers) can participate as well.

  19. Let the Rich leave. Yeah it would hurt for a while. Life is not totally a bed of roses. After a while some of the "poor" people would get up and start creating their own businesses and hiring others. I hope you don't believe every rich person out there was born into money. Some actually worked and did without for a while so in the end they could succeed. Then, the whole mess would start over again and a new batch of rich imperialistic jerks would be created. No matter what you do some will benefit and some will lose. Just ask Darwin.


  21. Hello All,

    There should be a 15 percent flat tax on capital gains, all items purchased, real estate everything across the board etc.etc. There should be 0 income tax. Let the people keep their wages. I believe this would stimulate the economy.

    I do not believe the people should pay the bill for the banks screw up. My firm belief is we should brake away from the Federal Reserve by adopting the gold standard and become a truly sovereign nation again.

    Again, if the people wish to sleep and not do anything about it, like a national don't pay your taxes protest, then I feel the 15 percent flat tax would be a reasonable solution.

  22. My opinion exactly
    Most of Congress are greedy millionaires anyways so the current setup will never change. Maybe when things finally get real bad, there will be another revolution.

  23. The last Robin Hood and I mean a selfless man, we had was JFK. I know he was a democrat. Just bear with me. He made some tragic mistake for himself and good for America. 1. He refused to go to war against Russia over the Cuba invasion to the chagrin of the military. 2. He refused to go to war against Vietnam again against the wishes of our military. It has been proven that the Gulf Of Tonkin attack on our ships never happened and we were told that was the reason to start a war against Vietnam. 3. He made a comment to the wrong person that he was going to splinter the CIA into a million pieces (Our President George H. W. Bush was running the CIA then and has refused to explain what he was doing in Houston the day JFK was shot in Dallas). Another dead Robin Hood is MLK. This is what will happen to the next Robin Hood.

  24. It was Adam Smith who had mentioned that "stronger shoulders" should bear more load. I wonder why are contemporary rich disinclined to give and share from what they earn. I wonder why the well-to-do don't realize that they cannot carry their riches beyond this life here on earth. I wonder why does someone want to earn anything more than $200,000 - how much of the earth's resources does the person want to guzzle on his own.

    Most of the rich and super-rich pretend to be religious and believe that they are following on the preachings of Jesus. Would Jesus approve of their resource and wealth guzzling attitudes and lifestyles?

    Perhaps, what is needed is that our tax rates should be linked to the Gini coefficient. Higher the Gini coefficient higher the tax rates on those earning more than $250,000. Hopefully, that will incentivize them to reduce the Gini coefficient.

    Those who live, swear and die by Capitalism, should also realize the growing inequality WILL threaten Capitalism. The only thing that will enable Capitalism to survive is by sharing the gains of a market-society. Until everyone believes that they have the opportunity / scope to do well in this system Capitalism will be under threat. A sharing society makes it worth living in such a society. Compared with individual welfare maximization group welfare maximization is so much more satisfying, desirable and superior in terms of building an enjoyable society.

    How can I enjoy my wealth when the scene outside my window shows people unemployed, people begging on the street, children not going to school, starving and weak people walking around?

  25. What makes these the only choices? Flat tax means you will pay a lot more for you packaged gods because the cost of most packages is 60% to 75% raw material cost which will be taxed for you and you buy more of packaged foods and other goods than cars or Vista. So flat tax? No because the middle class who spent a disproportionate percentage of their income on these little things will be stressed while the rich will not feel it. Kind of like gasoline ...rethink flat tax people! Closing loopholes and flat tax should not and can not be linked.

  26. A flat tax is when you pay a tax on something you purchase that is new. If it is not new, it is not taxed. That is the way Neil Bortz explained it. He has written THE Fairtax book. Google Neil Bortz for more information.

  27. Definitely no flat income tax. We need a mixed tax policy like we have today. First, we need to get rid of most deductions to simplify the tax code. We should continue to have a progressive income tax for general services and normal military. The "rich" benefit more than the "poor" from a stable society with things like good roads, good schools, good police and fire, so they should pay a higher share. With regards to social security and especially medicare/medicaid, that should continue to be a flat tax, or better yet, a tax that indexes versus the prior year costs. As politicians and voters see there taxes increase as medical costs soar, maybe they would finally do something to reign in costs. Finally for wars, we need a war tax. Maybe we would think twice about invading contries if we saw it hitting our pocketbook. The bottom line is we need to balance our budget and stop spending more than we take in. If it takes soaring taxes to finally bring some spending reform, I'm willing to take the short term pain. People will not stand for high taxes long term and will demand reform. Time for some real leadership from our politicians.

  28. Flat tax 10%, everyone, no excuses! You make a buck you pay 10cents. You make a million bucks you pay $100K. Period.

  29. Well what a subject! I thank a flat tax would work if you first (1)cut out suporting the illegals by cutting food stamps,housing, schooling ,clothing, and most of all medical! I'm sure I left something out . But these thing's make up about 1/3 of our budget or about $338,000,000,000.00 per year! Don't get me wrong people need a good place to live .But it's not free, to those who worked to make the money that is spent on someone who does not respect our law's and way of life! To me, that's the same as coming in my house and helping youself to my Beer and not replacing it,or changing the channel on my TV or sleeping in my bed , eating my food , or sleeping with my wife , and not even saying thank you! LOL!! (2) Realize we are not the worlds saveur!

  30. Many years ago - 1950s - I lived and worked in a country which collected a flat rate of income tax on salaries across the country, and it worked like a charm. I don't recall any complaints from the locals, and it certainly did not demotivate the working forces because they sought more education and jobs where they could work out exactly what income they would receive for any type of profession or job for the time that they actually worked. I can't recall the income tax rate, but it was just wonderful knowing how much income we could rely upon during the coming year. Filling in tax forms was simplicity in itself!

    I don't know how corporations and businesses were taxed over there, I was an employee.

    Having been a director of a multi-national group of companies during 1975 to 1996, corporations and businesses would still be able to claim depreciation on capital items, and also costs of all necessary goods, services and equipment, as they do now. As Wayne suggests above, corporations and businesses would still be taxed with a percentage rate of income tax on their bottom lines.

  31. MASSIVE SPENDING CUTS AND TAX REFORM -- it's the only way.

    Also, ELIMINATE payroll withholding, and force people to write their tax check every month/quarter. The protests in Washington would be deafening, and government would be half the size it currently is. (Most) Americans are stupid and asleep.

    There is NO sense in raising taxes on ANYONE. I am not rich, but just because someone makes a lot of money does NOT mean they should be penalized, and forced by threat of force to work longer for their country than anyone else. We need to level the tax burden, not completely shift it off of one group on to another. It is both unfair and immoral to suggest anything different. EVERYONE should have skin in this game, not just the rich.

    The tax code is a MONSTROUS beast that is destroying this country. The ONLY people it helps are the IRS and the nationwide army of tax/accounting professionals who have built careers (and fortunes) on its endlessly changing complexities, vagaries and loopholes. The Founders of our nation did not intend for its citizens to be shackled with such an onorous burden. It is the chief tool of socialists, communists and all other forms of totalitarianism -- the power to tax IS the power to destroy. STARVE THE BEAST -- strip the Washington bureaucrats of their power by severely limiting their ability to spend/borrow. There is just too much money in Washington.

  32. The American corporations should pay fair tax the shocking story about GE is a story that must be changed
    here in the UK I live here now - Barclay's bank is doing the same thing

    it destroys democracy moral if people work and save and try to live a decent life an big corporations essentially arrange tax laws to steal
    from the government in which they are making their money


  33. Unfortunately Adam there are tons of grey areas and that's one reason why it will never work. The other reason is that there are too many people in America who make their living in some way from the current tax system.

    Grey areas. How do you define "make" or "income"? For individuals is it the gross income on your stub or is it the gross before FICA, & Medicare or have we done away with those? For the self-employed dentist he can't deduct the cost of his equipment or even the salary he pays his employees?
    If I build a house to rent I can't deduct the cost of the materials or labor to build it?

    Corporations can't deduct or depreciate the cost of a new steel mill? If they buy land to build a new mill when they sell it they can't deduct the cost of the land but they have to pay tax on the gross amount received.

    I am in favor of tax reform too but it's not as simple as you make it sound.

  34. Absolutely, this is the only "fair" way to do it. But when did "fair" ever make any difference?

    Big corps and contributors pay give politicians seriously big bags of cash to do their bidding. Politicians are sleazy and desperate enough to do any amount of a** kissing required for election. So until we, as a people, force an end to this form of bribing public officials, the current setup won't change. This is neither a democratic or tea party pov - it's just common sense.

  35. My personal opinion is that attempting to return to a highly progressive income tax will simply demotivate people from being productive, and rather to do things like investing in non-productive tax shelters, hiding income, or moving it off-shore. In the end it will not raise nearly as much income for the government as expected, but will do a lot of harm in the process.

    Actually, no income tax can ever be a good thing because it taxes people for being productive, and discourages productivity. Instead we should transition to a consumption tax, where we tax people for non-productive activity, consuming. That can be a very progressive tax, too, with little to no tax on basic requirements, and very high taxes on luxury goods. Then, the people that make money, but reinvest in the country would pay little tax, and those that consume would pay. As a fringe benefit, people like drug dealers that pay no income tax would have to pay a consumption tax, as would anyone that used food stamps to buy luxury items.

  36. I have always agreed that a flat INCOME tax is most fair. Everyone should pay something, earn a dollar or $1m, pay the percentage. The idea that companies would have an unfair advantage is silly, go to the bottom line profit and pay the percentage. Not so difficult. I might be sympathetic to a person exemption for food and energy, so do as we do now on a per person individual basis, none for the businesses. More people would have a stake in monitoring government's cost and raising taxes would affect more folks and be more visible. Ideally, it would be best if everyone had to write a check every month or quarter, but that would make it more difficult to collect.

  37. Flat taxes can be complicated, sort of defeating the purpose. For example, if I have a start-up company and have $5 million in revenue but spend $6 million getting the company going, I lost $1 million. Therefore, no taxes.

    However, how was my loss created? Maybe it was depreciation on capital equipment; or how about because I paid myself $1 million leading to a loss for the company.

    Now someone has to decide where my loss came from. So, we're back to tax lawyers and IRS representatives. And this is a SIMPLE example.

    If someone says, "No Deductions! Period," it sounds good, but then this start-up goes out of business because it can't write off the costs of getting the business going.

    How do you decide what's legitimate or not? For every corporation with a tax angle, like GE, there are thousands of legitimate companies writing off the costs of doing business, as they should.

  38. See the note above. The rich in the Robin Hood era stole nearly all the truly poor, just about everyone, had through taxation. Robin returned it. Capitalism says capital is valuable and when put to work should be rewarded if it does well, JUST AS WE PAY LABOR. The bad laborer loses his job but keeps what he has earned previously, except for taxes. One can lose the capital if it fails to perform. How rich can you get by stealing from the poor? In my town, the nice area has the high robbery rate because that's where the good stuff is. Yeah, the rich, definition please, get that way by NOT working and not living on less than they make and not investing in something productive. I don't think so.

  39. I fully endorse the creation of a flat and/or consumption tax system, primarily due to our political system. My analysis falls into the capitalistic category of economic theory due to the fact that real wealth has to be CREATED before it can be redistributed. No one disputes capitalism produces wealth; conversely, I have never seen a credible wealth-generating self sufficient economy that was fundamentally socialistic, as redistribution tends to create a perpetual diminishing returns problem.

    Why is wealth creation so critical? Most fundamentally, we are human beings (i.e. biological entities) that require the accumulation of "stuff" to survive. Left alone, without any expenditure of energy, any animal will simply die. Thus, from my vantage point the ground rules for survival are preset: I accept objective reality at face value. I believe it is what created human behavioral self-interest in the first place. I know self interest does not define the totality of human behavior but it certainly is a component that can’t be ignored, especially in the economic realm. I, like many, may wish it were different, it sure would make life easier, but God bless us, it is NOT.

    How does this relate to the flat tax? To me it begs a simple question: what happens in a democratic society when a greater percentage of the voting population pays little to no income tax but enjoys the life-sustaining services paid for by the minority of those "more fortunate"? Self interest would suggest that it leads to a gov't perpetually elected by a majority who have little incentive (i.e. self interest) to give up their largess. In this scenario what recourse does the paying, stakeholder minority have?

    A flat tax simply creates a greater number of stakeholders concerned with the structure, operation, accountability (etc.) of the gov't elected by the effected voters. The "self interest" of a stakeholder is different than one who is not. I don't see how that can be disputed; to me it is the only logical conclusion. (Do you really care when you believe your neighbor seems to be wasting his money on something stupid?; you most likely would if he were your business partner) Thus, I favor a tax system that creates the greatest number of voting stakeholders, a flat tax and/or consumption tax seems like a simple first step in this direction. We can fight about the details of the system another time.

  40. Flat tax would have to be on consumption -- you can't have an income flat tax with no deductions -- there are costs to doing business and lots of those deductions promote investment. If you did away with all deductions there are many types of investments that would suffer greatly. To have no deductions would be absurd -- Revenue means nothing -- its the bottom line that counts.

  41. When will people realize taxing the rich is not only wrong morally, it pits rich against poor and the rich will always win that battle. I don't want rich people leaving this country. Poor people don't create jobs for poor people, rich people do!! If you keep taxing the rich, they'll vote with their feet and leave. Now, I'd like to see the poor people create prosperity with no risk takers, no movers and shakers, no business people!! Good luck with that.

  42. The problem with taxing 'income' (currently) is that the definition for income differs. Corporations get to deduct expenses while individuals do not (I'm talking about expenses you need to live like food and medical expenditures). And of course no definition of 'income' can quantify the underground 'cash' economy.

    No matter how flat one intends to make the 'income' tax there will always be a way around it. Besides, a progressive income tax is a notable plank in the Communist Manifesto. Let's not go there.

    Years ago I thought of a plan that I thought was pretty elegant and wouldn't need any tinkering with the Constitution (I don't think?). The Fed Gov't agrees on a budget, then levies the States to make the sum apportioned to them (their share of it according to population). The Fed would not be able to raise revenue on their own except for duties and excises (this would include imported oil). Their fiscal fortitude would be dependent on the States and that puts the States back in the driver's seat where they belong.

    The States can raise revenue any way they want. They would be raising it for themselves and the Fed. But since politics is local we would have something to say about how they raise it.

    I would expect that social services would devolve mostly to the States, and again we can have more of a say regarding who they subsidize and how. The Fed can still set standards and practices but would not be actually handling the money. And eliminating some of that bureaucratic sprawl cannot help but reduce waste. And if waste happens locally, well, we are in a better position to apply pressure to stop it.

    I would support a consumption tax only if it were administered by the States (not the Fed) and exempted food, energy and medical. (remember the Fed can impose duties on imported oil). The necessaries of life should not be taxed. And drug dealers will have to pay tax too!

    No plan is perfect, certainly not this one, and would I'm sure be corrupted over time like all plans must. But I think it would fix a lot of issues we have with the current system and put us back on a more philosophically sound path for now.

    Yeah, there are echoes of feudalism here, I know that. But better the feudal lords be people you elect rather than corporations whom you don't, and corporate feudalism is where we're heading now.


  43. Robin Hood would steal from the Rich and give to the poor. Some would say that the MODERN Day Capitalism that we have is the opposite. They steal from the poor...or middle class..and give to the RICH.

  44. Thanks Adam...with an income flat tax, the theory is that by eliminating all loopholes and 'leveling the playing field' not only would we have a much simplified tax code but it would shift the burden wherein those corporations that pay no taxes i.e. GE, would have the pay their fair share and the corporations paying the majority of tax would be better able to compete. Further, with a lower tax rate overall (inherent to an income flat tax), all corps would be able to better compete both here and abroad.

    For individuals/families the conclusions are similar and obvious.

    The additional bonus is that everyone would spend a heck of a lot less time and money figuring out their taxes. And, the government would need to spend far less on deciphering and interpreting the tax code - possibly eliminating most if not all of the IRS.

    The only issue with this entire approach is the whining of the bleeding heart liberals who want the most productive people paying a higher percentage. Se La Vie.

    Would it set the stage for the so-called rich to get richer? Most definitely. Any given amount of "disposable income" would increase without the higher tax RATE. Those without "disposable income" still wouldn't have any. But, EVERYONE would pay their fair share of taxes. This, in itself, would provide some relief to the lower income individuals/corps alike.

  45. Why does no one ever notice that the "Rich" in the Robin Hood legend were corrupt government officals who got rich by overtaxing the peasantry?

  46. K.I.S.S. - Keep it Simple Stupid! Best advice I ever had. As applied to the tax code, a flat tax would be a viable solution. Simplifying would eliminate manipulation plus lower the costs of tax preparation and government services to process. Eliminating the bulk and complexity of the I.R.S. would save the taxpayers $. Removing the government ability to "pick winners" and "promote certain behaviors" via the tax code would also be a plus.

  47. Well, it seems like the Koch's have mobilized their army of shambling golems ready to do their mindless battle to uphold the wealth of the rich.

    A flat tax is the worst possible solution to pay off the nation's debt. It will effectively lower taxes to nothing for the wealthy and impact the lowest wage earners in the most disastrous way.

    The highest income earners are already paying the lowest taxes in history except in the time period of 1924-1931 when the top rate was a flat 25% for over $100,000. Do you golems remember what happened about that time? The time when all those wealthy people where supposed to create jobs and prosperity for all -- THE GREAT DEPRESSION YOU MISERABLE PAWNS OF THE RICH!!!!

    So brilliant idea -- let's do the whole thing over again!!! The Bush tax cuts are a great shambling step forward into another true World Wide Depression. Let's cut the tax rate even below what it was just before the Great Depression and do it all over again!!! Good times are here again.

  48. "We the People" not "we the corporations".

    Eliminating EVERY deduction and tax loophole for both corporations and individualus will level the playing field.

    If one claims to be a capitalist, why should the costs of doing business be subsidized by the taxpayers? Business expenses are the risk capital that one RISKS to create wealth.

    Eliminating all personal and business deductions and corporate welfate subsidies is the cure.

    Then index corporate taxes to USA-based jobs and sourcing, creating an incentive for Made in America.

  49. flat tax seems the way to go to me.elimenate the loop holes and keep it simple.reduce the beurocracy in the markets let them run.

  50. What's interesting about the flat tax concept is that everyone uses the terminology "Flat Tax" but no one ever says what that means - and it can mean many different things. For example a "consumption" Flat Tax would tax what you spend, and would in effect be a sales tax. Whereas an "income" Flat Tax would be a Flat Tax on income.

    Conceptually, a "consumption" Flat Tax would be fair, simpler to execute i.e., the rich spend more therefore they pay more taxes. However, what is typically left out of the equation is how do you tax corporations? For example, we usually think about a manufacturing company who would of course "consume" goods in their manufacturing and pay taxes on that consumption. But, mindful that our economy has gradually shifted from a manufacturing to a service oriented one - what would corporations who provide a 'service' consume other than some stationary? Oops! Seems we have a fly in the ointment. For example Microsoft would only be taxed for the goods they consume, like the blank CD's for which they charge hundreds of dollars each for their software. Not exactly fair when you consider some corporations sell products where the materials they consume represent 50% of their product value.

    There are of course, similar issues with an "income" Flat Tax. So, When we say which do you prefer and one choice is a "Flat Tax" ...what EXACTLY are we talking about?

    1. Rick,

      I was referring to income. No deductions. You make a dollar and you pay a percentage of that dollar period. Simple and no grey areas.


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