View Poll Results: Who is the situation unfair to and what are your political leanings?

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  • It is unfair to PERSON A. I lean to the political LEFT

    0 0%
  • It is unfair to PERSON A. I lean to the political RIGHT

    4 57.14%
  • It is unfair to PERSON B. I lean to the political LEFT

    0 0%
  • It is unfair to PERSON B. I lean to the political RIGHT

    1 14.29%
  • I'm not sure how I feel

    2 28.57%
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Thread: What is Fair? (Taxes)

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    Default What is Fair? (Taxes)

    I was reading the well known Armchair Economist this past weekend and wanted to pose a question discussed in the book.

    Given a two person town where both people have equal access to a well. Person A makes $10,000/yr and is taxed $1000/yr for use of the well (10% taxation). Person B makes $100,000/yr and is taxed $5000/yr for use of the well (5% taxation). Is this taxation policy unfair and if so, who is it unfair to? Please also include your political leaning.


    The purpose of this question is to see how people define what is fair and how it correlates to their political views. There is no objectively correct answer but in politics, there seems to be a refusal to recognize the validity of different ethical frameworks. Every issue is framed as right or wrong, and honest discussion of pros/cons takes a backseat.

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    i see what you're getting at and there is more to factor in than a simple what is and isnt fair. The bigger question is what is the government doing with the taxes they collect and why is the budget so poorly managed.

    So you collect $1000 in taxes from the person making $10,000/yr and $5000 taxes from the person making $100,000/yr, even though the higher paid person paid more tax money, he paid a smaller % of his income. What you should be asking is this....

    if the government had $6000 in tax revenue, why did they spend $50,000? what did they spend $50,000 on? was spending $50,000 really necessary?

    "no taxation without representation".... whether you pay 1% of your income or 50% of your income, your tax money is being wasted by an incompetent government. Rather than buying into this class vs class distraction, we should all recognize that we're all be screwed. Is Romney perfect? no. Is everything Obama does terrible? almost, but no. Romney is a step towards smaller government and less spending. Obama is a massive pole vault towards bigger government and more spending. The choice is clear.

    It's unfair to person A and B, theyre both having their money wasted.

    "The greatest form of inequality is when you try to make unequal things equal"

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    Quote Originally Posted by bu villain View Post
    I was reading the well known Armchair Economist this past weekend and wanted to pose a question discussed in the book.

    Given a two person town where both people have equal access to a well. Person A makes $10,000/yr and is taxed $1000/yr for use of the well (10% taxation). Person B makes $100,000/yr and is taxed $5000/yr for use of the well (5% taxation). Is this taxation policy unfair and if so, who is it unfair to? Please also include your political leaning.
    Define FAIR.

    No it is not fair that someone pays 10% in the lower income bracket than someone in the higher bracket (5%). but, you dont want to penalize success either.

    Im assuming you mean that both people are taxed on INCOME only, and you arent mixing things like Capital Gains :P
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    The problem is not the way that taxes are collected, nor how much is collected. The problem that needs to be solved is how the taxes are spent. Everytime someone says "we need 'this'", they needs to show what can be given up to fund it. Our national debt is more of a threat to the well-being of this country than any foreign enemy could ever be. The government collects 2.3 trillion in taxes, but spend 3.5 trillion - this is unsustainable.

    Fair would be the government spending less than they collect, and cutting expenditures back to the basic necessities. The Ryan plan to balance the budget by 2040 is just as bad as Obama's lack of a plan. Overspending until 2040 is not acceptable. Neither party is serious about being fair to the American people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfix_15 View Post
    "no taxation without representation".... whether you pay 1% of your income or 50% of your income, your tax money is being wasted by an incompetent government. Rather than buying into this class vs class distraction, we should all recognize that we're all be screwed. Is Romney perfect? no. Is everything Obama does terrible? almost, but no. Romney is a step towards smaller government and less spending. Obama is a massive pole vault towards bigger government and more spending. The choice is clear.

    It's unfair to person A and B, theyre both having their money wasted.
    This wasn't the question though. The taxation is being represented by the use of the well

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    Quote Originally Posted by .blank cd View Post
    This wasn't the question though. The taxation is being represented by the use of the well
    Whatever you decide is fair..... the person paying a higher % needs to come down to the person paying a lower %. Taxes do not need to be raised on anyone until the government learns how to balance a budget. Obama is like a 16 year old girl with daddy's credit card and you democrats just want to keep raising his credit limit.

    "The greatest form of inequality is when you try to make unequal things equal"

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    Apparently I'm the only one who can follow simple directions lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vteckidd View Post
    Apparently I'm the only one who can follow simple directions lol
    i dont care about what % rate i pay in taxes. i dont care if a billionaire pays a smaller % of his income in taxes than me. 5% of a billionaires tax money does more for our country and economy than if i paid 100% in taxes. It's word play.... it's politics.... "That rich guy pays 5% less than you poor guys!!!!".... who cares? i care more about what is being done with the tax money. didnt answer poll because my answer isnt an option.
    Last edited by Sinfix_15; 09-04-2012 at 05:23 PM.

    "The greatest form of inequality is when you try to make unequal things equal"

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    I'm still trying to figure out where the OP said anything about Obama OR Romney OR the hypothetical place being the USA. LOL

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    I havent read any responses yet and I will not read any of them before me.


    I said it is unfair to person B at first, but I would like to come back and say not sure. There are simply too many assumptions to make to really decide. Does it cost 6k a year to run the well? Are both A and B using the same amount of water?

    If it costs 6k a year to run and both use the same water, I think it is fair to both. Even paying half the rate, B is paying 5x the amount for the same product.

    Assuming both use the same water, those are just standard rates and the well could be run cheaper, it is unfair to B.

    If B is using a significant amount more than B, it is unfair to A. If B is using 10x the amount that A is using, he would be paying the same percentage.



    If you are trying to make a point about our taxes, you oversimplified it to the point of irrelevance. By Websters definition of fair, you can only see fair in 1 of 3 ways. Both parties pay the same rate. Both parties pay the same amount. Neither of these are even remotely comparable to our tax system.

    When you hear Obama talk about making our tax system more fair, or the rich need to pay their fair share, he actually means the opposite unless you look at it in the last way. To give everyone the same amount AFTER taxes. Person A makes 300k, person B makes 50k, govt needs 75k per person. In Obama's world, fairness means person A pays 200k in taxes, B pays nothing. That 200k gets split into to pies though, 150k to pay the tax burden for both A and B, then the other 50k goes to B so both A and B have the same amount after taxes are paid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BanginJimmy View Post
    I havent read any responses yet and I will not read any of them before me.


    I said it is unfair to person B at first, but I would like to come back and say not sure. There are simply too many assumptions to make to really decide. Does it cost 6k a year to run the well? Are both A and B using the same amount of water?

    If it costs 6k a year to run and both use the same water, I think it is fair to both. Even paying half the rate, B is paying 5x the amount for the same product.

    Assuming both use the same water, those are just standard rates and the well could be run cheaper, it is unfair to B.

    If B is using a significant amount more than B, it is unfair to A. If B is using 10x the amount that A is using, he would be paying the same percentage.



    If you are trying to make a point about our taxes, you oversimplified it to the point of irrelevance. By Websters definition of fair, you can only see fair in 1 of 3 ways. Both parties pay the same rate. Both parties pay the same amount. Neither of these are even remotely comparable to our tax system.

    When you hear Obama talk about making our tax system more fair, or the rich need to pay their fair share, he actually means the opposite unless you look at it in the last way. To give everyone the same amount AFTER taxes. Person A makes 300k, person B makes 50k, govt needs 75k per person. In Obama's world, fairness means person A pays 200k in taxes, B pays nothing. That 200k gets split into to pies though, 150k to pay the tax burden for both A and B, then the other 50k goes to B so both A and B have the same amount after taxes are paid.
    So in your world Obama is a socialist?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nelson9995 View Post
    So in your world Obama is a socialist?
    He has some socialistic tendencies, but he is more of an economic fascist.

    Fascism: The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics | Library of Economics and Liberty
    Last edited by BanginJimmy; 09-04-2012 at 09:10 PM.

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    If 10% is good enough for the church, it ought to be good enough for the government.

    A flat rate consumption tax across the board is equal for everyone, its directly proportional to what they spend.

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    Fair Tax is the only way to really make it work across the board "fairly".
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    It may come as a surprise to everyone, but I also agree with the fairtax.

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    I may be wrong... but won't the fairtax make things harder for the poor or the middle class?

    If we are all paying 23% at the register, than that helps the wealthier because they keep all their money, and pay exactly what the less wealthy person pays for goods... I'm not saying I'm for it or against it, but am I correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nelson9995 View Post
    I may be wrong... but won't the fairtax make things harder for the poor or the middle class?

    If we are all paying 23% at the register, than that helps the wealthier because they keep all their money, and pay exactly what the less wealthy person pays for goods... I'm not saying I'm for it or against it, but am I correct?

    You are not correct in any sense.


    Get these books, read them, then comment.

    The FairTax Book
    FairTax: The Truth

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    Quote Originally Posted by BanginJimmy View Post
    You are not correct in any sense.


    Get these books, read them, then comment.

    The FairTax Book
    FairTax: The Truth
    Could you offer a brief summary, reading a book is too much commitment for me. Fair tax is more of a change for poorer people who pay little to no taxes than it is for the wealthy? I'm asking, i dont know.

    "The greatest form of inequality is when you try to make unequal things equal"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfix_15 View Post
    Could you offer a brief summary, reading a book is too much commitment for me. Fair tax is more of a change for poorer people who pay little to no taxes than it is for the wealthy? I'm asking, i dont know.
    Very quickly as there are already 2 books about the subject and I'm not going to write a third.

    1. Eliminates all income, corporate, death, capital gains etc taxes and repeals the 17 Amendment (income tax and IRS)

    2. Institutes a national 23% sales tax on all new consumer products.

    3. Based on the poverty level, every household receives a "prebate" check from the govt totaling the tax for the basic necessities.


    On average, everything you buy has imbedded taxes totaling ~22%. The FairTax eliminates all of these taxes and replaces them with a point of sale national sales tax. As of right now, products will average 1% more expensive, not 23% more.


    Will the poor pay more in taxes? If anything, they will pay less. They will no longer have to pay sales taxes on their purchases up to the poverty line for the number of people in the household. The wealthy will actually end up playing significantly more. Where the fairtax really makes a difference is with people that do not earn their income in a legal, and taxabe, way.

    The books are short and easy to read. It is worth the $20 investment.

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    The fair tax is the only true way to make sure everyone pays their "fair share". And not in the sense that it gives a break to the poor or more taken from the rich. Illegal immigrants make up a large percentage of construction workers and other business'. I worked for a guy back in the day that paid an illegal $175 a day, 6 days a week. That is roughly $54,600 and at a tax rate of let's say 10% = $5460. Let's say there are around 100,000 construction workers that get paid this amount; That's $546,000,000 in taxes that can never be collected. Yet, illegals can still recieve welfare and what not that they never pay for. The fair tax makes sure that every person in America pays taxes to continue our way of living. Now, if we could only get control of government spending...
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoff View Post
    The fair tax is the only true way to make sure everyone pays their "fair share". And not in the sense that it gives a break to the poor or more taken from the rich. Illegal immigrants make up a large percentage of construction workers and other business'. I worked for a guy back in the day that paid an illegal $175 a day, 6 days a week. That is roughly $54,600 and at a tax rate of let's say 10% = $5460. Let's say there are around 100,000 construction workers that get paid this amount; That's $546,000,000 in taxes that can never be collected. Yet, illegals can still recieve welfare and what not that they never pay for. The fair tax makes sure that every person in America pays taxes to continue our way of living. Now, if we could only get control of government spending...
    Most of the illegals that I have encountered do pay taxes - with SSN's that aren't theirs. In the end, they don't file taxes, but they don't get refunds either. Since they aren't claiming deductions, they end up paying the maximum tax rate. The only ones not paying are the for-cash day laborers. Typically, you don't see the same people staying for day laborers very long, as they either target more consistent jobs or head back to their homeland.
    I've had a lot of experience with immigrants.
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    Too many are concerned with how the taxes are collected, rather than with the real problem. Get spending under control THEN worry about collection. Until spending is reined in, you are accomplishing nothing with collection.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David88vert View Post
    Too many are concerned with how the taxes are collected, rather than with the real problem. Get spending under control THEN worry about collection. Until spending is reined in, you are accomplishing nothing with collection.
    Agree completely. Until the spending issue is addressed we could all be taxed at 100% and the govt would still find a way to spend more than it takes in.

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    My goal with this post isn't to say the current tax structure in the US is fair or unfair because that is a subjective word. Likewise, I'm not making any comment about how the government spends money. Sinflix had the idea when he stated that it's how you define it so I wanted to know "How do you define it, personally?" Some may define it as everyone paying the same percentage of income. Others will define it as paying the same gross amount. Still others will have different definitions. I understand everyone wanting to address the issues that come next (e.g., how our government spends those tax dollars) but first can we just discuss the different definitions people have for what makes a tax policy fair? I think it is helpful to understand where people are coming from on this issue.

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    You missed 1 form of fairness. There is a segment of the population on the left that believe in income equality. This means they think everyone should have the same amount left over after taxes.


    The only way to move to a fair tax structure is to move away from taxing income and start taxing consumption. I would even be OK with a return of luxury taxes on anything but food and housing. An extra 1% tax on a car over 100k. 1.5% extra on boats over 500k. An extra .5% on any consumer electronics over 10k. You get the idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BanginJimmy View Post
    The only way to move to a fair tax structure is to move away from taxing income and start taxing consumption. I would even be OK with a return of luxury taxes on anything but food and housing. An extra 1% tax on a car over 100k. 1.5% extra on boats over 500k. An extra .5% on any consumer electronics over 10k. You get the idea.
    I would add housing over 200% median home value by state, cars over $50k, and ALL boats. I don't know too many consumer electronics over $10k. A home entertainment center can get expensive but that's a sum of a bunch of cheaper components. I'd like to read more about fair tax, but I'd rather read it from the source, whoever penned it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .blank cd View Post
    I would add housing over 200% median home value by state, cars over $50k, and ALL boats. I don't know too many consumer electronics over $10k. A home entertainment center can get expensive but that's a sum of a bunch of cheaper components. I'd like to read more about fair tax, but I'd rather read it from the source, whoever penned it out.
    Why all boats?

    "The greatest form of inequality is when you try to make unequal things equal"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfix_15 View Post
    Why all boats?
    All luxury watercrafts rather.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .blank cd View Post
    All luxury watercrafts rather.
    How would you define a luxury watercraft?

    "The greatest form of inequality is when you try to make unequal things equal"

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    Yeah. I could go with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .blank cd View Post
    Yeah. I could go with that.
    So, if i buy a watercraft, pay registration, pay for a tag, pay for a license to drive it, pay for a fishing license and use that watercraft to fish, i should have to pay extra for a luxury vehicle?

    In my opinion, the price of a vehicle dictates the tax. We should be very tight with the things we call luxuries. If i buy a $50,000 car, i paid taxes on $50,000. That's more taxes than i would pay if i purchased a $10,000 car. If i own 5 cars and 5 boats, then i pay taxes on 5 cars and 5 boats. I dont like the idea of over taxing excess or taxing people "because they can afford it". Here's a crazy off the wall suggestion........................ how about a government that manages it's spending with it's revenue?

    "The greatest form of inequality is when you try to make unequal things equal"

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    Quote Originally Posted by .blank cd View Post
    I would add housing over 200% median home value by state, cars over $50k, and ALL boats. I don't know too many consumer electronics over $10k. A home entertainment center can get expensive but that's a sum of a bunch of cheaper components. I'd like to read more about fair tax, but I'd rather read it from the source, whoever penned it out.
    Here you go. Written by Neil Boortz and former congressman from Ga John Linder.

    Quote Originally Posted by BanginJimmy View Post

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    Boortz's statements have not always been truthful concerning Fair Tax. What you need to read is the latest proposal, which is HR25
    Here is the actual bill

    Text of H.R.25 as Introduced in House: Fair Tax Act - U.S. Congress - OpenCongress
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    Quote Originally Posted by BanginJimmy View Post
    You missed 1 form of fairness. There is a segment of the population on the left that believe in income equality. This means they think everyone should have the same amount left over after taxes.
    I missed many more than one. Everyone has their own definition. I want to hear everyone's definition. That's the only way to know what someone means when they say tax policy is fair or unfair.

    Why all the focus on waterbound vehicles all of a sudden. Was hoping to keep this more philosophical. I think the fair tax isn't ideal but it's probably the most realistic and effective compromise I've heard.

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    Still reading the Fair Tax that BanginJimmy posted... but from previous and limited knowledge of the Fair Tax, right at the get go it was the obvious best solution for everyone. Oh how I would love to to take home ALL of my salary.

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    There are many things that will still have to be answered before Fair Tax can work. Take the example of the automobile industry that Fair Tax supporters have been unable to answer so far.

    Under Fair Tax 2011, new cars would be taxed, but used cars would not. How do you define what makes it new or used?

    What we typically consider a new car, like a GM/Ford/Honda/etc, will have the tax added. Your 20K car would be 25K. And I doubt that the tax would be financeable, so you will need to pay a lot more when you go to purchase one. This will mean that people will keep their cars longer, which will reduce auto sales, and lower the amount of taxes collected on new cars.

    How about companies that take refurbished bodies (old ones), and drop them on a new driveline? It would not be decalred new, and I suspect that you would have a lot of companies pop up quickly that perform this refurbishing. No tax under Fair Tax for it, and who would police it if the IRS was abolished? On top of that, since it was used, the companies would be tort exempted, allowing improperly built cars onto the roads.

    Killing the auto industry so that you can pay a little less tax might not be fair to the American auto workers.

    There are lots of situations that need to be thought out before enacting a "Fair" Tax.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nelson9995 View Post
    So in your world Obama is a socialist?
    In Obamas world he's a socialist. He would never call it that because it will scare people. A rose of another name is still a rose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sport_122 View Post
    In Obamas world he's a socialist. He would never call it that because it will scare people. A rose of another name is still a rose.
    I dont think Obama has ever claimed to be a socialist, nor has the Socialist party of America, or any other socialist party in the world for that matter ever agreed that he was a socialist. Do you have an example of a truly socialist policy or idea of his that would make him seem socialist? People who have actually lived under actual socialist regimes seem to have a different idea of exactly how "socialist" Obama really is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David88vert View Post
    There are many things that will still have to be answered before Fair Tax can work. Take the example of the automobile industry that Fair Tax supporters have been unable to answer so far.

    Under Fair Tax 2011, new cars would be taxed, but used cars would not. How do you define what makes it new or used?

    What we typically consider a new car, like a GM/Ford/Honda/etc, will have the tax added. Your 20K car would be 25K. And I doubt that the tax would be financeable, so you will need to pay a lot more when you go to purchase one. This will mean that people will keep their cars longer, which will reduce auto sales, and lower the amount of taxes collected on new cars.

    How about companies that take refurbished bodies (old ones), and drop them on a new driveline? It would not be decalred new, and I suspect that you would have a lot of companies pop up quickly that perform this refurbishing. No tax under Fair Tax for it, and who would police it if the IRS was abolished? On top of that, since it was used, the companies would be tort exempted, allowing improperly built cars onto the roads.

    Killing the auto industry so that you can pay a little less tax might not be fair to the American auto workers.

    There are lots of situations that need to be thought out before enacting a "Fair" Tax.
    A few things here.

    1. that 20k car would not be 25k. It would still be about 20k. The difference is that all of the taxes that were paid in piece parts would be gone and replaced by the fairtax that is collected at the point of sale. Sales taxes are financable now, no reason to believe they wont be after the fairtax.

    2. Enforcement and collections would still be done, and it may even done by an agency called the IRS. The difference is that it will be noting like what we think of it now.

    3. NTSB and state agencies would still be around to regulate what vehicles would get on the road. Just like I cannot rebuild and license a vehicle today, these pop up companies will not be able to do it because of the fairtax.

    4. Specific regulations would still need to be written to cover specific industries. This is true with any piece of legislation, no matter how major or minor.

    5. New cars will still be purchased by the people that purchase them now. There is no reason to believe any particular market, except tax preparers, will be destroyed by the fairtax.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .blank cd View Post
    I dont think Obama has ever claimed to be a socialist, nor has the Socialist party of America, or any other socialist party in the world for that matter ever agreed that he was a socialist. Do you have an example of a truly socialist policy or idea of his that would make him seem socialist? People who have actually lived under actual socialist regimes seem to have a different idea of exactly how "socialist" Obama really is.

    I know you werent addressing me but I will interject anyways.


    Obama is a socialist when dealing with individuals, and an fascist when dealing with business.

    He believes the govt should only allow you to have a certain amount of money an anything else you get should be spread around. This is his socialist side.

    His fascist side is simple. He believes in private ownership of business, but he believes it is the govts job to dictate what their profits should be, what products are brought to market, and how and where they are allowed to produce their products.

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