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Old 03-03-2005, 08:53 AM   #1
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Consumption Tax

Greenspan Touts Idea of a Consumption Tax

How would you structure our tax system?

Eliminate or reduce income tax in favor of a national sales tax?

Is it fair to tax consumption on all non-necessities?
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:19 AM   #2
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I say people need to stop whining we have some of the lowest taxes of industrialized countries
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:28 AM   #3
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i think the idea of a progressive sales tax is interesting and should be investigated.

the goal, i think, of taxing people is to find some way of making sure that we all contribute to the well-being of society, and taxes -- which fund things like roads and schools and dams -- are one way of going about that. it makes senese that people at the top of the income ladder pay more because, 1) they can afford to, and, 2) society has been good to them, so they do, in a senese, "owe" it to their fellow citizens. also, you don't see too many sons and daughters of Greenwich, Beverley Hills, or of members of Congress (of course not all) serving in Iraq, as our armed forces tend to skew heavily towards the middle and working classes. we all have to pull our own weight, but in different ways and in accordance with our abilities.

a consumption tax, if applied fairly, and in my opinion it should be something similar to a VAT where non-essentials are taxed more heavily than essentials, might be a good way to ensure that the very wealthy pay their fair share (as they so often don't, with off-shore holdings and a team of lawyers ready to beat the tax codes ... and that's just individuals, dont' get me started on how corporate America is always 3 steps ahead of the IRS ... it's sickening and sad).

it does make sense, for example, to heavily tax a speedboat but not a loaf of bread. i suppose what becomes difficult is to determine what becomes considered a luxury and what is a necessity.

i dunno. it's an interesting idea, but the implementation of it sounds rather difficult.
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:39 AM   #4
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It's an awful idea, mainly because the Bush Administration is looking for any excuse for the wealthy to stop paying taxes. When the wealthy are the biggest proponents of a sales tax, you know something's up. This will not be fair.

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Old 03-03-2005, 09:56 AM   #5
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If wealthy people spend their money, they would likely end up paying more in taxes.

This would also tax individuals who have large wealth, small income and large spending habits.
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
it does make sense, for example, to heavily tax a speedboat but not a loaf of bread. i suppose what becomes difficult is to determine what becomes considered a luxury and what is a necessity.
My guess is we would start with the state sales tax structure. Most food items are not taxed, yet some non-essential foods are taxed. I'm sure there is quite a history in evaluating this aspect of the tax system.
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Old 03-03-2005, 10:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


My guess is we would start with the state sales tax structure. Most food items are not taxed, yet some non-essential foods are taxed. I'm sure there is quite a history in evaluating this aspect of the tax system.
Massachusetts taxes food, but not clothing. Something is seriously wrong with that.
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Old 03-03-2005, 10:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


My guess is we would start with the state sales tax structure. Most food items are not taxed, yet some non-essential foods are taxed. I'm sure there is quite a history in evaluating this aspect of the tax system.

well, that would absolutely *kill* me.

i can live without peanut butter, but red thai curry paste!?!?!

and which do you think would be more likely to be considered non-essential?



(on 2nd thought, this might totally kill the organic food movement ... unless we provide tax incentives for organic farmers or something ...)

(more tought needed)
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Old 03-03-2005, 10:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer
Massachusetts taxes food, but not clothing. Something is seriously wrong with that.
When I went to the grocery store, my food was not taxed. Clothing worth less than $200 is not taxed, I believe. Restaurant food is not a "necessity."

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Old 03-03-2005, 10:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
It's an awful idea, mainly because the Bush Administration is looking for any excuse for the wealthy to stop paying taxes. When the wealthy are the biggest proponents of a sales tax, you know something's up. This will not be fair.

Melon
I agree. Bush is just trying to back the wealthy and create programs which would benefit the wealthy.
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


When I went to the grocery store, my food was not taxed. Clothing worth less than $200 is not taxed, I believe. Restaurant food is not a "necessity."

Melon
Most people own way too many clothes. In addition, clothing is pretty much universally overpriced, especially considering where most of it comes from.

Massachusetts should find some way to tax all these college kids who buy Abercrombie clothes on their parents' credit cards.
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer
Massachusetts should find some way to tax all these college kids who buy Abercrombie clothes on their parents' credit cards.
Something to target the rich? They call it an income tax.

Regardless, Bush's "consumption tax" is not grounded in reality. Many economists have said that to completely eliminate income tax in favor of sales tax would require a 50+% sales tax, rather than a 23% tax (which is still pretty damn high, and is more than 3x higher than Canada's GST; not to mention that this doesn't even affect state sales taxes, so lump in state sales taxes and we have close to 30% sales taxes proposed here!).

I don't know who the GOP is trying to fool here. Lumping 30% on top of consumer goods is not going to spark additional buying (basic supply and demand makes that perfectly clear), and most of the payroll tax deductions are tied into Medicare and Social Security withholdings, which are not going away. The only people who will benefit from this are the rich, who, even in paying taxes, are already rich and just want even more money.

This entire proposal is just "class warfare": the rich, once again, passing the buck to the working class to make themselves richer.

Melon
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