Over and over and over, you claim to have given direct answers. I have read this thread over many times so telling me to read it again doesn't make your answers any more logical.
The answers are there, and they were logical to begin with. You can choose to address them or ignore them, but you cannot claim they do not exist.
[You don't define how MUCH more]
It isn't a precise amount, which is something I have stated several times. More data and research would need to be done to come anywhere close to determining a precise amount, and I have neither the time nor the desire to do that right now.
You don't mention whether or not tax revenues and share of the burden will change and in what direction
Tax revenues would remain relatively unchanged. The idea is that every tax dollar paid by the wealthy replaces a tax dollar the poor or middle class have to pay so that revenues remain relatively constant.
This is one of the many errors in your argument. Trying to hit that "percentage-wise" number does not correlate to increasing share of the burden for the rich.
If you pay a higher percentage on the portion of your income above X dollars, then you pay a higher total percentage of your income than someone who makes less than X overall. You simply have to do the relatively simple calculations to figure out the weighted average and you can know what you pay and see that it is more overall. I'm not going to give a sample problem using weighted averages - you can look that up on your own if you need to do so (judging by other things you say, you probably don't).
The effect of lowering rates - across the board to include the wealthy has had the effect of BOTH 1) increasing tax revenues, and 2) increasing the share of the wealthy in those revenues.
Your statement may be true on the surface, but by digging deeper, we can see its flaws. Lowering rates for everyone including the wealthy benefits the wealthy the most. Again, this is simple mathematics. If the wealthy pay more to begin with, they stand to save more when rates are lowered (in terms of total dollars). You can't get around the math on that. Now, you can argue that this is perfectly acceptable in your view, but you can't say it doesn't work that way as the math says it does.
Following that, if the wealthy are saving more money, there are very few scenarios in which they could also be paying a larger share of the total money. The math would have to work out correctly such that a the wealthy's total dollars paid goes down and yet their percentage share of dollars paid rises within the set of those who pay taxes. You cannot argue that this would always occur unless the tax code is specifically designed to make certain that is the case. If the tax codes does that, then I concede lowering taxes across the board would probably do as you suggest.
A growing economy provides a multiplier effect by broadening the tax base. It also broadens the number of upwardly mobile taxpayers, meaning an even greater percentage of the burden is paid by the rich.
The economy will not grow unless consumer spending rises. The way things function right now is the middle class drives consumer spending (and therefore the economy). This is because the lower classes do not have the disposable income to spend and the wealthy stop spending once they reach a certain point and begin to invest instead (and the positive effect on the economy is exponentially less from investing than from consumer spending).
Following that, there are two ways to boost the economy.
First, you can increase the number of people who are middle class. I suggested giving employers incentives to provide more people with full time jobs with benefits featuring family sustaining wages, which are the hallmark of the middle class.
Second, you can encourage the wealthy to spend more (either as direct consumers themselves or on efforts that will trickle down to consumer spending). I suggested giving the wealthy incentives that would discourage investing and other incentives to spend.
Increasing the total number of wealthy individuals may increase total tax dollars paid by the wealthy, but it doesn't increase how much each wealthy individual pays. I do, however, acknowledge your point that more wealthy individuals would broaden the tax base.
You appear to be advocating that the poor pay zero tax because the wealthy can "afford to pay it for them". Okay, at what point do someone begin to pay?
Again, it would take more data and research to determine an exact dollar figure.
For the sake of argument, let's say those who make below X dollars per year do not pay any income tax (and it should be much higher than it is now), with the tax dollars they pay under our current system being shouldered by the wealthy.
My point is that a wealthy individual whose annual income is let's say 100X will not be burdened at all if they take on, say .1X dollars in taxes (the ten percent income tax the poor individual now pays in this hypothetical). That would amount to 1/1000 of their annual income, or .001 percent.
Now, I know there are far more poor people than there are wealthy individuals. Still, let's assume every wealthy individual paid for the tax burden of 10 poor people, meaning they now pay X more in taxes. That's still just one percent of their total income in increased taxes, while it would represent an entire year's wages for the poor person.
If you set your target somewhere near there, that's probably about the most you're going to be able to get from the wealthy without having the human reaction factor in and begin to reduce government revenue due to their investment (and wealth) going elsewhere]
Now we're getting somewhere, because I agree with you. Yes, I said I agree with you on this.
I simply think the government needs to either give strong incentives for people not to allow their money to go elsewhere or find ways to absolutely prevent it from happening. Either encourage or if necessary legally restrict those who want to invest offshore from doing so. If absolutely necessary, hand out stiff prison sentences to those who break the laws by illegally investing outside the U.S.
This would serve to artificially prevent tax evasion tactics such as this, and probably should already be in place.
This is a nice theory but it does ignore the consequences of human reaction to variables - like how much wealth gets generated (or not generated) based on opportunities risk versus return.
Again, I think the proper incentives need to be put into place to restrict the ability of human reaction to affect the outcome. That's why most laws exist - to restrict human reaction so society can function. I am in favor of more restriction on the ways the wealthy (or I suppose anyone for that matter) can invest their money.
Also, I would like to apologize if I have offended anyone during the course of my postings here in this thread. I understand I often come across more harshly than I intend, and if I have done so, then I am sorry.
11/30/2012 3:28 PM (edited)