So the people who benefit most from society, property owners, are to be completely relieved from its obligations?
He didn't. He can't. At 10/hour people have to rent and their rent should be not more than 400/month. They ain't paying no 1,000/year in property tax.
And you oughta just give up on this idea of creating straw victims that you can then point to as a perfect example of whatever point you are trying to make. Do some work, and find some figures that support your position.
I would like get away from both property and income taxes and go to only a Consumption tax. That coupled with the proposed amendment to cap spending and blanace the budget would go a long way to straightening out the government and keeping it from spending like a drunken sailor. Consumption is easy to assess and would be able to figure out how much there is to spend every year.
Sadly it'll take some balls and people in positions that are most likely Lame ducks with a lot of political capital to push it through, or first term that would be willing to sacrifice a second term to get it done
And, it's a bad idea, not just for the reasons that Nova cites. A tax on property will discourage ownership of property. The incentive to rent, and let someone else suck up the tax, will be immense, and even if the tax is passed on to renters, there is no guarantee that rent control won't impose other penalties on landlords. The housing markets in cities like NYC and Los Angeles demonstrate this abundantly.
You guys aren't getting this. Let's go back to first principles.
What is the purpose of taxes? Any taxes, income or otherwise? Is it to redistribute wealth? Is it to provide the government with the means of manipulating behavior so that it can achieve desired outcomes? Or is it to fund the functions of government? And if it is only to fund the functions of government, then what are the legitimate functions of that government? Does the government have the right to exceed its Constitutional limits and then stick us with the bill? Does the government have the authority to decide that some people make too much, some make too little, and to try to "spread the wealth around"? Or does it have an obligation to treat all people equally before the law, regardless of their income?
Welfare money goes to welfare recipients. What they do with it is up to them, but it would be hard to envision them spending it somewhere where no one owns a store, or no one owns the real estate, and doctors work for nothing.:smile:
Now that we've established how government can fund programs, I think we can all agree that borrowing and inflation are not viable longterm solutions, and in fact, they are patently unethical, as borrowing imposes debt on future generations who had no say in the borrowing, while inflation is simply clever theft. Leasing simply perpetuates government control of otherwise potentially productive land, and encourages takings of land in order to increase its holdings. Also, leasing is dependent on the good will and integrity of politicians. Duties and tariffs encourage retaliation that can harm trade and economic activity (See the Hawley-Smoot tariff for a prime example). That leaves us with user fees and taxes. User fees are generally good for paying for specific projects, but if the fees exceed the value of the gains made from using the project, they will discourage economic activity that is dependent upon those projects. For example, if a toll on a highway discourages trucking, then economic activity is reduced. So, while user fees have their uses, they must be used sparingly. That leaves us with taxes.
- Taxes: This includes taxes on income, transactions (purchases of specific commodities), property, savings or investments. However, the more we tax any one area, the more that we discourage growth in that area.
- Sales: The government owns huge swathes of land and other property. Sales of government-owned land with proven oil or gas reserves could be a significant source of revenues, but once a property is sold, it cannot be sold again, so revenues from sales of government property are not renewable. They can be used for stopgap funding, in a pinch, but you don't want to rely on them. OTOH, the more land that the feds sell, the less of it they have to administer, which reduces other costs.
- Leases: Leasing government land can generate revenues, but since the government continues to dictate the use of the land, despite the leasing, these leases are not as attractive as they could be. The current moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is one example. Trying to enforce a contract with the government can also be frustrating and expensive.
- Duties and Tariffs: These are basically taxes paid at entry through customs. They impose taxes on imports, but discourage exports, as other countries tend to retaliate in kind.
- User fees: Fees charged for the use of federal property. Think toll roads (although most of these are either private or municipal, but there's a whole federal highway system out there). The upside is that the fees can be used exclusively to maintain the property that is charging the fee, so that it is a pay-as-you-go system that is about as equitable as it gets, while the downside is that such fees tend to suppress use of the property.
- Debt: Probably the easiest way for government to gain revenues, as it avoids the pain of raising taxes, but permits politicians to do whatever they want. Current levels of debt make further borrowing highly unadvisabe, especially since even a slight uptick in interest rates could prove ruinous to the US economy. In addition, imposing debt on future generations, without their consent, is clearly immoral. Those who argue that a fetus is not a person have no business borrowing money in his name. For this reason, borrowing should be limited to existential crises, such as war or disasters on a national scale.
- Inflation: Governments have the capacity to print money, and the money that they print and then spent amounts to a transfer of wealth from those who are holding currency, as the value of the currency that they hold is reduced proportionally to the amount of new money circulated. It's another clever way to bilk the public, but inflation tends to add up, and after a few years of inflationary monetary policies, the politicians start to suffer at the polls. Also, inflation drives up interest rates, which makes borrowing more expensive.
If we accept the premise that all Americans are equal before the law, and in the eyes of government, then those programs which can be said to be for the benefit of the public are, obviously, of equal benefit to all, at least legally, and the obligation to fund them is therefore equal. Thus, the starting point for any tax plan should be to establish the federal budget, determine the gross cost of funding it for the year, and then dividing up the cost among the consumers equally. Now, Obama's budget was something on the order of $3.7 trillion for 2012. Divided among 300 million or so Americans, that gives us approximately $12,333 per person in tax liabilities for FY 2012. His budget for 2013 is $3.8 trillion, or $12,666 for every man, woman and child in America. That is everyone's fair share of the federal budget, as currently proposed. Now, I don't think that anyone here wants to pay $12,666 for their share of the federal government, so clearly, we need to take a look at making some spending cuts. I'm open to suggestions.