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Why do citizens support a flat tax?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    This is an analysis of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan:

    http://taxpolicycenter.org/numbers/displayatab.cfm?Docid=3221&DocTypeID=1The column to look at is near the far right, the change in dollars taxed each year. As you can see, everyone under $200K a year would pay more taxes than they are paying now. Looks like most middle-class people would pay more than $4,000 more dollars per year - almost $100 a week.

    And yet, this report taken from the Des Moines Register finds that only 14 percent of voters making less than $50,000 a year thinks that they would be worse off under Cain's 9-9-9 plan:

    I guess this is the whole, "What's the Matter With Kansas" thing, but I'm trying to figure out why flat-tax plans are popular among middle-class voters. Possibilities:

    (1) They actually feel like they should contribute more, because they aren't contributing their fair share now. But this would not explain the Iowa poll, which indicates that people actually think they will be better off, financially.

    (2) They simply don't understand what a flat tax would do. They distrust the government, and in particular feel like the more complex tax code is the government attempting to put one over on them. They false equate simpler with better.

    (3) They think that they would be better off because even though they would pay more taxes, they would recoup that money and more because of the tax breaks given to wealthy individuals. I think that this is probably the argument that board conservatives like YankeeFan and Old_Tony would advance.

  2. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    An inability to see beyond their noses.
  3. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    You would think libs would love a flat tax cause then everyone is treated as equal.

    I'm still a supporter of the FairTax, but if this is as close as we can get, then I'm all for it.

    There is no reason our tax code shouldn't be understandable and reasonable.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    That 9-9-9 thing is not the traditional flat tax scheme. It is its own mess.

    People supporting a flat tax, usually mean a flat INCOME tax. Cain has added a new tax in his 9-9-9 scheme. The third 9 in Cain's 9-9-9 is an introduction of a whole new national sales tax, or something similar to the European VAT taxes. Consumption taxes, such as what he wants to introduce, are regressive, since the people who spend a greater percentage of their income on consumer staples such as milk, bread and toilet paper, end up paying a higher percentage of their income.

    The typical "flat tax" scheme has nothing to do with that 9-9-9, and does not include a VAT tax or sales tax component. For example, when Steve Forbes threw out a flat tax scheme, it was a tax on personal and corporate income, and it exempted the first $X of income (presumably, to help keep it from being regressive). The reason those ideas resonate with people are that they are simpler than our current mess of IRS code, which is complicated and creates a lot of inefficiencies because it takes people so long to figure out all the loopholes and do their taxes. A flat tax would be straightforward. Subtract your exemption and then pay X percent on your remaining taxable income.
  5. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    Yes, there is. The current system keeps a lot of lobbyists and tax attorneys happy. And a lot of politicians fund their campaigns by shaking down lobbyists in exchange for tax breaks.
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member


    And this.

    People see the tax code as a pain in the ass, and rightfully so. But at the same time, they hear some plan with a little catchphrase like "9-9-9", repeated by the mainstream media which, with rare exceptions, doesn't delve into anything beyond the superficial, and think to themselves, "Oh, goody, a simple plan with a cute name!"

    They don't think about how it'll affect them. All they know is, there's a shiny new object in the room, which is really just a polished version of Steve Forbes' tax card.
  7. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    I'd bet the mortgage on No. 2.
  8. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Sheer stupidity.

    And the result of 30+ years of corporatist media propaganda.

    Want some simple, easy to unnnerstand facts?

    I am in the average income bracket.

    The 9-9-9 plan by Stepin Fetchit Cain would raise my tax bite over $5,000 a year.

    That's $100 bucks a week out of my pocket.

    What do I get for this extra $100 a week?

    Nothing, nothing, fucking nothing, that's what I get. In fact Cain and his ilk are furiously working to slash services and chainsaw any government program which might help me or anybody in my income bracket.

    So the billionaires can get more tax breaks.

    That's simple enough for me.

    Back to the kitchen, Herman. The Kochs need their shoes shined.
  9. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    I'm confused. In earlier threads, broad support for tax increases on "the rich" was put forth as evidence that an increase was a good idea. Now you're saying that hefty proportions of the populace support things that aren't wise because of "sheer stupidity." Did I miss something?
  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    So, Starman's biggest problem with the 9-9-9 plan is that Starman pays more?

    And, that's a legitimate objection in his case, but is illegitimate when others make the same case?

    Higher taxes on other people = good thing.

    Higher taxes on Starman ≠ good thing.
  11. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Depends on how much Starman makes. $5 grand a year out of $50 grand (or whatever he's making) is a much bigger chunk than $5 grand out of $250 grand. The $5K out of $50K goes towards food and housing. The $5K out of $250K goes for hookers and poltical donations.
  12. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    I think I need Baron's help in making out my budget.

    I have nothing allocated to hookers or political donations.
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