Does Kerry want to raise the capital gains tax?

I can’t see the logic in objections to taxing inheiritances. If you make $1,000,000 you can and should pay a large tax. But if you inherit $1,000,000, why should that income somehowbe exempt from taxation? Any argument that talks about double taxation is bogus. You invest money in the stock market, you make money, you get taxed on the income. This is NEW income, not taxing the old again. Similarly, if you lose money, you deduct the losses. What is unfair about that?

First off, that’s not practical. Well, let’s see, today I drove on 2.3 miles of paved road, 16 cents. 5 traffic lights, 1.3 cents. 2 stop signs, 0.6 cents… Secondly, “your” money. Where did you get it? By working either for yourself or for a company. Either you paid yourself or the company paid you. How did they get the money to pay you? By selling something to this society. You can go live on that desert island and work just as hard and you won’t see a dime. It’s the society that gives you wealth, and you must give some back to the society.

Socialism in action.

If ‘society’ wants money, then ‘society’ can get a job and start working.

Why do other people have the right to automatically take money that I earned by, yes, selling my labor or services?

The government should have to prove that it needs my money in order to provide me with something before it just increases taxes or talks about any tax cut being a ‘cost’ as if the government is just handing me money for nothing.

This whole ‘well you can afford it, so why not tax you?’ is asinine.

Yeah, my money. I didn’t sell your services or labor to get it.

Catsix: Society is already working. That’s how it has the money to pay you. In reality, society is giving you wealth. You’re not earning it independently. No matter how hard you work, there are millions in this world who work just as hard. But they don’t get paid as well as you. That’s because this society gives you the ability to earn that wealth. Their society does not. So pay your dues or get the F out!

Catsix, I meant that for comment for all of us, not just you. I apologize if it sounds like it was directed just at you.

You have it ass-backwards.

“Society” doesn’t create wealth - it consumes. It can only function by confiscating the fruits of Catsix’ labor. Therefore, as the originator of the labor Catsix has every right to cry “Enough! Here is my share - you have taxed it once and you will get no more.”

IOW, spend what we give you and get the F out of our pockets.

Then maybe they should have tried a little harder when negotiating the deal for the sale of their labor with the one who would buy it.

See that’s how I earn money. I have something to sell, my labor, and I found someone who wants to buy it, my boss. My boss and I haggled over the price of my labor until we found a number we both agreed upon.

Society doesn’t ‘give’ me a dime. Now, if I sat on my ass doing nothing all day and collected a paycheck made up of money taken from the pockets of people who busted their asses, that would be society ‘giving’ me something.

Thirty percent of my paycheck never sees my pocket. I’ve more than paid my dues for the services the government renders me. It’s time for them to get the fuck out of my pocket and stop increasing my taxes, or worse, doubly taxing money I already paid taxes on.

One can tell these examples come from Republican talking points in that they are quite selective. Left out, for example, is earnings that get taxed and then are taxed again by a sales tax when you go and spend them. But, sales taxes being regressive are not so much a concern in regards to “double taxation” as the concept has been used to refer to taxes that affect mainly the rich.

And one can tell the points coming from the Socialis…excuse me…Democratic talking points. The “Rich” are just trying to get out of paying their “fair share.”

Of course, WE’LL decide what is fair.

That’s the thing. Your boss has the ability to buy your services. That’s a result of the entire society. If you’re building widgets, there has to be a population in place to buy those widgets, and to pay good money for them to support your hefty salary. Society must provide the tools in order for this population to exist.

There aren’t too many people that sit on their asses all day. And if they do, they’re either the relatives of the fabulously wealthy who contribute nothing at all to society except consumption, or they’re already so friggin’ poor that the meager handouts given to them by the taxpayers does not affect the taxpayers much. This actually leads to a bigger point. If enough people become the type to sit on their asses all day, they will eventually band together and simply take your money. It’s happened in Sao Paulo Brazil already, where the wealthy must live in seclusion and must be escorted by hired bodyguards at all times. So you see, eventually you’ll end up paying more than the taxes that you saved. Oh wait, you want the government to protect you? Well too bad, since you didn’t pay enough taxes, it doesn’t have the means to protect you.

OK, well stop paying taxes and start paying for all that the government provides for you. I guarantee that the cost to you will be substantially more than the taxes that you’re currently paying.

I don’t want anyone to misconstrue what I’m saying. We should all strive to make the government run more efficiently, meaning that it should provide the same services or more, while doing it for less money. No doubt that this somehting that everyone wants. But this work should be done independently and reducing tax rates is not going to make it happen. First let’s get the thing running more efficiently, and then we’ll see if we can get you some money back.

Sales taxaes are regressive to income, important point.

But I would disagree with your categorizing a sales tax as a “double tax” on top of income tax. It is a tax on a transaction, it is a tax on economic activity. The traditional example of double taxation of course is the payment of dividend on top of coroporate tax. Dividend payments are not econimc activity, it is a transfer ofmy money from one account to the other, essentially an accounting change. No economic activity has taken place.

It is nice in theory and it is nice in reality, too. In fact the theory is that most taxation is not very efficient and is a drag on econimc activity and degrading of economic efficiency (not all taxation is though). And the theory is true in reality. I am not saying taxation should be determined strictly on efficiency grounds, equity concerns are as important as anybody wishes them to be. But the theory on capital gains taxes is pretty valid. I have no comment on your theory of government funded health care because I don’t know if it is true or not.

Why do you have the right to automatically use services that other people are providing, such as the Armed Services or the FDA?

I’ve never been a Republican in my life. At 18 when I registered to vote I filled out my form with ‘no party affiliation’. A year later, I changed it to Democrat.

I wouldn’t even know what ‘Republican talking points’ are.

I make just enough money in a year to survive, and I don’t exactly have a ‘lavish or comfortable’ lifestyle. I don’t know why you think I’m rich.

I think they’re already starting to do this, as I watch the portion of my paycheck the government feels entitled to take from me to give to someone else get larger and larger, and I seem to get less and less for it.

The roads are in serious disrepair (PA voted ‘Worst roads in the USA’ three years running by America’s truckers), I saw less and less government financial aid for college each year as tuition at my state-affiliated school increased every year, etc.

And taxes fund this how, exactly? The more of their own money people keep, the more they can spend on the services my employer is able to provide due to me selling my labor to my employer, non?

By the way, my salary is by no means ‘hefty’.

I specifically said I have no problem paying for services I use. What I have a problem with is the government saying that me keeping more than 70% of the money I earn is a ‘cost’ to them. I did not take that money from the government’s pocket.

This plattitude gets repeated all the time. Can you name a single “service” which is not paid for by those who use it? At least to some extent? This argument is typically used to justify gargantuan government programs which have nothing to do with infrastructure. You see, I agree that we need roads to make money. We need a reliable police force and armed services. But these things are bade for a couple times over by the fees and taxes we all pay. The “services” you are talking about when you go on about higher taxes, or revoking the recent cuts are not even remotely connected to the sorts of economic activity you mean when you say “you have to pay the fees associated with living in our society”.

What you really mean is that there are other people in society, they need money, and whoever must be forced to contribute said money will simply have to grin and bear it. The idea is certainly liberal, it is even compasionate from a certain angle. But it is hardly a good way to organize society.

Okay…Color me confused here. When some people note that capital gains income and dividend income is something that you can virtually guarantee getting by just being wealthy to start with, we are told how in fact such investment is vital to the economy, our engine of growth, etc., etc. Now you are telling me that the distribution of dividends has nothing to do with economic activity. So, which is it?

I don’t really see how it is unrelated to economic activity. When you originally invested, you didn’t have to pay a tax on that transaction but it was understood that in the future you would pay taxes on the gains that your received as a result of economic activity flowing from your investment.

And, of course, why does it matter if something is taxed once or twice? If my income was taxed twice at 10%, I’d be much happier than if it were taxed once at 30%. And, as has been noted by people who study the corporate taxation, the actual fact is that, because of all the loopholes and the like, if we eliminate the supposed “double taxation” much of the profits made won’t even be taxed once.

You still haven’t convinced me that this concept of double taxation isn’t just a made-up way of reducing taxes on the sort of things that wealthy people pay taxes on. That really seems to be the most defining characteristic of the things that are claimed to represent double taxation. And, if you really think it is inefficient to tax it twice, by all means, I’d be amenable to having it taxed once at a higher rate. In fact, some people have suggested we do away with corporate taxes altogether and simply tax the dividend and capital gains income at one higher rate. I see some virtues in this proposal.

I’m always skeptical of proposals that are made on the basis of “fairness” or “economic efficiency” that just happen to have the side-effect of providing a winfall to the rich and economically-powerful. I’m a little cynical that way.

I don’t understand your question. I think what you are getting at is that there are services that you don’t feel you use that, if eliminated, we would no longer have a deficit. Perhaps this is true. There are probably services that I don’t feel I use that, if eliminated, we would no longer have a deficit. (I see no reason, for example, to pay $200 billion for a war that is making us less safe and doing tremendous damage to our standing in the world. Also, I want to pay less for roads than the guys who drive those big honkin’ SUVs that chew up the road more than my car…And, I no longer want to subsidize their gasoline for those vehicles.) The rub is that they would be different services.

Sorry, I should have noted that the last quote that I was responding to was from pervert.

No, not at all. I would hardly replace socialist principles with the relativistic “what I don’t approve of” principle. I was specifically asking what government services you keep refering to every time you try to make the point that money earned does not belong to the earner because it was earned in a society. You have here and on many other occasions used this concept to justify every sort of spending project (except those proposed by your political rivals). I simply do not understand how someone as smart as you can continue to equate all sorts of government projects on the basis that they are services when many of them clearly are not.

No rub. I am simply asking for justification of the collectivist principle you and other seem to feel proves something. That’s all.

Yes, well at least proposals which benifit the rich this way can be said to be more closely related to economic activity than proposals which benifit other in the same way. No? :wink:

Sorry. My point was merely that the two taxes that you mentioned are the ones that the Republicans have attacked on the basis of this “double taxation” concept, even though I think it is a distinction that is sort of arbitrary and could be discussed in the context of other taxes too.

Yeah…I remember this from previous conversations here. I wasn’t trying to imply that you are rich but rather that the reason we all have heard so much buzz in the political sphere about double taxation in regards to these taxes is because it is a good way to pave the way for cuts in taxes on the rich by an appeal to a sense of fairness on the part of everyone else. I would not be surprised to learn that there were focus groups convened at some point to learn what arguments against the estate tax and the taxes on dividends and capital gains would have the most appeal to average voters who were not getting hit very much or at all by these taxes. And, I would imagine that the “double taxation” theme played quite well.

Well, you are certainly confusing me with a couple of concepts. A dividend payment is not a capital gain, it is income. It is added to your income just like your paycheck. Now a tax on income earned from capital appreciation is not necessarily a bad idea. Yes a tax on capital tends to reduce the efficiency, but the same concept holds with earned income, taxation tends to reduce incentives to work. So it isn’t that concept per se. It is the idea that capital gains are not taxed until they are realized. That means, of course, that I may want to move my capital to a better investment, but with a capital gains it has to be more than just a little better because the cost of entering into that transaction needs to account for the capital gains tax.

Well, at least for my concern is not so much that something is taxed twice so much as that tax burdens are harder to account for. Shareholders are of all sorts of economic levels. Some directly, many indirectly through things like their pension funds. A corporation pays one tax rate essentially for all it’s shareholders regardless of their econimc status. Then that person is required to pay their personal rate. To take your example, it would be like saying everyone in Los Angeles County pays 10% on their income and then they also have to pay their income tax. The fact is also that double tax is an incentive to keep profits as retained earnings as opposed to paying it out in dividends in a less than optimal manner.

I would be amenable to something like that, although I don’t necessarily see why dividend income needs to be taxed at a different rate than other income. I would be more agreeable to raising the overall rate on higher income, dividned or labor or other, than to differentiate dividend income at a higher rate.

Well I would put int another way, I would be skeptical of proposals that only concern themselves with the economic efficeincy or equity. Tax policy is best viewed as three-legged stool, one leg is economic efficiency, on is equity and the third is revenue. All three must be considered. The tradeoofs made can only be subjectively made, there is no objectively correct answer. You are right to be skeptical, jst don’t delude yourself into thinking that only the rich are self-interested in these tax debates.