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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:14 pm
 


Ok, fair enough. It'd be easier to judge if this is a trend if we had stats from 01 to 10, and the average yearly exchange rate posted, but it's an interesting figure regardless of that.

I found it curious that both American and Canadian revenues per citizen increased during 2007 and 2008, despite the recession. Any thoughts on that?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:10 am
 


Canadian_Mind wrote:
It'd be easier to judge if this is a trend if we had stats from 01 to 10, and the average yearly exchange rate posted
Like so? Yeah, I screwed up the currency conversion before. I converted as if from CAD to USD when I intended to go the other way. That threw that earlier data way off. Now I'm all paranoid and have checked everything about 15 times.

This new data suggests that Americans have always carried a much higher tax burden. Only in the past couple years, after Bush and Obama each cut taxes in turn, has it even been close.

I want to check my work by comparing it to tax revenue as a proportion of GDP. It'd also be interesting to see a comparison broken down by income.

Lots of edits. The whole post is changed.


Last edited by Psudo on Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:15 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:38 am
 


I find it funny that the one country on Earth that really needs a GST simply refuses to even consider one.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:23 am
 


Define "really needs." We either need more tax revenue or reduced spending. If we opt for tax revenue, we could increase the rates on import, corporate, capital gains, payroll, or income taxes rather than create a new tax that doesn't currently exist at the federal level. If we decide to create a new tax, we could go with federal property, energy, carbon, or "sin" taxes. Or we could instigate a federal lottery. Or we could legalize pot and/or prostitution and tax that.

Do you have a reason for singling out a GST besides Canadian pride?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:38 pm
 


I added a proportion of GDP table to the page. Americans pay $1.47 per dollar Canadians pay, but Canadians pay a 2.83 percentage points larger chunk of their GDP in taxes. The average Canadian pays fewer dollars in taxes, but also has fewer dollars to pay with.

I guess I need to compare taxes as a proportion of wages to break the tie. I don't know if I can get that data for Canada without giving a few dollars to Statistics Canada. Even if I can get it, Canada measures wages as a static hourly pay (like $22.50) while the USA measures the change in wages (like +10¢). I can show that Canadian wages are up 31¢ and US wages are up 52¢ the past year (Aug 2010 to Jul 2011) but I can't use that to determine the burden of taxation as a proportion of wages.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:38 pm
 


That was gonna be my final question, thanks though Psudo, you threw together a really good chart.

And I like the GST because it's a tax that is exactly proportional to spending habits. So the poor aren't being taxed to death on necessities (like groceries), while the middle class are taxed on niceties(tv, new bikes for kids, car purchase, etc), and the rich are taxed fairly on luxuries(Yacht, cars, giant televisions, etc).


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:57 pm
 


Define really need?
No, go ahead and cut until the foundation falls apart. Every businessman knows the secret to success is to cut costs and decrease revenue further.
You think we're mentioning a GST or VAT out of fucking pride?
Get your head out of your ass.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:03 pm
 


Is the GST more progressive than income, corporate, capital gains, or other taxes? US taxation is already pretty steeply progressive. I donno that GST would be unique in that respect.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:21 pm
 


It's unique in that it is fair. It's a flat rate on every item purchased. The more items you purchase, the more tax you pay. Not only is it fair, but an individual can't complain that the gov is stealing their money, because they make the choice to make the purchase they will be taxed on.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:33 pm
 


herbie wrote:
Define really need?
No, go ahead and cut until the foundation falls apart. Every businessman knows the secret to success is to cut costs and decrease revenue further.
You think we're mentioning a GST or VAT out of fucking pride?
Get your head out of your ass.

Now come on just because you're discussing American tax policy doesn't mean you need to imitate an average American.

I'm sure herbie brought up a GST and VAT not because of Canadian pride, but because that's what Canadians know. In the same way, if a new nation was starting out, I'd suggest a Congressional-style democracy and not a parliamentary-style democracy. Not because one is better than the other, but because it's what I'm most familiar with.

It should be noted that one of Mike Huckabee's major platform policies in his campaign for the GOP's presidential nomination in 2008 was a federal sales tax.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:25 am
 


herbie wrote:
Every businessman knows the secret to success is to cut costs and decrease revenue further.
The ideal business makes people better off via voluntary, mutually beneficial transactions. Business success makes the customers and the proprietors better off. For anyone following that philosophy, bigger is always better.

The purpose of government is to protect the citizenry from force by force. It's important that government be large enough to provide sufficient protection, but making government larger than that only serves to add the use of force to society. For anyone following that philosophy, bigger is eventually big enough.

The metaphor doesn't fit.

Canadian_Mind wrote:
It's unique in that it is fair. It's a flat rate on every item purchased. The more items you purchase, the more tax you pay. Not only is it fair, but an individual can't complain that the gov is stealing their money, because they make the choice to make the purchase they will be taxed on.
It would probably broaden the tax base, cut administrative costs, and for people who spend 90%+ of what they make (mostly the middle class on down) it ends up being nicely progressive. But the using-money-to-make-money investor types (who are mostly rich) would pay very little GST, and it acts as a sudden obstacle between taxed and untaxed good and services that manipulates the choices of folks who can barely afford the taxed things before the taxes. Implementing it wisely would minimize those problems, but it can't fix them all.

The best argument is the voluntary choice part, a very good principle. I don't think it's a practical step away from compulsory taxation because I don't see the USA abandoning income and payroll taxes any time soon. Also, you can support individual choice more effectively with spending cuts.

I'm not opposed to a federal sales tax. It seems like just another tax to me. I'd rather get tax revenue by simplifying the tax code, eliminating credits, exceptions, and such "hidden spending" taxation, maybe replace some welfare spending with a negative rate on the lowest tax bracket. That kinda thing.

DanSC wrote:
I'm sure herbie brought up a GST and VAT not because of Canadian pride, but because that's what Canadians know. In the same way, if a new nation was starting out, I'd suggest a Congressional-style democracy and not a parliamentary-style democracy. Not because one is better than the other, but because it's what I'm most familiar with.
Maybe "pride" is too strong a word (maybe), but "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like nails." is not a persuasive argument in favor of GST.

I admit, I kinda like the Value Added Tax as gimmick taxes go. I wonder if the paperwork would be a nightmare, though.

Notice that Iraq has a parliamentary democracy, not a congressional one. A powerful executive would be a really bad idea in a former dictatorship, so Americans advised against the American Way. People can look outside their home countries for examples. It can be done.

DanSC wrote:
one of Mike Huckabee's major platform policies [...] in 2008 was a federal sales tax.
The "Fair Tax" plan (which Huckabee pushed, but did not invent) is kinda implausible to implement, since it's intended to replace all income and payroll taxes - an overhaul of about 80% of our tax revenue. That's the kind of thing that spooks people and ignites opposition. It has exceptions for low income folks (via tax exemption cards that work like credit cards) rather than for the kinds of things low income folks buy which I think gives it an advantage over the GST model.

I donno, maybe it'd work in conjunction with a capital gains tax increase or other rich folk tax. It seems like a lot of experimental risk to end up with a system a lot like the current one. They market it as a way to "Fire the IRS," but it would only reduce it's role and it's role is only about $12 billion total. It might be fun, but it's not a great victory for administrative efficiency.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:18 am
 


Quote:
herbie wrote:
Every businessman knows the secret to success is to cut costs and decrease revenue further.


The comment was sarcasm. You can't do it solely by cutting. The only thing you can grow with scissors is a pile of confetti.
One thing you could do with a VAT/GST is keep the current income tax cuts in place for good. The GST would also appease the flat-taxers as everyone pays the same percentage.
Joe Plumber buys a $15,000 car and pays $X where Richie Rich buys a $75,000 car and pays 5 times as much. Joe Businessman buys a new worktruck, and deducts the tax cost from what he collects in tax, so it doesn't hurt business.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:31 am
 


herbie wrote:
Quote:
herbie wrote:
Every businessman knows the secret to success is to cut costs and decrease revenue further.


The comment was sarcasm. You can't do it solely by cutting. The only thing you can grow with scissors is a pile of confetti.
One thing you could do with a VAT/GST is keep the current income tax cuts in place for good. The GST would also appease the flat-taxers as everyone pays the same percentage.
Joe Plumber buys a $15,000 car and pays $X where Richie Rich buys a $75,000 car and pays 5 times as much. Joe Businessman buys a new worktruck, and deducts the tax cost from what he collects in tax, so it doesn't hurt business.


Solid posts in this thread, I'd rep if I could.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:42 am
 


I treated it as sarcasm. I explained how, assuming a balanced budget, increasing costs and revenue together is always good for business and not always good for government.

GST wouldn't appease flat-taxers because it doesn't close the IRS or end compulsory individual taxation, which is what they really want. The idea of a flat rate tax is kinda messed up anyway. Should Joe Shmoe who makes $15k a year pay the same 20% rate as Wally Wallstreet who makes $500k and Richie Rich who makes $125 million? If it's a sales tax, Richie Rich could just put almost all his income into investments to make himself richer and pay taxes on virtually nothing. It's a crappy system.

As for closing loopholes and eliminating deductions, I'm all for that.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:44 am
 


If one wants to look at how sales taxes would work in the States, just look at the many states and municipalities that have sales taxes. Some are doing well, others are approaching bankrupcy. A sales tax is far from a cure-all.


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