Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by chrmjenkins, May 27, 2009.

  1. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #1
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/26/AR2009052602909.html

    Personally, I would welcome this option, but in replacement of an income tax, not in addition to. Thoughts from Americans and our EU brethren?

     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #2
    We pay 15% VAT on top of income tax. Note that VAT is set at a national level and there is no state or city level VAT.
     
  3. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #3
    I don't like the idea. It will make our consumer-based economy go down even further.
     
  4. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #4
    You're assuming of course that a consumer-based economy is sustainable, which it isn't.

    If the VAT is used solely for health care, then I'd be all for it. If it's turned into some hydra meant to feed everyone's pet projects, then no.
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #5
    Not. Gonna. Happen. US taxpayers want their cake, but they don't want to have to pay for it.
     
  6. chrmjenkins thread starter macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #6
    An economy that encourages saving would make it a lot less of a roller-coaster ride. After this dip, I think some people may begin to see that.

    That's the thing, we can't have all take and no give. People are going to be looking for income tax relief if a VAT is going to happen. Republicans will hail a VAT as death blow to the American spirit anyway, and there has to be a good counter-argument (because health care for everyone is kinda bland, right?)
     
  7. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #7
    VAT is a sales tax at the end of the day. All sells tax are regressive and tax the poor much heavier than the rich. Also they may claim that it is to fund health care but lets look at france who as a VAT. Currently the VAT is about 50% of all the money they take in. This to me leads me to believe that the US would relay more and more heavily on the VAT. They will not reduce income tax but instead just increase both for more money and just increase wasteful spending.
     
  8. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #8
    The one thing that's become readily apparent over the last six months or so is that countries with high savings rates seem to be riding out the downturn better. Germany, France, Poland and China are prime examples.

    What the free market at any cost advocates fail to understand is that unfettered capitalism results in bubble markets. Continuing this failed policy of spend, spend, spend will only result in future bubbles and future deficits.

    Ireland's example however is not one to be followed. A high VAT with extremely low corporate tax rates is not a good idea. Merkel was slammed for instituting a higher VAT last year but that probably cooled the economy enough to keep it from imploding.

    There are a million examples out there but I think it would be wise to sort through them and see what works and what doesn't.

    The otehr thing to keep in mind is that our obesity rates are a direct result of cheap food. The planet is groaning from our waste and landfills and pollution and many parts of it are going dry. Restricting consumption is one of the ways of saving the planet. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
     
  9. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #9
    National sales tax on top of a national income tax on top of state sales taxes? No thank you. And no, I don't want any cake.
     
  10. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Oh I don't know, it was quite sustainable until the government meddled with it by granting favors to some over others. The elephant in the room has always been the government tweaking stuff; usually wrong; with targeted taxes.
     
  11. iDAG macrumors 65816

    iDAG

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    #11
    I thought I heard Glenn Beck talk about this today on his radio show. What is it that the government does not understand? During times of economic hardship you do not add new taxes on people! You also do not spend more during times like this. Republicans used to stand for smaller government and low government spending but that changed during the Bush administration. Then the Democrats come into power and just speed up what the Republicans were doing before. Both parties have become corrupt and it's time for someone to rise that is for a smaller and responsible government! :cool:
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    Are you suggesting that prior to the Bush 43 administration, Republicans stood for smaller government and decreased government spending in anything other than lip service?
     
  13. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #13
    Come off it, the room is absolutely stiff with elephants.
     
  14. iDAG macrumors 65816

    iDAG

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    #14
    What I'm saying is that more of them did seem to previously compared to now. I still have much more studying to do as I'm only 17. I do think Clinton with a budget surplus was a very good and I think part of that was the Republican congress. President Obama is just spending like there is no tomorrow which is the exact opposite. Talk about 'change'. There is good people on both sides, but it feels like you really never see them.
     
  15. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #15
    That is because he is trying to stop the economy falling apart. He's supported by the Economist on this issue.
     
  16. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #16
    Maybe that view would apply pre-Reagan. But I don't know much about American politics before that.
     
  17. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #17
    I would suggest you take a look at non-defense spending levels under both Reagan and Bush 41. That takes you back 30 years, and I guarantee you that you will find increased spending and increased size of government under every Republican president in that time frame. Hell, you could go back through Nixon, and it would hold true.

    It sounds like you've been fed some talking points that you don't fully understand. I would very much suggest that you cover your ears whenever Glenn Beck is on the air if you can't simply turn him off. He's not going to give you anything close to an accurate portrayal of events.
     
  18. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    It's actually never applied to the GOP -- at least in anything approaching concrete policy. Sure, they always SAY they're for smaller government and spending cuts, but they've never actually been able to make it happen.
     
  20. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000

    NoSmokingBandit

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    #20
    I'd support this if the govt removed the unconstitutional income tax.
     
  21. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #21
    Why do you think the income tax is unconstitutional? On a related note, do you consider the income tax to be the government stealing from you at the point of a gun?
     
  22. rdowty macrumors 6502a

    rdowty

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    #22
    Great, a 15% off the top tax on everything I spend money on in exchange for free health insurance which cost me about $200 a month (and it's not from my employer). Now people who can't afford health insurance will have it but won't be able to afford, food, rent, gas and utilities.
     
  23. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    #23
    False. Most Conservatives I know would prefer the Fair Tax over a graduated income tax.
     
  24. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #24
    Most people pay far more than $200/month. Far FAR more. Insurance premiums alone cost my family and our employer nearly $1,000/month. That doesn't include co-pays and deductibles, nor prescription costs. That means we'd need to spend over $6,500 a month in consumables to be losing money on this.

    Now, note that I'm not saying that I support the VAT to accomplish this. I'm simply pointing out that the young and childless don't necessarily have the full perspective on this. Extrapolating from your $200 figure to everyone else and saying they won't be able to afford food, rent, gas, and utilities isn't necessarily the case.
     
  25. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #25
    Republicans haven't stood for contracting government in a recession since Hoover, and we all know how well his economic policies worked out.

    Don't let Reaganomics years fool you either: spending the same amount and cutting taxes is just another form of Keynesian economics (it's just a much more regressive form of it that can actually prolong recessions since it doesn't necessarily stimulate demand).

    You mean the unconstitutional income tax that is allowed by the 16th Amendment? Just making sure we're on the same page and all...;)

    I can understand why a national sales tax would be good from the "promote savings and discourage waste" side of things, but I think this is one area of taxation that should be left up to the states, counties, and cities to set for themselves. The cost of living varies from region to region, and having a flat sales tax on certain items would be wholly ridiculous. Even if we exempted people with low incomes and exempted necessities, it still wouldn't be a fair tax.

    Beyond that, I don't accept the national sales tax as a substitution for graduated income taxes. No matter how good you make the formula, a sales tax will always be slightly regressive (or at best, not progressive).
     

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