From: christir@mentor.cc.purdue.edu (Christi)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: Some views on Scientology
Message-ID: <CHRISTIR.91Aug7185450@mentor.cc.purdue.edu>
Date: 7 Aug 91 23:54:50 GMT
References: <1991Jul30.201557.32438@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu>
	<1991Jul24.140607.32251@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu> <11911@castle.ed.ac.uk>
Sender: news@mentor.cc.purdue.edu
Reply-To: christir@mentor.cc.purdue.edu
Organization: Who?  Me?  Organization?
Lines: 100
In-reply-to: lachman@parc.xerox.com's message of 7 Aug 91 09:45:20 GMT

In article <1991Aug7.094520.332@parc.xerox.com> lachman@parc.xerox.com (Hans Lachman) writes:

Lots of dissent! (Hit 'n' if not interested in sales tax.)

In article <CHRISTIR.91Aug3221258@mentor.cc.purdue.edu> i write:

>one problem with killing the income tax in favor of sales tax. large >items. or more specifically large necessary items. houses, cars, >etc.... >if you don't tax the large items then you have the previously >mentioned problems of tax dodging. > >it seems like this system, if it taxed all items, would reduce the >poor man to renting all his life. not a desirable effect in my >opinon. >c.

OK, here's an easy solution. Have a 3-tiered sales tax. "Basic necessities" have a 0% tax rate, and includes items like groceries, clothing (excluding excessively expensive items), and shelter (excluding houses that are not your primary residence), maybe other stuff. The truly poor should not have to pay any tax. If people on welfare don't, then the working poor certainly shouldn't.

ok. two points here. well maybe a bit more....

first, how do you determine if the item is 'basic necessity', or not? groceries -- are we going to view basic food, and real food differently? you could make rich people happy by not taking any groceries.

clothing -- you have differentiated between regular items, and excessively expensive items. what would stop a rich person from going down to the mall and buying 365 different outfits that are not excessively expensive?

shelter -- you specify houses that are not your primary residence. how do we tell what is someone's primary residence? and assuming that we are able to find out (i.e. assuming they don't lie) what is to keep the rich man from buying a zillion dollar house to avoid taxes?

luxuries come in the same basic packages that necessities come in. the difference is in the amount, and in the quality.

second, the truly poor not having to pay taxes. it's a nice idea, but you are also talking about a reform of the welfare system here as well... not to say it doesn't need it, but the changes are just a bit larger than would first appear. what i'm trying to get at here is that we have a lot of people on welfare that shouldn't be and vice versa. this would need to be solved before you could begin taxing people on the basis (or lack thereof) of it.

"Usual consumer goods" that are not basic essentials for life could have a medium tax rate, e.g., cars, consumer electronics, appliances, furniture, and most of everything not yet mentioned that they sell in the mall.

anyone who thinks furniture is not necessary should try sleeping/eating/etc on the floor for months on end. ever try and live without a refrigerator or a stove? ever try and live in the DC area without a car? while these things can be done they are not pleasant.

The "high tax" category could include luxury items such as yachts, fur coats, and Ferraris, "sin" items like alcohol and cigarettes, and anything else the government wants to discourage, e.g., gasoline.

these are already being done.

Just ideas! I don't have the answers. The point is that there is a way that this could work. If you want, you can play with the variables to shift whatever amount of the tax burden you want to the rich or the poor. Have at it!

it's a good start. you just need to look a bit more closely at the ideas. and while we may be able to come up with something that looks good on paper (screen) it may take a bit to get it to work in real life. the one big problem i can think of while writing this article is that it would take too many laws to specify what is/is not taxable. right now it's quite simple (well.... more or less). we have income brackets. income tax rates. deductable items. stick the numbers in a formula, and you have the amount of tax owed. except for the tax rates the rules are (or seem to be) pretty much basic across the board. if i spend x% of my income on y i can deduct z%. my income is not the deciding factor, but the percent of my income...

I don't know about this "tax dodging" mentioned above. I suppose one good thing about the current system (income tax) is that it works -- the taxes due actually get collected in the vast majority of cases. I don't know how we could make sure every Mom and Pop donut shop pays their due.

the tax dodging was mentioned in a previous article. basically if you leave a loophole someone's gonna jump through it. for example, you say all primary residences are non-taxable, a rich man with 2 adult (but dependent) children will buy three houses "for his kids". great way to get 2 vacation homes without taxes, eh?

c. --

The views and opinions stated within this web page are those of the author or authors which wrote them and may not reflect the views and opinions of the ISP or account user which hosts the web page. The opinions may or may not be those of the Chairman of The Skeptic Tank.

Return to The Skeptic Tank's main Index page.

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank