From: mauler@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: Some views on Scientology
Message-ID: <1991Aug16.035202.32767@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu>
Date: 16 Aug 91 03:52:02 CDT
References: <1991Jul24.140607.32251@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu>  <1991Aug7.204018.8446@fxgrp.fx.com> <1991Aug8.130425.32603@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu> <1991Aug9.233855.27028@fxgrp.fx.com>
Organization: University of Kansas Academic Computing Services
Lines: 126

In article <1991Aug9.233855.27028@fxgrp.fx.com>, raphael@fx.com (Glen Raphael) writes: > mauler@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu writes: >>raphael@fx.com (Glen Raphael) writes: >>> And what is *right* with the sales tax is: >>> >>> 1) It is simpler to collect. Can you imagine how many hours are wasted >>> by hundreds of Americans doing their taxes each year? If we abolished >>> the income tax, we could save all that time, and reduce the number of IRS >>> auditors and the power of the IRS accordingly. Wonderful! >>> > >>Use of the sales tax instead of the income tax throws out one major item in >>current income tax laws: deductions. > > Another advantage! > >>Often cited as the problem since rich >>people use so many of them, it is still the one way people can make the income >>tax less for themselves for good reasons (such as dependents, interest on loans >>to improve one's ability and status, medical bills, etc.). Can you imagine the >>paperwork required to figure out how much of every food item was eaten by a >>dependent? Or the meticulous records required to claim a business deduction >>for gas and repairs to a car? The paperwork required to make such a system >>fair would be ten times as much as is required for the current income tax >>system. (which just happens to throw out point #1...) > > Nope. There shouldn't be any deductions at all. That's the primary reason > millions of man-hours are wasted each year on taxes. Why should gas and > repairs to a car be a deduction and food not be? Why do single people > subsidize married ones? It's all fairly random, and influenced not so much > by a notion of "fairness" as by who has the strongest lobby. > > Look, you're missing the basic point here. A supermarket owner has to do > a certain amount of bookkeeping anyway. He has to know how much money he > made each year, and what his income was, and what his expenses were. > He can pay a portion of his sales for the year to the state. Normal people > shouldn't have to pay attention to all that stuff. There is no reason on > earth why I should *have* to know exactly how much money I made this year. > And there's no reason the state should care. By only collecting taxes from > businesses rather than individuals, the IRS's job would be reduced by one > or two orders of magnitude! Because (1) there aren't as many businesses > as individuals, and (2) businesses have accountants and bookkeepers and > can be expected to keep track of everything. >

Actually, I think I have hit it on the nub. People who give up their rights to know EXACTLY how much tax money they pay each year are like so many sheep, content to get so much curd each day, and caring about little else. As I recall, Benjamin Franklin said it best (well, not exactly, but):

"People who give up liberty for security deserve neither."

In this case, people give up knowledge for security, and as a result they have no specific numbers to prove that they have either been cheated, or have come out alright; in short, they give up their freedom to complain for a little less bother and worry. Anyone who willingly goes by your idea of a sales tax deserves the lack of monetary knowledge s/he gets. The point of income tax over sales tax is that the taxpayer knows from getting paid, spending, April 15th, and beyond, EXACTLY how much money goes towards taxes using the records required for income tax. Adding records for sales tax on EVERY SINGLE RECEIPT FROM EVERY SINGLE PURCHASE EVER MADE DURING THE COURSE OF A SINGLE YEAR would cause so much more work, worry, anxiety, etc., than income tax will ever cause in a year, that income tax looks very promising as a result!

>>> 2) The progressive income tax discourages people from making money, by >>> reducing the link between how productive you are and how much take-home >>> pay you end up with. This is bad for the economy as a whole, including >>> the poor. > >>So how would a sales tax help any? That REALLY obscures the link between >>productivity and take-home pay. > > Nope. The link is direct. The more productive you are, the more take-home > pay you get. The state doesn't take any of it away at that end. Now as for > what that take-home pay will *buy*, that will be less. But you can see that > in what stuff costs in the stores. >

Of course, people would prefer to know what their money is worth at time of getting paid, not at time of actually entering the store. With a sales tax, nobody will know how far a paycheck will last upon payment. With income tax, everything is paid before you even walk into the store. The hazy link between sales tax and increase in productivity is almost non-existent when you consider that people prefer to be secure and safe now rather than secure and safe after the period of confusion between getting paid and walking out of a store.

>>People would prefer to know right now and take a fixed tax, rather >>than know nothing now and get the potential for a lesser tax, as well as the >>potential for a greater tax. > > The sales that *is* a fixed tax. It's a fixed tax that raises the price of > goods. >

B.S. People who buy more, pay more. People who buy less, pay less. Therefore, people are encouraged to watch for sales and skimp, which in turn hurts store business, causing less sales, employees getting fired, etc. You would wreck the economy if you tried to implement a sales tax as the government's sole source of income.

Of course, then not paying sales tax would be close to being a traitor, or at least "income tax evasion". Congratulations! You would make our prisons fill up, since the incentive not to pay taxes would be higher (i.e., a system based on the sales tax tends to turn into a system of barter underneath the tax methods, as sale by barter can't be taxed...). Not only that, but the government would fail, since less and less people would use money to buy things. Are you sure about this idea?

>>However much you may say about the American >>public's variable support for anything, they all want secure jobs and secure >>lives, and a variable, unpredictable sales tax INSTEAD OF a fixed income tax >>and a low sales tax would cause so much confusion and outrage that they might >>actually get off their butts and vote for the old system back! > > Why should a sales tax be "variable and unpredictable"? Suppose there were a > 15% sales tax. How is that "variable"? >

See above. A sales tax would hurt the economy, as long as you continue to uphold this idea that money is the economy.

> Glen Raphael > raphael@fx.com


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