This may surprise some of you, but I do not believe in graduated taxes. In fact I don't believe the government should levy income tax at all (or estate- or death taxes). I don't think small businesses should carry the tax burden they do either(though they should pay a business tax). Have you ever tried working for yourself? The income taxes are twice as high. That is because, if you are employed, your employer matches most of the taxes you pay, so when you work for yourself, you pay your taxes and then you match them on behalf of your company. So, imagine the tax burden of having employees...now add to that paying health insurance for them which can be several hundred dollars per employee. Oi.
I do, however, believe that corporations and investments should be taxed. Why? For one, because corporations as an entity, and investment as an action, capitalize off of everyday Americans and the earnings are not a reflection of genuine labor. I may see this differently if labor and materials were paid a fair wage and products were sold with some cap on mark-ups to reflect a real cost and price.
...back to graduated taxes. Dems generally believe that rich people should be taxed more than poor people. Well, I already said I don't believe in income tax. Imagine that you are a businessman or women: you pay business taxes, you pay your employee's taxes, you pay your employees health insurance and then the government takes 35% more off the top. It is not equal, and it breeds animosity between classes.
I spoke to a rich, Democratic family, who asserted it their responsibility to pay more in taxes to help those less fortunate. That is nice, but it is not fair. Even if wealthy folks feel that way, or they do have some empathetic moral obligation to the less fortunate, the act of giving should not be forced upon them by the government. Might wealthy classes give more if they were not required to hand over 35% by force? In any case, wealthy Americans are often high profile in their communities, not giving would brand a person a Scrooge. On the other hand, giving would brand a wealthy person deserved of respect.
The way it is now, wealthy people give - and are called greedy anyway; and many Americans do not understand the values wealthy families bring to community.
I advocate a flat tax on consumption and minimal residential, state and federal taxes with local and state taxes being higher than Federal.. These for the purpose of providing 'public good'. Also: minimal taxes on non-corporate business, and relatively higher taxes for corporations, plus appropriate fees for extracting natural resources.
I should remark, that I in no way believe this to be a top priority for the nation any time soon, (especially in our current economic crisis) but ideals to be investigated and discussed.
What is public good? and The lost art of Community will be the subject of following blogs.