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Soaking the Rich

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Are you in favor of much higher taxes for wealthy individuals?

For
58
66%
Against
30
34%
 
Total votes : 88

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Saiwania
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Soaking the Rich

Postby Saiwania » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:35 pm

Soak the Rich, this is an idea which has been around in politics for an awfully long time. What are people's opinions on the "soak the rich" policy?

The concept is basically that the government can simply raise taxes on rich people to 70% or 80% or 90% or perhaps even higher on all incomes above a certain limit that can be defined like anything above 10 million, or 1 million a year, provided it is below 100% of every dollar earned. Whatever might be defined as "Rich" in a given time or place. With the government getting so much revenues, the theory is that all deficits will be closed, all services and more will be paid for, and any amount of income redistribution for "fairness" or reducing income inequality can take place. And the economy will be so much better if more money is available for the "demand side" of the economy as opposed to capital or investments.

A common Leftist refrain is that it is usually the case that Rich people aren't paying their "fair share" of taxes. The Conservative argument is that taxes in general are bad, and it'd be good if most people had to pay less in taxes and if government spending could be cut enough to where a huge amount of tax revenue isn't required.

One theory I've read is that the Rich can't be "soaked" because most people who're rich are rich in the first place because (at least in the financial realm) they're smarter than everyone else. If a country is too high tax, capital flight could conceivably occur. France for example, is rumored to have tried taxing their rich citizens at 70% and what allegedly happened is that many of France's wealthy simply moved to Monaco- where their taxes are much lower.

One counter example is that from the 1950s to until around the 1970s, taxes of the wealthy were super high in the US but the American economy was still doing relatively good in those decades. But Conservatives contend that this was because there was no foreign competition to the US like there is today. With half of the world being Communist, too undeveloped, or still recovering from World War II (like was the case with Europe), the US could afford to be more careless with regards to economic policy that isn't true today. Also, it is said that today has a more capital intensive economy as opposed to a labor intensive one.

From recent experience, I'd contend that most people don't pay more taxes than they have to regardless of social class or status. My own family for example, has a mortgage paid off and asides from that real estate, has roughly $700,000 in assets and is considering a move from Florida to Tennessee because the tax situation in my state has become more unfavorable than in previous years because with my dad gone, income has fallen from roughly $80,000 a year to $32,000 a year. A calculation is that moving out of Florida will result in a lower cost of living but won't have a much lower quality of life like might be the case if the move was to Mississippi.

Unless you're getting paid by the government or are taking advantage of many of the services that taxes provide for, (such as if someone is very low income) most people who're working and are financially responsible and work hard to advance in status and accomplishment aren't in fact, getting much direct benefit from paying more in taxes. It feels more like a burden at the end of the day. Which is why many people have an anti-taxation attitude or if they don't, usually take advantage of things in the tax code like deductions, tax credits, or increasing withholding, that has the net effect of reducing your taxes owed.

This question has recently become more relevant if the polling is accurate that the majority of Americans (including Republicans) are now increasingly more in favor of taxing higher incomes significantly more.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/ ... 20-1144874
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlUwSTD27O0

-In a Fox News poll, 70% are in favor of increasing taxes for income over 10 million. This falls to 65% in favor for income over 1 million, and it falls to 44% in favor for income over $250,000 a year. Only around 40% in that poll are in favor of taxes never being raised for anyone.

Do you believe that "Soaking the Rich" works? Broadly speaking, are you for or against this policy and why? Is it moral in your view to take more from the rich? If so, how much is a reasonable limit as a percentage of income? Are there many historical examples that people can point to where the rich were "soaked" figuratively speaking? It is my belief that the past can often inform us as to what to expect if something has been tried before. What I'd like to determine is if it is possible for the Rich to be soaked and if it is or isn't a desirable state of affairs for our society.
Last edited by Saiwania on Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Cedoria
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Postby Cedoria » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:37 pm

Forget 'Soak the Rich'. Eat the Rich works better.
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Purpelia
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Postby Purpelia » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:38 pm

Honestly I would go further and flat out implement a wealth cap.
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Ifreann
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Postby Ifreann » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:39 pm

I have never heard this term before.
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Postby Grinning Dragon » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:42 pm

Against.
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The Galactic Liberal Democracy
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Postby The Galactic Liberal Democracy » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:42 pm

Let’s overthrow the bourgeois with water guns and water balloons.
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New Pan-am
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Ex-Nation

Postby New Pan-am » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:43 pm

no because what most people don't understand about the rich is that there the ones who own most of the companies and corporations that employ most of Americans. If you destroy them financially then you leave them no choice but to flee the United States for greener pastures in which I mean lower taxes. I prefer to reorganize the tax code to where instead of tax brackets on the state and federal level we could do a flat tax lets say somewhere between 15-20% that way even though everyone is paying the same rate someone with 20 million pay a flat tax of 20% will pay four million in taxes while someone with 500,000 will pay one hundred thousand in taxes.

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Des-Bal
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Postby Des-Bal » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:43 pm

Not only can the rich survive higher taxes than the poor but by using them as the government's tax base the government benefits from people getting richer and they are incentivized to make decisions that encourage people's financial advancement.

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Frachen
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Postby Frachen » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:46 pm

The Galactic Liberal Democracy wrote:Let’s overthrow the bourgeois with water guns and water balloons.

No lets do it with nukes
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East Angria
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Postby East Angria » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:47 pm

It sounds like a great idea on paper, but it's never gonna work in real life.

The state is first and foremost a tool for the wealthy to protect their wealth. Wealth equals power under capitalism, and the state is the culmination of power concentrated in the hands of a wealthy few. Party politics, lobbying, any CEO who is also a member of parliament - all of this won't allow the power to be redistributed from a centralized position back to the people.
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Frachen
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Postby Frachen » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:48 pm

Lets sink the rich....eh?
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New Pan-am
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Ex-Nation

Postby New Pan-am » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:49 pm

East Angria wrote:It sounds like a great idea on paper, but it's never gonna work in real life.

The state is first and foremost a tool for the wealthy to protect their wealth. Wealth equals power under capitalism, and the state is the culmination of power concentrated in the hands of a wealthy few. Party politics, lobbying, any CEO who is also a member of parliament - all of this won't allow the power to be redistributed from a centralized position back to the people.

nah power is obtained by wealth, wealth in a democratic world is obtained by capitalism. your statement is sounds more like totalitarianism, or communism or juche

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Trollzyn the Infinite
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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:50 pm

I'm all for increasing taxes on the rich, but 70%? 80%? Fucking 90%!? That's not tax; that's outright theft. Pinko nonsense. People have a right to their income, and the government has the right to a fraction of said income. Obviously it should be higher the wealthier you are, but not to such an extreme degree. All that will do is drive wealthy people to leave the country; which isn't a good thing, because then you can't tax them at all and rich people actually do contribute quite a bit to society as much as the average Socialist would like to believe otherwise.
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Ithreland
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Ex-Nation

Postby Ithreland » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:54 pm

Trickle-down economy is a bad idea, but so is this. Two extremes. Just because someone has a lot of money or their family made it and then gave it to them doesn't mean they suddenly earned exorbitant taxes. It's like, their money, even if it's family money, because a lot of it being in one place doesn't suddenly mean that people can't give their kids money. Besides which, to some extent, standard tax rates on the rich = more money because it's the same proportional fraction of a larger number (sorry if that's wrong, not a math major).
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Ifreann
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Postby Ifreann » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:55 pm

Trollzyn the Infinite wrote:I'm all for increasing taxes on the rich, but 70%? 80%? Fucking 90%!? That's not tax; that's outright theft. Pinko nonsense.

I'm surprised that you aren't aware that the US government has previously had tax rates that high before. Under Republicans.
People have a right to their income, and the government has the right to a fraction of said income. Obviously it should be higher the wealthier you are, but not to such an extreme degree. All that will do is drive wealthy people to leave the country; which isn't a good thing, because then you can't tax them at all and rich people actually do contribute quite a bit to society as much as the average Socialist would like to believe otherwise.

America actually does tax its citizens who live abroad. For the rich to escape this tax they would have to renounce their US citizenships.
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Diopolis
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Postby Diopolis » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:57 pm

We should raise taxes on the wealthy, but it's important to remember that there just aren't enough of them to treat it as a magic wand.
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Postby The New California Republic » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:59 pm

Ifreann wrote:I have never heard this term before.

Neither have I tbh. When I saw the thread title I assumed it was going to be discussing pranks on wealthy people.
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Trollzyn the Infinite
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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:00 pm

East Angria wrote:The state is first and foremost a tool for the wealthy to protect their wealth.


No, that's called corruption. The state is a necessity invented by the people to prevent the inevitable descent into chaos that comes with a lack of centralized leadership.

Nice propaganda, tho.
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Postby Klorgia1 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:00 pm

Any chance we could get a Other/Undecided choice in the poll?
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Telconi
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Postby Telconi » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:04 pm

Ifreann wrote:
Trollzyn the Infinite wrote:I'm all for increasing taxes on the rich, but 70%? 80%? Fucking 90%!? That's not tax; that's outright theft. Pinko nonsense.

I'm surprised that you aren't aware that the US government has previously had tax rates that high before. Under Republicans.
People have a right to their income, and the government has the right to a fraction of said income. Obviously it should be higher the wealthier you are, but not to such an extreme degree. All that will do is drive wealthy people to leave the country; which isn't a good thing, because then you can't tax them at all and rich people actually do contribute quite a bit to society as much as the average Socialist would like to believe otherwise.

America actually does tax its citizens who live abroad. For the rich to escape this tax they would have to renounce their US citizenships.


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Postby Saiwania » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:09 pm

Klorgia1 wrote:Any chance we could get a Other/Undecided choice in the poll?


I view this position as perhaps legitimizing indecisiveness. I really want to get a sense for if someone is more in favor or against raising taxes on the wealthy in general. I suppose I can add it in if there is enough demand for it, but this would reset the poll.

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Far Easter Republic
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Postby Far Easter Republic » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:17 pm

The logic is, soak the rich, and everyone below gets wet.
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Postby Major-Tom » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:49 pm

Purpelia wrote:Honestly I would go further and flat out implement a wealth cap.


This is a counterproductive idea that would undoubtedly act as a detriment. Wealth as a concept on it's own is not an inherent evil, wealth can be beneficial. What would also be beneficial for my own country is if the ultra-wealthy payed a substantial tax after a certain amount of income, say, after every eight million dollars they make annually. They're able to hold onto a substantial amount of wealth that guarantees pretty much whatever they want, while also contributing a substantial amount of money for services that benefit the lower and middle classes.

But a wealth cap? Sort of a non starter, but I'd be curious to hear your rationale behind it.
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Saiwania
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Postby Saiwania » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:16 pm

It is about time to declare my own position on this issue.

I'm in favor of higher taxes on the wealthy than is the current rate now- but only to a certain point. I'm torn on whether it should be 40% or 60% or something in between that. Morally speaking, 40% seems fine to me in that a rich person would still have the majority of their money earned.

But I recognize that the US government is in too much of a fiscal hole for this to probably be viable. I'd be willing to go up to a 60% rate at most (although reluctantly). Because the rich can afford that high of a burden whilst still being rich.

I'm less enthusiastic about rates of 70% or higher, but there is at least some historical precedent because it was technically "done before." But given that the world is now globalized and people can move capital more easily than in the past, I have real doubts as to whether sky high rates can even still be done or are effective policy. One argument I've often heard is that rich people back in the 1950s to 1970s never "paid" the 90%+ rates. And that the effective tax rate for the wealthiest in the US back then, was closer to 28% or about the same effective rate as is the case now.

The strategies that people use to reduce their taxes are supposedly to reduce your income and have more of it come via "capital gains," increasing your tax deductions and tax credits that you can take advantage of if its in the tax code, and to increase your withholding via a 401K or whatever type of financial instrument is popular now or available.
Last edited by Saiwania on Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Bear Stearns » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:18 pm

For people with a liquid net worth above $10 million, I think higher income taxes are justifiable.

However, the upper middle class that puts this country on its back doesn't make isn't anywhere near that in terms of wealth, and it's bullshit that people want to lump them in with the 1%.
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