Imposting - Return to a fairer National Income Tax Policy

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Not long ago, the U.S. had an income tax policy that assessed a progressively large proportion of a person's income until it reached a 90% rate of taxation on the topmost portion of an extremely large income in a single year. Under that scheme of taxation, the best and the brightest of Americans grew wealthier and a nation invested heavily in it's general welfare. A middle class emerged and flourished. Some from the middle class became those that "got" to pay a 90% tax, because they had earned that much, and that much more...and more... .

Not long ago, Horse Racing began a handicapping method that assigned "extra" weight to horses that won more often than other horses. They called that process "imposting", and it made the horse races more competitive. The result of that condition was that more and more horse owners and trainers tried their hand in winning a race, and more and more bettors and fans came to watch the races. The whole of the participants in the Horse Racing business, from the track operators to the $2.00 bettors, to the chefs in the food courts grew larger and more prosperous. The best of the horses were assigned more weight to run with than the "lessor" horses and, guess what? The bettor horses continued to win. They didn't win so sweepingly as to allow no one else a chance or share...but they still won more than the lessor horses overall. Some of them were the great Tripple Crown Winners we've heard about in famous Race Horse accounts. And some of their owners became fabulously wealthy from winnings and breeding fees...even with the extra impost weight they were made to carry.

For the best and the brightest among us who will brook no impost for themselves or their kind....I'd invite them to leave and go trade their skills and values in cultures where a few priveleged sorts establish the conditions under which the commerce is undertaken, the living and working conditions are set forth, and the lives of the citizenry are led. For those who say, "no problem"...I'll take some extra taxation weight on the top end of my earnings to have better assurance of a thriving general community who are better able to buy my [fill in the blank]...I'd welcome them to stay, prosper and become as wealthy as they wish...with my very best hopes for that success.

IMPOSTING. Tax policy matters. The Grover Norquist crowd had degraded the system that contributed to America's greatness by getting elected officials to ratchet down the tax rate on the highest earning Americans, some of whom are happy to invest in lobbying to insure those changes and make them ever more degraded. They've gotten it from a top rate of 90% to 15%. They're shooting for "0", aren't they?

There needs to be a very large economic education to allow Americans to understand the income disparity relationship to tax policy. I don't have many tools to work with. Can you help? I'd like to have a full revisiting of the debate that established our progressive system so long ago. I think it's quite likely the same rationale works in todays economic reality, but it's been forgotten and taken for granted.

eseltzy's picture
eseltzy
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Aug. 8, 2010 9:49 am

Comments

With the current 3000+ lobbyists, any changing of the tax code will be fraught with advantages going to the rich and powerful. Without lobbyists over the past 50 years, the tax code would be 50 pages. Everything else is the result of special interest lobbying.

lovecraft
Joined:
May. 8, 2012 11:06 am

According to George Will's critique of Frank Rich's "What's The Matter With Kansas" (an awful read IMO) the majority of Americans are conservative and are happy to vote for less material well-being in favor of cultural issues like abortion and gay marriage.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35560-2004Jul7.html

"Hence many people, emancipated from material concerns, can pour political passions into other -- some would say higher -- concerns. These include the condition of the culture, as measured by such indexes as the content of popular culture, the agendas of public education and the prevalence of abortion."

I don't know if eliminating every lobbyist in the capital would remedy this.

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

How is rain come tax where half the country doesn't pay fair?

CollegeConservative's picture
CollegeConservative
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May. 4, 2012 1:22 pm
Quote CollegeConservative:

How is rain come tax where half the country doesn't pay fair?

WTF?

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am

Sorry an I'm posting from my phone

CollegeConservative's picture
CollegeConservative
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May. 4, 2012 1:22 pm

No one pays tax when it rains.

Please tell me English is your second language...

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I mean how is an income tax that half the country doesn't pay fair? I am posting from myphone so auto correctgets me sOme times

CollegeConservative's picture
CollegeConservative
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May. 4, 2012 1:22 pm

This is a tired old right wing argument that only considers Federal Income tax. None of these posters want to be at that low income level that doesn't pay Fed income tax. Let everyone pay at least $1 in Fed tax to shut these idiots up! Of course, they are silent when sales tax is increased which hit the poor harder.

lovecraft
Joined:
May. 8, 2012 11:06 am

Look, when you screw up typing, and someone questions your post because it's unreadable, try to fix the problem: re-type your original post so that it's readable.

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

We can't have a conversation about a "fair" income tax without talking about how the majority pays none.

CollegeConservative's picture
CollegeConservative
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May. 4, 2012 1:22 pm

Good-then stop talking about it!

lovecraft
Joined:
May. 8, 2012 11:06 am
Quote CollegeConservative:

We can't have a conversation about a "fair" income tax without talking about how the majority pays none.

Income tax is based on income above and beyond the basic income needed to survive a basic lifestyle. When the majority makes a higher income than barely over the poverty level then they can be asked to pay income taxes.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am

Not according to the 14th amendment. Who decides what's needed to live?

CollegeConservative's picture
CollegeConservative
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May. 4, 2012 1:22 pm

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