From: mauler@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: Some views on Scientology
Message-ID: <1991Aug8.130425.32603@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu>
Date: 8 Aug 91 13:04:25 CDT
References: <1991Jul24.140607.32251@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu>  <1991Aug7.204018.8446@fxgrp.fx.com>
Organization: University of Kansas Academic Computing Services
Lines: 83

In article <1991Aug7.204018.8446@fxgrp.fx.com>, raphael@fx.com (Glen Raphael) writes: > covin@tartarus.uchicago.edu (David Covin) writes: > >>The upshot is that the less money you have, the smaller a *percentage* >>of that money you can afford to have taken away before you have to worry >>about going hungry, getting thrown out on the street, etc. If you tax >>the rich at the same rate as the poor, a tax that the rich will hardly >>notice will cause poor people to default on their taxes or else starve. >>And sales tax taxes the poor at a proportionately *higher* rate than the >>rich. > >>That is what is wrong with sales tax. > > 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! >

Credit cards are also much simpler than cash or checks; this does not mean that easier is better. In fact, consumer debt is skyrocketing through the constant use of credit cards, used to live beyond one's means. Of course, these people don't have to worry about keeping cash receipts or cancelled checks, so apparently high amounts of debt must be good by your reasoning, since they save so much of their time that could be used to work to pay off their credit cards...

Use of the sales tax instead of the income tax throws out one major item in current income tax laws: deductions. 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...)

As for the power of the IRS and IRS employees, well, they are trying to do th best that they can with poor quality equipment; as well as no support: the public doesn't want to be taxed, so they hate the IRS; the government is going into debt, so they blame the IRS for lack of funds to support their little political intrigues. Not to say that the IRS isn't bad, its just that you and I would probably turn into "those" kind of people under that kind of equipment and support...

> 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. For example: someone who could--under the income tax system--guess that x dollars would be deducted from take-home pay as income tax, would have absolutely no idea how much would be "deducted" on a sales tax (since all the sales taxes occur beyond company books in the vague uncertanties of the supermarket and the variety stores) and so would be encouraged to increase hours as much as possible while still keeping low productivity so as to extend one's job far enough to cover the unknown tax figure. 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. 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!

>>David Covin covin@despair.uchicago.edu > > (of course, I'd like to abolosh the sales tax *too* :-) ) >

Keeping a low sales tax is not a terrible problem. Keeping a sales tax as the ONLY source of governmental income is a terrible problem.

> Glen Raphael > raphael@fx.com


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