Posted by: CJ | April 20, 2011

Another way to think of the tax debate…

Here’s another way to think of the tax debate. Things always become more meaningful when we attach actual numbers, so what happens when we do that?

Here’s what semi-realistic tax rates on yearly incomes look like:

  • 15% of 30k is 4500
  • 18% of 50k is 9k
  • 20% 100k is 20k
  • 20% of 1 millon is 200k
  • 20% of 1 billion is 200 million

So let’s think about this. If you make between 30k-100k. Then spending the tax money is annoying, but you get a lot for it. Police, Fire department, education for children, social security, unemployment and disability insurance. Yeah, all that stuff means a lot more to people at the lower than the higher end, but even at 100k/year you’re willing to pay for that stuff.

Not let’s think about the millionaires and billionaires. They’re paying, bluntly, shit-tons of money. The amount they pay annually in taxes dwarfs the salaries of most people. A millionaire pays in taxes enough for 4 personal college-educated assistants, and a billionaire pays enough for 400. What are they getting for all that money?

Well, they don’t really give a damn about various forms of social insurance, fire departments are nice but hardly necessary with that kind of wealth, and it’s not like they’re sending their kids to public schools. At least not public schools like I think about them.

For these people, it’s entirely believable that their relationship with government is completely different from a normal person’s. For them government is a source of regulations saying they can’t spend their money in certain ways that the government deems harmful, even if a lot of people would still accept the money for whatever service the money-ed capitalist was attempting to buy. From their perspective, and likely from the perspective of everyone they surround themselves with, government doesn’t do anyone they know any good.

Any attempt to get those rich knuckleheads to STFU about taxes will involve convincing them that they’re getting their money’s worth.

Either that or convincing them that they’re contributing to a community that they are a part of…but…with people in our age having their social circles defined more by their own personal preferences than a notion of broader community, good luck…

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