Friday, December 10, 2010

Should poor people pay taxes at all?

Since poor people are more likely to spend additional income, liberals tend to advocate policies that steer money towards the poor. Since taxes are a net drain on the economy, conservatives tend to support cutting taxes.

So here's my idea that I think everyone can get behind: make all income up to the federal poverty level tax exempt. For an Alaskan (the federal poverty level is the highest in that state.) living by himself, that would be $13,530.

People can argue all day long about what the poverty level should be later. But can't we all agree that a government that has enough money to give to multi-billion corporations should not be taking money from people who can barely make ends meet?

This would be a tax break that can pay for itself in the long run: poor people who can take care of themselves would be less dependent on social services.


Daddy said...

>But can't we all agree that a
>government that has enough money to
>give to multi-billion corporations
>should not be taking money from
>people who can barely make ends

No, since they are printing money, effectively punishing everyone but the recipients, not just poor people. Poor people are hardly taxed as you well know.

What we can certainly agree on, is that recipients should not be foreign luxury car manufactures. Why should we all subsidize well to do Germans, Japanese or Saudis in their desire to drive BMW/Mercedes/Lexuses and getting subsidized in price?

Daddy said...

And how about foreign communists regimes? Could we agree that we taxpayers should have a right not to subsidize them too?

Michael Enders said...

Persons who are really poor cannot pay taxes, probably shouldn't pay taxes, and for the most part don't pay taxes. On the other hand, what passes for poverty in this country would qualify as wealth for most of the world's population. Real poverty means being at the edge of survival. A person who has regular meals and shelter from the environment (much less a high-def TV with digital cable, air-conditioning, and a car) is not poor, in my opinion, no matter how the government defines poverty. I can understand relieving persons with low income and wealth of taxes out of compassion, but not because they are more likely to spend it and "stimulate" the economy. Investing is what creates jobs and stimulates the economy. If you want to stimulate the economy relieve rich people from tax burden.

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