Friday, October 19, 2007

Blog #5 - Taxes, taxes, taxes

This week we talked at length about taxes, 3rd hour in particular got into a vigorous debate about a flat tax vs. a progressive tax.

The argument for the flat tax focuses on several arguments:
1. It eliminates special- interests by treating all taxpayers equally. Taxpayers will no longer be able to "scam the system by hiring enough lawyers, accountants and lobbyists."
2. It will boost economic growth by allowing businesses and investors to invest more money (saved by not giving as much money in taxes) into other businesses and ventures.
3. It eliminates the capital gains tax, the estate tax (other people call it the "death tax"), and double taxes on savings (taxed once when you earn it and it's deposited into the bank and then twice at the end of the year as part of your income though it already is in your bank account).
4. It's amazingly simple. Household income tax forms are now done on a postcard. It also treats all businesses the same: "Microsoft to a hot dog stand would play by the same rules."

Arguments for the progressive tax include:
1. All Americans benefit from two of our government's responsibilities, protection (police, firefighters, public health, military) and empowerment (roads, public education, banking system for loans and economic stability, SEC for the stock market, courts, national parks, public buildings, etc.), and they should be available to everyone. We are financially responsible to maintain these so that they may be used for the common good. These protections are maintained through taxes.
2. The wealthy (corporations, investors and other wealthy individuals) pay more into the system because "our taxes create and sustain, [and] empower the wealthy in myriad ways to create their wealth." In other words, they have benefited from the system in place, they should pay to maintain it.

"Consider Bill Gates...Though he has undoubtedly benefited from his unusual intelligence and business acumen, he could not have created or sustained his personal wealth without the common wealth [of the United States]. The legal system protected Microsoft's intellectual property and contracts. The tax-supported financial infrastructure (phones, electricity, Internet) enabled him to access capital markets and trade his stock in a market in which investors have confidence. He built his company with many employees educated in public schools and universities. Tax-funded research helped develop computer science and the internet..." and so on.

3. The wealthy are morally obligated to sustain the American system b/c they benefit more from it than the average American. "Ordinary people rarely use the courts; most of the courts are used for corporate law and contract disputes." Therefore, the rich pay more than the poor or middle class b/c the rich utilize the system more often to create and sustain their wealth.

Feel free to discuss which has the most persuasive arguments for Blog #5 in 150 words minimum (or discuss your thoughts about the topic below).

So, I think we have two very persuasive arguments here, but I think we're missing the real questions that we should be asking. The questions we should be asking are:
1. What are we spending our money on?
2. Why are we spending so much of our money instead of letting the American people spend it?
3. Why do we have such a huge national debt?
4. What can we do about it?

Are you willing to take on this muckraking project w/ me? We can educate Groves H.S. about the amount of money spent by our government. We can pressure our Congressmen and women about spending too much. You are the future voters. Get educated now about the Debt.

More on the progressive tax from the Rockridge Institute - http://www.rockridgeinstitute.org/research/lakoff/progressive-taxation-some-hidden-truths/?forPrint=1

More on the flat tax from the Heritage Foundation - http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/bg1866.cfm

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that everyone should pay the same percentage of taxes. I don’t think that people who make more money should have it taken away from them. If everyone is paying the same percentage of taxes then its fair to everyone. In the end it will have the same effect on everyone. I can understand why people think that people with more money should have to pay higher taxes. Because they have more money give. But its money that they have worked for and they should get to keep it.

Alex Gilbert
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

I believe that there should be a flat tax for many reasons. First of all, i don't think that all of the succsessful people should be punished for being wealthy. I belive that it is thier privaliage for paying taxes to not afect them as much as the less wealthy people. Most people in the United States, i beleive have a chance to be very successful. If they do not come from a wealthy fammily, there is a good cahnce that they could get a scholarship. Also, the wealthy people will already be paying a great deal more than the poor people. With progressive tax, people are getting judged more based on thier level of success and that isnot fair. Lfat taxes re also fair to different size family's. The Heritage tax reasearch article said- A family of four would not begin to pay tax until thier annual income reached more than $30,000. This shows that flat tax would try to make it not that diffucult for family's to pay taxes.

Sara Dziubek
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

I personally believe there is nothing wrong with a progressive tax. Yes, i understand the richer you are the more taxes you have to pay, but what is wrong with that? The richer you are the more money you have to spend and that money isn't like life or death. If you were rich the money that goes to taxes wouldn't be paying for the essentials, heat, water, and food, it would probably pay for some trip to france while if your poor and had to pay a lot that money could be instead of having heat. If I had to choose between flat tax and progressive tax though, i would choose flat tax because it is more fair and is easier to fill out and turn in. It doesn't discriminate between class.

Katie R.
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

I think that the flat tax is better than the progressive tax, because with progressive tax benefits the wealthy and the flat tax benefits everyone. I think that we all live in America and no matter how much money a person makes we should all pay the same amount of money. We are all paying for the same things, so why should some people pay more money than other people. If the flat tax will help boost the economic growth than that is what needs to be used, because our economy is in enough money troubles right now that using the progressive tax won’t help the economy, and the flat tax will help with the economy. Even though the capital tax, estate tax, and the double on tax savings can really hurt Americans and their paychecks, it truly helps the economy, and every American should be getting this money taken out of their paycheck that it is fair to every American that they are “losing” money. This is also good because all businesses are treated the same which can help the economy.

Megan 5th

Anonymous said...

I believe that everyone should share an equal amount of tax. My reason being is because not everyone is as wealthy as most people. From my point of view most people who are lower class most of them chose to be lower class. My reason for that is because the reason why most people are in a lower class is becuase most of them accepted not advanced and get a higher education. Thats one reason that I am with the wealthier people on taxes not being the same. Then again most people didnt chose to be in lower class most people could've had a devestating blow happen to them. Overall I believe that all taxes should be shared equally.
Tommy S. 3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

I think the progressive tax makes more sense. Americans benefit from the government responsibilities and there protection. Also the wealthy pay more for the system. They use the courts more and they need to pay more for it. They can afford to pay more for it. The wealthy keeps on getting wealthy, while the working class loses more and more money. The rich need to pay a little more for their taxes.
The progressive tax is a better situation for average Americans. It may take more time to fill out, but the average working American gains more from it. You save money and help the government raise money for protection for you. This system is a better way to raise taxes. It benefits everyone in America. The government gets their money, while the people are happy and going around with their lives. This is the correct answer to all the governments issues with raising money.

Whitney S.
1st hour

Anonymous said...

I think that the progressive tax benefits us more because it pays for the services we need daily to help us improve our lives and world. The progressive tax is better because it helps the common good of everyone and the community. Even though the rich have to pay more taxes its will still benefit the whole community. The way I look at it, is the more you take out of the economy the more you should put back in to equal it out. When people don’t make as much money as other people but still have to pay the same amount of taxes, it causes a financial problem for them. The progressive tax only works when the economy is in good health and jobs are plentiful. If the economy is bad, like it is now then the flat tax is better. You don’t have to pay estate taxes and taxes on money, and the taxes that you do have to pay are low so people can save more money.

Jason S.
1st hour

Anonymous said...

Blake Bogart
3rd Hour
I believe in a flat tax rate. I think that it is discrimination when the government decides the percent of your income you pay on the amount of money you make. It punishes people for making more money and being successful. I understand that if you make more money you should pay more taxes but, in a flat rate tax people with a higher income still pay more because 25% of 100,000 dollars is way more than 25% of 30,000 dollars. This means that the wealthy still pay a higher percentage of the tax load but not an unfair amount more. Also the flat tax is much simpler to find and use. It destroys the need for complicated tax brackets. There are also less loop holes because if someone is on the edge of a different tax bracket they would want to donate that money so they save more in the long run by getting a lesser tax percent. The flat tax rate is the best option for determining taxes because it is simpler and does not discriminate.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the progressive tax is better because it is fairer. I think the more money you have the more money you have available to pay taxes. In other words the richer you are the higher amount of money you have to pay. I think the progressive tax is fairer to poor and people who don’t make a lot of money. The flat tax is fairer to the richer, then to the poor. The poor shouldn’t have to pay the same amount of money as a rich person. If the flat tax was put in to place the poorer people wouldn’t be able to take care of their families and pay their other bills, if they didn’t make a lot of money. The flat tax is a simpler process but it’s not fair to the poor. The two good things about the progressive tax is the empowerment (such as public education, national parks, roads, etc.) and protection (military, police, highway patrol, etc). There are good sides and bad sides to both the progressive and flat tax.

Emily C.
3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

I think that a flat tax would be much better than a progressive tax because I think everyone should be treated the same. I think that the boost it would give to our economy would help the United States very much. I also think that it is extremely unfair for someone who makes more money than someone else, to pay a higher percent income tax than that person. I understand why the person that makes more money pays a higher amount of money, but I don’t understand why that person would have to pay a higher percentage. If people paid a flat tax than it would eliminate special-interests taxes by treating all taxpayers equally which is much more fair than paying a progressive tax. It would also make tax paying much simpler for businesses. A fortune 500 company would pay the same percent tax as a small, local business. Obviously the fortune 500 company would pay more money but it wouldn’t be getting punished for making more money than the small business.

Matt Merrifield
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

I believe that progressive taxes should be used instead of a flat tax. It's
not fair to the poorer people that their everyday products cost more then
they should. Rich people should pay more taxes then the less fortunate
because they can spare more money than the poor. If there was a flat tax, it
would make the rich richer and the poor poorer. With flat taxes, it would have to add to the state taxes too which may make something that costs one dollar cost $1.25. This difference is not
healthy for a country. The wealthy will have too much power. I also feel that
those who have lots of money should help out their country by paying more
taxes than the poorer people. The country needs to spend less money and it needs to be spent on more important things . We are in too much debt and this needs to stop. This will make America a better place to live.

Robert G. 5th

Anonymous said...

I believe that the United States should have a flat tax for a couple of reasons. My first reason being that I think that it’s unfair for people who are more wealthy than other people to pay a higher percentage of income tax. I believe that all people rich or poor should pay the same percentage of income tax. The wealthier people would already be paying a higher income tax then the poor people if the tax is equal. I don’t think that someone who works harder and makes more money should pay a higher percentage than someone who works less hard. The wealthy people should not be punished for having a job that pays more because many people worked hard throughout school to get a well paying job. The progressive tax focuses more on the success level of a person rather than just having the percentage the same for everyone around.

Stefanos T. 3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

With what I have read about the progressive tax, I definitely agree with it. Rich people should be paying more taxes, not because they have more money, but because they should be attempting to equal out the wealth in our community. I’m not saying that they should be giving poor people the money that they have earned, but that they should be using the money that they don’t necessarily need for good causes. All Americans benefit from these government’s responsibilities because they are very important to our society. The government should, however, be more careful with what they are spending our taxes on. We shouldn’t have such a huge national debt if we are paying so many taxes. They shouldn’t waste our money on things we don’t need. In my opinion, our taxes should go to the two things listed, protection and empowerment, only! We should also be supporting the soldiers who are fighting for this country.

Richard W.
1st Hour

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with progressive taxes. I think that the wealthy should be paying more taxes because they should be contributing to the community and they can kind of afford it more than the others. I think that the rich people, who have the extra money, should give some of it away instead of spending it on things that they don’t need. From the taxes, all Americans benefit from government’s tasks because they are important, but they are spending our taxes and that is why we are in a national debt. We should even be in a national debt if we are all paying taxes and doing the right thing. The government wastes our money and they spend it on stupid things that we don’t need. I think the money should go to people who need it or the soldiers who are in Iraq fighting for the country. That is why I agree with progressive taxes.

Annie Sovran
5th Hour

Anonymous said...

I agree with the progressive tax more than I do the flat tax. It is a god thing that every citizen gets the safety and protection of everyone. Public schooling, paved sidewalks, police, and public buildings are all examples of things that are maintained and protected by progressive tax. It also makes sense the wealthy have to pay more because the taxes and economic situation they are in now helped them become wealthy. It makes sense also that they have to pay more because middle class and lower class do not have use or use the courts. This costs money and the rich pay for it.
Marin Haffey
5th hour

Anonymous said...

I agree with the flat tax more than I do than with the progressive tax because I don't anybody should have to pay more than the other. Everyone should be paying equally. The wealthier people earn their money so therfore should get to keep it rather than pay more tax. The U.S. economy would grow a lot more than it is growing and people would be able to make more money by investing in those businesses. Also what would be good would be that all businesses would be treated the same way because if one business has more rights or freedom to do something than another then it would be able to grow more and the smaller business would not.

Anthony Deza
1st Hour

Anonymous said...

I believe that progressive taxes should be used instead of a flat tax. It’s unfair to people with less money that they have to pay the same amount of tax as people with more money. Rich people should pay more taxes then the less fortunate because they have a lot more money to give away than poorer people. I think a strong argument for this tax is that the weathy are morally obligated to sustain the American system b/c they benefit more from it than the average American. I think that the rich should support their country more because they are the ones that can make the changes in communities around them. Even though there are benefits from flat taxes, like how it will boost economic growth by allowing businesses and investors to invest more money into other businesses, I think in a community you have to think about the poverty before you think ahead to the growing businesses.

Matt B.
5th hour

Anonymous said...

I personally believe that the flat tax is the most fair and most American option. America was built on the basic idea that all men were created equal. The tax that we have now violates that belief. With the flat tax each person would be charged a set percent of their income. Lets say the income was set at 20%. A person with a low income, $30,000 per year, would pay $6,000. On the other side, a rich person, bringing in $3 million, would pay $600,000, or 100 times that of the low income citizen. This is just overall a better idea. Why should the rich be punished for their success? Although I respect America’s attempt to help the poor within their country it is not the responsibility of the rich to accommodate this. I think that this tax is the most American way to go about it. The tax in place now treats people differently, which is a direct violation of the constitution our country is based on.

Sarah Zamler
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

I think that flat tax is better than progressive tax for many reasons. One is that with flat tax, everyone is treated equally no matter what their social status is. Also this way, all types of businesses will be treated equally. Another main reason is that it will boost economic growth drastically. This is really important, especially for Michigan, where there is a major economic problem, because it helps everyone save more money and not pay it through their taxes.
With progressive tax, it’s made so that the wealthy to control everything and they benefit from the American system more than the average person. Also, taxes are higher in order to pay for the government responsibilities/jobs, and empowerments. Even though these are important jobs to have and get done, the taxes go up, which makes more people broke. When the people are broke, the economic system goes way down, and when the economic system is down, it’s very hard to bring it back up, making average citizens stay broke, while the wealthy get richer.

Amanda
1st Hour

Anonymous said...

Argument for the flat tax

I think that the argument presented for the flat tax has a more persuasive point to it than the argument for progressive tax. The flat tax argument states that everyone has to pay the same amount for taxes, regardless of status in society (rich poor etc…). This means that no wealthy people can try to pay less for taxes by threatening to sue or something alone those lines. Most of the people in the United States are borderline wealthy/normal when it comes to money, so they benefit the most from flat tax. This means that the majority of people in the United States benefit and should want to have a flat tax. On top of all of this, the flat tax is incredibly simple. Everything is done on a postcard. The flat tax treats every single business the same, so nothing in the tax world is biased.


TJ Hyland
5Th Hour

Anonymous said...

I think the progressive tax makes more sense. We need this tax. It pays for needed jobs and protections. The tax pays wages for police, firefighters, public health, and the military. It provides funding for roads, public education, banking system, stock markets, courts, national parks, and public buildings. This tax helps everyone. So what if the rich have to pay more they have the money to spend. They can dip into their summer home in Jamaica fund to pay their taxes. Otherwise they would have their mansions catch on fire and no one could put it out.If it was a fixed tax and that makes a big decision for poor families pay for food or taxes. Without these tax we wouldn't have the protection we need. The roads we drive on and much more. The tax is a nessesity to our way of life. If we didn't have it we would be in big trouble. That is why I think that the progressive tax is a lot better than the flat tax.

Carter K. 1 hour

Anonymous said...

I think that Americans should have a flat tax. One being because everybody should pay equall amounts. I don't understand why the wealthy would get to pay more taxes because they shouldn't get penalized for having a good job that pays well. They can do what they want with the money they earned. Where as the poor they don't have good jobs are didn't take the time out in early years of their life to start saving money. It is their fault now for being in the situation that they are in. Also flat tax. Secondly, it will be easier to use and the economy will be better because businesses can invest in their more money. So in conlusion the flat tax would be the way to go so people are treated equally.

Fran Wanetick
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

I think that the flat tax is the more reasonable tax for the United States to have. The flat tax is better than the progressive tax because the flat tax makes everything equal for everyone. And everyone has to pay their taxes and it’s not divided by the amount of money you make. With the progressive tax people who make more money have to pay more than people who don’t make as much. They worked hard to get a good job and right now America doesn’t need a bigger difference in social classes and if the flat tax is used then everything is equal. And it’s the same for businesses. And it will help the businesses which in then helps the economy. There’s also no way for people to not pay there taxes which many people are trying to do now. And it’s just easier to do, and a lot of people want things to be easier so that’s why the flat tax is better than the progressive tax.

-Maher Abou-Rass
1st Hour

Anonymous said...

I think there should be a flat income tax in the United States. This would make taxes a lot easier to collect because there wouldn't be different percentages of taxes to pay. It also is more fair than a progressive income tax. It is the fair way because everyone pays the same percentage of taxes. The flat tax makes everyone pay the same percentage even the rich and poor. The reason it should be this way is because the rich just worked harder to achieve their position. They payed attention in school and grew up to be good business men through hard work in their youth. The rich shouldn't be punished for succeeding in their lives. The poor had the chance to become wealth but they decided to slack off in their studies. The poor don't have to go set their goals directly to the rich class they can just shoot for the middle class. In the middle class you can afford axes and still be able to fed your family.

Ryan Feist
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

I think that flat taxes are better than progressive taxes. I feel this way because flat taxes make it so that everybody is treated equally. And progressive taxes are more benifitial to the people who are higher up socially. Flat taxes also help boost economic growth, and you know living in Michigan their are major economic problems so this will really help us. And like i was sayin progressive taxes also effect the people in lower social classes instead of just all of the rich people. So now throughout my paper i hope that you relize why i think flat taxes are better than progressive taxes. And hopefully now you fell the same way that i feel.

Andrew Knox
1st hour

Anonymous said...

I think that the flat tax is better than the progressive tax. Progressive tax benefits only the wealthy.Flat tax benefitseveryone. I think that if you a Rich American you should not how much money you make, because we all should pay the same amount. If flat tax will help the economic growth, than that is what it needs to be used for, because the this country has trouble using the progressive tax. That won’t make the economy better!. The flat tax on the other hand will help with, because estate tax, the capital tax,and the tax savings can really hurt Americans gain money. it helps the economy. American's now that is getting this money should think and say is this fair because others are losing money.

This would be good because all businesses would be treated the same way because if businesses will have more rights to do something than another employer. So the business would be able to grow more and the smaller business would cant.

ashley davis

Anonymous said...

I think a flat tax rate is the best decision. I believe this because it makes it less difficult for the government rather than having a tax bracket that is almost at the point of it being utter chaos. Personally, I believe that people should not get punished for being successful. I think anyone can be successful if they wanted to and wanted to work as hard as to have a more comfortable environment. Not including minor issues, the poor people if they wanted to could’ve expanding their education to become in the same position as the wealthy people. Even if there were a flat tax, the wealthy would still be paying a huge amount of more money comparing to the poor people. What happened to the United States being all about equality? Shouldn’t everyone be treated the same? Regardless if everyone is paying the same percentage, the wealthy would still be paying a majority of the tax load but just not an unfair amount more. So either way the poor would be paying less, the same percentage has little effect on the amount of money each person is putting in. If there is a progressive tax rate does that mean people don’t want everyone to be treated the same? The flat tax rate is without a question more considerable for determining taxes because not only is it easier but it also helps show what the United States is supposed to stand for.

Melanie Shaw
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

I believe that in the United States we should have a flat tax. Everyone should be treated the same. If you make more money than other people you deserve it and should not get it taken away. What is the desire to make a lot of money if you are going to get it taken away? It is not fair to have a progressive tax for those who make a lot of money, they just get penalized for it. In a progressive tax if you work hard and you make a lot of money then you get it taken away. Also, if you don’t work hard and not make a lot of money then you don’t get too much of your money taken away. Flat taxes would be fair because then everyone would be equal and the successful wouldn’t have to suffer more than people who don’t work as hard. Even if the wealthy are spending their money on luxurious items that they probably don’t need, the government still should not take more money away from them. No matter who you are or what money you have everybody should pay the same.

Pat R.
5th hour

Anonymous said...

I think that the flat tax is a better option. Why should people that have more money have to pay a higher tax than the people who have less money? That is not equal. Why should the wealthy be punished? If they have the money that they earned and deserved to get than they deserve to keep it. The progressive tax is not fair and in my opinion everyone should pay a flat tax. It is the most fair and most American option.
Theresa N. 3rd hour

Anonymous said...

I think that a flat tax would be best, when considering whether a flat tax or a progressive tax is better, for many reasons. A flat tax would more just, and wouldn’t be discriminating against any minorities or majorities. However, a progressive tax causes the upper middle-class and the wealthy to pay a higher tax percentage, even though they are already paying much more than the lower middle-class and the poor. A flat tax causes everyone to pay the same tax percentage, but not the same amount of money. (Some people get the illusion that both the poor and the rich are paying the same amount of money.) The reason that progressive tax paying has become so popular is because it helps the lower class much more, and is in their best interest. A flat tax would also eliminate other taxes that would otherwise cost you even more money in the case of a progressive tax. For example the capital gains tax, the estate tax, and the double taxes on savings. All of these things add up, and actually end up costing you more than just a flat tax.

David M.
3rd

Chris said...

I progessive tax is alot better for many reasons. The first and probaly best reason is if something is workign good then wy should we change it. We have had this type of tax for a while and it was not done anything wrong for our economy. Also there are arguments that this tax favors the wealthy but that does nto make sense. Uf someone thinks that the wealthy get treated better then they should work harded to make more money and become wealthy, there is nothing stoping them. For my last point, who say that flat tax is going to be better then progressive tax.

Allison said...

I think that the flat tax is the best American tax option. This is because this tax option is the most fair. I don’t think that people who are wealthier should have to pay a higher percentage of tax than people who are not as wealthy or poor. If everyone has to pay the same percent of tax then it would be fairer than if everyone had different percentages of their income. If there was a flat tax then the wealthy would still have to pay a more money than people who do not have as much money. Although, if there was a flat tax then there would be a greater line between the poor and wealthy, this would cause many problems in our society. I still believe that everyone should have the same percentage taken out of their income for tax no matter how poor or rich they are.

Allison K
3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

I think that people are spending way too much money on things that they really don’t need, such as Mansion houses, all of the iPods that they can possibly get their hands on, and just pretty much all of the movies and other electronics. People, especially kids should be saving their money to save for college, and for adults they should be using their money on taxes. I believe that people that are considered richer should have to pay more on taxes than someone that has less money, or that they should help people who have a hard time paying their taxes. I think that the rich should try to make a difference to help those less fortunate than them and give more to charity and those who may not be able to send their kids to school, or get a well paying job to help them in the future.




Matt Whitney

5th Hour

Anonymous said...

I support the progressive tax movement because all people benefit from them. It makes civilized life better because the government can spend more money on the people. They can hire more firemen, reconstruct more roads, and have more ambulance drivers. Also, i think that people should have to pay a percentage of their money, not a set amount for everyone. This way, the poor don't suffer too much, and the rich can cover what the poor can't pay. Of course, i don't like the fact that rich people are being "punished" by having to pay more taxes. Just because they worked harder or had more oppurtunites doesn't mean they should have to give up more money. But if they didnt, the government wouldn't get as much money and the poor would end up having to pay more. Many peoples quality of life would deplenish, but the rich don't see a dramatic effect if they have to pay that extra amount. For that reason, i support the progressive tax movement.

Jake B.
5th hour

Anonymous said...

I believe that Americans pay taxes for a reason. With our taxes, roads are being built, the police and fire departments are in the neighborhoods of the people, and public education is being paid for. Some people may think that the ordinary citizen doesn’t utilize the same public services as the wealthy upper class person and I think differently. Do you drive? Do you go to school? Do you use the stock market and banking systems? Do you like to feel protected from crime, fire and terrorist attacks? Most people can answer yes to all of these questions, so that means most people use the taxpayers’ money to a similar extent. The government uses the money to help Americans. If they gave it to the Americans, then Americans would have to help themselves and sometimes people don’t know how to do that. So, in conclusion, I think that the flat tax is appropriate because America is all about equality. Everyone is given an equal chance at life and sometimes, people blow it. Is it the wealthy people’s fault that the poor have no money? I think that people need to make smart financial decisions. This choice will boost the economy.

Sam C.
1st hr.

Anonymous said...

Jumi Cadmus
U.S Hist 3rd hour.

In my opinion, I think citizens are spending too much money on the wrong things. People are spending money on unimportant things like sports, and big entertainment events. The average Athlete gets paid millions of dollars , while other people who have jobs that contribute to helping the society(Garbage men) don't get paid as much. Most people put too much effort on entertainment events like concerts and big games. Instead of spending money on these things, I think we should use more of the money to pay of debts or help the lower class citizens. There also many poor and homeless people who need the money. In addition, the sick and elderly need money too. We also can't forget about paying for prisons and crime. There are many more important things than sports and entertainment that the money should be used for.The government should stop raising taxes and regulate how much money is used for "unimportant" things. They should regulate the distribution of money to different citizens and pay the people who have more important job. In other words, pay the people who have jobs that contribute to keeping the country in order.

Geoff Wickersham said...

Hey guys, I want to clarify something. For a flat tax, everyone doesn't pay the same AMOUNT, they pay the same RATE. That's the difference. Some of you are under the impression or you're saying in your blogs that you like the flat tax b/c people are treated equally b/c they pay the same amount. Not true. The same flat rate is what they pay.

The one thing I don't like about the flat tax is the corporate form. It's almost as simple as the individual form which I think is pretty ridiculous. A Fortune 500 company is supposed to summarize their entire year's net earnings/worth on twelve lines on a postcard? So many misdeeds and secret accounts can be hidden in those lines that I believe the end result will be more corporate fraud on the scale on Enron, not less.

And to treat a company like Microsoft the same as a hot dog vendor is an insult to Microsoft. How many jobs does Microsoft generate here and abroad compared to one vendor in NYC? That analogy is absurd.

Mr. W.

Anonymous said...

Especially now the United States needs to bring in some money to support the war. Taxes are the perfect way for everyone to contribute. There are two kinds of taxes that both interest the people, and the government. Flat taxes are when all citizens pay the same rate of taxes per year. No matter on how rich or poor you are, everyone contributes the same to the government. Progressive taxes are when the rich pay more than the poor. The people pay the maximum of what they are capable to for the government’s interests. So no matter how much money you make it will balance out. I think that since the war now is costing us 4-5 billion dollars a month that progressive taxes are the way to go. All classes contribute a fair, balanced amount, and it really makes a difference in paying off war debt. I also think it is the better argument because it involves departments that provide protection for the people. It also allows small, large, or new business grow without the burden of more taxes just because they are successful.
Paige D.
1st hour,

Geoff Wickersham said...

One more thing to think about when answering this question:

- if, as some of you are saying, the flat tax punishes the rich and will make them stop working so hard, why hasn't America ground to a halt? We've had a progressive tax for 94 years since the 16th Amendment was passed in 1913.

Rich Americans haven't stopped working nor have they stopped investing their money. Their money has been used by the government to build the biggest highway system in the world starting in 1957. It's been used to launch countless satellites (Thanks, NASA, a government-funded program) that have improved communications dramatically since we've raced to catch up with Sputnik. And the money has been used to keep Americans out of dire poverty. BEFORE the Great Depression in 1929, 60% of Americans were at or below the poverty line. Now, that number hovers around 15-20%.

Just a couple of things to think about that progressive tax money has been spent so far.

Anonymous said...

i believe that the United States should use the flat tax. This tax treats all businesses the same. I dont think that one business that makes more money then another business should pay more or less for taxes. The flat tax also treats all the taxpayers the same. I dont feel that its right that a wealthy person who is payed a lot more money should pay more money for taxes. Just because they have a well-payed job and are good at what they do shouldn't mean they should pay more.The wealthy shouldnt be punished for being successful.The flat tax shows equality, and the United States is all about equality and the progressive tax shows unfairness. The flat tax also boosts the economic growth and also elimantes other taxes which is better for our economy. The flat tax is alot easier for determining taxes.

3rd hour
Lauren O'Shaughnessy

Anonymous said...

I think that both the Flat Tax and Progressive Tax have important ideas that could help the US economically. The Flat tax is a good idea because it is very fair to all classes and people. This tax also will help businesses and investors. The Progressive Tax is a good idea because it benefits all Americans with protection and empowerment. If I had to choose which tax I thought would be best, I would choose the progressive tax because I think it is a good idea for the wealthy to pay more taxes then the middle and lower classes. Some wealthy spend there money on unnecessary and unimportant luxuries, and wouldn't it be a better use of their money to influence all the people of the US? Not to mention, if the wealthy are the people benefiting from the system the most, shouldn't they be paying the most?

Rachael Tyndall
1st hour

Anonymous said...

We are spending are American money on roads, schools,the war, and paying politicians. Our tax payer dollars are being used for things they should be used for however I do not believe that governors, representatives, and cabinet members deserve a pay increase when are economy is so bad. They need to find ways to budget American money better so we wont have problems such as possible state shutdowns. I think we could spend our money a little wiser but letting the people vote on budgets and such matters, would only make the situation because of the difference in a opinions. They’re would be too much conflict and nothing would get done. We have a large debt because our money is not being distributed in a good way. We are financing the war and it is causing most of the tax payer dollars to be sent over sea’s. We can pay are tax dollars and hope that with the election of 2008 things will get better.

Lauren Babb
1st hr

Anonymous said...

Arguments for the progressive tax include:
1. All Americans benefit from two of our government's responsibilities, protection (police, firefighters, public health, military) and empowerment (roads, public education, banking system for loans and economic stability, SEC for the stock market, courts, national parks, public buildings, etc.), and they should be available to everyone. We are financially responsible to maintain these so that they may be used for the common good. These protections are maintained through taxes.
2. The wealthy (corporations, investors and other wealthy individuals) pay more into the system because "our taxes create and sustain, [and] empower the wealthy in myriad ways to create their wealth." In other words, they have benefited from the system in place, they should pay to maintain it.


"Consider Bill Gates...Though he has undoubtedly benefited from his unusual intelligence and business acumen, he could not have created or sustained his personal wealth without the common wealth [of the United States]. The legal system protected Microsoft's intellectual property and contracts. The tax-supported financial infrastructure (phones, electricity, Internet) enabled him to access capital markets and trade his stock in a market in which investors have confidence. He built his company with many employees educated in public schools and universities. Tax-funded research helped develop computer science and the internet..." and so on.

3. The wealthy are morally obligated to sustain the American system b/c they benefit more from it than the average American. "Ordinary people rarely use the courts; most of the courts are used for corporate law and contract disputes." Therefore, the rich pay more than the poor or middle class b/c the rich utilize the system more often to create and sustain their wealth.

I believe that there should be flat tax. The progressive tax helps the rich stay rich, because the rich pay more than the poor or middle class and they utilize the system more which sustains their wealth. This isn't fair for the rich people. It's not their fault for becomming so sucessful and making it big time. I don't think that the sucessful (rich people) should suffer for doing well in life. The rich people sustain their wealth because they are well educated and know how to maintain their habbits of staying rich. The wealthy shouldn't have to pay extra tax because they make more money than others. An example of this unjust tax is that if you go to a store and want to purchase a bag of chips, because you're wealthy and the store owner knows of your wealth, he shouldn't be able to charge you more then the retail price, because he knows that he can scam you out of it, because he knows your rich and it won't effect your state of being. It's not like the rich are punishing the middle class. The rich are just simply better off for their sucess. Perhaps a middle class person won the lottery and they all of a sudden had to pay more for becomming rich, like paying more tax and more on everything, they wouldn't want to stay rich long. They wouldn't want to asstain the privilage of being rich because in the end, their loosing more money then they should be. The government should use flat tax, so that all Americans, are created equal and not treated worse then others. Equality should stay in effect even when it comes to taxing.

Mary Mc Keon
3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

I think that a progressive tax has a more persuasive argument than for a flat tax for many reasons. I think that we should still use progressive taxing because it obviously works well if we have been using for as long as we have, and we shouldn’t just change to a flat tax which is totally different. If we were to use a flat tax, a fortune 500 company has to summarize their entire year's net earnings/worth on twelve lines on a postcard, when households are supposed to summarize their earnings on that same size post card. Fortune 500 companies would be able to hide a lot of things, and would it be fraud on their part? The government can’t really blame them when they only give them a post card to write it all down, but then they may accuse them of fraud and it’s not their fault. If we were to use a flat tax, how would the government be able to keep track of many companies and to see if they were fraud, they wouldn’t is the answer. That is why a progressive tax is good for America.

Derek M
1st Hour

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of a taxes at the moment are funding the war , whether not the actual war. Instead of funding things in our area that need to be fixed such as roads and buildings. As well as many free ways need to be fixed and thats just in michigan ,i have no idea of how it is in other states, but it cant be that much better. So much of our money is being spent , because lets be real , they need it from somewhere and they need someone to give it to them ,and if the only way they can get enough money to fund what THEY want is to take it out of taxes. We have such a huge debt because the American government has borrowed money from other countries to help fund some of America since alot of our money is tied up in Iraq. I think 1st if we end the War, that will slowly decrease the amount of eventually ,were going to have to spend a little more to get them out of there though. But after that we can slowly give a lil bit of money to start to pay off our debt. The rest NEEDS to be used to fund our country.

Symonne Smith 3rd

Anonymous said...

Marta Elia
3rd hour

“What are we spending our money for?”
That’s a good question.
In this world lots of things are obscure and unknown, but one the most world wide known thing is that every one of us, no matter what or who, has to pay some taxes. As citizens we have privileges, and paying taxes and allowing the government to spend our money could be a way of thanking for the enjoyment that we have as citizens (to see the situation from a positive point of view), or could be literally what we are required to do (to be more realistic).
“But what are those privileges?”
Sometimes the government spends money on things that most citizens barely know about or things that we do not need. Instead many times our tax money is spent on things that benefits certain or special interest groups.
“Do we all have to pay the same amount of money?”
“If the wealthy portion of people doesn’t want to pay more taxes, would those people be really ready to share the same privileges and benefits with all the lower classes?”
If we establish that every citizen should pay the same amount of money (ignoring the huge differences between classes) we should also set up that every one should have access to the same facilities and opportunities.
That means that the poorest person and the richest one should be received the same attentions and opportunities.
I think this is never going to be possible, because we cannot pretend to unify all the people and their different economic-situations on the same social scale. It wouldn’t be realistic. It couldn’t be possible. A person’s destiny is partly determined by the choices they make about what they want to study and the goals they set, but also influencing their destiny is the place and the family where the man is born. For example if your parents are poor people and you want to be a doctor, your chances could be lower than a person who grows in middle-class family. Lots of the high paying jobs require high skills, and if you’re parents are barely able to feed you and your siblings, they wouldn’t be able to give you the right education. Without the right basis how could you learn what you need?
Unfortunately many people can’t change the situation they are born into.
Is anyone of them able to realize their dreams?
Maybe, but poor people alone can’t count always on their own sources. WE, the middle class, have to help them to improve and solve their problems. Not just the richest class, but every one who has enough for his own family should help those who alone cannot escape their poverty.
The government should be more open in saying where our money are being spend and should direct most of the taxes towards the poor people.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the progressive tax side because the money that we pay for taxes is benefiting us. America needs essential things such as police and firefighters to help protect our country, and also the tax money is going towards something good such as helping fellow Americans. This also helps out a lot with the war that is going on because America is in debt and by paying taxes everyone has a chance to put their fair share of tax money into the government. Taxes are getting higher as jobs a being cut because the government needs more money to pay for things such as the war, and schools that help America. With jobs being cut many people are also becoming poor so paying more taxes is a lot to them but to the wealthy they would not care if they had to pay more for taxes.

Channel
1st Hour

Anonymous said...

I think that we should have flat tax because its not fare that the people with more money have to pay more money. Why do we have to spend so much money on whats going on in the world when sme familys need the money for there family,. i still thnk that wwe should have a tax but i dont understand why we have to pay so much for everything else that you arent even involvbed it; like for instance i think that most of the extra money shouyld go to our education. Our education should be very important to the government, our knowledge should be improved. i might be wrong but thats how i feel.

Gina Kslabat
3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

1.) I think that Americans are spending too much money on a war that most people don't agree with.
Every country in the world has a huge national debt, but as I said in question 1, if America stops the war, the country would have less debt.
I think that both flat tax and progressive tax are good.
Flat tax eliminates special interests because everybody is paying the same amount. Plus, it eliminates the capital gains tax, the estate tax...
But I also agree with progressive tax because poor people cannot pay as much as the rich do. Some people say that it's their fault if they are poor. But I really don't think so, you sometimes also have to count on your parents to get a good education (money...).

Stephan Monpetit,5th Hour

Anonymous said...

I beleive that the United STats of America should use a flat tax rate for its income taxes. This would not take more money from the rich than the poor. The rich have for the most part made their money fairly and have a right to their money. They do not deserve to be alienated because they have more money than those who do not have as much money as them. The flat tax should also be used because it is a lot simpler than the progressive tax. There is nothing complictaed about the flat tax and it takes a lot less time to complete. This will also help the economy because people with more money will be able to invest in the conomy and will ahve more money to donate and give away to charities. So basicall I think that the flat tax rate is better than the progressive tax rate.

Phil Bolton 5th Hour

Anonymous said...

Arguments for the progressive tax include:
1. All Americans benefit from two of our government's responsibilities, protection (police, firefighters, public health, military) and empowerment (roads, public education, banking system for loans and economic stability, SEC for the stock market, courts, national parks, public buildings, etc.), and they should be available to everyone. We are financially responsible to maintain these so that they may be used for the common good. These protections are maintained through taxes.
2. The wealthy (corporations, investors and other wealthy individuals) pay more into the system because "our taxes create and sustain, [and] empower the wealthy in myriad ways to create their wealth." In other words, they have benefited from the system in place, they should pay to maintain it.


"Consider Bill Gates...Though he has undoubtedly benefited from his unusual intelligence and business acumen, he could not have created or sustained his personal wealth without the common wealth [of the United States]. The legal system protected Microsoft's intellectual property and contracts. The tax-supported financial infrastructure (phones, electricity, Internet) enabled him to access capital markets and trade his stock in a market in which investors have confidence. He built his company with many employees educated in public schools and universities. Tax-funded research helped develop computer science and the internet..." and so on.

3. The wealthy are morally obligated to sustain the American system b/c they benefit more from it than the average American. "Ordinary people rarely use the courts; most of the courts are used for corporate law and contract disputes." Therefore, the rich pay more than the poor or middle class b/c the rich utilize the system more often to create and sustain their wealth.

I think that we should have Progessive Tax, because if we all have to pay the same amount the only thing that happens is that the Rich stay rich and the poor get poorer, but if we have the pay based on how much we earn it make the already big gap between rich and poor smaller, which is better for the US.

Michael Treacher
5th hour

Anonymous said...

The income tax has been around for years to help pay the cost of running our country. People are always complaining about how much tax we pay. I went on the internet to find exactly what we are buying with our taxes. In 2007 the federal government collected about 2.7 trillion dollars in taxes. About 70% of the annual budget pays for Social Security and payment of interest on our national debt. 22% of our tax dollars pays for medical care, 3% for veteran’s benefits, and 1.3% for the needy. In total, 58% of the budget goes back to individuals for unemployment, disability, food stamps, etc. This seems like a huge percent and has double over the past 40 years. I believe the government needs to run itself like a business and only spend what it takes in and decrease the national debt. This could allow me to pay fewer taxes when I get older.

Justin Laffer
5th hour

Anonymous said...

I believe that flat taxes are better, mainly because it is a safer way to go about our lives. Further more I believe that it makes business and other economic corporations a lot more understandable and easier to talk to about every ones business. Luckily it removes any surprises away from taxpayers and it makes it equal. And furthermore it will help investors see what they should do with stocks and other forms of business. Although, it does really help us by eliminating any taxes on land, estates, and any doubled taxes on savings! So in thought of this statement I believe that these forms of taxes are very well constructed and also help us very much in our time of need. Meaning that these taxes are saving us money and are splitting some of our taxes for the war and the other half goes to helping us with paying off our debts! That is my take on the flat taxes that I really do believe that they help us in the long run!

Bryan M.
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

I would support the progressiveax movement because it gives more money to the things that count more like the fire department and police. I also think people should have to pay a percentage of their money not a set amount. That wayits eaisier for the poor and the rich pay for both. I also think its not to fair that the rich should pay more but it is helping the taxes and i feel it should continue.Thats why i support the proggresive tax movement.

Josh.D 5th hour

Anonymous said...

Some people in our society inherit money, but a majority of them put time, dedication, effort, and skills to earn this money. I think there should be flat taxes, because thats not fair to the wealthy for them to pay higher taxes. It only seems fair to the middle class or poor cause their the ones with the better share of the deal. Flat taxes allow families to not have to pay taxes until they have the income of 30,000. This allows them to save college money for this childrens future education. These taxes also help make successful businesses. For example, instead of paying alot of money into taxes, businesses can use the money toward inventory, supplies, equipment, and such on.


casey harrelson
hr.3

Anonymous said...

well i do think that texes are able to boosts all economic businesses but it does depends on hwat franchise it leans on to. though i think that our government does have the empowerment on roads etc. but i do not think that is is available to everyone. in my conclusion it is common to protect the mantained taxes but it is our responsbilty to invest on what tax should be paid.

Lydia G.
5th Hour

Anonymous said...

I believe that progressive tax is the most effective in our society. taxes are what supply our country with different things that our people need, such as protection from police, and fire departments. it also provides things that are given to the army and need to be bought for the army. if a flat tax was put into effect, a certain class of people would either have a big advantage or a big disadvantage. how would the government know where to put the tax for everyone? would it be placed higher to get more out of the rich, or lower so that the rich wouldn't have to pay as much but the lower class could afford? also, if the rich are benefiting more from the government than a lower class person, i do think that they should have to pay more for what they are getting from them.

ryan l.
5th

Anonymous said...

3. The wealthy are morally obligated to sustain the American system b/c they benefit more from it than the average American. "Ordinary people rarely use the courts; most of the courts are used for corporate law and contract disputes." Therefore, the rich pay more than the poor or middle class b/c the rich utilize the system more often to create and sustain their wealth.


Blog.

I think that the weathly people should have to pay just as much at the poorer people. but the taxes should not be up to just the weathly peoples standars because if some people don't have alot of money then they wont be able to pay for their taxes. with this they will get into dept and get into alot of trouble. i think that they should come up with one taxe like we have now that the more you own the more you have to pay. its your choice to have alot of material things big houses, lots of cars, and all the none nessesities. but we choose to have all these things which make our tax's higher and we are loosing money.

Jessie Best
5th hour

Anonymous said...

I believe that progressive tax would work best in our society because the rich people have to pay more than the poor which makes perfect sense because the rich buy things that they dont need and they have more money to pay for higher taxes. If we were to use flat tax then the price of taxes may be too high for the poor and that would cause many people to go into debt. Also the buy using the progressive tax, much of the money that we would be paying for taxes would go to things or places that are necessary such as police stations, firefighters, public health and many other things. Also the wealthy benefit more from the American system by using it more often to keep their wealth.
Even though the progressive tax would be harder to collect becuase of the different percentages, it still makes it easier on many Americans.
Ian Perfitt
U.S. 1st Hour