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I usually can't stand the bitch, but

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  • Tax evading fucks. But at least the hard-core conservatives don't care - they want to raise taxes on the poor, or so Paul Krugman claims today. []
  • one William Straw, current leader of the student union at Oxford University. He's quoted in the paper today saying that people earning over £100,000 should pay 50% income tax (current top rate is 40%), and that this would be a fairer solution to the university crisis than the top-up fees for students currently being considered by the Government.

    William's father, Jack Straw, currently earns £125,000 a year. He also happens to be the current Home Secretary (responsible for law & order).

    William will be amongst the students leading a protest march to Parliament, organised by the National Union of Students, which is taking place today.
    • I'm actually not in favor of over-taxing the rich. IMO that will only incent them to be more creative in their search for tax shelters. I am in favor of a simple, reasonable, fair tax code. Not that I have ever seen one. I also think Will Straw will likely change his tune once he has been working for a living for a while.
      • I've got some hope for the Fair Tax [] proposal.

        It's simple: All consumer goods get taxed once and exactly once. Used goods aren't taxed, supplies and labor that go into producing consumer goods aren't taxed.

        It's fair: You get taxed on what you consume. Right now, working harder and getting a pay raise gets you punished by pushing you into a higher tax bracket. Under this system, you pay more taxes when you buy more stuff. Rich people always buy more stuff.

        No more IRS. That agency costs way too much (in my mind), and exists mostly to shake people down. Call the IRS Help Line with a tax form problem, and only one in four answers is likely to be correct... but if you do things incorrectly relying on their advice, it's you that has to answer for it.

        And the real selling point for me is, under the current system, when the government wants to spend more, Congress can just vote in a tax hike, even when the economy's in a downturn and people need their money. Under this system, the purse-strings are put back in the hands of the people. Tax shelters aren't even worth bothering with.

        It just makes sense from every direction I look at it. Unfortunately, sense isn't in high supply in D.C.
        • I have long held a similar belief, and am at a loss why it does not get more support. The problem is that the consumer goods tax does not translate well to manufacturing and service industries. I do think a system of taxing spending, rather than earnings, makes much more sense.
          • It probably doesn't get more support in Congress because you need a burdensome and confusing tax system to support their reckless spending habits.

            But there's two good things. One, the biggest supporter of this bill in the House (who happens to be from my state) was re-elected by a good margin last November, which means that this bill's going to be re-introduced. Each time it's been introduced in the past, support has grown.

            And the grassroots support for this bill has been rather remarkable, especially considering the relative lack of mainstream news coverage.

            Anyhow, this bill does make an effort to cover consumer services. Check out this FAQ question [] on what exactly would be taxed.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"