Cancelling the wrong stuff

From Ed Driscoll:
When cancel culture comes for FDR, will the New Deal also be cancelled as well?
Related: Ross Douthat on The Ghost of Woodrow Wilson: Just as “Jefferson’s memorial wasn’t built to celebrate his slaveholding, [Princeton’s] Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs wasn’t named for Wilson to honor him for being a segregationist…the school will remain his school, whatever name gets slapped upon it, so long as it pursues the projects of enlightened progressive administration and global superpowerdom. Obviously there are people, right and left, who would prefer that one or both of those projects be abandoned. But they aren’t likely to be running the renamed school. Instead, it will continue to be run by 21st-century Wilsonians — who will now act as if their worldview sprang from nowhere, that its progenitor did not exist, effectively repudiating their benefactor while accepting his inheritance.”
My husband wants to know when we can expect the income tax to go away.


Ymarsakar said...

Sooner than people might think

E Hines said...

I'm waiting for the cancel culture to come for the Democratic Party and all those politicians who knowingly and deliberately are members in that organization.

After all, since the Left is canceling over sins of past, especially, as well as the sins of today, they should be concerned with a Party that actively supported slavery, forced a war in an attempt to keep it going, .... I've mentioned the list of sins past and present a number of times.

And T99: my own answer is, "Never, I hope." There's no fairer tax form going; albeit it could be made even more so by going to a low, flat rate with no exception, deductions, credits, special treatments, etc.

Eric Hines

Texan99 said...

Per capita is flatter than flat income tax.

E Hines said...

It's hard to get any more regressive than a per capita tax, since that makes folks with no money pay up--they have to pay simple because they exist.

Eric Hines

Texan99 said...

We just moved from talking about what would be "fair" to what would be progressive/regressive. If taxes are about sharing the cost of government, then per capita makes sense. If taxes are about redistributing income, then progressive makes sense. If too many people need help paying a per capita tax, that suggests to me that government is too big, not that the best way to maximize tax revenues is to go progressive. I'd like as many taxpayers as humanly possible to have the same skin in the game, to prevent the temptation to vote for more tax-consuming proposals that "the other guy" is always supposed to pay for.

Redistributing wealth is a function of charity, not government.

E Hines said...

On the matter of fairness, a progressive tax is no more or less fair than a regressive tax. With a flat tax rate, those better off unavoidably pay more than those less off for all that the rates are the same for both.

From the Preamble to our Constitution's Art I, Sect 8:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States....

Nothing in there about maximizing tax or any other revenues for government. Taxes are only about paying the cost of government--which it is incumbent on government to minimize, for all that that part the men and women of government.

There's also the question of how many is "too many" who need help paying an existence tax, and who gets to decide that. And at what age do they become responsible for the tax on their existence? Or their parents? And large corner cases like orphans.

The size of government has no bearing on that class of people, anyway, only on the size of that class--although I agree with you that government is far too large, but for a host of reasons other than who can pay a tax on their life.

The elephant in the room, though, is that taxes--and expenditures can't be taken in isolation from the larger system in which they operate. The existing welfare programs are designed to keep folks in them trapped in them. Too, social security and medicare are immediate wealth transfers to strangers at the direct expense--by design--of the folks tapped for the transfers.

Skin in the game: tax all income, privatize social security and medicare, leaving those monies for each person's future retirement and retired medical expenses. Vastly reduce/eliminate regulations government health care provision and health plan coverage so they become free markets and competitive. Leave folks to shop around and find health provision and that suit them. Do that to the economy at large so it's truly free market and competitive.

The numbers of truly indigent will drop to about 14 after pricing drops, products and services expand, and local entities cover those who are still unable. Those 14 will be legitimate targets of government welfare, but from the bottom up, not from the top nearly exclusively.

But optimizing the system is hard, and politicians don't look past the next vote. Until We the People get our backs up.

Eric Hines

E Hines said...

Besides, you started it. You went from fair to flatter than flat.

Eric Hines

Texan99 said...

For me, a per capita tax is the fairest. I took your objection to be that a per capita tax was unfair because it's regressive--but I may have been leaping to that conclusion. It's not really what you said, just what I'm used to hearing.

I'm making the value judgment that it's fair for everyone to have skin in the game and not to be able to vote for government benefits that others will have to pay for. A lot of people look at it differently, and believe that what's fair is something like "from each according to his ability." I don't completely disagree with the latter, when it comes to voluntary giving. I just think it's a bad basis for mandatory payments to government, in part because of the moral hazard and in part because of the tendency to make the government into the charitable-organization-in-chief, whereas I would prefer to keep charity a private, voluntary affair.

E Hines said...

A per capita tax is regressive, like in some senses, a flat income tax is: the first dollar of a tax is far more important to a poor person than it is to a rich person, even though with a flat tax--say 10%--the man with a $100,000 annual income pays $10,000, and the man with a $20,000 annual income pays only $2,000. And that first dollar is even more important to the person who hasn't anything at all but his body.

Whether that's fair, though, is a value judgment in either case.

For me, two things: skin in the game matters more than the fact that those $2,000 are more important to the one than the first $2,000 is to the other. It's just easier to arrive at some degree of fairness (say I) with a flat tax than with a tax that tries to apportion "fair" rather than actual, spendable dollars.

I'm also willing to cut some slack for those who truly can't pay because for truly legitimate reasons, they can't earn an income to be taxed. Given, that is, that we're all operating in a truly competitive, free market economy with true charity, church, community so we can identify, with a closer approach to empirical determination, those who truly can't earn and so have nothing but their bodies to be be taxed.

Of course, we don't live in that ideal world, and there's the rub. I still favor, though, the regressiveness of a flat income tax over any progressive income tax or a per capita tax.

Eric Hines

ymarsakar said...

Taxes are obsolete. Governments can be run entirely via donations after 2021, because of online technology. And everyone in government, may need to donate all their assets to government.

For example, look at the DOD"s internal audit. 21+ trillion unaccounted for. THat's a lot of "donations".