Do you really think a wealthy individual who is going to spend a large sum of money on a yacht is going to worry about an additional % in Sales tax.
Yes, absolutely. You think rich people get rich because they don't pay attention to costs? The facts on the ground are simple. Bill put a tax on buying yachts. Rich people bought yachts from other countries to avoid paying the tax. The yacht builders here, suffered, and many went out of business.
John Kerry parks his yacht in another state, since the state he lives in taxes parking yachts, on the basis that rich people deserve to pay. Some do. Many just don't. Do you park in the $50 a day parking lot near work, or the free one half a block away?
Don't confuse a NBA star or Actor that, while he does work hard ( you don't get paid millions for lazy ) has no economic connection to his wealth. He didn't plan, or calculate, save & invest to get rich, he's an entertainer, and that part of things is his agent's job. So he has time to practice throwing a ball or dancing, etc. Some few are smart and invest wisely, but it's a cliche that NFL stars are broke a few years after retirement for a reason. THEY don't mind paying extra for a Lambo door modification to their Rambler. Or parking fees for their yacht.
Also, you have to consider that in almost all cases, "tax the rich" means tax the normal. You put a tax on something, if the rich don't want to pay, and they don't, they can move. You can't afford to just buy a new house in a different state, move, and then rent out or sell your house, but they can. Big local jagillionaire Tom Golisano, decided he was tired of paying the high taxes here, announced he was done with it, and moved. It didn't change anything, except now I'm expected to make up the difference now that he's not paying. And I can't have a temper tantrum and move at whim.
The mediums always pay. Because we're the ones that do all the work. You hear the pundits talk about how the 1% pay so much, and it's true, but the reality is it's the middle class that pays most in proportion to how much we work. The poor don't pay so much, in cash, but suffer in other ways.
Class envy is easy to sell, but it's a cheat to con you into stupidity.
You pay the luxury tax. You pay the welfare for the yacht builder and his crew that are out of work.
After all, did YOU bribe your Congressman to give YOU a tax loophole? The rich guy did.
The fires may be the result of power line issues, but the fuel is due to the heavy rains last season. Lots of rain means lots of growth and since it got warm and dry, everything is dry enough to burn like crazy.
It is striking that several of the fires started about the same time.
Every 1% of yacht you tax, is 1% of yachts not sold. That affects the retailers as well as the builders. Even the rich, perhaps especially the rich, life on budgets. The reality is, you have to build to price points. It doesn't matter if that price point is $5,000, or $5,000,000. Typically, an amount is in mind when shopping begins. You might get someone to go beyond their budget for a nicer yacht. It's much more difficult to sell going beyond their budget to pay more taxes. Why is it so hard to be happy with the fact that the guy paying $5,000,000 on a yacht is going to pay a bunch in taxes? No, some feel the need to target them to squeeze them hard. Suddenly, you wonder why they have taken that $5,000,000 across a border where you can't squeeze them. Then where are you with your luxury tax?
Even for those who don't put an absolute budget on the purchase of something like a yacht, they simply do not have a bottomless pit of cash to spend on leisure. They WILL pull back somewhere if the tax man simply takes a larger cut. That hurts someone, somewhere. It slows the velocity of money through the entire economy. It's far too complex to put actual numbers on IMO, but the effect is pretty basic economic principles.
I heard something very quotable fairly recently. I have no recollection of who said it, but it was basically "I've never been offered a job from someone who has less money than me." It's probably a pretty accurate statement for most of us. I don't understand some people's animosity toward the wealthy.
Over a century of hate to gain power politics. That's the animosity.
You can go back to the envy of one cave man for another, or the peasants vs. Royalty from shortly after, but today, it's a professional envy propaganda campaign where millionaire Hillary tells you millionaire Donald is evil because he's a millionaire.
You might notice that ALL the Senators are filthy rich millionaires and billionaires.
The biggest pushers of the hate to gain power envy propaganda are the richest people.
That all said, it's easy to envy. Especially when the folk with far more stuff than you are jerks. Lots of jerks out there with no money, but you notice the ones with flashy cars and on tv.
So.... yeah, you tax the products that real people have jobs making like yachts or mansions, to "punish the rich" and the real people lose their jobs because the rich don't have to put up with that like you do.
When billionaires like Bloomberg decide they want to control you, for your own good, of course, you ignorant serf, he'll demand a tax on, let's say, soda pop. Does the Soda pop maker pay that tax? no. You do. You can decide not to buy soda pop, which is the desired effect, or you can smuggle soda pop in from another county or state. You might even make a fortune as a Soda pop Kingpin. ( this explains most of the murders in urban America. It's a war over soda pop drug turf. )
Bill Clinton thought he could get bonus points from the useful idiots by putting a yacht tax, a tax on buying yachts, on the hated rich, and while he may have had a few decide not to bother, the rest just ordered a yacht from Spain instead of Boston. The only people hurt are are people like you.
I don't know about a "fair tax" since I'm automatically suspicious of any bull crap with the word "fair".
I know you could easily cut all sorts of deductions and make the tax form fit on a post card, but you have to ask who that's going to hurt?
I've got a mortgage, and part of the deal is I get a tax break equal to the interest paid ( more or less ) to the bank. The bank in turn pays a tax on the interest, ( since that is their profit ) and because of scale, everyone makes out. Take that deduction away from me and I can't afford the mortgage. Most of middle class America is on the same plan. Every one would get screwed if you canceled that.
There are other smart deductions, If I spend a lot on medical bills, I can deduct that. Do we want to punish sick people?
And so forth and so on. There are a lot of deductions and loopholes and tax breaks I can't take advantage of, ( basically I barely make enough for just the one ) and almost all of them are the results of years of negotiations and bribes.
Politicians power really rests on the way they play with the tax code to reward those who pay them lots of money. Oh, there's some minor concern about voters, but not that much, since a lot of the money they get in bribes that isn't stashed in the Virgin Islands is used for campaign ads. Which far too many people don't consider as carefully as they do laundry detergent ads.
If taxes were a science you'd set them to get the most money for the government with the least pain to the taxpayers. There's a formula for that called the Laffer Curve, and it could be applied empirically by varying taxes until it optimized and you have to keep the numbers "hunting" to keep it optimum. It's medium level math. Pretty easy for engineering students.
Unfortunately, congress is full of lawyers. Lawyers don't understand medium level math. They often think that arguing makes it so. Economies is not a hard science. More like a collection of religious cults.
So don't expect logic or mathematical wisdom in taxes.
Like I said, for a politician the power, the campaign donations, come from tweaking the tax code to make donors happy. That's cynical, but it's true.
New York State for 21 years had late budgets. Sometimes months late. This went on until it was publicized that the legislature collected more donations, more bribe money, while the budget was late than the rest of the year. And worse, it's a three man unofficial committee of the Governor and the heads of the State Senate and House who actually do the decision behind closed doors, so everyone is in on the scam. Except the citizens who have to pay for the loans the schools etc. Had to take to run things until Albany was done taking bribes for budget tweaks.
After that came out they pretend it's done on time and moved up the bribery season to match.
Wish I was kidding. See the New York public interest research group report. NYPIRG.
If taxes were a science you'd set them to get the most money for the government with the least pain to the taxpayers.
Well you sure got that one wrong. Those in charge like to push for maximum they can take. Period. Take too much and you slow the economy to the point that tax revenues fall way off. It's only then that we get to the point that taxes are cut to where growth happens again, giving even more tax revenue. We always live on that side of the Laffer curve.
The idea of our government was to limit the federal government. If we followed the constitution, you wold be on the other end of the curve, where taxation is a minor inconvenience to the economy, but never strangling it. Parasites never take the minimum that they need.
No, that's the point. Politicians don't want optimum results. Then we wouldn't need them. Solving problems puts them out of a job, so they avoid that like the plague. Which is booming in Madagascar this year btw. So cross that off your vacation list.
Like I keep telling you, It's changing the tax code to reward their friends and punish their enemies that gives them power.
Full disclosure. My perpetual new years resolution is to remember to use and encourage others to use, the old anglo-saxon term for campaign contribution. Bribe.
Why a cap on SS? I just assumed rich guys bribed congress to write the law that way.
Yep, rich people are evil and poor people are virtuous. I never get tired of hearing that. Also get tired of hearing "I can't live on social security". You never we're supposed to. Congress raised the benefit each year to get votes from seniors at the expense of future generations who couldn't vote. The cap has been raised over the years as well as the percentage of earnings subject to the tax. If you're going to cap the payout then the amount of "contributions" should likewise be capped.
I'm not pushing class envy, I'm warning against it as a tactic for gaining power by evil men. ( Hate to get power is evil )
I don't claim to be immune to it. I just try. That doesn't mean We can't be honest about that fact that bribery is how it works.
Sometimes it's subtle, like Warren Buffet suddenly supporting Obama's hate speech about the Evil Rich Should Pay! when Barry was pushing the Evil Private Jet People meme, ( Warren has the Big Private Jet rental service ) and jumped on the bandwagon just as Barry suddenly stopped using the Private Jet Evil in his speeches. Coincidence? Sure. And I'm the Tooth Fairy. ( unfortunately I look nothing like The Rock )
So we have super rich Warren Buffet telling us the rich should pay their fair share, at the same time he has a team of lawyers fighting his company doing exactly that.
But, hey! a few hundred thousand dollars in bribes to the campaign, and some lies in public, and Obama quit trying to ruin his business. Win win.
Other times it's less subtle. The husband of Michelle's college buddy, who's family business had just lost the contract to do gun control websites in Canada, because they didn't work, had to pay a cash bribe to Barry to get the contract to make the Obamacare website, even though he had connections. Simple cause and effect. The timeline is clear.
I'm not sure if you want to admire Obama for his dedication to getting millions in laundered money with no regard for personal connections, a purity of greed over emotion seldom seen. Or notice that the Billion dollars of taxpayer money spent on the website that didn't work is pretty darn good return on investment.
The facts of the last eight years are that the best investment on Wall Street has been to Bribe Obama. They were working hard on Bribing Hillary to continue the tradition, but, alas, she was betrayed by Women. And Men. And her Party. And Satan.
Since I refuse to buy her book "I Blame Everyone But Me", I must assume she blames everyone she asked to aid her.
AFAIK there are no surviving witnesses to the dark rituals and human sacrifices to her Dark Lord, just unsubstantiated rumors started by me.
Feel free to elaborate on them and add details. CNN would. ( if they were about someone they hate )
I'm more interested in where the Chinese space station will rain down hot metal than arguing tax policy.
I think I made my point, cynical though it is. Science has nothing to do with tax policy ( but tax policy certainly affects science ) & the reasons for change in policy are power & money for the politicians, not logical optimization like an engineer would try.
So, when Saudi Arabia starts towing Antarctic ice flows to bring fresh water to Riyadh, will Greenpeace try to occupy them in protest? Will the Saudis sink Greenpeace's ship?
I'll start the betting pool when they commit to the project.
I am frustrated by what I describe as "defiantly ignorant". This is when someone admits they don't know anything about a proposal/subject, but then proceed to trash it anyway. I've posted links to sources about the Fair Tax. Briefly its a consumption tax based on retail spending. That's my main beef, that it does exclude progressively more transactions as one becomes wealthier. That is, it looks regressive to me. As I have aged and increased my SES, I see that a smaller and smaller fraction of my spending is retail. Much more is investing and real estate which are excluded from the "Fair Tax."
I agree. Consumption taxes punish the poor and middle class. It's simple math.
For example. More of your income goes to energy costs, as a percentage, than a rich person. He may buy 50 time more fuel for his cars & planes and boats, but the percentage he spends on that is far less than you. The guy down the street, retired or just poorer, may spend more than you do as a percentage. The same is true for food, ( often not taxed at the grocery store, but taxes hidden in the costs ) cars, etc.
A yacht tax might by pass you by if you don't buy yachts, but as discussed above, if you sell stuff to people who make yachts, a tax on yachts hurts you... proportionally more than... a richer person. It's not class envy, it's simple math.
We all pay the costs for a tax that drives the business away.
I'm not AGAINST smarter, more "fair" taxes. I am automatically suspicious of anything you try to sell me as a "Fair Thing" or as Socially Woke, or any number of buzzwords meant to fool me into thinking I'm not going to be the victim.
That said, It's entirely possible to have a great product named with uber-bogus-propaganda-memes. I just can't think of one off the top of my head.
Maybe I should market Socially Woke Fair Justice Organic Non GMO Cruelty & GLuten free tap water?
Many may want to skip this article if they are uncomfortable with discussions of sex.
Fixing pollution doesn't give the power without the responsibility that "fighting Global Warming" does. Taxing people for an invisible odorless gas is so much easier than forcing factories to stop dumping toxic waste. Especially when the factory owners bribed you to not control toxic chemical dumping.
There's no trading system for fly ash to skim money from like CO2. Actually saving lives is work. Unpopular with the donors. Running a con based on guesses about planetary temperature a century from now means no actual work need be done.
Or if you're literary minded, Crying Wolf! While the people are being devoured by wild boar pretends you care while not lifting a finger to save lives.