Taxes: Justifiable or Too Much?

Discussion in 'World News, Current Events & Politics' started by IncredulousP, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. IncredulousP
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    IncredulousP GBAtemp Fan

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    All right, let's have a CIVIL discussion about taxes. Opinions welcome, but please no name-calling, passing opinions as facts, or general assholery. Ad-hominems are to be kept to a minimum, ideally they shouldn't even be posted. Claims should be backed by reputable sources.

    Now Then.

    What are taxes?
    "a sum of money demanded by a government for its support or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc." - Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/tax

    Taxes are fees assigned to citizens/residents, collected by their governing bodies so they can be spent providing services, often for the benefit of the nation as a whole. While taxes are generally considered a standard practice in societies around the world, some believe that taxation is not justifiable. Others favor the idea of taxes, but among themselves disagree on how much taxation is fair. Furthermore, it is widely debated how an individual's taxes should scale with their accumulated wealth and/or income.

    Are taxes justifiable? If so, how much taxation is reasonable and how should it scale (if it should) among members of a society?
     
  2. morvoran

    morvoran Trump supporter

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    Taxes are just a scheme created by the governments to steal money from it's people and force them to subsidize the needs/wants of others (when the money isn't being stuffed into the politicians own pockets). In the USA, our founding fathers fought against the tyranny of the British crown to stop from being unnecessarily taxed for stuff the people at the time received no benefits from.

    Think of taxes as extortion (or "protection money") from the mafias/criminal empires. If you doubt this, just try to stop paying taxes and see what happens to you.

    I can understand that we need roads, hospitals, schools, police, firefighters, etc.... but why do I need to pay into a system that takes my money and gives it to other forms of "public services" that are of no benefit to me??? Explain this to me. Why can't I donate voluntarily or pay a toll for the things that I use? Why is my money being stolen from me? Why???
     
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  3. DSAndi

    DSAndi GBAtemp Regular

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    Well in Germany we have very high tax and usually only low to medium income ppl pay them. Big income/ companys avoid them and politicans help em while doin nothing against it.
    Taxes get thrown out of the window for nonsense while infrastructure is goin worse and more worse. Gov spend taxes on NGOs and refugees even 23 or even more Bil a year only for refugess.
    retired ppl that work for 50 years in job and retire have to live in poorness while big refugees familys get free house and 8-20k a month income free. They even spend up to 8k a month for youngstars without parents while retired ppl get only 500€ a month.

    Usually you have 50% or more ducted for tax and social insurence from income every month, after that additional 19% tax on everything you buy. Some stuff is less tax some more so you pay tax on tax.

    I can understand to pay tax for needed things but well 70% tax on the money i earn is way to much.

    Corrupt gov here so this wont change and most ppl just dont realise.
     
    Last edited by DSAndi, Aug 19, 2019
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  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    You missed the "what should taxes be used on question?" (some would limit it to border security and not much else, others everything from welfare programs and healthcare right on through roads and whatever else).

    Anyway I am quite OK with taxes. Tend not to minimise those I do pay by legal or illegal means, other than just by earning less. Most big countries/areas can pool resources, negotiate well and do things that no sane profit motivated types would do, could be trusted to do (private police is a fun one to consider, whether we do the full blown private security for the anarcho capitalist set or more generally) or seemingly what history shows happens when charities have to step in to fill the gaps. Don't mind scaling with income. How much is too much varies with what is provided, what remains from it to achieve other goals (if the taxes are the main thing stopping someone in a fairly normal job from being able to afford a normal house in an otherwise normal area one probably ought to reconsider it). How far we drill down into specifics here will vary but I will say I very much dislike the US' thing of basically charging everybody almost to live as it were -- UK wise if you earn under the limit (presently £11,850, about 14K USD at current rates but they are not great so probably want to pick a better conversion metric) then 0% income tax, and the only taxes you might pay are what are put on vehicles, fuel, items being sold and the like (many "essentials" not having it), you can probably also dodge some amount of national insurance as well (broadly similar to US social security).


    You would include hospitals on this list? Now I only skimmed the other thread in later pages but it seemed healthcare was a point for you.

    Anyway same reason you pay for schools even if you have no kids -- the are generally supposed to make things better for society as a whole (I quite like it when a worker on the tills can do basic maths and think through an issue). Or why you might pay for health insurance even if you never use it (it is expensive, especially when you get old so generally best to frontload it). If you can relieve suffering then some would ask why wouldn't you, or possibly consider it a moral imperative to attempt it.
     
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  5. IncredulousP
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    IncredulousP GBAtemp Fan

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    Oof that sounds awful, certainly unsustainable. Hopefully you'll get to see some reforms and your living condition will improve. Best of luck to ya.
     
  6. sarkwalvein

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    Hmmm... 70%? That is a bit of an exaggeration.
    But sure taxes are high here...

    Oh well, actually if I add the MwSt to the income taxes, it probably gets to around 70%...
    Hmm, nah. Even if I include health insurance / Krankenkasse as a tax (but it is a service), and then add the MwSt afterwards it goes up to around 49%... where does the 70% come from?

    PS: And that 49% also is including pension money already. So money that ~should~ come back after all (in some way I hope perhaps who knows I will die young anyway /s).

    Well, perhaps Niedersachsen is a holy land of low taxes (I don't think so).
     
    Last edited by sarkwalvein, Aug 19, 2019
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  10. sarkwalvein

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    To be honest, and in my humble opinion.
    The amount of service, infrastructure, education and quality of life that the government provides you in Germany make me pay happy those taxes and I see them as a great investment, but of course I guess it is a matter of opinion and perspective.
     
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  11. IncredulousP
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    IncredulousP GBAtemp Fan

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    I could agree that with a solid infrastructure and reasonable quality of living, taxes are justifiable. From there the logical progression of taxation debate would likely be fine-tuning how much each tier of wealth is taxed.
     
  12. morvoran

    morvoran Trump supporter

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    It's a shame that people in the USA actually want themselves and others to be taxed this high and pay for the welfare of people from other countries that sneak into our borders by voting for people just like those who pretty much destroyed Germany's economy.
    you say this and then quote the part where I said what is necessary for us to be taxed for. Maybe you didn't comprehend what I said. I said we need those services, but not a lot of other public services like welfare, planned parenthood, etc.

    Schools are quickly becoming unnecessary since the way things are going, they are not helping society. I don't need you to know geometry to be able to wash my car or mow my grass. <snip> The education system has already failed us. Just look at any YouTube comment. Most of those people couldn't spell to save their lives. If you correct someone's grammar, you're the bad person.
     
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  13. IncredulousP
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    More specifically, the British colonies were being assigned taxes without any say of their own. "No taxation without representation."

    I understand the frustration. Indeed, for most people, there is going to be some amount of cents being charged in taxes for a service that may never affect their lives, so it is understandable to see this as unfair. However, there is an aspect of "if one of us has fallen, we all fall." To elaborate, many of the services go toward people that may not directly affect others, but their prosperity would, down the line, greatly and positively affect all of the nation. E.g. Say you pay for a program that buys meals for the poor on the other side of the country. It doesn't seem to benefit you at first. But then suddenly a great war breaks out and you need all the healthy soldiers you can get. Now it makes sense to have kept them healthy, we're all allies in this great nation. This is but an abstract example to help demonstrate another view.

    As for taxes going into the pockets of politicians, I absolutely agree that this is disgusting and that politics should not be practiced by those seeking to profit from it. Taxes are for the collective well-being, in my opinion, and should not be for profit.

    I disagree, school itself isn't becoming unnecessary. In fact, and I think you would agree with me here, it's what is being taught and how it's being taught that is becoming outdated.

    People still need to be able to read, to understand how to seek out logic and information among a sea of bias and misinformation. How to form constructive arguments, how to interact with others optimally to get your point across without inciting violence. How taxes work, how income works, how APRs work, how advertisements are stretching the truth, what a service would really give you after the fine print, etc.

    Personally, I also believe that everyone should learn higher levels of math, including trigonometry and above, because the world around us is nothing but mathematical construct. I understand that math isn't everybody's thing, though, but personally the more math I learned, the more that everything in life just made sense. From the more applicable like which car I should buy to minimize long-term costs (how the shape of the car matters, how the APRs inflate the price, how much MPG is optimal for the roads I'm going to drive on), Even knowing physical properties of matter and how they interact, like friction, helps out a lot. It helps to improve on-the-cuff driving decisions (how much should I slow down for the slippery road ahead, how much is reasonable to turn with a car of certain weight and height), or even simple things like how much lacquer to put on a table to achieve most shine without degrading color. Math can even help to see abstract patterns found in culture, family, and society, as well as patterns in human interaction.

    Sure, most humans will never have to literally sit down, draw a triangle, and calculate the degrees yadda yadda. But having learned geometry, one would know things like "I shouldn't cross the street diagonally with cars coming because diagonals are longer than a straight line across, so I would be in the road longer" or "I shouldn't buy the soda shaped like a pyramid because a rectangular bottle of the same height/length/width has 3x more liquid." Things pop up in everyday life that one may not have expected to see before learning, and the more about those things that we understand, the more power we have in managing and controlling them.

    Now, as for jobs like washing cars or mowing grass, these are the jobs that can be automated by technology. This means that there are going to be less and less of them, so it makes sense that people who would have normally worked them would need to learn how to do something more skilled, something that can't be automated so easily. Like repairing or managing those automated systems. In the technological age, education is becoming increasingly needed and frankly needs complete overhauling to keep up with increasing societal demands and decreasing blue-collar jobs.

    Plus, we need more education for more scientists so we can continue scientific research, for instance to understand why some people feel like they don't identity with the body they live in, and how to treat them in the best manner possible so everybody is happy ^_^
     
    Last edited by IncredulousP, Aug 19, 2019
  14. morvoran

    morvoran Trump supporter

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    Which is why we need term limits for Congress. Unfortunately, Congress is who will have to pass that change, but this is like you voting on whether your boss should fire you or not.

    This goes into the whole "welfare state" issue. Poor people are substantially mostly mentally ill people who are unable to take care of themselves which is why they are living on the streets in the first place. They do not have the mental capacity to be made combat ready. Sure, some are mentally stable, but few and far between. If they were able to be made combat ready, then we can prepare them when the time comes. In the meantime, they should be fed, housed, and clothed by use of charitable funds. Plenty of people are willing to donate to help others. I donate myself, but I don't want to be robbed to take care of them.

    Unfortunately, this means getting the left wing propagandists out of our schools, colleges, and uni's. Then who is going to teach our future generations? Robots? If that happens, then we'll just have more mentally ill people living on the streets since they can't teach anymore.

    That will never happen since future scientists are now being taught that biology doesn't matter, a man is the same as a woman regardless of genitals and other obvious distinctions, there are 60+ genders, and that working hard to achieve a college degree won't matter since they should be paid the same as a fast food worker due to socialism.
     
  15. Xzi

    Xzi All your base are belong to the proletariat

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    Taxation is of course a balancing act. An act which I think Scandinavian countries are a lot more efficient and proficient at than the US has ever been, as evidenced by their high global rankings in education, healthcare, overall happiness, basically every measurable metric. The US is one of the wealthiest nations on Earth, but you certainly wouldn't guess that when walking down the streets of most big cities or small towns. It's because we don't do nearly enough to reinvest in the working class, the people who are actually driving economic growth and prosperity. The US chooses instead to give away most of its tax dollars to billionaires and corporations who horde that money in offshore tax havens and thus contribute to a never-ending cycle of economic recessions/depressions. We also let the military run rampant with our tax dollars with little to no accountability for where they end up spending that money, while the rate of homelessness for our veterans continues to skyrocket.
     
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  16. Captain_N

    Captain_N GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Just imagine the tax rate if all the "free stuff" that one political side wants to implement. Id be willing to bet 60%. and that's not gonna be on the .1%. that's on the working class. Every country that has many socialized systems have very high tax rates. The one country that id say is an exception might be dubai. The shittiest car their is probably a high end bmw. oil money pays for their systems.

    i dont think a tax rate of 60% or 50% in the usa is fair at all. The more money the government takes the more it wastes. if you made 100k in 1 year you would have to give half of it to the gov. how the hell is that fair? Take your current income and see how much you would keep. It aint right that the wealthy have to pay for everything. whats the point of a high paying job if your giving 60% to the government?

    Get rid of the tax deductions and then theres is no loop holes. everyone will have to pay some kind of tax if they have some kind of income. no marriage deductions no donation no child deductions. nothing.
     
    Last edited by Captain_N, Aug 19, 2019
  17. morvoran

    morvoran Trump supporter

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    The reason they are doing so much better is because they have 8 million people and we have 400 million people. Of course, if you have less people, it's more likely you'll appear to do better.

    Because of democrat policies have destroyed the american families by driving the father out of the home, invest more money in welfare than infrastructure and education, and worrying about illegal aliens rather than the people that live in their districts.

    The US or consumers choose to give away most of our money to corporations. If democrats weren't trying to steal money from companies, maybe they'd invest more in the country and communities.

    While partially true as we pay for weapons, aircrafts, and tanks just to let them rust in a field, we do need to spend money to protect ourselves and other countries around the world.

    I'm not trying to personally attack you when I quote you, but I would prefer you to not try to influence people with untruths.
     
  18. Ericthegreat

    Ericthegreat Not New Member

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    Perfectly justified IF all the money wasn't stolen. The problem is corruption, not taxes
     
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  19. IncredulousP
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    IncredulousP GBAtemp Fan

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    Where are you getting 60% and 50% from? For 2019, Federal tax rate for individuals making $84,200 - $160,725 is $14,382.50 plus 24% of the money over $84,200. The rate in this bracket is 24%, but remember that this is a progressive scale. If you made exactly $84,200, then you are paying 14382.50/84200 * 100% = 17.08%.
    For $100,000, you pay $18174.5, or 18.1745%
    The top tax bracket rate is 37%, so the richest people at the top are paying less than 37% income. That's pretty low.
    https://taxfoundation.org/2019-tax-brackets

    By the way, toward the end of WWII and decades after, or what's known as "the golden age of capitalism" in the US, America was booming with economic success. What was the federal tax rate for the top bracket? 94%. The tax rate for the top bracket didn't even dip below 70 until 1981, around the end of the golden age of capitalism.
    https://bradfordtaxinstitute.com/Free_Resources/Federal-Income-Tax-Rates.aspx
     
    Last edited by IncredulousP, Aug 19, 2019
  20. Xzi

    Xzi All your base are belong to the proletariat

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    We have an exponentially higher population, but conversely, we also have an exponentially higher GDP and collect an exponentially higher total amount of taxes, even at a lower tax rate. Basically, there should be no issue scaling up effective education, healthcare, and government assistance programs, because everything else about America is already at a larger scale in line with population.

    If corporations paid living wages, people with full-time jobs wouldn't have to rely on welfare programs to care for their families. Republicans are the ones keeping the minimum wage stagnant, which is the biggest contributor to this problem.

    We do not get to choose where our taxes go, nor which billionaires and corporations they subsidize. I have no issue with standard consumerism, what I do find problematic is the upper class taking away buying power from the middle and lower class. Neoliberals deserve their share of the blame for this practice, but unlike the Republican party, Democrats are certainly not monolithic in their support of it.

    The private sector's only motive is the profit motive. Corporations cannot be expected to effectively fulfill the role of government. Oligarchy always results in authoritarianism and a total loss of freedom.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Aug 19, 2019
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  21. morvoran

    morvoran Trump supporter

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    xzi, I know you're not making this personal as well, but your way of thinking is giving me a literal aneurysm. Anymore of your propaganda, and I'll have to go have a hole drilled in my head to reduce the swelling you're causing.

    This also means that we have more "public services" expenses such as police, firefighters, hospitals (including emergency rooms), etc that cost money. You must include welfare for our citizens and non-citizens. We are the world's police force that use our tax dollars to defend and rebuild other countries. Scandinavian countries do not have a lot of these expenses, so they can afford to take care of their people better.

    When I worked in customer service for a large corporation, a customer complained about a mistake to his order we made and said that he never had these issues with smaller companies. He asked why would such as big company make mistakes like this. I explained to him that because we were such as large company handling much bigger quantity of orders, we were likely to make mistakes here and there, but at a much smaller percentage then the smaller companies. He still didn't get it, but whatever. Must have been a democrat.

    I don't have employees myself, but think about if I did. I pay my employees the minimum wage now at $7.25 or whatever it is now. I barely struggle to make it as it is. The minimum wage is increased to $15. Now my personnel expenses double, and I am unable to pay my employess unless I increase the price of my goods. Customers don't want to pay new prices, so I lose sells. Now I am forced to close my small business.

    Large corporations are able to absorb the cost by increasing their prices and cutting staff. Now I'm out of a job, my employees are out of a job, the corps employees are out of a job. No more small businesses to take away customers from these corps so they get bigger and bigger. Then we are in a worse situation than before. That's why Republicans are stagnant to raise the minimum wage.

    This billionaires and corps are as big as they are because of consumerism, not taxes. If you think a company is too big, then stop using their products/services and convince others to do the same. Not by raising taxes and the minimum wage to destroy small business.

    I mean, like, what ISP are you using? What brand of shoes do you wear? Where do you shop for your clothes and food? Are these the big bad corporations that you are complaining about? Why are you supporting them then? Because there are no other options? Hmm, maybe forcing smaller companies out of business isn't the best plan then, huh?
     
  22. Xzi

    Xzi All your base are belong to the proletariat

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    Ditto.

    I don't know who told you that other countries don't have firefighters, police, and hospitals, but they were full of shit. Additionally, the most recent numbers show that illegal immigrants contributed $11 billion in taxes during 2016. Not that it would be a good excuse for failing to care for our citizenry anyway.

    Seems anecdotal and irrelevant to a discussion on taxation.

    There are several factors you aren't accounting for here. Your customers on average would have a lot more disposable income and be willing to part with more of it, especially since the cost of goods wouldn't rise the same amount as the cost of labor. Turnover rate among employees would be reduced if they feel like they're being paid a decent wage, thus reducing how much you spend on training.

    Seattle's increase to a $15 minimum wage has shown mostly positive results. The only reason it's controversial at all is because minimum wage should've been increased bit by bit over the years, rather than remaining at an unsustainable low for so long and then suddenly being hiked up. If minimum wage had kept pace with inflation and productivity over the years, it would be closer to $20/hour now. Large corporations already rely on skeleton crews to maximize profits, and they're trending more and more toward automation.

    It's a mix of both, and certain industries have benefited from tax subsidies more than others. Marginal tax rates are a thing, so small businesses aren't affected by tax increases on large corporations.

    I never said it was. Why would you be in support of handing corporations more free money which they can then use to forcibly buy out smaller businesses with? Short-term greed blinds people to the reality that reinvesting tax dollars in the working class would mean more spending all around, thus more profits for everyone, small businesses and corporations both included.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Aug 19, 2019
  23. erikas

    erikas GBAtemp Regular

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    Taxes should be tied to voting. If you pay taxes you vote. If you don't pay taxes you don't vote. If you pay taxes, but also get wellfare, and the wellfare you get is more than the taxes you pay, you don't vote. This way you don't get useless slobs *ahem*singlemothers*ahem* leeching off the system and having others pay for them.
     
  24. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    I can only talk about Belgium on this one. It's too much, but probably not in the way most would think. Lemme explain...

    As one of the most taxed countries in the world, it would seem like a rational choice. However, I really don't mind taxes provided they're spent well. And I don't define "well" as "being in my own personal interest" but rather as "important for the well-being of the society in general". For example: I'm somewhere between agnostic and atheist, but I really don't mind that tax money is spent on maintaining the many churches in our country, as it gives others comfort, attributes to general ethics and so on.

    My problem is probably (hopefully) unique in Belgium. You see, Belgium's split in a Flemish and a Wallonian part (with Brussels almost literally in the center). And in part because we (literally) speak different languages, we drift apart. When I was young, this was reflected in petty things that were regarded as "wafelijzer politiek". That term doesn't have a real translation - waffle iron politics? - but it comes down to "whenever one side gets funds for a project, the other side gets a project of equal value", that lead to some bizarre constructions on either side because there was an important project in another region.

    ...but then some geniusses decided to take things a step further and introduce multiple governments. So we have a federal government, a Dutch one and a Wallonian one. In theory, the tasks of government are split up (so we just have three small parts of governments instead of one large one), but in practice you can't have a government that works in solitude. And this results in lots of double bureaucracy, a government that acts too slow not because of cliché "lazy workers" but because sometimes politicians simply can't agree on who's responsible for certain situations.

    The result: compared to e.g. the Netherlands, we pay (a bit) more taxes than them but get less of it in return. And the major factor is that ridiculous way the government is organised.
     
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  25. morvoran

    morvoran Trump supporter

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    <snip>

    I was talking about the expenses from taking care of a higher number of people that don't/can't work, the tremendously high number of illegal aliens (we have more illegal aliens than the entire population of Sweden), and providing military/humanitarian support to multiple countries around the world with free money.

    Ok, I'll give you that. My story wasn't clear and to the point I was wanting to make. I blame it on the blood clot in my brain you caused :wtf: and a lack of sleep. I was trying to imply that the larger a country is, the more problems (or mistakes it has) it has such as welfare recipients, illegal aliens, and other issues. I must have forgotten my point while typing it.

    You should pick a less biased source than CNN or their affiliates. They will cherry pick only the stuff that fits their narrative. Several studies have found good and bad things with the increase. Some low wage workers lost jobs, some actually made less money after the raise, and some companies started hiring skilled workers over no/low skilled workers forcing people out of the workforce.

    Taxes on corporations means higher cost down the line. If I buy a product from a corp that starts to pay 50+% on its earnings, then my prices will go up and my profits go down. My tax bracket may not increase, but my losses will.

    Plus, increasing tax rates substantially on certain tax brackets will slow down innovation on smaller companies trying to succeed. If my company makes 9 million dollars a year at a 24% tax rate, then if I make $10million/year and start to pay 50% tax rate, this stifles my company's growth if I start to bring in less money by making more money. Then I won't be able to compete with the bigger corporations that can scheme their way around the tax codes without paying taxes at all. Weren't you the one to say that big corps don't pay taxes anyways?

    I don't know where you get that corporations get "free money". Pharmaceutical companies get grants to develop new drugs, I guess, but it's not just handing them money for nothing. This has more to do with incompetent politicians and policies than taxes.
     
    Last edited by WeedZ, Aug 19, 2019 - Reason: Not an image board
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