Why poor people should pay taxes (not lots of taxes, but some)

One of life’s truisms is that, on the whole, renters don’t take care of property as well as owners do.   Why should they?  They have no investment in the structure.  If they don’t mind the aesthetics of a scuffed baseboard, stained carpet or dirty walls, it doesn’t matter.  When they leave the property, they leave scuffs, stains and dirt behind.

An owner, on the other hand, has a monetary incentive to keep things nice. Even if the owner doesn’t mind living surrounded by wear-and-tear, when he or she wants to sell, those signs of cosmetic or structural decay will affect the price the owner ultimately receives for the property.  One of the things I learned during many years of house hunting (we were picky) is that the new carpet that the owner installed for $10,000 results in a sale price that’s $20,000 higher than it would have been with the old carpet.

I was thinking about that today when I read somewhere that approximately 50% of Americans don’t pay federal taxes.  This means that approximately 50% of Americans are renters in this country.  They have no ownership interest.  If the thing falls apart, so what?  Their money isn’t involved.

This post is not a plea for higher taxes.  I will be furious at the Republicans if they agree to Obama’s demand that they raise taxes.  It’s insane to take money from the functional private sector and put it into the dysfunctional, bloated, corrupt, slow-reacting, bureaucratic, labor-controlled federal government.  I’m just saying that those 50% who don’t pay any taxes now should pay taxes, even if it’s only a nominal amount.  They need an ownership stake in this country, and making them dependents of the federal government is not the way to do that.

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  1. Gringo says

    Seriously. You are reduced to arguing about grammar.

    My point was that your  #42  was a meaningless statement. While it may have been grammatically correct, it was meaningless because its use of “percentile” made no sense, given how “percentile” is used and defined. Your  “argument ” sentence  in #48 was also a meaningless statement. Are we seeing a pattern here?  If you do not write in precise, meaningful English, you will not be able to get your point across. I assume you want to get your point across. Or perhaps, as the saying goes, your real goal is to “baffle them with bullshit.”
    Z-Team:If that is your confusion, then perhaps now you can addressed the point raised.
    I am unable to address any points raised until you write in coherent comprehensible statements which use words in their accepted manner- in contrast to the way in which you used “percentile.”While I am usually able to translate ungrammatical statements unto comprehensible English, I am totally unable to do so with a statement which misuses the word “percentile.”
    My confusion relates to my being  unable to understand incoherent meaningless statements. Incoherent writing is a symptom of incoherent thinking.
    Z-Team @ #42: The poor pay taxes. In 2007, the federal tax burden by percentile was 4.0%, 10.6%, 14.3%, 17.4%, 25.1%.

    I have no idea what in blazes you are talking about.   Like the Modern Major General, I am very well acquainted with matters mathematical. Your statement  makes no sense mathematically.  As I have already pointed out, percentile needs to be tied to a specific number. You may as well have written “Jello Biafra 10.6%  sweet chair drink.” It makes just as much sense.
    Can you write a simple declarative sentence using  only “10.6%,” to better illustrate your point,  for example? Is it that difficult?
    I would also point out that your data string- 4.0% et al- is undocumented.

  2. says

    Gringo: I have no idea what in blazes you are talking about.
    Gee whiz, Gringo, you just said you understood it to be quintile, yet you just made another very long comment about it. 
    ZachrielThe poor pay taxes. In 2007, the federal tax burden by {quintile, from the lowest to the highest of comprehensive household income levels} was 4.0%, 10.6%, 14.3%, 17.4%, 25.1%.
    Gringo: I would also point out that your data string- 4.0% et al- is undocumented.
    It’s from the Tax Policy Center of the Brookings Institute.


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