would you be willing to pay more?
yes
85.1% (80)
85.1% (80)
no
14.9% (14)
14.9% (14)
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Poll: Would you pay more?

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When it comes to taxes most people here are in favour of ensuring the wealthy pay a larger share and don't get to avoid taxes through loopholes.

However most people have some degree of nimbyism when it comes to a lot of things, including our money.

Lets say you have just got a massive promotion, or won the lottery, and your income has sky-rocketed, you've jumped up at least one tax bracket and are now expected to pay a much larger chunk of your income in taxes.

Do you pay it? Or do you try every trick in the book to try and get out of paying it? On the one hand it's your obligation as part of a functioning society but on the other it's your money, why should you have to give it to someone else?


For me it's an easy choice, I pretty much grew up on benefits and only really get to go to university thanks to the Scottish governments zero tuition fees policy. Without either of those things I'm fairly confident my life would not be nearly as good as it is, or will be and I would not be the same person. By paying a higher level it means the opportunities I've had will still be there for someone else who grows up in a similar situation as me.

To me that's the entire point of taxes, to make sure everything is better for everyone. Sure it'd be better for me if my taxes only got spent on things I needed but what happens when my needs change? I'm young and healthy so don't need the NHS and I don't have kids so no school system, what about when I'm older and my kids need to go to school, with underfunded healthcare and education everything I worked for is buggered if my family cant continue to develop beyond what I've achieved, If my kids are uneducated because the schools are dire then they'll struggle and my grand-kids will be right back where I started, but without the opportunities I had.

I would pay the taxes and not so much as grumble over it, no question. Taxes are the price to pay for a functioning state, and it wouldn't cross my mind to try and weasel out of them.

Yes, I would have no problem paying a large percentage of my income if my income was large. If I made a million a year I'd be fine parting with half of it, because hey, it's still half a million. Personally though while I do favour a progressive tax system, I feel that high tax rates (which to me means 50% and over) should only be used for people with annual incomes in the millions or higher. There is nothing wrong with wanted to have a lot of nice things and enjoy your wealth, have nice cars, homes, food, trips and live without want, but really, at some point there is too much money for someone to enjoy without purposely trying to use a lot of it and it devolves into being more about numbers then actual enjoyment. I think Forrest Gump said it best, "...there's only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off."

My "so much" is a nice apartment, a HELLA-FUCKING-BALLS-TO-THE-WALL gaming computer with ridiculously fast internet, and a lifetime supply of ice tea with an equal measure of insulin.

CAPTCHA: glazed donut

...and that too, thanks captcha.

Karma168:
Lets say you have just got a massive promotion, or won the lottery, and your income has sky-rocketed, you've jumped up at least one tax bracket and are now expected to pay a much larger chunk of your income in taxes.

Do you pay it? Or do you try every trick in the book to try and get out of paying it? On the one hand it's your obligation as part of a functioning society but on the other it's your money, why should you have to give it to someone else?

I would try to do everything I could to keep as much as I could, with the only limit being that I wouldn't break the law.

I'm being honest here, I know quite a few tax lawyers and they know how to get around these sorts of things. They can minimize the amount you have to pay in taxes in totally legal ways.

I could say I wouldn't mind and all that. But in all honesty, I'd use every legal trick to hold onto it. If I'm going from having fuck all, to hundreds of thousands, to millions, I wont mess around.

CM156:

Karma168:
Lets say you have just got a massive promotion, or won the lottery, and your income has sky-rocketed, you've jumped up at least one tax bracket and are now expected to pay a much larger chunk of your income in taxes.

Do you pay it? Or do you try every trick in the book to try and get out of paying it? On the one hand it's your obligation as part of a functioning society but on the other it's your money, why should you have to give it to someone else?

I would try to do everything I could to keep as much as I could, with the only limit being that I wouldn't break the law.

I'm being honest here, I know quite a few tax lawyers and they know how to get around these sorts of things. They can minimize the amount you have to pay in taxes in totally legal ways.

the tax code is probably purposely built in a way to allow these sorts of things but be so complicated that people "in the know", or with enough money to hire people in the know can take advantage of it.

I would refuse to pay more taxes at any tax bracket as its completely pointless in my eyes. The government likes to spend everything it has and then proceed to maxing out the debt. So whether all our tax rates were 100% or 0% we would end up at the same place, with maxed out debt.

So whats the point in even having taxes? With taxes we have trillions in debt we will never repay, without taxes we have trillions more in debt we will never repay. No difference I can see.

Absolutely, gladly. If I had millions I would be generous with it. I know it's easy to say that, but there is a pattern to it. Most of the billionaires that are using Cancun bank accounts and other tricks to duck taxes have had money for a long, long time, so long that they either have forgotten or never knew what it was like to not have money. It's the new money that does not think about saving or tax breaks, that hands the cash out to their friends and families, spends a week gambling badly in Vegas, then buys a yacht. Myself, I would likely splurge half of it, then put the other half in the bank to earn interest and support a minimal lifestyle from that point on.

If I suddenly became a millionaire I'd have no qualms with paying more in taxes. Granted I'd rather have some more control over where my taxes are going (I'd rather see it go to social programs than the defence budget) but I wouldn't mind paying more because having that much straight up means I now have more than I ever thought I would and if I live within my means then I will be happy.

I would have no problem paying higher taxes. If it was a small sum of money I won (1000~50,000) it wouldn't matter since that amount of money won't exactly make you rich. If it was a larger sum of money (100,000~10,000,000) I wouldn't mind either since then it would be so much money that I could afford the taxes anyway.

Yes I think it would really, REALLY suck to only have like 60,000 dollars left after I won 100,000 dollars or so. I would love to use that extra 40,000 euro's to get myself a shiny harley davidson, a top-of-the-top pc and a better car (with air conditioning!) But I don't NEED those things. And society as a whole kinda does need those 40,000 euro's in taxes, even if it isn't always spent in the right ways by our government.

Look, it's all very simple. Of course, I would. Why? Lemme break it down.

You see, the rich - and by rich, I mean the GREEDY rich, not anyone both rich AND decent - have this problem: They're all assholes who don't understand economics. They don't understand that selling too many futures for the quick buck now still undermines them because they're harming the foundations of society. That is, this harms the job, product, and service market. In no way is money-hording good for even the bloke who HAS all of it, because he's just a bigger target. When you start affecting your government, your government 'convinces' you to start opening some charities and giving back to the community.

But you still have people who want to sneak around the government because "SCREW THE RULES! I HAVE MONEY!", right? Heh heh heh heh...oh, you stupid fool. Aside from getting caught at illegal activities and possibly losing it all, the greedy-stupid rich have this problem where - as they were going to all their lengths to screw others and make money whether it was done properly or not - they seem to think that they are going to be poor if they don't mass all of these funds. It's like a compulsion. The more one such person continues to do this, the more others start to deliver more scrutiny as to HOW it happened.

And don't tell me that nobody in an official capacity is going to leave all those tender millions alone when this sort of thing goes on. Things get bad enough and you'll see some funds annexed from those at the top. So, pay your taxes, whoever you are. It's only fair. Pay them fully and if you're higher on the ladder than me...be nice.

cthulhuspawn82:
I would refuse to pay more taxes at any tax bracket as its completely pointless in my eyes. The government likes to spend everything it has and then proceed to maxing out the debt. So whether all our tax rates were 100% or 0% we would end up at the same place, with maxed out debt.

So whats the point in even having taxes? With taxes we have trillions in debt we will never repay, without taxes we have trillions more in debt we will never repay. No difference I can see.

Governments can't "Max out" debt like individuals can.

Government debt is only really a problem at all because financial markets panic. If they didn't question the reliability of that state (lets face it, the US state isn't going to collapse any time soon) the amount of debt would be inconsequential. That's the real reason the debt ceiling is a problem; not because it simply exists, but because a gridlocked congress is which is blocking even procedural legislation is not one that can be relied upon. At least not in their eyes. Until the pres just raised it by executive order anyway (iirc).

Without tax, you have no government spending at all, because then they can't even pay the interest on their debt.

Have you ever done any economics?

I wonder how many people here actually pay over 50% of their income in taxes, and even tho they are making plenty of money know that they could not ensure a safe future for their children.

I would pay the taxes I'm LEGALLY OBLIGATED to pay. That means that if there's some section in the tax law that says I don't have to pay 'x' ammount for 'y' reason; then I'll hang on to my money, thank you very much.

Yes, I acknowledge that taxes are neccessary for the smooth running of the state -- but does that predicate a blank check? Is there no expectation for the government to be good stewards of the taxes they, themselves levy?

See this is my whole problem with the 'do we tax the wealthy?' debate. Too much focus is being put on who's being taxed rather than who is doing the taxing AND what for. I can't get mad at a man who pays what he legally owes. If you think it isn't his "fair share"; well that's the laws' fault - not his (barring, of course, illegal withholdings). Strictly speaking; all he's doing is ensuring that he doesn't over-pay.

Now folks like to judge the so-called 'fat cats' because they're greedy sonsabitches who couldn't give a crap about the common man -- but I've met people like that who are dirt poor. I am sick of the question "do we tax the wealthy?" That's the WRONG question. The question SHOULD BE "How does this government get out of debt while maintaing essential services for the citizenry while still fostering private growth that does the least over-all damage to everybody?" If we answer THAT question, and approach the situation with THAT attitude; then the question of "do we tax the wealthy?" answers itself.

But it's a tough fucking question to answer isn't it? It can't be answered by resenting a bunch of people you've never met for things they may or may not have done.

Karma168:
When it comes to taxes most people here are in favour of ensuring the wealthy pay a larger share and don't get to avoid taxes through loopholes.

However most people have some degree of nimbyism when it comes to a lot of things, including our money.

Lets say you have just got a massive promotion, or won the lottery, and your income has sky-rocketed, you've jumped up at least one tax bracket and are now expected to pay a much larger chunk of your income in taxes.

Do you pay it? Or do you try every trick in the book to try and get out of paying it? On the one hand it's your obligation as part of a functioning society but on the other it's your money, why should you have to give it to someone else?


For me it's an easy choice, I pretty much grew up on benefits and only really get to go to university thanks to the Scottish governments zero tuition fees policy. Without either of those things I'm fairly confident my life would not be nearly as good as it is, or will be and I would not be the same person. By paying a higher level it means the opportunities I've had will still be there for someone else who grows up in a similar situation as me.

To me that's the entire point of taxes, to make sure everything is better for everyone. Sure it'd be better for me if my taxes only got spent on things I needed but what happens when my needs change? I'm young and healthy so don't need the NHS and I don't have kids so no school system, what about when I'm older and my kids need to go to school, with underfunded healthcare and education everything I worked for is buggered if my family cant continue to develop beyond what I've achieved, If my kids are uneducated because the schools are dire then they'll struggle and my grand-kids will be right back where I started, but without the opportunities I had.

Damn straight; I too have benefited from Scotland's strong welfare state - I've had to live on ESA for a period, I've gotten Council Tax relief, they've paid for my education, and without the NHS I'd be a complete fucking wreck. Now I'm close to completing a doctorate, and will be a far more productive person than I would have been if the state had just told me to fuck off - the state invested in me, in my future, in everyone's, and it's only proper that they get a return on that investment through taxation.

The only reason I'm even considering voting Yes to independence in 2014 is because I'm worried that our welfare and education systems cannot stand much longer in the face of The City, London, and the South East's creeping economic liberalism. Let alone get the increases in funding I believe they merit.

As an aside; I've always found it hilarious that a whistleblower exposing genuine corruption among the military, the intelligence services, or the political class can be accused and convicted of treason, yet the wealthy can have a good old college try at bankrupting the country for their own despicably selfish benefit via tax evasion and it barely merits a mention, let alone any kind of effective sanction.

This has actually happened to me. I've paid about $20,000 in taxes for the past two years in a row due to some royalties I've earned. All of my royalty money has been going towards paying off my college loans, and the amount I've paid in taxes plus the amount I've paid in interest on my loans per year (around $8000) well exceeds the amount I still owe!

Unfortunately, due to my income amount, I haven't been able to write off a single cent. Normally I'd have been able to write off that 8k on my interest, but I'm now not eligible to. It's kind of terrible to see that money go when I could be debt freehttp://chemicalalia.deviantart.com/, and it's also pretty terrible to know that there are wealthy people who somehow manage to do magical things with their money that excuses them from paying a proportional amount of taxes.

Still, I have no problem with paying taxes. Even though mine are pretty high (especially since I don't think of this as a permanent income increase) and I'd love to be putting that money towards getting out of debt, but I think it's important to pay what you can.

Danny Ocean:

cthulhuspawn82:
I would refuse to pay more taxes at any tax bracket as its completely pointless in my eyes. The government likes to spend everything it has and then proceed to maxing out the debt. So whether all our tax rates were 100% or 0% we would end up at the same place, with maxed out debt.

So whats the point in even having taxes? With taxes we have trillions in debt we will never repay, without taxes we have trillions more in debt we will never repay. No difference I can see.

Governments can't "Max out" debt like individuals can.

Government debt is only really a problem at all because financial markets panic. If they didn't question the reliability of that state (lets face it, the US state isn't going to collapse any time soon) the amount of debt would be inconsequential. That's the real reason the debt ceiling is a problem; not because it simply exists, but because a gridlocked congress is which is blocking even procedural legislation is not one that can be relied upon. At least not in their eyes. Until the pres just raised it by executive order anyway (iirc).

Without tax, you have no government spending at all, because then they can't even pay the interest on their debt.

Have you ever done any economics?

I have not taken classes on economics, but I know how debt works for an individual and I assume its similar for the government. Its spending money you don't have. You want that $2000 TV but don't have any money, so you charge it and go $2000 in debt.

It appears the government has a magical credit card that it charges billions (recently trillions) a year to, and never pays off. Why would an entity with unlimited debt, and who never pays its bills need money?

Yeah I'd gladly pay more, once i'm done with college I hope that i can get a job where I can say i'm at a higher tax bracket. I mean I've benefited a lot from federal dollars, less than someone raised in a welfare home but traveling the roads, getting a pretty decent education, and just the well adjusted society I live in. It would be good to be able to actually pay into the system instead claiming zero every year because Summer jobs only makes me about 2,000 before I have to go back to school.

cthulhuspawn82:

I have not taken classes on economics, but I know how debt works for an individual and I assume its similar for the government. Its spending money you don't have. You want that $2000 TV but don't have any money, so you charge it and go $2000 in debt.

It appears the government has a magical credit card that it charges billions (recently trillions) a year to, and never pays off. Why would an entity with unlimited debt, and who never pays its bills need money?

Government debt is not like personal debt it's closer to business debt, but not exactly like it. A company gets a loan then invests it a new facility to increase productivity well the government is mostly a service field and any increases in productivity are less to improve the quality of the government and more to increase the productivity of business and the happiness and health of the public. The only dividends that pays is hopefully increased tax revenue but often times doesn't. I mean the government pays into keeping facilities from dumping and destroying a river or keeping bad drugs off the market. The only benefit is there are less sick people, the only way that benefits the government is by having people continue to pay taxes and less people going to the doctor. Not exactly a substantial profit margin a lot of times.

And the government does have a magic credit card, it collects interest but in a decade that debt will be a lot less then what it is now... even if the debt is technically higher. As long as the debt can be kept manageable compared to the GDP. Like the debt racked up in the 80's was pretty bad but even as the debt continued to grow into the 90's it became less substantial compared to what it was because the economy expands.

Since that basically happened to me (a lot more money available to me within a short period of transition, having to pay rather high taxes and other fees) and I was and am okay with that, I think I can safely say "yes". In my eyes, this is part of the social contract, of the framework that allows for a measure of equality of opportunities (Germany is far from equal in opportunities, but better than a lot of other countries). It's important if you value the notion of people succeeding based on their merits, not based on their parents' wealth and I don't see how it can be established without enough governmental income and intervention.

EDIT: By the way, to put a bit of a different spin on this question: I consider doing your part for the social contract, your part for your fellow citizens so that they can have a chance and opportunity, to be the patriotic thing to do. Much more patriotic than waving as many flags around as you can possibly strap to your body, because the former matters. The latter is just pointless ritual.

cthulhuspawn82:

I have not taken classes on economics, but I know how debt works for an individual and I assume its similar for the government. Its spending money you don't have. You want that $2000 TV but don't have any money, so you charge it and go $2000 in debt.

It appears the government has a magical credit card that it charges billions (recently trillions) a year to, and never pays off. Why would an entity with unlimited debt, and who never pays its bills need money?

It is not the case that government debt is the same as individual debt. The government represents (a fraction of) the aggregate income of every member of its country, including those who have not yet been born. It has, given a sufficient timeframe, effectively unlimited funds.

The problem comes when that timeframe is narrowed. Such as, for example, when a creditor turns around and says "I need my money back now". This, of course, happens all the time in the form of interest payments. And occasionally happens all at once, such as is nearly-but-not-quite happening with Greece.

The state has significant bargaining power in these circumstances in ways that an individual does not. Should the state be large enough- such as the USA- it can simply turn to creditors and say "Sorry, we don't want to pay you back right now, and we won't pay you back at all unless you extend the contract". Big, rich states can effectively force creditors to alter the contract. This is not the case with smaller states, who are often less powerful than the banks/countries they are borrowing from. That's why you see so many small poor states collapse due to debt but it's not as common in big rich ones.

It's also worth remembering that some government borrowing is done long-term fixed-rate. This means the money isn't payed back (+interest) until at like 25 years after its borrowed. This is long enough for inflation to kick in (Or, indeed, the bankruptcy of the creditor) and reduce the value of the debt. If I borrow $50 from you now, which is about the price of a pair of shoes, and pay it back to you in 25 years, when it's about the price of a dinnerplate, I've made a profit. This is how you can get real negative interest rates (Real means adjusted for inflation). The government can do this too.

Government debt and private debt are similar in the sense that you don't need to be able to afford the amount of money you're borrowing, just the individual repayments. That is what the government needs (some) of its taxes for. The rest of the taxes go to time-sensitive or security related things, such as paying contractors (the government doesn't have the power to renege on payments for vital programmes like medicare/aid) or paying soldiers (you don't want their wages beholden to a bank).

It can make sense for a government to run departments and pay people etc... with borrowed money, if the projected value of that investment is higher than the cost of the repayments needed to make it on a periodical or net basis. This is, of course, very hard to calculate, which is partly why governments almost always run deficits.

One misconception many have in their heads is that debt is an inherently bad thing. Usually this was taught to them as an individual because, yes, in large amounts, private debt can ruin lives. However this is not the case when you look at the bigger picture. Debt is integral to our developed society. It allows us to embark on huge, expensive projects that require more funds than we can possibly contribute up front. The scientists at CERN didn't pitch in to a pot to buy the particle accelerator. Not only that, debt provides a kind of "Cushion" against accidents and even just time. Businesses don't always make the money they're expecting month-on-month, but they still need to pay their workers every month. Debt allows them to have bad months and still pay their staff.

When you start to really think about the ways people use debt responsibly, you can't help but see it as a good thing. :)

i pay my bills currently. put a little aside for luxuries like gaming and the rest i donate to charity. that wouldnt change if i earned more

If I won ~5 million euros, I could give like 80% away. I think I could easily manage with just one million for the rest of my life.

Of course my opinion might change if I actually won in lottery and had to give that money away (because I am a greedy selfish asshole).

Well, I'm part of the bill-generation, the generation that gets to pay all the bills for the babyboomers and their predecessors living large and not looking ahead untill well into the 90's.

I have study debts, their education was free.
I don't get mortgage subsidies anymore, they built up huge amounts of capital through subsidised real estate.
I'm not getting fat 'breeding bonus' payouts for having kids, they have.
I've always had to pay for healthcare, they had decades of 'front row seats' for premiums as low as € 51 a month for a whole family.
I've always had to pay heavily for transportation, either train tickets with little subsidy, or heavily taxed fuel, they've always had heavily subsidised transportation.
I have to contribute heavily to a fairly low pension, they always paid low premiums for fat pensions.
I'm not getting an indefinate contract, ever. Two year contract is the best you can get. They always got lifetime jobs for free.
If it goes wrong I get 70% time-limited unemployment benefits, they always got unlimited 100% benefits.
It it goes really really wrong I get 70% of the minimum monthly wage benefits with an obligation to accept whatever crappy job they come up with, they always had 120% benefits without any obligations.

So yeah, whatever is legal to avoid paying taxes, I will. As long as one generation is stubbornly refusing to pull it's fair weight, and their overrepresentation in politics ensures that little can be done about it, I don't care too much about it.

Come back when the debts are all gone and I've finally built up something for myself. Maybe then I can afford the luxury of paying more.

Karma168:
you've jumped up at least one tax bracket

So I'd be on the poverty line instead of below it? Sweet.

No I don't trust the government with my money. At this point even I am upset by government spending everywhere even in the military with the F-22 being vastly going over budget. Why would you let something that does not regulate a fixed budget very well have more of your money.

Gergar12:
No I don't trust the government with my money. At this point even I am upset by government spending everywhere even in the military with the F-22 being vastly going over budget. Why would you let something that does not regulate a fixed budget very well have more of your money.

I never get this argument, frankly. Do you agree with every decision and action made and taken by the corporations from whom you regularly buy goods and services? I'd wager you don't. I'd wager that all of us put money into organisations which do things we dislike, because they are better than any alternatives in their sector, and because while they do some things we dislike, the quality and/or necessity of their product and/or service outweighs our objections.

So why does that rationale suddenly stop being valid when we're discussing a government rather than a corporation?

Further it's already been pointed out -very eloquently and thoroughly I might add- by Danny why putting government budgets and debts into the same box as everyday household budgets and debts is absurd; forcing a nation state to adhere to an arbitrary fixed budget is nonsensical and potentially catastrophic. Would it be nice to have a government which did exactly what I, personally, wanted them to all the time? Of course, but that wouldn't be democracy any more.

You might think that your country spends a ludicrous amount of money on its military, and it's extremely likely I would agree with you since to my mind vast swathes of the military of most developed nations are completely unnecessary, but evidently the people of your nation either A; support such endeavours in large enough numbers that spending in that area is justifiable, or B; are apathetic enough about "lobbying"(bribery) by defense contractors that there isn't adequate political will to change the system. Either way, your government still provides you and everyone else who resides in your nation with vital infrastructure and services without which you'd all be living in some Mad Max-esque post-apocalyptic hellscape, or scary-ass cyberpunk corporate dystopia, and I should think that's a fairly compelling reason to keep forking over everything you can spare.

Well, considering it's the law, then yeah, I'd pay it. Well, I'd hire a tax lawyer / accountant to weasel out of as much as I can (but only in completely legal ways. Nothing remotely shady). And then I'd spread a portion of my income around to a few good charities that are sure to do a lot more for the common man than the same amount sent to my government would ever accomplish. Or heck, if I'm rich enough, I'd start a charity myself.

senordesol:
snip

Nicely put.

Though, I wouldn't say "should we tax the wealthy" shouldn't be a question; it just shouldn't be the first question. Or the second question, or the third, etc.

dyre:
Well, considering it's the law, then yeah, I'd pay it. Well, I'd hire a tax lawyer / accountant to weasel out of as much as I can (but only in completely legal ways. Nothing remotely shady). And then I'd spread a portion of my income around to a few good charities that are sure to do a lot more for the common man than the same amount sent to my government would ever accomplish. Or heck, if I'm rich enough, I'd start a charity myself.

senordesol:
snip

Nicely put.

Though, I wouldn't say "should we tax the wealthy" shouldn't be a question; it just shouldn't be the first question. Or the second question, or the third, etc.

This is an assertion I see a lot, but I'd be really grateful if you were the first who actually supports it; why are charities better than welfare or socialised healthcare, and if they are so much better, can you explain why vast swathes of the population existed in a state of crushing poverty and ill-health in the days before government welfare and healthcare when charities were fully responsible in those roles?

Well there's legitimate weaseling and illegal weaseling. Things like taking stuff off your tax for work or salary packaging if you job allows that and set up family trusts are all acceptable methods of reducing tax. But outright lying or paying the wrong amount. No way.

Magichead:

dyre:
Well, considering it's the law, then yeah, I'd pay it. Well, I'd hire a tax lawyer / accountant to weasel out of as much as I can (but only in completely legal ways. Nothing remotely shady). And then I'd spread a portion of my income around to a few good charities that are sure to do a lot more for the common man than the same amount sent to my government would ever accomplish. Or heck, if I'm rich enough, I'd start a charity myself.

senordesol:
snip

Nicely put.

Though, I wouldn't say "should we tax the wealthy" shouldn't be a question; it just shouldn't be the first question. Or the second question, or the third, etc.

This is an assertion I see a lot, but I'd be really grateful if you were the first who actually supports it; why are charities better than welfare or socialised healthcare, and if they are so much better, can you explain why vast swathes of the population existed in a state of crushing poverty and ill-health in the days before government welfare and healthcare when charities were fully responsible in those roles?

Sure, I'll give it a shot. I think you're thinking about the libertarian argument that government shouldn't exist and its role should be covered by charities, which is different from my own argument.

I'd gladly choose socialized healthcare or an efficient welfare system over charity (which can be subject to decreased accountability, doesn't benefit from economies of scale, etc). But socialized healthcare and a decent welfare system don't really exist in the US, and they won't exist in the near future either. I could keep throwing money at the government and hope Congress decides to fix it, or I could donate to charities that support short term (food) or long term (investment in business startups) solutions. Charities won't save the world, but they'll make a big difference to the people they manage to help. Or would you suggest everyone stop donating to charities and send their money to their respective governments instead? I can guarantee that would be a catastrophe.

How much of the money is siphoned off due to corruption or incompetent management is hard to say, but I'd be willing to bet the best charities are more efficient than the US government. Plus, since charities usually have a limited set of goals, I'll know none of my money will be going to new F-22s or w/e.

PS: Even if the government had an excellent healthcare and welfare system, I'd still donate most of my money to charity. Firstly, because I would hope well-managed social welfare systems won't desperately need my money to meet their costs. And secondly, I'd rather donate to a cause that needs immediate assistance, like disaster relief, or one that I care personally about, like heart disease research.

Ideal situation: goverment work as intended.
i would definatelly pay more. It is my duty to help the state make my country better that it is. avoiding taxes is one of the worst things a civilized human can do.
Realitstic sitaution: goverment is controled by 3rd party.
Become the 3rd party.

Also, whats with all the charity proposals. i know that in some countries you get less taxes if you donate to charity. why? charity should come out of free will to do good. thats it. it should not affect anything else, especially not taxation. and then they wonder why the system doesnt work, because it has stupid excemptions.

Verbatim:
I wonder how many people here actually pay over 50% of their income in taxes, and even tho they are making plenty of money know that they could not ensure a safe future for their children.

Going off UK tax codes (because they're what I know) you only get taxed at 50% on anything over 150k. To end up paying 50% of your income, you'd have to be earning enough that the first 150k is a fraction of what you make. Hell even at 2 million your still under 50% (though only just) If you can't look after your family and ensure they have savings if you're making 2 million a year then you really need to hire an accountant as you obviously can't be trusted with money.

I would invest my money abroad if I could, assuming I was wealthy enough to warrant it. Why the f**k should the government take so much, every way they can. I get paid, they take income tax. I buy something with my TAXED income, I pay 20% sales tax. If I buy a house, I pay 3% tax. If I GIVE it away, the recipient has to pay inheritance tax. Bollocks to that. My money will go into a high interest account outside my country and the government can't touch it.

I have no issue with tax or national insurance. I'm happy to pay it. But there's a fair share, and there's borderline, if n ot outright theft. If it gets to that point, I would look elsewhere for sound investments for my money.

Who says I even want those things? Who says I would no be content with a fairly low paying job, working with people I like and volunteering some of my free time to working with the Red Cross?

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