Radical Personal Finance 486 - Ignore the Republicans...What Do You Think Is the Right Approach To Income Taxation and Why?

I feel like I owe it to you to keep you semi-current on the state of tax policy in the USA. But, it’s too early to have any serious details about the current Republican proposals.

I thought instead we could have a useful philosophical discussion about taxation. My challenge to you today is to answer these questions, for yourself.

  • Do you believe that a civil government has the moral right to tax an individual’s income? Why or why not?
    • Do you believe that the US civil government has the constitutional right to tax an individual’s income?
  • If you believe that a civil government does have this right, how much of a person’s income can they claim? What’s the right number and how would you know?
  • Do you believe that everyone should be required to pay income taxes?
  • Do you believe that some people should be treated differently than others and so be ordered to pay a different rate of income tax than others? Why or why not?
    • If so, how would we determine who should be treated differently and how much of a difference there should be?
  • Do you believe that government tax policy should be used to incentivize certain behaviors or to dis-incentivize other behaviors?
    • If so, how would we know what behaviors should be incentivized and which ones shouldn’t?
  • Do you believe that tax policy should be used to give some people special benefits because of certain behaviors?

Joshua

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