What is the right rate for federal taxes?

Chief

Former Staff
Nov 2009
30,074
15,883
SoCal
#1
Since I keep on seeing tax cuts from the GOP, I am curious why the Republicans don't just set the tax at the right level. So, that's my question for everyone... what do you think that right level is? I'm only asking about federal, because our states have different systems, so I think that would make it complicated to answer.... And to be fair, I don't really know what I would place it at yet, so I'll do some reading to answer myself too. Very interested in your replies. I would like to think that there is a plan, and that plan is not so arbitrary as to cut taxes right before elections, simply to look good.

So what do you think... What is the right rate for federal taxes?
 
Likes: pragmatic
Jun 2014
42,115
40,769
United States
#3
Since I keep on seeing tax cuts from the GOP, I am curious why the Republicans don't just set the tax at the right level. So, that's my question for everyone... what do you think that right level is? I'm only asking about federal, because our states have different systems, so I think that would make it complicated to answer.... And to be fair, I don't really know what I would place it at yet, so I'll do some reading to answer myself too. Very interested in your replies. I would like to think that there is a plan, and that plan is not so arbitrary as to cut taxes right before elections, simply to look good.

So what do you think... What is the right rate for federal taxes?

Zero.

I mean... Why not?
 
Likes: Chief

Chief

Former Staff
Nov 2009
30,074
15,883
SoCal
#4
Even though I don't know yet what to set it to... just a few thoughts I would share. I feel like a flat rate would be better... and that flat rate would apply to 100% of the income. I am for taxing everyone, from the poorest to the richest. I think that gives everyone a horse in the race. I am not against taking both income and consumption into account, and using consumption tax to reduce income tax. Whatever the right level is, should be sufficient to have a balanced budget. I am sure, eliminating our debt will take a long time... but I am against whatever combination of taxes and spending that results in debt increases, and am not satisfied by plans that only "slow" the increase.
 

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
66,636
41,907
valid location
#5
The question only makes sense if you also ask what services you want the Federal government to provide. We ask it to do rather a lot, but we don't want to pay for it.

Seriously, you wouldn't want someone to price a product without telling you first what it was.
 
Apr 2018
5,260
1,085
oregon
#6
Since I keep on seeing tax cuts from the GOP, I am curious why the Republicans don't just set the tax at the right level. So, that's my question for everyone... what do you think that right level is? I'm only asking about federal, because our states have different systems, so I think that would make it complicated to answer.... And to be fair, I don't really know what I would place it at yet, so I'll do some reading to answer myself too. Very interested in your replies. I would like to think that there is a plan, and that plan is not so arbitrary as to cut taxes right before elections, simply to look good.

So what do you think... What is the right rate for federal taxes?
I think a 5% consumption tax that exempted food and healthcare costs would be ideal.
 
Apr 2018
5,260
1,085
oregon
#8
The question only makes sense if you also ask what services you want the Federal government to provide. We ask it to do rather a lot, but we don't want to pay for it.

Seriously, you wouldn't want someone to price a product without telling you first what it was.
Since the government works for us, we should dictate what its budget will be. We should also demand that it spends within the means we determine.
 
Likes: Wonderer
Jan 2016
39,596
35,388
Colorado
#9
Some taxation is necessary.
Theoretically, we could borrow ALL the money we needed to run our federal government, in which case there would, indeed, be no need for taxes at all. As it is, we borrow quite a bit of the money we need to run our government today.
 
Jan 2016
39,596
35,388
Colorado
#10
If everyone paid federal taxes as they should, I've heard the numbers of 17-20%
I find this to be a surprisingly agreeable answer. I would say 18% to 21% of GDP. Since World War II, whenever federal revenues have dipped into the 17% of GDP range (or lower), we have ended up running large federal budget deficits. So 17% of GDP does not seem to be quite enough to fund all of the government duties, at least those that American taxpayers have shown that we want the government to conduct. When we are at 20% or 21% of GDP in federal tax revenues, we are usually either near a balanced budget or actually in a surplus, which would leave us in a position to pay down the national debt. Which I happen to think would be a very wise thing to do.
 
Likes: HCProf