There is nothing worse than working hard all year, having taxes withheld from your paycheck, and then finding out you still owe Uncle Sam come April. Taxes seem to be one of the most politically charged issues, with candidates from both parties making the topic an integral part of their campaign. Whether any real movement takes place is something that remains to be seen, as the Nation gears up for the next Presidential election.
Paul Krugman, in a recent article has eloquently discussed the issue of unequally distributed income in the United States (Krugman, 2015). He alludes to a number of general economic principles in this article. He talks about how a major misconception about the effect of taxes on income inequality in the United States has been addressed through a recent research carried out by Branko Milanovic and Janet Gornick.
This idea of reducing taxes to increase investment within the economy sounds like a good idea but hasn’t lived up to its expectations historically. The idea of supply side economics wasn’t a new idea for the American tax code. During the early 1920s, income tax rates were cut multiple times which averaged to a total of most rates being cut by a little less than half. The Mellon Tax Cuts named after Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. He believed that changes in income tax rates causes individuals to change their behavior and practices. As taxes rise, tax payers attempt to reduce taxable income by either working less, retiring earlier, reducing business expansions, restructure companies or spending more money on accountants to find tax loopholes. If executed properly tax cuts can actually benefit economic growth, data from the Internal Revenue Service(IRS) showed that the across-the-board tax cuts in the early 1920s resulted in greater tax payments and larger tax share paid by those in the higher incomes. As the marginal tax rate on the highest income earners were cut from 60 percent or more to just 25 percent, the amount that this tax group payed soared from around 300 million to 700 million per year. (See Figure 2) This sudden massive increase in revenue allowed the U.S. economy to rapidly expand during the mid and late 20s. Between 1920 to 1929, real gross national product grew at an annual average rate of 4.7 percent and
In the United States, the top one percent received about 20 percent of the overall income for 2016. This creates an uneven distribution of income causing Americans to argue about whether or not the wealthy should pay more in federal income taxes. One side of the argument is that the wealthy make a huge portion of the nation’s income; therefore, they should have higher tax rates. The other side argues that wealthy Americans already pay their fair share of taxes by paying nearly 40 percent and should not be forced to pay more. These arguments both use compelling evidence to make their claims; however, a solution could be reached by increasing the tax rate of the top one percent by only 10 to 20 percent.
People do not enjoy talking about taxes because they are too political, confusing, and depressing. It is no secret that the American tax code is a mess and something many economists describe as too broken to fix. Despite this, politicians have never stopped from trying to “fix” the code, yet they have had very little success. The U.S. Government’s tax code currently comprises “more than 67,000 pages of complexities” (Boortz, Linder, & Woodall 14). The Americans for Fair Taxation (AFFT) was founded in 1995 with one goal: create the simplest and best tax reform plan that would work in the modern market and economy. The AFFT’s best solution was a bill which they promptly called the FairTax.
More than 35% of American adults are obese and as a consequence, are at increased risks for health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes ("Overweight & Obesity"). The U.S. taxpayer is supplementing much of the cost to treat obesity related health issues through public health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid ("Economic Costs"). A positive externality will occur in the form of decreased health care expenditures on Medicare and Medicaid. The U.S. government should impose an excise tax on soda and other beverages that contain sugar. Consumers who drink excess sugary beverages impose a negative internality on their health; as well as imposing a negative externality on the American
There is no doubt that wealth inequality in America has been escalating quickly; the portion of total income earned by the top one percent has doubled since the beginning of the 1970’s. The wealthy are the main beneficiaries
The American government has struggled with the issue of taxes and the budget for over a hundred years. Class conflict, adversarial political parties, and convoluted economic philosophies have resulted in a never-ending debate over taxation. The New York Times newspaper article, “Senate Panel Vote Backs Budget Plan”, from June 1993, discusses the current feelings of the time in regards to the budget and taxation. Moreover, the article mentions factors such as democrat-republican debate, trickle down economics, and high verse low taxes for the middle class. The issues discussed in this 1993 article differ only slightly from the taxation conversation of today. However, now in 2011, we face a budget crisis that threatens the American economy
The tax policy in the United States is very confusing. When the tax policy was originally written in 1913 it was four hundred pages. Now, over the past ninety one years, that tax policy has evolved to over 72,000 pages. Since the tax code has become so lengthy and nearly impossible to understand, the topic of tax reform has been in the minds of many. Although, most barely think about tax reform until tax season. It is a controversial subject due to the impact a change in tax code would have on the American people. The two most popular and widely known stakeholders in this debate are the two major political parties in the United States, the Democrats and the Republicans. The two parties share absolutely no common ground on the subject of
WASHINGTON — Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled its tax overhaul plan Thursday, which includes decreasing the number of personal income tax brackets, cutting the corporate tax rate and the eventual elimination of the estate tax.
Throughout history, taxation on United States citizens has proven to be a necessary component of a growing economy as means of generating revenue for the federal budget. The federal budget funds the many government programs implemented to keep the disabled, elderly, and unemployed from falling bellow the poverty level. Unfortunately, this fund is not always available when catastrophic evens, such as an economic recession, deplete the revenue coming in and create a budget deficit. In order to regenerate money coming in and replace the deficit, the government calls on money gained from taxes. What happens when tax money is already appropriated to other programs? A tax reform. A tax increase has many times been the
Controversy will always follow humans where ever we go. Humans have argued over many issues for centuries, often times with no conclusion or “correct” answer ever in sight. One common issue that has been debated since the early 1900s is whether or not the more wealthy individuals in a society should be taxed more heavily than their poorer counterparts. Many have argued over the pros and cons of the taxation of richer people, but when one looks at it objectively, the pros far outweigh the cons. Not only do the pros outweigh the cons, but a question one must ask oneself is whether or not prosperous people really need that extra money? Richer people should be taxed higher because it is better for the economy, social classes will
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) maintains strict governance of charitable organizations with whom receive their tax exempt status under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3). Organizations classified under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) are monitored by the IRS for transactions with disqualified individuals in which benefits provided by the organization exceed the consideration received by said organization (IRS, 2015). Additionally, transactions determined to be in will result in sanctions levied against the individuals who received financial benefit from those transactions.
Everyone gets frustrated with income taxes and everyone complains that they are paying more than enough, but who really pays more in federal income taxes? Having a progressive tax system; meaning that the more money you earn, the more you will have to pay in taxes; would lead to the rich paying for most of the taxes and not the poor. Unfortunately, many people do not realize some of the problems with the tax system itself that offsets the balance as well as the results when it comes to taxes. There are many unseen things when looking at no more than just the statistics of who pays the most in taxes. Anything from the tax rates, the difference between federal and individual income taxes as well as state taxes can create a problem when getting to the bottom of who really pays the most taxes. Government Aided benefits and even untaxed amounts take their part in income taxes because they do make a difference on someone 's income which can alter the amount they will then owe in taxes. Although there are many ups and downs when it comes to income taxes, one of the biggest issues is that the rich are not paying nearly enough.
The Federal Government relies predominately on the individual income tax, and federal income tax makes up more than 50 percent of the federal government’s revenue. Income taxes are paid by all those who earn income (Mikesell, 2011). It is essentially a bill from the federal and state governments for individual earnings through salaries and investment profits. Income tax is considered a progressive tax because the individual's financial obligation rises with the level of reportable income (Mikesell, 2011). Although income tax is the one of the most effective ways of raising revenue for the government, it is also one of the most controversial.