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What motivates you to vocally oppose tax rises for those far richer that you'll ever be?


feargach

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
4,995
I'm very curious when I see this stuff being posted on here.

One thing you can say equally for those who ARE rich, and those who want tax rises on the rich: they're both pursuing their own objective self-interest. The former want to minimise their donations to others, the latter are dependent on taxes to heal them when they get sick. We are in a long growthless period, so without taxes on the rich rising, healthcare for the masses must get shoddier and less well-resourced. It is obviously in their personal self-interest to agitate for more resources for hospitals from the only people in a position to provide them.

So two opposed groups, each following their objective self-interest.

But what about the third group? People who are economically in the latter group, but espouse the tax policies of the former. Anyone with an income below €55K, who have lottery-style odds of ever being in the top 5%. Social mobility is collapsing, so any thought that they will someday find themselves in the top bracket is increasingly ludicrous.

So why do so many of them campaign to stop taxes that will never, ever affect them?

Pure altruism? It's not that it's not in their interest, but that it's morally wrong. Are these people simply saints, people with contempt for their own benefit, but entirely committed to the well-being of the Other? Are these the kind of people who cannot pass a beggar without emptying their wallets?
 

feargach

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Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
4,995
double post
 

Howya

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Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,690
One possible reason is that for the large group of tax payers in the middle, is that they are pretty sure that imposig high tax rates on the very rich is just the thin edge of the wedge. Initially, such a move would raise tax revenues but then the government would more than likely widen the tax net to include lower incomes. In other words, many people realise that the government needs to reform not just raise taxes.
 

Niall996

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
12,142
I think people have a natural sense of fairness. Too much tax is too much tax no matter how much you earn. Taking more than half of the earnings of anyone is extreme in my view.
 
R

Ramps

Social mobility is collapsing, so any thought that they will someday find themselves in the top bracket is increasingly ludicrous.
It's not; it's never been a better time for people to become wealthy....except for the increasing amount of govt. interference.

So why do so many of them campaign to stop taxes that will never, ever affect them?
What do you think is the effect of taxing the 'rich'?
 

Spanner Island

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Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
24,203
1. I have very little faith in the 'state' providing any services that are value for money or efficient. Therefore if the 'state' keeps hoovering up more and more in tax, the less likely value for money will emerge and the more expensive the services are likely to get.

People have less time for arguments for more state funding when so much of what is currently collected is spent on overpaid politicians and unaccountable civil servants who are screwing us for their own benefit.


2. On the flip side the 'state' seems to have no problems delivering efficiencies in things that involve collecting revenue. ROS is good. Motor tax online is great. The passport postal service is good. And of course paying for all sorts of unavoidable 'state' charges like the television licence etc. are all made easy...

Unfortunately the same cannot be said of many of the services the state provides. So the obvious conclusion is that a lot more effort is put into collecting revenue efficiently than is put into providing the services that revenue is supposed to fund.


3. Those in the middle generally aspire to better their lives and believe they have a fair shot at doing so. As a result they know any further tax hikes on the rich will hit them eventually, because they know when those taxes don't deliver as much as hoped that the thresholds will simply be lowered...

Personally I don't believe any 'state' anywhere should think it has the right to take any more than 50% of anyone's income regardless of how rich or poor they are.

Lefties and those at the bottom on the other hand, seem to think the world owes them a living. This seems to be why many of them think 'taxing the rich into oblivion' approach is viable whereas such an approach is more likely to result in corporations and individuals simply leaving which would result in no tax being collected at all...

And worse, some of these entitlement obsessed dreamers seem to think foreign corporations should be loyal to Ireland, which is simply a joke of a hope and completely naive...


Bottom line - Apart from windfall taxes like taxing the sh!t out of bankers, politicians and civil service pensions etc., when the state is obviously so self serving and wasteful, taxing the rich more won't solve a thing and everybody knows it.
 
Last edited:

Watcher2

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Joined
May 2, 2010
Messages
33,990
I'd like to see the government get better value for the money being raised through taxes. I pay a large amouynt of tax, being on a nice income, although not in the High Earner category. But I despise how the government cant balance the books on the revenue they earn.

I booked a flight to Prague this morning. Aer Lingus gets €89.00 of the fare and the government is taking €73.00. People seem to discuss the personal tax elements of tax generation and the pros and cons of increasing or decreasing in order to meet a certain end. The fact remains that the government take massive amounts of money in taxation (both direct and indirect) but the resultant services delivered are really appalling.

Value for money is what is required. The debate needs to move away from raising taxes and slashing services to the cost of running the government services. Two examples in recent years:

Dail tuck shop
Dail lawn

I remember figures of €200K - €300K FOR EACH but they were not the final figures I dont think. If someone could divulge the final figures here it would be great.
 
D

Dylan2010

OP is a bit contrived, since when is heathcare the only thing taxes are spent on?

Otherwise if particular groups are selected for special treatment then it will tend to trickle down, higher taxes on anyone means less reform in spending. I would tend to have more sympathy for closing down generous pension reliefs etc rather than targeting high earner for particular taxes
 

Fides

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Joined
Apr 6, 2010
Messages
4,442
You can also argue it is in our self interest not to see taxes excessively increased on the rich even if we're never going to earn those incomes ourselves.

1. Who is more likely to create/sustain the jobs that private sector middle income earners will get? We create a country that says we'll tax the rich to the hilt and a message goes out there to go elsewhere.
2. As someone has pointed out who are the "rich". The OP mentions eur55k. Does that mean anyone earning more than that is "rich" and fiar game for these tax increases. That will hit a lot of middle income dual earning families.
3. Which type of society do you want to hitch your wagon to? One that encourages people to go out there, take risks, create wealth and jobs? Or one that panders more to people who never have and never will make a financial contribution to society?
4. Finally rich people are an industry in themselves. They have to spend their money somewhere and I'd prefer them to spend it here not zip off into tax exile.

There is room to tweak with the amount of tax the rich pay particularly shutting down tax shelters so everyone pays a fair share but deciding to kill the goose that lays the golden egg is not a good strategy in my view.
 

dancl2000

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
517
I'm very curious when I see this stuff being posted on here.

One thing you can say equally for those who ARE rich, and those who want tax rises on the rich: they're both pursuing their own objective self-interest. The former want to minimise their donations to others, the latter are dependent on taxes to heal them when they get sick. We are in a long growthless period, so without taxes on the rich rising, healthcare for the masses must get shoddier and less well-resourced. It is obviously in their personal self-interest to agitate for more resources for hospitals from the only people in a position to provide them.

So two opposed groups, each following their objective self-interest.

But what about the third group? People who are economically in the latter group, but espouse the tax policies of the former. Anyone with an income below €55K, who have lottery-style odds of ever being in the top 5%. Social mobility is collapsing, so any thought that they will someday find themselves in the top bracket is increasingly ludicrous.

So why do so many of them campaign to stop taxes that will never, ever affect them?

Pure altruism? It's not that it's not in their interest, but that it's morally wrong. Are these people simply saints, people with contempt for their own benefit, but entirely committed to the well-being of the Other? Are these the kind of people who cannot pass a beggar without emptying their wallets?
the argument goes the wealthy tend to be mobile so if you tax them too much they go somewhere else. we see this in france, a lot of the french rich live in belgium to avoid wealth taxes (in france you pay yearly tax on your net worth once it's over a certain amount which is 750000.. so if you have 3/4 million in the bank, or in shares, a house worth 750,000 you'll pay wealth tax)

then another argument is that the wealthy dont earn astronomical salaries; their wealth is return on investment which is subject to another tax regime. through vehicles they can avail of all the same low tax rates which we use to entice foreign corporations to ireland. how to stop that and retain our corporation tax advantages

personally i've nothing against taxing rich people more, the only thing is there isnt that many of them. according to google theres 80,000 in ireland, not sure how reliable that is or what % of those have millions in debt to boot. if you got an extra 10,000 from each then you're close to a billion. seems worthwhile to me if we really have that many millionaires

personally I'd also be for an inheritence tax. a fairly savage one too, and use the money to make sure that kids from disadvantaged backgrounds get the same opportunities as kids from rich backgrounds. for me an inheritence tax is a good way to hold back the gap between rich and poor, it's a brake on dynastic wealth
 

bob3367

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Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
8,083
If someone could define rich, it would be a start....
 

wombat

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Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
31,978
it will tend to trickle down, higher taxes on anyone means less reform in spending. I would tend to have more sympathy for closing down generous pension reliefs etc rather than targeting high earner for particular taxes
I think that is the basic reason most people oppose higher tax for high incomes, it won't take long before it gets extended. There are other reasons such as making it more difficult to entice people with specialist skills to work here and that has the spinoff effect of eliminating lower level jobs. I agree with cutting tax relief for higher pensions, people should not have pensions higher than the majority get paid for work.
We were offered a choice at the last election between tax more or cut more and the greater number voted for cuts - FG need to remember who voted for them.
 

Carson

Active member
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
214
This is an interesting topic.

I think it is rational to object to tax increases that don't directly affect you for a variety of potential reasons. I'll comment on one that I haven't seen mentioned yet and that is the potential for such tax increases to decrease economic growth which could result in lower wealth and fewer jobs all round.

It might seem fair that people on very high incomes pay a 75% income tax rate as the French are proposing now, but I believe at those levels there is a serious disincentive for entrepreneurs to start up businesses and for people in the top tax bracket to work generally. If you only get to keep one quarter of your bonus, how hard are you really going to work at the margin versus someone in a neighbouring state who gets to keep the majority of theirs?

In my opinion, once the marginal income tax rate goes above 50% you hit an important psychological threshold. We are already past that in Ireland of course, which is why I think the government needs to be wary of Labour's proposal to increase the higher marginal rate by a further 3 percentage points.

I think a better way to tax the rich in Ireland in the upcoming budget would be to reduce the tax shield on pension contributions to the lower tax band (so everyone gets the same relief) and through some form of progressive wealth tax which a well structured property tax could form part of.
 

Trainwreck

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
26,809
I start from a position that people have property rights.

Hence there is no natural imperative that we have to tax anyone regardless of the income or assets they have.


Instead we have to decide what makes sense to provide collectively as a society and then how a fair balance of cost is distributed.

Concepts such as "redistribution", "making the wealthy pay", "making others pay" have no place and only bring poor decision making and social division.
 

daveL

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
19,593
I'm very curious when I see this stuff being posted on here.

One thing you can say equally for those who ARE rich, and those who want tax rises on the rich: they're both pursuing their own objective self-interest. The former want to minimise their donations to others, the latter are dependent on taxes to heal them when they get sick. We are in a long growthless period, so without taxes on the rich rising, healthcare for the masses must get shoddier and less well-resourced. It is obviously in their personal self-interest to agitate for more resources for hospitals from the only people in a position to provide them.

So two opposed groups, each following their objective self-interest.

But what about the third group? People who are economically in the latter group, but espouse the tax policies of the former. Anyone with an income below €55K, who have lottery-style odds of ever being in the top 5%. Social mobility is collapsing, so any thought that they will someday find themselves in the top bracket is increasingly ludicrous.

So why do so many of them campaign to stop taxes that will never, ever affect them?

Pure altruism? It's not that it's not in their interest, but that it's morally wrong. Are these people simply saints, people with contempt for their own benefit, but entirely committed to the well-being of the Other? Are these the kind of people who cannot pass a beggar without emptying their wallets?
so you should automatically agree with taxes that won't affect you personally?
 

Disillusioned democrat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2010
Messages
15,620
The real issue is that by definition most people are "richer" than someone else. The concept of taxing people who are richer than you reminds me of the Niemoller quote...

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Basically there aren't enough "very" rich to satisfy the governments lust for money and control, so it will continue down the pyramid until basically we've taxed our way into a lefty wet dream.
 

Trainwreck

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
26,809
so you should automatically agree with taxes that won't affect you personally?
That is the way our political system is set up. And that is the way poltiicians play it to best personal gain.
 

Spanner Island

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Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
24,203
It's been proven time and again that once taxes go above a certain level the tax take reduces and tax evasion ensues.

This fact was even proven here back in the 1980's.

Why lefties can't/won't get this fact into their thick heads, absorb it and understand it is the real puzzle...
 

Fides

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Joined
Apr 6, 2010
Messages
4,442
the argument goes the wealthy tend to be mobile so if you tax them too much they go somewhere else. we see this in france, a lot of the french rich live in belgium to avoid wealth taxes (in france you pay yearly tax on your net worth once it's over a certain amount which is 750000.. so if you have 3/4 million in the bank, or in shares, a house worth 750,000 you'll pay wealth tax)

then another argument is that the wealthy dont earn astronomical salaries; their wealth is return on investment which is subject to another tax regime. through vehicles they can avail of all the same low tax rates which we use to entice foreign corporations to ireland. how to stop that and retain our corporation tax advantages

personally i've nothing against taxing rich people more, the only thing is there isnt that many of them. according to google theres 80,000 in ireland, not sure how reliable that is or what % of those have millions in debt to boot. if you got an extra 10,000 from each then you're close to a billion. seems worthwhile to me if we really have that many millionaires

personally I'd also be for an inheritence tax. a fairly savage one too, and use the money to make sure that kids from disadvantaged backgrounds get the same opportunities as kids from rich backgrounds. for me an inheritence tax is a good way to hold back the gap between rich and poor, it's a brake on dynastic wealth
Probably a debate for another thread but I highly doubt chucking money at kids from disadvantaged backgrounds will do much to narrow the gap between rich and poor. We're already doing that to little effect. In any case all you will get is some inheritance tax planning to avoid these taxes.
 

Trainwreck

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
26,809
for me an inheritence tax is a good way to hold back the gap between rich and poor, it's a brake on dynastic wealth

I think it fair to say that dynastic welfarism is the bigger threat and is far more prevalent.
 
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