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Do as I say?

April 19, 2010

Is it wrong to take advantage of benefits that I don’t believe should even exist?

I think that it is and I need to start acting accordingly.

For example, I am on a board which receives some funding from the government.  One approved use of this funding is to send board members to a fund-raising banquet.  In fact, we are encouraged to use the money for this banquet.  I believe that this money should not be used to send board members to a fancy dinner.  I need to decline attending the dinner even though it is expected that I attend.  Is it worth explaining why I am turning it down?  Probably not.  Based on my experience, I’m all alone on this point.

Tax incentives are a different question.  I am in favor of a simple, flat-tax system.  The current tax system is complicated with deductions and credits and write-offs.  If I don’t claim every deduction that we are eligible for, then we are paying more than our fair share of taxes.  On this one, I’m going to go with take all eligible deductions.

By the way, taxes are done!

from the gopstore.com

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott Down permalink
    April 20, 2010 8:56 am

    I’m in favour of a flat tax, too! What would your flat tax be on? I suggest land: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgism

    “a tax on land value is efficient, fair and equitable, and will accrue sufficient revenue so that other taxes (which are less fair and efficient) can be reduced or eliminated.” (Wikipedia by way of McCluskey and Franzsen.

    What would your single tax tax?

    I think there are cases (such as yours) where it is proper to forgo a benefit to demonstrate a moral point, but I’m not always sure where those are. In theory, everything we do could be done more effectively, efficiently and/or morally. At some point, our ideals and our actions are in conflict.

  2. Michele permalink*
    April 20, 2010 9:32 am

    A flat tax on income.

    Here’s one argument:
    http://biggovernment.com/dmitchell/2010/04/05/flat-tax-or-national-sales-tax/

  3. Scott Down permalink
    April 20, 2010 10:13 am

    That’s a pretty interesting idea. I’ll have to look into it. Thanks for the link!

  4. April 20, 2010 11:02 am

    I’m in favour of no compulsory taxes myself but that’s a fairly lofty dream. a flat tax on income is entirely reasonable today and could save oodles of money by reducing the complexity of our tax system.

    The most attractive part of a flat tax to me is that people are not penalized for making more income. Today, earning more money than others is seemingly immoral. Why else would some one pay half their income to the common pot compared to some one else paying a fifth? Why else would such a payment scheme be compulsory.

    No, a flat tax is the only option today that makes much of any sense.

  5. Scott Down permalink
    April 20, 2010 11:38 am

    I’m with you, Zack. We should want people to earn income! It seems silly to me to tax things that we want – especially so heavily as we do.

    You’re right that no compulsory taxes is a lofty dream – though I think if they aren’t compulsory they are called something else.

    : )

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