In recent discussions of economic inequalities, a controversial issue has been whether economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage. Through this essay we will be talking about progressive federal income tax and flax tax rate. A progressive tax is a tax rate that increases as the taxable amount increases. A flat tax rate is a tax system with a constant marginal rate, meaning everyone pays the same amount of taxes. Whether the rich should pay more taxes or the poor and rich pay an equal amount of money.
On the one hand, some argue that people of higher income should pay higher taxes. This form of taxes is called progressive federal income tax. From this perspective, it is okay to charge people more just because they have more money and people with a lower income pay lower taxes. Is it ethically okay to charge people more just because they make more money? Wealthier people have more money to afford paying higher taxes. Why should people of a poor income be charged more if they can’t barely afford a stand living arrangement. Here are a couple of points to summarize Rawls ideas on progressive taxation. “The principle of progressive taxation is applied at the receiver’s end. Those inheriting and receiving gifts and endowments pay a tax according to the value received and the nature of the receiver…. The aim is to encourage a wide and far more equal dispersion of real property and productive assets. Second, the progressive principle of taxation might not be applied to wealth and income for the purposes of raising funds (releasing resources to government), but solely to prevent accumulations of wealth that are judged to be inimical to background justice. Third, income taxation might be avoided altogether and a proportional expenditure tax adopted instead, that is, a tax on consumption at a constant marginal rate. People would be taxed according to how much they use of the goods and services produced and not according to how much they contribute. (JF, 161)” (https://understandingsociety.blogspot.com/2011/08/economic-thinking-in-rawlss-thought.html)
In the other hand, however, others argue that flat tax rate is more equal for everyone of small, middle, and large incomes. In the words of one of this view’s main proponents, “equal taxation is flat fair taxation.” According to this view, people from all ranges of economic backgrounds pay the same percentage to the government. That way it is a little fairer for people of higher income, so long that everyone pays. In sum then, the issue is whether flat taxation is best for society because fair and equal distribution leads to less conflicts amongst who should pay the most.
My own view is that progressive tax rates is fairer compared to flat tax rate because people with more money have more to offer with a small amount to lose. People with a low income can probably barely afford the amount of taxes they already pay and probably struggle for standard form of living. If the tax rate was equal for everyone then the income wouldn’t matter and the government would probably set a median percentage for taxes to make the most money. If the government were to charge a “middle class” percentage then people with a very low income will struggle to pay taxes and essentially it wouldn’t be morally right to take a huge amount of money out from an already small check. Though I concede that it isn’t fair for wealthier people to spend more of their hard-working money. Some might even say that it isn’t the wealthy man’s fault that people don’t work hard enough or don’t make enough money for ends meet, but the problem with that is not everyone has equal opportunity or can’t afford higher education for a better career. I still maintain the idea that progressive tax is better for the economy and is more equal that flat tax rate.
Although some might object that the issue isn’t important or that lower income citizens should pay the same amount of taxes as wealthy income citizens, I reply that if everyone had equal opportunity then there would be more competition for higher paying jobs and wealthy people wouldn’t be as wealthy as they are now. The issue is important because everyone should pay an equal amount of taxes based on their income.
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