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MorenoMelissa1's avatar

Would you pay if given the chance not to?

Asked by MorenoMelissa1 (1125 points ) April 8th, 2010

Let’s say for example a new law was passed by the IRS stating that from now people living in the united states didn’t have to pay taxes unless they wanted to. Would you stop paying even though the tax money goes towards helping the economy? You opinion is very much welcomed. :)

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38 Answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Being the idiot that I am, I would feel obliged to.

Zaku's avatar

That would depend on my own financial status. If making more than I needed, yes. If making less that I and people I love need, no.

lilikoi's avatar

I would stop paying. I’m not an idiot.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Uh… of course I would stop paying.

Snarp's avatar

It’s not a tax if you don’t have to pay it.

stump's avatar

Yes, I would stop paying.

wonderingwhy's avatar

well, they’d probably just institute a flat tax on everything and a scaled tax based on sale price of everything, so yeah I’d stop. Discounting that, I take advantage of government services, like roads so I’d be inclined to keep paying. I’d love to see a partial system of application-based paying though (I pay X but can dictate what programs or agencies 10% of X goes to for example.)

Leanne1986's avatar

I agree with @Zaku that it would depend on my income. I would rather pay money to causes that I feel strongly about. If I didn’t pay taxes I could afford to pay more towards things that concerned me. If not paying taxes meant that, if I got sick I would have to pay a lot more for healthcare and, on my current income, I probably wouldn’t be able to afford it so, whilst not paying taxes sounds great, it would probably come back to bite me on the arse at some point.

My first reaction to this question was what @jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities said. The above came after given it a bit more thoought!

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

I just want to thank everyone for their imput on such an importain subject. :)

TheOnlyException's avatar

I would stop paying.
I mean I gotta pay for all my other crap sometime..

wundayatta's avatar

We already voluntarily give money for civic projects. We’re not required to. But we think it helps the collective good.

I think that if tax paying were voluntary, you’d have taxpayers in one part of the country, gaining the benefits of taxes, and non-payers in another part, gaining the benefits of keeping all their money to themselves.

Unless you had a kind of rule like in some states, where the union has to represent everyone in the bargaining unit equally, whether or not they pay dues. Hmm. I wonder if that rule were applied to tax payers—- you don’t have to pay taxes, but the government has to serve everyone equally—would they be more sympathetic to union shops (where everyone in the bargaining unit has to pay dues, whether or not they are in the union).

susanc's avatar

The reason it’s mandatory to pay taxes is that there are so many people who truly believe they’re entitled to services for nothing.
See above.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

No. As it is the IRS is stealing our money.

davidbetterman's avatar

I would stop quick as a flash.
It has nothing to do with the services, it has to do with the US government spending my money to kill innocent women and children all around the world, without even asking me if it is okay…

goose756's avatar

In my personal opinion I would stop paying because I disagree with the way our government spends our money. I would probably just opt to give that amount of money to another organization that I know will find a better use for it.

CMaz's avatar

I would not pay. We already get taxed for what we buy. And businesses get taxed.

njnyjobs's avatar

If it’s not called for, I would not voluntarily pay. I already have my religious and charitable organizations to support in that manner.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I reject your premise: Taxes paid to the government do not “help the economy”.

lilikoi's avatar

@susanc I don’t think I am entitled to services for nothing. A lot of the services I pay for, I do not benefit from; some most bring about more harm than good (since most of tax dollars are spent on military). But more importantly, just because I would opt out of paying taxes does not mean I would not voluntarily donate money to specific causes. Why pay taxes – subsidizing services you do and do not use indirectly – when you now have the option of funding services and causes you support directly??

filmfann's avatar

Did you know you can make tax-free donations to the IRS?
Do you think anyone does?

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

@filmfann Tax-free donations to the IRS? I would of never thought that. Live and learn. :)

YARNLADY's avatar

Unfortunately, most people do not have the foggiest idea what would happen to this country if there was no infrastructure because no one wanted to pay for it. To ask the general population if they would voluntarily pay taxes is an exercise in futility, because they simply do not understand the way their own system works.

Now, if you were to ask would you pay a fee for every service you use, and you know exactly where the money is going, you would get a much different response.

What all of us taxpayers are mad about is the misuse of our money to the tune of billions spent with little or zero benefit.

@CyanoticWasp Since the government is one of the largest employers and consumers of goods in the country, yes, taxes do help the economy. Where on earth do you think those billions and billions of dollars go? They pay salaries for something like 16% of the population, and is second only to the wholesale/retain industry, and to provide services and goods for every government sponsored project in the country. The money is paid to every sector of the U.S. ecomony.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@YARNLADY too much of a percentage of the money we pay in taxes ends up wasted, whether your definition of waste includes weapons systems for a Defense Department that doesn’t want them, but is obligated to continue purchasing in order to “support” various Congressional districts and receive continued support in Congress for the programs it does want, or massive overproduction of a few food commodities that are then given away around the world to the detriment of others’ economies, or massive underproduction of even more food commodities in order to artificially support needlessly high prices, or simply paid out to people who do… nothing at all. Or variations on any of those themes, or more that I’m too lazy to enumerate.

Money that you spend for yourself, on the other hand, is probably targeted very precisely where you want it, sends clear signals to producers and retailers that “consumers really want this stuff at ‘this’ price level, so let’s make more”, provides rewarding jobs for people who like to go home at the end of the day thinking that they may have made something of value that others want, and also provides more jobs around the world.

In addition to all of that, the more money received in taxes at the federal level, the deeper Congress takes us in debt, which is assuredly not good for the economy. Keynes was dead wrong.

davidbetterman's avatar

@YARNLADYWhere on earth do you think those billions and billions of dollars go?”

LOL…into the back pockets of many of your wonderful lawmakers. Where do you think they go?

Also they go to murdering innocent men, women and children all around the world, and not into any infrastructure here in the US.

susanc's avatar

Lotta closet Republicans here. Who knew?!?!?

YARNLADY's avatar

@davidbetterman And what do you think the lawmakers do with the money? Eat it? Percentage wise, very little actually goes to them, but it is an obscene amount.

davidbetterman's avatar

@YARNLADY Condos in Vail and mooring fees for yachts are very costly…

thriftymaid's avatar

I wouldn’t pay a penny in your scenario.

TheOnlyException's avatar

Who says I paid in the first place? hahaha

YARNLADY's avatar

@davidbetterman Do you have any evidence to back that up? It sounds to me like you are just making unfounded accusations.—And even if that is what they spend their money on, you have to admit that the building industry is supported by people like that. You sound like you don’t realize that the majority of our tax money goes right back into the economy.

davidbetterman's avatar

@YARNLADY

SIince 2001 the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us

$981,054,100,000 If you click the link you will see that this is moving along at about $2, 000 a second.

This of course does not count the money from our taxes which goes to paper shufflers, pencil pushers and outright theft by our elected officials.

I don’t think that the majority of our tax dollars is really finding its way back into the domestic economy.

YARNLADY's avatar

@davidbetterman You still haven’t shown me that the majority of the huge expenditure isn’t going right back into to pockets of the U.S. worker. I know that some is actually bled into the country we are fighting in, but I am sure it isn’t the majority of it.

The war related goods and services are practically running the country.

davidbetterman's avatar

Gee @YARNLADY I guess all those people who have lost their homes and jobs aren’t real. You must be right. The economy is swimming along quite lovely with all that money flowing back into the economy from our taxes. How could I have missed it?

wundayatta's avatar

@davidbetterman Just sort of curious. Do you believe in individual responsibility?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@YARNLADY even if we assume that every penny of tax money gets recycled back into “our” economy (whatever that is, because a lot of foreign investment in this country is also ‘our economy’ and a lot of US-owned investments overseas also constitute ‘our’ economy), there are still other factors to consider.

1. Typically ‘government’ outlays are not as well-timed, or planned, or targeted as individual ones. (Which is not to say that every individual payment is “best ever”—but you and I have a lot more incentive to save our own money and spend it wisely than some bureaucrat who has to spend the rest of his budget before the end of the fiscal year, or it gets cut next year.) So to the extent that payments for goods and services are inefficient, the economy is not helped, even if some people get rich from that.

2. Government is not typically very innovative. Again, bureaucrats like to keep their jobs, so their tendency is to “follow the safe route” and do what has always been done before. (Military spending and planning is a wonderful example of that. Look at all of the wars that have been lost or nearly lost because today’s admirals and generals are still planning to fight the last war they studied.) This is not to say that every private or public company is filled with entrepreneurs and risk-takers; no, bureaucrats seem to proliferate everywhere. But the executives who run most companies are generally not voted into those positions as winners of beauty and popularity contests, either.

3. Where do you think the money comes from to run the government in the first place? It’s not there because “the government” prints it; it exists as a taxed byproduct of the productivity and free exchange of buyers and sellers in markets. To the extent that buyers and sellers have less of their own money to work with, there is less wealth produced. It’s really that simple.

I’m not saying that there’s no place for government—if I do that then someone will suggest that I can move to Somalia—but government spending represents a loss to the productive economy. It’s a necessary evil; it’s not a good thing to have a rich government.

davidbetterman's avatar

@wundayatta Of course. That’s why I don’t kill people.

YARNLADY's avatar

@davidbetterman Even using your own example, the Condo builders and maintenance workers in Vail (and Aspen) and the yacht builders and maintenance crew are not losing their homes, are they? The money the lawmakers get paid does go back into the economy.

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