Social Question

talljasperman's avatar

Is it possible for a government to make such a profit that everyones taxes are returned?

Asked by talljasperman (21916points) June 3rd, 2014

Or even pay a dividend? Also can a government officials go to Vegas and put everything on a couple rolls of roulette?

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18 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Is it possible for a company to make such a profit that every customer gets their money back?

talljasperman's avatar

@ragingloli Yes. it is called a soup kitchen.

josie's avatar

Since the government produces nothing, and sells nothing, there is no profit to made.

janbb's avatar

The taxes are the governement’s only source of income.

hearkat's avatar

@josie and @janbb: The OP is asking about ”a” government, not just the US government.

Yes. There are governments who have oil- or mineral-rich lands and make profit from selling that. However, not many actually turn the profit around for the benefit of their citizens.

Many governments play the stock market with their employee’s pensions, which isn’t much different from playing roulette with it.

@ragingloli: My car insurance company pays back dividends every year.

dappled_leaves's avatar

You live in Alberta! The Alberta government has given out refunds in the past, due to their oil profits. I think this is the only province to have done so, though, and most think that it was a horrible mistake – money that should be saved for an inevitable rainy day or used for social programs that need improvement instead being used to essentially buy votes.

talljasperman's avatar

@dappled_leaves Yes we called them $400 Ralph Bucks… I used that money to visit my grandma in the nursing home.

zenvelo's avatar

Alaska does that.Last year every resident (full year residents) got $900. In previous years they’ve gotten more.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Governments who control and OWN their nations’ resources always fare better at keeping the money at home than governments who allow the private sector to exploit the resources and send the profits off to line the pockets of billionaires. Take a look at this:

MollyMcGuire's avatar

They aren’t supposed to make a profit.

cazzie's avatar

@stanleybmanly exactly. But we still pay taxes here, if we earn. The oil money has afforded us a safety net that has been used to sustain a lifestyle here. I can be on sick leave for an entire year and get paid and then if I still can’t go back to my job, the government has programmes for retraining education. We have maternity and paternity leave. We have free university education. So, we don’t get checks or refunds, but the money is used to care for and educate the residence.

ragingloli's avatar

@hearkat @zenvelo
And how much did you pay in in the first place? Unless you get all your money back, it does not count.

hearkat's avatar

@ragingloli: I disagree. The OP asks about “profit” and “dividends”; my auto insurer sets their rates and we pay in, and if they happen to manage their finances very efficiently they return surplus to the customers in the form of a dividend cheque. I am still getting the service of having coverage on my vehicle, and have received dividend payments even in years when I have had claims paid by them.

zenvelo's avatar

@ragingloli Alaska apparently has no Sales Tax and no State Income Tax.

Zaku's avatar

Yes, it is possible. The USA generates masses of revenue with its resources, infrastructure, etc. Plenty for everyone to have all their needs met. Health care, housing, food, shelter, clothing, education, could all be free to all citizens, or an ample stipend given that could cover everyone. But instead, we’ve created a system where megacorporations, which are often international and always mostly owned by independently wealthy people, reap the rewards and pay little or no taxes, while almost everyone else worries about going broke and moans in one way or another about “reality” being that everyone needs to work to earn a living (and generally to work for those corporations), or else they are lazy bums leaching off the system.

zenvelo's avatar

Interesting that this question is resurrected given the recent decline in oil prices. Alaska is quite concerned about how small the oil dividend will be, while North Dakota is scrambling to rebudget the state for greatly reduced revenue.

cazzie's avatar

I would also like to point out several ‘Indian Nations’ that do exactly what you are talking about. Their Nations earn money and send checks out.

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