Higher Consumption Taxes Could Save the US Economy.

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posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 05:46 AM
As being a non-American, when visting USA the low tax-rates were simply baffling.

Here, for example, people have to pay over 20% per every purchase I make. My salary gets taxed with 20% of income tax + the employer must pay extra 33% of payroll tax + much higher taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and gas.

We can all agree that personal taxes in USA are significantly lower than in most European countries.


Compared to average EU country, US people consume far more, often without even thinking. Too many people overconsume and buy more stuff than they actually do not need due to being influenced by extreme marketing campaigns, which creates an illusion of choice and freedom to choose. It is one of the reasons behind the obesity problems and consumerism.

If you have to pay over 150$ for a pair of jeans or shoes (not designer) , 1000$ for an iPhone, 7,5$ for a gallon of gas and 2$ for 0,5l coke, you actually do have to think more before buying something considering similar/lower salaries than in the US.

Speaking in numbers.

901 B $ deficit in the budget of USA in 2013, which is added to the huge debt.

Source: en.wikipedia.org...

In 2011 US people spent 10,7 trillion $ on shopping out of which:
-16 billion on chocolate (2,8 billion pounds eaten)
-2,3 billion on tattoos
-65 billion on soft drinks,
-117 billion on fast food (on average over 300 bucks a year on fast food)
-40 billion on lawn care
-50 billion dollars on pets
-30 billion on lottery tickets
- on average people waste 570 dollars worth of food in a year - total 165 billions


Taking into account every purchase (while not including rent, groceries and other basic needs), rising the sales tax and gas price to similar level as in European countries have (around 20% and 7,5 $/gal), it would give extra trillions of dollars a year (maybe even double the national budget), which could be used for creating a stronger system (better education with lower costs, including higher education, stronger healthcare, stronger public transport network, more social benefits).

If spent well, this would have many benefits:

1) People would consume less, waste less
2) Environmental benefits on driving less, consuming less, wasting less
3) People would be healthier on average, which would mean longer life expectancy, more happiness, less depression
4) People would think more on average before buying stuff ( they do not actually do not need) impulsively
5) Stronger social security for anybody
6) The corporations would lose power
7) Lots of jobs created
8) Wealth cap would lower
9) ... etc

Probably somebody will bring up the argument that it will weaken the economy, so it will be covered. On average countries with very high taxes (for example Nordic) have similar/stronger and more competitive economies, not talking about leading all kinds of positive statistics from education and happiness to economy and healthcare.


The Myth of Low Tax America - Why Amerians aren´t Getting Their Money´s Worth

On the one hand, yes, we pay less. The share of our total national income captured by the government in taxes is small compared to most developed economies. On the other hand, we get less. Americans pay out nearly as much as some European countries, Canadians, and the Japanese. But we receive a lot less for our money.

Look at high-tax Sweden, which has the fourth-most competitive economy in the world, ahead of the U.S., according to the World Economic Forum. In return for paying their taxes, Swedes have access to a generous support system for families and individuals that most Americans can only dream about. That includes not only quality health care but also child care, a more generous retirement pension, low-cost college education (most Swedish universities charge no tuition fees), job retraining, paid sick leave, paid parental leave (after a birth or to care for sick children), ample vacations, affordable housing, senior care and more.

Ideologically-bound Americans counter that, at least in the U.S. it is discretionary about whether or not you purchase these services. The government isn't picking your pocket through higher taxes or forcing you to purchase any particular form of assistance. That's undeniably true. But in this economically insecure age, are services like health care, higher education or some kind of skilled job training, child care, sick leave, parental leave, retirement and senior care really discretionary? Or are they increasingly essential to ensure healthy, happy and productive families and employees?

If Americans Knew What Swedes Receive For Their Taxes they would probably riot.'
In the United States, any discussion of taxes revives age-old arguments about individualism vs. collectivism: to what extent should government be invested with the power to take from one person's pocket and place money into another's? Should the wealthy have to share a portion of their wealth with those less fortunate? The idea of "forced sharing" is one of the bright dividing lines of politics, both today and yesteryear.

But in most of the rest of the developed world these dilemmas have been more or less settled, and with a different outcome. For the most part, people don't view taxes as collectivism steamrolling over the individual. Rather, taxes are viewed as a kind of membership dues that self-interested individuals pay to be in a club from which they all mutually benefit. A Labor Party leader in the Netherlands, Wouter Bos, captured the prevailing philosophy, arguing that the Dutch workfare support system is based on "enlightened self-interest" -- "We all run the same risks, so we might as well collectively insure ourselves against those risks."

Such American suppression of this important discussion only serves to perpetuate many myths and prevents Americans from understanding the vast shortcomings of our approach toward taxation. Consequently, millions of hard-working Americans never have the opportunity to enjoy such a comprehensive level of support for themselves and their families, unless they can pay a ton of money out-of-pocket -- which most can't afford

I know many people are unemployed and I really did not mean to offend or judge anyone, these are just facts about spending habits in previous years.

I am interested in the opinion of Americans on this matter after reading this post and the article. I am not American, although I truly hope that American economy can better itself, as such a big economy has huge impact on the economy here. If the economy collapses there, the same happens here. As being the largest economy in the world, America also has to bear the responsibility in front of the world.
edit on 30-4-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 06:10 AM
reply to post by Cabin

While I agree that far too many people are far too wasteful in the US...

Raising taxes is never the solution to a problem contrived by a wasteful government.
You do realize all the taxes we have right? There's even a list here on ATS.
The list is into the thousands by now.
Now it's not only consumer taxes, it's also living taxes, death taxes, license taxes, etc.

If the government isn't getting enough money from taxes by now...
They are spending far too much.

Pretty freakin simple.

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 06:15 AM
reply to post by Cabin

How do you suppose .gub is going to get that tax money from people who are just barely able to have "rent, groceries and other basic needs"

Btw, Im not upset you posted this, I appreciate the concern. Its just that not everyone can afford tattoes, or to eat out and all that stuff listed. 117 dollars for jeans? damn

edit on 30-4-2013 by Nephalim because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 06:40 AM

Raising taxes is never the solution to a problem contrived by a wasteful government.
Pretty freakin simple.

Not JUST wasteful but corrupt, through and through.

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 07:06 AM

Originally posted by havok
reply to post by Cabin

While I agree that far too many people are far too wasteful in the US...

Raising taxes is never the solution to a problem contrived by a wasteful government.
You do realize all the taxes we have right? There's even a list here on ATS.
The list is into the thousands by now.
Now it's not only consumer taxes, it's also living taxes, death taxes, license taxes, etc.

If the government isn't getting enough money from taxes by now...
They are spending far too much.

Pretty freakin simple.

There are all kinds of taxes also in EU countries. Licences cost a lot. Drivers licence exam costs at least 130 dollars total and it needs nearly perfect scores. You need to get lots of papers for getting them: from doctor´s review on your health to first-aid training certificates + driving school is necessary. I spent nearly 1500 dollars on getting a drivers licence. The exam consists of several parts including "ice drive" - driving on the ice in winter conditions. Normal exam lasts for an hour of drive with manual gearbox. You have to drive economically, switching gears not to waste too much gas or ruin the engine, 3 mistakes are allowed. For example, not turning your head during a turn to check (instead checking with eyes that no cars are coming) you get a mistake. It is no t very easy to get them, although car school consists of 40-80+ hours of driving, so most people pass at first time in the exam. The rules are tough though.

All the EU standards are much higher than in US, so on average many licences cost a lot and need lots of paperwork.

US might have lots of small taxes, although the thing is in EU nearly everything is taxed with sales taxes. In US for example separate taxes exist. For example if a small bicycle tax is on the bicycle to build bicycle roads, then in EU there is a 20% sales on tax on the bicycle so the bicycle costs more and is already taxed. In this country there are more universal taxes, which everybody has to pay, so less other taxes are needed although they exist, but much less.

You are saying American are already getting enough taxes. Of course I agree that the government does not spend money well. It is a problem everywhere around the world. Although when considering the government budget per capita, then we see a huge difference between other countries and US.

If we take a look at revenues of budget per capita, we see that is US is in the 45th place in the world, further than nearly any other EU country.

For example Norway is the first having nearly 48900 dollars per capita, UK has 19000 dollars, while US is much further away in the 45th place having a revenue of 8500 dollars per capita being in the same group with countries who have much lower average salaries far below the countries with similar salaries.


posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 07:14 AM
reply to post by Nephalim

Progressive salaries leave them more money (taxing rich much higher). If the social safety network was strong enough, these people would not be in so much trouble financially.

Currently the problem is that the current system creates a natural selection, where strongest are very strong and weakest are very weak. The wealth cap is too large. If you have born in an extremely poor family you do not have much opportunities for very strong education and getting ahead in life, as the higher education costs a lot and many can not afford it. Many young people start life with enormous debts from college which often do not even pay themselves off. All this again makes the wealth cap even larger.

Everything takes time, although currently I would say, as far as I have met people from different countries and talked to them, on average it is far easier to get out of the bottom in most EU countries (not the ones in crisis) than in US as the social benefits are very strong and the system helps the people in need more and spends more on getting them out of the bottom. The middle class and lower class are stronger than in US on average and if you really want, getting out of the downward spiral is not extremely hard.

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 07:30 AM
reply to post by Cabin

Heres an idea, how about the government cut spending?

Its really not that complicated.

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 07:42 AM
reply to post by gladtobehere

That is always the deal. Every government in the world makes stupid decision, although I agree several decision in US have been not the best, especially the military budget is too large. Although if the spending was cut. US still would have around 2-6 times less money per capita than any other similar country (most OECD countries, except some Post-Soviet newer countries who have only had time to develop for a couple of decades and countries in crisis because of over-spending and bad decisions)

Certain areas would still need more resources, even if the trillion was cut from other areas - building infrastructure, stronger education, doing something about the high cost of higher education etc.

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 07:45 AM
The EU has their system.

The U.S. has theirs.

Both are hindered by corruption on such a massive scale.

I lived in Germany for eight years and greatly enjoyed myself. Traveled throughout Europe and the World over my lifespan. I haven't been to New Zealand yet though...it's on my bucket list.

But I'll still take good 'ol fashioned capitalism over socialism any day of the week. I know the US isn't that far from it, but we still have a system in place to, with luck, repair things.

I believe that if the US were to enact the system that you outlined within your OP, it would make things even worse for the avergage citizen.

The Thrift stores where I live are packed nowadays, while the Malls are next to empty. People are buying generic food rather than name brand. That right there shows that the US economy is not doing all that great.
edit on 30-4-2013 by TDawgRex because: Fat thumbs

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 08:00 AM
reply to post by Cabin

edit on 30-4-2013 by waggz because: (no reason given)
edit on 30-4-2013 by waggz because: (no reason given)
edit on 30-4-2013 by waggz because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 08:19 AM

Originally posted by waggz
reply to post by Cabin

Nice Idea and all.. there is only one issue. The EU has just as much of a screwed up economy as the US does. So raising taxes in all the crazy ways the EU has will not amount to anything.

Also.. did you forget that part of the reason we went to war with Britain? One reason was because we didnt want to pay all the crazy taxes that you speak of.

I don't think your OP makes any sense... I think you are just trying to push your ridiculous tax paying on to us. Something that has been futile in the past.

edit on 30-4-2013 by waggz because: (no reason given)
edit on 30-4-2013 by waggz because: (no reason given)

Your post shows you do not know much about EU. EU is not like states. Most EU countries, especially Nordic ones have very strong economies and banks. Every country is separate. Every single EU country is like USA (not by size, but by individuality, sovereignty). It is just an union. Although some countries in EU made some very bad decisions and because of it, others are suffering. Nordic Banks are among the strongest in the world by stability, last year Sweden was not in debt but there was money left over after budget was made. The unemployment is much lower there

As these countries have the same currency, if the currency collapses, everybody suffers, so everybody has to help out the weak one.

We can bring parallels: Imagine if North America took the same currency: Canada, USA and Mexico all have the same currency. Let us say USA has a very strong economy. Although Canada and Mexico are making bad decisions and the currency shared is about to collapse. If it collapsed, also US strong economy would suffer a lot, as their currency is becoming too weak. They have no other opinion to help out the countries in trouble. That is the situation in EU: Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus all have Euro, but made some bad financial decisions and now the other countries who made better decisions and have stronger economies have to save them as the bankrupt of any of those country would weaken the shared currency.

Higher taxes are overally working very well in countries, if they are used on the right purposes. Take a look at the Nordic countries economical situation and then tell me that these do not work...

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 08:31 AM
Taxes cannot save or create an economy. They are just a hindrance and a road block and funnel money to the government to be wasted.

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 08:33 AM
Even if they taxed every single american 100% of their income, it would only be a short term solution to an ever growing problem, and that is out of control spending. This government spends projected money that they have not even accounted for yet, if you do not see the problem with this, then there is no possible solution.

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 08:35 AM

Originally posted by sprtpilot

Raising taxes is never the solution to a problem contrived by a wasteful government.
Pretty freakin simple.

Not JUST wasteful but corrupt, through and through.

Not just corrupt, but layers of corruption from top to bottom. Corruption on top of corruption.

The Central Banksters are making a power play to collapse sovereign governments and control them under a unifying world government. There will be no nations left standing after the collapse except those that have a monetary system based on metals and/or no central bank.

Discussions such as "which national system is better" only serve to distract our attention from the LOOTING and FRAUD by the central banks, corporations and governments. I will note that in a single day we could imprison these miscreants that are destroying our world ..... and our peace.

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 08:37 AM
I have a better idea:

-Do away with the federal reserve and switch to a gold standard.
-Get federal government out of unconstitutional special interest and entitlement programs. Like USDA, FDA, Dept. of Education, WIC, DHS, list goes on.
-No foreign aid, anywhere. This includes weapons disguised as foreign aid.
-No world policing.
-No wars except with direct threat to and incursion on US sovereignty.
-Chop military forces/expenditures by about 75%.
-Chop expenses of elected officials in DC (staffers, free rides on military aircraft, AF1, salaries).

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 11:34 AM
reply to post by Cabin

The flaws I see in your logic are:

1. You assume the US Government would use additional tax revenues for the benefit of the American people. Past and current fiscal policies don't support that assumtion. A lot of what you suggested could be paid for at less than our current tax rate, but the Government would rather spend the money spying on US citizens and killing the enemies of Israel.

2. You seem to indicate that additional taxes should be levied on average citizens. Better targets might be corporations like General Electric, multi-millionaires like Mitt Romney, and tax exempt religious organizations. Taxing churches alone would generate enough revenue to give every American free health care and feed all the hungry children in the US. I'm guessing God wouldn't have a problem with that.

posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 12:03 PM
Taxes won't fix their economy. The whole country is being set up for failure by the government, with the media helping. The political system doesn't work anymore.
Elections are bought. Elections are a 2 year long reality show. 2 years out of 4, every 4 years.
Lobbyists buying government officials for corporate interests. $$$$$ corruption.

Everything is politicized.
Everyone is polarized. They argue about everything.
Haves vs have nots.
Religious vs non religious.
White vs non white.
Legal immigrants vs illegal immigrants (even the word illegal doesn't mean what it should).

Spend money on wars, yet cut soldier's pay and benifits.
Give money to foreign countries instead of using to make America prosper.
Let infrastructure fail, even nuclear plants, damns, roads, bridges....
Militarization of the police.
Massive lies and manipulation of the media.
Print money to spend, spend, spend at the risk of devaluing entire money system.

Raising taxes won't fix it.

posted on May, 1 2013 @ 12:14 AM
Interesting thinking, cabin. You should probably carry it further, though.

Let's say we take umptygazillion dollars out of the economy, then the government spends umptygazillion dollars on the economy. We're back where we started, except for the time and money spent accounting for the new taxes and the related forms. Wait, there's one other difference. Now the government has the money to spend the way they want to, and the people don't have it to spend the way they want to. I don't see any good here.

Another avenue for you to explore is what happens when you add an additional sales tax to everything? People buy less, as you said. But if fewer products are being bought, we need fewer people to make them. Hello, higher unemployment.

Just to add an additional thought, since you're talking about the benefits the Nordic countries have, I went to the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. They have something called a "better life index." It ranks the countries involved by eleven factors, including Civic Engament, Housing, Health, Income, Safety, you know the kind of thing. The top six countries are interesting. Yes, you can find the Nordic countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Also in the top six are Canada, US, and Australia. I think Americans can be satisfied.

Better Life Index Click the "by rank" at the bottom left of the chart.

Oh, by the way, the suicide rates in Norway, Switzerland, Finland, and Sweden, are all higher than in the US.


posted on May, 1 2013 @ 08:33 AM
reply to post by Cabin

Just a couple of comments to your OP - without going into whether the overall idea is good or bad, I believe it would be completely destructive UNlESS we revamped our entire fiscal/economic system first - need to remember, the US economy is currently driven almost entirely BY consumption. Whether people want 10-15 years of extreme poverty in order to rebuild a better system is part of the puzzle.

That said, a mention of the US deficit and debt never means much unless looked at in terms of debt:GDP. At this current (time (peaked a year or two ago), we still have significantly less debt to GDP than in the 1940's - so the only real fearthere comes from those who don't understand the workings, or those who profit from said fear.

As far as your list of what seems to be 'wasteful spending' in the US - there are better ways to reduce the negative impacts of some of those things. For example, it is better to drive less by working from home than to make it really costly to drive so that people need to get lucky and live close to work or simply sit around collecting welfare checks and bedsores. Pets on the list? As well as some of the other items - starting to make the EU sound a bit robotic. Not necessary for survival, so tha you can produce fully while consuming as little as possible? Then don't do it. The joy of a pet is not something to waste resources on.

Regarding paying $150 for a pair of jeans, I pay $20 for Calvin Klien jeans at Costco. They usually last me about 3 years. My guess is I spend a fraction of what most Euros do on clothing . It seems "wastefulness" is more a matter of personal choice than one of policy. Sure, policy here may make buying certain things less prohibitive than there, but its not like people go joyriding 1,000 miles a month just because gasoline is "only" $4.29/gallon. People generally do what they want to do, but need to make sacrifices based on costs. If gas was $12/gal due to tax policy, many people would need to cut out running water. Clothing, going out to dinner, movies, ball game, owning a bicycle, etc. - whatever it takes so you can still afford to get to work and pay for a place to live. This is tantamount to forcibly taking away freedoms - but only for the lower classes.

posted on May, 1 2013 @ 08:48 AM
As I understand why you posted and I'm not upset by it. I received an Email from my father who is not Computer savvy but learned how to work Gmail. This is the story that was entailed and I feel that it represents what is "Really" going on~


Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?"
So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies. Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?"

So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports. Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?" So they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer then hired two people.

Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?"
So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back." So they laid-off the night watchman.

NOW slowly, let it sink in.

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter...Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter administration?



Didn't think so!

Bottom line is, we've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency....the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember!


It was very simple... and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate. The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh???



33 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

Ah, yes -- good old Federal bureaucracy.


Hello!! Anybody Home?

Signed....The Night Watchman

If this is Off Topic my appologies but imho it's not just the "taxation w/o representation" it's accross the board how the elite are running this country into the ground.

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