Started the same convo on Facebook, and the state v. federal distinction was brought up, but also there was this:
ME: Wait a minute: I just checked A1S8 of the constitution, which says in part that "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States" ... but presumably this power to lay and collect taxes does NOT apply to taxes on assets/wealth? Again, why?
GUY 1: I don't know. But you'd think that would cover income tax, yet that required an amendment. I'm just guessing here.
GUY 2: Because they wouldn't be uniform. Some would pay more than others. That's why an amendment was necessary to impose an income tax. But that amendment was just about income, not wealth.
ME: "Because they wouldn't be uniform. Some would pay more than others." Huh? Couldn't you say the same about "duties, imposts and excises" -- at least in the sense that, say, if YOUR factory manufactured $1 million worth of goods last year whereas MY factory only manufactured $100,000 worth, you'd pay excise taxes ten times higher than mine? (I say this on the assumption that there never was, like, a single one-size-fits-all "excise" tax which applied to ANYONE who manufactured and sold things in-country, regardless of how much or how valuable.)
ME: Or with whiskey taxes: surely those were "uniform" in the sense that you and I both pay the same tax-per-gallon, but that does NOT mean "every whiskey maker pays the exact same amount of tax regardless of how much or how little whiskey they make." We would still have different tax bills based on how much whiskey we actually made and sold.
GUY 2: Those are all uniform per unit, from the first to the nth.
A wealth tax is not going to be uniform per unit because nobody's going to propose taxing your first unit of wealth, or at least not at the same rate as your nth unit. There'll be a tax-free amount then most likely a progressive structure as with income taxes.
GUY 3 [expat Brit in America, FWIW]: It can be seen as a "progressive" rather than uniform tax, or "means-tested". I favor AOC's 60%-70% on earnings over $ 34,715 an hour. That encourages re-investment into businesses.
While status is predicated on numbers in the bank, this will continue to be a problem. Personally I'm prouder of the number of jobs I've created than the marginal tax bracket I'm in.
ME [responding to G2's latest comment since G3's was not yet visible]: But -- taking a *strictly* constitutional POV (meaning, I am reading what's in the constitution, and nothing else at all) -- the income tax amendment does not say anything about allowing progressive rates either. Also: I'm looking at a "Constitution Center" website (link below), which I just-now found while searching for the text of the 16th amendment -- it mentions background stuff which I only just learned but I'm sure you know already, regarding Pollock, direct v. indirect taxation, and so on. So I read part of this thing, then switched from reading to skimming once my eyes started glazing over pretty slick, and -- I'm still not seeing for certain how this remains relevant re: Warren/Trump's wealth tax proposal, compared to all the other taxes which already exist.
ME: Oh, and here's that link I mentioned: https://constitutioncenter.org/interact ... q66xGlcluE
GUY 2: Oh, as I said above, I'm not an expert on this issue. Which is why I would never wager that the Court would rule the way these critics would. [snip] I wouldn't wager that the Court shares their view of Warren's tax. I wouldn't wager it doesn't, either. I just wouldn't wager.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b