Tag Archives: taxes

Putting Tax Cuts in Terms Everyone Can Understand

Some time ago I ran across the following post from Mark Gwilliam (see below), and I just had to post it here in its entirety. This might be a little tongue-in-cheek?

“Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the
arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you
are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost
of your daily beer by $20.”Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so
the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.
But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could
they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted
that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man
would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s
bill by roughly the same [ratio] amount, and he proceeded to work out the
amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings)

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).

The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four
continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men
began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20,”declared the sixth man. He
pointed to the tenth man,” but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”

“That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back
when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get
anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine
sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the
bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough
money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how
our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the
most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for
being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they
might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat



An excerpt from:  David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. Professor of Economics University of Georgia”

Mark Gwilliam is the founder and Managing Director of the Business Advisory Services Group a professional services organisation that provides accounting; tax; corporate governance & risk management; business consulting and secretarial services throughout New Zealand and Australia. Mark’s blog is very informative for all small businesses, and can be found here.

Another Inconvenient Truth

I had heard of this documentary film about America’s fiscal problems, and then a friend just sent me a short version of the movie. I think we all have our own ideas about what the current economic situation means, but this is the only place I have seen the actual fiscal facts pulled together. It was produced by Christine O’Malley, an Academy Award nominee, and directed by Patrick Creadon, of Sundance fame. The full-length movie is a nonpartisan film that follows former U.S. Comptroller General, David Walker, as he crisscrosses the country explaining America’s unsustainable fiscal policies to its citizens. It was made prior to the election, bailouts, and the stimulus bill, so some of the current conditions are now even more dramatic.

The facts presented in this shortened video affect every small business and individual in the U.S.–probably the world. Although the video is about 30 minutes long, I think, like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, it is important enough that, hopefully, readers would set aside the time to take a look at it.

(email subscribers–view on the blog)

With so much doom and gloom, and misinformation coming out of the Eastern press, it is good to see exactly what lies ahead of us, so we can act accordingly. We will know how to plan for our future business, and what we have to do to make our businesses successful. The U.S. may no longer be the industrial giant of the world, but we certainly are a large community of entrepreneurs that work in our homes, in garages, in forest cabins, in university dorms, and in every block of every city of America. With our innate spirit of innovation, we can overcome the fiscal problems of America–and we will.

If anyone spent the time to view this documentary, I would appreciate your thoughts.