Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space
4

明智的税收方式

雅典/柏林——整个欧洲联盟及世界各国政府都面临着一种类似于“第二十二条军规”这样进退两难的境地:他们背负着巨大的国家债务负担,必须要通过削减开支和增加税收的方式来减少财政赤字,但是这又会抑制推动经济活动和促进经济强劲增长所需的消费支出。随着辩论的焦点从通货紧缩转至旨在刺激经济增长的措施上,实行更明智的税收政策对于维持当前经济的适度平衡至关重要。

在应对增加税收的艰巨任务时,政府通常考虑的是所得税、营业税和增值税。但也有其他税收,即政府已经对电力和化石燃料征收的税收,这种方式在大量增加财政收入的同时,不会对经济产生过多的负面影响。

这种税收在削减导致气候变化的碳排放方面发挥着至关重要的作用。但最近的研究表明,它们还可以在提高政府收入方面发挥有益的作用——以低成本方式促进经济增长。

欧元对欧元,美元对美元,日元对日元:能源税和碳税对一个国家的经济、消费和就业产生的负面影响比所得税和增值税要小。例如,要增加同等数额的财政收入,提高直接税(如所得税)所减少的消费是能源税和碳税的两倍之多。

将消费维持在尽可能高的水平对于重振经济活动至关重要,这意味着创造条件让消费者自由消费同等重要。能源税和碳税可以增加财政收入,同时又可以使经济复苏保持更强劲的状态。传统的税收当然也可以增加收入,但是在这一过程中却给经济增长带来了更大的风险。

现在人们更加密切地关注能源税和碳税,这种做法并非无稽之谈,当然这也不是唯一的原因。当前的能源税框架体系,尤其是在欧洲内部,难以长久维系。在整个欧盟内部,不同燃料的税率差别超过50%,这给单一市场造成重大扭曲。在欧盟内部营造能源税收公平竞争的环境,这将有助于协调经济激励措施,消除司机为降低成本而跨越国界的高风险旅游方式,改善所有欧洲经济体的商业环境。

化石燃料成本上涨,受此驱动,整体能源成本也上涨,这在欧洲的许多国家和其他地区是一个严重的政治问题,包括美国在内。美国的消费能源价格已成为今年总统大选中关注的主要问题。但是,相对于其他形式的税收而言,能源税趋于使整体消费者受益。从规避传统税收带来的负面影响中获得的收益会造福整个经济工作,特别是那些最不富裕的人保持较高的水平家庭可支配收入。

大多数能源税和碳税是由国家政府征收的。但是在欧洲,提高收入有另一种选择,即欧盟排放交易计划(ETS)。说到对于国内生产总值和就业产生的影响,通过这种渠道来增加财政收入所投入的成本比通过提高所得税和附加税来增加财政收入的方式低1/3。

鉴于欧洲的财政赤字和减少这些财政赤字所带来的经济影响,这将可能是一项丰厚的回报。但是首先,压低碳价格的问题必须得到解决。

 各国财政部长需要以更具想象力的方式考虑他们的财政选择。与传统的税收方式相比,能源税和碳税带来的经济上的痛苦更小,收益更大。欧洲需要巩固财政,减少二氧化碳排放,制定经济增长战略。我们应该更加依赖能源税,采取一种有效的欧盟排放交易计划予以实践。

Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space
Hide Comments Hide Comments Read Comments (4)

Please login or register to post a comment

  1. CommentedFlip Bibi

    Gary M:
    Greece has a continuously demoralized civilian population, because their government constantly fails them. Greek society has no faith in their governmental representation, as clearly seen in the last elections. The community is having a hard time just to make it through the day, and they will not give up the little money they have, especially, to a failing and disappointing government. The idea that the government should be completely transparent to its population is wonderful, that a government shows exactly what it will need in order to maintain itself afloat would be wonderful; but it will not work. A system as such will make the government be seen as asking for donations rather than be responsible and enforce proper laws such as taxation. And when it comes to donations we all know how disappointing results are. Placing yourself in the shoes of the average Greek citizen, would you give some of your money to a failing system? My bet is no; I think that you’d rather take that little bit and open an account in a German/Swiss bank. I am surprised that liquid assets have not flooded out of Greek banks yet, but it is trickling out.
    As far as borrowing money, from citizens, at a specific interest rate; yeah, sounds good, but only when you know that your government will hold its end of the deal. Again, the government is not supported by the population. Only after it gets out of this current spiraling disaster, Greece should create a new, fair and enforceable taxation system which does not kill public/privet/foreign incentives to stimulate growth. The population is paying a hefty price, and it is not enough. Unfortunately, Greece has no option but to continue with the austerity programs forced on it by others, and these measures caused nothing but more head-aches. Clearly, people are angry because of the situation their country is in but they have to realize that they are also part of the problem. With new elections looming around the corner, most of Europe is holding its breath. Will Greece vote to remain in the EU, or will they vote anti-austerity? Unfortunately people can’t have it both ways and either way Greece loses. For sure austerity programs help, but that is not the only solution, more is needed in order to get Greece out of the hole.
    Greece is in turmoil; tourism is down, public/privet capital decreasing, foreign investments decreasing, unstable political parties/system and laws that were not properly enforced. Greece has much to think about its future, and so little time.

    1. CommentedGary Marshall

      Hello Flip,

      It is not government by donations.

      The post below advances the abolition of all Taxation. A nation will never repay the monies borrowed in the financial markets. And how does one treat his perpetual banker, knowing the funds can be cut off at any moment?

      That is the reason government will become far more benign and productive than they are at present.

      Can a nation borrow perpetually? Yes, under certain conditions.

      There are few entities on this earth that do not count liabilities among their assets. Most of us carry debts and many other liabilities. That is not the worrying part. The part for concern is the value of our assets. Do one possess assets exceeding those aggregate liabilities. Most will say yes. Some no.

      Does a government possess financial and material resources? Certainly. With Taxation, the combined financial and material resources of every entity within the nation. Without Taxation and with borrowing, the same. This is what backs the nation's financial debts.

      Now if an entity can borrow and invest, creating assets that exceed liabilities, should it do so? The answer is obvious, and just as obvious if it cannot.

      So if a nation can borrow from itself, its citizens, and create assets that exceed the acquired liabilities, should it do so? Yes.

      Banks do it all the time. They borrow from one and invest or loan money to another, living on the margins. They never pay off their lenders. They just borrow more money for supplying more loans, creating assets that exceed liabilities.

      And it will be the same for a nation. Borrow from one and invest in some project, creating assets that exceed liabilities and enriching the nation and its people.

      Access to clean water could be accounted a worthy project with good returns. Dirty or disease laden water can cause a community grievous harm. The local hospital may be overrun with patients suffering all sorts of water borne maladies. The medical costs, lost work days, etc could be erased with a modest investment in purifying the water.

      Simple cost and benefit analysis. If the cost to the community of water borne diseases are $5 million, and construction costs of a water filtration plant $1 million with $1 million in annual expenditures, is this not a valued return to the community? Is it inflationary?

      No because the community now has $3 million per year to go and spend on other items, perhaps better healthcare, better education, a larger home.

      An idle person will cost the community or nation in welfare costs. An annuity of $10,000 would require an initial investment of $200,000 with an interest rate of 5%. If a person collects $10,000 per year, the community or nation would be better off lending funds of say $50,000 for training or education up to amend the burden.

      The piece above merely shows that the cost of borrowing for a nation is in effect nil. The debt obligations issued by a nation create a liability that is equally matched with a created asset, held by a resident US lender.

      Its like a bank adding to both sides of its balance sheet. The addition of an asset offsets or nullifies the addition of equal extent of a liability. Or in other words, are you better off if you borrow $1 from your mother? You owe what you now possess, so your circumstances are unchanged.

      The question for the Government now centers on what we get for our money expended in public projects? With Taxation, there is no justification because government can take your money and do pretty much as it pleases. With borrowing, the government will have to approach the citizen and provide a proper analysis.

      The amounts borrowed will be so large, that no one person or entity could ever exert noticeable control over a nation. It will be a far different story from the present one.

      When the state has to borrow, the kind of corruption you lament will quickly come to an end.

      There is no constraint upon earnings or investment or any worthy activity. No penalty or punishment for productive enterprise. There will also be a great contraction in government expenditures as cost and benefit analysis springs into action. Both factors will create a far more productive and wealthy nation.

      I hope that answers your questions.


      GM

    2. CommentedGary Marshall

      Hello Flip,

      It is not government by donations.

      The post below advances the abolition of all Taxation. A nation will never repay the monies borrowed in the financial markets. And how does one treat his perpetual banker, knowing the funds can be cut off at any moment?

      That is the reason government will become far more benign and productive than they are at present.

      Can a nation borrow perpetually? Yes, under certain conditions.

      There are few entities on this earth that do not count liabilities among their assets. Most of us carry debts and many other liabilities. That is not the worrying part. The part for concern is the value of our assets. Do one possess assets exceeding those aggregate liabilities. Most will say yes. Some no.

      Does a government possess financial and material resources? Certainly. With Taxation, the combined financial and material resources of every entity within the nation. Without Taxation and with borrowing, the same. This is what backs the nation's financial debts.

      Now if an entity can borrow and invest, creating assets that exceed liabilities, should it do so? The answer is obvious, and just as obvious if it cannot.

      So if a nation can borrow from itself, its citizens, and create assets that exceed the acquired liabilities, should it do so? Yes.

      Banks do it all the time. They borrow from one and invest or loan money to another, living on the margins. They never pay off their lenders. They just borrow more money for supplying more loans, creating assets that exceed liabilities.

      And it will be the same for a nation. Borrow from one and invest in some project, creating assets that exceed liabilities and enriching the nation and its people.

      Access to clean water could be accounted a worthy project with good returns. Dirty or disease laden water can cause a community grievous harm. The local hospital may be overrun with patients suffering all sorts of water borne maladies. The medical costs, lost work days, etc could be erased with a modest investment in purifying the water.

      Simple cost and benefit analysis. If the cost to the community of water borne diseases are $5 million, and construction costs of a water filtration plant $1 million with $1 million in annual expenditures, is this not a valued return to the community? Is it inflationary?

      No because the community now has $3 million per year to go and spend on other items, perhaps better healthcare, better education, a larger home.

      An idle person will cost the community or nation in welfare costs. An annuity of $10,000 would require an initial investment of $200,000 with an interest rate of 5%. If a person collects $10,000 per year, the community or nation would be better off lending funds of say $50,000 for training or education up to amend the burden.

      The piece above merely shows that the cost of borrowing for a nation is in effect nil. The debt obligations issued by a nation create a liability that is equally matched with a created asset, held by a resident US lender.

      Its like a bank adding to both sides of its balance sheet. The addition of an asset offsets or nullifies the addition of equal extent of a liability. Or in other words, are you better off if you borrow $1 from your mother? You owe what you now possess, so your circumstances are unchanged.

      The question for the Government now centers on what we get for our money expended in public projects? With Taxation, there is no justification because government can take your money and do pretty much as it pleases. With borrowing, the government will have to approach the citizen and provide a proper analysis.

      The amounts borrowed will be so large, that no one person or entity could ever exert noticeable control over a nation. It will be a far different story from the present one.

      When the state has to borrow, the kind of corruption you lament will quickly come to an end.

      There is no constraint upon earnings or investment or any worthy activity. No penalty or punishment for productive enterprise. There will also be a great contraction in government expenditures as cost and benefit analysis springs into action. Both factors will create a far more productive and wealthy nation.

      I hope that answers your questions.


      GM

  2. CommentedGary Marshall

    Here is a public finance solution to the Greek problem. If anyone can find the flaw, I shall be more than happy to give him or her $50,000. I am just tired of doing this.

    ####

    The costs of borrowing for a nation to fund public expenditures, if it borrows solely from its resident citizens and in the nation's currency, is nil.

    Why? Because if, in adding a financial debt to a community, one adds an equivalent financial asset, the aggregate finances of the community will not in any way be altered. This is simple reasoning confirmed by
    simple arithmetic.

    The community is the source of the government's funds. The government taxes the community to pay for public services provided by the government.

    Cost of public services is $10 million.

    Scenario 1: The government taxes $10 million.

    Community finances: minus $10 million from community bank accounts for government expenditures.
    No community government debt, no community
    government IOU.

    Scenario 2: The government borrows $10 million from solely community lenders at a certain interest rate.

    Community finances: minus $10 million from community bank accounts for government expenditures.
    Community government debt: $10 million;
    Community government bond: $10 million.

    At x years in the future: the asset held by the community (lenders) will be $10 million + y interest. The deferred liability claimed against the community (taxpayers) will be $10 million + y interest.

    The value of all community government debts when combined with all community government IOUs or bonds is zero for the community. It is the same $0 combined worth whether the community pays its taxes immediately or never pays them at all.

    So if a community borrows from its own citizens to fund worthy public expenditures rather than taxes those citizens, it will not alter the aggregate finances of the community or the wealth of the community any
    more than taxation would have. Adding a financial debt and an equivalent financial asset to a community will cause the elimination of both when summed.

    Whatever financial benefit taxation possesses is nullified by the fact that borrowing instead of taxation places no greater financial burden on the community.

    However, the costs of Taxation are immense. By ridding the nation of Taxation and instituting borrowing to fund public expenditures, the nation will shed all those costs of Taxation for the negligible fee of borrowing in the financial markets and the administration of public
    debt.

    Regards,
    Gary Marshall

Featured