The Real Effect
Exactly. For starters an income tax is a repugnant idea. It basically holds that you "owe" another entity, in this case the Federal Government, a bill because you had "income". Put another way, the Federal government is entitled to a percentage of each and every trade that is made to improve our social conditions. This is an outrageous idea on it's face and part of the reason why I staunchly oppose most flat taxes and the like. Those plans view the problem as this -
Well, the government "needs" 30% to stay afloat, so we have to "pay" for that somehow.
While true that the government has debt, it ignores the much larger issue in the room. Government is supposed to benefit the people, not vice-versa. And who can really argue that the people are benefiting from the government at this point? It is exactly this type of top-down approach that gets the initial question wrong, therefore any solution that follows may succeed in a sense, but is ultimately doomed to fail.
This is what we learned in the last 100 years of socialist experiments. When you allow the state to control the means of production through either outright or overt methods, the bloodshed and war that intrinsically follow literally consume the people's prosperity. It is to this end that the government is established, to prevent this from occurring not enable it.
The question that we must ask is not what can government afford, but what can the people afford? With millions of us unemployed, on food stamps and in some cases literally starving how can we as a nation justify not implementing this 0% tax?
Ultimately, we need to do what is right for the people, not the banks or the government.