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msduncan
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« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2008, 11:29:23 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on June 11, 2008, 02:40:21 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on June 11, 2008, 12:29:31 PM

In fairness the same thing could be said about the Fox News story at the top of the thread.

After reading through several articles on both candidate's proposals in the last few days I like Obama's better.  Neither is perfect, but unless I get a big raise over the next four year to over $250K per year Obama's plan would suit me best. Provided he follows through with his claims and is able to get most of his policies through Congress. 

I have no particular issue with the Fox News story - just with msduncan's "summary".

As far as getting policies through congress, the Democrats will control the house again, and will almost certainly increase their control in the senate, so it's more likely that Obama can deliver on his plan than McCain.

What's wrong with my summary?   Is it not accurate?    Tax the rich and tax oil company profits.     
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Brendan
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« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2008, 11:34:15 PM »

Quote from: msduncan on June 11, 2008, 11:29:23 PM

Quote from: Brendan on June 11, 2008, 02:40:21 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on June 11, 2008, 12:29:31 PM

In fairness the same thing could be said about the Fox News story at the top of the thread.

After reading through several articles on both candidate's proposals in the last few days I like Obama's better.  Neither is perfect, but unless I get a big raise over the next four year to over $250K per year Obama's plan would suit me best. Provided he follows through with his claims and is able to get most of his policies through Congress. 

I have no particular issue with the Fox News story - just with msduncan's "summary".

As far as getting policies through congress, the Democrats will control the house again, and will almost certainly increase their control in the senate, so it's more likely that Obama can deliver on his plan than McCain.

What's wrong with my summary?   Is it not accurate?    Tax the rich and tax oil company profits.     

If you were sincerely attempting to understand Obama's economic proposals, you could make a list of pros/cons, details sources of funding and destinations of funding, etc, but instead you picked out two red-meat conservative issues and presented them in context-less fashion.
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Pyperkub
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« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2008, 11:39:25 PM »

Quote from: gellar on June 11, 2008, 06:47:17 PM

Quote from: Geezer on June 11, 2008, 01:00:48 PM

There's not much new there , but there is an interesting contrast in the fundamental question of whether the government should forcibly redistribute wealth, and the corollary, what constitutes a "fair share" of each of us paying for the government.

Personally, I think the inheritance tax is bogus for a couple of reasons, including the fact that it makes it hard for family-owned businesses to transition from generation to generation, not to mention the fact that I find it disingenuous that the government thinks it should get a piece every time someone dies and the heirs inherit.  I just don't see the logic in that.

The AMT also has to go.  The fact that 80% of the benefit goes to this nebulous "wealthy" bogeyman is a poor reason to hamstring the other 20% that get screwed by this decades-old attempt to plug a loophole that was foolishly created without any accounting for inflation.

On the other hand, doubling the child tax credit is weak, but since the vast majority of Americans are afraid to oppose anything that's "for the children" it's a safe pander, and one that I'm sure will meet with great popular support. 

Finally, McCain's "Gas tax reprieve" is preposterous.  Minimal effect, but a great sound bite to capture stupid people.  Exactly the kind of thing that I loathe.

As for Obama, I'm not a fan of raising the social security contribution cap.  That fund is already horribly mismanaged, and used in all sorts of accounting games.  Why should I have to pay MORE into it when the conventional wisdom is that I'll never see a dime of what I put in anyway.

It's also completely beyond me why senior citizens shouldn't have to pay income taxes.

What I want to see, and what is conspicuously absent, is what spending each candidate will *eliminate* to ensure we only pay intaxes what we *need to* instead of paying more and more for a variety of pet projects, social engineering experiments, and misguided moral initiatives.

Agreed with you, pretty much point for point. 

Ultimately I don't really believe that either candidate has a snowball's chance in hell of getting their entire plan done.  As someone who finds the concept of 'redistributing wealth' as ridiculously preposterous, stupid, and counter intuitive to capitalism, I find large issues with the overall theme of the Obama plan.  That being said, at least his 'plan' makes sense relative to the competition (false praise for sure). 

McCain's plan is asinine.  In overall theory I agree with less taxes, BUT NOT WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO SPEND MORE.  I don't particular care about who's going to end up paying our national debt (cause it sure as fuck isn't going to be me - I'll be dead and gone), but I do think the combination of cutting taxes and spending more money is politicking at its worsts: pandering to what people want to hear but not having it make a lick of sense at all.

In other words, both suck.  A lot.

gellar

You can think of the redistributing wealth portion of the Democratic platform as protection money if you like. 
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msduncan
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« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2008, 03:37:42 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on June 11, 2008, 11:34:15 PM

Quote from: msduncan on June 11, 2008, 11:29:23 PM

Quote from: Brendan on June 11, 2008, 02:40:21 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on June 11, 2008, 12:29:31 PM

In fairness the same thing could be said about the Fox News story at the top of the thread.

After reading through several articles on both candidate's proposals in the last few days I like Obama's better.  Neither is perfect, but unless I get a big raise over the next four year to over $250K per year Obama's plan would suit me best. Provided he follows through with his claims and is able to get most of his policies through Congress. 

I have no particular issue with the Fox News story - just with msduncan's "summary".

As far as getting policies through congress, the Democrats will control the house again, and will almost certainly increase their control in the senate, so it's more likely that Obama can deliver on his plan than McCain.

What's wrong with my summary?   Is it not accurate?    Tax the rich and tax oil company profits.     

If you were sincerely attempting to understand Obama's economic proposals, you could make a list of pros/cons, details sources of funding and destinations of funding, etc, but instead you picked out two red-meat conservative issues and presented them in context-less fashion.


You can place all sorts of justifications on it.   I simply boiled it down to what it is:   taxing the rich, and taxing the oil companies.
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Brendan
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« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2008, 03:46:08 AM »

Quote from: msduncan on June 12, 2008, 03:37:42 AM

You can place all sorts of justifications on it.   I simply boiled it down to what it is:   taxing the rich, and taxing the oil companies.

Posts like this are why you can never credibly complain about anything political.  You have no interest in honest discussion.
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gellar
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« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2008, 03:59:02 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on June 12, 2008, 03:46:08 AM

Quote from: msduncan on June 12, 2008, 03:37:42 AM

You can place all sorts of justifications on it.   I simply boiled it down to what it is:   taxing the rich, and taxing the oil companies.

Posts like this are why you can never credibly complain about anything political.  You have no interest in honest discussion.

Yeah but I can play his game too.  It's fun.  Watch:

McCain's plan amounts to taxing less and spending more.  It's PROTOTYPICALLY American.  When the citizens of a country live out of their means on a constant basis, why the fuck can't the government?  Maybe Visa will give us the money.

gellar
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Brendan
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« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2008, 04:06:41 AM »

Quote from: gellar on June 12, 2008, 03:59:02 AM

Yeah but I can play his game too.  It's fun.  Watch:

McCain's plan amounts to taxing less and spending more.  It's PROTOTYPICALLY American.  When the citizens of a country live out of their means on a constant basis, why the fuck can't the government?  Maybe Visa will give us the money.

Heh - I should give that tactic more of a shot.  It's way less time-consuming than actually, y'know, citing sources to point out gross factual errors.

The truth is that neither budget proposal looks to pay for itself.  Obama's has more detail, cuts taxes on people making less than 250k, certainly aligns better with my politics, and can actually be implemented with a friendly congress.  McCain's is super vague and actually spends more than Obama's.

The non-partisan Annenberg Foundation Fact Check has two good articles on McCain's budget plan:

Part I
Part II

They don't yet have one up for Obama, but I'll certainly post it when they do.
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msduncan
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« Reply #47 on: June 12, 2008, 11:03:27 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on June 12, 2008, 03:46:08 AM

Quote from: msduncan on June 12, 2008, 03:37:42 AM

You can place all sorts of justifications on it.   I simply boiled it down to what it is:   taxing the rich, and taxing the oil companies.

Posts like this are why you can never credibly complain about anything political.  You have no interest in honest discussion.

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msduncan
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« Reply #48 on: June 12, 2008, 11:06:47 AM »

Quote from: gellar on June 12, 2008, 03:59:02 AM

Quote from: Brendan on June 12, 2008, 03:46:08 AM

Quote from: msduncan on June 12, 2008, 03:37:42 AM

You can place all sorts of justifications on it.   I simply boiled it down to what it is:   taxing the rich, and taxing the oil companies.

Posts like this are why you can never credibly complain about anything political.  You have no interest in honest discussion.

Yeah but I can play his game too.  It's fun.  Watch:

McCain's plan amounts to taxing less and spending more.  It's PROTOTYPICALLY American.  When the citizens of a country live out of their means on a constant basis, why the fuck can't the government?  Maybe Visa will give us the money.

gellar

Obama's taxes more and spends more.     We need taxes less and spends less.     

But if I had to choose between what we have in front of us, I'm going to choose taxes less every time.   People who think taxes on corporations or the capital holders in this country doesn't affect them directly are kidding themselves.   Keynesian economics don't work.
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Mookee
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« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2008, 02:56:37 PM »

Quote from: msduncan on June 12, 2008, 11:06:47 AM

Keynesian economics don't work.

saywhat

This is so ridiculous that it doesn't even make sense.
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Geezer
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« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2008, 03:01:38 PM »

Quote from: msduncan on June 12, 2008, 11:06:47 AM

Quote from: gellar on June 12, 2008, 03:59:02 AM

Quote from: Brendan on June 12, 2008, 03:46:08 AM

Quote from: msduncan on June 12, 2008, 03:37:42 AM

You can place all sorts of justifications on it.   I simply boiled it down to what it is:   taxing the rich, and taxing the oil companies.

Posts like this are why you can never credibly complain about anything political.  You have no interest in honest discussion.

Yeah but I can play his game too.  It's fun.  Watch:

McCain's plan amounts to taxing less and spending more.  It's PROTOTYPICALLY American.  When the citizens of a country live out of their means on a constant basis, why the fuck can't the government?  Maybe Visa will give us the money.

gellar

Obama's taxes more and spends more.     We need taxes less and spends less.     

But if I had to choose between what we have in front of us, I'm going to choose taxes less every time.   People who think taxes on corporations or the capital holders in this country doesn't affect them directly are kidding themselves.   Keynesian economics don't work.

Economics only works when it runs on voodoo slywink

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Brendan
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« Reply #51 on: June 12, 2008, 03:52:35 PM »

Quote from: msduncan on June 12, 2008, 11:06:47 AM

Obama's taxes more and spends more.     We need taxes less and spends less.    

It's sort of incomprehensible to me that nothing will derail the bizarro world ideology espoused here.

I've given you, what, a dozen links that explain that McCain's plan is the one that "spends more," and it's not even by a particularly close margin.  This reminds me of the thread where you claimed you'd never heard of any of the right-wing preachers who'd blamed Americans for the 9/11 attacks, and even when links were provided, you kept hanging your hat on conditional statements like "well, IF they said those things..."  when there was never any doubt that they'd said "those things".

You're proving to be profoundly dishonest in your debating technique.  A normal person, in the case of the Wright/Robertson thread, would say "Wow - I didn't realize that those right-wing people I support had said hateful things that I've condemned in left-wing preachers.  I am morally obligated to condemn those too, and I'm disappointed to learn that they're that intolerant."  In the case of this thread, a normal person with a conservative mindset would say "I disagree fundamentally with the idea of taxing the rich more than taxing other people, but I'm disappointed to see that McCain's plan spends more overall than Obama's."

The truth is that most people would see more financial benefit from Obama's plan than from McCain's, so much so that an msduncan summary of McCain's budget would be best rendered as "Tax cuts only for the rich."

Businessweek:

Quote
Len Berman, a former Treasury tax official who is now a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, says if Obama's proposals—which include plans to rescind the Bush tax cuts on couples making more than $250,000, close corporate tax loopholes, and tax private equity earnings known as "carried interest" as ordinary income—were adopted in 2009, for example, married couples with earnings in the lowest quintile of the population would see their aftertax income rise 5.8%. Those in the next quintile would see an increase of 4%. Those breaks would be paid for by those with high incomes: the top 1% of taxpayers would see aftertax income fall 8.4%.

Under McCain's proposals, by contrast—including an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers, a corporate tax cut, and a larger reduction in estate taxes than Obama would support—far more of the benefits would go to the top. If his plans went into effect in 2009, married couples in the bottom fifth of the population would see aftertax income go up just 0.2%, while those in the next quintile would see a 0.7% hike. But those in the top quintile would see a bump up in aftertax income of 2.7%.

But that doesn't square with the meme you're trying to push, so instead of you summarizing the Obama plan as "Tax increases on top 1%, tax cuts on bottom 99%", you frame it in what I now realize is a typically misleading manner.

There are things about Obama's plans that disappoint me.  I am reasonably certain he'll backtrack on his earlier statements about renegotiating NAFTA, and I'm not sure where he'll end up on that, his health care plan is clearly inferior to the one that Clinton proposed, etc, etc.  I'm happy to discuss the real merits/flaws of either candidate's proposals, but a requirement is that you stop pretending that down is up.
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denoginizer
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« Reply #52 on: June 12, 2008, 05:18:34 PM »

I read this article in today's USA Today on my lunch hour.  It talks about the increasing numbers of $200K+ wage earners not paying income taxes. 

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2008-06-11-taxes_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip


Quote
New IRS statistics show 7,389 federal tax returns with $200,000 or more in adjusted gross income reported no federal income taxes in 2005. That's a 161% jump from the 2,833 comparable returns filed in 2004.

Additionally, 4,224 of the over-$200,000 earners reported no worldwide income tax liability on their 2005 returns, the IRS data show. That represents a 75% increase from the 2,420 comparable returns filed in 2004.

Quote
Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, Washington also allowed taxpayers to eliminate up to 100% of their alternative minimum tax liability by using credits for any foreign taxes paid. Before tax year 2005, those credits could only eliminate 90% of federal income taxes.

High-income earners — guided by accountants and tax advisers — reacted swiftly to the change, which remains in effect. In 2004, IRS data show they reported $16.6 million in foreign tax credits. The following year, the total credits claimed soared to $447.3 million.
I think if Obama raises taxes on these people without changing some tax laws this trend will only continue.  This could cause problems if he want to fund tax cuts on the middle class by raising taxes on high wage earners as his proposals suggest.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 05:22:28 PM by denoginizer » Logged

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Brendan
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« Reply #53 on: June 12, 2008, 05:48:00 PM »

Yeah, the Katrina bill hit its sunset date obviously, but they should've restricted it to actual Katrina-related donations.  The "American Jobs Creation Act" was criticized at the time of passage for precisely these sorts of problems - advantaging the rich over the poor.  Check out the co-sponsor list for the party affiliation.
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« Reply #54 on: June 12, 2008, 06:01:02 PM »

New analysis yesterday by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center of both Obama and McCain's plans.

Can't cut/paste from the pdf, but the graph on page 35 shows that Obama's tax cuts are much larger than McCain's for the lowest, second, and middle quintiles and just higher than McCain's for the fourth quintile.  McCain's tax cuts benefit the top quintile far more than any of the other income groups, all of whom do better under Obama.  And yes, msduncan, this is at the expense of the top 1 percent, who will lose about 2.5% off of their after-tax income.

"Under either Senator Obama’s or Senator McCain’s plan, however, the debt would likely continue to rise as it has over the past eight years, even under the CBO’s relatively optimistic assumptions about spending. Senator Obama’s plan would add $3.3 trillion to the national debt (including additional interest costs) while Senator McCain’s plan would add $4.5 trillion."

The analysis does not, as far as I can tell, handle the costs of the war in Iraq - obviously Obama intends to pull combat brigades out, while McCain intends to leave them there.  The latter is clearly more expensive than the former.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 06:09:24 PM by Brendan » Logged
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« Reply #55 on: June 12, 2008, 07:05:20 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on June 12, 2008, 03:52:35 PM


Businessweek:

Quote
Len Berman, a former Treasury tax official who is now a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, says if Obama's proposals—which include plans to rescind the Bush tax cuts on couples making more than $250,000, close corporate tax loopholes, and tax private equity earnings known as "carried interest" as ordinary income—were adopted in 2009, for example, married couples with earnings in the lowest quintile of the population would see their aftertax income rise 5.8%. Those in the next quintile would see an increase of 4%. Those breaks would be paid for by those with high incomes: the top 1% of taxpayers would see aftertax income fall 8.4%.

OK, but here's a question (and note that I honestly do see both sides of this equation):

Assuming that we're not talking about people at the poverty level here (who don't get taxed anyway), why do those in the bottom 3/5 *deserve* an increase in post-tax income when it's coming out of the pockets of those in the top 20%?

Remember that we're not talking about the necessity for people to meet basic needs - we're talking about various levels of available "luxury" spending (for lack of a better term).

Further, let's step out of the rather antiseptic percentages realm and discuss it in terms of dollar figures.  Why should someone who earns $250,000 a year be forced to give an extra 20K after taxes to the government so 10 someones who earns 40K a year can each keep an additional 2K per year?

It's easy to say (and I agree with the fact) that no one needs 250k annually to survive, but if someone making 40K a year is also able to survive, what it the justification for essentially forcibly transferring discretionary purchasing power to them from someone with an equally valid claim to that purchasing power?
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Geezer
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« Reply #56 on: June 12, 2008, 07:07:45 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on June 12, 2008, 05:18:34 PM

I read this article in today's USA Today on my lunch hour.  It talks about the increasing numbers of $200K+ wage earners not paying income taxes. 

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2008-06-11-taxes_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip


Quote
New IRS statistics show 7,389 federal tax returns with $200,000 or more in adjusted gross income reported no federal income taxes in 2005. That's a 161% jump from the 2,833 comparable returns filed in 2004.

Additionally, 4,224 of the over-$200,000 earners reported no worldwide income tax liability on their 2005 returns, the IRS data show. That represents a 75% increase from the 2,420 comparable returns filed in 2004.

Quote
Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, Washington also allowed taxpayers to eliminate up to 100% of their alternative minimum tax liability by using credits for any foreign taxes paid. Before tax year 2005, those credits could only eliminate 90% of federal income taxes.

High-income earners — guided by accountants and tax advisers — reacted swiftly to the change, which remains in effect. In 2004, IRS data show they reported $16.6 million in foreign tax credits. The following year, the total credits claimed soared to $447.3 million.
I think if Obama raises taxes on these people without changing some tax laws this trend will only continue.  This could cause problems if he want to fund tax cuts on the middle class by raising taxes on high wage earners as his proposals suggest.



That's the same study I referred to earlier in the thread, though we didn't touch on the foreign tax credit issue. Note, however, that all this is doing is eliminating instances of double taxation.
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« Reply #57 on: June 12, 2008, 07:52:37 PM »

Quote from: Geezer on June 12, 2008, 07:05:20 PM

Quote from: Brendan on June 12, 2008, 03:52:35 PM


Businessweek:

Quote
Len Berman, a former Treasury tax official who is now a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, says if Obama's proposals—which include plans to rescind the Bush tax cuts on couples making more than $250,000, close corporate tax loopholes, and tax private equity earnings known as "carried interest" as ordinary income—were adopted in 2009, for example, married couples with earnings in the lowest quintile of the population would see their aftertax income rise 5.8%. Those in the next quintile would see an increase of 4%. Those breaks would be paid for by those with high incomes: the top 1% of taxpayers would see aftertax income fall 8.4%.

OK, but here's a question (and note that I honestly do see both sides of this equation):

Assuming that we're not talking about people at the poverty level here (who don't get taxed anyway), why do those in the bottom 3/5 *deserve* an increase in post-tax income when it's coming out of the pockets of those in the top 20%?

Remember that we're not talking about the necessity for people to meet basic needs - we're talking about various levels of available "luxury" spending (for lack of a better term).

Further, let's step out of the rather antiseptic percentages realm and discuss it in terms of dollar figures.  Why should someone who earns $250,000 a year be forced to give an extra 20K after taxes to the government so 10 someones who earns 40K a year can each keep an additional 2K per year?

It's easy to say (and I agree with the fact) that no one needs 250k annually to survive, but if someone making 40K a year is also able to survive, what it the justification for essentially forcibly transferring discretionary purchasing power to them from someone with an equally valid claim to that purchasing power?

Using that same logic, why don't we have everyone pay the same exact dollar amount to the Government?  Everyone who earned anything last year can just pay around $7,500 regardless of income (plus FICA, Medicare, State Taxes, etc.).  If you can't pay, the IRS can just garnish your wages and possessions.  If it's a choice between starving and paying your taxes, you starve.  If it's a choice between keeping your home and paying your taxes, you go homeless.  Is that unfair?

If you believe that to be unfair, you're essentially agreeing that some people have the means to pay better than others and, as such, they should pay more.  That's why people use percentages instead of hard dollars, have minimum income amounts and have standard deductions - because for a workable tax plan to exist, you have to acknowledge that a flat tax is inherently unfair due to the difference between spending on staples to live and discretionary spending.  And if you agree to that point, then the right question is "how much more"?  Interestingly enough, during the period of the greatest middle class wealth creation in American history (post-WWII), the top tax rate was consistently 70-85%. 

By the way, you aren't going to survive very well on $40k in many metropolitan markets.  Especially if you have a family.
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« Reply #58 on: June 12, 2008, 08:03:45 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on June 12, 2008, 07:52:37 PM

Quote from: Geezer on June 12, 2008, 07:05:20 PM

Quote from: Brendan on June 12, 2008, 03:52:35 PM


Businessweek:

Quote
Len Berman, a former Treasury tax official who is now a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, says if Obama's proposals—which include plans to rescind the Bush tax cuts on couples making more than $250,000, close corporate tax loopholes, and tax private equity earnings known as "carried interest" as ordinary income—were adopted in 2009, for example, married couples with earnings in the lowest quintile of the population would see their aftertax income rise 5.8%. Those in the next quintile would see an increase of 4%. Those breaks would be paid for by those with high incomes: the top 1% of taxpayers would see aftertax income fall 8.4%.

OK, but here's a question (and note that I honestly do see both sides of this equation):

Assuming that we're not talking about people at the poverty level here (who don't get taxed anyway), why do those in the bottom 3/5 *deserve* an increase in post-tax income when it's coming out of the pockets of those in the top 20%?

Remember that we're not talking about the necessity for people to meet basic needs - we're talking about various levels of available "luxury" spending (for lack of a better term).

Further, let's step out of the rather antiseptic percentages realm and discuss it in terms of dollar figures.  Why should someone who earns $250,000 a year be forced to give an extra 20K after taxes to the government so 10 someones who earns 40K a year can each keep an additional 2K per year?

It's easy to say (and I agree with the fact) that no one needs 250k annually to survive, but if someone making 40K a year is also able to survive, what it the justification for essentially forcibly transferring discretionary purchasing power to them from someone with an equally valid claim to that purchasing power?

Using that same logic, why don't we have everyone pay the same exact dollar amount to the Government?  Everyone who earned anything last year can just pay around $7,500 regardless of income (plus FICA, Medicare, State Taxes, etc.).  If you can't pay, the IRS can just garnish your wages and possessions.  If it's a choice between starving and paying your taxes, you starve.  If it's a choice between keeping your home and paying your taxes, you go homeless.  Is that unfair?

I think I suggested that very thing in another thread, actually.  Take the federal budget, divide it by the adult populace and come up with a baseline.  From there, you obviously need to make allowances for the unemployed and the unable to pay.  If you can't pay financially, you can pay with national service or volunteerism or something.   There is no choice between starving and paying taxes, any more than there is under the current system.

Quote from: Blackadar on June 12, 2008, 07:52:37 PM

If you believe that to be unfair, you're essentially agreeing that some people have the means to pay better than others and, as such, they should pay more.

But I don't, so I'm not.

Quote from: Blackadar on June 12, 2008, 07:52:37 PM

That's why people use percentages instead of hard dollars, have minimum income amounts and have standard deductions - because for a workable tax plan to exist, you have to acknowledge that a flat tax is inherently unfair due to the difference between spending on staples to live and discretionary spending.

So long as allowances are made for a reasonable baseline standard of living, what's inherently unfair? 

Quote from: Blackadar on June 12, 2008, 07:52:37 PM

Interestingly enough, during the period of the greatest middle class wealth creation in American history (post-WWII), the top tax rate was consistently 70-85%.

Wat does the top marginal tax rate have to do with the creation of wealth in the middle class, and what else was going on then that might account for that explosion in the middle class?   

Quote from: Blackadar on June 12, 2008, 07:52:37 PM

By the way, you aren't going to survive very well on $40k in many metropolitan markets.  Especially if you have a family.

Perhaps you shouldn't have a family if you can't afford it?

I'm curious as to why you think it's unfair for Americans to share the burden of our mutual needs equally.
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« Reply #59 on: June 12, 2008, 08:05:37 PM »

A little more tax analysis:

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Obama, who casts himself as an out-of-the box, post-partisan politician, has put together a fairly conventional Democratic tax plan. Despite McCain’s recent claim that Obama would raise taxes for all, it turns out that middle-class families would do better under Obama (who would cut their taxes by $1000 in 2009) than McCain (who would cut them by only $300). Obama’s generosity comes at a price, however, He’d raise the national debt by a staggering $3.3 trillion over the next decade, and that includes more than $900 billion in promised revenue raisers that TPC could not verify.

So, Obama's tax policy would in theory raise the national debt by 3.3 trillion over 10 years.

Quote
Keeping to the pattern of Bush-era Republicans, McCain would also go deeper into the red than Obama. Including interest, he’d increase the national debt by $4.5 trillion over a decade. To what I suppose is his credit, McCain only includes about $365 billion in unspecified revenue raisers in his plan compared with Obama’s $900 billion. Let’s just say both have wills far bigger than their wallets.

Pretty graph (from another site):



2 problems with this graph - what exactly are the quintile incomes levels set at, and where's the capital gains analysis (it says cash income only)?  By this, only the top 20% would pay more under Obama's plan, and most of them would be paying (on average) only 2% more, most of which appears to come from the top 1%, whereas you better be in the top 25% under McCain's plan if you want to see more than a 1% change.

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« Reply #60 on: June 12, 2008, 08:10:18 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on June 12, 2008, 06:01:02 PM

New analysis yesterday by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center of both Obama and McCain's plans.

Can't cut/paste from the pdf, but the graph on page 35 shows that Obama's tax cuts are much larger than McCain's for the lowest, second, and middle quintiles and just higher than McCain's for the fourth quintile.  McCain's tax cuts benefit the top quintile far more than any of the other income groups, all of whom do better under Obama.  And yes, msduncan, this is at the expense of the top 1 percent, who will lose about 2.5% off of their after-tax income.

"Under either Senator Obama’s or Senator McCain’s plan, however, the debt would likely continue to rise as it has over the past eight years, even under the CBO’s relatively optimistic assumptions about spending. Senator Obama’s plan would add $3.3 trillion to the national debt (including additional interest costs) while Senator McCain’s plan would add $4.5 trillion."

The analysis does not, as far as I can tell, handle the costs of the war in Iraq - obviously Obama intends to pull combat brigades out, while McCain intends to leave them there.  The latter is clearly more expensive than the former.

And of course, fiscal conservatives continue to neglect the direct costs of the national debt - interest paid.  In this case GWB is lucky he's made the economy shit because the correspondingly low interest rates have kept this from blowing up.  But our interest paid is up to $440 billion per year and is now the 3rd largest item in the budget (this is up from $350 under Clinton).  When the economy turns around (under a Democratic President), that interest expense will balloon to over $500 billion dollars.  Essentially, GWB's spend-and-tax the poor-policies have left us a ticking time bomb when it comes to interest expense.  Imagine the tax cuts we could offer with a free $440 billion...
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« Reply #61 on: June 12, 2008, 08:12:57 PM »

Quote from: Geezer on June 12, 2008, 08:03:45 PM

I think I suggested that very thing in another thread, actually.  Take the federal budget, divide it by the adult populace and come up with a baseline.  From there, you obviously need to make allowances for the unemployed and the unable to pay.  If you can't pay financially, you can pay with national service or volunteerism or something.   There is no choice between starving and paying taxes, any more than there is under the current system.

Hmmm...so to boil your position down to it's bare essence - if you don't earn enough to pay your taxes, you're a slave.  Feudalism at it's best!
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« Reply #62 on: June 12, 2008, 08:19:58 PM »

Quote from: Pyperkub on June 12, 2008, 08:05:37 PM

2 problems with this graph - what exactly are the quintile incomes levels set at, and where's the capital gains analysis (it says cash income only)?  By this, only the top 20% would pay more under Obama's plan, and most of them would be paying (on average) only 2% more, most of which appears to come from the top 1%, whereas you better be in the top 25% under McCain's plan if you want to see more than a 1% change.

The information (including the graph) comes from the pdf report I linked to.  I believe they're laid out on page 22.  The top 1% appear to make above $603,402, while the top 0.1% make over $2,871,682.

Also, that's the graph for 2009, but if you look at the graph for 2012 (after everything's phased in), even the top quintile has a tax cut under the Obama plan, though it's only 2.0% under Obama, while it's 6.0% under McCain.
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« Reply #63 on: June 12, 2008, 08:22:13 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on June 12, 2008, 08:12:57 PM

Quote from: Geezer on June 12, 2008, 08:03:45 PM

I think I suggested that very thing in another thread, actually.  Take the federal budget, divide it by the adult populace and come up with a baseline.  From there, you obviously need to make allowances for the unemployed and the unable to pay.  If you can't pay financially, you can pay with national service or volunteerism or something.   There is no choice between starving and paying taxes, any more than there is under the current system.

Hmmm...so to boil your position down to it's bare essence - if you don't earn enough to pay your taxes, you're a slave.  Feudalism at it's best!

I wasn't aware  that work-for-pay constituted feudalism.  Nor was I aware that under our current system tax scofflaws were able to go merrily skipping along unencumbered by their debt.

Anyway, you can continue distorrting what I'm asking, or simply answer the questions I asked, starting with why you think it's unfair for Americans to share the burden of our mutual needs equally?

Then, though it's not necessarily important to the discussion, you can tell me why you think the high post-WWII top marginal rate was the determining factor in the post-war economic expansion we enjoyed.
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« Reply #64 on: June 12, 2008, 08:24:01 PM »

Quote from: Geezer on June 12, 2008, 08:22:13 PM

Anyway you can continue distorrting what I'm asking, or simply answer the questions I asked, starting with why you think it's unfair for Americans to share the burden of our mutual needs equally?

Tell me if I'm mischaracterizing this, but you're essentially saying you don't understand why progressive taxation is a more desireable system than a flat system, yes?
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« Reply #65 on: June 12, 2008, 08:40:13 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on June 12, 2008, 08:24:01 PM

Quote from: Geezer on June 12, 2008, 08:22:13 PM

Anyway you can continue distorrting what I'm asking, or simply answer the questions I asked, starting with why you think it's unfair for Americans to share the burden of our mutual needs equally?

Tell me if I'm mischaracterizing this, but you're essentially saying you don't understand why progressive taxation is a more desireable system than a flat system, yes?

No, not quite.  I'm familiar with the various arguments for and against progressive and "regressive" (as flat taxation is often disingenuously labeled) taxation.

I'm being more basic.  I'm saying that at our core, if we all, as citizens, agree that the government needs to provide certain services that we all benefit from, shouldn't we all be equally liable for paying for those services?

Would you be willing to pay 1.5x as much for an orange at your local grocery because you have a nicer car than the next guy in line?
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« Reply #66 on: June 12, 2008, 08:42:23 PM »

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McCain includes about $365 billion in unspecified revenue raisers in his plan compared with Obama’s $900 billion. Let’s just say both have wills far bigger than their wallets.

That worries me.

Also neither candidate has mentioned reducing federal spending in any significant way.

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« Reply #67 on: June 12, 2008, 08:45:50 PM »

Here's the definition of Cash Income:

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Cash income includes wages and salaries, employee contribution to tax-deferred retirement savings plans, business income or loss, farm income or loss, Schedule E income, interest income, taxable dividends, realized net capital gains, social security benefits received, unemployment compensation, energy assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), worker’s compensation, veteran’s benefits, supplemental security income, child support, disability benefits, taxable IRA distributions, total pension income, alimony received, and other income including foreign earned income. Cash income also includes imputed corporate income tax liability and the employer’s share of payroll taxes. This puts the income measure on a pretax basis.

and the quintile breakdown (from the pdf Brendan linked):

Quote
The cash income percentile classes used in this table are based on the income distribution for the entire population and contain an equal number of people, not tax units. The breaks are (in 2008 dollars): 20% $18,981, 40% $37,595, 60% $66,354, 80% $111,645, 90% $160,972, 95% $226,918, 99% $603,402, 99.9% $2,871,682

I still can't tell if Married filed jointly is one or two... I suspect it's two, but I could be wrong.
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« Reply #68 on: June 12, 2008, 08:49:59 PM »

Quote from: Pyperkub on June 12, 2008, 08:45:50 PM

and the quintile breakdown (from the pdf Brendan linked):

Quote
The cash income percentile classes used in this table are based on the income distribution for the entire population and contain an equal number of people, not tax units. The breaks are (in 2008 dollars): 20% $18,981, 40% $37,595, 60% $66,354, 80% $111,645, 90% $160,972, 95% $226,918, 99% $603,402, 99.9% $2,871,682

I still can't tell if Married filed jointly is one or two... I suspect it's two, but I could be wrong.

I'm not sure what you're asking - one or two whats? smile

Tables 5 and 10 show the difference between single filers and married filing jointly and how they'll be affected in 2012 in percentage terms.  4 and 9 are the equivalents for the 2009 tax year.

edit:  corrected dates
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« Reply #69 on: June 12, 2008, 09:03:18 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on June 12, 2008, 08:49:59 PM

I'm not sure what you're asking - one or two whats? smile

Tables 5 and 10 show the difference between single filers and married filing jointly and how they'll be affected in 2009 and 2010 in percentage terms.  4 and 9 are the equivalents for the 2009 tax year.

Thanks - I haven't had/made the time to go through the whole thing, just read about it...
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« Reply #70 on: June 12, 2008, 11:05:16 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on June 12, 2008, 08:24:01 PM

Quote from: Geezer on June 12, 2008, 08:22:13 PM

Anyway you can continue distorrting what I'm asking, or simply answer the questions I asked, starting with why you think it's unfair for Americans to share the burden of our mutual needs equally?

Tell me if I'm mischaracterizing this, but you're essentially saying you don't understand why progressive taxation is a more desireable system than a flat system, yes?

Well if he isnt saying it, I am, a flat no deduction system would be far better then the current craptactular taxation system we have.   Hell I would even consider a consumption tax better then the current system.
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« Reply #71 on: June 13, 2008, 12:33:15 AM »

Quote from: Geezer on June 12, 2008, 08:22:13 PM


Then, though it's not necessarily important to the discussion, you can tell me why you think the high post-WWII top marginal rate was the determining factor in the post-war economic expansion we enjoyed.

I propose two key things. 1. The GI bill with a massive increase in higher education. 2. Although Rosie the Riveter was put back in her place, the man could not keep her down entirely.
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« Reply #72 on: June 17, 2008, 12:41:51 AM »

Paul Krugman (professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University) likens the Bush Tax Cuts to a poison pill in the NYT Opinion section:

Quote
As I read the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center’s analysis of the presidential candidates’ tax proposals, I realized that the tax cuts enacted by the Bush administration are, in effect, a fiscal poison pill aimed at future administrations.

True, the tax cuts won’t prevent a change in management — the Constitution sees to that. But they will make it hard for the next president to change the country’s direction.
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