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Author Topic: Ok top 2%ers - explain this to me  (Read 3099 times)
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Knightshade Dragon
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« on: December 07, 2010, 12:56:25 AM »

So the spineless Democrats let the Republicans have their two years of tax cuts to extend jobless bennies by 13 months. 

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/06/obama.taxes.debates/index.html?hpt=C1

What do I, as part of the bottom 98% of the United States get out of that?   I have a job, I'm paying my mortgage, and I don't make more than $250,000 a year.  Why did my President just sell me out for a spoonful of water?  What is to prevent the arms-folded Republi-cants from doing exactly what they said they'd do while stomping their feet on this issue - cock-blocking 100% of anything that might help anyone until 2012?  I'm so goddamned frustrated with my Government.  It's only gonna get worse too.  In 2 years we'll either get Obama again and get to deal with 4 more years of "NO!" from the Republicans and rampant spicy racism, or we'll get somebody like Sarah Palin and get to deal with somebody so goddamned stupid that she doesn't know what books she's read, which Korea is the 'bad' one, has to write her notes on her hand, etc, etc, etc.  Either way, nothing will get done.   

I love my country - I hate the people running it.  Frustrated....
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 02:55:49 AM »

F'ed up, ain't it?

Class warfare has been waged and won...by the rich.

Congrats, guys! He who dies with the most toys wins!
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 04:12:54 AM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 12:56:25 AM

So the spineless Democrats let the Republicans have their two years of tax cuts to extend jobless bennies by 13 months. 

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/06/obama.taxes.debates/index.html?hpt=C1

What do I, as part of the bottom 98% of the United States get out of that?   I have a job, I'm paying my mortgage, and I don't make more than $250,000 a year.  Why did my President just sell me out for a spoonful of water?  What is to prevent the arms-folded Republi-cants from doing exactly what they said they'd do while stomping their feet on this issue - cock-blocking 100% of anything that might help anyone until 2012?  I'm so goddamned frustrated with my Government.  It's only gonna get worse too.  In 2 years we'll either get Obama again and get to deal with 4 more years of "NO!" from the Republicans and rampant spicy racism, or we'll get somebody like Sarah Palin and get to deal with somebody so goddamned stupid that she doesn't know what books she's read, which Korea is the 'bad' one, has to write her notes on her hand, etc, etc, etc.  Either way, nothing will get done.   

I love my country - I hate the people running it.  Frustrated....

Why can't you be happy that a deal was actually done?  If this deal wasn't done, the Republicans in the House would pass an extension of the tax cuts on January 4, 2011, the Senate would pass it because there are enough Democrats there who will vote for the extension, and Obama would sign it, because it would have been political suicide for him not to.  And other aspects of the deal (such as the unemployment extension and the payroll tax cut for 2011) wouldn't be there.
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 04:54:41 AM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 12:56:25 AM

So the spineless Democrats let the Republicans have their two years of tax cuts to extend jobless bennies by 13 months. 

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/06/obama.taxes.debates/index.html?hpt=C1

What do I, as part of the bottom 98% of the United States get out of that?   I have a job, I'm paying my mortgage, and I don't make more than $250,000 a year.  Why did my President just sell me out for a spoonful of water?  What is to prevent the arms-folded Republi-cants from doing exactly what they said they'd do while stomping their feet on this issue - cock-blocking 100% of anything that might help anyone until 2012?  I'm so goddamned frustrated with my Government.  It's only gonna get worse too.  In 2 years we'll either get Obama again and get to deal with 4 more years of "NO!" from the Republicans and rampant spicy racism, or we'll get somebody like Sarah Palin and get to deal with somebody so goddamned stupid that she doesn't know what books she's read, which Korea is the 'bad' one, has to write her notes on her hand, etc, etc, etc.  Either way, nothing will get done.   

I love my country - I hate the people running it.  Frustrated....

I don't quite understand your argument.  Because tax benefits were extended by two years, the whole shit has utterly failed?

The way I see it, if neither side is 100% happy, it sounds like the bill was a success.  When one side is all FUCK YEAH WE WON we typically have lopsided, utterly retarded deals.

But in all seriousness, what EXACTLY, are you all up in arms about?  Are you just RAWR ANGRY that he made concessions to the Repubs?  Well god fucking forbid.
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 04:57:27 AM »

One last thing - just because you personally don't get anything doesn't measure success of any deal.  I got JACK FUCKING SHIT when everyone was getting tax cuts and breaks a few years ago.  That doesn't mean those tax cuts were OMG FUCKING AWFUL RAWR EVERYONE DIE.  I didn't need them, apparently (so said the government anyway) but others did.  Fine by me.

Your response to this is infuriating and to me is actually what's fucking wrong with this country: people respond with 'HOLY SHIT THIS ISN'T 100% BENEFICIAL TO ME AND/OR IS AGAINST MY PARTY OR SOMETHING SO FUCK YOU' rather than looking at the entire picture.
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2010, 04:59:30 AM »

OMG I actually agree with gellar once!

No seriously......

Quote
The way I see it, if neither side is 100% happy, it sounds like the bill was a success.  When one side is all FUCK YEAH WE WON we typically have lopsided, utterly retarded deals.

This
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2010, 05:03:56 AM »

Saying "the rich dont need tax cuts! They make more and should pay more!" is just as wrong as "Ya but the rich will use those tax breaks to hire more people and improve their business infrastructure!"

Its both bullshit, but in theory the latter should work if it wasnt for that nasty sin called Greed
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2010, 06:16:27 AM »

Quote from: Zekester on December 07, 2010, 04:59:30 AM

OMG I actually agree with gellar once!

No seriously......

Quote
The way I see it, if neither side is 100% happy, it sounds like the bill was a success.  When one side is all FUCK YEAH WE WON we typically have lopsided, utterly retarded deals.

This

+.7  (the gov't took the .3 for taxes)
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2010, 06:54:40 AM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 12:56:25 AM

So the spineless Democrats let the Republicans have their two years of tax cuts to extend jobless bennies by 13 months. 

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/06/obama.taxes.debates/index.html?hpt=C1

What do I, as part of the bottom 98% of the United States get out of that?
From the article you quoted:
lowering the payroll tax by two percentage points for a year: savings of about $1,000 for someone making $50,000
would continue tax breaks for students and families
allow businesses to write off all investments they make next year
extend the current tax rates for everyone
estate tax at 35% for two years on inheritances worth more than $5 million

Why are you going crazy like this is a special deal that only benefits "the rich" or those that make more than $250k?

Btw, does it sound fair that the top 1% income earners pay 38% of all income taxes?

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 12:56:25 AM

rampant spicy racism
What exactly does this mean?
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2010, 07:26:07 AM »

Quote from: Moliere on December 07, 2010, 06:54:40 AM

Btw, does it sound fair that the top 1% income earners pay 38% of all income taxes?

Absolutely not. It shows that they clearly earn way too much.

I'm serious.

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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2010, 03:13:52 PM »

Quote
I didn't need them, apparently (so said the government anyway) but others did.
I love it when people answer their own question.

Please point me to the guy making over $250,000 dollars a year that needs a tax break. I'd like to hear his awful plight...

Quote
Btw, does it sound fair that the top 1% income earners pay 38% of all income taxes?
Absolutely.  If they actually paid it, that'd be a start.  I have an aunt and uncle that are obscenely rich (multi-millionare) and they pride themselves on just how little taxes they pay.  They successfully dodge through loopholes and pay less than I do. 

Quote
rampant spicy racism
Since Obama has been elected I've seen friends, family, and co-workers turn into some of the worst kind of people thanks to some long-hidden racist streak.  It's anecdotal to be sure, but it runs deeper than I ever imagined.  It's even cost me friends - I can't associate with people like that.

From your other points:

- Lowering the payroll tax by two percentage points for a year: savings of about $1,000 for someone making $50,000  --  thumbsup  Still, no point to extending this to people who aren't hurting.  My aunt is notorious for dropping well over $1000 bucks in a slot machine without batting an eye.  Clearly NOT extending cuts to her isn't going to hurt her, but would put more money in the coffers to pay for other things. 

- Would continue tax breaks for students and families --  thumbsup 

- Allow businesses to write off all investments they make next year -- This is neutral for me.  They are already writing off their investments, this just gives them a different way.

- Extend the current tax rates for everyone --  thumbsdown  You don't give an extra slice of pie to a guy who is already full.  There is no point to extending tax cuts to people who already are very well off.  This is the source of my outrage.  We just paid off the rich and the only people who will benefit will be the rich.  It doesn't buy political capital for later, it just lines pockets.  It's bullshit and I'm fed up with it.

- Estate tax at 35% for two years on inheritances worth more than $5 million --  thumbsdown thumbsdown thumbsdown thumbsdown  Seriously, what the fuck?  It was at 38%, but I'm sure Buffy and Chester were being put into the poor house after selling their mom and dad's 3rd mansion after they died. 

I'm right there with ya - we need more deals that result in both parties not being fully appeased.  That said, the rich got a hell of a lot more than everyone else did in this deal. 

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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2010, 03:14:21 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on December 07, 2010, 07:26:07 AM

Quote from: Moliere on December 07, 2010, 06:54:40 AM

Btw, does it sound fair that the top 1% income earners pay 38% of all income taxes?

Absolutely not. It shows that they clearly earn way too much.

I'm serious.



Income disparities are at levels not seen since prior to the Great Depression.
The United States of Inequality

Quote
This was the era in which the accumulated wealth of America's richest families—the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, the Carnegies—helped prompt creation of the modern income tax, lest disparities in wealth turn the United States into a European-style aristocracy. The socialist movement was at its historic peak, a wave of anarchist bombings was terrorizing the nation's industrialists, and President Woodrow Wilson's attorney general, Alexander Palmer, would soon stage brutal raids on radicals of every stripe. In American history, there has never been a time when class warfare seemed more imminent.
That was when the richest 1 percent accounted for 18 percent of the nation's income. Today, the richest 1 percent account for 24 percent of the nation's income.

And people don't know about this.
Real vs. Imagined Wealth Distribution in the US
Quote
The richest 1 percent account for 35 percent of the nation's net worth; subtract housing, and their share rises to 43 percent. The richest 20 percent (or "top quintile") account for 85 percent; subtract housing and their share rises to 93 percent. But when Norton and Ariely surveyed a group whose incomes, voting patterns, and geographic distribution approximated that of the U.S. population, the respondents guessed that the top quintile accounted for only 59 percent of the nation's wealth.

The rich have been waging class warfare against the middle and lower classes in this country since Reagan. And they've won.
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2010, 03:38:03 PM »

Quote
The rich have been waging class warfare against the middle and lower classes in this country since Reagan. And they've won.

hah, as someone who has never made over 20K/yr this is no surprise.
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2010, 03:43:04 PM »

Ron one part that you may be overlooking is the extension of the death taxes that Bush helped out a lot with. If you died in 2010 then there was no federal death tax, due to Bush's tax plan. But if the law wasn't extended or changed then it would have reverted to the old tax rates (Which I think would have required over 1million or so in assets to be taxed, not sure on the exact number). The thing that sucks about this is that your money is essentially being taxed twice. Once when you earn it and then again when you die. Sure it doesn't hurt you, but it sure does hurt whoever you leave the money to. So now with the new tax rules there is a 35% tax if you have more than 5million in assets. So essentially the top 2% are being taxed by this plan, but only if they die.

Now sit back and imagine if George Steinbrenner had died in 2011 instead of 2010. His kids would have to pay the government somewhere near 600 million dollars simply because their dad died. That's BS in my mind.
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2010, 03:43:31 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 03:13:52 PM

Lowering the payroll tax by two percentage points for a year: savings of about $1,000 for someone making $50,000  --  thumbsup  Still, no point to extending this to people who aren't hurting.  My aunt is notorious for dropping well over $1000 bucks in a slot machine without batting an eye.  Clearly NOT extending cuts to her isn't going to hurt her, but would put more money in the coffers to pay for other things.
Not entirely true.  People earning above $75,000 won't get the tax break.

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon
Extend the current tax rates for everyone --  thumbsdown  You don't give an extra slice of pie to a guy who is already full.  There is no point to extending tax cuts to people who already are very well off.  This is the source of my outrage.  We just paid off the rich and the only people who will benefit will be the rich.  It doesn't buy political capital for later, it just lines pockets.  It's bullshit and I'm fed up with it.

No, the only people who will benefit from this aren't the rich.  I'm not rich by Obama's definition (at least not yet), but I'm going to benefit by not having to pay a few thousand dollars more in taxes in 2011.

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon
I'm right there with ya - we need more deals that result in both parties not being fully appeased.  That said, the rich got a hell of a lot more than everyone else did in this deal. 

Of course they did.  They already have/make more money than the rest of us.  But as I said, there was no other alternative; either everyone's tax rates stayed the same, or everyone's tax rates go up.  There was no middle ground to be found there.
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2010, 03:43:54 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on December 07, 2010, 07:26:07 AM

Quote from: Moliere on December 07, 2010, 06:54:40 AM

Btw, does it sound fair that the top 1% income earners pay 38% of all income taxes?

Absolutely not. It shows that they clearly earn way too much.

I'm serious.

I'm not rich.  But no, they do not earn way too much.
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2010, 04:00:38 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 03:13:52 PM

Quote
I didn't need them, apparently (so said the government anyway) but others did.
I love it when people answer their own question.

Please point me to the guy making over $250,000 dollars a year that needs a tax break. I'd like to hear his awful plight...

I don't make remotely close to $250K/year and I did not get any significant tax breaks.

So let me get this straight.  Your argument is: Tax breaks for You = Good.  Tax breaks for people that make more than you = bad?
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2010, 04:13:07 PM »

Quote
So let me get this straight.  Your argument is: Tax breaks for You = Good.  Tax breaks for people that make more than you = bad?
Tax breaks for those who NEED IT = Good.   Tax breaks for those who DON'T = Bad.
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« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2010, 04:24:07 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 04:13:07 PM

Quote
So let me get this straight.  Your argument is: Tax breaks for You = Good.  Tax breaks for people that make more than you = bad?
Tax breaks for those who NEED IT = Good.   Tax breaks for those who DON'T = Bad.

Dude......i'm gonna go ahead and assume you make triple, or at least double, of what I do in a year.

Does that mean I have the right to point at you and say pay more taxes!?
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2010, 04:27:32 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 04:13:07 PM

Quote
So let me get this straight.  Your argument is: Tax breaks for You = Good.  Tax breaks for people that make more than you = bad?
Tax breaks for those who NEED IT = Good.   Tax breaks for those who DON'T = Bad.

Yeah by your definition of Need.
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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2010, 04:33:41 PM »

I think it's pretty safe to say that way too many people need it these days. I haven't had a raise in 2 years now, along with the roughly 150 others at our garage.

And in the meantime utilities costs keep increasing, as do the multitude of fees on just about everything now.
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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2010, 04:36:24 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 03:13:52 PM

Quote
Btw, does it sound fair that the top 1% income earners pay 38% of all income taxes?
Absolutely.  If they actually paid it, that'd be a start.  I have an aunt and uncle that are obscenely rich (multi-millionare) and they pride themselves on just how little taxes they pay.  They successfully dodge through loopholes and pay less than I do. 

First, do you take pride in how much taxes you pay? Do you pay more than the legal requirement? Why are you using pejorative words like "dodge" and "loopholes"? Are they breaking the law? Accountants don't get paid to find ways for people and businesses to pay more in taxes. They are hired because the tax system is so goddamn complex that we need specialists to figure out how much we owe. Calling it a loophole implies they are doing something shady. You might as well call your mortgage deduction a loophole.

Second, the 1% are paying 38% of all tax revenue. These are numbers straight from the IRS.
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2010, 06:13:41 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 12:56:25 AM

So the spineless Democrats let the Republicans have their two years of tax cuts to extend jobless bennies by 13 months. 

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/06/obama.taxes.debates/index.html?hpt=C1


Cheer up, big man. The way I look at it, this just makes the incoming Republicans jobs harder. If they truly are going to keep their word and reduce the deficit by reducing spending then they will have to cut THAT much more because of the debt added by these tax cuts.  If they DON'T keep their word then you can bet Zekester and I will call them out on it.
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2010, 06:37:37 PM »

CNN posted what this actually means for most people.  Read and be OMG OUTRAGED if that is your disposition.

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/07/what-tax-deal-could-mean-for-you/?hpt=C1

Quote
Payroll taxes – Wage earners will have extra money in their paychecks with the lowering of the payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2%. Someone earning $50,000 a year would pay $1,000 less in Social Security contributions next year. Someone earning $100,000 would pay $2,000 less. The payroll tax rate would go back up to 6.2% in 2012.

SWEET.  Finally something that affects me!

Money quote:
Quote
If a deal can't be reached:

Taxes will go up for everyone, since the current rates set under President George W. Bush expire automatically at the end of 2010. Democrats control both houses of Congress, but the Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives in January, and the Democratic majority in the Senate will be smaller than it is now.
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2010, 06:49:52 PM »

And to cover two things said in this thread:

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 03:13:52 PM

We just paid off the rich and the only people who will benefit will be the rich.  It doesn't buy political capital for later, it just lines pockets.  It's bullshit and I'm fed up with it

Who do you think benefits from your tax cuts other than you?  Do I gain anything from you having an extra couple grand each year?  Hell no I don't.  And I'm not even rich.

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 03:13:52 PM

- Estate tax at 35% for two years on inheritances worth more than $5 million --  thumbsdown thumbsdown thumbsdown thumbsdown  Seriously, what the fuck?  It was at 38%, but I'm sure Buffy and Chester were being put into the poor house after selling their mom and dad's 3rd mansion after they died. 

You realize that the whole concept of an inheritance tax is ABSURD (double taxation) in the first place?  Taxes were already paid on the income generated to purchase/maintain these assets.  Now we want to tax it again?  The whole concept of this is unfair.

If your uncle leaves you $10K (of which 1/3 was already taxed when he earned it), the Government wants $1.8K of that.  For essentially... him dying.
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« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2010, 07:03:01 PM »

And one more point (clearly I am reasonably passionate on this subject): KD, we know that a rich tax break doesn't positively affect you.  But does it negatively? 
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« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2010, 07:19:06 PM »

Quote from: gellar on December 07, 2010, 06:49:52 PM

You realize that the whole concept of an inheritance tax is ABSURD (double taxation) in the first place?  Taxes were already paid on the income generated to purchase/maintain these assets.  Now we want to tax it again?  The whole concept of this is unfair.

If your uncle leaves you $10K (of which 1/3 was already taxed when he earned it), the Government wants $1.8K of that.  For essentially... him dying.


Except that (as of 2009) the tax exclusion on inheritance tax was 3.5 MILLION dollars. And that's on the net value of property and proceeds. Not gross. So the government takes none of that in the above example.

Now, examine what happens in the universe of no inheritance tax. KS wins the lottery and buys a home worth 100 million dollars. He makes out okay in the stock market and leaves behind 200 million in property and proceeds to his kids. They do well, and leave behind 400 million in money and property to their kids. And so on and so forth. In 150 years the Knightshade Dragon dynasty ends up owning 80% of the US. Including your half. Now how is that fair?

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« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2010, 07:35:41 PM »

Quote from: raydude on December 07, 2010, 07:19:06 PM

Quote from: gellar on December 07, 2010, 06:49:52 PM

You realize that the whole concept of an inheritance tax is ABSURD (double taxation) in the first place?  Taxes were already paid on the income generated to purchase/maintain these assets.  Now we want to tax it again?  The whole concept of this is unfair.

If your uncle leaves you $10K (of which 1/3 was already taxed when he earned it), the Government wants $1.8K of that.  For essentially... him dying.


Except that (as of 2009) the tax exclusion on inheritance tax was 3.5 MILLION dollars. And that's on the net value of property and proceeds. Not gross. So the government takes none of that in the above example.

Now, examine what happens in the universe of no inheritance tax. KS wins the lottery and buys a home worth 100 million dollars. He makes out okay in the stock market and leaves behind 200 million in property and proceeds to his kids. They do well, and leave behind 400 million in money and property to their kids. And so on and so forth. In 150 years the Knightshade Dragon dynasty ends up owning 80% of the US. Including your half. Now how is that fair?



Right, we have that exemption because the concept itself is grossly unfair.  The line at which we have the exemption is largely arbitrary, however.

In your secondary example, I have absolutely zero problem if anyone does manage to grow a fortune in 150 years to own 80% of the US.  That would be an incredible feat and they'll have EARNED it.  Having it taken away from them is fundamentally unfair.

Also, I'll be dead.  So who gives a F?
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« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2010, 07:37:25 PM »

The concept behind targeting the Bush tax cuts at the wealthiest Americans was that they would reinvest that money in their businesses by hiring more workers with better pay and benefits.  The cuts also lowered capital gains and dividend taxes on the belief that it would encourage more average Americans to invest in the stock market.  These incentives, combined with earlier deregulation measures to reduce "government interference," were predicted to spur rapid, stable, and stable economic growth throughout the 2000's.

These things did not happen.  Instead, they slashed federal tax revenue by billions of dollars while the country waged two wars, providing a huge boost to the wealthiest while middle class wages remained stagnant.  Still, just this past Sunday, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went on Meet the Press to say that the Bush tax cuts should be extended because they've already been in effect for ten years.  They do exist, therefore they *should* exist, regardless of their actual, measurable impact.


I think that's what Knightshade Dragon is frustrated about: Republicans have imposed a standing filibuster over all senate legislation for years now, and the only way Democrats can do something like extend unemployment benefits for millions of poor and middle class people is if Republicans are allowed to extend much greater tax relief to multi-millionaires who draw substantial amounts of their income from dividends and compound interest.  

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2010, 07:50:01 PM »

First, well stated argument overall.

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 07, 2010, 07:37:25 PM

The concept behind targeting the Bush tax cuts at the wealthiest Americans was that they would reinvest that money in their businesses by hiring more workers with better pay and benefits.  The cuts also lowered capital gains and dividend taxes on the belief that it would encourage more average Americans to invest in the stock market.  These incentives, combined with earlier deregulation measures to reduce "government interference," were predicted to spur rapid, stable, and stable economic growth throughout the 2000's.

These things did not happen.  Instead, they slashed federal tax revenue by billions of dollars while the country waged two wars, providing a huge boost to the wealthiest while middle class wages remained stagnant.  Still, just this past Sunday, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went on Meet the Press to say that the Bush tax cuts should be extended because they've already been in effect for ten years.  They do exist, therefore they *should* exist, regardless of their actual, measurable impact.

Yeah 100% agree here that the desired impact was not met.  However that's not to say that there was NO impact and unfortunately, I have to agree with McConnell on is that since they ARE there and we don't have any measurable way of understanding how removing then would impact the economy, they should stay until our economy goes into such a state that we are comfortable with removing them.  The unfortunate byproduct of this is that it takes us down a slippery slope in that they stay forever.  Problem is, we can't risk repealing them and the potential negative impact that may entail.  That's sort of the problem with lowering taxes... barn door/horse/shut and all that.


Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 07, 2010, 07:37:25 PM

I think that's what Knightshade Dragon is frustrated about: Republicans have imposed a standing filibuster over all senate legislation for years now, and the only way Democrats can do something like extend unemployment benefits for millions of poor and middle class people is if Republicans are allowed to extend much greater tax relief to multi-millionaires who draw substantial amounts of their income from dividends and compound interest. 

-Autistic Angel

Yeah problem here is, this goes both ways for both parties (which is why I actively hate both of them).

One fundamental thing to consider is that LOTS of tax law is not designed to generate government revenue or pay for things.  A decent amount of the deductions that are allowed (home owner interest, children, etc...) are designed as incentives that cause citizens to behave/act in a manner that the government feels is beneficial to the state as a whole.  There is no major positive economic impact to someone owning a home or having a child, but these are things that are considered to have societal benefits to the collective.  That's why lots of incentives exist.
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« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2010, 07:56:58 PM »

Owning a house increases demand, which drives increased property tax bases for localities and drives construction of new homes, creating jobs.  Having kids creates higher consumption, which drives production, and adds another person to the tax roles for the next generation of taxpayers.
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« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2010, 09:11:09 PM »

Income tax was imposed here in Canada as an interim tax to help foot the cost of the war effort during World War I. I believe that war may be over now. slywink (this is to the point that "keep it because it's there").

Here's how we stack up:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Canada#International_comparison_.28personal_income_tax.29

Reading this thread makes me sad that your government is so polarized that the differing ideals are willing to cut off their own nose to spite their faces.

To be clear, I ain't happy with Canada's regime either.
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« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2010, 10:04:02 PM »

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Dude......i'm gonna go ahead and assume you make triple, or at least double, of what I do in a year. Does that mean I have the right to point at you and say pay more taxes!?
I do pay more taxes if I make more.  I don't loophole the system.

Quote
Yeah by your definition of Need.
Please explain to me how somebody who makes a quarter of a million dollars a year or more needs a tax break.  It'd guess it's indefensible, but you tell me.

Quote
First, do you take pride in how much taxes you pay? Do you pay more than the legal requirement? Why are you using pejorative words like "dodge" and "loopholes"? Are they breaking the law? Accountants don't get paid to find ways for people and businesses to pay more in taxes. They are hired because the tax system is so goddamn complex that we need specialists to figure out how much we owe. Calling it a loophole implies they are doing something shady. You might as well call your mortgage deduction a loophole.
  Well, running the infrastructure of a country isn't free.  I'm using the roads, power, water, etc. so yea...I'm 'doing my part'.   As I pointed out earlier, even my own relatives are failing to do the same.  I completely and entirely agree that the tax laws are too numerous and too complex as to be human-readable any longer.  That said, just because somebody figures out 'hey, I know how you can pay only 11 dollars in taxes' doesn't make it right.  It's not illegal, it's just shady.  When I start clearing 250k a year, I fully and completely expect to pay my part.  Guess I'm just insane that way.

Quote
incoming Republicans jobs harder.
Don't let my  icon_evil give you the impression that I'm a Democrat. They both suck. 

Quote
inheritance tax is ABSURD (double taxation)
Oh, you and I agree on this.  Hell, we are double taxed on a great many things and it doesn't make sense.  We pay too much and too often.  Again, my axe to grind is that there is a focus on the poor bastards with their tiny little 5 million dollar homes.  Booo hooo......    tear    I'm sure that a great many of these homes are never taxed anyway, thanks to a legion of accountants and lawyers digging for loopholes.

Quote
But does it negatively?
Indirectly, yes.  When somebody isn't pulling their weight (we can argue about how much that weight should weigh) it means I end up paying more in the end.

Quote
reinvest that money
Voodoo Economics.  Worked great for the Reagan Years. 

Quote
I think that's what Knightshade Dragon is frustrated about: Republicans have imposed a standing filibuster over all senate legislation for years now, and the only way Democrats can do something like extend unemployment benefits for millions of poor and middle class people is if Republicans are allowed to extend much greater tax relief to multi-millionaires who draw substantial amounts of their income from dividends and compound interest. 
There ya go!  That is absolutely the biggest source of rage.  Arms folded, useless.  Goddamned petulant children.

Quote
(which is why I actively hate both of them).
We can completely agree on this. 




So here is another question: Burn those library volumes of tax laws and implement...what?  Flat Tax? VAT? Something else? 

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« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2010, 10:38:01 PM »

Quote from: gellar on December 07, 2010, 07:50:01 PM

One fundamental thing to consider is that LOTS of tax law is not designed to generate government revenue or pay for things.  A decent amount of the deductions that are allowed (home owner interest, children, etc...) are designed as incentives that cause citizens to behave/act in a manner that the government feels is beneficial to the state as a whole.  There is no major positive economic impact to someone owning a home or having a child, but these are things that are considered to have societal benefits to the collective.  That's why lots of incentives exist.


Kids like to eat and wear clothes.  They want toys and books and school supplies, and all of those things are bought from vendors who will need to order more inventory from their distributors who get it from manufacturers.  If every person under the age of twelve suddenly winked out of existence, Crayola and Mattel and Pampers would wither up and blow away.  Children have a tremendous positive economic impact on society, inspiring parents to spend billions of dollars on things they'd never buy for themselves.

Even so, tax deductions for dependents don't exist to reward reproduction.  No one has kids because of how much money they'll save.  It's more about lessening the disincentive: all other things being equal, couples with kids have a lot less discretionary income than those without so tax relief is targeted at those who need it more.

Quote from: gellar on December 07, 2010, 04:27:32 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 04:13:07 PM

Tax breaks for those who NEED IT = Good.   Tax breaks for those who DON'T = Bad.


Yeah by your definition of Need.


Yes, by my definition of need, a middle class family of four needs tax breaks more than the CEO of Proctor & Gamble.  

Given an extra $150 a month, I believe an average American family would eagerly spend that money on groceries, clothing, movies, amusement parks, sidewalk chalk, babysitting, haircuts, lawnmower repairs, Neosporin, energy-efficient windows, model airplane kits, bicycles, computer upgrades, clay, dog grooming, videogames, apple picking, sporting equipment, comic books, wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men, and any number of other things that would immediately stimulate the economy with money that otherwise wouldn't be spent.

Given an extra $15,000 a month, I believe a person making $27,740,000 a year would throw it on the pile.  No yacht, no vineyard, no deep-sea Objectivist utopia is beyond such a person's grasp, so rather than going back into the economy, it'll simply be shunted out to some offshore account to be used in case of indictment.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2010, 10:45:40 PM »

I think your fundamental understanding of a) the size of the 'tax loophole' and b) the # of people who are actively avoiding paying 'their fair share' is way, way overstated.

Some facts, again.

* The top 1% of income pays 38% of the countries taxes.  That's a HUGE portion.  Now the argument can absolutely be made about the distribution of wealth in this society, but that's a separate argument than taxes.  This is not an estimate, or how much they would pay if they didn't have loopholes, this is exactly how much they currently pay and is FACT.  And these are households over $380K.  If we took it down to $250K, it may well be over 50%.  Over $159K is 58%, which is a large, large chunk of our national revenue.

* These deductions (short of one GLARING problem with hedge fund managers), are within the tax code.  They are built and created to incentivise certain behaviors and are generally speaking NOT limited to rich folk.  The 'rich' aren't cheating (generally) to find 'loopholes', they are simply spending money on a better accountant to find ways to minimize or differ their taxes and/or situate/differ their income in such a manner that a minimum of taxes are paid.  They are doing the same thing you or I do, with two primary advantages:
1) Their accountant is better and has more experience with such things than your typical H&R Block guy.
2) They have enough money where they can delay taking proceeds of things like salary in turn for stock and LTG versus STG.
The tax breaks in the above deal you are angry about have almost NOTHING to do with these types of deductions, from my understanding.  They'd be there with/without the deal.

* I can guaranfuckintee that no matter how much money you make, you will attempt to minimize the taxes you pay.  I donate a reasonable amount of money to NPOs (because it lowers my taxes too!) each year because I'd rather me 'doing my part' goes to things I actually care about and not fund a system that is fundamentally corrupt and ridiculously inefficient.

* If we consider that the top 1% is reasonably mobile (which they are), then we have to do SOMETHING to keep those people IN the US and paying that 38%.  If we make being rich in this society as a huge burden, two things will happen:
1) At the very least, the mobile in the top 1% will just leave and we won't have all of that 38% anymore.
2) In a worst case scenario, we've dinsentivised innovation and capitalism and the 'best' will go elsewhere where their contributions will be better recognized (PAID).
As a small scale example of this, the People's Republic of California charges me >10% of my income, 10% sales tax, and a ton of other ridiculous fees/laws/etc... for the privilege of living here.  I love San Francisco.  It is absolutely my home.  But I am not staying here.  Once I get tired of the city life (presumably by the time I'm 40), I'm going to pack up my stuff and move myself and my income to a neighboring state with friendlier policies (such as Nevada or Washington with 0% income tax or Oregon with no sales tax).  California does not have a monopoly on a place to live.  Neither does the US.  I'm willing to pay more tax to live here now.  I doubt I will long term.
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« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2010, 10:52:54 PM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 07, 2010, 10:38:01 PM

Quote from: gellar on December 07, 2010, 07:50:01 PM

One fundamental thing to consider is that LOTS of tax law is not designed to generate government revenue or pay for things.  A decent amount of the deductions that are allowed (home owner interest, children, etc...) are designed as incentives that cause citizens to behave/act in a manner that the government feels is beneficial to the state as a whole.  There is no major positive economic impact to someone owning a home or having a child, but these are things that are considered to have societal benefits to the collective.  That's why lots of incentives exist.


Kids like to eat and wear clothes.  They want toys and books and school supplies, and all of those things are bought from vendors who will need to order more inventory from their distributors who get it from manufacturers.  If every person under the age of twelve suddenly winked out of existence, Crayola and Mattel and Pampers would wither up and blow away.  Children have a tremendous positive economic impact on society, inspiring parents to spend billions of dollars on things they'd never buy for themselves.

Even so, tax deductions for dependents don't exist to reward reproduction.  No one has kids because of how much money they'll save.  It's more about lessening the disincentive: all other things being equal, couples with kids have a lot less discretionary income than those without so tax relief is targeted at those who need it more.

Yeah sorry, that was my exact argument, though I worded it quite poorly  The tax breaks such as to have a macroeconomic benefit, but not a direct revenue benefit to the US Gov.

Also, if you don't believe some don't have kids to save money... well, you've never seen some of the inner cities in CA.

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 07, 2010, 10:38:01 PM

Quote from: gellar on December 07, 2010, 04:27:32 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 04:13:07 PM

Tax breaks for those who NEED IT = Good.   Tax breaks for those who DON'T = Bad.


Yeah by your definition of Need.


Yes, by my definition of need, a middle class family of four needs tax breaks more than the CEO of Proctor & Gamble. 

Given an extra $150 a month, I believe an average American family would eagerly spend that money on groceries, clothing, movies, amusement parks, sidewalk chalk, babysitting, haircuts, lawnmower repairs, Neosporin, energy-efficient windows, model airplane kits, bicycles, computer upgrades, clay, dog grooming, videogames, apple picking, sporting equipment, comic books, wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men, and any number of other things that would immediately stimulate the economy with money that otherwise wouldn't be spent.

Given an extra $15,000 a month, I believe a person making $27,740,000 a year would throw it on the pile.  No yacht, no vineyard, no deep-sea Objectivist utopia is beyond such a person's grasp, so rather than going back into the economy, it'll simply be shunted out to some offshore account to be used in case of indictment.

-Autistic Angel

Right but where is the line drawn?  We don't draw the line at a 'middle class family' or the 'CEO of Proctor and Gamble'.  We draw the line at INCOME.  It's the wrong line.

If I am a 25 year old kid making $50K/year and living at home in Fresno, I don't need $150.

If I am a 45 year old single parent making $250K/year with 4 school aged children living in the Silicon Valley because that's where my job is, I need that break more than that kid does.

Like I said previously, all of the stimulus package stuff generated absolutely zero benefit for me because I am above some magical line.  If I would've had the housing credit, perhaps I would've purchased a home.

All of this is way, way too situational to be making broad based statements like some are making.
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« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2010, 11:04:08 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 07, 2010, 10:04:02 PM

Quote
First, do you take pride in how much taxes you pay? Do you pay more than the legal requirement? Why are you using pejorative words like "dodge" and "loopholes"? Are they breaking the law? Accountants don't get paid to find ways for people and businesses to pay more in taxes. They are hired because the tax system is so goddamn complex that we need specialists to figure out how much we owe. Calling it a loophole implies they are doing something shady. You might as well call your mortgage deduction a loophole.
  Well, running the infrastructure of a country isn't free.  I'm using the roads, power, water, etc. so yea...I'm 'doing my part'.   As I pointed out earlier, even my own relatives are failing to do the same.  I completely and entirely agree that the tax laws are too numerous and too complex as to be human-readable any longer.  That said, just because somebody figures out 'hey, I know how you can pay only 11 dollars in taxes' doesn't make it right.  It's not illegal, it's just shady.  When I start clearing 250k a year, I fully and completely expect to pay my part.  Guess I'm just insane that way.

KD did more than his part.  He put on the uniform and let the government decide all the major life decisions for several years, including decisions that might have made a difference as to whether or not he continued living. 

Quote from: gellar on December 07, 2010, 10:45:40 PM

* The top 1% of income pays 38% of the countries taxes.  That's a HUGE portion.  Now the argument can absolutely be made about the distribution of wealth in this society, but that's a separate argument than taxes.  This is not an estimate, or how much they would pay if they didn't have loopholes, this is exactly how much they currently pay and is FACT.  And these are households over $380K.  If we took it down to $250K, it may well be over 50%.  Over $159K is 58%, which is a large, large chunk of our national revenue.

These numbers might as well exist in a vacuum without another piece of information.  What percentage of the income do they earn?  If they earn 50% of the income, then I'd say paying 38% of the income tax is too damned low.  If they earned 25% of total income, then I might be persuaded that they are paying more than their fair share.  But just throwing out a number as to how much of the burden they pay is a meaningless number by itself.
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« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2010, 11:17:02 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on December 07, 2010, 11:04:08 PM

Quote from: gellar on December 07, 2010, 10:45:40 PM

* The top 1% of income pays 38% of the countries taxes.  That's a HUGE portion.  Now the argument can absolutely be made about the distribution of wealth in this society, but that's a separate argument than taxes.  This is not an estimate, or how much they would pay if they didn't have loopholes, this is exactly how much they currently pay and is FACT.  And these are households over $380K.  If we took it down to $250K, it may well be over 50%.  Over $159K is 58%, which is a large, large chunk of our national revenue.

These numbers might as well exist in a vacuum without another piece of information.  What percentage of the income do they earn?  If they earn 50% of the income, then I'd say paying 38% of the income tax is too damned low.  If they earned 25% of total income, then I might be persuaded that they are paying more than their fair share.  But just throwing out a number as to how much of the burden they pay is a meaningless number by itself.

I think that will be a fundamental disagreement.  I will never subscribe to a theory that what one makes should have a punitive effect on what they owe to society.  It's 10000% against my beliefs in a reasonably free market and incentive to achieve.  If our society were to turn to one where it became that way, I'd be planning my departure.

And while it's an interesting data point and can certainly (again) spark a separate debate on distribution of wealth in this country, the context of my argument is that 38% from 1% of the earning population is a LARGE portion of cash that we cannot do without.
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« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2010, 12:10:39 AM »

How would paying a percentage of income tax equal to the amount of income that they make be considered punitive?  I don't consider the number of people in the data set to be a variable that needs to be in the equation.  If the top 38% of income was earned by the top 1%, top 20%, or top 50% of the population, as a group, they should be fine with paying 38% of the income tax.
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« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2010, 12:31:48 AM »

Quote from: Moliere
Second, the 1% are paying 38% of all tax revenue. These are numbers straight from the IRS.

And own just about that exact amount of the wealth in a country that is supposed to have a progressive tax structure.  So your point is...?

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