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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.17.17 @ 06:57 PM
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    Default Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama makes it sound as if there are millionaires all over America paying taxes at lower rates than their secretaries.

    "Middle-class families shouldn't pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires," Obama said Monday. "That's pretty straightforward. It's hard to argue against that."

    The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.

    There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.

    In his White House address Monday, Obama called on Congress to increase taxes by $1.5 trillion as part of a 10-year deficit reduction package totaling more than $3 trillion. He proposed that Congress overhaul the tax code and impose what he called the "Buffett rule," named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

    The rule says, "People making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay."

    "Warren Buffett's secretary shouldn't pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. There is no justification for it," Obama said. "It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million."

    Buffett wrote in a recent piece for The New York Times that the tax rate he paid last year was lower than that paid by any of the other 20 people in his office.

    This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

    Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

    Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

    The latest IRS figures are a few years older and limited to federal income taxes but show much the same thing. In 2009, taxpayers who made $1 million or more paid on average 24.4 percent of their income in federal income taxes, according to the IRS.

    Those making $100,000 to $125,000 paid on average 9.9 percent in federal income taxes. Those making $50,000 to $60,000 paid an average of 6.3 percent.

    Obama's claim hinges on the fact that, for high-income families and individuals, investment income is often taxed at a lower rate than wages. The top tax rate for dividends and capital gains is 15 percent. The top marginal tax rate for wages is 35 percent, though that is reserved for taxable income above $379,150.

    With tax rates that high, why do so many people pay at lower rates? Because the tax code is riddled with more than $1 trillion in deductions, exemptions and credits, and they benefit people at every income level, according to data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress' official scorekeeper on revenue issues.

    The Tax Policy Center estimates that 46 percent of households, mostly low- and medium-income households, will pay no federal income taxes this year. Most, however, will pay other taxes, including Social Security payroll taxes.

    "People who are doing quite well and worry about low-income people not paying any taxes bemoan the fact that they get so many tax breaks that they are zeroed out," said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. "People at the bottom of the distribution say, but all of those rich guys are getting bigger tax breaks than we're getting, which is also the case."

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pressed at a White House briefing on the number of millionaires who pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-income families. He demurred, saying that people who make most of their money in wages pay taxes at a higher rate, while those who get most of their income from investments pay at lower rates.

    "So it really depends on what is your profession, where's the source of your income, what's the specific circumstances you face, and the averages won't really capture that," Geithner said.
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 03:33 PM
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    This thing they are proposing is crap, it's like putting a Band Aid on a gun shot wound.

    He knows it won't pass, it is just political pandering.

    The Republicans aren't any fucking better.

    Yes, I'm bitter about it. Turning a late 1990's balanced budget to where we are now has taking ineptitude to a whole new level.
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  3. #3
    Eruption
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    10.05.17 @ 11:44 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post

    Yes, I'm bitter about it. Turning a late 1990's balanced budget to where we are now has taking ineptitude to a whole new level.
    I totally agree. And what I don't understand is how republicans were pissed because they didn't want the tax to move from 36% to 39%. According to Buffet, the rich pay 17%.

    Yes I know one is capital gains and the other is income tax, but this is our problem. Any time someone receives money that should be income, and taxed. It sure the hell is when I get it. Even with inheritance it's taxed.

    Our tax system is fubar, and congress thinks spending more money fixes things. This will continue to spiral until it really hurts everyone to get us back on track. Obama's plans are decent in their own right, but too many politicians are playing politic games instead of trying to solve problems.
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  4. #4
    Wear the fox hat... Filthy 150's Avatar
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    10.16.17 @ 11:43 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by voivod View Post

    Obama's claim hinges on the fact that, for high-income families and individuals, investment income is often taxed at a lower rate than wages.
    Investment income.

    Maybe I'm out of my mind in my thinking here but where did the investment capital come from? I am guessing it came from earnings that the investor has already paid taxes on. Shouldn't the taxes on earnings from money that has already been taxed be a little lower? Or are we trying to spur people to NOT got the extra... ahhh nevermind.

    If you get what I have said already there is no need typing anymore. Same for those who disagree...I'm an idiot that doesn't have a clue how things 'should' work.

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  5. #5
    Eruption gabby gabbster's Avatar
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    12.01.17 @ 09:52 AM
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    Boo-hoo. I sob every time the rich are sorely oppressed, because their tax rates may go up (like say during those awful Clinton years!!), or how their rates may be higher than everyone else's never mind how much their share of income has risen since 1979 while the rest of our share is dropping. The top 10% of earners now make HALF of all the income. The relevant statistic isn't what proportion of the nation's taxes comes from the rich, it's what proportion of the rich's income gets paid in taxes.

  6. #6
    Good Enough cabomiro's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 01:13 PM
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    Well said.
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  7. #7
    Good Enough pal1800's Avatar
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    Feel free to write a check, the government won't send it back. Of course u won't, u want other people to do so...

  8. #8
    Pope Of Greenwich Village SuckaInA3Piece's Avatar
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    08.28.17 @ 03:27 PM
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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 05:26 PM
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    The ONLY answer is to go to either a flat tax with no deductions, or a pure value-added tax or fair tax. Of course, government spending MUST be less than what it brings in. We need a shift where Congress can only spend money it has, so spending should literally be last year's revenue.

    Anyway, this would eliminate the loopholing that allows the rich to pay almost nothing, it would encourage investment, and it would keep the poorest 50% (almost 50% pay no income tax) from dodging out on taxes too.

    Yes, I said dodging out. No one should be treated differently under the law, including tax law, based on how much money they make.

    Or, if not, then maybe we should let the people who pay so much more in taxes have more of a say in government. That sounds fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Filthy 150 View Post
    Investment income.

    Maybe I'm out of my mind in my thinking here but where did the investment capital come from? I am guessing it came from earnings that the investor has already paid taxes on. Shouldn't the taxes on earnings from money that has already been taxed be a little lower? Or are we trying to spur people to NOT got the extra... ahhh nevermind.

    If you get what I have said already there is no need typing anymore. Same for those who disagree...I'm an idiot that doesn't have a clue how things 'should' work.

    The United States of America is now two distinctly different nations poorly coexisting within the same border.
    This is what I presume as well. You're rich. Your income is taxed at 35%. You take some of that money and invest it. That value increases, you've made a "gain" on your "capital", and you're taxed again.

    Quote Originally Posted by gabby gabbster View Post
    Boo-hoo. I sob every time the rich are sorely oppressed, because their tax rates may go up (like say during those awful Clinton years!!), or how their rates may be higher than everyone else's — never mind how much their share of income has risen since 1979 while the rest of our share is dropping. The top 10% of earners now make HALF of all the income. The relevant statistic isn't what proportion of the nation's taxes comes from the rich, it's what proportion of the rich's income gets paid in taxes.
    The left would like you to believe that anyone with conservative thought on economics or fiscal policy just wants the rich to take all of the money and wants poor people to die.

    This is where the fundamental difference in thought lies: The left thinks that your property (income) is owned by the government and they allow you to keep a certain allotment. If the government runs out of money, they let you have less of your property.

    The idea of a "share" of wealth is flawed because even if you take out the government printing money, wealth can be created.

    No one's wages have decreased. Only the lowest quintile has not seen an increase, and they have remained flat, not decreased. Standard of living has VASTLY increased, and the economy has gotten larger. This means there is more wealth to be had, and the poor have MUCH more than they did before, even if the rich have more too.

    That means that while the rich may be have a couple more slices of pie, the pie overall has increased, so the poor still have more than they did.

    But it's not the rich keeping them down.

    Income is largely based on skill on productivity. The most productive with the most valued skills will be compensated best. Unfortunately, the majority of the poor are low-skilled and low-educated, meaning they make little money because those qualities lead to low production.

    The problem is that the very programs in place to help the poor are the very things that keep them poor. The rich people aren't keeping the poor man down. There is much more room to move around our economy--up AND down--than people would like you to believe.
    Last edited by lovemachine97(Version 2); 09.20.11 at 02:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 03:33 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabby gabbster View Post
    Boo-hoo. I sob every time the rich are sorely oppressed, because their tax rates may go up (like say during those awful Clinton years!!), or how their rates may be higher than everyone else's never mind how much their share of income has risen since 1979 while the rest of our share is dropping. The top 10% of earners now make HALF of all the income. The relevant statistic isn't what proportion of the nation's taxes comes from the rich, it's what proportion of the rich's income gets paid in taxes.
    The disproportionate increase in income levels has nothing to do with taxation. That has everything to do with the greed of top level executives in corporate America.

    I deal with men that seem like normal guys even though they are making millions per year, and they would kill you for 10 grand. It's a different mind set among a lot of them.

    Focusing taxes on the individually wealthy is pointless. They should be turning their gaze at large corporations that either pay almost no taxes due to their money all being made by off-shore subsidiaries (shoot me, but shit, I do it for them, it's an easy accounting trick) or receive money in federal subsidies even though said company is making billions in profits.

    But they can't. Exxon, GE, and others etc have more lawyers, more lobbyists, and more accountants than the federal government, and always will.
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  11. #11
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    Income is largely based on skill on productivity. The most productive with the most valued skills will be compensated best. Unfortunately, the majority of the poor are low-skilled and low-educated, meaning they make little money because those qualities lead to low production.
    No, the guys with the fancy titles and offices will be compensated best. All the rest of us are left to divide up the crumbs from their table.

  12. #12
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    12.16.17 @ 11:04 PM
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    This whole debate is so frustrating to me because I guarantee you that the majority of people reading this can't even give an accurate definition of what a "tax" is. I will paste a definition of "tax"

    " a compulsory financial contribution imposed by a government to raise revenue, levied on the income or property of persons or organizations, on the production costs or sales prices of goods and services, etc"

    this is just one of the definitions that I have found and if anybody googles or searches you will not find a definition that describes the tax as a function of paying for services or other government expenses. The tax is strictly the means in which the government raises revenue. What that revenues is used for should be the subject of the debate not how people are taxed. The reason this is important to understand is by definition all a tax is, is a source of revenue. I can't think of any business, family or an individual that would base their spending on what they think they will earn. The correct method would be to analyze their expenses and ensure that their revenue is going to equal or exceed those expenses. I guarantee that if a budget work correctly calculated and a realistic amount for expenses was based on a valid budget there would be plenty of economists who could easily figure out an acceptable tax structure that most people would be willing to buy into. What most people fail to realize is our budget is not based on actual cost but based on an amount that was previously spent whether that amount was justified or not. I don't know how many people I have talked to who work in the government to say "I have to spend X amount of dollars before the end of the year because if I don't they will take that amount away from." I can't imagine any successful business or individual that has this type of system as a way to create a budget.

    Another issue that I have is how government budget cuts are described by politicians and the media alike. Generally speaking if a politician says that a particular sectors budget is being cut, what they are typically saying is the customary 5% or more 10% annual increase will be cut to maybe a 2% or 5% increase. Please explain to me how this is a budget cut. It is still an increase from the year before but in no way is it a budget cut.

    Capital gains tax is another issue that is completely misunderstood and used to mislead the public. Most people don't realize that capital gains tax is only used when an investment has increased in value and that increase is realized by the investor. What that means is if an investor chooses not to realize that gain there is no tax associated with the investment. Studies have shown time and time again that the higher the capital gains tax rate is less actual revenue is collected by the government. That is because the wealthy understand that in many cases not realizing the gain is much more valuable than selling the investment paying the tax and reinvesting even when the new investment may have a higher yield. So I would argue that increasing the capital gains tax rate in many cases will actually cause the wealthy to pay less tax than the capital gains tax remaining in the 12 to 15% range.

    Now back to the original issue which is the definition of a tax. When did a tax become a tool to penalize people who make money or a tool to redistribute wealth? It seems to me that a fisically responsible budget, paying for government mandated programs that are fisically and ethically run could be used to create a tax structure that is not used to penalize and does not burden. I know this is painfully long so I will end it now. I actually have ideas on tax structures but I will not bore you with those now.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    No, the guys with the fancy titles and offices will be compensated best. All the rest of us are left to divide up the crumbs from their table.
    As a general rule, that is incorrect.

  14. #14
    Eruption Gypsy King's Avatar
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    The wealthiest of individuals and corporations use their wealth to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. When a politician says they are increasing taxes on the rich, what they really mean is an increase in taxes on the middle class."

  15. #15
    Eruption gabby gabbster's Avatar
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    There's a reason Steve Forbes has been pushing the flat tax idea since he ran for president in 1996. There are so many problems with going to a flat tax system, from the myth that it is revenue neutral, to not taxing investment income, and to the idea that everyone's taxes will go down. Not to mention middle class earners will lose all of the tax breaks such as mortgage interest, retirement, medical, and educational savings accounts. No thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    Income is largely based on skill on productivity. The most productive with the most valued skills will be compensated best.
    Basically you are saying that a hedge fund manager is more productive than a civil engineer. I'm sorry but how does a fucking hedge fund manager who can sit by the pool collecting dividend checks deserve to make 100 times more than a guy busting his ass to make $70K a year? Nevertheless, American workers are more productive now then they were thirty years ago, even though (by your own admission) their wages have remained flat.

    I think there does need to be some comprehensive tax reform. But the concept that we should not tax the very wealthy so they will be free to "create jobs" clearly hasn't worked over the past 10 years. Also, it is not a tax increase, it is simply removing the tax breaks that George Bush gave his cronies...which were designed to expire! Obama's plan would simply return the tax rate to the Clinton era...you know, the days when we weren't running up huge deficits.

 

 

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