Taxes Too High? Think again...

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Uji
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Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Uji » 2010 Oct 20 10:17

Tired of hearing folks complain about taxes? Well, maybe not, but you should be. Take a listen to this little talk by Malcolm Gladwell...

http://fora.tv/2010/10/03/Malcolm_Gladw ... _the_Rails

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Wise One
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Wise One » 2010 Oct 20 18:45

That is a fascinating clip, reminding us of the facts of history and putting things nicely in perspective. One does get the impression that a selfish ethic among Republicans and the very wealthy nowadays departs significantly from traditional American values.

A caveat to the point made in this nice clip? The 91% marginal tax rate may have ignited the firestorm of new special tax preferences and deductions that have ballooned the tax code into its present unfair and inefficient state. Moreover, even then there were tax loopholes and escape hatches that only the very rich could use – not so many as now but perhaps enough for the greedy bastards of that day.

I must rant over a pet peeve. Have you heard rightie Republicans whine over how unfair it is that "the top 1 percent of tax returns paid 38 percent of all federal individual income taxes", or something to this effect? I have, repeatedly.

This true statement generates misplaced outrage. Unsaid, but clearly implied, is that it would be more "fair" for the rich to pay the same percentage of all income taxes as the rest of us. This is mathematical nonsense, forget politics.

I can accept a proposal that the rich pay the same percentage rate on income, no tax preferences and deductions for anybody – quite different from the suggestion above.

To meet an insane goal of collecting equal amounts of tax revenue from equal percentages of an income distribution, mathematics absolutely requires a higher percentage tax rate for poor people than for rich people. (I can give concrete examples if this is not clear.)

What could be more unfair? The electorate should always reply, "You're nuts."

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

ParkerLongbaugh

Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby ParkerLongbaugh » 2010 Oct 21 09:03

Wise One wrote:...I must rant over a pet peeve. Have you heard rightie Republicans whine over how unfair it is that "the top 1 percent of tax returns paid 38 percent of all federal individual income taxes", or something to this effect? I have, repeatedly.

This true statement generates misplaced outrage. Unsaid, but clearly implied, is that it would be more "fair" for the rich to pay the same percentage of all income taxes as the rest of us. This is mathematical nonsense, forget politics.

I can accept a proposal that the rich pay the same percentage rate on income, no tax preferences and deductions for anybody – quite different from the suggestion above.


Wow, I've never heard anyone ever state someone making $1M should pay the same amount of taxes as someone making $15k, which is the only way for them to pay the same portion as their representation of tax returns. I've never heard that even implied, for the exact reason you said- the math simply fails.

If people from the right and people from the left agree they could accept the same tax rate on everyone, probably even with a cut-off of no taxes at a certain level, why don't we have that instead of this cluster we currently have? Many of us would want this change to address the FICA and other taxes as well, especially at the lower end of the spectrum where the FICA taxes are larger than the income taxes, but I think most folks outside of Washington would welcome the improvement.

Heck for some of us, depending on our age, FICA taxes are simply extra income taxes- we'll NEVER see a dime of that program when the time comes.

Since folks from both sides seem to have a lot in agreement, I guess I'll start holding my breath now for Washington to fix our tax mess... :neutral:

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Coondog
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Coondog » 2010 Oct 21 13:18

The problem with this country is not entitlements, but the attitude of the entitled!

This seems an opportune time to address, once again, my favorite local right wing nut hypocrite.

Yes, I mean Hugh Boushelle, who's epistles from a parallel universe disgrace the pages of the News-Gazette on a monthly basis. This month's chapter of the flatulant column entitled, "From Where I Stand", "We're At A Crossroads" illustrates the type of whiney little girl petulance we're getting from the right wing fringe.

This week, Mr. Bouchelle is lamenting the fact that his FSA - Health Flexible Spending Account (a Federal Program of the type that is constantly denegrated as a Government takeover of health care) which he dearly loves, no longer allows him to buy whatever he wants at the CVS on a tax free basis.

According to his diatribe, the FSA allows him to set aside pre-tax money for out of pocket expenses thus enabeling procurement of cheap health insurance. Well, he's real upset because, like the rest of us, he is now only allowed to take advantage of prescription medicines and can no longer purchase, tax free, over the counter stuff like cold medicines, foot fungus powder, horney goat weed or, presumably, dependz.

Follows is some poorly supported jibberish about a socialist agenda granting "power to make life-altering political decisions to unelected bureaucrats." Then he goes on to call liberals the "elite ruling class. Rule 1 - people with no class should not talk about class. Having no class, either, I will bend that rule far enough to point out that the percentage of liberals that own yachts and go to high rent butt-patting parties with the Koch brothers is approximately Zero.

Next is authoritative credit to the Heritage Foundation (a bigger set of self serving liars you will never find) and a misapplied and apparently completely misunderstood quote from Thomas Jefferson.

It gets worse! He then accuses Nancy Pelosi of gerrymandering for some obscure reason. He laments the RNC treatment of his patron witch, Christine O'Donnel. And.....and.....after proposing that we (presumably us) need to research outside the bias of the main stream media, he goes on to provide a list of the most extreme, right wing, biased web sites imaginable.

Finally, after injecting all the standard wing nut verbage about freedom, the liberal propaganda machine, and (I almost forgot) the LIE about the US having the highest corporate tax rate world wide, (ever hear of Japan, numbnuts?) we come to the "Crossroads".

The Crossroads is, seemingly, a simple choice between Socialism and the Nirvana promised by "patriots (who) try to win back our country from the ruling class." What Tripe! This bozo is convinced that the ruling class (the ones who gave him that tax break for anal worm medicine) is composed of anyone other than himself and those dumb enough to subscribe to these inarticulate fantasies.

The unfortunate thing is, according to the typical election returns, most of Rockbridge County believes this, too!

Coondog :curse:

P.S. I took up Mr. Bouchelle on his invitation to post on his website. For some strange reason, my post (most civil in tone compared to his) didn't get posted. I wonder why?

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Wise One
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Wise One » 2010 Oct 22 10:22

ParkerLongbaugh wrote: Wow, I've never heard anyone ever state someone making $1M should pay the same amount of taxes as someone making $15k, which is the only way for them to pay the same portion as their representation of tax returns. I've never heard that even implied, for the exact reason you said- the math simply fails.
I haven't heard that either. The implication is not overt ... it's a silent implication. If it is "unfair" that a small percentage of rich people pay more total dollars than poor people, then there is no other way to reach "fairness." I think these guys are just smart enough to throw the "unfairness bomb", leaving it to the target to conclude wrongly that taxes on rich people must be reduced. Quite ridiculous.

ParkerLongbaugh wrote: If people from the right and people from the left agree they could accept the same tax rate on everyone, probably even with a cut-off of no taxes at a certain level, why don't we have that instead of this cluster we currently have? Many of us would want this change to address the FICA and other taxes as well, especially at the lower end of the spectrum where the FICA taxes are larger than the income taxes, but I think most folks outside of Washington would welcome the improvement.
Yours is a position I can embrace with enthusiasm, and it ought to get broad support across the political spectrum. But it hasn't because of a contemporary reality. Reflexively politicians say, "If the other party supports it, then I must oppose it!"

In my opinion, the present tax code, often labeled "progressive," is anything but. Those at the low end face large and unavoidable payroll taxes. Individuals at the high end have thousands of ways to exploit tax preferences and other legal methods of tax evasion. Warren Buffet, a rich man who has a conscience and who speaks truth, is fond of saying that his secretary pays an enormously higher income tax rate on her normal income than he does on his billions.

And the loudly decried "high US corporate income tax of 35%" is bogus, in the sense that almost every corporation uses tax preferences, credits, deductions, and other methods of evasion to pay a tiny fraction of the theoretical rate. By the way, this liberal favors abolition of the corporate income tax, a perhaps surprising position which I can explain if there is interest.

:coffee:
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fangz1956
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby fangz1956 » 2010 Oct 22 13:48

Wise One wrote:
By the way, this liberal favors abolition of the corporate income tax, a perhaps surprising position which I can explain if there is interest.

Explain away. I was reading an article about this very topic the other day. I'll go fishing for it. It explained why corporate income tax should be abolished. I'm interested to read if your reasoning is the same.

:wink2:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?


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Wise One
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Wise One » 2010 Oct 25 00:27

fangz1956 wrote:Explain away. I was reading an article about this very topic the other day.

Thanks for goading me on! Here's why I think the corporate income tax does more harm than good, for nearly everybody:

The corporate income tax started as a real tax, but it has evolved into a protection racket. It's set at a level that looks high compared to many other countries, 35%, but that number is a smokescreen, just the starting point for a scam operated by the Congress and its complicit victims. The cooperative relationship between Congress and corporations, in the operation of the corporate income tax scam, makes a sado-masochist marriage look healthy by comparison!

Corporations employ thousands of lobbyists, more often than not former congressmen and congressional staffers, who exploit their relationships with the Congress to get tax concessions and preferences written into the law to benefit their employers. Thus the tax actually paid is tiny compared to a merely theoretical 35%.

Congressmen are so very friendly IF they are assured of generous contributions for their next campaign plus a place for staffers and sometimes themselves to "graduate to" after they leave. They grant those tax preference, essentially in return for "protection money."

There are many reasons to abolish the corporate income tax in its entirety:
  • To put an end to the corrupt protection racket described above.
  • To make Congress more efficient, freeing members from the corrupt campaign money-for-tax preferences game that occupies so much of their time and energy. Congress continually rewrites minutiae of the tax code, seeking always to maximize its return (campaign funds) under the protection racket.
  • To make corporations more efficient and competitive, by freeing their resources and people to work on the business rather than on negotiating continuously for preferences in return for payoffs.
  • To make corporations more efficient and competitive, by ending the hugely wasteful practice of "tax gaming." Time, energy, and resources are wastefully devoted to shaping investment and spending in such a way that taxes are minimized. This often means that a corporation puts its resources, not where it makes business sense, but where it minimizes tax.
  • An example. Many corporations, toward the end of the year, enter into a frenzy of dumping money into truly stupid spending only to reduce booked profit and minimize tax. Executive offices get re-carpeted and refurnished for the umpteenth time, corporate jets and yachts get bought, lavish executive bonuses are paid. All this reduces booked profit and hence tax, but actually reduces the business's efficiency compared to European or Chinese or Japanese competitors.
  • Corporate money, wasted on tax gaming and lobbying and executive perks, is no longer available for paying wages/salaries for lower level employees, increasing social and economic disparity and stress.
  • An underpaid workforce is a less happy, less dependable, less healthy, and less efficient work force thus accelerating the downward spiral of our international competitive position.
  • An underpaid workforce is an impotent consumer, thus driving down the entire economy because it cannot participate broadly in driving demand for other US products and services.
  • The corporate income tax doesn't raise that much revenue. It would better and fairer to raise that revenue in other ways.
  • And other things, that I just can't think of at the moment. Perhaps you can?
Image

:coffee:

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Crux
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Crux » 2011 Jan 13 20:47

Wise One wrote:I can accept a proposal that the rich pay the same percentage rate on income, no tax preferences and deductions for anybody...
To meet an insane goal of collecting equal amounts of tax revenue from equal percentages of an income distribution, mathematics absolutely requires a higher percentage tax rate for poor people than for rich people. (I can give concrete examples if this is not clear.)
What could be more unfair?


NOW I see you have been about this unfair faulty INFERENCE for a while. YOURS. I too would stand up for a FLAT tax, or a three tier tax. The complaint is that too many pathetically whine that the rich (whoever that is) do not pay their faaaiiirrr shaaare of taxes, that whole Bush Tax cuts for the RIIIIICH tripe, and the social and political climate where effectively 50% of people in the country pay NO federal income tax.

crux...disliking the identity politics of rich vs. poor, wealthy vs. disadvantaged, rural vs. urban...
crux identifies with American Principles. Personal Liberty, Respect and Limited government.
He is a classic liberal, a libertarian at heart, and a conservative in the classical sense...

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Amy Probenski
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Amy Probenski » 2011 Jan 13 22:27

crux wrote:crux identifies with ... Lower taxes ...

Conservatives chant this mantra continuously, and always will. Lower appears to mean lower whatever the present level might happen to be. They whine for everything but are willing to pay for nothing. They are spoiled brats.

Reality is that taxes are already low in the US. On this reference we rank number 48 down the list. This reference puts us at number 17 down the list for total taxation as a percentage of GDP.

Yet conservatives whine as though we were at the top. And always will.

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Wise One
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Wise One » 2011 Jan 13 22:36

crux wrote:... too many pathetically whine that the rich (whoever that is) do not pay their faaaiiirrr shaaare of taxes
They don't. Because of the US tax code and its web of tax preferences and tax avoidances available only to the rich, the poor pay substantially higher overall tax rates than the rich do.

A flat tax with no deductions would be substantially more progressive than the present, grossly mislabeled, "progressive" tax rates.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Crux
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Crux » 2011 Jan 14 07:49

Amy Probenski wrote:Conservatives chant this mantra continuously, and always will.
You got that right.
As for whining...
Amy Probenski wrote: They are spoiled brats.
:pompom:
Perspective is subjective.
crux identifies with American Principles. Personal Liberty, Respect and Limited government.
He is a classic liberal, a libertarian at heart, and a conservative in the classical sense...

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Crux
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Crux » 2011 Jan 14 08:03

Wise One wrote:...the poor pay substantially higher overall tax rates than the rich do.
A flat tax with no deductions would be substantially more progressive than the present, grossly mislabeled, "progressive" tax rates.

The benefit to folks actually paying through an income tax to fund the government which both protects, and provides them with so much, would actually and positively invest THEM in the system. Besides a GREATLY simplified tax code would be an OVERALL benefit to the "SYSTEM". My complaint of a "progressive" tax system is not that the wealthier you are, the more you will pay to fund the government.
crux identifies with American Principles. Personal Liberty, Respect and Limited government.
He is a classic liberal, a libertarian at heart, and a conservative in the classical sense...

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historyforall
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby historyforall » 2011 Jan 17 12:50

History shows that the wealthy must pay a higher portion for a society to grow and prosper. Every golden age seems to be at a time of the rich paying the lions share of taxes for that civilization. It has to be because those who are wealthy take the largest share of the profits for themselves. Otherwise it leads to that government being overthrown as we have seen throughout the ages. There is a modern misunderstanding of what true wealth is in this country. Those who payed high taxes were still insanely rich. They did not suffer or want of anything.
Now we have an in between group of people who are almost "rich" who believe that they are on the verge of losing their money to taxation. The, I was going to buy a 3rd condo on the beach to rent out during the summer months but now Obama and socialist are trying to take what is mine, group. These people still have a long way to go to be one of the "rich" people of this country but in their mind they think they already are. It is the great con of the super wealthy to get those with moderate to very little to rally behind them and fight for their right to have more.
My favorite analogy was if you look at our country as a prison, the warden is the super rich, the guards are the middle class, and the poor are the prisoners. As is always the case there are more prisoners than guards and wardens, so the goal of the warden is to make sure the guards protect him from the prisoners while making sure that the guards never team up with the prisoners.
I am a big supporter of a flat tax rate or the national sales tax idea. But in order for the above statement not to be true, we would have to demand tight controls on govt spending. No more massive military to combat imaginary threats, or middle management beuracrats to push papers around. Schools funding would have to actually go to the schools not to the higher ups.
I believe in the rights and freedoms of a person even when I don't support them on a moral or fundamental basis.

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Crux
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Hey H4All...just a few thoughts.

Postby Crux » 2011 Jan 17 14:24

The wealthy DO and will, and SHOULD pay more in taxes. America has been and is a Golden Age example. The more one earns, the greater potential for one to accrue wealth. A frugal and wise common man, or woman like Verna (see below), can build an enormous bank account over a lifetime, and give it all away if they choose.

I have never been too envious or jealous of the wealthy. I never believed they didn't "suffer or want", and know that folks EARN what they get. "Rich", is a very subjective term, as we see in current political debate. 100K/year? 200? A million or 64,000...

As for your "three kinds of people-Prison" analogy, try this one (not my work). There are three kinds of people.
Producers who produce the wealth, Looters who take the wealth and give it to the third group, the Moochers.
This is certainly limited and pithy, but thought provoking much like yours. Something to think about, anyway...

I too like the Flat tax, or Fair Tax, and also advocate for much better control on government growth, and spending.

Verna Oller's story: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/frugal- ... n-10871625

crux
crux identifies with American Principles. Personal Liberty, Respect and Limited government.
He is a classic liberal, a libertarian at heart, and a conservative in the classical sense...

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Wise One
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Wise One » 2011 Feb 02 10:37

There's a very nice trio of articles today discussing reforms to the corporate income tax that echo my prior posting on this subject.

The three very short pieces, respectively, describe an example of extreme egregiousness, why lowering the rate is good, and why lowering accompanied by abolition of loopholes won't bring the justice we think it will.

I'm not as pessimistic as the third guy. The "gimme guys" will always try to steal more but somewhere somehow we must find a way of turning off this corrupt tax-loopholes for campaign-contributions scam that lies at the core of what is wrong with American governance these days.

My perhaps unachievable ideal is abolition of the income tax (both corporate and personal), replacing it by a flat sales tax on everything, no deductions whatsoever for anything or anybody – inequities and hard cases at the low end to be handled by direct payments, not by tax fiddles.

:coffee:

PS. I'm seriously considering a personal boycott of Rockbridge Forum. My demands, and conditions for my return? That Fangz and Amy come back!

:sad:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Crux
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Crux » 2011 Feb 02 17:53

Wise One wrote:PS. I'm seriously considering a personal boycott of Rockbridge Forum. My demands, and conditions for my return? That Fangz and Amy come back!
Oh I am sure they are skulking about... Don't be so dramatic.

Wise One wrote:My perhaps unachievable ideal is abolition of the income tax (both corporate and personal), replacing it by a flat sales tax on everything, no deductions whatsoever for anything or anybody – inequities and hard cases at the low end to be handled by direct payments, not by tax fiddles.
The Fair Tax, essentially. You a John Linder fan? This is one other thing we agree on. Heck, Michele Bachmann too... Now don't freak.

:surprised:
crux identifies with American Principles. Personal Liberty, Respect and Limited government.
He is a classic liberal, a libertarian at heart, and a conservative in the classical sense...

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Sam
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Sam » 2011 Feb 03 09:53

OK Folks, I find it interesting that WO is considering a personal boycott of the forum when he stated recently that
Wise One wrote:We've even had participants in this forum resign in a pouting huff because other participants don't swallow the FoxTV propaganda line hook-line-and-sinker. Pretty small-minded, eh?

So if he is going to boycott the forum does that mean he is leaving in a pouting huff. Can't help but wonder. Or is it because he can't stand the heat. Or is it because he is small minded.......
Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as
"extremists

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Wise One
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Wise One » 2011 Feb 03 10:37

Yes Sam, you nailed it. I yield to nobody in the smallness of my microscopic mind – and I spend most all my time in a pouting huff. Hey, it's my nature.

Naaaw, my threat was idle – mostly aimed at imploring our wonderful girls to hang around. They civilize the place. If I get stuck alone with the likes of Crux then the ferociousness of my pouting and huffiness will be unbounded.

Save me from myself!

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Crux
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Re: Taxes Too High? Think again...

Postby Crux » 2011 Feb 03 18:09

crux wrote:The Fair Tax, essentially. You a John Linder fan? This is one other thing we agree on. Heck, Michele Bachmann too... Now don't freak.

:surprised:


Neil Boortz too...and a few Dem reps have co-sponsored it in the past.
crux identifies with American Principles. Personal Liberty, Respect and Limited government.
He is a classic liberal, a libertarian at heart, and a conservative in the classical sense...


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