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Thread: Romney reveals he pays about 15% in taxes(edited)

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    Re: Romney's tax rate is only half as high as the middle class pays

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    To be more precise, my position is that all types of income should be taxed on the same rate scale. Just treat all income alike and use the tax rates we use for wages for all of it. So, interest income would just be added on to whatever wages or investment income you have, that'd be your total income, and you'd be taxed the same way as if it had all been wages.
    I get your point.
    I was asking should everyone earn the same rate on savings, investments. i.e. interest earn. Right now there is a variety of interest rates paid.
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    Re: Romney's tax rate is only half as high as the middle class pays

    Quote Originally Posted by mike2810 View Post
    I get your point.
    I was asking should everyone earn the same rate on savings, investments. i.e. interest earn. Right now there is a variety of interest rates paid.
    I'm not sure I understand. Are you asking whether banks should all pay a standardized rate of interest? If so, I don't see how that is related to what we're talking about, but no, I don't think they should. Or at least I don't think the government should force them to.

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    Re: Romney's tax rate is only half as high as the middle class pays

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    I'm not sure I understand. Are you asking whether banks should all pay a standardized rate of interest? If so, I don't see how that is related to what we're talking about, but no, I don't think they should. Or at least I don't think the government should force them to.
    Yes that is what I am asking,
    It is relevent. You want all types of income taxed at the same rate. Through this long thread I have not seen any evidence that doing so would be benifical to the economy or lead to the creation of more jobs. Your own link showed that the top 5 earning groups pay a lot of taxes and more than the bottom 2 or 3 groups. I believe some think it would give the govt. more money. My concern is Congress does not manage what they get now very well. Until Congress gets their financial house in order, they do not deserve any more tax revenue. Balance the budget, show us how they will reduce/rid us of the debt, and then any new spending tell us what it is for and the costs.
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    Re: Romney's tax rate is only half as high as the middle class pays

    Quote Originally Posted by mike2810 View Post
    Yes that is what I am asking,
    It is relevent. You want all types of income taxed at the same rate. Through this long thread I have not seen any evidence that doing so would be benifical to the economy or lead to the creation of more jobs. Your own link showed that the top 5 earning groups pay a lot of taxes and more than the bottom 2 or 3 groups. I believe some think it would give the govt. more money. My concern is Congress does not manage what they get now very well. Until Congress gets their financial house in order, they do not deserve any more tax revenue. Balance the budget, show us how they will reduce/rid us of the debt, and then any new spending tell us what it is for and the costs.
    Certainly it would generate more revenue for the government, but the question of whether the government "deserves" more money doesn't really make sense. The government is a proxy for the people. The people working for the government don't get the money you pay in taxes, it is spend according to the laws that the people, through their representatives, choose.

    But, putting that aside for a moment, spending doesn't seem to have any correlation to revenues. We have a $1.4 trillion deficit. So, it's pretty much impossible to argue that lower revenues means lower spending. They just borrow whatever they want to spend if there isn't enough revenues. So it just becomes a question of how much debt we have. The more revenues, the less debt.

    So, it seems obvious to me that revenues are good in and of themselves. So the question goes back again to- why should people who work have to dedicate so much higher of a percentage of what they earn to taxes than rich investors? One way or another, somebody is going to have to bear the burden of that debt. Why should it be disproportionately put on the shoulders of working people and investors get a pass?
    Last edited by teamosil; 01-23-12 at 07:56 PM.

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    Re: Romney's tax rate is only half as high as the middle class pays

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Certainly it would generate more revenue for the government, but the question of whether the government "deserves" more money doesn't really make sense. The government is a proxy for the people. The people working for the government don't get the money you pay in taxes, it is spend according to the laws that the people, through their representatives, choose.

    But, putting that aside for a moment, spending doesn't seem to have any correlation to revenues. We have a $1.4 trillion deficit. So, it's pretty much impossible to argue that lower revenues means lower spending. They just borrow whatever they want to spend if there isn't enough revenues. So it just becomes a question of how much debt we have. The more revenues, the less debt.

    So, it seems obvious to me that revenues are good in and of themselves. So the question goes back again to- why should people who work have to dedicate so much higher of a percentage of what they earn to taxes than rich investors? One way or another, somebody is going to have to bear the burden of that debt. Why should it be disproportionately put on the shoulders of working people and investors get a pass?
    Can you show that by doing so to capital income will not harm the economy or lead to more jobs?

    Capital income is a risk, labor income is a known return. Please explain why someone who looses money when selling a capital asset have that income taxed at the same rate as non capital income. Even if you take a lower paying labor job, you have not lost anything. Your earning capability just went down. that is not the case when a capital investment looses money.

    Think we have run to an end. Neither of us are going to change our opinion.
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    Re: Romney's tax rate is only half as high as the middle class pays

    Quote Originally Posted by mike2810 View Post
    Can you show that by doing so to capital income will not harm the economy or lead to more jobs?

    How did the higher capital gains rate under Reagan and Clinton harm the economy? We created 22 million jobs under Clinton.
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    Re: Romney's tax rate is only half as high as the middle class pays

    Quote Originally Posted by mike2810 View Post
    Can you show that by doing so to capital income will not harm the economy or lead to more jobs?
    Well there are tons of studies that show that people still invest their money regardless of capital gains rates. So the only real impact is that the amount of their future investments is reduced by whatever amount you increase the tax by. Like any tax, that is a hit to the economy for sure. All things being equal, more investment is better. But, all things being equal, less debt is also better. All things being equal, more consumer spending is better. Etc. We need to try to balance all those things. We should aim for the right balance of debt, consumer spending and investment. The way to decrease debt is by raising income taxes or capital gains taxes. The way to increase consumer spending is to decrease income taxes or increase programs the middle class relies on at the expense of either debt or raising capital gains. The way to increase investment is to decrease capital gains taxes at the expense of either debt or raising income taxes. It's all tradeoffs.

    So, the question isn't "is investment good?" the question is "right now do we need investment more, or consumer spending more or debt reduction more?"

    I would say that at present both the debt and the lackluster consumer spending are bigger economic problems than any shortage of investment. When you have more investment and not enough consumer spending, what you get is stock bubbles. Money floods into the stock market causing prices to shoot up, but the companies can't ultimately justify those inflated valuations with their actual revenues, so the market eventually corrects and it comes crashing back down. The entire economy has just gotten through two massive, devastating, bubbles, so I think that's a pretty safe bet that our problem isn't too little investment capital, it is too little consumer spending.

    Our current tax scheme is tweaked all the way to maximize investment at the expense of debt and consumer spending. IMO we need to nudge it back a bit towards equilibrium. In my estimation, taxing both income and capital gains equally is about the sweet spot. That would mean income taxes a bit lower than they were in the 90s, capital gains taxes about the same as they were in the 90s. Seems about right to me. And it would start to nudge our deficts back down as well, so that's always a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike2810 View Post
    Capital income is a risk, labor income is a known return. Please explain why someone who looses money when selling a capital asset have that income taxed at the same rate as non capital income.
    You don't. If you lose money not only do you not pay taxes for the sale, but you can offset other earnings you made.

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    Re: Romney's tax rate is only half as high as the middle class pays

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Well there are tons of studies that show that people still invest their money regardless of capital gains rates. So the only real impact is that the amount of their future investments is reduced by whatever amount you increase the tax by. Like any tax, that is a hit to the economy for sure. All things being equal, more investment is better. But, all things being equal, less debt is also better. All things being equal, more consumer spending is better. Etc. We need to try to balance all those things. We should aim for the right balance of debt, consumer spending and investment. The way to decrease debt is by raising income taxes or capital gains taxes. The way to increase consumer spending is to decrease income taxes or increase programs the middle class relies on at the expense of either debt or raising capital gains. The way to increase investment is to decrease capital gains taxes at the expense of either debt or raising income taxes. It's all tradeoffs.

    So, the question isn't "is investment good?" the question is "right now do we need investment more, or consumer spending more or debt reduction more?"

    I would say that at present both the debt and the lackluster consumer spending are bigger economic problems than any shortage of investment. When you have more investment and not enough consumer spending, what you get is stock bubbles. Money floods into the stock market causing prices to shoot up, but the companies can't ultimately justify those inflated valuations with their actual revenues, so the market eventually corrects and it comes crashing back down. The entire economy has just gotten through two massive, devastating, bubbles, so I think that's a pretty safe bet that our problem isn't too little investment capital, it is too little consumer spending.

    Our current tax scheme is tweaked all the way to maximize investment at the expense of debt and consumer spending. IMO we need to nudge it back a bit towards equilibrium. In my estimation, taxing both income and capital gains equally is about the sweet spot. That would mean income taxes a bit lower than they were in the 90s, capital gains taxes about the same as they were in the 90s. Seems about right to me. And it would start to nudge our deficts back down as well, so that's always a good thing.



    You don't. If you lose money not only do you not pay taxes for the sale, but you can offset other earnings you made.
    I know that, but I figured that since you propose that all income is treated/taxed the same, this option would not be available. So what other tax things are you saying would stay the same?
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    Re: Romney's tax rate is only half as high as the middle class pays

    Quote Originally Posted by mike2810 View Post
    I know that, but I figured that since you propose that all income is treated/taxed the same, this option would not be available. So what other tax things are you saying would stay the same?
    Well it isn't income if it's a loss. Loss is the opposite of income. Investment income is your investment profits minus your investment losses. So I don't really see how that is an exception or something.

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    Re: Romney's tax rate is only half as high as the middle class pays

    Quote Originally Posted by Dickieboy View Post
    And why shouldn't he? Is there a law against it? And since it was HIS HARD WORK that yeilded the $800k in salary shouldn't he now be able to enjoy the fruit of his labor? Since he now is in the 1% he is not the 'discriminated' class. Why would YOU want to deprive him the JUST reward for HIS hard work?
    O have no idea what you are talking about.

    Why does that sort of meaningless pap make somebody feel better about paying 35% while somebody else pays 15% on the same amount? There is not enough kool-aid to make that possible.

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