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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
    What?





    10char
    Oh you were talking about tax rates which are based on speculative state taxes which are almost impossible to accurately track rather than actual dollars paid in taxes which of course is based on the assumption that ability to pay is the only thing that counts rather than value received.

    what I am saying even if an investor pays at total tax bill that is 20% of his AGI and a average person pays 27% (which I don't really believe is true) that investor still pays a hundred or more thousand dollars more taxes so he is paying too much for the value he receives and should not be the person that you look first to tax more

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Keridan View Post
    I'm sure in some states they pay a higher percentage of their income in state taxes (consumption taxes). I'm also sure the dollar amount is nowhere near as large.
    Ohio has a high income tax and the death tax starts at estates of 335 K or so (haven't checked since I wrapped up my mother's estate a few years go) but I know I pay a pretty hefty Ohio state income tax bill each quarter whic comes out to be annually more than 75K

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    Oh you were talking about tax rates which are based on speculative state taxes which are almost impossible to accurately track rather than actual dollars paid in taxes which of course is based on the assumption that ability to pay is the only thing that counts rather than value received.

    what I am saying even if an investor pays at total tax bill that is 20% of his AGI and a average person pays 27% (which I don't really believe is true) that investor still pays a hundred or more thousand dollars more taxes so he is paying too much for the value he receives and should not be the person that you look first to tax more
    Well, obviously you have heard my arguments why percentage, not absolute amount is what matters 1,000 times. If you come up with any counter arguments, I'd like to hear them, but otherwise, we should just consider the matter closed.

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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, obviously you have heard my arguments why percentage, not absolute amount is what matters 1,000 times. If you come up with any counter arguments, I'd like to hear them, but otherwise, we should just consider the matter closed.
    I agree, you believe in ability to pay, I believe in taking into account what you get I also think if people cannot afford the amount of government they want, taxes should serve as a deterrent to prevent them from voting themselves the wealth of others to pay for all they want

    probably unworkable given that people who dont pay income taxes have almost enough votes to vote up the other half's rates but what you want is going to destroy this country

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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
    If TD wants to argue that the rich already are carrying too much of the burden, I don't see why it makes any sense at all not to look at the full tax burden they carry. His argument is based on how their personal financial situations are impacted by taxation. From that perspective it doesn't matter one lick which level of government the check is going to.
    If you want to go that route, you still have to break it down state by state. Alaska isn't going to feel the same pinch as NY or NC.

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    But, as a side note, I don't buy that different states are different economies or different societies. All that stuff is interstate these days.
    Even if that was true, and I'll address that next, it's still different governments and different tax rates and methods.

    They are different economies. Get rid of sugar subsidies and WA doesn't care too much, but all the beet farmers in ND go out of business. Tax the sale of oranges and Florida pays a price, but Alaska shrugs and continues on. Move taxes from Oil to Technology and TX gets rich while WA and CA lose all their jobs. Defund medical research and NC tanks after finally recovering from the loss of tobacco plants, but AL doesn't mind too much.
    Omniscience just sucks without omnipotence!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Which companies are you referring to and what harm was done in trying to save any of these troubled companies?
    Troubled companies??? where did you get that idea. Bain Capital is NOT a turnaround firm. Their business model requires that they buy companies with predictable cash flow. Troubled companies do not have predictable cash flow. They did, however, like underperforming companies that they thought they could make more efficient. Most of that efficiency, however, was by outsourcing jobs.

    Again, they were corporate houseflippers. They put down very little equity, borrowed the rest (which drastically weakened the balance sheet of the target). They used the existing cash flow to finance the debt and pay Bain hefty management fees. The Kaybee case was typical: buy the company for $320M in 2000... but putting up only $18 million and borrowing the rest, $302 million. Less than a year and a half later, KB Toys borrowed more to pay Bain and its investors $85 million in dividend. (That dividend was part of a $121 million stock redemption, funded in part by $66 million in bank loans, Bloomberg reported based on other news coverage.) Bain partners made a 370 percent return, but left the company heavily in debt. It filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and was liquidated.

    Bain is not a business builder. They are only looking to make a quick buck on their financial engineering skills.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Keridan View Post
    If you want to go that route, you still have to break it down state by state. Alaska isn't going to feel the same pinch as NY or NC.

    Even if that was true, and I'll address that next, it's still different governments and different tax rates and methods.
    Yeah, that's true. A fuller analysis would break it up by state. But the overall picture would average out like I said. The median American paying 27% and the median top 1%er paying 30%.

    But, it doesn't really vary that much from state to state. The lowest state (Alaska) for taxes is at 6.3% and the highest (NJ) is at 12.2%, but they're pretty unusual exceptions. Most the states are clustered right around 9%. What varies more is that some states' taxes are more regressive than others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keridan View Post
    They are different economies. Get rid of sugar subsidies and WA doesn't care too much, but all the beet farmers in ND go out of business. Tax the sale of oranges and Florida pays a price, but Alaska shrugs and continues on. Move taxes from Oil to Technology and TX gets rich while WA and CA lose all their jobs. Defund medical research and NC tanks after finally recovering from the loss of tobacco plants, but AL doesn't mind too much.
    But today, the guy who sells oranges in Florida has more shared interests with the guy who sells oranges in California than he has with the bartender in Florida. That didn't used to be the case. It used to be that the interests of the guy who sold oranges in Florida were closely tied to the interests of the bartender in Florida, but hardly tied to the interests of the guy who sold oranges in California at all. He most likely sold his oranges exclusively to other people in Florida. If the economy of Florida was doing well, both he and the bartender would be doing well. If the schools improved, that would probably give both the bartender and the guy who sells oranges a better shot at being able to hire somebody who knew how to do the books.

    Today it isn't like that at all. The guy in Florida sells his oranges on a national commodities exchange. He buys his pesticides from the same place the guy in California does. The schools in both states may be irrelevant them because they try to hire people out of various agricultural programs around the country. The orange seller in Florida may well be much more heavily impacted by a policy about orange packaging in California than the same policy in Florida because there are more orange consumers in California. His interests overlap very little with the bartender in Florida anymore. If Florida's economy booms or falls it really doesn't have any more impact on him than if the economy of Pennsylvania booms or falls and probably less impact than if they economy of California booms or falls.

    Many people live in multiple states during their lives. I've lived in 4 states in the last 18 months personally. Heck, many people live in one state and work in another. Families are spread across multiple states. People have friends scattered all across the country. At work many people spend all day communicating with people from different states far more than they communicate with anybody in their own state. Many people couldn't tell you for sure which state they'll be living in 10 years from now. People identify as Americans first and Minnesotans second where they used to see themselves as Minnesotans first and Americans second. The culture doesn't vary from state to state like it used to. It's become one big country instead of 50 different ones.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not on a mission to get rid of states. I just think they aren't as meaningful as political units as they once were.

  8. #1698
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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
    Yeah, that's true. A fuller analysis would break it up by state. But the overall picture would average out like I said. The median American paying 27% and the median top 1%er paying 30%.

    But, it doesn't really vary that much from state to state. The lowest state (Alaska) for taxes is at 6.3% and the highest (NJ) is at 12.2%, but they're pretty unusual exceptions. Most the states are clustered right around 9%. What varies more is that some states' taxes are more regressive than others.
    Forgive my laziness, but I'm too tired to read through the incredibly long pdf in there. Is that an effective rate including property, death, sales, and income taxes? I would believe it, but I wanted to confirm.

    Either way, I still feel the same that the federal government does not have a role of balancing out state taxes. That is for state level government and elections.


    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    But today, the guy who sells oranges in Florida has more shared interests with the guy who sells oranges in California than he has with the bartender in Florida. That didn't used to be the case. It used to be that the interests of the guy who sold oranges in Florida were closely tied to the interests of the bartender in Florida, but hardly tied to the interests of the guy who sold oranges in California at all. He most likely sold his oranges exclusively to other people in Florida. If the economy of Florida was doing well, both he and the bartender would be doing well. If the schools improved, that would probably give both the bartender and the guy who sells oranges a better shot at being able to hire somebody who knew how to do the books.

    Today it isn't like that at all. The guy in Florida sells his oranges on a national commodities exchange. He buys his pesticides from the same place the guy in California does. The schools in both states may be irrelevant them because they try to hire people out of various agricultural programs around the country. The orange seller in Florida may well be much more heavily impacted by a policy about orange packaging in California than the same policy in Florida because there are more orange consumers in California. His interests overlap very little with the bartender in Florida anymore. If Florida's economy booms or falls it really doesn't have any more impact on him than if the economy of Pennsylvania booms or falls and probably less impact than if they economy of California booms or falls.

    Many people live in multiple states during their lives. I've lived in 4 states in the last 18 months personally. Heck, many people live in one state and work in another. Families are spread across multiple states. People have friends scattered all across the country. At work many people spend all day communicating with people from different states far more than they communicate with anybody in their own state. Many people couldn't tell you for sure which state they'll be living in 10 years from now. People identify as Americans first and Minnesotans second where they used to see themselves as Minnesotans first and Americans second. The culture doesn't vary from state to state like it used to. It's become one big country instead of 50 different ones.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not on a mission to get rid of states. I just think they aren't as meaningful as political units as they once were.
    The prices of Oranges go up, the guy in CA sells another fruit. It might suck a bit, but he isn't out of work. However, all those people picking, prepping, and packaging the oranges in FL now are worried about their jobs. They don't go to the bar down the street because it's a luxury item they don't want to spend on now that their income is in jeopardy. The bartender loses income and possibly his job. The bar tender starts cutting luxuries ... etc etc.

    There is definitely more of an impact locally.

    People can and do move states. That's right. So do businesses. That's why states need to watch what and how they tax and the federal government shouldn't be trying to counteract those choices. They use the money to fund emergency services and local roads and other programs. They need to base their taxes on what employers and businesses do well and which ones don't and who has the most income and what amenities that state has to offer.

    Regarding culture, take a look at the demographics, spending habits, and religious affiliations in GA, then look at them in IA, then look at them in OR. I think you'll find there are some pretty big differences left out there.

    EDIT: Wanted to add that I'm headed to bed for the night. I will try to get a bit of time to address responses tomorrow. Always a pleasure debating!
    Omniscience just sucks without omnipotence!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Keridan View Post
    Forgive my laziness, but I'm too tired to read through the incredibly long pdf in there. Is that an effective rate including property, death, sales, and income taxes? I would believe it, but I wanted to confirm.
    Yeah, it's all state and local taxes of all types according to the source. Except there is no such thing as a "death tax"... Perhaps you mean "estate tax"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keridan View Post
    People can and do move states. That's right. So do businesses. That's why states need to watch what and how they tax and the federal government shouldn't be trying to counteract those choices.
    This might be the kernel of our disagreement. In my view the fact that people can move states to try to avoid higher taxes is a problem and constitutes a reason that the federal government is better situated than the state governments to tax more progressively. It's what's called a "race to the bottom". States basically can't meaningfully tax rich people because they just move. States end up trying to undercut one another's tax rates to attract rich people and the ultimately result is what we have- regressive taxation at the state level. It's basically impossible for a state to have progressive taxation.

    The classic race to the bottom problem is child labor. Child labor laws used to be solely at the state level. So corporations that wanted cheap labor would set up in whichever state had the slackest child labor laws. States competing for the taxes those corporations would bring kept undercutting one another with more and more. One state would let 14 year olds work in factories, but only for 4 hours a day. Then another would allow 8 hours. Then another would allow 13 years. Then another would say they could work in mines. And so on, lower and lower, until 10 year olds could work 12 hours shifts in coal mines.... Probably virtually nobody actually wanted that to be the law, but competitive pressures forced them to do it. So, the federal government had to step in and set a floor for child labor laws.

    Competition between states is good for some things. For example, maybe one state will try investing heavily in computer oriented education and another will invest heavily in biology oriented education, one will do better than the other, and then the rest of the nation will tend to follow the stronger example. But that only works where the competitive forces are pressuring a state to do better. When it's competition over who can do the worst, that's no good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keridan View Post
    The prices of Oranges go up, the guy in CA sells another fruit. It might suck a bit, but he isn't out of work. However, all those people picking, prepping, and packaging the oranges in FL now are worried about their jobs. They don't go to the bar down the street because it's a luxury item they don't want to spend on now that their income is in jeopardy. The bartender loses income and possibly his job. The bar tender starts cutting luxuries ... etc etc.
    Hmm, that's true. I probably shouldn't have used a bartender, which is indeed an intra-state business... But I will agree that there is some amount of state-level interests, but there also are some intrastate interests. Maybe the bartender is more concerned about the state and the orange seller is more concerned with the nation. But I would contend that we've steadily been shifting towards national interests and away from state interests. That orange seller going out of business does put some folks out of work locally, but some of them will go to another state to find orange related work. It may also put somebody in a grocery chain 10 states away out of business.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keridan View Post
    Always a pleasure debating!
    Yeah, great discussion.

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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
    No, that would have no impact on the Buffets of the world. He pays only the 15% capital gains tax, not income tax.
    I was referring to dividends tax rates. Go back and read the post in its entirety.

    I think the dividend rates are too high. More than a few retirees depend on dividend income to fund their retirements. Drop the income percentage at the lower end and increase it at the higher end with brackets going to the sky, 50k/100k/250k/1mil/5mil. Buffet will get what he wants that way. Retirees wont get clobbered and revenue will go up unless and until people decide to use tax abatement, then you just adjust until revenue seems to climb slowly. Btw rates---10%/15%/20%/25%/30%.

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