View Poll Results: Should a multi-billionaire settle for 2 jets instead of 3, 7 homes instead of 10 etc?

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  • Yes (if it means serving the greater good)

    12 24.49%
  • No (no one has the right to decide how much wealth is too much)

    37 75.51%
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Thread: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

  1. #171
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by evanescence View Post
    I have no problem with businesses making a profit. I do, however, resent everyone not paying their fair share as a percentage of their income. I believe that a flat tax for all brackets of income, including investment income, would really help this country.
    a flat tax would certainly prevent politicians playing Us against them tax games for sure



  2. #172
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    ah from each according to their ability. those in the 350k to 5million range pay the highest percentage of federal income taxes

    The Very Rich Are Different–They Pay A Lower Tax Rate - Janet Novack - Taxing Matters - Forbes

    Taxpayers earning $1 million to $5 million, who get more of their income from salary and other “ordinary” income taxed at a top 35% rate, paid an effective tax rate of 24%
    That's not entirely accurate. Millionaires definitely get a significant percentage of their income through investments which are taxed at lower rates.

    He was also following an analysis by Thomas Piketty, a widely followed economist at the Paris School of Economics, and Emmanuel Saez at the University of California, Berkeley. Their study on economic equality showed that the rich have gotten richer — income for the top 1 percent rose by $261,930, or 30 percent, from 2002 to 2008 — while the bottom 90 percent saw their incomes drop by $1,170, or 4 percent, on an inflation adjusted basis.

    The economists concluded: “We need to decide as a society whether this increase in income inequality is efficient and acceptable and, if not, what mix of institutional reforms should be developed to counter it.”

    Whatever the policy debates, households at President Obama’s dividing line might be wealthy, but that doesn’t mean they feel wealthy.

    On a Yahoo message board, a poster named Mason, who lives in Manhattan with two young children, said his household income was $262,000. “I understand the need to raise taxes,” he wrote, “but I don’t understand why people like us are lumped in with millionaires and billionaires.”

    On one level, Mason is feeling the effects of inflation; $250,000 isn’t what it used to be. If Mr. Obama were really trying to return to Mr. Clinton’s 1993 levels, he would have to adjust the bracket for inflation, moving it up to about $386,075. In fact, in Mr. Clinton’s last year in office, the top bracket had risen to $288,350 from $250,000.

    Then there is the problem of keeping up with the Joneses. In 1993, earning $250,000 was a more exclusive club, making it easier to feel like one of the wealthy. Back then, households making more than $200,000 represented about .08 percent of the country.

    And today, $250,000 households tend to be clustered on the coasts, where there are often better-paying jobs.

    The Fiscal Times, a publication financed by Peter G. Peterson, the very public deficit hawk and former commerce secretary under President Richard Nixon, commissioned BDO, an accounting firm, to look at how households that make $250,000 fared in different parts of the country, mostly in middle- to upper-class neighborhoods.

    The takeaway, according to the study: “It’s not exactly Easy Street for our $250,000-a-year family, especially when they live in high-tax areas on either coast.”

    Even when including in its estimates an additional $3,000 from investment income, the report said, families “end up in the red — after taxes, saving for retirement and their children’s education, and a middle-of-the-road cost of living — in seven out of the eight communities in the analysis.”

    There is also an issue of fairness, say some economists and advocates of tax reform. The truly rich — the “millionaires and billionaires” — often pay much less in taxes. The wealthiest 400 Americans in the country paid, on average, a rate of only 16.6 percent, according to the latest report from the I.R.S. that examined returns from 2007. That is because much of the income of the country’s wealthiest people comes from investments, which is taxed at the long-term capital gains rate of just 15 percent.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/we...ax250copy.html

    In the USA, those earning $1 million or more derived 40 percent of their income from capital gains. The figure was similar in Australia, with those earning $1 million or more deriving 30 percent of their income from capital gains. Those on average incomes gain negligible income from capital gains.



    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    that's the highest percentage of any group. the uber rich pay lower because few have a high percentage of salary income. anyone less than the top 1% (ie under about 375K) pay lower percentage rates of federal income taxes. these figures don't include the surcharge on the rich-the death tax which is one of the reasons why the top one percent have the highest total combined federal tax rate which is around 30% according to a post Oldreliable67 (one of the most objective posters on economic issues)
    Yes which is why capital gains should be the exact same percentage as the income tax.

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    a flat tax would certainly prevent politicians playing Us against them tax games for sure
    It would also prevent certain sectors of society from accumulating to much power.
    “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” -Napoleon

  3. #173
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    Not sure that we agree on twice a many things, but we can probe thes a little deeper. Let's go through the ones that are uncertain:

    4.) We should privatize SS - Y/Depends - why do you think this is a good idea? What safeguards would be in place?

    Safeguards would be that only certain types of financial instruments could be used. They would include, Treasury Bills, Certificates of Deposits, and Mutual Funds. If mutual funds, they need to slide into no less than 3 categories of risk and be with no less than 3 different firms. It would not be mandatory and those who want to stay in the current program could and those opting out pay 1% of their wages for the people staying in. Yes or No?
    As I am not very familiar with both sides to this issue, I would have to hear the pros and cons for the other side before I could make a Yes or No Decision. As you have stated it though, it doesn't sound so bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    5.) We should stop all 3rd payers (companies and govt) for healthcare insurance - Y/If you mean stopping healthcare for the poor, No. Otherwise, please explain what you mean.

    Medicaid would be moved to the States and each State would decide on how to manage and fund the program. Other individuals would purchase insurance and not companies or government. The consumer is the one who is most concerned about themselves. A Senator in NY or CA does not know what a person in the Ozarks wants or needs. The State would also take over Medicare and should provide seniors with vouchers to purchase insurance and the amount of the vouchers should be based on income.
    So long as everyone still receives adequate healthcare, I think providing vouchers is the best idea; so I think this is a Yes (but only if ...). What this means is that the government would have to define what adequate healthcare is and healthcare providers would have to provide such care to those with vouchers at no extra cost. If this were the case, my answer would be Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    6.) Banning lightbulbs is not free enterprise and is not a good idea - Y/Depends on why said light-bulbs are being banned

    The reason given is energy efficiency. Yes or No?
    Yes I agree with this; conserving energy affects everyone, not just the consumer and the seller.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    7.) The Bush tax cuts were taxes for the wealthy - N/Partially true

    I think we can call this one an agreement if you agree that most went to those who are not "wealthy."
    There are arguments that (regardless of your definition of most) these tax cuts were for the wealthy and there are arguments that they are for those who are not wealthy. So in that sense my answer is No, as usually in disputes were both parties claim completely different things, one side it partially correct and so it the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    8.) We should close down the Dept of Education - Y/Depends .. why do you think this would benefit .. how would its services be replaced?

    It would be up to the individual States to handle as they thought best. I believe that 50 ideas are better than 1. Secondly, per the Constitution, education belongs to the States. Yes or No?
    As I am not very familiar with both sides to this issue, I would have to hear the pros and cons for the other side before I could make a Yes or No Decision. As you have stated it though, it doesn't sound so bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    9.) Abortion is morally wrong - Y/This depends on the situation of the abortion

    I believe it is immoral unless the unborn has to be taken to save the life of the mother. While I personally do not support abortion for rape or incest, I would consider compromise on that, but nothing else. Yes or No?
    I actually have to say that on this one, there are few situations where I would think that the mother should not have the right to choose. So we disagree on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    10.) It is proven that there is global warming and that it is man-made - N/Nothings is ever proven .. however, there is evidence that global warming occurs natural and that our contributions are speeding the process up

    I think this one could have been answered thusly: Y/N
    O.K., if you do not believe we are assisting to warm the planet at all, then we do disagree (at least on this one)

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    11.) Support President Obama's healthcare plan - N/Partially - I believe all people need healthcare, however, I believe it should be privatized to the extent possible.

    Okay, now I need to ask you what you mean.
    I am referring to what I was talking about in my answer to #5 regarding healthcare insurance. So my answer is that I support his plan until a privatized plan (as described above) allows all citizens adequate healthcare.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    14.) There are far too many Federal regulations - Y/Y (yet we may disagree as to which ones are unnecessary)

    We might disagree, but at least we both agree that there are far too many Federal regulations. Any thoughts on where you think we might disagree?
    Get back to you on this ...

    So ... it appears that we disagree on 2 more and do not definitively disagree or agree on any of the others ... unless I have cleared things up ... ?
    Last edited by MusicAdventurer; 07-24-11 at 09:01 PM.

  4. #174
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by evanescence View Post
    That's not entirely accurate. Millionaires definitely get a significant percentage of their income through investments which are taxed at lower rates.



    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/we...ax250copy.html

    In the USA, those earning $1 million or more derived 40 percent of their income from capital gains. The figure was similar in Australia, with those earning $1 million or more deriving 30 percent of their income from capital gains. Those on average incomes gain negligible income from capital gains.





    Yes which is why capital gains should be the exact same percentage as the income tax.



    It would also prevent certain sectors of society from accumulating to much power.
    That article took the investment income into account. that's way those making a billion a year pay less income tax than the most heavily taxed (in terms of overall income tax rates)-those in the 375K-5M range

    and what is left out of the equation are the following

    1) the rich pay the highest rates on every form of income.

    2) the rich who pay an overall lower rate because they have mainly investment income still pay many of millions of dollars a year-far more actual money that 70 Million or more americans combined



  5. #175
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    the progressive tax system allows congress to accumulate way too much power



  6. #176
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    the rich who pay an overall lower rate because they have mainly investment income still pay many of millions of dollars a year-far more actual money that 70 Million or more americans combined
    This unfair why again? I thought you were telling me (in another post) how I shouldn't try to make things fair .. ? (see below in your own words)

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    life is unfair-get over it
    I guess this sentiment doesn't apply in this situation?

  7. #177
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    the progressive tax system allows congress to accumulate way too much power
    Not if the tax revenue were redistributed properly

  8. #178
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    This unfair why again? I thought you were telling me (in another post) how I shouldn't try to make things fair .. ? (see below in your own words)



    I guess this sentiment doesn't apply in this situation?
    government imposed unfairness is malignant and artificial

    ideally everyone should pay the same tax amount since everyone generally gets the same citizenship benefits

    that of course is not possible so the same rate is what should happen. the rich will still pay much more than the average and the poor will pay less. but it will prevent the many from merely pawning off the duty of "shared sacrifice" on the top 5 percent



  9. #179
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    Not if the tax revenue were redistributed properly
    define properly. congress gets its power by doling the money out and appealing to class envy rather then actually stealing the money



  10. #180
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    Re: Billionaires: free to romp or responsible to fellow citizens?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    government imposed unfairness is malignant and artificial

    ideally everyone should pay the same tax amount since everyone generally gets the same citizenship benefits

    that of course is not possible so the same rate is what should happen. the rich will still pay much more than the average and the poor will pay less. but it will prevent the many from merely pawning off the duty of "shared sacrifice" on the top 5 percent
    It sounds like your arguments are just as filled with as many "complaints" as other posters contain .. not that that is a bad thing as people have the right to stand up for what they believe in.

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