View Poll Results: Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $60k

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Thread: Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $60k

  1. #1
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    Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $60k

    Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more of a percentage of their income than someone who makes $60k a year?

    Excerpts from Sam Harris:
    I’ve written before about the crisis of inequality in the United States and about the quasi-religious abhorrence of “wealth redistribution” that causes many Americans to oppose tax increases, even on the ultra rich. The conviction that taxation is intrinsically evil has achieved a sadomasochistic fervor in conservative circles—producing the Tea Party, their Republican zombies, and increasingly terrifying failures of governance. Happily, not all billionaires are content to hoard their money in silence. Earlier this week, Warren Buffett published an op-ed in the New York Times in which he criticized our current approach to raising revenue. As he has lamented many times before, he is taxed at a lower rate than his secretary is. Many conservatives pretend not to find this embarrassing. Conservatives view taxation as a species of theft—and to raise taxes, on anyone for any reason, is simply to steal more. Conservatives also believe that people become rich by creating value for others. Once rich, they cannot help but create more value by investing their wealth and spawning new jobs in the process. We should not punish our best and brightest for their success, and stealing their money is a form of punishment. Of course, this is just an economic cartoon. We don’t have perfectly efficient markets, and many wealthy people don’t create much in the way of value for others. In fact, as our recent financial crisis has shown, it is possible for a few people to become extraordinarily rich by wrecking the global economy.

    ...

    How many Republicans who have vowed not to raise taxes on billionaires would want to live in a country with a trillionaire and 30 percent unemployment? If the answer is “none”—and it really must be—then everyone is in favor of “wealth redistribution.” They just haven’t been forced to admit it. Yes, we must cut spending and reduce inefficiencies in government—and yes, many things are best accomplished in the private sector. But this does not mean that we can ignore the astonishing gaps in wealth that have opened between the poor and the rich, and between the rich and the ultra rich. Some of your neighbors have no more than $2,000 in total assets (in fact, 40 percent of Americans fall into this category); some have around $2 million; and some have $2 billion (and a few have much more). Each of these gaps represents a thousandfold increase in wealth. Some Americans have amassed more wealth than they or their descendants can possibly spend. Who do conservatives think is in a better position to help pull this country back from the brink?

    ...

    Many of us have been extraordinarily lucky—and we did not earn it. Many good people have been extraordinarily unlucky—and they did not deserve it. And yet I get the distinct sense that if I asked some of my readers why they weren’t born with club feet, or orphaned before the age of five, they would not hesitate to take credit for these accomplishments. There is a stunning lack of insight into the unfolding of human events that passes for moral and economic wisdom in some circles. And it is pernicious. Followers of Rand, in particular, believe that only a blind reliance on market forces and the narrowest conception of self interest can steer us collectively toward the best civilization possible and that any attempt to impose wisdom or compassion from the top—no matter who is at the top and no matter what the need—is necessarily corrupting of the whole enterprise. This conviction is, at the very least, unproven. And there are many reasons to believe that it is dangerously wrong. Given the current condition of the human mind, we seem to need a State to set and enforce certain priorities. I share everyone’s concern that our political process is broken, that it can select for precisely the sorts of people one wouldn’t want in charge, and that fantastic sums of money get squandered. But no one has profited more from our current system, with all its flaws, than the ultra rich. They should be the last to take their money off the table. And they should be the first to realize when more resources are necessary to secure the common good.
    The Blog : How Rich is Too Rich? : Sam Harris
    The Blog : How to Lose Readers (Without Even Trying) : Sam Harris
    Last edited by scourge99; 09-20-11 at 06:49 PM.
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    Re: Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more of a percentage of their income than someone who makes $60k a year?

    Excerpts from Sam Harris:

    The Blog : How Rich is Too Rich? : Sam Harris
    The Blog : How to Lose Readers (Without Even Trying) : Sam Harris
    That Sam Harris guy is very silly, jumps to conclusions, doesn't understand what he's talking about.
    Case in point, "Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, the two richest men in the United States, each have around $50 billion."

    He's misrepresenting the case, as if they have that much in cash just sitting around doing nothing in a bank account.
    Not true.
    That value is invested, if they were to try to liquidate it, their holdings would be much, much less than that quoted amount.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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    Re: Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $

    Depends. If that billionaire creates jobs, then no. If he's just making a billion and his income carries no spillover benefits, then yes.

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    Re: Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $

    Call me crazy, but I'm going with Yes.... Obviously.

    As long as gov't is so damn expensive we HAVE to go where the money is for new revenue... and with a trillion-plus in debt, somethings got to give somewhere.

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    Re: Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    That Sam Harris guy is very silly, jumps to conclusions, doesn't understand what he's talking about.
    Case in point, "Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, the two richest men in the United States, each have around $50 billion."

    He's misrepresenting the case, as if they have that much in cash just sitting around doing nothing in a bank account.
    Not true.
    That value is invested, if they were to try to liquidate it, their holdings would be much, much less than that quoted amount.
    If you actually read it he never calls for liquidating the assets of the wealthy or any such nonsense. In fact he specifically dismisses that. So instead of building strawman which have already been dispelled, go carefully read then offer some insight that isn't superficial.
    If you believe in the Supernatural then you can become a millionaire!

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  6. #6
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    Re: Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    If you actually read it he never calls for liquidating the assets of the wealthy or any such nonsense. In fact he specifically dismisses that. So instead of building strawman which have already been dispelled, go carefully read then offer some insight that isn't superficial.
    In that paragraph he did not.
    He painted a picture that the wealth they have is liquid, which it isn't.

    I read the amendum, but he does suggest or admits that he thinks it's a good idea, to go along with the moronic infrastructure bank to fix our infrastructure problems.
    What he doesn't do is dig into why we have those problems and how the government has mis-allocated infrastructure dollars to boondoggles and inefficiencies.

    He then goes on to say that, "How many Republicans who have vowed not to raise taxes on billionaires would want to live in a country with a trillionaire and 30 percent unemployment? If the answer is “none”—and it reallymust be—then everyone is in favor of “wealth redistribution.” They just haven’t been forced to admit it."

    That paints a picture that someone having a trillion dollars would cause 30% unemployment or that the 30% unemployment could be remedied by taxing the trillionaire, which isn't factually demonstrated but just assumed by the author.
    He comes to irrelevant, unsupportable conclusions based on belief.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    In that paragraph he did not.
    This poll is about the ethics of taxing the wealthy and non-wealthy. I quoted Sam specifically about the moral aspects and not about any implementation. Lets try to keep focused on what the intent here is and not get distracted by tangential debates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    He painted a picture that the wealth they have is liquid, which it isn't.
    No he didnt. That is your own faulty extrapolation. In either case its irrelevant to this discussion. Go take it up with Sam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    I read the amendum, but he does suggest or admits that he thinks it's a good idea, to go along with the moronic infrastructure bank to fix our infrastructure problems.
    I have no opinion on that matter and its irrelevant to the poll. Try to stay on topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    What he doesn't do is dig into why we have those problems and how the government has mis-allocated infrastructure dollars to boondoggles and inefficiencies.
    Which is irrelevant to this thread. Take it up with Sam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    He then goes on to say that, "How many Republicans who have vowed not to raise taxes on billionaires would want to live in a country with a trillionaire and 30 percent unemployment? If the answer is “none”—and it reallymust be—then everyone is in favor of “wealth redistribution.” They just haven’t been forced to admit it."

    That paints a picture that someone having a trillion dollars would cause 30% unemployment
    This is strawman.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    or that the 30% unemployment could be remedied by taxing the trillionaire, which isn't factually demonstrated but just assumed by the author.
    Another false extrapolation.

    What Sam is saying is that the ultra rich should share a higher tax burden than others and the current legilation does not adequetely do that. When public programs such as medicare and SS face cuts because of a lack of funds, its absolutely asinine to claim that increasing tax revenues (by taxing the mega ultra rich fairly) will not lessen our budgetary problems.

    Nothing more. Nothing less. Stop reading into it so much.
    If you believe in the Supernatural then you can become a millionaire!

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  8. #8
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    Re: Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    What Sam is saying is that the ultra rich should share a higher tax burden than others and the current legilation does not adequetely do that. When public programs such as medicare and SS face cuts because of a lack of funds, its absolutely asinine to claim that increasing tax revenues (by taxing the mega ultra rich fairly) will not lessen our budgetary problems.

    Nothing more. Nothing less. Stop reading into it so much.
    These public programs are facing cuts because the money was misspent by Congress, so we must tax people more?
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

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    Re: Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    These public programs are facing cuts because the money was misspent by Congress, so we must tax people more?
    Yes, we must cut spending and reduce inefficiencies in government—and yes, many things are best accomplished in the private sector. But this does not mean that we can ignore the astonishing gaps in wealth that have opened between the poor and the rich, and between the rich and the ultra rich. Some of your neighbors have no more than $2,000 in total assets (in fact, 40 percent of Americans fall into this category); some have around $2 million; and some have $2 billion (and a few have much more). Each of these gaps represents a thousandfold increase in wealth. Some Americans have amassed more wealth than they or their descendants can possibly spend. Who do conservatives think is in a better position to help pull this country back from the brink?
    If you believe in the Supernatural then you can become a millionaire!

    Questioning or criticizing another's core beliefs is inadvertently perceived as offensive and rude.

  10. #10
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    Re: Should someone who earns $1 billion a year be taxed more than someone who makes $

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    Yes, we must cut spending and reduce inefficiencies in government—and yes, many things are best accomplished in the private sector. But this does not mean that we can ignore the astonishing gaps in wealth that have opened between the poor and the rich, and between the rich and the ultra rich. Some of your neighbors have no more than $2,000 in total assets (in fact, 40 percent of Americans fall into this category); some have around $2 million; and some have $2 billion (and a few have much more). Each of these gaps represents a thousandfold increase in wealth. Some Americans have amassed more wealth than they or their descendants can possibly spend. Who do conservatives think is in a better position to help pull this country back from the brink?
    I don't care if someone in my neighborhood has less assets.
    It was likely a result of their personal money mismanagement and taxing wealthy people will not resolve that.

    You're not proposing anything to change the bad money behavior of individuals, this is a band aid approach.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

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