View Poll Results: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share?

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Thread: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

  1. #171
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    A sales tax could be made just as progressive as an income tax. Just have a different tax rate for 'luxury' items, and you have a progressive sales tax. So realistically, a sales tax could be used to allow the many to vote up the rates of a few just as easily as an income tax could.
    Oh great, now you want to screw me over by having a luxury tax on SUVs and other items you deem as too expensive for you.

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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMk1 View Post
    So where do the poor get their money?
    The poor get their money from jobs given to them by wealthy people.

    So there should be a lot more tax breaks targeted to the wealthy.

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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Wow! A very busy thread where very few points were discussed in great detail. Instead of picking out specific posts, I'm going to address some of the highlights with my take on the subject.

    First, the idea that business owners choose what taxes they pay is ridiculous. I say this as a person who owns his own business and who has several family members who have made their own businesses, as well. You have your gross revenue. Then you are allowed to spend that revenue on certain things and won't be taxed on those. This includes such luxuries as paying your laborers and buying office supplies. Unfortunately, groceries don't seem to count as office supplies to the government. When you have spent the money you are allowed to spend tax-free, you have the money left over. That is your income, or pay for doing your job. This is taxed very similarly to other income because it's the amount you get to keep after keeping your business alive. Alternately, you can keep it invested in the business, but not spend it, but that includes not spending it on yourself and is therefore not income. When you use it to buy a car, you have to call it income and pay taxes on it.

    Next, progressive/regressive/fair taxation. We have covered in great detail previously the differences between FIT, FICA and state taxes. Those who talk about the whole tax burden are not being dishonest, but they are lumping together hugely different subjects.

    FICA is not progressive because it was designed to provide a return based on the investment you make. It is supposed to replace retirement planning. It is not progressive because the idea was to get a return value based on your investment. It caps at 106k because the theory is that if you make more than that, you don't need more help when you retire. I agree that the burden is higher on lower incomes, but so is the reward. If you raise the input, then fairness would demand you raise the return and the same thing applies.

    State taxes have a hugely varied application. Some are more fair than others. The key here is that it is NOT the job of the federal government to compensate for state taxation. There are 51 governments involved here. You can pick on certain states, sure, but putting it on the federal government makes it pointless to have states since they would then have to provide some balance to the state government. What's to keep NC from taxing at 50% if the federal government will just give the money back in a sense of "fairness"?

    Then you have FIT. This is a progressive tax that, by itself, is absolutely progressive. It increases based on higher incomes. The wealthier pay considerably more than the poor. This is the tax I refer to when I speak about fair taxation because it is the only one applying nation wide that was designed to be progressive.

    Capital gains is a different beast. The thing about CG is that increasing the rate rarely increases the revenue. If you treat it as normal income, people will change their investment approaches to make sure the government gets less. Which is more important here? "fairness" or total revenue?

    Inheritance and gifts, imo, should not be taxed again. The thing about it is that there wasn't a trade. Also, they have already been taxed as income. Yes, we pay multiple taxes on the same income all the time, but it shouldn't have the same tax applied multiple times. I know the argument that the person receiving the money has not paid taxes on it yet, but I personally feel that we leave things to people because it's something the GIVER wants to do. They are still paying taxes on it twice.

    Then we get to the thing that bugs me the most. People are too focused on getting more money in the government's hands to misspend. Currently, the government gets $2,301,743,014,779 a year that is manages to do very little with. They need severe cuts to spending. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. The government should easily be able to survive on 2.3 trillion dollars. That is also not including state governments who use the money to care for roads, schools, emergency services and more. Those things don't even fall on the federal budget!

    Another annoying thing to me is the statements about the wealthy benefiting more. I'm not sold on it. In fact, I feel the opposite is true. I am fine with helping people who really do need it, though. However, the problem is that so many factors are ignored. In whatever way they supposedly benefit more, they pay more taxes already. More use of the roads? Well, they paid more sales taxes for the goods they are shipping, the trucks that ship them, and the employees they hired to move the stuff. Benefiting from the education of their employees? They also pay higher wages, which means more taxes. Also, those employees are benefiting and paying more because of the education, too. Additional emergency services (police protection)? Well, they pay higher property taxes and purchase taxes for those properties. They also don't get welfare, government funded healthcare, or anything else the poor receive from the government. Let's stop acting like they are getting these things for free and the average worker is paying for it.

    Long post, but I came in late and saw lots of things I wanted to comment on.
    Omniscience just sucks without omnipotence!

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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keridan View Post
    Wow! A very busy thread where very few points were discussed in great detail. Instead of picking out specific posts, I'm going to address some of the highlights with my take on the subject.

    First, the idea that business owners choose what taxes they pay is ridiculous. I say this as a person who owns his own business and who has several family members who have made their own businesses, as well. You have your gross revenue. Then you are allowed to spend that revenue on certain things and won't be taxed on those. This includes such luxuries as paying your laborers and buying office supplies. Unfortunately, groceries don't seem to count as office supplies to the government. When you have spent the money you are allowed to spend tax-free, you have the money left over. That is your income, or pay for doing your job. This is taxed very similarly to other income because it's the amount you get to keep after keeping your business alive. Alternately, you can keep it invested in the business, but not spend it, but that includes not spending it on yourself and is therefore not income. When you use it to buy a car, you have to call it income and pay taxes on it.

    Next, progressive/regressive/fair taxation. We have covered in great detail previously the differences between FIT, FICA and state taxes. Those who talk about the whole tax burden are not being dishonest, but they are lumping together hugely different subjects.

    FICA is not progressive because it was designed to provide a return based on the investment you make. It is supposed to replace retirement planning. It is not progressive because the idea was to get a return value based on your investment. It caps at 106k because the theory is that if you make more than that, you don't need more help when you retire. I agree that the burden is higher on lower incomes, but so is the reward. If you raise the input, then fairness would demand you raise the return and the same thing applies.

    State taxes have a hugely varied application. Some are more fair than others. The key here is that it is NOT the job of the federal government to compensate for state taxation. There are 51 governments involved here. You can pick on certain states, sure, but putting it on the federal government makes it pointless to have states since they would then have to provide some balance to the state government. What's to keep NC from taxing at 50% if the federal government will just give the money back in a sense of "fairness"?

    Then you have FIT. This is a progressive tax that, by itself, is absolutely progressive. It increases based on higher incomes. The wealthier pay considerably more than the poor. This is the tax I refer to when I speak about fair taxation because it is the only one applying nation wide that was designed to be progressive.

    Capital gains is a different beast. The thing about CG is that increasing the rate rarely increases the revenue. If you treat it as normal income, people will change their investment approaches to make sure the government gets less. Which is more important here? "fairness" or total revenue?

    Inheritance and gifts, imo, should not be taxed again. The thing about it is that there wasn't a trade. Also, they have already been taxed as income. Yes, we pay multiple taxes on the same income all the time, but it shouldn't have the same tax applied multiple times. I know the argument that the person receiving the money has not paid taxes on it yet, but I personally feel that we leave things to people because it's something the GIVER wants to do. They are still paying taxes on it twice.

    Then we get to the thing that bugs me the most. People are too focused on getting more money in the government's hands to misspend. Currently, the government gets $2,301,743,014,779 a year that is manages to do very little with. They need severe cuts to spending. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. The government should easily be able to survive on 2.3 trillion dollars. That is also not including state governments who use the money to care for roads, schools, emergency services and more. Those things don't even fall on the federal budget!

    Another annoying thing to me is the statements about the wealthy benefiting more. I'm not sold on it. In fact, I feel the opposite is true. I am fine with helping people who really do need it, though. However, the problem is that so many factors are ignored. In whatever way they supposedly benefit more, they pay more taxes already. More use of the roads? Well, they paid more sales taxes for the goods they are shipping, the trucks that ship them, and the employees they hired to move the stuff. Benefiting from the education of their employees? They also pay higher wages, which means more taxes. Also, those employees are benefiting and paying more because of the education, too. Additional emergency services (police protection)? Well, they pay higher property taxes and purchase taxes for those properties. They also don't get welfare, government funded healthcare, or anything else the poor receive from the government. Let's stop acting like they are getting these things for free and the average worker is paying for it.

    Long post, but I came in late and saw lots of things I wanted to comment on.
    I agree with most of your post. There are some points I disagree with. You are incorrect in saying business does not get to choose what and how much tax they intend to pay. I dont know about you but every year at the end of the year and at the begining I am sitting down with my Tax attorny and my cpa planning for the coming year on expenditures and tax inplications of various business ventures. A large percentage of how I run my business is based on tax law and how to take advantage of and exploit various laws and programs. Hell my primary business structure is determined by tax law and my finacial goals. In my case I have a C corp even though most who do my primary business (logistics) are S corps or LLCs. The reason is even though it costs more for me up front and in adminstrative fees I make out like a bandit because ALL of my benifits are 100% deductable as expendetures. I have a very golden parachute. Where as under a S corp or other enity those benifits would be subject to limits or minimum percentage expenditures. I do plan extensively with the tax code in mind to maximize the money I keep, as I have more control of that aspect of my business. I am more aggresive than most I fully admit, but in my circumstance at least it would be foolish not to be. I find it amazing when I talk to my tax people, what people will leave on the table because they fear the IRS. I know for a fact as a business owner I have far more control of the money I keep than I ever would as an employee. How do you think the likes of GE and other corps pay so little in taxes? Magic?

    Side note you are right on about the spending.
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  5. #175
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Nope, they sure dont.
    Silly poor people
    Tax cuts are for the rich!

  6. #176
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keridan View Post
    Wow! A very busy thread where very few points were discussed in great detail. Instead of picking out specific posts, I'm going to address some of the highlights with my take on the subject.

    First, the idea that business owners choose what taxes they pay is ridiculous. I say this as a person who owns his own business and who has several family members who have made their own businesses, as well. You have your gross revenue. Then you are allowed to spend that revenue on certain things and won't be taxed on those. This includes such luxuries as paying your laborers and buying office supplies. Unfortunately, groceries don't seem to count as office supplies to the government. When you have spent the money you are allowed to spend tax-free, you have the money left over. That is your income, or pay for doing your job. This is taxed very similarly to other income because it's the amount you get to keep after keeping your business alive. Alternately, you can keep it invested in the business, but not spend it, but that includes not spending it on yourself and is therefore not income. When you use it to buy a car, you have to call it income and pay taxes on it.

    Next, progressive/regressive/fair taxation. We have covered in great detail previously the differences between FIT, FICA and state taxes. Those who talk about the whole tax burden are not being dishonest, but they are lumping together hugely different subjects.

    FICA is not progressive because it was designed to provide a return based on the investment you make. It is supposed to replace retirement planning. It is not progressive because the idea was to get a return value based on your investment. It caps at 106k because the theory is that if you make more than that, you don't need more help when you retire. I agree that the burden is higher on lower incomes, but so is the reward. If you raise the input, then fairness would demand you raise the return and the same thing applies.

    State taxes have a hugely varied application. Some are more fair than others. The key here is that it is NOT the job of the federal government to compensate for state taxation. There are 51 governments involved here. You can pick on certain states, sure, but putting it on the federal government makes it pointless to have states since they would then have to provide some balance to the state government. What's to keep NC from taxing at 50% if the federal government will just give the money back in a sense of "fairness"?

    Then you have FIT. This is a progressive tax that, by itself, is absolutely progressive. It increases based on higher incomes. The wealthier pay considerably more than the poor. This is the tax I refer to when I speak about fair taxation because it is the only one applying nation wide that was designed to be progressive.

    Capital gains is a different beast. The thing about CG is that increasing the rate rarely increases the revenue. If you treat it as normal income, people will change their investment approaches to make sure the government gets less. Which is more important here? "fairness" or total revenue?

    Inheritance and gifts, imo, should not be taxed again. The thing about it is that there wasn't a trade. Also, they have already been taxed as income. Yes, we pay multiple taxes on the same income all the time, but it shouldn't have the same tax applied multiple times. I know the argument that the person receiving the money has not paid taxes on it yet, but I personally feel that we leave things to people because it's something the GIVER wants to do. They are still paying taxes on it twice.

    Then we get to the thing that bugs me the most. People are too focused on getting more money in the government's hands to misspend. Currently, the government gets $2,301,743,014,779 a year that is manages to do very little with. They need severe cuts to spending. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. The government should easily be able to survive on 2.3 trillion dollars. That is also not including state governments who use the money to care for roads, schools, emergency services and more. Those things don't even fall on the federal budget!

    Another annoying thing to me is the statements about the wealthy benefiting more. I'm not sold on it. In fact, I feel the opposite is true. I am fine with helping people who really do need it, though. However, the problem is that so many factors are ignored. In whatever way they supposedly benefit more, they pay more taxes already. More use of the roads? Well, they paid more sales taxes for the goods they are shipping, the trucks that ship them, and the employees they hired to move the stuff. Benefiting from the education of their employees? They also pay higher wages, which means more taxes. Also, those employees are benefiting and paying more because of the education, too. Additional emergency services (police protection)? Well, they pay higher property taxes and purchase taxes for those properties. They also don't get welfare, government funded healthcare, or anything else the poor receive from the government. Let's stop acting like they are getting these things for free and the average worker is paying for it.

    Long post, but I came in late and saw lots of things I wanted to comment on.
    Social welfare makes up a very small part of the budget. You end it all tomorrow and not even notice. So, that is a minor issue overall. Second, the bailouts didn't favor the worker, let alone the poor. An educated populace helps 'not only the individual, but business. So, good schools favor them as well. The courts, the police, air travel, roads, infrastructure all helps the wealthy more. Thsi doesn't mean others don't use them, but the need for business is far greater, thus the benefit is greater. Also, if the poor were left without a saftey net, if the elderly had little to help them, if poverty grew without these services, do you really think the rich would not feel the effects? If you don;t see how they could, I would suggest a world history book at the library.



    For the record though, enjoyed reading your post.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  7. #177
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMk1 View Post
    I agree with most of your post. There are some points I disagree with. You are incorrect in saying business does not get to choose what and how much tax they intend to pay. I dont know about you but every year at the end of the year and at the begining I am sitting down with my Tax attorny and my cpa planning for the coming year on expenditures and tax inplications of various business ventures. A large percentage of how I run my business is based on tax law and how to take advantage of and exploit various laws and programs. Hell my primary business structure is determined by tax law and my finacial goals. In my case I have a C corp even though most who do my primary business (logistics) are S corps or LLCs. The reason is even though it costs more for me up front and in adminstrative fees I make out like a bandit because ALL of my benifits are 100% deductable as expendetures. I have a very golden parachute. Where as under a S corp or other enity those benifits would be subject to limits or minimum percentage expenditures. I do plan extensively with the tax code in mind to maximize the money I keep, as I have more control of that aspect of my business. I am more aggresive than most I fully admit, but in my circumstance at least it would be foolish not to be. I find it amazing when I talk to my tax people, what people will leave on the table because they fear the IRS. I know for a fact as a business owner I have far more control of the money I keep than I ever would as an employee. How do you think the likes of GE and other corps pay so little in taxes? Magic?

    Side note you are right on about the spending.
    Okay, you do have a point, so I will retract my use of the word "ridiculous". However, I still think it's overstated. You can find more benefits and do have some additional control, but to be fair, medical costs are deductible from regular income taxes. In most cases where you either take a draw or spend on something personal, you still end up paying income taxes on that. As for the GE issue, the shareholders still pay income taxes even though corporate taxes were evaded. When the money ends up being income for someone, the taxes are still paid.

    I'm structured S-Corp which has benefits, but if I put any money in my pocket or spend it on my family, I still pay some sort of taxes. I do get to choose between CG and income, though. At my current earnings, FIT is cheaper.
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  8. #178
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Social welfare makes up a very small part of the budget. You end it all tomorrow and not even notice. So, that is a minor issue overall. Second, the bailouts didn't favor the worker, let alone the poor. An educated populace helps 'not only the individual, but business. So, good schools favor them as well. The courts, the police, air travel, roads, infrastructure all helps the wealthy more. Thsi doesn't mean others don't use them, but the need for business is far greater, thus the benefit is greater. Also, if the poor were left without a saftey net, if the elderly had little to help them, if poverty grew without these services, do you really think the rich would not feel the effects? If you don;t see how they could, I would suggest a world history book at the library.



    For the record though, enjoyed reading your post.
    Thank you for the comment and the counterpoint.

    I'm honestly not sure you are arguing with me, though. I didn't mean to imply that I'm against social welfare. I want it cut down, but only the bureaucracy, not the distributions. This applies to most areas of government for me. Specifically, the SS program helps dramatically and is a great idea. However, the execution is very poor. I don't think anyone disagrees with either side of that, but we all have our opinions on how to go about fixing it.

    I grant that businesses benefit more in certain areas. My point was that they already pay appropriately (or more) taxes in return for those benefits under the current system. They aren't getting a freebie on the backs of their workers (at least in this sense).
    Omniscience just sucks without omnipotence!

  9. #179
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keridan View Post
    Thank you for the comment and the counterpoint.

    I'm honestly not sure you are arguing with me, though. I didn't mean to imply that I'm against social welfare. I want it cut down, but only the bureaucracy, not the distributions. This applies to most areas of government for me. Specifically, the SS program helps dramatically and is a great idea. However, the execution is very poor. I don't think anyone disagrees with either side of that, but we all have our opinions on how to go about fixing it.

    I grant that businesses benefit more in certain areas. My point was that they already pay appropriately (or more) taxes in return for those benefits under the current system. They aren't getting a freebie on the backs of their workers (at least in this sense).
    Admittedly I wasn't replying just to you. A few who liked your thread have debarted with me on the wealthy benefiting more issue. So, I was trying to address that for them as well as you.

    As for appropriately? Not as sure. They look like more because more people have fallen below the line today. They have paid more in the past, and we did quite well. So did they. Finding what is appropriate is more difficult. Sometimes when things are going badly, those who can have to pich in more. We do that in our own lives as well. I can remember working three jobs. What is appropriate is not divorced from need IMHO.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  10. #180
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by NotEliTanenbaum View Post
    What do you think?
    Why yes I do.
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