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

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  • Yes

    82 45.30%
  • No

    99 54.70%
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Thread: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

  1. #61
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    True. It's very hard to uncorrupt the system but threatening the politicians by voting in non party affiliates or a public push for campaign and lobbying reform would be a start.

    1) People have power in numbers and can boycott companies, use the Press, demonstrate and vote.
    2) Trust me my method historically works. Without greedy executive officers doing anything for 1/4 quarterly profits to boost their bonuses and shareholder earnings there are more funds available for everyone.
    The bolded seems all but forgotten.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    The bolded seems all but forgotten.
    Divide and conquer my man they've learned it well by selling knee jerk emotional issues to keep us separated and weak. Only one thing will ultimately get everyone's attention and on the same team, wait till they get into our pockets a little deeper. When enough of us become paupers and peons you'll see an uprising of furious dirty faces.
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  3. #63
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Yeah, that argument takes you from regressive (everybody pays $x) to why it needs to be relative to income. Snake_Plisskin was arguing that everybody draws equal benefits, so they should pay equal taxes or else it is discrimination. My points refute that position, I think, right?

    As for progressive taxation, currently we have a system that is moderately progressive up to about $1 million per year, but then sharply regressive after that. If you favor flat taxes, then you are on the "no the rich do not pay their fair share" side, since you would be arguing that we should increase their tax rates. Flat taxes are more progressive than what we have now at least with regards to the rich.

    But, IMO we should go beyond that to actual progressive taxation. The chief argument is the diminishing marginal utility of wealth. Every dollar a person makes has slightly less value to them than the previous dollar. Makes sense, right? If you get $1,000 you'll spend it on the thing you need the very most. If you get another $1,000, you'll spend it on the thing you need next most. By the 100th $1,000, you're spending it on things that are far less important to you than the things you spent that first $1,000 on. Once you get up to billionaire level, each dollar has so little value that even a million wouldn't even be noticed. So, to maximize the utility of wealth, you want it to be less concentrated. That doesn't mean it should be like equally distributed or something, but you need to balance that waste due to concentration against the desire to create incentives for success and whatnot. Progressive taxation is a good way to strike that balance.

    IMO that is the strongest argument for progressive taxation, but there are many. Another is that you need consumer spending to drive the economy. Ever since we started these tax policies that radically over concentrate our nation's wealth in very few pockets, our consumer spending has been growing at a lackluster pace and that prevents our economy from really taking off. Another is the obvious moral concerns with people who don't even work or do anything useful getting roughly 1/4 of all the wealth generated by all the working people while many of those people who are actually doing the work are barely able to provide for their families.
    WOW, thats quite a load. I think that we are in basic agreement. That the rich should pay taxes both in a higher amount and at a higher rate based on GROSS income. Where I seem to disagree, with most, is how to do that. Rather than have a complex scheme for determining AGI for income (using all sorts of deductions and credits) I would prefer a using single number for a "standard deduction", say $10K.

    All income beyond that is taxed at a single flat rate. Example: Citizen A makes $20K/year and citizen B makes $100K/year. Using a tax rate of 20%, citizen A then owes $2K in taxes or 10% of their gross income, while citzen B then owes $18K in taxes or 18% of their gross income.

    Taxation can still be quite "progressive" using a flat rate, you just have to view taxation relative to basic gross income, not some "marginal rate" nonsense and having a huge array of complexity in the tax code.
    Last edited by ttwtt78640; 06-03-12 at 01:35 PM.
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  4. #64
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    WOW, thats quite a load. I think that we are in basic agreement. That the rich should pay taxes both in a higher amount and at a higher rate based on GROSS income. Where I seem to disagree, with most, is how to do that. Rather than have a complex scheme for determining AGI for income (using all sorts of deductions and credits) I would prefer a using single number for a "standard deduction", say $10K.

    All income beyond that is taxed at a single flat rate. Example: Citizen A makes $20K/year and citizen B makes $100K/year. Using a tax rate of 20%, citizen A then owes $2K in taxes or 10% of their gross income, while citzen B then owes $18K in taxes or 18% of their gross income.

    Taxation can still be quite "progressive" using a flat rate, you just have to view taxation relative to basic gross income, not some "marginal rate" nonsense and having a huge array of complexity in the tax code.
    If by "all income" you really mean ALL sources of income, then that isn't a terrible plan. I'd go further, but that would be a huge step in the right direction. It's the huge exemptions for inheritance income and the radically lower rates for investment income that are the biggest issue though, not deductions on income taxes on wages.
    Total tax rates- People living in poverty: 16.2%. The median American: 27%. Working people who make over $140k/year: 31%. The top 1%: 30%. Super rich investors: around 15%. Help the democrats retake the house.

  5. #65
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    WOW, thats quite a load. I think that we are in basic agreement. That the rich should pay taxes both in a higher amount and at a higher rate based on GROSS income. Where I seem to disagree, with most, is how to do that. Rather than have a complex scheme for determining AGI for income (using all sorts of deductions and credits) I would prefer a using single number for a "standard deduction", say $10K.

    All income beyond that is taxed at a single flat rate. Example: Citizen A makes $20K/year and citizen B makes $100K/year. Using a tax rate of 20%, citizen A then owes $2K in taxes or 10% of their gross income, while citzen B then owes $18K in taxes or 18% of their gross income.

    Taxation can still be quite "progressive" using a flat rate, you just have to view taxation relative to basic gross income, not some "marginal rate" nonsense and having a huge array of complexity in the tax code.
    This would be my preferred solution as well. Every household gets a single cost of living deduction based on some percentage of the poverty level (say 150%) for their family size (and probably where they live since cost of living varies around the country) and pays a flat percentage on everything after that. And that would apply to everything. There would be no special taxes for estates, or for capital gains. All of it would be taxed as income.

    Is that too simple to actually work in the real world? Probably. But I think starting with that as a basis and adding the bare minimum of complications necessary to make it work in reality would be better than trying to fix the god-awful complicated pile of crap tax code that we have now.
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  6. #66
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    A couple of questions for you all. 1. How many of you are in buisiness or run one and see all the numbers? 2. If you were stuck being misable, would you rather be poor or wealthy? I am not flaming or trolling I just need to see how I should frame my next comments. Thnx. Cheers.
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  7. #67
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    If by "all income" you really mean ALL sources of income, then that isn't a terrible plan. I'd go further, but that would be a huge step in the right direction. It's the huge exemptions for inheritance income and the radically lower rates for investment income that are the biggest issue though, not deductions on income taxes on wages.
    Gifts and inheritance are not income.

    Also a good thing to keep in mind that unrealized gains are also not income and cannot be taxable. For many, a great deal of the net worth is unrealized, and they still technically stand to lose insane amounts of money in their investments--which they have not yet cashed in for a profit--if they head south.

    But as far as capital gains tax, the cat is out of the bag. How do you re-jack the CG tax rate without discincentivizing domestic investment?
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 06-03-12 at 01:44 PM.

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

    There is no such thing as fair share so I didn't vote in the poll.

  9. #69
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Gifts and inheritance are not income.
    What is the practical difference between them that necessitates a separate tax rate? In the US, for the most part, people are taxed when they receive money. Either from an inheritance, from wages for work performed, or from return on investments. I've yet to hear a good argument why those things should be treated differently, when it would be much simpler to treat them all the same.

    Now there are some exceptions. For example inheriting a family business, or a farm, or land, should not be treated the same as inheriting money (unless it's immediately sold off for cash). Which is why I said my preferred tax structure is probably a little too simple to work in the real world.
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  10. #70
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    Re: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Gifts and inheritance are not income.
    Of course they are. Why wouldn't they be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    But as far as capital gains tax, the cat is out of the bag. How do you re-jack the CG tax rate without discincentivizing domestic investment?
    It doesn't matter where somebody invests, it is still taxed the same whether it is invested domestically or internationally. Regardless of where you invest, if you live in the US, you have to pay taxes here. Now, one could argue that people would be more likely to commit tax fraud. IMO we need to ramp the IRS back up to the enforcement power it had pre-Reagan to counter that. Or you could argue that rich people will move out of the US, but they would pay more in any first world country and most third world countries, so that doesn't work either.

    But, regardless, it's kind of a meaningless distinction these days. Pretty much every publicly traded company operates in many countries. The distinction between domestic investment and international investment is something of an illusion.
    Total tax rates- People living in poverty: 16.2%. The median American: 27%. Working people who make over $140k/year: 31%. The top 1%: 30%. Super rich investors: around 15%. Help the democrats retake the house.

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