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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:25 AM

What should be the highest income tax rate in the US?

In your opinion. Obviously there are wealth and capital gains taxes that could be considered as well.
30 votes, 1 pass | Time left: Unlimited
20-25%
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25-35%
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35-50%
3 (10%)
50-65%
3 (10%)
65-80%
12 (40%)
Above 80%
8 (27%)
We need 100% fewer bullshit polls
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Reply What should be the highest income tax rate in the US? (Original post)
el_bryanto Jan 2013 OP
Scuba Jan 2013 #1
RKP5637 Jan 2013 #11
brooklynite Jan 2013 #20
Scuba Jan 2013 #32
brooklynite Jan 2013 #36
Scuba Jan 2013 #41
bemildred Jan 2013 #2
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #3
bemildred Jan 2013 #6
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #7
bemildred Jan 2013 #13
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #15
bemildred Jan 2013 #21
brooklynite Jan 2013 #38
bemildred Jan 2013 #39
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #10
bemildred Jan 2013 #14
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #18
bemildred Jan 2013 #22
MrYikes Jan 2013 #4
LiberalFighter Jan 2013 #5
1-Old-Man Jan 2013 #8
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #9
srican69 Jan 2013 #16
quinnox Jan 2013 #17
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #12
bemildred Jan 2013 #23
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #28
bemildred Jan 2013 #31
libtodeath Jan 2013 #19
srican69 Jan 2013 #24
closeupready Jan 2013 #25
hay rick Jan 2013 #26
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #44
hay rick Jan 2013 #48
hfojvt Jan 2013 #27
unblock Jan 2013 #29
aristocles Jan 2013 #30
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #33
Inkfreak Jan 2013 #34
aristocles Jan 2013 #35
Inkfreak Jan 2013 #42
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #37
hughee99 Jan 2013 #40
aristocles Jan 2013 #43
hughee99 Jan 2013 #46
n2doc Jan 2013 #45
Crepuscular Jan 2013 #47
limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #49

Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:28 AM

1. When an individual is increasing his/her net worth by billions annually, they can afford a much ....

... higher tax rate.

"Income tax" of course, needs to apply to capital gains.

I went with 65-80.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:42 AM

11. Exactly! A braking mechanism must be in place for a capitalistic economy to

survive. ... otherwise, one has exponential runaway and a severely skewed curve ... with extremely limited buying power, and supply/demand becomes whacked out ... and one ends up with, as another poster stated, a kingdom.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:51 AM

20. Lets not overdo the hyperbolie...

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who increased their net worth by billions annually. They may have billions, but I doubt they accumuluated it that quickly.

Remember, we're talking about income. not wealth.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:18 PM

32. No hyperbole ...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021276224


"Koch wealth grew from $7.5 billion to $50 billion in 7 years"


That's about three billion a year. Each.

Gates nets even more, so do others.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #32)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:51 PM

36. I think you'll find...

....that in both cases, their wealth is in large part the "paper value" of their stock holdings", but isn't taxable until they cash the shares in.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #36)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:29 PM

41. I thought this thread was about future tax law.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:30 AM

2. What we really need is an income cap.

End the winner-take-all economy for good.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:31 AM

3. What negative consequences might come from an income tax? n/t

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:35 AM

6. Perhaps if you elaborated on your question, I could figure out how to respond?

The obvious answer is you have to pay taxes on your income instead of spending it yourself.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:36 AM

7. Sorry - i mean to say income cap

I blew it.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:44 AM

13. You want people who work hard to do well, really well, so you set it high, really high.

But it has to be there, like the high marginal tax rate, to discourage extractive management. If they can't keep it, they leave it in the business. I don't see any real downside unless you are an NBA/TV superstar who might make that much.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:46 AM

15. I suppose it depends on where you set it

What would have been extravagant 20 years ago would look pretty tiny today, I suppose. But if you set it high enough, there's some merit to the idea, it seems to me.

Actors and Athletes are kind of a special case, because they are almost more commodities than workers, if that makes any sense.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:51 AM

21. COLAs are good too, they make inflation games less attractive.

You will have a lot more people working if the few do not have to be paid so much. All that money those CEOs are paying themselves is NOT BEING USED to pay anybody else, or invest in the company, or pay dividends, or pay taxes, it's just for him or her. Why is that a public good?

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Response to bemildred (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:54 PM

38. If I'm an "NBA/TV superstar" and my team/network is stupid enough to pay me that amount...

...why should it be limited? Nobody is obliged to buy a tickets to the game or buy into the advertising on my show.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #38)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:58 PM

39. If we can get together and use our government to take all your money, what's wrong with that?

We're collective enterpreneurs.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:39 AM

10. Oy.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:44 AM

14. Vey. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:48 AM

18. I am not a big fan of such things.

If some company is willing to pay some ridiculous salary to someone who could not possibly earn that wage, so be it. It's an unsustainable practice.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:56 AM

22. True, but people get hurt. And as you say, it's stupid.

I have concerns myself, it's a mistake to get too moralistic or ham-handed about it. But on the other hand this current situation does not work so well either, we've worshipped aty the "free market" shrine for 30+ plus years and the Plutocrats have done great and the rest of us have been screwn.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:34 AM

4. It is the estate tax that must be very high also. The US is no place for kingdoms.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:35 AM

5. Whatever the highest needs to be to provide the necessary services

Besides raising the taxes to higher levels there should be more tax levels. For instance, it doesn't have to have all the income above $400k taxed at 39%. It could be $250-$500k taxed at 38%, $500k - $1 million at 39%, $1 million to $2.5 million at 39.5%, $2.5 million to $5 million taxed at 40%. Have more tax brackets. Have higher rates. If done right it could result in lower rates at the bottom end.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:37 AM

8. Just at my gut level it should never exceed 50%. The Gov' should not get more than the earner

I think that if you earn a dollar you should at least get to keep as much or more of it than you have to give over to the Government.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:38 AM

9. What the hell. Take it all.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:48 AM

16. lol

am sure there are those here that would support an income cap ( 100% above a certain limit)

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:48 AM

17. lol

 

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:43 AM

12. Taxing inheritance is much more effective than taxing income. Preventing the limitless accumulation

 

of generational wealth would go much further in promoting economic stability and social equity.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:58 AM

23. +1. Yes, that's where the real money is. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #23)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:08 PM

28. And if we went after it everybody that works for a living could get a huge tax break.

 

I think nationwide breakups is required. Break up the too-rich-to-fail corporations and the too-rich-to-tax families. We created all of it, but they get all the benefit from our labors.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:17 PM

31. I like the way you think.

And THOSE people would spend it and help the eonomy.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:49 AM

19. 60-80 at least for the rich with yearly audits to determine how they were getting there wealth

if they were causing hurt to others for their own gain then a penalty tax of sorts should kick in.
Maybe then we can return to being a decent and caring society.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:59 AM

24. I am all for raising everyone's taxes except mine.

Seriously ...

I wish net taxes ( before you react - I am not talking about the top marginal rate ) (including FICA) were limited to about 20 % .. that would allow me to save a bit more for retirement or whatever ..

but when the tax code allows Mitt Romney to pay 13.XX% ( of what ???) .. and has me paying 15% ( of my full income) in just FICA (I work on a 1099) leave alone federal & state income takes on top of that ...

SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY FUCKED UP

The income tax code really socks it to guys like me ... and rich get to do all the whinning

Capital gains rate is the biggest fraud perpetuated on American people ( especially when people get to write off losses against profits in future years) .. I dont get to do SHIT...

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:02 PM

25. I dunno, but if the taxation system is progressive, then

tax rates should rise and fall as necessary.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:05 PM

26. 101%.

Beyond a certain point, 100% plus shipping and handling. Incomes beyond a certain point are not earned in any meaningful sense- think of John Paulson betting against Goldman CDOs that he helped design.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #26)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:55 PM

44. What about Bill Gates? Or the late Steve Jobs? n/t

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #44)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:50 PM

48. Top marginal rate.

101% is a joke but very high top marginal rates are not necessarily outrageous. The top rate in the 50s and 60s was 91% and applied to incomes in excess of $400,000. The equivalent these days would be about $2,000,000.

A couple of points. The top marginal rate applies to income in excess of the selected amount, not income up to that amount. In this era, there might be a top bracket of $10,000,000 or even $100,000,000. Paulson, for example, "earned" $3.7 billion in 2007 by betting against CDOs that he helped put together. He pays 15% "carried interest" on most of his income.

The top marginal rate applies to income, not wealth- so someone like Gates could still acquire a huge fortune- and give it away.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:05 PM

27. the question is moot

nobody is discussing increasing the top rate. It's so far off the table it might as well be on Mars.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:10 PM

29. "should"? well, in my dreamworld, income isn't taxed at all. WEALTH is progressively taxed.

this gets the economic incentives right. the tax discourages hoarding and encourages employment and income generation, so hiring, working, and investment.

people with little or no wealth are able to keep what they earn as they need it to live on.
people with great wealth are encouraged to earn income to pay their taxes.


one problem is that wealth tax evasion is easier than income tax evasion, because income involves a second party who can report (and gets a benefit from reporting) to the irs.

the bigger problem is that it's a political non-starter. just ain't gonna happen.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:17 PM

30. Eliminate the income tax; instead, have a consumption tax (VAT), and tax capital gains at 20% n/t

 

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:23 PM

33. I think 40% is about right.

It's pretty much within the internationally normal range, especially when state taxes are added on.

Anyone who wants the rate to be much higher than this will likely be disappointed, because having restored the pre-Bush tax cut top rate of 39.6%, I don't see any indication that Obama wants to push to raise this rate still further.

BTW I am open to eliminating loopholes (especially carried interest) and limiting deductions.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:42 PM

34. I'm not smart enough to know I guess.

But there are some great ideas in this thread. I loved that someone above pointed out the estate tax needs to be much higher. Accumulated wealth passed down seems to unfairly create classes of people in society. IMHO.

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Response to Inkfreak (Reply #34)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:45 PM

35. Beware of meddling with the estate tax

 

"Accumulated wealth" is one means recent immigrants have of establishing their families in the United States. This has always been the case, at least since the 1820's.

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Response to aristocles (Reply #35)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:43 PM

42. Good point, didn't really think of that.

I guess when I hear "estate tax" I kinda think of the rich elites keeping all the $ thru various loopholes & such. As I said, economics are not my strong point. Heck, I'd just be happy if the uber-rich like Romney pay more in taxes than me in all aspects.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:52 PM

37. Federal, or federal and state (and local?) combined?

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:14 PM

40. Shouldn't discussion start with how much the government needs to do it's work,

and then figure out how best to fairly divvy up those costs?

I'm not in favor of the government raising someone's taxes just because they have "too much". I believe virtually everyone should pay something, even if they get more back in services than they pay in.

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #40)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:49 PM

43. The problem, grasshopper, is determining how much the government needs to do its work

 

That's the problem that hasn't been resolved since 1913.

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Response to aristocles (Reply #43)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:00 PM

46. I agree.

IMHO, setting rates on who should pay what amount need to start with the question "How much is needed?" though. Some have suggested that taxation should be based on "how much one needs" or "how much one SHOULD have", but without addressing the question of how much government needs first, it seems to me to be the wrong approach.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:55 PM

45. I think it is fine where it is, but ALL income in a bracket should be taxed at the same rate

"capital gains" and other special categories for the rich need to be canned. And loopholes allowing people to avoid taxes by use of overseas accounts and other doges need to be ended. If we did that, there would be no need to do any other sort of tax increase.

I am also in favor of an investment transaction tax ($1/transaction) to stop automated speed trading, and hard limits on charitable deductions in estates. Too many charities are simply tax dodges, or ways for the plutocracy to buy influence (like Bill Gates...).

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:10 PM

47. How much?

Out of curiosity, how much should Al Gore be allowed to keep from his recent financial gains?

Sold Current TV for a reported $500,000,000.

Acquired $29,000,000 in Apple stock by exercising stock options that cost him $440,000.

So how much of that approx. $530 million should go to Al and how much to the US Government?

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:58 PM

49. Graph: History of top marginal tax rates


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States#History_of_top_rates

High income people paid much higher marginal rates in the 1950s and 1960s.

We ought to go to that for starters.

We should have more tax brackets for very high income people and we can get a lot of revenue that way.

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