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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:53 PM
Original message
Richest Americans See Their Income Share Grow
Source: WSJ

By JESSE DRUCKER
July 23, 2008; Page A3

In a new sign of increasing inequality in the U.S., the richest 1% of Americans in 2006 garnered the highest share of the nation's adjusted gross income for two decades, and possibly the highest since 1929, according to Internal Revenue Service data. Meanwhile, the average tax rate of the wealthiest 1% fell to its lowest level in at least 18 years. The group's share of the tax burden has risen, though not as quickly as its share of income. The figures are from the IRS's income-statistics division and were posted on the agency's Web site last week. The 2006 data are the most recent available.

The figures about the relative income and tax rates of the wealthiest Americans come as the presumptive presidential candidates are in a debate about taxes. Congress and the next president will have to decide whether to extend several Bush-era tax cuts, including the 2003 reduction in tax rates on capital gains and dividends. Experts said those tax cuts in particular are playing a major role in falling tax rates for the very wealthy.

(snip)

The average tax rate in 2006 for the top 1%, based on adjusted gross income, was 22.8%, down slightly from 2005 and the fifth straight year of declines. The average tax rate of this group was 28.9% in 1996, and was 24% in 1988. As the wealthiest Americans' share of income has risen, so has their share of the income-tax burden. The group paid 39.9% of all income taxes in 2006, compared with 27.6% in 1988. In the most recently reported five years, however, the share of income reported by the very wealthy has risen faster than the group's share of income taxes.

The IRS data look only at so-called adjusted gross income, which is reported on tax returns, and focus only on income taxes. A report by the Congressional Budget Office late last year, which used wider definitions of both income and taxes, found similar trends.







Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121677287690575589.html (subscription)
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. and what else is new.
mission accomplished for *'ie
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. Theyah's ah wawah awn!
It's time to bring back the Truman tax scale: 91% for taxable income above $400,000.

Then we can afford to fight all the illegal wars we want. Or, maybe, fix things.
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KillCapitalism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. 91% on 400,000?
I am for equitable redistribution of wealth as much as anyone here, but I can't really agree with that. A good cardiac surgeon can make $400,000 a year, but he is worth it because he can save lives. Taxing him at 91% would only leave him with about $40,000 to live on & that's not much at all.

We should be going after the REALLY big fish out there. I say hit the $5,000,000+ earners with a 90% rate.
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Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. well, in truman's day wouldn't $400,000 be closer to $5 million?
maybe more? Actually I just looked it up and $400,000 in 1945 is about $4.8 million today.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. I agree with you...
but i'm curious if a surgeon is anymore deserving than a hospital admin who helps make sure the doctors and nurses are paid and the hospital runs smoothly. Just saying.
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I'm not a doctor but yes the doc's are worth more than the admins
Why go to school for 12 years and incur massive debt when you could make the same money shuffling paper around?

But yeah I think that over 2 million a year the tax should be 90% or so... after that 2 million. 2 million a year is plenty of cheese for any one monkey to be running around with while others die in the streets.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Why go to school? Um, maybe because you want to be a doctor.
n/t
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. We can hope and wish that all doctors will be selfless saints
And we can pray for miraculous gawd cures too.

In the meantime I do think that expertise and hard work should be rewarded financially.
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DaveJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. 'Rewarded financially' But just doctors?
Why is it always surgeons who are considered the ones who deserve to be rewarded disproportionately more for their skills and expertise. Like nobody else's job function matters?

A lot of people have jobs that cannot get done correctly without lots of training, many of which would cause people to die if done improperly.

People can die if breaks are installed improperly. Lots of people have life critical job functions. They know exactly what to do, and usually nobody dies, no different from profession to profession.

Sure, they should have enough to cover their education, their lost wages during their years of education, and some left over to enjoy, but the same is true for everyone else.


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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. As someone who was premed and chose not to go that route because of the lifestyle
I can tell you that despite the financial rewards it just wasn't the path for me. I love science, I love helping people, I love thinking on my feet. But I didn't want to study 80 hours a week for 12 years, and then work 80 hours a week with peoples lives in my hands. That I think is why people hold Doctors up as an example. There are a lot of life critical job functions out there but there are very few professions that carry the same constant responsibility and same level of training, dedication, and talent. Unfortunately not everyone was born capable of getting through medschool.

We won't get very far telling people that they can't make 2 million a year, or even a little more than that. But know that the top 1% in America are making considerably more than that a year. Hell most doctors don't make anything even remotely approaching that, especially after you factor in malpractice insurance. And we actually have a shortage of docs and nurses in this country. Doctors contribute something very valuable to society. Investment bankers do not. Why don't we worry more about the investment bankers and 20hour per week ceo's first? :shrug:

Did you know that most Doctors are Dems? And most support national healthcare. Leave the Doctors alone says I.
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GOPBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. Very good post!
Very true and very well stated. Every sentence I read I wanted to quote. :thumbsup:
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. Thanks :D I have docs in the family and the common misperceptions are hard to take
My Sister makes less than I do and works more. And I don't make much! Now she's not done with her residency yet but she already has hypertension just from Med School! Not to mention the debt... holy crap. But she loves helping people. If anyone deserves to get rich it's her. She's worked 120 hour weeks for months on end covered in blood and guts.... While teams of people look to her for direction and mothers who lost their babies cry on her shoulder.

But with all that she should make what a brake technician makes? Hah!
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #45
57. Certainly doctors, and nurses, and medical technicians
deserve to be rich before the CEOs of insurance companies that really just shuffle papers.

UnitedHealth had a major scandal when its former CEO - a physician, by the way - was given back dated options. But no one was screaming that an insurance company CEO had a compensation of close to $100 million a year, a reward for squeezing patients, doctors, and hospitals.
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #57
61. Ins companies account for about 33% of health costs.... 33%!!!!!!!!!
That's way more than Doctors. And they add dick to the equation. No really I mean dick... and they know just what to do with it in regards to the American public.
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #45
65. Those residence share in common a lot with floor nurses.
similar wages and work load. The residence move on, and the nurses retrain another batch.
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-25-08 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #65
73. I haven't heard that before. I guess it depends on the hospital
I have a lot of nurses in the family and most of them say that they are treated like gold.

One of my cousins is a travelling nurse. She moves from town to town working for the highest bidder for a few months. Usually works 6 days on and 4 days off. Makes a helluva lot more money as well.

I have a ton of respect for nurses but in general I don't think that they are exploited nearly as much as med students.
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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-25-08 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #35
75. If Sewage Engineers Don't Do Their Jobs Correctly...
entire populations would die immediately as if a bomb hit it.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #24
55. There may be no gray in your world, but there is in mine.
Something between hired mercenaries and selfless saints.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. I'd rather have the surgeon operating on me than the hospital admin,
After a third goes to taxes, a third goes to student loans, maybe he's got a decent income to live on. I'd go after the owner of the hospital system and pharmaceutical companies first.
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ravencalling Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #19
38. Dont diss doctors please
They actually work! And I think they deserve their income. Go after the ones that simply inherited their wealth and have not had to work a day in their lives, those to whom social climbing is their only hobby and claim to fame. Those whose major mental stress comes from whether or not Foo Foo the dog has those matching mink booties that will go with their own coat for their next completely useless and vapid social outing. You know the type. The let them eat cake types. Stripped of their wealth they would have a hard time showing aptitude for even being able to be a Walmart greeter (not trying to insult Walmart greeters here).

If you actually work for a living and must prove your expertise such as being a medical doctor, not saying they are all great of course, then I think you should be paid for it.

Plenty of other examples out there of the top 1% that are not worth the skin they inhabit - right?
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
23. I think that's income above $400,000.
In other words, your first $400,000 was probably taxed at a much more reasonable rate, but once you started really raking it in, the feds wanted most of it.

There was a damned good reason for that, too. Though rarely stated, it's pretty clear that the tax rates were raised in 1951 to reflect both the onset of the Korean War and to punish the massive war profiteering that occurred during World War II by the people in this income bracket. It was both punitive and preventive. I'm not sure how well it worked, but it sure as hell got everyone behind putting a third world war to bed.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
27. No, that's not how it works.
It's progressive. For example, if he was taxed at 0% for the first 400,000 and 90% for income after 400, 000, then if he made 500, 000 he would earn 410 000. I could live on 410, 000.
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GOPBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
42. Although I agree with you, your numbers are not accurate.
A marginal tax rate means that *only the income above that amount* is taxed at that rate. For example, the surgeon would be taxed at a far lower rate on the first $400,000, but then only that income that he makes *above* $400,000 would be at the very high tax rate. Also, adjusting for the top marginal rate from Truman's time would probably be much more than $400,000. I don't feel like doing the research, but I imagine that it would be like a million dollars a year or something.

Having said all that, I agree with you. That's a ridiculously high tax rate, regardless of what the income level is. I personally liked the Clinton tax code -- I thought it was a perfect balance.
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #7
44. Incentive
"I say hit the $5,000,000+ earners with a 90% rate. "

As a very sub-$5 million earner, what would be my incentive under this system to become a $5 million earner and thus contribute that much in taxes? Seems to me it would be more profitable to be lazy and stay in a lower tax bracket, not contributing as much to the economy, not giving so many people jobs, not contributing as much to the government.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #44
50. So a $4 million income isn't incentive enough??
Fine. Someone else will take your place.
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #50
70. It's not if it all goes to the government n/t
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #70
72. How would it "all go to the government" if it's below the suggested 90% bracket?
The 90% would be on income above $5 mil. Below that would be at lower rates, and they'd hardly amount to "all".
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-25-08 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #72
74. Do the numbers
So let's say I'm earning $5 million and I have the capacity to earn another $5 million if I work a lot harder. Why bother if I'm only going to make 10% more, the rest going to the government? I won't, and few people would. So I don't work harder, I don't make the extra money, and the economy doesn't grow by that amount. I don't buy more things, putting money into the local sales tax base and contributing to retail jobs. I don't hire more people, directly helping unemployment.

You can only squeeze the golden goose so hard before it stops laying eggs. Then you're screwed.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-26-08 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #74
76. I did do the numbers -- the ones we were dealing with previously...
...not the ones you changed above.

As a very sub-$5 million earner, what would be my incentive under this system to become a $5 million earner and thus contribute that much in taxes?

As a "very sub-$5 million earner", the benefits of getting up into the income stratosphere far outweigh any disadvantages.

As for the revised situation, let us note that when those conditions did exist the result was not "you're screwed" but the high point of midde-class expansion and our status as an industrial power. You're only screwed if there's only one golden goose, not a whole flock hungry to obtain guilded status.

And since you've been good enough to continue this dicussion, the potential stifling disadvantades of a flat 90% bracket are not lost on me. Even back in the 50's there were loopholes to avoid paying the full rate. A lower rate, or targeted loopholes to encourage long-term investment in innovation won't get much of an argument from me.

But I'll still use the 90% bracket as a starting point in negotiations. It has the advantage of having been tried an been quite successful, and is a lot more moral and civilized than "kill'em all and take their stuff".



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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #76
84. Take their stuff
"and is a lot more moral and civilized than "kill'em all and take their stuff"."

We still have that. Try not paying those taxes. Hope you don't try to defend yourself against the unannounced jack-booted thugs who bust down your door at five in the morning.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #84
85. Try not pulling over when a cop flashes his lights at you...
...and heedlessly continuing on your merry way (without even escalating it into a "high speed chase"), you're likewise going to find yourself apprehended, and a lot sooner than you will over most tax disputes.

What's your point?
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #85
88. The point: all taxes are force
All taxes are taking, with the threat of force behind them. Our government will use deadly force to enforce our tax system. Lining up the rich, shooting them and looting their homes is just a somewhat less civilized version of any "screw the rich" tax system.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #88
90. So what? By that reasoning, all laws are force.
I'm afraid I consider that reductio ad absurdum. The difference between "lining up the rich, shooting them" and "any 'screw the rich' tax system is the difference between nations where actual Bolsheviks and their equivalent took control (USSR, PRC before the 90's, Cambodia, etc.) and those in which "screw the rich" policies were passed (but somehow, the rich never seemed particularly screwed): the US, western Europe, Japan, etc.

If you think I've mischaracterized your viewpoint, it wasn't intentional, but if so you need to articulate it better.

In the meantime, a bit from a Mahablog post I thought relevant to the subject (YMMV):

--------------------
Friedrich Hayeks The Road to Serfdom or, at least, a mythical version of Friedrich Hayeks The Road to Serfdom has long been a common bugaboo of the Right-wing brain: All government regulation is collectivism is socialism is communism is totalitarianism. You know the lyrics to that one, no doubt.

****
In Road, he thoroughly, eloquently, and convincingly demolishes an idea that virtually no one holds nowadays. The core of Road is an exploration of why a planned, state-managed economy must tend toward totalitarianism. If this is ones concept of socialism, it could hardly survive a fair-minded encounter with Hayek.

****
Larner writes that Hayek saw collectivism only as something government imposes, and didnt understand that collectivism can be a spontaneous, nongovernmental, egalitarian phenomenon. This parallels my gripe with libertarians who cannot perceive that oppression can come from powers other than the federal government. This is a rigidly linear view of human society.
****
Also in the name of liberty, the Right wants to place limitations on what We, the People can do with our own government to solve problems. Again, this doesnt make us freer or less oppressed, because it takes power away from the people and gives it to monied interests even less answerable to us than government.
-----------
Full article and source links at:
http://www.mahablog.com/2008/07/27/still-lurching-along... /
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #90
91. I am not against taxes in general
As I said, they are a necessary evil. Other laws keep us from hurting one another, they don't take from you what you earned. The religious right would like to have jackboot thug power over our personal lives, I don't like that either.

Taxes can be done right. But punishing someone because he became rich is simply wrong to me. Going back to grade school, it would be like the teacher punishing me for straight As, doesn't make sense.

We can use very high taxes to punish certain actions of rich people.

On one hand you have Paul Allen, ex-Microsoft, who has a yacht so big it sounds wrong, but a lot of people had jobs for a long time making it, and 60+ people have permanent jobs staffing it. I don't think it's wrong, and he is one hell of a philanthropist. You have Sergei Brin, the Google billionaire, who employs thousands here in well-paying jobs, but if we took so much of his money he probably wouldn't have invested $100 million in revolutionary inexpensive solar panel manufacture ($1 a watt!!).

But those Reagan-era type corporate raiders who make millions breaking up companies, eliminating thousands of jobs, and those who ship U.S. jobs overseas, should have a tax rate so high they won't be able to make a profit doing it.

I believe in punishing actions that hurt us, not success itself.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #91
92. So we mostly agree and our dispute is mostly netfog.
We both want to make it uneconomical to engage in practices that don't actually produce new wealth but just shuffle existing wealth up the ladder and into the pockets of those who are most ruthless in seizing it. This would be the Michael Millikans, the Ken Lays, the thousands of corporate officers who receive extremely generous compensation packages that ensure that they make out no matter what happens to the company...

...but at the same time not choke off investment that does create growth and jobs.

As I indicated above, I'm not a fanatic about 90% bracket. It's a tool, a means to a better arrangement than we have now, and I'm willing to jettison it if some other workable compromise is hammered out. But I will continue to argue for it, for several reasons (which unfortunately I can't get into right now because my attention is required elsewhere. If you're interested in hearing them, I'll go into it when I have more time to type.)
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #92
94. I think we got it, thanks for the discussion n/t
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Karl_Bonner_1982 Donating Member (701 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
48. Ummm...you don't understand the tax structure
The 91% bracket only kicked in after you get past $400,000, and then only that amount beyond $400k was taxed at the top rate. And adjusted for inflation it would be several million dollars today.

At least we should bring back a top top bracket to differentiate between the well-off and the filthy rich, rather than have everything be flat from $350k on up.
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billyoc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
49. LOL, no, everything that you make ABOVE 400k is taxed higher, you still get the 400k.
:hi:
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
52. Uh, Helloooo -- do you not understand the concept of MARGINAL tax rates?
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 07:19 PM by kath
Why, why, why do so few Murkans understand this basic concept? :banghead:
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KillCapitalism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #52
69. Then why the fuck do they say 91%.
Basic math would tell you that 91% of $400,000 is $364,000. Maybe if they told you it was 91% of everything earned PAST $400,000. Forgive me for being wrong, but the US tax code is impossible to understand unless you're a tax attorney or a CPA.
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MFK6 Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-26-08 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #69
77. Tax Code
Tax Code is best taken one little bite at a time. You can't eat a whole pizza at one time.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #69
96. Marginal tax rates are pretty easy to understand, actually.
I think the reason many people don't understand them is that when they self-prepare taxes, they just take a number from the tax table -- no need to compute the tax on each level of taxable income as separate items. Those who have others do their taxes, same effect -no need to compute the effective rate.

If on the other hand you're self-employed or otherwise need to figure out estimated tax payments each quarter, the tool used to estimate those payments lays out the rate at each income tier and it's easy to understand.
There's a chart here: http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/article/0,,id=164272,00.ht...
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #7
64. Hey how much does a good telemetry nurse make?
We need real equitable redistribution for jobs that women traditionally fill. Because alot of them are life saving, and life affirming jobs that don't make much. 5 million. Can't wrap my head around that figure.
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Zodiak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
68. You do not understand
Tax 91% of income AFTER 400,000. Not tax the whole 400,000.
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The Croquist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
82. No it wouldn't.
Don't forget Social Security, Medicare and State Income Tax. Social Security will take $7,803.00, Medicare will take $5,800.00 and my State, Georgia (6%), will take up to $23,810.00. That will leave the good doctor with about $2,587.00. I hope that's enough for him to pay back his student loans.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. And have universal health care like almost all other industrialized nations, but then those who
own 99% of the wealth might be left with just 98%, something 'pukes will never stand for. :D
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
60. I'll see you the 91% marginal rate and raise you....
...by ending the preferential treatment for "unearned income" (dividends, interest, capital gains). Tax unearned income at the same rates as earned income. And, while we're at it, eliminate the cap on FICA contributions. And while we're fixing things, change the Constitution so only federal funds are used to finance elections. No private contributions, no corporate soft money -- just build a pool of campaign budget, and disperse it equally to all comers that, say, can gather 100,000 signatures supporting his or her candidancy. We do these things, then we're getting somewhere. Otherwise it will be same as it ever was.
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The Croquist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #60
83. Good Idea!
Lets tax them at 91% and eliminate the cap on FICA contributions.

Fed Income Tax 400,000*.91 = 364,000
FICA 400,000*.0765 = 30,600
Medicare 400,000*.0145 = 5,800
State Income Tax (GA)400,000*.06 = 23,810

After tax income -24,210

Do you want to bring back debtors prison if this rich guy can't come up with the 24,210 to send to the government every year.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. That is because the rest of us saw ours decrease
It has to go somewhere.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. Wealth redistribution to the top - those who need it most
:sarcasm:
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. There IS no "trickling down". There IS "wicking up".
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. sure there is "trickle down", don't you feel that you have been..
pissed on? I know I have...

:rofl:
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. "Pissed on..." - I must be psychic. I KNEW you were gonna say that.
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progdonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #8
31. "trickle down theory"
One of my favorite quotes from the Dinosaurs TV show:

BP Richfield (evil boss running for "chief elder"): "We'll have what I call my 'trickle down theory.' See, rich folks tend to live in big houses on the tops of hills, so if we give them all the money, some of it's bound to slip out of their pockets and roll down to where those other folks are."
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
51. The top is a sponge.
It only trickles down when squeezed.
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. this completely debunks some tx BS some freeper was trying to sell me
that the rich pay 50% of their income to taxes. I also noted that other forms of income which exist mainly for the wealthy are either untaxed or at a lower rate, like Capital Gains.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
26. This article was PERFECT to counteract another WSJ propaganda piece a freeper put out...
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 04:44 PM by calipendence
... on another message board to hype his mantra that only cherry picked the statistics like the rich paying a higher share of the tax totals, and ignoring the other stats. I called him on it, and this article supported exactly my complaints I made on the article earlier!

Thanks!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121659695380368965.html...

Comparing these two articles that basically cover the same set of data in different ways is a REAL illustration as to how the right wing lies with statistics! Perfect case study material!

And also note that unlike the above article that was well written, this piece of crap has noone taking responsibility for writing it!
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #26
46. I see a match
Both say the top 1% paid 40% of all income taxes, unless you're quibbling over the WSJ rounding of .1%.

I'd love to have been among that doubling of millionaires too.
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #46
67. ok, but what percentage of GDP do they also earn?
in short, is it a fair amount of taxes, especially when considering their lesser taxed investments, tax shelters, etc. What percentage of their real income do they pay in taxes? Warren Buffet says his hired help is taxed more than he is percentage wise, and... I think I'll believe him.

Furthermore, no one gets rich in a vacuum. To be successful you need a stable infrastructure of roads, rail, police, fire, etc., and you also need a relatively stable economy and consumer base of less rich people to make, sell, and buy your goods. In other words, you need society to be successful, as hard work (and a lot of luck and connections) are not going to do it alone. This is why many successful people like Gates and Buffet don't mind paying taxes and want to give back to the society which allowed their hard work and ideas to thrive and make money.

You are familiar with the progressive tax system, right, where the people who can more afford to pay for society - and as I pointed out, who also benefit the most from society - pay more than those who cannot afford it, and who do not benefit as much from society, despite the complaints about welfare and other social systems.

Finally, look at it this way if nothing else, and it's completely non-altruistic if that helps: do you want to create a class of desperate people with nothing to lose out of the 99% of people who do not pay as much in taxes as that top 1%? History shows us very clearly what happens when the leaders of society forget that their place is supported by the hoi polloi - you and me and millions more like us.
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #67
71. I like the progressive system we have now
Although it can use a bit of cleaning up, I think it strikes a good balance. It's all this talk of raising taxes, even for the rich, that I don't like.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #26
58. This is what I often tell DUers who just dismiss a WSJ story
there is a vast difference between a news story and an editorial or an op-ed by Karl Rove.

Their news coverage is excellent. Their opinion pieces, however, are as rabid as they've always been, even before Murdoch took over.
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boomerbust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
10. Time for a tax rate adjustment
The pukes on CNBC are already warning what an Obama presidency would do to the market. Higher taxes for wall street will completely destroy the economy. Vote MCcain 08
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
12. Does anyone else remember the time Bush was asked about raising taxes on
the wealthiest 1%? He said "it doesn't make any sense to do that because they don't pay taxes as it is" :crazy:
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ckramer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
13. The only way poor people can keep up with this is
to max out their credit cards having a good time, and then declear bankruptcy.

That's the only way to screw the banks.

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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. They can do that?
I was under the impression that the bankruptcy bill removed many of the ways of doing that, including legitimate things like "losses due to caregiver status."
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riverdeep Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-26-08 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #18
78. Yep.
And just like Republican wordsmithing, they called it "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005". Just a couple of years before the economy went into a tailspin. Imagine that?

What we have is a feudal system. We are the serfs that work their fast food counters and sit in their cubicles and push their boxes from here to there, but they own it all. We have more personal freedom than serfs of the past did, which we largely use to stare at TV monitors until goo oozes out our ear.

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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #13
40. Working on it! And I'm on the low edge of "middle class" hahahahahahahahaha n/t
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
14. I wish I could say I'm shocked.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
21. DU the poll link on that page:
http://forums.wsj.com/viewtopic.php?t=3405

Q: Do the rich pay their fair share of taxes?

Current totals:
Yes - 351 votes (31%)
No, they pay too little - 456 votes (40%)
No, they pay too much - 328 votes (29%)

Let's push the second option to over 50%!
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #21
59. Very few votes, only 1203 total
However the second option still in the lead with 42% (including mine)
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
22. Elsewhere on DU someone was whining ...
that anti-socialism was dead.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
25. Wealth distribution is always anti-gravity. It always trickles up. nt
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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #25
80. Taxes don't redistribute wealth!!
Wow, the biggest rightwing myth being spread here is that taxes somehow redistributes wealth and that's just plain wrong.. Taxes don't create wealth, only capital can create wealth..thus if you want to redistribute wealth you have to redistribute capital..

The top 1% are accumulating wealth by controlling the capital.

Tax capital not wages..
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conspirator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #80
87. You are absolutely right. Taxes probably go back to rich people in the form of
corporate welfare and contractor companies that work for the government.
Capital is the key. Free housing and land redistribution would help.
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
28. Oh, whew.
I can't tell you how many nights I've laid awake, wondering whether the richest 1% have been treated fairly by the Bush administration.
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CANDO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
29. My right wing brother says....
the rich are being over taxed because they pay more than their share of the national taxes proportionate to the percentage of the population at large. They believe you don't tax wealth because some day you may become wealthy and therefore have to pay high taxes. Trying to have a logical conversation with a wing-nut will drive you to insanity. My brother is beyond any help.
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bulloney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. I've heard RW talk shows piss and moan about the richest 1% paying "disproportionate" share of taxes
I thought I read somewhere where the richest 1% was making almost half of the nation's total income. They should be paying about half of the taxes if they're making half of the income.


What do these dufuses think? The top 1% pays only 1% of the taxes?

I'm sorry, but you need to have a redistribution of wealth, otherwise, you end up with a feudalistic society where a small percentage has all of the wealth and the rest have to fight among themselves for what's left. And that's not healthy.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 03:20 AM
Response to Reply #32
79. Resist using their framing (i.e. "redistribution of wealth")...
Every transaction redistributes wealth, the real questions are "how much" and "in what direction".

The past three decades have seen a redistribution of wealth from the working- and middle-classes into the hands of the very wealthy. And it was done by making political changes: in taxation, in regulation, in enforcement, etc.

We just want to change that structure to one that encourages reversing that flow.
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MetaTrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 06:25 AM
Response to Reply #32
93. Indeed, check out that distribution
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MikeNearMcChord Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #29
53. Warren Buffet made this point many of times.
He pays less taxes on his investment income than his secretary. What would Charles Dickens would say, oh yes It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
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SOS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
30. 22.8% on taxable income
That's after a staff of attorneys and accountants hide most of it.
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #30
54. Egg-zackly!! Ding, ding, ding we have a WINNAH!!
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
33. There are those who say Bush is a failure. Look at this great success of his.
Along with taking us into an illegal war based on lies and shredding the Constitution, this is his greatest achievement.

They must be lighting cigars and drinking brandy tonight at the White House to see these numbers.

If only he could have destroyed Social Security, Medicare and other aspects of the social safety net, so we would all have to depend on the good will of the 1%, and do their bidding.

He tried, and he's not finished yet. But he can bask in the warm glow of this story. Definitely one of his greatest goals, and achieved.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
34. These people are insufficiently taxed.
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Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
36. The top 1% earns 22% of the income for the whole country. That's what's sick.
screw the tax rate, that's not as disturbing to me as the fact that the top 1% of us "earn" 22% of the income.

so, the other 99% of us split 78% of the weath.

As you go down, it's something like the bottom half of us share 16% of the income while the top half get 84% of the wealth

That is what will destroy us faster than global warming. We are becoming a two tier society and it is scary. Houses behind gates, separate schools, seperate everything. Not healthy.

(We wanted to build a home years ago and found a lot we loved. It wasn't expensive but it was going to be in a gated community. NO WAY would I live like that.)
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #36
41. Yeah same here. The Mrs and I find the whole idea of a gated community disgusting n/t
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nradisic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
37. No Shit!
After 8 years of Republican rule. That's what you get. I say, "Karma is a bitch".

Time to pay bitch!
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
47. This George Carlin quote comes to mind:
"The upper class make all of the money, pay none of the taxes. The middle class pays all of the taxes, does all the work. And the poor are there... just to scare the shit out of the middle class. Keep them showing up at those JOBS!"
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kevinmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
56. I was getting worried about the rich ...... glad to see they are OK 8-) n/t
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 09:21 PM by kevinmc
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
62. This isn't Latest Breaking News.
This is fit for GD.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. Yeah this is some "same old shit."
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #63
66. Exactly.
The rich have been getting richer for the past 25 years. All of a sudden it's breaking news!?

Oh well. People need reminding now and then, of the widening chasm.
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livingon Donating Member (42 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
81. uga!!
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
86. Take THAT all you people who say the Bush economy isn't working!
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Xenotime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
89. Tax them on their profits..
They should have to submit statements at the beginning of the year and end of the year. Then they are taxed a % for a more equal distribution. Then the following year they should be taxed again.
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Xenotime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
95. So, that's were all the money is going.
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