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Wall Street insider shows how he paid 1% in federal income taxes on an income of $207,415 in 2009.

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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:30 PM
Original message
Wall Street insider shows how he paid 1% in federal income taxes on an income of $207,415 in 2009.
<snip>

In 2009, the median U.S. family had an income of just under $50,000, on which they would have paid roughly $2,761 (or about 5.5%) in federal income tax. I, by contrast, enjoyed an income of $207,415 in 2009, but paid only $2,173 (or 1.0%) in income tax.

In a recent newspaper interview, I mentioned my absurdly low tax rate to illustrate the extent to which the tax system is biased in favor of the wealthy (my income varies widely from year to year, but is typically north of half a million dollars). My point was that with our country facing frightening budget deficits amid an ever-widening income gap between the rich and everybody else, I consider it both unwise and unfair that a former investment banker like myself pays less in taxes than working Americans with far lower incomes



<end snip>

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-schoenberg/how-i-pai...
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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. He could have donated the difference to the U.S. Treasury
But he did not.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Taxes aren't donations.
By giving preferential treatment to certain spending, the tax code encourages certain behavior.

The problem isn't the individual who understands the code, it's the code itself. A point that he's making better than I ever could.
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Stop missing the point please
I can't stand when this ridiculous comment appears when someone complains about paying too little tax. It completely misses the point.

NOTICE to the oblivious: the vast majority of the uber wealthy TRY HARD to avoid paying taxes, they would never voluntarily pay them.
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justiceischeap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. That's not the typical party line, is it?
Often, the rich seem to want to pay even less or no taxes. I just don't understand how people think this country can be run without some sort of income coming in. If a business doesn't have income coming in, they go broke and close. The government is no different than any other business.
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. He's a "Wall Street Insider" and he only made $207k in 2009?
He must be a janitor at one of the big banks.

Or a pretty shitty investment banker.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. he said he usually makes north of 500k...
.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. He's an adjunct professor at a business school, who worked on Wall St. till 2002
This has been brought to you by the "here, let me read that article for you, you're obviously far too busy commenting on it to do that" service.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. you made me lol!
Thanks for giving us the synopsis :)
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
4. This illustrates an interesting point for me.
It's tempting to complain that he's not paying his fair share. "Fair" is defined by the tax code. It is economically rational to arrange ones affairs in a way that it complies with the behavior that the tax code promotes.

The problem is the tax code, not the individuals who understand and exploit it.

By speaking up and using his own taxes as an example, he's doing more for the cause of tax fairness than I could ever do.
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crickets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. 'By speaking up and using his own taxes as an example,
he's doing more for the cause of tax fairness than I could ever do."

Agreed, and I'm always favorably impressed when people in his situation do the right thing and speak up.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
6. Here's some of the "meat" from the article
"Under the Bush tax cuts, if one's income from other sources is low enough (which mine was after deductions), certain types of investment income are subject to zero -- yes, zero -- tax. In my case, the qualified dividends I received in 2009 would have escaped taxation altogether if not for the Alternative Minimum Tax. Even under the AMT, however, I paid less than half the income tax paid by a wage-earner with the same taxable income (and less than a third of the tax burden when including social security taxes, which are not due on investment income)."
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hugo_from_TN Donating Member (895 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. He had $46K deduction for charity and $56K for state and local taxes
Get rid of the deductions for these types of things and we can probably eliminate the deficit.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I'd rather see the deductions for investment income go before charities plus state & local taxes
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