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Mon Sep 17, 2012, 11:53 PM

I need a good rebuttal for a right wing tax metaphor

Could someone help me out please?

The tax metaphor is this old one:

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100…
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7..
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that’s what they decided to do..
The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20″. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men? The paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.
And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got $10!”
“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!”
“That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply I need a good rebuttal for a right wing tax metaphor (Original post)
TransitJohn Sep 2012 OP
Arctic Dave Sep 2012 #1
tk2kewl Sep 2012 #2
Confusious Sep 2012 #3
bhikkhu Sep 2012 #4
Courtesy Flush Sep 2012 #5
dkf Sep 2012 #6
krispos42 Sep 2012 #7
Tigress DEM Sep 2012 #8
Emit Sep 2012 #9
lonestarnot Sep 2012 #10
cognoscere Sep 2012 #11
JaneyVee Sep 2012 #12
Dyedinthewoolliberal Sep 2012 #13
Barack_America Sep 2012 #14
hfojvt Sep 2012 #15
TransitJohn Sep 2012 #16
lunatica Sep 2012 #17
gollygee Sep 2012 #18
yends21012 Sep 2012 #19
JHB Sep 2012 #20
yends21012 Sep 2012 #22
Viking12 Sep 2012 #21
Name removed Nov 2013 #23
cyberswede Nov 2013 #24
CJCRANE Nov 2013 #25

Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:00 AM

1. Taxes are not a consumable product.

 

The tax dollars don't just disappear into the ether, they are returned as services.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:01 AM

2. In the real world the benefits of the civil society we create by paying taxes

 

For things like roads, rails, airports and air traffic control, police, courts and even the military disproportionately benefit corporations and the wealthy. In you friends silly fairytale everyone is enjoying equal benefit. Your friend is full of shit just like mine who trotted out the same silly nonsense.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:05 AM

3. Well, it's fair because

The guy who pays 59 dollars gets the expensive beer, and so on down the line.

The guy who pays $2 gets the lucky lager.

More then anything, if your talking about dollars, the rich need the government more then the poor, becuase the dollar is backed by "the full faith and credit of the untied states."

They have more to protect, shouldn't they pay more?

Basically, what they're asking you to do is pay for the rich guys expensive beer.

Ps. They also fail to mention sales tax, which everyone pays.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:06 AM

4. Assholes only look at the progressive federal tax

Everybody pays taxes. I don't actually pay federal taxes right now, and probably for the next 5 years or so while my kids are young, but I do pay state taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, all sorts of fee-based taxes, etc. My effective tax rate is higher than Romney's, in spite of my getting a break on federal taxes.

The federal tax system isn't just the most progressive one we use, its about the only progressive one we use. The others weigh more heavily, per dollar earned, on the poor and middle class. This is why the poor and middle classes typically have a much higher overall tax rate on their income than the wealthy romney-class assholes.

As I've said before, the freeloaders are at the top, not at the bottom. I'm lower middle class, working, paying my way without complaint (and happy that my taxes help other people out), and nobody's victim.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:07 AM

5. it's a good parable alright

except the beer isn't getting any cheaper. AND. The poor guys don't get an equal share of beer. A true analogy would have the top two guys drinking all the beer, while his friends at the bottom watch. If people think America is a place where we all get the same slice of the pie at some rich guy's expense, they are delusional.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:13 AM

6. Look at the guy who owns the newspaper that printed the topless pics of Kate.

 

He didn't need the income and was so disgusted he shut the whole paper down, didn't even sell it.

Now they are all out of jobs.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:15 AM

7. First off, the tenth guy is an alcoholic

The wealthy are addicted to wealth and power. Egomaniacs become entertainers (movie stars, TV stars, musicians, sports figures) and psychopaths become businessmen. They can't, they are mentally incapable of giving up their drinking. And the USA is the best, wettest bar on the planet.

Second, the analogy doesn't include the Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid tax. In this case, it would be like having to pay a tip to the bartender... but only on the first $9 of your bill, regardless of who pays your bill. Even if the rich guy pays for the beer the bottom 4 are drinking (say, $10 worth), the bottom 4 still have to pay a tip on the $10.

So the 9th and 10th guys are paying as much in tips as the 8th guy, even though their bill is much higher.

Third, other taxes (cell phones, gasoline tax, alcohol tax, etc.) are analagous to a cover fee. If all 10 guys have to pay a $5 fee to get into the bar, this obviously means that the bottom 4 aren't really drinking for free... they paid to get in there, and they paid a much higher percentage of their income than the rich guys.

Fourth, let's not forget that the amount of beer being drunk is not equal. If the 10th guy is paying 59% of the bill and getting 75% of the beer, that's not exactly fair either. Remember, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, so even though the bottom 4 guys are drinking for free, the 10th guy is actually stealing the beer from their fridges at home.

Finally, the analogy doesn't take into account that the 10th guy benefits enormously from taxes paid. Whatever his source of income, he's benefitted substantially from taxpayer-funded physical and educational infrastructure.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:16 AM

8. I'd say that 10 guys drinking $100 worth of beer a day are drunken sods.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:19 AM

9. It's been posted on DU several times before, so start here

Lot's of good responses here and a link to Snopes I think:

A repub sent this e-mail to me re taxes. I need help to answer..
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002594299

WARNING! Check out this Freeper tax system in beer shit that's floating through the tubes...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x2868909

THE TAX SYSTEM EXPLAINED IN BEER
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002645121

Search DU and you'll find many more

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:19 AM

10. Take your shit and get out richie rich. See how friendly those other countries are to you when you

 

get there. We won't miss you, but don't think twice that you should ever be allowed back to the U. S. to drink. Sorry not a rebuttal, but I couldn't help myself.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:32 AM

11. As a tax story, it sucks.

The two critical points are: All the men were happy with the payment arrangement; the bartender didn't charge them a hundred and then refund twenty bucks. What he did do is reduce the beer cost to eighty dollars, so all they needed to do is each pay eighty percent of their original bill.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:35 AM

12. Because the rich have more to lose. Do they think if anarchy breaks out we're going to

 

mug each other? No, we're scaling the walls of gated communities EVERYWHERE.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:37 AM

13. This won't work because

the beer is supposed to be a substitute for all the things taxes provide us. So in the real world, the rich guy has a beer the size of a garbage can and the poorest people have theirs in a shot glass. Not the same thing at all when we tell it like that.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 12:54 AM

14. As if our tax code were this simple.

In reality the "savings" you speak of go from top down.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 01:10 AM

15. suppose ten people read an analogy

Four people (those with the least amount of brain cells) will think it is a brilliant analogy. One will laugh for one minute. The sixth would laugh for 3 minutes. The 7th would laugh for 7 minutes. The eighth for 12 minutes, the ninth for 18 minutes and the 10th (the smartest) would laugh for a full 59 minutes.

It would probably be a good idea to go back and look at how these patrons GOT their money with which they pay their bills. Suppose those four poorest were slaves of the richest. They do work that creates $200 worth of income for their master and in return he spends $59 buying everyone some beer.

Or how about we skip analogies and look at some facts?

In 1986, the richest 1% got 11.3% of the national income, the poorest 50% got 16.7%.

The Reagan cut taxes to favor the rich.

By 2006, the richest 1% got 22.1% of the national income, the poorest 50% got 12.5%.

Who creates the wealth of a corporation, of a nation? Is it the many workers, or is it the one CEO? In 1965 a CEO made 24 times what an average worker made. This pretty much held steady to 27 times by 1973 and then slightly more to 35 times by 1979. By 1989 it had gone up to 71 times, and by 1995 to 100 times, then to 300 times as much by 2001, and after some ups and downs it now stands at 262. http://www.epi.org/publication/webfeatures_snapshots_20060621/

It seems to me that if the CEOs were to go home crying because of those nasty old tax increases, that because they were no longer there to pick the workers pockets, that we would all have more money with which to buy soda. That the $59 that they were no longer paying would be much smaller than the $160 they were no longer stealing (the top 1% pay about 25% in federal income taxes). Leaving the remaining nine people, $101 ahead.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 07:31 AM

16. Thanks everyone, I appreciate it. eom

n/t

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 07:34 AM

17. Well why shouldn't the one who drank the entire beer pay more for it?

Rebut it like that.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 07:48 AM

18. The top 1% have 35% of the wealth; the bottom 50% have 1% of the wealth

So the first 4 guys got no beer, the 5th guy got 1%, etc., until the 10th has 35% of the beer, but promises it'll eventually go through his system and trickle down to everyone else.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #18)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 08:04 AM

19. Best explanation of trickle down economics I've ever heard.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 08:05 AM

20. The whole analogy is based on the rich guy being the guy who really runs the show...

...the whole "engine of the economy" thing.

The financial guys aren't they engine, they're the lube system. When functioning properly, they are the oil and grease that lets all the parts move freely to do what they are supposed to without excessive wear and tear. A really good system also regularly clears away old oil and grease so that it doesn't gunk up, but still, it's not the engine.

What we have is a dysfunctional system that thinks it is successful if collects as much oil and grease as possible in one spot; that's what its incentives are. And to do that, it strips as much as it can from every other place, and is ever more stingy at parceling out any. So all the parts wear more and break down faster.

And the lube system that thinks it's an engine does nothing but complain about how run down the other parts are and they need to work harder if they want any oil & grease.

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Response to JHB (Reply #20)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:23 PM

22. I like the engine analogy

It makes sense and I can picture it.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 08:25 AM

21. Everybody pays taxes.

Taking into account local, state, excise, FICA, etc.. everyone pays a very similar effective tax rate.

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Response to TransitJohn (Original post)


Response to Name removed (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 19, 2013, 04:06 PM

24. Ayn Rand was a hack. nt

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Response to Name removed (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 19, 2013, 04:15 PM

25. The 1% are prosperous because we bailed them out.

The taxpayers bailed out the banks and the corporations.

Without us they'd be on the streets.

They were catastrophic failures.

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